Is it possible to improve the quality of your life in 15 minutes? You bet it is, and I’m going to show you how. The reason I decided to do this post is because it just struck me the other day just how many productive habits I currently have that take 15 minutes throughout my day.
I can’t say I make huge monumental strides and accomplish epic feats of amazingness every day. Nope. It’s just the little habits that add up and make the biggest difference in the quality of my life and those I happen to work with.
It’s the 15 minute chunks scattered throughout my day that seem to compound results in my life so it’s my intention to set them as priority.
“Intention allows you to not get caught up in other peoples agenda.”-Oprah
So I decided to share with you what may seem as an unexciting typical work day and point out the 15 minute chunks that set the context of my work and seem to make the biggest difference in the quality of my life.
Plus at the end of this post I’m going to share with you a cool little internal hack that when you know about it, allows you tap into what type of circumstances really compel you and drive you to take action so that no matter what, so you get stuff done on your own terms.
15 Minute Life Hacks
Meditation: Minimum of 15 minutes [but normally I do 30 minutes]
Exercise: I generally choose one of the 3 below
15 minutes of weights
15 minutes cardio (I have a stationary bike or I run)
15 minutes of stretching or yoga
I’ve been doing weights 3 days a week and either cardio or yoga and stretching the other 3 days with usually Sundays off
- Half of a Large Avocado
- 2 cups of Spinach
- 1 Large cucumber
- 1 Lime
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups of distilled water
- (sometimes vegan protein powder)
Guess how long it takes me to make it and consume it?
Yup 15 minutes
My morning habits set the context for the rest of my day so I strive to make these 15 minute chunks count.
I normally work for around 2 hours straight with, you guessed it, a 15 minute break in between. Within that break I’ll have a piece of fruit or broccoli with hummus as a mid morning snack.
I’m good for another solid 2 hours of creative work and/or coaching sessions but usually after that I require a break in order to remain mentally fresh. I used to push through it and ignore my body but I’ve learned to listen these days. The cost of not listening to my body is much more than the price of taking a break and honoring myself for 15 minutes.
Lunch generally takes me about 15 minutes to prepare. It’s usually some sort of raw food or pre-prepared mixture like cooked quinoa within a rap along with lentils and vegetables.
Lately I’ve been laying out and getting sun every other day for my vitamin D and a healthy color. I was way too white since I literally live 10 minutes from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Timing it with my iPhone, 15 minutes each side.
Afterwards I’ll work another 2 hours straight and by then I’m ready for another 15 minute or even a 30 minute break. After that It’s on for another 2 hours.
[Life Hack] A cool life hack learned from my former coach Jana Fleming is in the afternoon, take a minimum of 15 minutes and meditate. It’s the most refreshing thing you can do to renew yourself and become grounded from any stresses you may have had in the day.
I’m usually pretty worked up from the day and I make it about 15 minutes then I’m good. I’ve only recently begun putting this into practice but the benefits have been amazing. I feel much more grounded later in the day and actually have more energy.
Afternoon Snack: Lately I’ve been juicing a lot and my favorite concoction has been:
- 1 Pear
- 1 large Cucumber
- 2 Carrots
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper
And of course it takes me about 15 minutes to juice it, clean the juicer and drink it down. By the way if you’re wondering why the Cayenne, this just ads a nice mild heat to the sweet flavor and it’s great for opening your capillaries and blood flow. Thus providing more oxygen to the brain and more clarity.
I sneak in a light dinner dish of some sorts and right after I’ll move into my evening.
Keep in mind these days I’m single so my evenings home may not be the most exciting thing in the world to you. While many people are watching TV I’m almost always going through audio or video programs, doing research or on some webinar. I’m a geek at heart and I love staying on top of social media stuff, marketing, and of course self discovery related materials.
Two more of my 15 minute guidelines though is to read at least 15 minutes at night. I usually go for more than an hour but I found on evenings where I’m especially tired I tend to go for 15 minutes. Not to mention there are many times during my 15 minute breaks during the day I’m generally listening to audio of books or programs.
Journalling takes me at least 15 minutes each night if not sometimes more. I noticed the average has been 15 minutes each night though.
[Life Hack] Sunday nights are usually an hour or more of journaling because of 20 specific questions I answer. They help me discover what I learned from last week to what exactly I’m doing the coming week and why. This is an awesome hack I now use religiously that I discovered from Rich Schefren’s “The Hidden Secret of Success” report.
This quite simply has created a huge increase in ongoing clarity and forward progression in my life since I started it. Thanks to Tom Beal for turning me on to it.
You’ll notice I’m eating at least 5 small meals a day. It’s because I’m hypoglycemic and my blood sugar gets crazy if I don’t keep it in check. My mood generally get’s pretty shitty if I don’t adhere to an eating schedule of at least every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. So I do, plus I’m to drink at least 1 oz of water per lb of body weight. At least for me, keeping hydrated is key to optimum energy and keeping any mood swings in check.
I learned within the past year from studies of a PHD that hypoglycemic’s are extremely susceptible to depression and mood swings if they don’t exercise and eat right consistently. I can assure you that at least in my case, this is very true. You’d be blown away if you knew how many people are hypoglycemic and have no idea. So many people could come off of prozac if they just took better care of themselves.
When you become conscious of the costs of making choices that don’t honor your well being or outcomes, implementing the 15 minute chunks is a no brainer. When you are clear on the benefits of making the right choices that do honor your well being and outcomes, implementing the 15 minute hacks becomes pretty easy to do too.
Depending on your personality and if you’re compelled by away or towards circumstances, knowing both the costs and the benefits of your decisions are crucial. If you’re an away personality your thoughts may go like this:
- I know I’m going to feel like shit if I don’t eat right and exercise (away personality)
- I know I’m probably going to experience mood swings and have squat for energy (away personality)
- I know my desired goals won’t be actualized if I don’t keep a clear state and stay consistent with my work (away personality)
If you’re a towards personality your thoughts may sound like this:
- I know when I follow through on exercising and eating right, plus lots of water, I’m going to have plenty of energy to tackle my day and follow through on my projects. (toward personality)
- I know I’m going to feel attractive and good about myself (toward personality)
- I just know I’m going to end up experiencing (insert positive outcome) when I complete ____________. (towards personality)
So you can see, knowing your personality and what compels you would be a good idea. If you’re an away personality and I tell you, “Come on you’re going to feel so good about yourself when you do __________!” You’re probably not going to follow through on it because you just don’t see it as clearly as you can see the opposite. Such as, you’re going to lose your job because you can’t get up on time and you’ve been warned 2 times already.
There’s a lot more to this which ties into your values, metavalues and other weird stuff called metaprograms but just this little tidbit can be helpful in making good decisions.
So what about you?
Do you have any 15 minute habits throughout the day that you can think of? If so are they leading you in a direction you really desire or are they leading you farther away? More importantly what type of circumstances are driving those 15 minutes habits? You can definitely identify your habits with your values with some work.
Share below in the comments section if you have any 15 minute habits that you feel can be beneficial and how you implement them.
By the way please share this on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or just email it to someone you think it could benefit.