Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
What are the simple things you do or use every day that make a huge impact on your productivity? In July we are going to be looking at some of my favorites. Today we begin with my morning routine and mini-habits.
I am not a morning person. But what I have found is that when I am deliberate about what I do the first thing in the morning, it sets the stage for the whole day.
I started doing a morning routine as suggested in the book The Miracle Morning back in March. Since that time I have been more consistent with my exercise; have read four non-fiction books; done regular meditation; planned my day more than 75% of the time (before I get into what I am supposed to do during the day); and journaled/wrote morning pages nearly every day.
All of these things I knew I wanted to do, but I never could find time to do them. Now I do them right away and set myself up for success.
What My Routine Looks Like
My morning routine hasn’t changed much since I wrote the initial article about this back in May (see A Morning Miracle – How A Chance Mention Changed My Life). The only change is that without having to get up for work, my wake-up time is closer to 6:30.
Mini-habits fit naturally into this new plan. Mini-habits are things that are so small that they take no effort to do, but spur you to do more, without the guilt if all you do is just the small thing.
This is based on one of the non-fiction books I read with the morning routine, “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results“.
Mini-habits are tasks that are too small to resist, eliminating the need for willpower to get them done. After all, if the habit is “open word processor” you can do that without thinking and without resistance, and yet it can spur you to get some writing done.
This book is based on the science of brain, habits and willpower. Please note it is not meant to eliminate bad habits.
My Current Mini-Habits
I have five mini-habits currently in place:
- Walk to the corner. This gets me up on my daily walk.
- Drink 1 glass of water. This gets me drinking water instead of caffeinated beverages.
- Write 50 words. This gets me writing either blog posts or fiction.
- Open Scrivener. This gets my fiction-writing environment open and prompts me to do something.
- Read 2 pages (category). This gets me reading a book in the current category.
What These Tools Have Given Me
These two tools, together, have given me a boost on getting things done. I am actually doing the things I deem important now instead of letting them get shoved to the side by daily activities.
The morning routine knocks out several of the important activities before I get the day started. The mini-habits make it easy for me to start other tasks…and are usually done by the time I have set as the deadline for completing the mini-habits.
What has this meant to me? I am getting more done than I thought possible, and doing the things that I consider important, instead of letting them slip under the urgent.
Over To The Reader
I would like to challenge you to come up with a basic morning routine that is focused on self-development, and try it for a week.
In addition, come up with a mini-habit to get you started on something you want to do. It needs to be extremely small, but aim at what you want to do.
Like these? Hate these (don’t hate without trying!)? Share if you feel moved to.
Photo by Walt Stoneburner. Licensed under Creative Commons.