16 Best Life Habits to Learn While You Are Still in School
Learning great life habits now can save you from making many of your worst mistakes. While there’s some truth to the idea that you have to make mistakes to grow as a person, why walk into a potential catastrophe if there’s a better way around it — or through it — in the present?
In the following article, we’ll be discussing the most useful life habits that you should be working on now while you’re still in school. As you read through, think about ways you maybe already using these as well as the opportunities you have to do so. Let’s begin!
1. Make the Most of Your Mornings
It’s very tempting to roll over and go back to sleep for nine more minutes when your alarm clock starts to go off. After all, they get you up too early for school as it is. But if you start learning how to manage your sleep cycles to where you’re not always waking up in the middle of REM sleep, then it’s possible to get up early and feel well-rested.
Use a website like Sleep-Calculator.com to figure out the best times to go to bed or wake up. Be certain to add anywhere from 10-20 minutes to the time it tells you so you allow for the time it takes you to fall asleep.
2. The Pareto Principle
You’ll find it better defined elsewhere, but the gist of it is this. Eighty percent of the results that you get are from 20 percent of your effort. The other 80 percent of the effort accounts for the remaining 20 percent of your results.
(A pretty crappy return on investment.)
The goal is to have more of the former and less of the latter. Isolate the 20 percent of super-productive you and try to replicate that to get better and better results. That’s the Pareto Principle in a nutshell.
3. Develop a Love of Reading
The more you read, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the more successful you will be in life. Now, let’s be clear about what we mean by reading.
Reading doesn’t have to be the great classics. You don’t even need to pick up a work of fiction if that’s not your thing. You just need to apply your reading skills to as much of what fascinates you as possible.
- Business articles
- Non-fiction books
- Self-help guides
- Novels and short stories
You pick. And what you’ll find is that nurturing your love of reading will lead you to love reading more things.
4. Stop Multitasking, You’re Not Good at It Anyway
Don’t take that statement personally. None of us are. Studies have proven that. What we think is multitasking is actually switching quickly from one task to the next. That is, you never divide your focus on tasks effectively. Every time you try it, it leads to mistakes and mishaps.
A far better course of action is to focus on what you need to do in the moment and see it through until it’s complete. This ensures that particular thing gets done well, and it gives you tons of positive momentum for tackling the next challenge.
5. Practice Gratefulness
The simple act of being grateful for what you have will keep you from bowing to the temptation of negativity that often leads to failure. Each day, get up and think of three things you’re grateful of, no matter how large or small they may be.
Doing this colors the world in a better light and helps you approach challenges as doable rather than impossible. When you think you can, you can. When you believe the cards are stacked against you, it yields some pretty predictable results.
6. Practice Positivity
Learning to be grateful gives way to positivity. Being a positive person makes other people want to be around you. If more people want to be around you, then that will lead to fruitful relationships, both in personal and professional life.
So if you’re a selfish type of person and know it, it still behooves you to paint the world as a happy place … to send the message that all things can be accomplished provided everyone works towards the same goal.
Negative people throw the proverbial wet blanket over the entire classroom or office. They always look for excuses as to why something can’t be done. They’ll always make those excuses known rather than redirecting their negative energy to solutions.
7. Take Care of Your Body
Exercise is a regular habit that should stay with you through the entirety of your life. Not one week should go by without you exercising at least three times. This ensures your metabolism stays active, and it helps you burn off excess calories.
Keeping those calories at bay helps you to control your weight. When weight is under control, you avoid many of the major killers that claim lives each year — diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much to maintain a good exercise life. Simply run or walk briskly for 30 minutes to an hour per day, and you’ll pretty much have everything you need to get and stay healthy.
8. Listen More, Speak Less
You may have terrific insights. But you’ll make more people like you and get a lot more out of life if you’re not the first one out of the gate with an opinion. Use patience. Look at the lay of the land and see what the climate is like in the rooms in which you interact.
If you’re sparing with your opinions and only offer them when pressed, then it’s possible to be well-liked and respected even if you have a contrary view from the majority. They’ll respect that you still congregate with them and that you don’t “push views down” their throats.
It can be difficult to control our enthusiastic selves. But if you stay focused on your breathing and keep this mantra at the front of your brain, you’ll be able to fight against those temptations to talk over people.
9. Limit Social Media
At present, there are about nine social networks to choose from. (Emphasis on “to choose from.”) They are:
Forgive us if a few more pop up while we’re writing this. The point: you need to decide on one or two that are deserving of your time and attention and stick with those. If something else comes along to catch your eye, make yourself give up one of your other networks.
This is important. Your social networking activity reveals more about your life than you should allow others (namely the companies themselves) to have. It also eats into your productivity time and keeps you from enjoying the flow of life itself.
Trust us. You’ll be a lot happier by learning to master social media instead of allowing it to master you. Limit the amount of minutes you spend on it each day, and make sure those apps stay off your phone. They make it too easy to use!
10. Invest in Yourself
Some may want you to feel guilty for spending money on yourself. And sometimes, maybe you should feel guilty. But that’s never the case when the money you spend is on a skill or hobby that can prove useful in life.
Now, it’s up to you to responsibly assess what that skill or hobby is and find where it fits in your life. (Or where it could fit into your life.) But there’s never harm in bettering yourself, even if it takes the expenditure of money — or the borrowing of money — to do it.
Don’t beat yourself up over that stuff as long as you’re approaching it in good faith. It’s leading you closer to your true passions and talents.
11. Keep Track of What You Are Spending
Learn to keep an expense journal. If you do splurge on something, make it up someplace else. Know exactly the amount of money you have coming in. Make sure that number’s always higher than the amount you have coming out.
Don’t overlook expenses like eating out and subscription services you may be paying for. Look under every “couch cushion” to ensure you’re catching everything. And if you are exceeding your take-home pay, make some cuts starting with the things that aren’t really necessities.
12. Learn to Manage Your Time Effectively
This starts with knowing what your obligations are and building your day around them. You may feel like you have a lot to do. And you probably do. But don’t allow that to lead you into over-planning. (More on that later.)
13. Be Mindful of How Others See You and the World
This isn’t about trying to conform yourself to meet someone else’s expectations. It’s about stepping out of yourself and realizing the world is bigger than you.
Doing so gives you the opportunity to see and feel from another perspective. It makes you a more productive citizen and a kinder person to everyone you encounter. It also helps you more successfully deal with stress.
14. Limit Your Daily Priorities
The more you plan in a day, the less of it you’re likely to get done.
A better course of action when it comes to time management? Divide your to-do list into major obligations and minor ones.
Make sure you address only one of the majors each day. Then focus on the minor ones. Rinse and repeat with each new day. You’ll find the more of the big items you can get checked off the list, the shorter your entire list will get (and in a shorter amount of time).
15. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is when your body and mind heals. It allows you to let go of the stresses of the day and to recharge for what comes tomorrow.
Not getting enough sleep leads to greater amounts of stress and physical health issues. Some of those issues can be life-threatening. Poor sleep patterns have been linked to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. So slow down, and treat your body right.
16. Write, Even If You Are the Only One Who Reads It
Writing allows you to process the stress and anxiety of your day. It also helps you find creative solutions to challenging problems. Last but not least, it’s a good stress reliever. It gives you the freedom to be as expressive, angry, or vulnerable as you want to be.
And if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, take solace in the fact that no one ever has to read it. Get your thoughts out and port them over to the nearest paper shredder. Just don’t be afraid to use writing as a way to deal.
These Life Habits Will Put You on the Right Path
Learning these 16 life habits now can help you stay ahead of the challenges life throws your way. They’ll also help you help others who are struggling. Now, what are some of the habits that you find to be the most valuable? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Baylor University College of Medicine]