As someone who grew up with severe anxiety and a bad case of depression, I completely understand how overwhelming the world can become - especially your world. That's why having daily habits is crucial.
First, there's work. Sure, some tasks are tedious and menial, but others cause you to strain yourself hours on end to perfect the final product. Then, there's life at home. If you're like me, maybe you work as a freelancer after work to make some extra money for utilities. Maybe your parent - and that's a job all on its own. There are always a million and one things swirling in the back of your mind, and it can be hard to wipe away the fog and narrow in on one.
It's like my brain gives up, my body is sore, and the only thing I can do is try and sleep it off.
It's not easy to juggle everything life hands you, and I understand that which is why I thought it may be beneficial for me to share some of my insider organizational hacks and daily habits. From journaling to applications, this article should have at least one daily habit you can implement in your life to make things less stressful.
Daily Habits: #1. Dump Your Brain & Make Lists
I cannot stress enough how important writing things down is. Also, I don't mean typing it on your phone or laptop. I mean sitting down and making a physical to-do list. If that's too much, just do some free-form writing. Don't worry about sentences. Just get it all out onto the page. Treat it kind of like brain vomit. Then, you can try making your task list.
Task lists are great. Keep it simple, too. The idea is to take what's overwhelming and compress it into generalized tasks that help the workload appear easier to accomplish. My advice is to jot down your three biggest tasks.
For example, when I know I've got my full-time content strategist job, a Scribe Media project, and my blog to run (as well as, you know, life), I always try and jot down the three biggest tasks within those jobs. I also tend to make an additional task at the beginning of the day to complete my morning ritual (which we'll talk about that below). That's 10 daily tasks total, and 10 daily tasks are doable.
Why break it down?
Having A Process Is Better Than Nothing.
Like I said - daily habits make a heaping pile of mess easier to approach and tackle. For example, if I know I want to accomplish 200 crunches within my day, then I'll likely split that number into a smaller segment/cycle to complete every other hour or so. Maybe I'll do 20 crunches when I wake up, 40 after lunch, 40 before dinner, 50 after dinner and 50 before bed. Instead of tackling something as daunting as 200 all in one go, I tackle it throughout the day. Sure, it may take a little longer, but at least I'm getting them all done - and all done right. I'm not exhausting myself, either.
Try treating your tasks like that. Use your time to your advantage. Don't let your tasks run your life; you run your tasks. Make a list, check it twice, and then copy it to your phone, to the whiteboard near your door, on a sticky note on your fridge, on the desktop of your computer...you name it! Just get it in your view and stick to it. Cross things off as you go and let the frustration of "the approach" melt away.
Daily Habits: #2. Build Morning, Afternoon, and Nightly Rituals
Unlike making a new list of tasks every morning, your rituals are something constant that does not change daily. For example, a common ritual is brushing your teeth in the morning after you wake up and at night before you sleep. That's an easy ritual to kickstart your list. Essentially, your routine is a list of daily habits.
For me in the morning, I also add in my shower, washing my face, eating a good breakfast, and listening to a podcast or audiobook while I get dressed. Because your rituals are something you create and control, it will help you stay calm and collected, even during chaotic times.
If I were to be evicted from my apartment tomorrow, that would be devastating. However, no matter where I'd end up (probably in a guest bedroom somewhere), my morning ritual or routine would not change. It'd still be my own, and it would still allow my life to have some control during a tough time.
Rituals Eliminate Stress.
Rituals are important for organizing your life. I've seen an immense difference between my mood on days where I do my rituals and on days where I forget or skip a step. I just feel off, which throws everything else in my life off.
Something I'd like to stress, too, is that having rituals or routines doesn't mean you can't go with the flow. No one - no matter how organized - has to deal with things not going the way they expected. Having a ritual simply helps you have control while tackling new tasks that have been thrown your way.
If you're not sure how to get started creating your rituals, I suggest downloading this app. After downloading it, I've been able to stay consistent and improve my mood every day. It sends me gentle reminders on my phone screen that I would have forgotten about otherwise, being so busy.
Daily Habits: #3. Choose One Thing A Day To Organize
Much like any daily habit, they're something you do every day. With this particular daily habit, I challenge you to choose one thing a day to organize. Start small and work your way bigger. For example, on day one, I suggest organizing your phone. That means getting rid of apps you no longer use. You could also put your 4 most important apps at the front and center. If you have an iPhone, give your apps folders.
It may be stressful at first because you've moved a lot around. However, by day 3 or 4, you'll be thanking yourself.
Clutter is your worst enemy. A cluttered space really is a cluttered mind. After you organize your phone, move on to bigger challenges, like your computer and planner. Next, tackle your closet and the bag you most often carry. Keep going, changing one thing to be more organized every day, and within a couple months, you'll find yourself leading a more efficient life.
Daily Habits: #4. Most Importantly - Fight Procrastination With An Iron Fist
The worst thing you can do for yourself when it comes to your daily habits is holding off on them. Why? Because you'll forget! If I don't take my vitamins in the morning before work, then I likely don't take them at all. Then, the next day, I might forget about them altogether.
What if it were something more important, like a job due on Friday? If you procrastinate on the little things, then your bound to procrastinate on the small things.
I know it's easier said than done. Sometimes, the new Netflix show is just that good, but you need to give yourself priorities and stick to them. Netflix isn't going anywhere, but your success in life has no problem flying out the window. So, that's my personal opinion and advice. You can implement these habits as strategies for marketing yourself and your brand too.
These three daily habits are habits but also just life tips, in general. I am, by no means, an expert, but I can be an abnormally high strung person, so I get it. These things have worked for me, and I hope they work for you. If they don't, feel free to reach out. If you have a specific issue, maybe we can learn from each other.