Which are the best one minute life hacks?

Here are THREE one minute hacks that can make a big impact on your day (and even your life!).

ONE. Wake up with this question on your mind: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?

Why it’s important:

  • It encourages you to think strategically about your life
  • It keeps you focused on your goals
  • It forces you to prioritize
  • It serves as a personal promise to yourself

How to do it:

  • Write it down: take a large sheet of paper and write in big bold letters
  • Hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall so it’s easy to see
  • Ask the question aloud and give an answer right away

What it means for you in the long run:

  • Staying focused on your personal commitments gives you a sense of purpose.
  • Knowing in advance the work you need to accomplish saves you time, so that you don’t waste it evaluating multiple priorities throughout the day.
  • Committing to just ONE thing helps your brain perform more optimally, freeing it from cluttered thoughts and giving it space to concentrate on what’s most important.

TWO. Visualize the work you’re about to do.

What it means:

  • This technique is called building a mental model: you imagine in detail how you expect things will go.

How to do it:

  • In the morning, before you start your work, take one minute to visualize how you want to make progress during the day.
  • Visualize all the steps you anticipate in your work. For example, if you’re studying, the steps might be:
    • Identifying the chapters and sections you will read
    • Visualizing that you’ll have plenty of time to cover what you’ve planned for the day
    • Anticipating which parts you might find challenging and how you’ll address it (by giving yourself more time or by knowing where to look for advice on how to solve a problem)
    • Knowing how much time approximately you’ll need to review the material
    • Picturing yourself that you mastered what you’ve learned so well that you are explaining it to someone else
  • Imagine how great it will feel at the end of the day knowing that you’ve accomplished exactly what you wanted, and even make a plan to treat yourself in the evening with something you love to do, such as going out with a friend or playing guitar.

What it means for you in the long run:

  • By telling yourself a story, you train your brain to always anticipate next steps and map out your future progress.
  • By going over the details of what you’re about to do, you develop a strategic mindset so that you always keep in mind the bigger picture of what you want to achieve in your personal and professional development.

THREE. Reflect on the day by focusing on the positive.

What it means:

  • Reflecting means taking the time to think about what you’ve done in your work, so that you can acknowledge your efforts and also learn from the experience.

How to do it:

  • Each evening, before you fall asleep, reflect on how the day went by asking yourself these questions:
    • What are 3 good things that happened today?
      • something you completed (a book, a long email, a difficult task)
      • a complex task that that took a shorter amount of time than you anticipated
      • learning something new that you believe will be useful to you
    • How could I have made today better?
      • If you ran out of time to do something, think how you could have managed your time better.
      • If you got to work late, make plans to wake up a bit earlier the rest of the week.
      • If you felt rushed from having too much to do, resolve to do something about it the next morning (for example, create a schedule for the entire week so that your workload is spread out more evenly).

What it means for you in the long run:

  • By focusing on the positive, you give yourself a motivational boost to keep making progress in what you do.
  • By considering areas where you could improve, you develop a “growth mindset”: you believe that through continuous effort you can improve on your qualities.

If you found these simple one minute hacks useful, you might want to read these books:

  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck: a book that focuses on how the view we adopt for ourselves profoundly affects the way we lead our life. Dweck explains the difference between a fixed mindset (believing that our qualities are set in stone) and growth mindset (believing that our qualities are things we can cultivate through our efforts).
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell: an in-depth look at high-achievers and what makes them different, and whether it’s genius, talent, or mastering a skill through overcoming a difficulty that makes them be the best in their field.
  • Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg: powerful real-life examples of why it’s important to develop motivation to accomplish our goals, how we can strengthen focus by building mental models, and how daily rituals can give us space and time to think about the bigger picture and what our true goals ought to be.
  • Choose the Life You Want: The Way To Lasting Happiness Moment by Moment by Tal Ben-Shahar: practical suggestions on how to implement positive psychology in your daily life, for example in school, the workplace, and in your personal relationships.

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