Learn more about productivity with this collection
How to create a cosy and comfortable home environment
How to cultivate a sense of gratitude and contentment
The benefits of slowing down and enjoying simple pleasures
Keep two to-do lists:
Fill up the 10 slots on the second list with items from the first, then set to work. The rule is not to move any further items from the first list onto the second until you’ve freed up a slot by finishing one of the 10 items.
You can also set a pre-established time boundary for certain types of daily work — for example, to resolve to write from 8AM to 11AM — and to make sure you stop when time’s up.
Focus only on one big project at a time. It might seem alluring to get everything off your plate quickly. But multitasking rarely works well — and you’ll soon find that serializing helps you to complete more projects anyway, thereby helping relieve your anxiety.
You’ll inevitably underachieve at something, simply because your time and energy are finite. But strategic underachievement — nominating in advance the areas of your life in which you won’t expect excellence — helps you focus your time and energy more effectively.
For example, you might decide in advance that it is fine to keep the keep the living toom untidy until you finish the novel, or to do the bare minimum on a particular work project so you can spend more time with your children.
It’s easy to grow hopeless and feel ashamed when you can’t get through your whole to-do list. One counter-strategy is to keep a “done list,” which starts empty first thing in the morning, but which you can gradually fill in throughout the day as you get things done. It reminds you that you could have spent the day doing nothing, yet, you didn't.
Social media is a giant machine for getting you to spend your time caring about the wrong things — and too many of them at once.
Consciously choose to care about charity, activism, and politics — and devote your spare time only to those specific causes. Focus your capacity for care, so you don’t burn out.
Combat distractions by making your devices as boring as possible, removing social media apps and, if you dare, email. It’s also helpful to choose devices with only one purpose, such as the Kindle reader or a DSLR camera. Otherwise, temptations will be only a swipe away, and you would always feel the urge to do irrelevant things.
Time seems to speed up as we age, likely because our brains encode the passage of years based on how much information we process in any given interval.
The standard advice is to combat this by cramming more novel experiences into your life. It's not always practical.
Try going on unplanned walks to see where they lead you, taking up drawing or wash your car with music on — whatever draws your attention into the moment more fully.
When faced with a challenging or boring moment in a relationship, try being curious about the person you’re with, rather than controlling. Curiosity is a stance well-suited to the inherent unpredictability of life with others, because it can be satisfied by their behaving in ways you like or dislike. However, if you demand people to behave in a certain way, you would be disappointed.
Whenever a generous impulse arises in your mind, give in to it right away rather than putting it off. Don’t pause to think if the recipient deserves your generosity or if you really have the time to be generous right now (with all of the work you have left to do!). Just do it. The rewards are immediate, too, because generous action reliably makes you feel much happier.
Doing nothing means fighting the urge to change your experience, people, or things in the world around you, and to let things be as they are. Try the "do-nothing" meditation by setting a timer for 5-10 minutes, and then try doing nothing. If you catch yourself doing something — thinking, say, or even just focusing on your breath — gently let go of doing it.
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A mix of intuitive and counter-intuitive ways to help you live life in a meaningful way.
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