Friday, 31 May 2013

zen habits: The Simplify Your Day Challenge in June

zen habits: The Simplify Your Day Challenge in June

The Simplify Your Day Challenge in June

Posted: 31 May 2013 07:02 AM PDT

By Leo Babauta

Are you up for a 30-day challenge that will make your days simpler, more focused, less stressful?

Starting tomorrow (June 1), my Sea Change Program members are tackling the Simplify Your Day Challenge, and I’m inviting you to join us.

The challenge will be tracked through with Lift, the excellent habit-tracking app on the iPhone … and Lift is now offering early access to the new web version of the app, for Sea Change members.

The Simplify Your Day Challenge is to say “No” to one thing per day.

What kinds of things should you say “No” to? Well, not to the important stuff!

Instead, say “No” to:

  • Commitments you can let go
  • Appointments that aren’t absolutely essential
  • Non-essential to-do items
  • Multi-tasking
  • Distractions
  • Moving quickly
  • Doing smaller tasks instead of important tasks

You don’t have to say “No” to all of those every day. In fact, during the challenge, I’ll ask you to focus on a different area each week.

You should do this habit first thing each day, as you start your work day. For some of you, that’s almost immediately after waking (when you open your computer to check email). For others, that’s when you arrive at the office. Whenever you start, make this habit your first action, every day.

If you get good at saying “No” to these things, at least once per day, your day will become simpler. Why? Because you’ll have time for the important things — your most important work, creative work, time for exercise and eating healthy and meditating, time for loved ones and for yourself.

The Plan

So what’s the plan for the challenge?

  1. Sign up for the Sea Change program to have access to the plan, a live webinar next week, articles and a forum. You’ll also join Lift, which is free, to track the habit.
  2. Have a trigger for your habit — something you already do every day. Examples: waking up, drinking your first cup of coffee, eating breakfast, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, leaving for work, arriving at work, etc. For this challenge, I suggest whatever trigger happens when you first start work — opening your laptop or arriving at the office, for example.
  3. Have reminders based on this trigger. The best ones are in the physical place that the trigger happens — if it’s your laptop, put a sign on your laptop to remind you. Calendar reminders are good too, but as backups to the physical reminders.
  4. Do the habit when your trigger (and reminder) happens. Every day. It only needs to take a minute or two. The plan I’m providing in the Sea Change program will tell you what habit to do each week.
  5. Report your success on Lift — check-in for that habit, so it’s logged and others can see it. Also encourage others in the challenge with props and encouraging comments.

It’s simple, but you have to commit to the full month if you really want to see it work. I think it’ll be an amazing challenge, and I hope you’ll join us.

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