10 habits that will change your life for better

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about some habits, that have great power to make our life easier and more productive. I’ve started incorporating them into my daily routine and although many of them aren’t my everyday thing yet, I can already see how better my day is when I do this easy (as we could think) activities.

So without further explanations, let’s move to all those life-changing habits.

Get up early

This is the one I am struggling with the most. Especially, since I had my son (ok, he is just an excuse, I had a problem with this before he was born too).

However, every day, when I manage to get up before him, I have some time for myself, I can get ahead with my tasks (at least these requiring me to focus). Having this one or two hours each day, when everyone is asleep makes a lot of the difference.

Of course, I could tell you to wake up at any ‘optimal’ time, but such perfect time does not exist. I’ve read a lot of blog posts and articles about the power of getting up at 6 am, or 5 am. Some even swear to everything that is important to them that 4 am is the time when you should get up and start your day.

Although I believe them, I still don’t agree with them. I don’t think getting up at 4 am would do any good for a person, who let’s say finished their shift just two hours before. But the fact is, that if you’ll get up earlier before your normal schedule, it will definitely help. At least if you won’t spend this time scrolling through your social media.

Open all windows at your home as soon as you wake up

This seems to be so random and not important thing, that I wouldn’t bother to do this. I’ve read about this so many time before, but I have never seen any purpose of it. Of course, I did open them at some point during the day but didn’t see why would I open them as a first thing after waking up.

Well, when I started to follow it, I had to admit it has changed my life. First of all, my home is fresh and airy before I am done with making breakfast. That makes me more likely to do some work when I am ready to start getting my things done.

Don’t make your bed to soon

This can seem like a nightmare for those, who like me were growing up with mums who really paid attention to it. For me, there was no way to leave my bed unmade for longer than 10 minutes since I woke up.

But in reality, there is very good reason to leave making your bed till a bit later or even not doing it at all. Leaving it uncovered (but not messy), for some time with an open window, will help you to have a good night sleep in fresh bedding.

Have a nutritious breakfast

This one never had to be explained to me. But anyway I was always eating very bad breakfast or haven’t got any at all. I’ve started working on the quality of the first meal in the day, I started having much more energy than I used to.

If you are a coffee drinker, it might be even more beneficial to you, as in my example, breakfast helped me not crush as quickly as I used to.

Get at least a bit of exercise

This is quite obvious. In polish (I am not sure about English) we have a saying: “in the healthy body healthy soul”. Keeping yourself in good condition help to reduce stress and pain associated with prolonged sitting or standing.

And the good news is, that you don’t need to spend money on expensive equipment or gym ticket. Just a bit stretching and walk or run in the fresh air will do the thing. And you’ll not even realise when you’ll start loving it.

I can’t say I am running regularly, as not always I have someone to leave my son with. But I am able to go for a walk almost every day. It is good for my son too 🙂

Review your plan

This is the thing, I am most guilty of. I have my to-do list prepared and it is just waiting for me in my bullet journal, but when I’ll get ready, I just keep getting my tasks from my memory.

Reviewing your to-do list after every task will help you to decide which task is the best to do next (if you haven’t written them in the order) and at the same time, you’ll not forget about anything.

See what can you do, before the real day starts

Before I will talk about the importance of this habit, let me explain what do I mean by real day. This is quite connected to the first point, where I told you about getting up earlier. For the purpose of this post, the real day will mean the time before your normal wake up time.

Why is this one so important to me? As for the most part of the day my son is following my each and every step, he has to try doing everything I do and basically he is in the age of being interested in everything, I have to have my eyes all around my head. That makes it impossible to do anything what requires me to focus (first of all, my son would be climbing one any way; second of all: if he wouldn’t climb, he would be looking for some way to explore the highest shelves in our house, what could end in taking him to ER after he would have fallen).

So every time, when I manage to wake up before him, I am getting as much of writing posts, recording videos, montaging them, etc as I possibly can. Of course, after having my breakfast. If I think about it, ironing is one of these tasks too. I don’t really understand it, but my son loves every kind of strings, wires and other long objects. As I am ironing, he tries to pull the wire and it is quite stressful not to let him get hot iron on his head.

Clean as you go

I don’t know how it is in your place, but my one has a magic power of getting dirty. You know, I’ve just washed the dishes, after made tea and heated up some food, I turned around and my sink is full of the dishes… AGAIN!

Or I hoover and mop the floors. Meantime my son wakes up I feed him and my floors are all dirty. Just in no time.

For some time I was even wondering if there is a point of trying to keep my place clean. But soon I found a solution (to be honest my mum used to say it to me all the time when I was a kid, I just wouldn’t listen to her). It is just one very powerful sentence: clean as you go. I started with my dishes. Most of the time or make something to eat or drink, I try to wash everything straight away. To help myself with the floors, I bought a small hand hoover and every time my son decides that the best place for his rice is on the floor, I clean it right away.

This way, my home stays relatively clean at all time and I am not getting frustrated all the time.

Stay hydrated

I find it very important too. I have never paid a lot of attention to how much I am drinking. But quite recently I had these horrible headaches, which wouldn’t go. I was stuffing myself with painkillers, I was trying to catch extra naps whenever I could. But nothing helped.

Actually, my mum was the one who suggested that I might be not drinking enough. Well, since I started drinking at least a 1-litre bottle of water or other drink, I seem to have more energy and what is most important, my headaches are completely gone.

Plan your next day

This is very important too. It is very important to prepare your to-do list in the evening before. It will help you stay on the top of your tasks the next day when you wake up early. The trick is, you don’t waste your time on thinking what you have to do, you just pick a task from your list and get it done.

If your planning system is good, you will be also less likely to forget about important things, deadlines, appointments, etc.

And these are all habits I wanted to share with you today. I will be happy to read your recommendations of habits.

But this is it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

Ps. I’ve forgotten to press schedule when I finished this post, so we have almost 5 hours delay today. Normally, posts will be live every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11 pm UK time.

2020 as a year of setting up good habits

Hi guys,

Today I would like to talk about setting New Year’s goals in general. What is the purpose of making this unofficial agreement with yourself? Why on the beginning of year, not at any time?

For this second question answer is very simple. With each year starting, there are a lot of people everywhere (literally everywhere) reflecting on their achievements, failures and events happening the year before. They are getting excited for things they want to achieve in the upcoming year. This kind of remind us that “hey, we’ve made these resolutions a year ago, let’s see how much did we manage to actually do”. They could have been made at any time in a year, but let’s be honest. Who is actually checking progress of our actions just like that? Or maybe I am the only one who needs New Year to make sure that goals will be at least reviewed?

And with the purpose of setting goals at all, there is a more complex thing to think about. I’ve came across two opinions. First stated that setting these goals actually motivate you to take an action. Second, that focusing on your goals, writing them down and seeing list of your commitments works quite opposite. For me both of above are correct to some extend. Although, I am setting goals each year, not always I am actually achieving them. But I think I found a solution.

First of all, I am not dreaming about my goals. My list works for me as a reminder and guide. Each goal has also a working plan, where it is divided into smaller parts and steps to achieve each of these parts. And finally, I am scheduling goals related task into my to do lists on weekly basis (as I plan in weekly intervals). After some time I will share with you my process of planning.

This way, my goals are not just a nice bullets in my planner. Kind of “one day” things. They are actual tasks, scheduled to work on. Like immediately. Not one day. Making sure that each week, there are some at least small steps being made towards achieving them.

And that’s it for today’s post. I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria

How to handle to-do list with multiple overdue tasks?

Hi guys,

Today I would like to tell you about getting behind. As bad and scary it sounds, unfortunately it is a reality for many of us (if not all of us). Lately, I had fallen behind as well and when I thought I’ve started getting out on straight path with my work, there were so many new tasks coming (what might be a disadvantage of planning ahead), that it was again getting out of my hands. You could also realise that, because since last two weeks one post each week was missing. I was even considering shifting for two posts a week, instead of three, but I have decided that this is not the best solution. Running away from the problem will not really solve it. So even if I had to miss two or three posts, I am back on track (at least I hope so 😉 ).

However, more regular posting doesn’t mean that I made up my other tasks. They are still hanging over my head and waiting to be done. I wanted to show you my planning process in details. I’ve mentioned that I am using Nozbe and a bullet journal, but I have never explained how they are co-working in my case. And this post will appear as soon as I will manage to bring my tasks up to date (especially university-related, as my coming due date will not allow me to attend second dates of assignments and exam). All because I know that explaining this process will take a bit more time.

But coming back to today’s topic, I believe that most of us (if not all) at least once in their life came across the situation, when to-do list seemed not end and looking for a solution for that (which by the way, makes our tasks being left behind for a little more) became some kind of obsession. And guess what? There are tons of advises for people like we are out there! Unfortunately, to read about them is taking unbelievable amount of time (which actually used for working on our tasks would bring us a bit closer to handling this huge list) and not all of these advises are worth it to be read. There are many of them repeating, but being named differently.

So going through these advises and pretty much wasting my time, I came across the only one, which seem really work. And it does require from you just one thing: keep getting your tasks done! There is no magic method to get everything done within one day (especially if you really got behind a lot), but everyday work, where you are getting as much done as you can will make you handle your to-do list (even if it will happen after week or two).

When I have started working this way, I had to carry on around 15 tasks for next day (yes, I got so badly behind) and at the moment I got to the point where just 5 to 8 tasks are being migrated to the next day. To get to this point took me two weeks, where I was checking task after task every single day.

So the best advice I can give you on this topic is to make sure you will prevent this from happening. Make sure that when you see you are starting getting behind, you will take an action right away to prevent it.

But if you are already at the point that even looking at your to-do list cause some headache and you don’t want to even think of sorting this out, I did just one thing which made me getting closer to not-scary-at-all-to-do list.

First of all, don’t really look for a solution, just keep working on your tasks. Start from these, which should be done long time ago and keep handling them (well, if you have something what is very important to be ready soon, and these overdue tasks can wait just a bit longer, you can start from it). For a time being, keep moving less important tasks for a next day (not longer, as you don’t want to move your problem further). For, example, I have my cleaning divided for parts of the home. I usually clean each part every day (like dusting, hoovering, mopping the floor, etc.), plus deep cleaning once a week. However, at the moment I resigned from it. I mean I still clean my home, but I am handling just one part of the home each day (except for the dishes which are being washed every day and toilet, just for the hygiene). Also I used to cook every day, as my goal for this year is to keep eating out to the minimum, but since two weeks I am cooking for at least two days (it takes very similar amount of time, but you have every second day cooking free).

Second thing is to prioritise. If you have tasks with deadline approaching, but nothing really will happen, if you’ll make them later (I have this kind of tasks related to my personal project: I gave them a deadline, but moving this deadline just a bit will not make a lot of harm really), move them for next day. Why it is important to keep moving your tasks just for one day? Before I took this strategy, I kept moving them more, like one week or something close to that. What happened, my to-do list became very light (at least for the next few days), so I just relaxed and slowed down with my work. However, when the week passed, I was in exactly same situation. Having these tasks moved just for a day will keep you remember about them. And what is important, carry on moving your tasks for the next day, just when you are not going to do anything else today. Your goal is to get as much done today as you can, so don’t make your daily list very short.

And what’s very important, is to remember that for these time when you are making up your work, you have to do all your best not to procrastinate. It is very satisfying to check these tasks each day, so try to motivate yourself this way.

And this is all I wanted to share with you in today’s post. I hope you enjoyed it. For now I wish you a very productive day and I’ll see you in my next post.

Daria