In February 2020 I left the startup I worked on non stop for the former 2 years. It was a hectic time when I had to fill multiple roles, and thus my personal (and professional) discipline has suffered. I learned a lot and I promised myself not to part with my core values anymore regardless what professional adventures I will have in the future. In order to keep my promise I devised a set of habits that will help me stay true to my core self: a disciplined, patient person with precise knowledge of my field.
I used to have an issue with holding on to habits but now I use Tick Tick both to track habits and to help me keep a good time management. It’s a great todo list up, on steroids, I love it!
So here they are: the 7 habits I build my patience and discipline upon:
1. Wake up every day at 6 am
This brings order in my daily routine as all days start at the same time, regardless when I go to sleep. I wake up at 6 and that’s the first task of the day – done. From then on, it’s quiet and I have around 2 hours to do other things without being bothered.
I connect this practice with my goal of being disciplined.
2. Exercise / stretch every day
Mens sana in corpore sano.
This takes 30-45 minutes per day.
I do some HIIT or stretching in off days. Not only for keeping in shape but I use exercising as a reset mechanism half-way into the day. It is most efficient especially after I already did the hardest tasks of the day.
I use the Freeletics app because it works for me and it’s super efficient. It keeps me in good enough shape without having to schedule and build the routine all by myself.
I meditate about 5 minutes per day. Nothing fancy so far, I just exercise clearing my mind and dismiss distractions and perturbations during this time.
This is another reset mechanism and also useful to train my patience. I just take 5 minutes to not think about anything.
This habit is strongly connected with training my patience and the experience it brings allows me to focus a lot better during my deep work sessions.
4. Learn Something New Every Day
I study a minimum of 30 minutes every day, although I try to go for 1.5-2 hour most days (at the time when I write this).
I usually start around 6:30 after I verify my emails. I target hot topics in the industry. My current focus in the MERN stack and its architecture.
This habit works well for both patience and discipline because. The time invested to complete each topic is usually 20-30 hours, thus through this consistent effort I reach each goal with small incremental steps. Yes, it requires both patience and discipline to achieve before moving on to a new topic.
I currently use Udemy courses to learn what is on my list.
5. Read a Book / Listen to an audiobook
I always loved to read, but during the time I spent with my previous startup I had periods when I neglected this habit about 50% of the time. I am brining back this habit by allocating a minimum of 15 minutes per day to this activity. I usually do a bit more, in off days I stretch it as much as I feel like.
I focus on books about productivity and business.
Reading is definitely not an activity that brings instant gratification so you can consider this habit to be in the “improving my patience” camp.
6. Write A Bit Every Day
I like to write for 10-15 minutes minimum each day.
Writing trains me to be a better communicator. Bit by bit I aim to be a better communicator and be able to explain with more clarity and ease complicated topics even to untrained people. It’s a skill I aim to master.
Writing daily goes into the training my discipline camp.
7. Set Up Tomorrow’s Schedule
I take 5 minutes each evening to go through the next day, arrange tasks in order and set them priorities. I rarely finish all tasks as I tend to slightly overplan (still). I prefer this than to be left without nothing to do. Undone tasks get passed to the next day, but priority tasks are almost always done within the designated day.
One great thing about this habit is that I actually get excited about the next day, which helps me wake up with a lot of enthusiasm every day at 6am. (see habit #1).
This habit falls in the discipline category.
BONUS – A Clean Inbox. My Weekly Habit
As a bonus, my secret to not being overwhelmed anymore by the avalanche of unfinished tasks.
Each Sunday/Monday morning I take time to get my inbox to 0. I answer important emails, archive / filter all the unnecessary ones and delete/ unsubscribe from whatever I will never actually read or what I do not find important.
This is important to me because when my inbox is full I have a stress in the back of my mind that something is not finished. Since I implemented this habit I am honestly a lot happier and a lot more efficient in my work due to the lack of stress.
There you have them. The 7 daily habits and the 1 weekly habits that I tuned for myself to help me be more patient, structured, disciplined and consistent in everything that I do.
These habits work for me but won’t necessarily work for you just as good. I suggest if you want to adopt some habits that make you grow to first analyze which are your goals and find a way to break them down in habits that don’t need to take more than 10-20 minutes of your time. Some people split them into something as little as 2 minutes. The point here is that you can still keep your consistency of a habit if it only takes 2 minutes. And if you are in the mood you can allocate more time to it, the better it is. Allocating at least 2 minutes (or 10) will assure you will do it – because there’s no excuse not to do something that takes so little time and is important to you.
Having these habits in my life has a tremendous effect on my general mood and the way I see my days. That is because even if I have a shitty day, at the end of it I still woke up early, learned something, read something, did some sports, wrote a bit and scheduled the next day. Everyday has some clear wins and something to celebrate.
If you enjoyed this read, leave a comment, tell me about your habits, or what you plan to add to your daily routine!