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[Life Hacks] How To Improve The Quality of Your Life In 15 Minutes


life hackThe 15 Minutes Framework

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

Morning: 6:30 or 7:00 am

MeditationMinimum 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

Breakfast:

  • 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.

Work Flow

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.

Noon:

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.

Evening:

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.

Bonus Hack

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.

In Conclusion

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.






 

Comments

  1. The content in here was already valuable, but when you threw in the away/towards personality stuff at the end, a light came on in my head because I never thought about myself in those terms before. Now I know I’m definitely an “away” guy.

  2. Great observation Michael. Glad it was helpful. Like I mentioned, there is more to it, such as what drives that away personality behavior but no one has to dig any deeper into if they don’t want. It just helps to be aware of it and you can make more conscious decisions. I’m just a nerd and like to know what makes it all tick ;-)

  3. Jan McClain says:

    Had to laugh when I read this, because over the past few months I’ve been tracking how many 20 min segments daily of exercise and writing I do. It does make a real difference. The key for me is the small time chunk–makes it manageable in my mind. Great post!

  4. Janny says:

    I take the 15 min drive to kids school to prepare them for a positive day…and the 15 min home to sing loudly in the car and blow off steam!

  5. Janny says:

    I wasn’t done… I think the idea of Journaling for 15 min a night is awesome. I havent been journaling over the summer and I’m going to get back to it. Im also encouraging the kids to do so at bed time. they can draw a pic or write about the day. It’s nice to start them young.

  6. Janny says:

    oh, we also pick up around the house for 15 min each night, keeps it under control.lol

  7. I have to agree Jan. Small chunks ARE much easier to digest. So glad to hear you’ve been tracking. Hard to get a picture of what you don’t measure. Great work!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Excellent post, Tony!

    As the queen of distracted by all things shiny, and being a single mom (hello OVERWHELM) — not to mention my affinity to fly by the seat of my panties — setting boundaries, creating rituals and healthy habits was really hard for me. Until I got really sick earlier this year and realized that operating in “survivor mode” was detrimental not only for me but my kids. So I consciously set boundaries, set my timer to work/exercise/be with kids for 15-20 minute helped manage the overwhelm, and reaquainted myself with my juicer. Kale, baby. I’m still a work in progress but definitely seeing positive results.

    Lori

  9. Ahhh I love that word “boundaries!” that could be a post all to itself. You’ll have to share how you went about creating those boundaries. I think that would be an awesome post for people.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I love the word “boundaries”, too! This gal who sits in the School of Service and lapses into servitude more often than naught learned the hard way how boundaries and the simple act of saying “NO,” can take the overwhelm out of life. and yes, it can (and will) be a post all to itself *she says as she puts on blinders and duct tapes self to chair to finish designing her website to share* ;)

  11. Michelle says:

    I’m also hypoglycemic and find that eating regularly (and watching what I eat!) makes a HUGE difference in my moods and mood swings. Staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and meditating also make huge differences for me. I got off track with my meditating (not as much exercising because we bike for transportation) recently and after being back on track for a few days I’m already noticing a large difference in my general mood and having less mood swings. 

    Do you have any recommended juicing starter resources? What blend of fruit/veggies do you usually go for? (Given the hypogylcemia and all). Thanks! 

  12. Hi Michelle,
    What you’ll want to do is to understand the glycemic index.
    Things like: Banana’s, Carrots & Beats are get converted into extremely high sugar levels and they really wreak havoc with “our” blood sugar.” Not to mention anything vegetable that is high in carbs.

    Things like blueberries are actually good for us. As far as combo’s that work best for me? The ones I shared above have worked great for me. Anytime I can include cucumbers it’s spot on. (They are high in electricity, they hydrate well and are just refreshing.

    As far as a starter source for hypoglycemic juicing? I think you’ve stumbled on a great idea lol. I’ve just learned everything from trial and error. Perhaps I’ll put something together based on what I’ve figured out!

  13. Michelle says:

    If you do write such a resource (free or paid) let me know, I’d love to read it! Thanks :) 

  14. […] I work from home all day and pretty much have every opportunity imaginable to get distracted, I have to make sure I’m […]

  15. Vidya Sury says:

    While I really enjoyed reading this wonderful post, I loved best the bonus hack at the end. I am definitely a “towards” personality.

    Great tips in here! And looking forward to visiting often. (thanks to Tim Brownson)

  16. Excellent. Glad you enjoy and received value. Feel free to share it with others :)

  17. Janny says:

    I take the last 15 minutes of my children’s day to talk about their accomplishments of the day- what are they most proud of- it builds self esteem and were sharing thoughts and feelings with each other- being connected ;)

  18. Love it Janny ;-) Focus on moving forward and what contribution we can create in the world. Great parenting point and life skill!