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Rework your daily routines with this one rule

What is one thing you can accomplish right now that would make everything else easier?

One simple principle that you can apply to better your life without any additional effort is to think about optimization through the lens of frequency.

Another way of thinking about this principle is: Think about optimizing the things that you do most frequently before you optimize anything else.


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The first and most impactful step of this principle is to apply it to your life — start by taking an inventory of the tasks you do every day. Make a list of even the simplest items. Eat, sleep, work.

Then, apply it to the context of your work, what do you do at work every single day? You probably start your work day by getting dressed or signing in and then you end work by maybe saying hi to your significant other or grabbing food, and in the middle you do some work. The actual work in the middle may vary day to day, or it may be similar. The way that you start your work, the way that you end your work are discrete recurring tasks.

Regardless of how different or similar your work is, every single day you do a routine of starting your workday and then systematically ending it.

When you think about optimizing what you do frequently, you can start with how can you optimize the beginning of your workday?

One way you can optimize is by adding something to the routine. Is there a specific task you can do that helps you to become more effective, more energized, or more productive during the workday? Maybe starting with a glass of water, meditation, or writing down the one/ three/ five most critical things that you need to do helps you. These are all tasks you can add to optimize your environment and your work.

Another way you can optimize is by looking at your tasks you currently do and tweaking them. All recurring tasks and processes can be optimized. You can become better by tweaking the routine of how you end your workday. Maybe you need some alone time to decompress —instead of going to watch TV you drive to a park and look at nature. This is something that you already do but you may get way better results by tweaking it a bit. Instead of two hours of watching TV maybe you only need 15 minutes in nature to feel just as refreshed. By making that change you now are another step towards having a more optimal, thought-out, and intentional life.

If there’s anything that can be learned from the most successful people in is this world, it is this: they are intentional. They don’t meander through life. Tasks are not done just because they exist. Instead, actions are taken for specific reasons. It does not matter how you define success — if you look up to artists, entrepreneurs, stoics, CEOs, or people that are genuinely happy I guarantee that they do things intentionally.


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Here are a few more ideas that I use to either add or optimize the end of the workday:

  1. Send an email to myself with a summary of the things to do the next day

  2. Saved and closed my key working files

  3. Taken the extra dishes or trash out from my work area

These three things help me feel better at the end of a long day —they are very simple and require no special skills and set me up for success for the next day. Your tasks will look different than my tasks. It is about personalizing this process to your life.

Whether it is adding or optimizing think about how it impacts your life. There is a third option to improving your tasks — removing some. Be careful of doing this because when you focus on removing something your brain will try to hold on to it. You are programmed to want to keep things the way you are. If you try and cut out TV then you are more likely to keep that habit than if you try to optimize when you watch it.

If you feel like you are losing something you will try to hold onto it more strongly.


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Doing small improvements to your daily routines will minimize the anxiety you have going into the next work day. And, you will become a more intentional and productive worker.

Another Example of a Process to Improve — Sleep

Say you sleep for eight hours a day — you spend a third of your life doing this one activity. If you do not get great sleep then you spend a third of your life feeling subpar in something.


Look at optimizing your sleep to feel better and more fulfilled about those eight hours — not to mention how much better your body and mind will feel.


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There are factors outside of your control — like genetic and medical reasons why you may not be sleeping well. But there’s almost always something that you can improve in — even if it is a small improvement it will help you take ownership of your life.

Do not just write it off and say “I’m bad at this and I can’t improve.” If you go through life acting like a victim and thinking that you can never wake up feeling well-rested then you will never get better at it.

Instead, flip the script: What is in your control?

Could you…

  1. Get better blinds, pillows, sheets

  2. Stop drinking caffeine after 2pm

  3. Start sleeping with your phone outside your bedroom

Surely, one of those would help you sleep better. Even if it’s only a 5% improvement, improving 5% of a third of your life is a very meaningful change and can be incredibly impactful.

What is one thing you can accomplish right now that would make everything else easier?

To recap: focus on your life and how to optimize or add small tasks to your daily routines.


What is one thing you can change in your routine to make everything else easier?

If you make a few small changes a week then you will be a way more productive, happy, and successful person in only a few months.


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