What 10 minute daily activity would sharpen my mind over a year? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
10 minutes is very little time, but 10 minutes every day for a year is a lot of time. If you don't have 10 minutes, you don't have a life. In fact, almost all positive activities, practice for 10 minutes a day, could sharpen your mind and change your life after a year.
To answer this question, here are the 10 daily activities I'm practicing and strongly suggest you try them out.
- Frame my state. I do this first thing first in the morning. It's a four-step process: (1) Reinforce the identity I set for myself by repeating an identity statement, (2) Practice gratitude by rewind things and people I'm grateful for, (3) Build up my focus on my nearest short-term goals, and (4) Visualize how I want my day to be.
- Read. Reading shapes my beliefs, thoughts, and perspectives. It shapes me beyond the direct influences from my close friends and family members. And it provides knowledge and insights far beyond what I have access to within my local community. The fact is, you already have access to great wisdom and information if you have access to the Internet.
- Write. I was never a writer, but hey, I have written , 240+ Quora answers, and multiple articles in a few major publications. Apart from sharing my ideas and build my career as a writer, writing is by far the best way I learn. When we write, we don't just express what we know, we recite and revise the knowledge, and at the end of the day, we relearn what we already know.
- Attack myself. I don't mean it physically unless you see lifting weights as the same category. What I mean here is questioning my ideas, judging my own work, and reflecting the time I've spent. I don't think growth happens naturally, in fact, I believe destruction happens naturally (based on ) So, spend 10 minutes every day to make growth happens.
- Breath. I do 20 deep breaths every morning when I woke up from the bed, and another 20 every night before I go to sleep. I'm not yet consistent with this yet; sometimes I missed it. The purpose here is to focus on my breaths without thinking of anything--to be present, to tame my mind, and to get closer to the single most important element of life.
- Take cold showers. I used to take cold showers when I was a kid because we can't afford a water heater, and I hated it. As soon as I got a water heater, I never take a cold shower ever again. Recently (around 16 months), I started to take cold showers again after I read a lot of materials about peak performance and bio-hacking. Cold exposure turns out to be very helpful in speeding up physical recovery, improving cognitive performance, and building mental toughness.
- Keep track. Keep track everything you're working on. I . I am regularly switching my daily routine to see how they affect my productivity and performance. I write every day and lifts heavy weights three times a week. If I don't keep track of them, I can never know how effective what I'm doing. Besides, measuring my progress helps me to stay on track and delay instant gratification, so I don't fall into the trap of being impatience.
- Be useful to someone else. Everyone should do this. I don't have a lot of money to donate right now. So I make sure I treat my family and girlfriend well every day. I hope that answering a Quora question every day counts.
- Move. I need to clarify one thing upfront, I believe 10 minutes of movement in a day is not enough. However, 10 minutes of movement is far far better than no movement at all. I lift heavy weights, I sprint, I mimic 's move. As a suggestion, do compound movements (bodyweight or with external weights), sprint, practice martial arts, or dance.
- Jot down key objective for the next day. I started doing this long time ago, but I can't find a good system to stay consistent with it. Last November, I stumbled across a dead-simple app with limited features (but some solid functions) called . And it became the app I'm using every day to do this. I make a list of dates, and every day, I write down 4 to 8 things I need and want to focus on for the next day. When I've completed one thing in the list, I strike it off; when I've completed everything for that day, I strike that day off.
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