“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.” – William H. McRaven

This week I am going to break with tradition and paste from Paul Long of Boomer Insights’ newsletter.  When I read through his list of “little things” we can do, I realised that I had instituted a few of them in my own life in order to survive the Lockdowns last year.  I would love to hear if you have tried any of them and what effect, if any, they had on your life!  The first is a tough one for me!

1. Go on a News and Social Media Diet

Challenge yourself: How much do I really need to know about in the news or what other people are doing and thinking? Some engagement is fine but how much is sucking up my time or leaving me worried (unnecessarily), mad or upset? Take back control of your attention and agenda!

2. Get in an airplane (mode)

Somehow the sun will still rise in the east if you don’t instantly respond to the sound effects on your phone. Find the times and opportunities to put your smartphone in airplane mode. This will allow you to concentrate and be fully engaged in whatever you’re doing. Work and play. Whew! This is amazingly freeing.

3. Take a true lunch break (in two parts)

Drop the work and take a mental and emotional break. Your lunch hour is the time to refresh and reboot. Healthy and light eating is ideal. If you’re working from home, take less than 30 minutes for a power nap. Set a phone alarm if need be (gentle alarm sound), for 20 minutes. You will only go into a light sleep and wake up refreshed and energized. Science proves this is incredibly healthy short and long-term.

4. Take a moment and be grateful

You cannot be unhappy if you’re being grateful. Even taking one minute to be grateful for even the smallest thing gives you that moment of happiness and doing it regularly improves your health, outlook and realizations of what’s really important and what’s B.S.

5. Hydrate – especially in the morning

We lose over 12 ounces of water in our sleep. Replenish that first thing in the morning. I notice a major cognitive improvement when I do it. Keep it up through the day. Men need 15+ cups of water a day, women 11+. Make some of your coffee breaks water breaks.

6. Learn to breathe

More and more science is showing that proper breathing is one of the most important yet underrealized healthy habits you can have. If several times a day taking just a couple of minutes to breathe deeply can make a tremendous difference in your health, cognitive, emotional and physical performance.

·         Simple method: Box breathing.
·         Through your nose slowly breathe in for 5-8 seconds
·         Hold it for 2-5 seconds
·         Breathe out through your mouth for a 5-8 second count

7. Take a walk

Even a five-minute walk can have huge benefits. It’s a chance to clear your mind or practice gratitude. When I’ve been stuck on something I’m working on, I often get a breakthrough on a short walk. Walking in nature every day has proven long-term benefits.

8. Take a 5-minute break every hour of work

This will reduce stress and fatigue. It can also give you the pause you need to gain clarity on what you’re working on. Many of the little things listed above can be done during your break. Some other ideas:

  • Stretch or loosen up
  • Practice something fun such as learning how to juggle, working on your putting stroke, or other activity you never have time for but can pick away at.
  • Daydream an intention. What you are wanting and how it will feel.

9. Ask Why?

When I am dreading some task, if I pause for just a moment and ask, “Why am I doing this?” the answer makes the task so much easier. Even if the answer is simply, “I’ll be done with it!” It’s about realizing the purpose, not just the doing.

BONUS: Get up earlier regularly

Granted, this isn’t a little thing. But a solid morning routine with many of the little things listed above plus some stretching/yoga, meditation, journaling and exercise will be a mega success habit for you. One of the biggest similarities highly successful people share is the habit of a morning routine (including many habits listed here).


Good luck with instituting them,