The new year is around the corner and its time to begin new. I know that you have the feeling that 2019 has not even properly sunk in and Shruti is telling us already to prepare for 2020! It happens to each one of us, isn’t it? As soon as the winter approaches and we start enjoying the year in real sense, its time to welcome another year. This is also a time to start afresh after the hangover of Christmas and New Year party.
I was pondering over which writer could be suitable to start the year with and my thoughts landed upon Robin Sharma, the monk who sold his Ferrari. He can give us actionable advices on how to start the new year with a new energy, new positivity and more than that, a new you.
1. The 5 A.M. club
If we all remember Robin Sharma, it is mainly for his emphasis on waking up before the sunrise and becoming a member to the 5 A.M. Club. I tried waking up at 6 A.M. for a few days and it worked out quite well. I am usually an early riser and the difference that I have noticed in myself when I wake up early is that I feel less anxious and clearer in my head. Waking up early gives us time to be away from all the hullaballoo around us.
He also stresses on the 20/20/20 rule which means 20 minutes of movement, 20 minutes of reflection and 20 minutes of learning in the morning. Movement is for the body; reflection is for the soul and learning is for the mind. Morning is a perfect time to do all these. We hit refresh our minds in the night and we are ready to grasp new learning and feed our souls with very positive thoughts.
2. Beat the addiction to distraction
In his book 5 A.M. club, he talks about digital distraction and he makes an impactful declaration that we are addicted to distraction. Feeling the urge to check your social media accounts every other minute? Or to catch up the latest news about your favourite celeb? Or craving to watch another Oozy man’s review? These are all signs of being addicted to distraction. I have noticed that continuous use of phone has adverse impact on my creativity and productivity and Sharma resonates to the thought by stating that “your phone is costing you your fortune”.
When was the last time when you were so engrossed in your work that you forgot to check your phone?
The key here to create a “total focus bubble” wherein you work for stretches without any distractions, the white screens. The motive is to eliminate all trivial interruptions to your purposeful work. In this era, the greatest thing that you can give to someone is attention; to your loved ones, to your co-workers, clients or your own project that will make huge difference to a lot of lives.
Also read: Deep work by Cal Newport
3. Enhance your productivity manifolds
Robin also talks about his 90/90/1 rule to increase your productivity manifolds. For the next 90 days, dedicate 90 minutes of your day’s start to your single most changing opportunity. I am yet to try this and plan to follow up in the month of January and I am sure it will be of help. I know a lot of us have a slight distaste towards self-help books and speakers but I have realised that we all spend our times unaccounted and filled with distractions. This time can be utilised wisely and used for our growth. Self-help thinkers sound authoritative sometimes but then I reflect that almost all of them talk about a common thing: discipline and discipline has led so many great men and women to become what they are today.
4. Practice minimalism
Minimalism is also another are of priority for Robin Sharma. In this world of information overload, we always have more movies to watch than we can, more books to read than we can and more social media posts to see than we ever can. The way out is to limit ourselves. Minimalism doesn’t only mean having a lavish minimalist home like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, its about de-cluttering your head. Read less books, but with unwavering focus. Watch less movies, but savour them. We can also create our own “Menlo labs” as Einstein did so that we can have steady focus at one point of time at a fixed place.
5. Enjoy nature
Robin advises us to go out in the woods, have conversation with the trees, spend some time in nature. We are so indulged in the concrete jungles that we forget about our natural roots. Go for a hike or a long walk every time you feel lost and I am sure you will love the solitude. Talking of solitude, I think we are too afraid to be alone on our own and it is also a reason why we are in a constant pursuit of distractions. It took me years to feel good in my own company, to feel natural in my skin. Nature is a good means to keep yourself grounded.
These are some of the things I wished to share with you all that will become handy as you prepare yourself for the upcoming year. Have a happy and productive 2020! On a side note, it took me just 30 minutes to write this article as I kept my phone away. Hope you do the same.