Urgency is a single word that should mean a lot to both of us.
Every day people die for different reasons which makes me wonder if I`ll ever have the chance to achieve my long list of goals or death will hunt me down like the 151,600 people who die every single day (according to stats).
Don`t get me wrong, I love patience. It`s a skill everyone should learn. But I also want to succeed as early as possible because no one knows what happens tomorrow. And I guess you agree with me on that.
My advice to you is: change your life if you don`t like it, and do it now, so when you die —which will inevitably happen— you won`t be just a number on the World Birth and Death Rates list. For this reason, I made you a list of five habits that I believe will transform your life in a whole new way if you just stick to thee. Here they are:
1. Stop using the alarm
According to a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, people who get enough sleep (and do it regularly) and happier, healthier and calmer than those who don`t.
So, my tip for you is: Stop using the alarm for one week. Why? Because it wrecks your sleep quality. Any time you use the alarm, you simply say, "I`m not getting enough sleep, and I don`t trust my internal alarm so I`ll rely on something external to disrupt my sleep and wake me up."
Keeping the alarm away, however, will encourage you to sleep early. It tells your body to get enough sleep or you won`t wake up early the next day, and maybe be late to work. Now, you`ll go to bed early at 8 or 9 pm., instead of late at 1 or 2 am.
2. Set a day each month to learn from your mistakes
Good Ol` Einstein once said it, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
Taking some off time each month to reflect upon your past mistakes is one of the best habits you can ever build. Mainly because it makes you understand what has gone wrong and why you made those wrong choices. You will save tons of time, energy and money, and you`ll be able to make the best out of your mistakes and turn them into opportunities.
If it`s possible, get a journal then, at the end of the month, take a day or two off to reflect upon all the things you`ve written in a 4-week period. Trust me, it will change all you know about yourself.
3. Read every day (even for just five minutes)
Reading makes you smarter because it teaches you the mistakes of those who lived before you. So basically, the more you read, the fewer mistakes you make, and the faster you reach success.
My advice is to start slow with the reading thing. As I said, I love it, but many don`t. So start slow. If you can`t read a book a week, then read one chapter, or decide to read at least ten minutes a day and put it on your calendar. Whenever I feel lazy to read, I decide to grab a book for just five minutes, and frankly, I usually end up not wanting to stop reading.
4. Measure everything
I just watched a TV show called Transform My Meal. If you don`t know it, they basically hire a professional chef to serve an Olympian champion and change his/her meals from boring to healthy flashy.
The one thing I noticed time and time again is that those champions meticulously measure their calories. I mean every single thing they eat. From how much vinegar they put on the mackerel to how many minutes of sunbathing to get every day, everything is calculated, and it`s why they succeed.
So my advice is to start questioning your productivity and efficiency. Start using the 80/20 rule effectively. Find out the one or two things that impact your career/life more than anything else and make sure you build your life around them. It will ensure that your wins always exceed your losses.
5. Be as organized as you can
Get a planner, keep a calendar and make both of them part of your game plan. Life with a plan and a system is much easier and much enjoyable than trying to lead a messy, chaotic, goal-less life only to discover you wasted your entire existence on a half-lived life. So what to do:
- Narrow your goals to 3,2 or even one at a time.
- Write your goals every morning and before you go to bed, keep a to-do list.
- Choose your tasks based on urgency and priority and,
- Schedule everything you do no matter how trivial—even on weekends.
Ask any successful person and they`ll tell you that the clearer your path, the happier and more successful you`ll end up being.