On Quora, the social question-and-answer site, a user asked: "What are some good 'mini-habits' to practice doing each day?" People posted dozens of answers and this one by Quora contributor Rizwan Aseem was far-and-away the most popular. You can contribute your own answers to this and other questions; we'll feature the best responses on HuffPost.
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By Rizwan Aseem
Here are 7 mini-habits that take literally 5 mins or less to do, but will change your life immediately.
You don't have to spend years of your life developing these habits, and none requires you to sweat out. But just these simple habits can change the direction of your life and point you squarely towards getting the success you want in life.
1. Make your bed the minute you wake up in the morning
And do a damn-good job of making it. Stretch out the sheets, clean out the wrinkles and fold out the blankets perfectly.
There are two very tangible benefits from making the bed perfectly in the morning.
First, you've finished a task immediately when you wake up, so you're starting your day with a small self-esteem boost from finishing something and doing it well.
Second, when you come home from a tired day, when you've lost in other areas of the day, when things haven't gone your way... you will come home to a perfectly made bed. There will be nothing between you and a good night's sleep. The bed will remind you of the success you had in the morning and make you go to sleep looking forward to another day.
'First thing in the morning' is more of a metaphor; just get the bed done before you get lost in the day.
2. Put things back to where you found them
No matter what you use in your day, as soon as you're done using it, put it back.
Done polishing your shoes? Put back the shoe polish and the brushes to where they belong. Been cooking some food? Put back all the utensils where they belong. Done watching a DVD? Put it back in the box and in the shelf where it belongs.
Every time you put stuff back where it belongs, you're immediately taking care of a few functions in your life.
First, you're clearing out the clutter instantly. Clearing clutter helps you think better and have a better organized life.
Second, when you need something the next time, you won't have to look for it. You'll know where you put it back. If you put your car keys back to where they belong every day, you won't have to find them. You'll always know where they belong. This saves a lot of time.
3. Pick up clutter before you go to sleep at night
This might sound like more than a 5-minute habit, but it's not when practiced consistently.
Often we end up tired at night and have dishes in the sink, clothes lying around in the bedroom, magazines strewn across the coffee table... these are all messes in our lives.
When we wake up in the morning, instead of our mind focusing on the things that we have to do, it focuses on these messes and our brain runs awry. You're not focusing on the things that you have to do, nor the things that would bring you the best return on time invested.
So develop the habit of picking up any clutter you have lying around the house. This will help you have a cleaner mind, clearer thinking and focus on things that you really want to achieve.
4. Plan your day on a post it note
I used to have extensive to-do list, with different contexts and things I had to do in different areas of my life. It never worked. I would fail and felt miserable at the end of the day.
Then I started using the post-it note technique.
Whatever you have to do tomorrow, write it down, then take the biggest, baddest projects from that list and put them on a post-it note. These projects are the ones that will make the most impact in your life. Write only these on a post-it note and forget everything else.
From a work perspective, you write the 3 things that you can do that will make the most impact on your job, and for your employer.
You might have to ask your employer... "What's the biggest result, most important thing, that will have the most impact on the company?" or "What results do I need to deliver?" This will help you clarify instantly what your employer values the most and will get you to do more of those activities.
But only write down 3 things on the post it.
I've noticed that doing 3 things everyday will have more impact on your life than writing doing 10 things and doing 7. Your mind will keep focusing on the ones you didn't do and then you lose productivity and sleep the next day.
So write down only 3 things on a post-it note and finish those 3 things everyday.
5. Become enthusiastic
Many people drift though life with their shoulders hunched, a frown on their faces and wrinkles on their forehead. They are skeptical about everything, about a new job, about a new responsibility, about something new that their spouse tells them.
I used to be like that, and all it gave me was a bald head. Years later, I changed my outlook on life and started being enthusiastic. Not just enthusiastic about going on vacation, or taking some time off from work... but about everything in life.
If someone shares an idea with me, I'm enthusiastic about it, I jump on-board and help them take it to the 'execution stage'. It may not work out, but never for a lack of enthusiasm. This has helped me make more friends, become relaxed in my daily dealings with others, and has doors opened for me that would never have been opened for me otherwise.
6. Treat every stranger like a friend
Instead of looking at strangers with a bit of caution, you treat them with open arms. You welcome them in your private space.
Approach them with a skip in your step, open arms, wide smile... they will naturally become attracted to you and want to help you out.
You're not doing this to get something out of them. Both you and the stranger are going through a tough journey called life... it becomes so much easier when you have a friend.
Be that friend for that person, and treat every encounter as if you're meeting your friend. Chances are that both of you watch the same TV shows, read the same books, and have a few other things in common; if you just got to talking, you would have a great time.
7. Dress slightly better than the occasion calls for
When you're going out with your friends to watch a game, don't just wear slacks and a t-shirt. Put on jeans and a shirt. When you're visiting friends, don't just wear jeans and a shirt; put on a jacket also.
You're dressing slightly better than the occasion calls for. Yes, you will stand out... but you will stand out in a positive way compared to everyone else.
These are the 7 mini-habits that you can implement in your life and drastically change your life. They don't take a lot of time to implement. They don't require a lot of money, or effort. But they do require your commitment.
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