Habit #3 – Habit: Review & Reflection

I recommend running weekly & monthly reviews. I also do a “mid-year” (July) & end-year (late December) review.

My weekly/monthly reviews is based on David Allen’s GTD system, with some modifications:

  1. Get all in-boxes to zero.
    All emails & paper has to be processed, no excuses… use your lists.
  2. Review all calendars: last week & the coming week.
    Be sure that you are in control.
  3. Review your Weekly MIT’s (Most Important Task)
    ————————————————————————-
    Before moving on to the lists, remember to SIMPLIFY.
    Remove everything but the essential projects & tasks.
    Optional: Put them on your Someday/Maybe list.
    ————————————————————————-
  4. Review your action lists.
  5. Review your project lists.
  6. Review your Monthly MIT’s – Monthly Review
  7. Review your someday/maybe lists – Monthly Review
  8. Review your “Reflection document” – Monthly Review
  9. Review all calendears for upcoming month – Monthly Review
  10. Review “Horizon of Focus” (Level 2 & 3) mindmaps – Monthly Review

If you manage to create a habit of doing a weekly review… you will get a “control-boost”.. People feeling in control tend to more happy and content.

David Allen talks about the GTD Weekly Review:

Highly recommended.

Habit #11 – Physical Exercise – updated

exercise

This is a vital habit.

Exercise releases endorphins, oxygenates the blood and lowers stress. It also helps strengthen the immune system, improves energy levels, makes you feel better about yourself

Scientists have shown that physical activity in the form of voluntary exercise results in an increase in the number of newborn neurons in the hippocampus of aging mice. The same study demonstrates an enhancement in learning of the “runner” (physically active) mice. Other research demonstrated that exercising mice that did not produce beta-endorphin, a mood-elevating hormone, had no change in neurogenesis. Yet, mice that did produce this hormone, along with exercise, exhibited an increase in newborn cells and their rate of survival. While the association between exercise-mediated neurogenesis and enhancement of learning remains unclear, this study could have strong implications in the fields of aging and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

Continue reading “Habit #11 – Physical Exercise – updated”

Habit #9 – Eat a healthy breakfast – EVERY day

I think “everyone” knows this one. Sure you can dig up arguments.. and the occasionally article from somewhere claiming that breakfast isn’t that important . But you surely know better.

“When we fail to “break a fast” with a nutritious breakfast, it costs our brain dearly. If you eat breakfast, you will be more able to think clearly, remember important information, keep your energy high, and maintain balanced moods. In some ways, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is the meal that ends the longest amount of time without eating – hence the term break-fast. Think of breakfast as the fuel for the day.”
~John Arden (From his book “Rewire your brain,…”)

Continue reading “Habit #9 – Eat a healthy breakfast – EVERY day”

Habit #8 – Lower your caffeine intake

Over a period of 20 years I used to drink around 10 cups of black coffee a day (Norwegians love black coffee). I usually drank 3-4 cups black coffee before having any breakfast.. truth be told.. black coffee was my breakfast. Normally I didn’t eat anything before lunchtime. During the last year’ish I’ve had a trasition from black coffee to tea, and I’ve started eating breakfast every day as well (but that’s another habit-post).

First off I slowed down…  drinking only 3 cups a day: One @ 6am,  one @ 9am & one @ 12. Next step was to cut the noon cup… and during the last 6 months I’ve only had one cup @ 0530 (and that’s an espresso).

Instead I drink tea… around 6 cups a day. 3 cups of green tea & 3 cups of different types (Earl Gray, yellow lipton, etc..).. Drinking tea is of course another habit I’ll return to.

I’v never felt more awake in my adult life 🙂
This fact is probably due to other new habits as well (physical & mental exercise.. among them)

From Dr. Travis Bradberry great article – Caffeine: The Silent Killer of Emotional Intelligence:

  • Coffee (much like sugar) actually  improves cognitive task performance (memory, attention span, etc.) in the short-term
  • performance increases due to caffeine intake are the result of caffeine drinkers experiencing a short-term reversal of caffeine withdrawal..
  • In essence, coming off caffeine reduces your cognitive performance and has a negative impact on your mood. The only way to get back to normal is to drink caffeine, and when you do drink it, you feel like it’s taking you to new heights. In reality, the caffeine is just taking your performance back to normal for a short period.
  • Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight or flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response.
  • Caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full twenty-four hours to work its way out of your system. Have a cup of joe at eight a.m., and you’ll still have 25% of the caffeine in your body at eight p.m. Anything you drink after noon will still be at 50% strength at bedtime. Any caffeine in your bloodstream—with the negative effects increasing with the dose—makes it harder to fall asleep.
  • When you do finally fall asleep, the worst is yet to come. Caffeine disrupts the quality of your sleep by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the deep sleep when your body recuperates and processes emotions. When caffeine disrupts your sleep, you wake up the next day with an emotional handicap.
Green tea is better…

Habit #7 – Falling Up – update

This is not a daily habit.. hopefully.

But it’s a good habit to learn.. we all “fall” now and then.

It’s about using that downward momentum to propel ourselves in the opposite direction. It’s about capitalizing on setbacks and adversity to become even happier, even more motivated, and even more successful. It’s not falling down, it’s falling up.
–Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor has written brilliantly about this in his  beautiful book “The Happiness Advantage“. Please check out my post about the book.

A “fall” is the perfect opportunity personal growth. Try to remember with each small or big setback to be better at something. Be kinder to people around you, be more grateful, smile more, visit friends and family more often, travel, go to concerts, … etc.

Meet “the fall” with more happiness…..

Study after study shows that if we are able to conceive of a failure as an opportunity for growth, we are all the more likely to experience that growth
–Shawn Achor

Victor Frankl writes about three main avenues on which one arrives at meaning in life:

  1. By creating a work or doing a deed (..work..)
  2. By experiencing something or encountering someone (..love..)
  3. Most important, however:
    Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation.. may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by doing so change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph.

Scott Dinsmore:

Every screwup gets you closer to your masterpiece. Make mistakes as often as you can. Start falling.