What do you do every day? Brush your teeth. Perhaps watching TV is another. If you’re aware of how you spend the hours in your day, it is easy to know what your daily habits are. As I sought to improve the way I spend my time, I considered what daily habits might be useful to cultivate. There seemed to be 3 daily habits that consistently came up.
(Note - The source of these are from a. people I know and meet in person b. people I know on Twitter c. people I don’t know who feature on podcasts I follow such as The Tim Ferriss Show or The Twenty Minute VC.)
3 Daily Habits
“I just sit in my office and read all day.”
In a working world, we read on a daily basis. But how many of us read on a daily basis to acquire knowledge? To change our perspective? To go deep on a subject we’ve been wanting to know more about? Very few people I know, especially amongst my age group, read on a daily basis.
Yet some of the most successful people in the world often and frequently site a strong reading habit as the secret to their success.
I was first introduced to meditation having stumbled upon a video by Mathieu Ricard. He described meditation as training for the mind. In the same way that exercise primes the body for optimal health, meditation primes the mind for optimal condition.
The benefits of meditation include better focus, less stress and increased happiness. I have meditated in the past. But I have never been able to make this a daily practice. The effects can seem intangible and at times the act of meditating itself is difficult and frustrating. Yet for advocates of meditating, they say it must be a daily practice (some even more times a day).
Similar to reading, writing (or now typing) is a task we often do every day. But frequently this writing is responsive or short in nature (think email). How frequently does one write their own original ideas? How frequently does one write longer form arguments, with the goal to persuade or engage?
Improving our written communication is in itself a benefit. There are good ways to write and bad ways to write. But writing has additional benefits. When we sit down to write, we force ourselves to think through ideas and structure them in our mind. Writing therefore implies deeper thinking.
Writing also improves our spoken word. Having written down ideas previously, when asked to vocalise them you can recall structured arguments and thoughts. This means you don’t have to think that through on the fly (which compounds the difficulty).
“Writing forces you to work out your views and articulate them clearly and concisely. Then when you are asked a question related to those views, you have already worked out the answer. It is in the brain, waiting there to come out crisply and concisely.”
Request For Help - 2 Questions
“It's not what you know, it is what you do every day that counts.”
I’m yet to commit to any of the above daily habits. But as I hear more and more successful people endorse them, I want to.
So I’m asking for help.
What strategies have you implemented to commit to a daily habit? How do you get started? How do you keep yourself accountable? Or do you just get on and do it?
Second, which of the above habits is most impactful? If you could only choose one, which would you commit to and why?