In Praise Of Zen Habits: Creating A Schedule That Keeps You Calm

Habit has been called the invisible architecture of our lives. Often, though, the design’s more busy than minimalist.

It’s against (and possibly with) this chaos that Leo Babauta founded Zen Habits, his full-time blog “about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives.”

Here are two tips on how to fight stress today:

Bring your morning into focus

The beginning of the day is ripe for action. What the most successful people do before breakfast is a topic of great discussion—and some productivity experts argue that you need to get through your routine as fast as possible. Babuata goes in the other direction: Instead of the stressful rush, he opts for calm ritual.

Watch your responses

What does stress make you do? Babauta notes a familiar range of reactions, from getting angry, feeling overwhelmed, jumping into action, or wishing things were different. Rather than trying to attack that response, Babauta says that we should watch it, one of the cornerstones of mindfulness. If we learn to watch the responses we can then, slowly, learn how to organically change them (and become more effective leaders).

Do one thing at a time

“Just wash your bowl. Just walk. Just talk to someone. Just read one article or book, without switching. Just write. Just do your email, one at a time, until your inbox is empty. You’ll learn that there is peace in just doing one thing, and letting go of everything else.”

Here are more tips in the post The 7 Habits of Calmness

(Thanks for this. Simple and short enough to make an impact in how I think about my days.)