4 Simple Habits That I Adapt In 2021 To Become More Productive and Healthier

Simple things to become a better version of me

After doing a reflection on myself, I realize my weakness is not consistent with any action and plan that I intend to do. For most people, consistency is one of the key factors to determine the success of any deliverable. A lot of people make a relation with compounding effect which if you can produce better action or result by 1% for each day, you may grow more than 300% at the end of a year.

To become a better version of you, it such a long process, and need a long-term dedication to achieve that.

After I finished reading “Atomic Habit”, which I think is one of the recommended books about adopting a new habit by most people, I try to develop a couple of simple habits to solve any bad habits like procrastinating, excessive eating, hard to focus, that I did in 2020.

This year I just have two simple-sounded individual improvements, being more productive and healthier. I arranged 4 small habits that I want to adapt in January 2021 to achieve my objectives.

1. Sleep Before 12 AM

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

I was not a night owl back then. But with the existence of social media, easy access to any information on the internet, lot of entertaining videos on Youtube, it is really common for me to sleep as early as 1 PM nowadays. Thinking back on what I did recently, I finished all my business at around 10 to 11 PM and continue to waste my time for more than 2 hours just randomly scrolling social media or randomly browsing on the internet.

I know sleeping early can bring a lot of health benefits such as improving your brain system, minimize the risk of heart disease, as well as make you more productive the following day. But for me, restricting my waking time, helps me to cope with my addiction to the internet as I need to turn off all of my gadgets before 12 AM. In fact, this also hastens me to accomplish my daily activity as early as possible without disturbing this new sleeping hour.

Do I successfully reduce my screen time by changing this sleeping habit? The answer is just a little bit. At least, I can maximize my productivity at night by doing this.

2. Read Every Day At Least 30 Minutes

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As I grow up, I feel like sticking on the couch and reading a book is one of the hardest activities to do. Even though I have a chance to read a book, my mind is just wandering around to other things. Maybe besides meditating, reading books is one of the methods to sharpen your focus.

I already implemented this habit last year, but somehow it only lasted for two months. That’s why I retry to adapt this habit again this year. To give more commitment, I even bought a Kindle for the investment, so I may feel a burden considering the number of money losses if I don’t read.

But why reading a book?

First reason, to sharpen my focus. To be honest, I am a typical person whose mind likes to wander around on any occasion. It happens a lot when I am working, talking to someone, anything. As I mentioned before, reading can be a good exercise to pull our focus back because you need that to understand the points on that literature.

Of course, reading without seeking any lessons or information is quite futile. Unless you read a fiction book which for entertainment purposes. There are some lessons that I want to learn from the books. This year, I have the interest to expand my reading collection to biography of famous people. I am curious to know the life journey from people, like how to make someone into someone from zero.

So far, I able to finish 2 books in January. Hopefully, I can maintain this habit for the following months and years.

3. Intermittent Fasting 14–16 Hours

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Here I back again to my old diet habits. I got like additional 5 kilograms in 2020 because of quarantine and working from home condition. Actually, I already practice this fasting at the beginning of 2020 but I need to stop it because of medical reasons. I used to fast for 16 hours but when I re-start to do this, I get headaches and it impacts me throughout the day.

The reason why I insist on doing intermittent fasting because I just discover research about body mechanism during fasting. Turns out, there is some process that happens in the human body during fasting which includes Ketosis, which allows you to use stored fat as your main source of energy, and also Autophagy, which allows your body to renew your cell. The longer you fast, the body will dispose of your dead cell and re-new it.

I found fasting for 14 hours is my sweet spot since it doesn’t give me any side effects. If I feel strong enough, I will try to continue to fast for 16 hours. But as long as I already fast 14 hours, I will not force to continue fasting for the next two hours. Even though some recommend doing intermittent fasting at least for 16 hours because of those metabolism processes benefit, it back again to each individual medical condition. Again, intermittent fasting is not for everybody.

4. Tracking Hourly Progress

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

As I already mention before, I realize that I waste a lot of time doing nothing. Even I already have a lot of backlogs and unfinished tasks, I tend to procrastinate until the last hour or last minute. I don’t know somehow I become more productive when I got time pressure. But at the same time, I can’t even think clearly and have cluttered thoughts.

So in this month, I try to check my work progress for each hour. Let’s say I need to create a presentation that consists of several segments. For each hour, I will evaluate my progress, identify the roadblock, and determine the next action item that I should do for the next hour.

Not only I waste less time, but also, by doing this, I can draw my attention back to my work.

Final Thoughts

When adopting a new or restart your existing habit, make sure that you can start it with the simple one. The key here is to be consistent. The more simple habit that you create, it will become easier for you to do those on a daily or weekly basis. Then you can ensure yourself that you can consistently do it.

It doesn’t matter if your habit is too simple, instead of trying to adapt to the advanced one which is hard to do it routinely and you will leave that habit in just a couple of days.

As you become comfortable with your habit, you may gradually increase the frequency or load of your existing habit. Or maybe add a new habit.

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