11 Keystone Habits to Pave the Way
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
This quote by philosopher Will Durant speaks volumes. Being successful stems from consistently practicing good habits. And we are all the product of our behaviors.
“The most important habits are keystone habits,” describes author John Fawkes. “These are habits that have positive effects on multiple areas of your life. Follow good keystone habits, and other things start to fall into place.”
Here’s some food for thought — life-changing keystone habits from author Fawkes — and yours truly — to try out. See if any of these speak to you:
1. Eat your daily frog.
Do your most intimidating task at the beginning of the day. Until you get that one big thing done, it will keep nagging at you. Cross it off your list — or take some steps toward it — and you’ll feel better all day.
2. Turn off your Wi-Fi when you’re working offline.
This simple act could stop 80% of the mindless web browsing that sucks up so much of your workday.
3. Look for the most interesting quality in others.
Curiosity is a wonderful thing. When talking with someone, think, “There’s something interesting about this person, and I want to find out what it is.” The next time you meet someone new, assume the attitude, “I hope I like you.”
4. Every time you log onto social media, send a quick message to a friend or colleague.
It’s easy to put off getting in touch with those you’ve been meaning to connect with. And it doesn’t have to be a long message. You’ll be amazed by what a short touch-in can do. And this habit makes staying in touch — with old and current friends — almost automatic.
5. Get outside every morning — as soon as possible.
Natural light, fresh air and movement will wake you up and set your circadian rhythm so you’re more alert during the day — and better able to get to sleep at night.
6. When you notice a trait you dislike in another person, look in the mirror.
This has always been a tough one for me. It has to do with projection. It turns out that those very things that annoy us in someone else may be tendencies that we have ourselves — or are afraid we’ll develop.
7. Realize that physical clutter results in mental clutter.
Messiness causes us more stress than we realize. When you get rid of physical clutter, it has a beneficial effect on your mental clutter and emotional outlook.
8. Actively challenge your own beliefs.
Look for reasons to expand your horizons. Read articles by those with a different point of view. This is especially challenging in these divisive times. Confirmation bias permeates our thinking — as we seek outlets to collect “evidence” that exclusively supports our own beliefs.
9. Practice the Pomodoro Technique.
Work for 30 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes. Repeat a few times, then take a longer 30-minute break. You can only work for so long before you lose focus. By planning for that, you can stop wasting time and get a lot more done throughout the day.
10. Share credit as much as possible.
Sharing credit almost never diminishes you, and it’s always remembered by others.
11. Seek out good news.
Nearly 70 percent of what we encounter in our daily lives is negative, including our outer world, inner critic, the media, etc. So, it’s more important than ever to look for the good news — and to feed our souls with positivity.
If you try just one or two of these techniques, you may be amazed by their multiplier effects — and the keys they can unlock toward greater productivity. That’s why they’re called keystones!
This article was written by Linda Arnold can be contacted at www.lindaarnold.org
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