Productive Daily Habits: How to Live the Best Life

If you are feeling like you want to achieve more in life but are stuck where you are, you might need to change your daily habits. I listed ten daily habits that will change your life if you master them.

Man Writing with a Pen on a Notebook

Your attitude and daily habits are way more important than you might think. “Successful people don’t just drift off to the top. Getting there requires focused action, personal discipline, and lots of energy every day to make things happen,” – words of American author and entrepreneur Jack Canfield.

I couldn’t agree with him more. Successful people will prove that good daily habits are the key to success. While many people think that success is all about big goals and visions, it’s actually small daily habits that you implement consistently that pave the way for greater results. Of course, daily habits won’t matter if you don’t have a vision, but that’s for another story.

Start a To-Do List

A to-do list can help with task prioritization, reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity, and provide a sense of accomplishment. By organizing and prioritizing tasks on a list, individuals can stay focused and avoid distractions, leading to greater efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, a to-do list is a helpful tool for staying organized, managing tasks, and achieving goals.

Productive Daily Habits: Start a To-Do List
Daily Habits, To-Do List captured by Thomas Bormans

When I turned 18, I wanted to achieve more things in life. I felt like nothing went in the direction I wanted to. I started reading self-improvement books, and there was one thing that was common for all successful people – to start using to-do lists. I tried it, and it changed my life.

Breaking down goals into daily tasks and completing them one by one can lead to achieving long-term goals after a few weeks or months. Starting a to-do list is a helpful way to get organized and stay on track with tasks, and it can be done using a default notes or reminder app on a smartphone.

I recommend managing your tasks digitally, but if you are old school, purchase a journal and manage your tasks there. I recommend a great deal for that on Amazon:

Track Your Spendings

Are you struggling to manage your expenses and often find yourself running out of money at the end of the month?

Starting to track your spending can solve that problem. I’ve been tracking my income and expenses from an early age, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their financial management. By keeping track of your income and expenses, you can better understand your spending habits and make adjustments to manage your money more effectively each month.

Productive Daily Habits: Track your spendings
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya

Another benefit of tracking your income is to see how your wage and hourly rates have moved over the past years. It can be a great motivation for you to improve and look back at where you came from, but also gives you an insight into how much money you need to ask for when you are looking for a raise.

Make Your Bed First Thing in the Morning

As Admiral McRaven said in his Commencement Address Speech at the University of Texas in 2014 – if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. Basically, with this point, you are tricking your brain for success. First thing in the morning, you are completing a small task that will snowball the whole day.

Productive Daily Habits: Make Your Bed First Thing in the Morning
Photo by Christopher Jolly

After you make your bed, it will encourage you to do another task and then another. The more small achievement you have pushes your brain towards bigger and better goals – and it all starts with a small action such as making your bed. And in the end, at least if you return home after a bad day, you return to a made bed.

Drinking More Water

It’s worth knowing that consuming too much of something is bad for you – even if that thing is water. Generally speaking, it’s not the case here since many of us don’t consume enough water. The human body comprises around 60% water that we need to maintain to feel healthy and full of energy.

Productive Daily Habits: Drink More Water
Photo by Nigel Msipa

Often the best medicine is a glass of water and some fresh air. Staying hydrated is not only beneficial for headaches but can significantly improve your mental and physical performance. The NHS recommends drinking 6–8 glasses of water per day – the key is to start drinking in the morning and continue throughout the day.

Start Exercising

Starting to exercise was another thing that changed my life completely. It is not only healthy for your body but your mind as well. Although feeling good in your body starts with your mind, it continues by shaping your body to your liking.

Productive Daily Habits: Start Exercising
Photo by Anastase Maragos

Find a sport that you like to do and is great for building the shape you want to achieve. For example, if you want to put on weight and build muscle, running won’t be the right sport for you. On the other hand, if you want to train your heart and lose weight, then running is the right sport.

Break Down your Goals

If you have set goals before and have not seen any results, this is a sign of changing your current routine. As mentioned earlier – by breaking down your goals into smaller steps, you are tricking your brain into working on them more efficiently.

Productive Daily Habits: Break Down your Goals
Photo by Isaac Smith

Find out where you are standing with your goals, break them down, and set fixed deadlines for them. The deadlines will motivate you to accomplish your tasks. Do you remember the night before an important exam or homework deadline? You were forced to do it, and eventually, you did. You need the same kind of deadlines in your life.

Create a Morning Routine

If you are someone who is always running late, this point is just for you. By creating a morning routine, you are giving your life a structure that you can align to, so you will always be able to be on time. Eat the same thing, prepare your clothes the night before, and do things in the same order, so there won’t be any surprises in the morning.

Productive Daily Habits: Create a Morning Routine
Photo by Manuel Del Moral

Once you have developed a routine that works for you, I recommend changing a few things every now and then so that you don’t get burnt out in the process. Repetitive things can become boring quite quickly. You can plan a different breakfast for the morning, take a different route to work, or try wearing a new outfit. These things, won’t change your time, but can have a huge impact on your motivation.

Try the 80/20 Rule

The Pareto’s Principle or the 80/20 rule means that in any situation, 20% of the tasks generate 80% of the results. So you can maximize productivity by investing most of your time and energy in those specific tasks that will create the most significant impact. Once you’ve finished those tasks, you can focus on other activities that are on your to-do list.

If it is hard to picture, let me show you some examples – 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes. 20% of drivers cause 80% of all traffic accidents. 80% of the pollution originates from 20% of all factories. 

Surround yourself with the Right People

The people you choose to surround yourself with will eventually shape the way you think, behave, and feel on a daily basis. Surrounding yourself with people who motivate you, lend you knowledge, and help you learn from mistakes will raise your standards to become a better person in the long run.

Productive Daily Habits: Surround Yourself with the Right People
Photo by Redd on Unsplash

There’s the famous quote by Andy Stanley – “Your friends will determine the quality and direction of your life”.

Invest in Self-care

I saw this point in an article years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel good – whether it is listening to music, learning a new skill, taking a long bubble bath, or preparing a nice meal. Whatever floats your boat!

Man Gentleman Wearing a White Dress Shirt in the Bathroom
A Man Doing His Morning Routine © Lumin

Keep on reading: A Gentleman’s Guide for the Best Morning Routine

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