Earlier today I was watching Ankur Warikoo's 10 habits that changed his life; his video on YouTube. One of the key things for a successful life is settled habits for life. There were a lot of similarities that I could relate to my own self. These habits while most of them I happened to have innately, I do believe that they helped me shape what I am and where I am today.
Early on in youth, one needs to cultivate, learn lots of productivity tips. Improving productivity is one of the ways one could lead a successful life, both in career and in personal life. It is not only about the race against time or what we say by doing everything efficiently and completing it well ahead of time. It is also about building a mindset of not sleeping while there are pending things that one should have completed today. It should come at an extra effort by you but should have built the mindset as a habit, part of one's character so that it happens regardless.
This is rather a reflection of how I perceive things that works for me and have served me very well so far.
For the first 2 hours avoid mobile devices in the morning
Well, I do not adhere to this one and rather I actually check my work mails and calendar ahead for that day. It helps me prioritize things for the day and also gives me a heads-start wrt. the meetings that I have lined up for any particular day.
Apart from the weekends, Monday to Friday, I do glance through the new emails that have come from the US while I was sleeping and also look at the calendar to have isolation between passive and active meetings. Don't get me wrong, by passive I mean, the meetings where I do not have to do prep work.
I weigh in this one particular habit from time to time to see if I am hooked too much to it or if I end up starting a day on a gloomy note. So far, it hasn't been the case and I guess I can continue this until the day when it turns out to be!
Morning & Evening Strolls
As the statistics stand today, I walk around 2.5 kilometers a day in the morning and another 2.5 in the evening. I realized that walking seems to be better serving me when it comes to thinking, capturing thoughts, and even disciplining the thoughts. If there is any prep work that needs to be done for the day ahead, this is the time I use it.
The other benefit is that I listen to audiobooks while I'm walking. Undoubtedly, this one is better serving the purpose. I get to warm up my body along with the mind as well.
I am listening to Crucial Conversations now! It is an awesome book and I was wondering how come I haven't read it so far. Does helps a lot with the thought process even on how we react or respond to things that happen in life.
No Unread Emails
This one is so dear to me. Since the time I have started my career 20 years back, looking back most of the communications that have shaped my life are through emails. Be it a job application, feedback, a complaint, everything has been through emails.
I am in the habit of reading everything in my inbox. There won't be a single mail in my inbox that is not read. Even if it is phishing mail or spam, I would have read it and taken action on it. Throughout my career, I have seen from junior engineers to even Vice Presidents having their inbox full of emails that are unread and that is a big NO-NO for me. It also builds a habit of quick action taking if you indeed don't close the work with an unread email in your inbox.
I honestly do believe that nobody is that busy to have emails unread. The other aspect is that if you don't get to it on time, it's not only a loss but also tends to pile up and hence it will look ugly beyond a point which you can't fix later!
Scheduled meet up with Directs
I meet with my direct reports biweekly once. I had mentioned this before as well, regardless of whether there is a topic or not, I have those meetings scheduled in the calendar. It is an assurance and discipline that these meetings will happen, to both parties. If there isn't anything to discuss, you could still catch up on general things around how the person is doing, and also is an opportunity to share some of our stories as well.
Reading For an Hour
This one I have to admit that I don't do all that well. With my kids around, it is quite possible that we might binge watch something on the TV or play a game of cards. I enjoy them equally. On all other days, I make sure to read at least an hour prior to bed. I think reading actually elevates one's mind and helps to have different perspectives. It is one of the qualities I would urge everyone to have. There is no single possible quality to practice to increase your knowledge about the world.
While there are many successful folks in the world who have jotted down the habits that made them and keep them successful, I believe every person in the world is uniquely gifted to have their own habits that serve them very well. It is equally important to have your own habits as well as inorganic habits that you learn from others.
Man makes habits & Habits make a man...