The 20 Minute Rule – How to Tackle Your To-Do List Consistently

So I went online to read about the 20 minute rule. Basically, it means that you spend 20 minutes on something for at least 30 days consistently so that you turn it into a habit. However, that is not the only benefit about this rule.

With so much tasks on my daily to-do list and never having enough time to do them all, I became a bit frustrated. That is why I decided to experiment a little bit with this rule. All my most important tasks are now divided into 20 chunks. I work 20 minutes on each task before I move to the next one. 20 times 20 boils down to 400 minutes of work. That’s about 6.5 hours of work in which I can spend attention to all my tasks and goals. If there is enough time and energy left in the day, then I start the cycle again from the beginning.

It is certainly challenging as 20 minutes is not a lot of time in which you can work on a task. However, small pieces of work done daily and consistently add up over time. What’s more, not doing them at all because of being unorganized, to busy or out of time is a lot worse.

Another benefit of the 20 minute rule is that you push yourself to work faster. You really want to round something up in that short amount of time that you have. It might take a day before you see that task again, so dwelling on it for an undefined length of time is no option. Can’t get it done but feel a strong urge to continue? That’s a good sign as it means you’re motivated. Stop and save that motivation for the next round or the next day.

And if you don’t feel motivated to do a task? Then this method might be great for you as well. 20 minutes is a small enough time chunk to get through anything, even if it is the most dreadful or boring task in the history of tasks. If it would be 60 minutes, you would feel a stronger need to procrastinate. So start now by dividing your daily to-do list in chunks of 20 minutes and notice the increase in your productivity and your results.

Don’t forget to take really short breaks between tasks to reset your mind. Also, insert a bigger break after a couple of task sessions so that your mind doesn’t get too exhausted. Having frequent breaks will increase your productivity as well.

Single-mindedness Is The Key To A Better Life

By Jesse Logister

Since I started learning about the principles of minimalism, I noticed the effectiveness of focusing on one single task or goal at a time. Multitasking and multifocusing can often leave you confused and overwhelmed. Those are problems that you should avoid, especially when you tackle difficult habitual changes like becoming an ex-smoker. Single-mindedness is the key that opens the door to a better life.

Multitasking divides your attention, your energy and your motivation. You need all three of them 100 per cent fueled, and they need to be targeted on one task, especially when it is a difficult one.

I often failed when I was trying to change my lifestyle (trying to quit smoking is just one example). I wanted to implement too many adjustments at the same time.

Focus On One Goal at a Time

Whenever I quit smoking, I always notice an increase in my energy level. As a result, I become more motivated to improve my life. Suddenly, I do not only want to work on tackling my nicotine addiction, but I want to combine it with goals like waking up early, having a jogging session in the morning or stop eating sugar.

However, so many big lifestyle changes are a bit too much to tackle all at once. Changing one habit can be mentally exhausting and even depressing for a while. This is especially the case with the break-up process from tobacco. You give up something that you liked (or thought you liked), and that can be a depressing feeling.

At such a moment, it certainly does not help if you have to lay off the sweets as well, while at the same time forcing yourself to wake up at 4:00 a clock in the morning to start a jogging session.

Some additional changes occur naturally and effortlessly while you work on modifying your lifestyle. They are nice bonuses, but see them as bonuses and don’t let them distract you from focusing on your main goal.

Find Your Ideal Transition Period

How long do you need to focus on one habit before you can move on to the next one?

Opinions and studies differ on that answer, and every person and habit is unique so you need to find out what works the best for you.

Personally, I like the idea of a 30 day single-mindedness period of change. Changing one big habit per month is a goal I want to focus on.

Experiment with transition time periods, but give change a royal amount of time so that you can be sure that there is a strong foundation before you move on to the next life changing habit that needs to be tackled.

Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed By Your Goals

Avoid making things to complicated and becoming overwhelmed. It can lead to failure and you might end up embracing a bad habit again.

Slow down and focus on one positive change at a time. I use this single-mindedness tactic during my quit smoking process and I notice that it makes it easier to fulfill my goal.

Give yourself all the time that you need. It is alright to do a little bit less in order to fuel up on energy and mental power. The time will come when you can start another positive change. Eventually, all those changes pile up on each other. They not only make you stronger, happier and healthier every day, but they also help you to tackle the next lifestyle adjustments.

Do you feel overwhelmed by the goal that you want to achieve? Slow down and take a deep breath. Change will come, but let it come gradually. Don’t try to race to the finish line like the hare.

Keep Your Burning Desire Smoldering

By Jesse Logister

A cigarette should not broil, but your burning desire to live a tobacco-free life should smolder all the time.

Once you make it through the first few days and weeks, the treacherous tobacco thoughts might hide themselves for a while. But these thoughts crawl out of their dark holes from time to time, and they will do their best to trigger you in lighting one up.

You have to be wary about these triggers, because they can destroy your hard work in an instant.

Once you quit for a while, you might start to focus on other important goals. Time passes and your mind is slowly extinguishing that burning desire to enjoy a tobacco-free life.

However, it is important that you keep this fire smoldering all the time.

The Habit of Smoking Is a Chronic Disease

Many people will warn you about how sick you can become from smoking. But smoking by itself is already a huge and serious chronic disease.

You might stop for a long period, but the trigger to light one up can appear at any time. This can even happen after many years.

Before you know it, you are smoking again. It happened to me after I did not touch a cigarette for two years.

For me, that is the real disease that is connected to the awful habit of smoking. You tend to forget about your struggles with cigarettes, but that little bit of leftover addiction tells you that it is okay for once. After all, you did not smoke for years and you are in control of it now. Just one cigarette should be fine. But of course it is not!

Keep Reminding Yourself Why You Stopped Smoking

You need to constantly remind yourself that smoking is bad, and that it has brought you all kinds of bad feelings and physical problems.

At this moment, I am at day 8 of not smoking. I past the first week, but I am certainly not out of the danger zone. In fact, I think I never will. I always have to keep reminding myself of why I wanted to quit smoking.

Therefore, I decided to become a very educated ex-smoker.

Change Negative Habits into Positive Ones

Instead of lighting one up when I step out of bed or before I am ready to sleep, I now read a smoking related article every morning and every evening. I changed a negative habit into a positive one so that I am constantly reminded about the dangers and negative aspects of smoking.

I recommend that you read an article about smoking everyday so that you constantly fuel your burning desire to live a tobacco-free life.

It makes you stronger at moments that triggers arise. For example, at occasions when you meet up with friends to have a drink, or when you are surrounded by many smokers.

Take a Deep Breath and Let the Moment Pass

When you feel the urge to smoke at such occasions, just take a deep breath and know that it will pass.

I had my first trigger moment yesterday, after a lavish dinner with my girlfriend. I felt a desire to smoke for a few minutes, but it quickly passed and I forget all about it five minutes later.

Later that evening, I even felt stronger, because I did not fall into the trap. Such positive feelings pile up and they are the foundation for your tobacco free mindset.

Don’t dwell in your loss as it is a necessary break up. There is hope, and you have within you the power to change and become stronger.

Living A Tobacco-Free Life – Day 7

By Jesse Logister

Last week, I made another attempt to start a tobacco-free life. Right now, I am at day seven of not touching a cigarette, and these are my thoughts on the process that I went through so far.

It Gets Easier

The first day was definitely tough. It came with many cravings that I had to suppress. However, once I got over the big bump, it all became a lot easier.

I noticed that before on my other attempts to quit smoking. A lot of people have a hellish first week or even a month. They are tortured by physical withdrawal symptoms and mental cravings. For me, the symptoms and cravings have been very little after the first day.

Maybe I tuned into the right mindset, or I am just one of those lucky persons that does not experience strong withdrawal symptoms. I don’t really know the answer, but people have different bodies after all.

It Is the Long Run That Counts

The first few days actually do not matter so much. It is the long run that really challenges the ex-smoker, and that is where it often goes wrong. My attempts often failed, because of the dangers that lurked around corners much further down the road.

In the next couple of weeks, I will document my tobacco-free living process. During that process, I will address some of these lurking dangers so that you can recognize and avoid them if you are on the same path as me.

Together with tips and resources, I can hopefully turn you into a happier and stronger person that successfully makes one of the best and most important decisions in life. It is the decision of living a tobacco-free life, and you need to embrace it with all your energy and willpower.

Do Not Stop until You Reach Your Destination

Whatever it is you do in life, whether it is giving up tobacco, building a business or writing an article, you need to give it your full attention and you need to fully commit to it. It is not enough to say that you will try or that you will see how it goes. You need to make it a priority project and you need to put your heart and soul into it.

Going half the way leads you nowhere. It puts you in a place where you might be able to see the end destination, but the comfortable spot, your old habit, is just as far away. That spot is familiar. You know the road you already walked on so it is easier to go back, instead of taking that unknown path to a destination that first feels scary, but that can positively change you on the long run.

Learn How to Ditch That Evil Monkey on Your Back

That’s it for today. Tomorrow, I will move from day seven to eight of a tobacco-free life. In my next post, I will focus on dangerous triggers that can lead you back to tobacco.

Are you at the same path and journey in your life right now? Remember that you are not the only one that is going through this tough transition period.

A lot of people wake up with the same goals of becoming a healthier and stronger person. You can find them on this forum.

Connect with these people and read about their experiences. Trust me, it helps.

You become successful if you put your heart and soul into it. Loose the evil monkey on your back and feel lighter again.

 

3 Websites That Changed My Life & Writing Career

By Jesse Logister

Sometimes, I stumble upon a true gem of a website. Mostly, such a gem sticks with me for a while, and then its magic slowly diminishes or I move on to another site that is sparkling in my eyes.

However, there are some rare gems that have stayed with me for a long time. They are not just very interesting, beautiful or fun but also life changing.

The following websites have really helped me to make an income online and become my own boss as a freelancer. They have improved my health, boosted my creativity, made me more productive and made me appreciate life more. They also helped me to unclutter and throw away all the ballast. They reshaped me and creeped into my ears and mind.

Therefore, I consider these websites as some of the most rewarding online sources in my life, and I really hope that they can offer some kind of positive effects to you as well.

3. Zenhabits.net

I have to admit that in the beginning I did not read Leo Babauta’s blog posts as often as I actually wanted. However, I was instantly impressed by his way of life and the minimalistic way of how he has designed his website. It inspired me to take a good look at my own blog, and I eventually decided to implement some changes to remove a lot of clutter.

Truth of the matter is, I was never very good at things like designing or making pictures. I am a writer. And Leo’s website made me realize that it should all be about the words. The rest is just a distraction from that.

I want to focus on writing and not on stressful side-tasks. Leo generously lets people use his site template and I decided to use it. It changed my life forever.

I have to admit that it was a big and uncomfortable step. No more comments, lesser pictures, almost no side elements. But the only way forward is the uncomfortable one.

And forward I went. The time that I save now is absolutely huge. I can spend it on more important things like writing blog posts and actually reading Leo’s article about other minimalistic implementations.

Therefore, I find Zenhabits.net a true life changer and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in uncluttering the mind.

2. Writertown.com

I have been a member of Writertown.com for a couple of years, and over those years I have seen it grow into a very friendly and useful platform for writers. Its creator, Elvis De Leon, is a great guy who really cares about his members, and he puts a genuine effort in making his members more successful writers.

The extensive and very useful writing gigs list on his website really changed my writing career. I stroll through it regularly and it has provided me with some amazing clients. Thus Elvis does what he promises, he will give your (online) writing career a real boost.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it was not for this website. I highly encourage people to become a member of Writertown.com. Not only for the writing gig list, but Elvis also offers many other perks on his platform. For example, people can post their own interesting articles and even promote them.

1. MyNoise.net

I only recently discovered this gem but I already consider it as one of the best websites on the internet. There are many reasons why I do so. Let’s start with the most important one: it has noise, and that noise just so happens to be the noise that I was always looking for.

I always want to listen to something while working. I tried YouTube for music, but I got extremely distracted, plus a bit annoyed by the ads and the urge to read comments and check the accompanying video clips.

Therefore, I switched to random 8tracks.com music lists. That tactic was already much better, but it was still not enough. Music still was dominant and it distracted me, especially when it had spoken words in it.

But then came the real sound revolution.

When doing some research on being more productive, I accidentally stumbled upon MyNoise.net. I embarked on a magnificent sound adventure and from that moment on, my life was instantly chanced.

MyNoise offers a truly unique collection of random, free to use noise generators. No money to travel? Put on your headphones and turn on the sound of a railroad, sailboat, spaceship or aircraft cabin. Close your eyes and let the sounds guide you on your journey. Time to relax? Listen to Yakutian and Himalayan voices and feel the tension drifting from your body. Nature lover? Waterfalls, ocean waves, tropical birds and fairy ponds are waiting for you.

Listening to all these noises are not only extremely fun and relaxing, but it also makes the listener appreciate sounds so much more. Many sounds are always with us, but how often do we really pay attention to them or learn to appreciate them fully. Sometimes, we forget our appreciation and then suddenly remember and wonder again, whenever we hear the cherished sounds from our childhood days.

MyNoise taught me that sounds can heal and that they can have meditating and relaxing effects on people. Sounds are extremely powerful and all of them have beauty in their own way. We can hear and feel that beauty when we dedicate ourselves to listen and pay attention to the small wonders around us. These wonders are a part of everyday life, but we so often tend to overlook or forget about them.

One interesting fact is that some of those sounds even distracted or annoyed me in the past. I cringed at the sound of construction sounds while I was working. Now I deliberately play the demolition site generator to work more concentrated. I find that really funny.

I now have something to listen to while I work. Since I do it, I feel more relaxed more concentrated and also very importantly, more creative. My writing skills improved, I save huge chunks of time and I focus much better.

It are those benefits and the fact that the website is neatly designed with captivating pictures and well thought over descriptions of the sounds. You not simply listen to them. The creator of the site, Dr. Ir. Stéphane Pigeon, also teaches you how to listen to them, and what the effects of the sounds are in a scientific and psychological way.

The result is absolutely fabulous. I cannot stress enough how much I love Mynoise.net and I feel blessed that I found it. I hope to use it for many years to come and I encourage everyone to visit it and support the creator, so that he can keep this fantastic website online.

Websites Made With Love

These three websites are created by people who really love what they are doing and who are genuinely want to help others to feel that same love as well. It is more than just earning money with a website. It is creating positive changes in people’s lives and building communities.

I love to hear which websites changed your life? Send me an email or contact me on Twitter or Facebook.