“There is but one solution to the intricate riddle of life; to improve ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others.”
– A character in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, who pretty much has it nailed.
Count Your Blessings Daily
Stop right now. Close your eyes (this’ll only take a moment, promise!) and think of three things you’re grateful for.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? Truth is, there’s always something we can be thankful for, no matter how small it may be.
Gratitude has a bunch of benefits. In a 2005 study, people were asked to write down three good things each day. And you know what? They felt happier. And they were still happier six months later.
You can try this activity for yourself. As you’ve already found, it’s quick and easy to do. Writing down your list is more effective than thinking about it, and try to make your three things as specific as possible.
You can incorporate this practice into your daily routine tomorrow using the ‘I’m Grateful For’ box in the daily section of your Panda Planner. Give it a try – there’s never a bad time to count your blessings.
Ever have days where you do nothing but work… And yet you wind up exactly where you started? It’s like you’re stuck on a treadmill. Stepping, but not moving.
It might be that:
- You’re bombarded by constant distractions.
- You’re trying to multitask. (And multitasking is a myth.)
- You’re busy doing menial tasks that don’t contribute to important projects or bring you fulfilment.
Here’s a solution to all three: Do more deep work.
Deep work is valuable, meaningful work. It’s work that requires focus and concentration. To do more of it, separate the mundane tasks from the important ones and block out time in your schedule for both.
Here are some tips for deep work:
- Eliminate distractions. (Turn off notifications, for example.)
- Don’t try to multitask. Focus only on the task at hand.
- Break bigger projects into smaller tasks. If they’re manageable, you’re more likely to make time for them.
- Take breaks. Uninterrupted work time is key, but you also need to stay fresh to stay focused.
Sound helpful? Give it a shot, and let us know if these tips work for you!
Richard Branson, Entrepreneur
The morning routine of self-made billionaire Richard Branson doesn’t waste a minute. (Not that we’re surprised). Here’s what he does:
- Gets up at 5am.
- Jumps straight into some exercise – usually tennis, running, biking or kitesurfing.
- Has breakfast and spends time with his family. “Exercise and family time put me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.”
Why it works:
- According to research, early risers procrastinate less and get more done.
- Exercise gives you a hit of endorphins, boosts your mood and reduces stress.
- Family connections are important. They provide us with a greater sense of meaning and purpose and boost our wellbeing. A study that tracked people for nearly 80 years even found that “close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives”.
So here’s something to consider. Rather than thinking about your morning routine a solitary thing, try to incorporate your loved ones as well. It could be as simple as giving your partner a hug before you leave the house, or sitting down with your kids to have breakfast together.
Why not give it a go tomorrow and see how you can use your routine to strengthen your relationships.