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The 2-Minute Rule to Stop Procrastinating and How Journaling Helps You Calm Down and Focus

Shu Omi
Shu Omi
Hey friends! How are you doing today? Welcome to Issue 35!
I’ve finally had my second Covid vaccine last week and felt so sick the next day I had to take a day off. Now I’m recovered, I’m excited to hang out with my friends and family again.
Anyway, hope you’re doing well and healthy. Here’s the list of best articles, apps, tweets, videos and books I discovered last week.
As always, save -> read -> make notes :)

My Favourites of the Week
article on journaling
If I were to pick one habit that’s absolutely essential for me, I’d pick journaling. I think it’s hugely underrated how much it can calm your mind and help you focus. In this article, Ryan Holiday talks about why journaling is so beneficial and how he does it. Some useful journaling prompts:
Where am I standing in my own way? What’s the smallest step I can take toward a big thing today? What blessings can I count right now? Why do I care so much about impressing people? What is the harder choice I’m avoiding? Do I rule my fears, or do they rule me? How will today’s difficulties show my character?
Starting Principles by Julian Shapiro
article on life principles and advice
Having core values or life principles is useful to navigate your life; it helps you become the person you want to be and make important decisions. Julian calls his Starting Principles.
They’re first principles for my mind—shortcodes for forcing myself to act thoughtfully in everyday situations….Without good Starting Principles, you don’t have an internal compass to show you which direction to head in. When you add a new Starting Principle, you refine your identity. These principles become your intuitions for what the right thing to do is. They influence how you treat others. What you work on. What you value. And, therefore, they determine who you become.
In this article, he explains how he approaches collecting his Starting Principles, and I thought it was very helpful.
article on breathing and how it affects our stress level, health and concentration
Breathing is just what we do unconsciously, but James Nestor argues it is a technology we can use to change how we feel.
Just as our inhale amps us up, our exhale calms us back down. We can use this simple fact to great effect. When your inhale is longer than your exhale, your heart speeds up; when your exhale is longer, it slows down. “If you’re stressed out at work,” Nestor explains, “the easiest thing you can do with breathing is to exhale more than you’re inhaling.”… “The perfect breath is this: Breathe in for about 5.5 seconds, then exhale for 5.5 seconds. That’s 5.5 breaths a minute for a total of about 5.5 liters of air.
Speaking of James Nestor, his book was one of the most eye-opening books I read last year. If you’re interested in how we breathe affects our body and mind, this is a must read!
article on the methods and tools James Clear uses for writing
This article got me excited because 1) I cannot wait to read James Clear’s next book and 2) he talks about tools and apps he uses for writing. He uses Evernote for saving articles for reference. Lots of people ditching Evernote, but I still think it’s one of the best tools as digital filing cabinet. I’ll probably make a video about this with a comparison with Raindrop!
My main Notebook in Evernote is called ‘Articles’, and it currently has 991 notes in it. Almost all of them are article ideas, which makes a big backlog of stuff I can refer to whenever I want to work on something.
article on a simple rule to stop procrastination
Since we’re talking about James Clear, the 2-Minutes Rule is one of my favourites from Atomic Habits! You probably know it if you’ve read the book, but essentially means:
The Two-Minute Rule states “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” You’ll find that nearly any habit can be scaled down into a two-minute version:
“Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.”
“Do thirty minutes of yoga” becomes “Take out my yoga mat.”
“Study for class” becomes “Open my notes.”
“Fold the laundry” becomes “Fold one pair of socks.”
“Run three miles” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”
Breaking things down into small pieces is one of the most useful things you can do when facing a difficult problem. I love this tweet from last year:
James Clear
Go smaller.

Can't learn an exercise? Reduce the range of motion.

Struggling to grasp a new concept? Break it down.

Failing to stick with a habit? Make it easy.

Master stage one, then advance.
article on how to make it easier to get started
A simple title, but I learned a lot from this article. Like emotions, motivation is fleeting; it comes and goes. So, the best way to get started on something isn’t wait for motivation to come, but just do something small.
 if you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, then do something, anything really, and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself. I call this The “Do Something” Principle.
I quickly learned that forcing myself to do something, even the most menial of tasks, quickly made the larger tasks seem much easier. If I had to redesign an entire website, then I’d force myself to sit down and would say, “OK, I’ll just design the header right now.” But after the header was done, I’d find myself moving on to other parts of it. And before I knew it, I’d be energized and engaged in the project.
There is something similar with what James Clear said about going smaller. It’s always useful to ask yourself ‘how can I break this down into smaller steps?’ and just start working on the first baby step, which strangely gives you motivation to keep working on it.
Most Advice Sucks by Chris Hladczuk
I really enjoyed this Twitter thread last week. Instead of listing a bunch of typical advice, he offers ones you probably never heard of like this one:
Airplane Mode Hack “If you’re stuck on an annoying call, put your phone on airplane mode instead of hanging up. The other person sees “call failed” instead of “call ended”
I liked this one too:
If someone insults you during a meeting, pretend like you didn’t hear them the first time. Politely ask them to repeat themselves. They’ll either repeat the insult and look rude or realize their mistake and apologize.“
More in here:
Chris Hladczuk
Most advice sucks.

So I crowdsourced the best from 20 million people on Reddit.

Here are 10 life tips you wish you knew yesterday👇
New Video: Read, Annotate and Sign: the Best PDF Editor in 2021
Read, Annotate and Sign // PDFelement: Best PDF Editor in 2021
Read, Annotate and Sign // PDFelement: Best PDF Editor in 2021
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Thanks! Have a great week.
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Shu Omi
Shu Omi @ShuOmi3

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