35 Tiny Rules I Use In My Happy Quiet Life – These may surprise you!
Rules make life easier.
When you’re younger, you despise routine, efficiency, and worst of all, rules. It feels too structured and mundane.
However, as you get older, make more extensive plans for your future, set goals, and have responsibilities and people who rely on you, rules become incredibly important. Developing your personal practices provides freedom in life. As Jocko Willink so famously says, “Discipline equals freedom.”
Rules or codes, or practices that you live by can bring more success, joy, and happiness. Finding the right ones takes time. But, once you do, they make life easier and eliminate so many decisions, leaving more headspace for more important things like creativity, production, and presence.
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When it comes to rules, I think of that line from Nick Carraway in Great Gatsby, “I am slow-thinking and full of interior rules that act as brakes on my desires.”
Here are some rules I use in my life:
— Never check my phone for the first 60–90 minutes of the day.
— Sit in silence or read at lunch. This is a great time to steal some silence.
— Drive in the right lane on the highway unless you are passing someone. If you don’t think you are driving this way, please move over. I need to pass you.
— Eat the same 2–3 things at breakfast and lunch. It’s one less thing to spend your mental energy. Our lives are a series of decisions, and decision fatigue is very real.
— Always have 2 or 3 options for shirts that don’t need ironing and that can go with any color pants.
— Park in the back of a parking lot. It’s an opportunity to get a few more steps in each day.
— Dress comfortably without embarrassing your spouse. Dressing like a “grown-up” is ridiculous, outdated, and a rule made up by people who don’t smile.
— Let the other person get off the elevator before you go barreling in. It’s rude, clogs up space, and forces you to enter other’s personal bubbles.
— Round your ticket up and tip 20%. Judging their performance is one less thing I want to spend time on.
— Never watch live TV, unless it’s sports. There are zero reasons to watch commercials.
— Don’t answer your phone in the middle of a face-to-face conversation unless it’s urgent. You own the phone. The phone doesn’t own you.
— If you answer the phone, leave the room if your conversation disrupts someone else’s work, conversation, or leisure. They don’t want to be a part of your conversation.
— Email is not a direct messaging system, nor are you a lab rat waiting for a ding. There’s no reason to check it 17 times a day. If it’s that important, they will call.
— Avoid sugar before noon. Avoid it for as many days as possible.
— Drink water and coffee. Anything else shouldn’t be a habit.
— Spend zero time wondering what others think about you or something you said. It’s rarely that big of a deal or not something that won’t blow over. But it’s certainly not worth the energy spent.
— To become wiser, a better leader, and stronger, read books. To become reactionary, angry, or emotional, scroll your phone.
— If you decide to become a parent, accept that you aren’t entirely in charge anymore. It’s not releasing power. It’s accepting vulnerability.
— A filter I use for any habit I have: Would I want my child to do this? Am I setting a good example?
— Don’t finish bad books. Life is too short.
— Going to bed fixes stress, anger, and bad moods at a very high rate. Sleep is a powerful drug.
— Personal self-care is like a battery, and it takes effort to keep it charged. Sleep, exercise, diet, journaling, walks, and time thinking keeps it charged.
— Tell your spouse and children you love them more often than you have to. Nobody ever hears this too much.
— Time is more important than money, and it has a price attached to it. Money buys stuff. Time buys meaningful relationships. No child ever says after losing a parent; they wish mom/dad had made more money.
— If you aren’t hungry for breakfast, don’t eat.
— If you find a brand of clothes you like, buy them over and over at a sale price.
— Get the most critical, mentally demanding tasks done in the morning if you know your mind isn’t as sharp in the afternoon. Leave the shallow work for later (ex. emails, paperwork, admin, etc.)
— Don’t schedule out every minute of your day. That leads to a miserable life.
— Ask for Amazon gift cards for birthdays, then buy books. Books have the best ROI and will provide a life you can buy the things you want.
— A car should fit your needs. If you have million-dollar clients riding, make sure it’s luxury. If you need something to get from point A to point B, drive something reliable.
— Choose an exercise that you like. It’s hard enough to get into a routine.
— Know how much sleep you need to be productive and in a good mood. You and those around you will appreciate it.
— Smile, laugh and giggle with your kids — no matter how stressful your day was. It’s not their responsibility to deal with it.
— Eat what works for you. If you are sleepy or hungry two hours after you eat, you’re eating wrong.
— Days are simply a series of habits. Live your days practicing the patterns that represent who you want to be in the future.
CONTRIBUTED BY Chase Arbeiter