Deciding what to eat for breakfast, choosing every night before bed what time to wake up in the morning or planning to exercise in the morning or after work—these are known as micro-decisions. And they actually slow down our thinking and make it harder for us to make more important decisions. When we are entertaining too many of these little choices, we will feel immobilized, drained and ineffective.
There is a better way to prioritize your mindspace. Research shows that routines and habits let us access the basal ganglia, the autopilot of our brain. It’s essentially the habit center, where procedural learning and patterned behaviors develop. It controls breathing, eye movement, swallowing and other subconsciously driven activities. By making tiny tweaks to things like your diet, fitness routine, and bedtime rituals, and by subsequently programming the basal ganglia with these new, healthy habits, you can actually help boost your productivity at work, at home, and in your life.
The idea here is to replace the wasteful habit of making the same daily decisions each and every day with a single decision that we make only once. It’s all about creating healthy habits. And making those habits routine. These routines will change, influence, and improve our lives and how effective we are at dealing with our world. By choosing to form new habits, like the five habits suggested below by Sonima.com, not only are we becoming more productive but we’re also becoming happier.
- Take a break every hour. According to sociologist Christine Carter, Ph.D., the author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Work and Home, you can accomplish more by slacking off, strategically. She suggests getting in the habit of taking a recess at designated times during the day. It gives your mind a breather so you can return to tasks with a sharper focus.
- Enforce a “lights out” rule. One guaranteed way to get a jump on a productive day is by getting enough sleep the night before. New research from the University of Rochester shows a direct link between sleep and your brain’s ability to think.
- Make the most of your morning. Behavioral economist and the New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Dan Ariely says that most people hit peak productivity in the first two hours of the morning.
- Make your routine worthwhile. When it comes to developing a fitness habit or refining an inconsistent routine, try pairing it with something else that doesn’t gobble up a lot of brain space and that you enjoy doing. For example, turn your slow-binge streaming of The Walking Dead or Orange Is the New Black into workout time. Do it consistently, and soon enough not only will you have a new healthy habit on its way to being locked in, but also a clear, effective use of your time.
- Put down your smartphone. Instead of checking emails or hopping on social media, spend those early a.m. hours getting yourself centered before you launch into the world. Set an intention for the day, meditate, do a gratitude roll call, visualize the week’s goals, or decide on the three things from your to-do list that you will get done.
The more you know about your health, the better you’ll feel. At Good Days, we’re dedicated to helping people achieve a healthier and happier life. Helping people live good days, every day. That’s Good Days.
Source: 5 Healthy Habits That Will Help You Get Things Done