What if you start by identifying what bothers you most and use the next 30 days to fix the problem and move on?
I’ll give you 5 challenging situations to choose from that, sooner or later, most of us face in our lives. To make this exercise more effective, I’ll propose a solution for each one, along with an estimate of how long it should take you to practice it daily.
Ready? Here we go.
CHALLENGE #1. Feeling overwhelmed with things you need to do.
Solution? Boost your focus each morning with one question: What is the ONE thing I am committed to learning today?
Time needed? 5 minutes.
This habit keeps things simple, helps your brain focus better, makes you prioritize your goals, and streamlines your work so you don’t feel overwhelmed by a thousand things you “have” to do. Write the question in big bold letters on a sheet of paper and hang it on your bedroom or bathroom wall. Read it out loud and come up with an answer on the spot as you’re brushing your teeth or getting dressed. Then, keep it top of mind as you go about your day, as a reminder of what you’ve committed to do.
CHALLENGE #2. Procrastinating on work.
Solution? Do your “deep work” early.
Time needed? 1-2 hours.
Deep work can be any kind of analytical thinking that requires the most concentration such as reading, writing, analyzing or problem solving. It requires a different kind of focus from other more tactical things we do on a regular basis, from washing dishes to setting our alarm clock in the evening before going to sleep. Dedicate the first two hours after you wake up to maximize your brain’stime. If for example you wake up at 7, your peak times are between 9 and 11 a.m.
CHALLENGE #3. Not knowing how to manage busy thoughts.
Solution? Calm your thoughts with meditation.
Time needed? 10 minutes.
If you find yourself often feeling overwhelmed and stressed, you can quiet your mind from all those busy thoughts with a simple 10-minute meditation practice. Download theapp, which even makes it simple for beginners to do. Practice 10 minutes consistently for 10 days. Experiment to find out which time works better for you, mornings after you wake up or right before going to sleep. After that you can opt to increase the time to 15 and later 20 minutes, or you can keep it to 10 if that amount of time works for you.
CHALLENGE #4. Wasting time on distractions.
Solution? Give yourself better brain food.
Time needed? 30 minutes – 1 hour.
We’ve all indulged in entertainment like TV channel surfing, listening to radio shows with commercial interruptions, browsing magazines or newspapers without a specific idea of why we’re reading them. What if you incorporated a few smart hobbies into your day? Pick better brain food like documentaries on politics, history or nature. Listen to podcasts while you’re preparing dinner or tidying up your apartment. Read books to learn about human nature, boost your critical thinking skills, and give yourself the space and time to dream.
CHALLENGE #5. Feeling frustrated or envious of others.
Solution? Express gratitude for what you have in your life this very minute.
Time needed? 5 minutes.
Do you find yourself often feeling like life is unfair, you are a victim of unfortunate circumstances, and other people seem to have it easier in life? If you do, no wonder you feel miserable! Want to change that mindset? Practice gratitude. It rewires your brain to focus on positive things, which can directly impact the way you perceive your life. For five minutes each morning, write down or say out loud 3 things you are grateful for today: a roof over your head, food in the fridge, a warm bed to sleep in, a positive relationship with someone close to you, or a recent and pleasant event you shared with friends.