If you want to live a fulfilled life, you need to be able to build strong points of view around topics that matter to your life. It leads to clear thinking and decision making. It also gives you actionable principles that help guide your life.
Here are five things I’ve found to be super helpful in establishing new habits.
Make them visible
I have a few key habits that I like to do every day. Eat paleo, eat within an 8 hour window, consume roughly 2K calories, drink 3 litres of water, take my vitamins, and reach out to a couple of people.
The power of self examination – and how it leads to the best version of yourselfOctober 20, 2020 in Life
Naval Ravikant was back on the Tim Ferriss podcast last week. It was one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to – he totally knocked it out of the park.
The interview is packed with great insights for how to think about life. It’s a must listen.
Naval has a skill of being able to say something, which causes you to pause and go ‘huh?’. I’ve written about this before in Wait, our whole life is just a firefly blinking once in the night? (which I still read a couple of times a month).
I wanted to share part of the podcast where Naval talks about the power of self examination. This really resonated with me. And I’ve since had an insight about it (which I’ll also share below).
I was helping someone last week who was struggling with their work life balance. They were frustrated and upset.
Work was overpowering everything else in their life. Ironically, it was an intentional (ish) choice for them to double down on their work. It helped distract them from some other things that were going on in their life.
We talked about their priorities at work – and where the boundaries should be between work and the rest of their life. We also talked about what things had to be prioritised either higher, or as high as work. Things like health, a few relationships, a specific issue in their life, and some time to switch off. We talked about strategies to make that happen.
I know exactly what it’s like for work to overpower everything else in your life. I struggled with this for a long time. I felt like a failure for not being able to get any ONE, single area of my life in good shape. I was unhappy and overwhelmed most of the time Continue reading »
The bizarre, but very effective way I use social media (and a list of really cool people to follow)October 12, 2020 in Focus, Life, Productivity
The Social Dilemma documentary is doing the rounds at the moment. It’s about a bunch of tech executives from Silicon Valley, who highlight the consequences of our growing dependence on social media.
It’s eye opening for many, but nothing new to me. I’ve felt for a very long time that the benefits of using social media are vastly outweighed by the negatives. Over the last few years it’s made me drastically change how I use social media.
These tweaks made ALL the difference to sticking with a new habit or behaviour.October 1, 2020 in Life, Productivity
I realised recently that the smallest tweaks can make all the difference to being able to stick with a new habit or behaviour. This has helped me make some big behaviour shifts in my life recently.
The big question is, how do you find those tweaks?
I used to struggle to drink enough water. Some days I managed hardly anything. Other days I managed a litre or so – but it felt like such a huge effort. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been drinking over 3 litres of water everyday – effortlessly.
How did I do that?
Some big improvements to my daily planning processSeptember 22, 2020 in Life, Productivity
Getting things, and getting the right things done. That’s what it all comes down to.
Thinking about the future is super useful. But, at some point you have to organise yourself on a daily basis, and actually get things done.
I have a very specific process for planning my days, and getting things done. It hasn’t changed much over the last few years, and had settled down – or at least I thought it had.
Try this. Take a breath, and say to yourself – ‘Be where your feet are‘
You’ll find your awareness goes straight to your feet. You should then feel a connection with the ground. And from there, a self awareness and connection with your body.
This will snap you straight into the present moment. A feeling of calm should come over you.
The weeks and days are just a problem to be solvedJuly 9, 2020 in Focus, Life, Productivity
Sometimes the things that are best for you, aren’t the most enjoyable. That’s exactly how I’m feeling about my weekly and daily planning at the moment.
It’s rare that I read an article and think – I wish I had written that. That’s exactly how I felt after reading Wise People Have Rules For Themselves by David Cain.
I agree with every single word.
It sounds odd to say ‘discipline equals freedom’ – but it does. It’s counter-intuitive. When you set rules for yourself that you know are good for you, it’s actually liberating. It’s a huge relief. You no longer have to flip flop between things that work, somewhat work and don’t work. You lean in towards what works for you. You live a life on your terms.
Five things that have helped me be effective at work in lockdownJune 25, 2020 in Focus, Life, Productivity, Work
Lockdown has been very challenging for me. It’s taken me much longer to adapt to working from home than I would have expected.
I’ve struggled with a lot of things – video call fatigue, work / life balance, focus and motivation – to name a few. If I’m honest, I lost my edge at times. I feel like I’ve had the least impact I’ve had over a three month period for a long time.
That said, over the last few weeks I’m getting into a much better place with it. I’ve been reflecting on what’s helped the most, and five things came to mind:
It started off easy, but it was about to get much harder.
I jumped on the assault airbike and got my first twenty calories done. I held a fast (ish) pace, which took about a minute.
Next up was Ella. She had fifteen calories to do, which also took about a minute. Whilst one of us worked, the other rested. So, we both worked for roughly a minute, followed by a minute of rest.
When I was younger, I felt invincible. I partied hard with friends almost every weekend. ‘Sleep is for losers’ I would tell people – ‘I only get 5 hours a night!’
I’d go to bed exhausted on a Sunday evening. But, on Monday I was always in the office at 6.00 am, preparing for the week ahead. And from 09.00am, I was straight into the flow of management meetings and execution.
I felt hungover and tired alot. But, I pushed through it and usually felt OK by Tuesday. I used to be proud that I could get away with burning the candle at both ends. Work hard, play hard right? Continue reading »
I spend roughly two hours each week planning my personal life – usually on a Sunday evening.
I start with reminding myself what’s important. Luckily, I don’t have to try and figure this out (that would take longer than two hours!). I’ve already spent a lot of time thinking about this, and have something I can refer to and review.
I made working on my mindset my number one priority – here’s what happened.January 7, 2020 in Life, Mindset
It might be the most important thing you ever have to figure out for yourself. How do you get important work done?
It’s the key to living a full, productive, happy and balanced life. When you don’t have this figured out, you end up doing a lot of things, but actually achieving very little.
I’ve settled on a couple of strategies for helping me get important work done. Before I share them, I want to talk about The Eisenhower Matrix. It’s one of the most powerful frameworks I’ve found to think about where you spend your time.
When I woke up this morning, I found myself worrying about where I was in life.
It’s been a chaotic few months. We had a family holiday in Yorkshire. We’ve been doing a major house renovation, where we had to move out for 6 weeks. We moved back in now, but we’re still living in a partial building site. My daughter Fearne started school. And, I’m holding down a fairly ‘full on’ job in London.
I’ve found it a struggle to get, and stay in my groove. My environment has been all over the place, which makes it hard to stick to my habits and routines. It’s a reminder that these habits and routines are the foundation for how I organise my life and get things done.
As I sat there worrying and beating myself up, I remembered two things – which helped knock me out of it.
We have lots of things in our lives, that it’s worth finding the right line for.
A few examples are alcohol, social media, caffeine, sugar, Netflix, screen time etc. The list goes on.
I spend a lot of time thinking about stuff like this. I’m ultimately trying to get to what the right level of consumption is for me.