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  • Darshana Ananth

10 Habits/Things That Improved My Life

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

Certain habits can add a lot of value to your life, however, figuring them out is the real task. It is not easy to discover such habits overnight and it takes a lot of trial and error until one-way sticks or works the best. I’ve always been interested in learning about intentional living and leading a meaningful life that aligns with my personal values. This requires making mindful choices and wise decisions on the things that we want to invest our time in.

The secret is to just start. All you need to do is to take that first step, and eventually baby step your way towards the change that you want to make. It is the daily progress, though tiny that builds the pace of improvement in one’s life. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be consistent.

I’ve explored and tried my hand at a lot of stuff but only a few were beneficial that had a real impact on improving my overall well-being and lifestyle.

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Jot Down Highlights While Reading A Book

Let’s say you read a book on time management last month, do you remember the key highlights from the book? The wisdom from the book doesn’t always stay fresh on our minds. I’m sure it is difficult to recall the core concepts because our memory isn’t that reliable. This is why taking notes while reading a book is life-changing.

You’re not going to take detailed notes like you do for a college lecture but jot down just the key concepts of the book. You can look back at them for inspiration later and it’s always there when you want to refresh on any concept. I take my book notes on an app called Notion.

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Notion is an all-in-one productivity app to organize your life. It does exactly what it says. You can take down notes, journal, plan your month, track your habits, and do so much more through this simple app. The interface is user-friendly and lets you create a personalized system to get your life together.

Personally, I use it to brain dump, and create my blog posts, maintain my reading list, wish list, shows to watch, and my book highlights. There are so many more features that I haven’t gotten to but I highly recommend you check it out. They have both, a mobile and a desktop application.

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Living life with fewer material possessions and rather investing in experiences has always appealed to me. True happiness does not come from the number of things we own but from living true to ourselves. It is living by the principle ‘quality over quantity’ and owning only the things that add value to our lives.

I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist but I’m getting there by being more intentional with the things I own and what I invest my time and money in. I’ve spoken about minimalism before and you can check it out here.

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Time Management Hacks

Managing your time effectively is crucial to getting things done better and increasing your productivity. Some of the techniques that worked well for me are:

  1. Watching YouTube videos at 2x speed. I know this sounds super random but try it the next time you watch an educational/tutorial video or any self-improvement kind. It saves you time and you get the same value. (Please don’t come at me, this doesn’t apply to videos that you watch for leisure or fun, of course.)

  2. Make a list of your top 3 priorities for the day before you start work. This helps you filter out unnecessary and menial tasks. As long as you get the top 3 done, you’re good to go.

  3. Time-schedule your tasks. We often underestimate the amount of time we need to complete a task. Make sure to give yourself enough time and block it off for that specific task alone. When you do this, you know exactly what you need to do when.

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Kindle E-Reader

One of my all-time favorites and best purchases is my Kindle E-Reader. I cannot express how much value I get out of this simple device. My reading habits were not that great before I bought this little guy. Every time I was interested in checking out a book, I had to go all the way and buy it at a store or visit the library and that was just too much work for me.

A Kindle E-Reader is a one-time investment and you can carry it anywhere you want. Now, I’ve been reading around 3-4 books a month. I was privileged enough to afford one and I’m grateful for that. So, if you ever had a dilemma about purchasing a Kindle or any E-Reader for that matter, I would 100% recommend you to go for it.

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Having A Morning/Night Routine

It is not possible to plan each and every moment of our day but what we can do is set a morning or night routine. You can plug in the healthy habits that you want to develop into these routines. It can be anything from eating fruits or working out first thing in the morning or winding down with a book or journaling at night before bed.

This has helped me in being consistent with my reading and journaling habits. I’m not really a morning person so having a night routine has helped me wind down and plan in advance for the next day.

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Yoga & Meditation

Just the act of moving your body in slow and soft movements puts you in a relaxed state of mind. I started practicing yoga by watching simple yoga flows on YouTube and also from an app called Down Dog. I started with Vinyasa Yoga which is quite simple and a good start for beginners. After a few days, I could see improvement in my flexibility and increased strength in my arms and legs.

As for meditation, it was a bit difficult at first to figure out a way that worked for me. It was hard to stay still and concentrate on your breathing because your mind wanders off every other minute. So I tried meditating with this app called Insight Timer and it made the process a whole lot easier and enjoyable. Meditation grounds you and emphasizes the ‘Now’ which is all we have.

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Reviewing Goals and Monthly Review

You might have set goals at the beginning of the year or month which is great but have you achieved them or kept track of their progress? If yes, kudos to you. However, not many of us take time to review our yearly goals. Some of us set some goals and then completely forget about them.

Constantly refreshing your goals and staying in line with your purpose will take you places. This has helped me stay on track with my ‘Why’. I do a monthly review at the end of every month to track what I had achieved, what worked, what didn’t and check my progress towards my goals.

Deep Stash

Deep Stash is an app that acts as the gateway for all things self-improvement, motivation, and inspiration. It has a curated feed of simple and short reads on topics related to productivity, motivation, habits, and self-care.

If you’re someone who wants to get wiser and enjoys crisp, inspiring, and compelling content in just a few lines, then this app is for you. This saves you a lot of time while delivering the same amount of value that we get out of reading a book or an article. I go on the app for 5 minutes and learn something interesting every day.

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Decluttering Your Digital Space

Like our physical environment, our digital space can easily get cluttered. Having a clean, intentional, and organized digital space has helped me achieve a healthy mindset with my online content consumption. Every now and then, I declutter the contents on my phone by uninstalling apps that don’t add value and keep only the things I know I’ll be using in the future.

These were a few habits/things that made my life a little better. So many things to explore out there and you can pick out what works for you and make tiny changes for a more deliberate way of living.

Take care.

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