Rules and highlights

It has been a rather unfulfilling 2 weeks. Each day feels the same. I wake up, go through my morning routine, start work and laze about after work. When I’m not working, I’m either re-watching my favourite show, Community, watching YouTube videos or playing games. Yes it does sound rather nice, but I can’t deny this sense of boredom and unfulfillment that has been bugging me for awhile.

In my hours spent on YouTube, I chanced upon Ali Abdaal’s book review of Make Time. In the video he mentioned the 4-step framework in which the book introduces, and the first step really caught my attention — setting a daily highlight. Here is a quote from Ali’s notes, which may or may not have been an actual quote in the book.

If you set a single intention at the start of each day, we predict you’ll be more satisfied, joyful and effective.

Make Time, Jake Knapp & John Zeratsky (Probably)

It sounds simple enough — pick an activity or task that you would like to get done today and write it down. And do it of course. It’s not difficult, and it provides a slightly more intentional way of spending our time each day. I like it, and I’ll experiment for a month or so and see if it makes a difference.

On top of setting a daily highlight, I came up with another simple rule for myself — do nothing else while eating dinner. I’m usually on my phone during dinner, watching Netflix or YouTube. So for a change, I decided that it would be good to rest my eyes a little, especially since I spend most of my day staring at a screen. And perhaps being off my phone as I dine in the living room would encourage more organic conversations with my family.

So, these are the two simple habit/rules that I will be trying out for awhile. As James Clear very strongly advocates for in Atomic Habits, I too believe that these tiny 1% improvements that we make to our lives can have a huge impact when compounded over time.