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Silver Linings: Your Daily Checklist

I recently came across The Daily Checklist on Zen Habits.

These are the most powerful ideas in the article:

A good tool for learning to trust yourself to do all the important stuff is to make a daily checklist. Put 5-7 things on there. Try to get almost all of them done each day, but know that it’s not always fated to happen. Often things that aren’t in your control come up and change your plans.

Notice that social media, reading news, watching TV, checking email, browsing my favorite sites, sharing photos … none of these are on the list. If I’m doing one of these things and not one of my daily checklist items, I’m probably not doing the right thing.

For the past years, I too have been writing a few things in my planner every day, and gradually these have evolved into My Daily Checklist, to use Zen Habits terms.

The following items are on my Daily Checklist:

1. Meditate
Meditation is simply every day in my planner. Whatever happens, I try to find at least 5 minutes to give my brain its necessary exercise.

2. Exercise

Going to the gym, biking to work, or simply squeezing in 10 minutes of yoga – after an entire day of thinking and researching, my body needs its share of attention too.

3. Write

So Important. At the office. I track my progress with the PhDometer, and I try to write at least 500 words each day. Even on days that are dedicated to research, meetings and other non-writing activities, I try to write a few lines in a report, paper or summary.

At home, I spend some time writing every day as well: poetry, blog posts or CD reviews.

4. Journal
After using 750 words consistently for some time, I switched back to journaling longhand – and I use an extended form of journaling that also incorporates gratitude lists, success lists and my dreams.

5. Fresh juice
I’ve had my juicer for almost a year and a half now, and I try to make fresh juice every day. Previously, I mostly used it to make fruit juices (or my beloved orange – carrot – ginger combination), but since the beginning of 2013, I’ve added green juice to my toolkit.

6. Reflect
Whether I work on my Life Handbook and check my progress towards my goals and purpose, or simply ask myself if I give the best of myself today, I try to make some time and space every day to reflect.

7. Learn something new
Every day, I try to learn something new, outside of my research. There’s so much information freely available online. from this vast sea of knowledge, I try to learn something new. I watch TED Talks, Google Tech Talks, enroll in MOOCs, listen to podcasts and generally try to keep an open and curious attitude towards life.

What is on your daily checklist? You can share it in the comments, or reply with a post!

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