James Clear

James Clear quotes on gtd

Author of the #1 NYT bestseller Atomic Habits. I write about building better habits.

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Aim to be great in 10 years. Build health habits today that lead to a great body in 10 years. Build social habits today that lead to great relationships in 10 years. Build learning habits today that lead to great knowledge in 10 years. Long-term thinking is a secret weapon.


5 good minutes of: -pushups is a solid workout -sprints will leave you winded -writing can deliver 1 good page -reading can finish an insightful article -meditation can reset your mood You don’t need more time—just a little focused action.


Your 1st blog post will be bad, but your 1000th will be great. Your 1st workout will be weak, but your 1000th will be strong. Your 1st meditation will be scattered, but your 1000th will be focused. Put in your reps.


New goals don't deliver new results. New lifestyles do. And a lifestyle is a process, not an outcome. For this reason, all of your energy should go into building better habits, not chasing better results.


The person who learns the most in any classroom is the teacher. Lesson: If you really want to learn a topic, then “teach” it. Write a book. Teach a class. Build a product. Start a company. The act of making something will force you to learn more deeply than reading ever will.


A simple strategy that will save you so many headaches: don't care about winning trivial arguments. Someone says something you don't agree with? Smile, nod, and move on to more important things. Life is short. Not caring about having the last word will save you so much time.


When failure is expensive, plan carefully. When failure is cheap, act quickly.


Life is short. And if life is short, then moving quickly matters. Launch the product. Write the book. Ask the question. Take the chance. Be thoughtful, but get moving.


Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.


How to see opportunities others miss: 1) Study a totally different field, then return to the original problem. Apply insights from other domains. 2) Invert the problem. Try to achieve the opposite. 3) Find ways to engage with hyper-creative people. Their thinking will rub off.


Do not wait. If there is something you wish to do, go do it. Death comes for busy people too. It will not pause and return at a more convenient time.


The most effective networking strategy I’ve found has nothing to do with conferences, cocktail hours, cold emails, or any of the common ideas you hear. 1) Do interesting things. 2) Share them publicly. Like-minded people will come to you.


In many cases, the bottleneck to achieving results is simply making the time to do the work.


If you wish you would take something more seriously, do it publicly. Publishing an article pressures you to think clearly. Competing in a race pressures you to train consistently. Presenting on any topic pressures you to learn it. Social pressure forces you to up your game.


Start with who you wish to become. Shift to how that person would act. Shrink to what you can control.


Getting exceptional outcomes in life is often about knowing when to turn it on and when to turn it off. When to rest v. when to train hard. When to save v. when to invest. When to talk v. when to listen. When to act v. when to wait. It’s not the act, but the timing of the act.


Highly focused people do not leave their options open. They make choices. If you commit to nothing, you’ll be distracted by everything.


It’s remarkable what you can build if you just don’t stop. - It’s remarkable the business you can build if you don’t stop working. - It’s remarkable the body you can build if you don’t stop training. - It’s remarkable the knowledge you can build if you don’t stop learning.


We often describe mental toughness as something you use to get to the finish line: -finish what you start -just keep going -never give up But grit may be more powerful as something you use to get to the starting line: -never miss a workout -always show up -do it everyday


When failure is reversible, act quickly. When failure is irreversible, think carefully.


What are you passionate about? What is your purpose? What is your one true calling? Questions like these are popular, but can be hard to answer. Inversion provides clarity: You can discover what you want to do simply by eliminating everything you don't want to do.


Until you try your best, you’ll never know if it was actually genes/misfortune/bad luck holding you back.


A principle for writing, investing, and life in general: It is much easier to notice when something is working than to predict ahead of time if it will work. Take action, make many small bets, and run lots of quick (but thoughtful) experiments. Then, double-down on the winners.


Step 1: Life is a series of games. Carefully choose which games you want to play. Step 2: Each game has a set of rules. Develop a deep understanding of them. Step 3: Master a niche within the rules. Play to your strengths. Step 4: Step outside the rules. Create your own game.


There are not "7 things successful people do before breakfast." Here's the real morning routine of successful people: they get up and they show up. At some point, they do work that matters. The details are up to you.


From Chapter 1 of Atomic Habits: "It doesn’t matter how successful or unsuccessful you are right now. What matters is whether your habits are putting you on the path toward success. You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results."


Your habits are how you embody a particular identity. “We acquire virtues by first having put them into action... We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage.” —Aristotle Act to become.


Cooking one healthy meal isn’t enough to get fit. Writing one sentence isn’t enough to finish your novel. Reading one page isn’t enough to make you smart. Asking one person out might not be enough to find love. ... but it’s a good start.


Sometimes greatness is the result of a transcendent, peak performance. But often, greatness is simply the result of a good performance repeated and sustained much longer than usual.


Here's the only productivity tip you'll ever need: do the most important thing first each day. Sounds simple. No one does it.


Bad habits and toxic relationships can become a crutch. They hurt us, but we know *how* they’ll hurt us. Meanwhile, improving your life is possible, but trying new things also involves uncertainty. Many people would rather repeat a known pain than deal with an unknown risk.


Paradoxically, the people who have the results that so many desire don’t actually care much about it. The fittest people love the pursuit of fitness, not fitness itself. The smartest people love the pursuit of knowledge, not showing off.


Rome wasn't built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour. You don't have to build everything you want today, just lay a brick.


The result of creativity and innovation is new ideas, but the cause of creativity and innovation is more ideas. The person with a bigger intellectual toolbox has more entry points and additional lines of attack to solve problems. Read widely. Explore broadly. Then apply.


You can’t make a comeback if you don’t start.


Share your work. An idea that is never spoken or written down dies with the person who conceived it.


Start now. Optimize later. Imperfect starts can always be improved. Obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own.


High performance often hides behind boring solutions and underused insights. The fundamentals aren't sexy. They just work.


Whenever you’re having trouble sticking to a new habit, try a smaller version until it becomes automatic. Do less than you’re capable of, but do it more consistently than you have before.


Motivation can be minimal if actions are easy. Start small and become the kind of person who shows up every day. Build a new identity. Then increase the intensity.


To build better skills spend less time passively learning and more time actively practicing. Stop thinking and start doing.


In the beginning, you must begin. Most of us start in the same place: no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. Start anyway.


Our lives were meant to be spent making our contribution to the world, not merely consuming the world that others create.


If you have a goal, the most important thing is to start. Do not wait for motivation. If it’s not there, it will come after starting.


Use what you already know. Claiming you need to “learn more” or “get your ducks in a row” is just a crutch that prevents you from starting.


Learning is easy. Application is hard. Most of the time we know what to do, but never do it. Doing it is the difference.


Perceived value motivates you to act. Actual value motivates you to repeat.


The best advice in the world is useless without a willingness to self-experiment.


Just found a box filled with notes I wrote to myself years ago. I like this one: 1. Know what you want. 2. Go after it relentlessly.

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