There are only a small handful of habits that really make an impact on your quality of life and the “smoothness” with which you operate.
1. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day (But Prioritize Sleep)
The first, and simplest way to make your life run smoother is to get your body in the habit of waking up at the same time every single day (including weekends).
By doing this, you will reduce decision fatigue and start your mornings off on the right foot.
When you wake up at the same time every day, your day doesn’t start with senseless personal negotiation.
You don’t spend your morning thinking, “Should I get up? I need to get up…but goddamn…these sheets are just too cozy.”
The time that you wakeup doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that you are out of the bed by the same time every day while still prioritizing sleep.
This habit will help you fall asleep faster, ensure productive (or relaxing) mornings, and, as long as you get enough sleep, give you energy for day.
2. Have a “Device-Free” Morning Routine
Most people wake up, roll out of bed, and immediately dive into Facebook, Instagram, or email.
DO NOT DO THIS.
The first hour of your morning should be all about you.
When you begin your day by checking email or social media, you instantly go into “reactive” mode and deprive yourself of the quiet time you need to think and perform at your best.
There’s no “best” morning routine and you can spend your early morning hours however you like (although I encourage you to read, journal, and meditate).
But the worst morning routine is one that starts with email, social media, or the news.
3. Plan and Prepare the Night Before
Every day when your work ends, take a few minutes to plan the following day and prepare for whatever priorities you’ve set.
For example, if you know that you need to write an article, take 5 minutes to write an outline for that article and find any relevant resources you’ll need.
This might sound simple, but a small amount of preparation goes a long way and will make it far easier for you to have a productive and successful day.
4. Get Out of Your Head
We all get angry.
We all have bad days.
We all feel sad.
When these emotional states happen, don’t dwell in them.
Get out of your head and put it onto paper.
By writing down what you are experiencing and why, you will quickly be able to dismantle the emotional state and improve your self awareness.
If you had a fight with a co-worker, take a few minutes to journal about the experience.
It will probably start off with “Tom is such an asshole! I hate his guts and want him to drink from a fire hydrant!”
But by the time you’re done, you will probably be writing, “Tom is still an asshole…but I didn’t need to respond the way that I did and I’m not going to let this shit ruin the rest of my day.”
5. Move Mother F’er Move!
If you aren’t exercising, you are handicapping your potential and performance.
Exercise has more benefits than I could possibly list in this article and will help alleviate your anxiety, sharpen your mind, and boost your mood faster than anything else.
If you do nothing else, start exercising.
It can be as simple as 15 minutes of calisthenics or 90-minutes of weight lifting.
How you exercise doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that you move every day and keep your body active.
You’ll live longer, feel better, and be a better person.
Don’t be lazy…move mother f’er move!
6. Eat the Same Thing for Breakfast and Lunch
This is super simple but will make your days infinitely easier.
When you eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday, you don’t have to waste time trying to decide what to eat.
Instead, you can prepare all of your meals ahead of time and add several hours back into your week.
As a bonus, because you’re preparing your own meals you’ll be less likely to skip a meal (thus overindulging the next meal) or eat something that makes you feel like crap.
Pick a meal plan and stick to it.
Life is short. We don’t know when it will end and we have no idea what the future holds.
To some people, this is depressing.
To me, it’s a motivation to have more fun while I can.
Life is far too short to take seriously. So laugh your ass off every day.
Laugh at stand up comedy. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at the absurdity of life. Laugh for no reason at all.
Smile. Enjoy yourself. Have fun with life.
Because the ride is going to end no matter what and you might as well enjoy it while you can.