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eating the frog

These five-minute daily habits will seriously improve your life

From clearing up clutter to clearing your mind.

Want to pick up some good habits? The best approach is to start small.

In the Quora thread What are some good ‘mini habits’ to practice each day? readers shared the simple habits you should follow every day to become a happier, healthier or more productive person. The best part is, each one only takes about five minutes to complete.

Here are some of our favorites:

1. Brush your teeth and floss

Brushing and flossing your teeth not only prevents gingivitis and tooth decay, but it can also save your life.

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Dental associations recommend you brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day. If you don’t, you could be putting yourself at greater risk for developing dementia, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer, among other things. —Pinkish Bamotra

2. Smile at yourself in the mirror

Just after you brush your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror and smile, holding the smile for 10 seconds. Dr. Robert Zajonc, a famous psychologist, believed facial action leads to changes in mood, and in a 1989 study he found that participants who watched themselves smile in a mirror experienced a greater boost in mood than those who simply smiled. —Nistha Tripathi

3. Make your bed

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Starting your day by finishing something and doing it well provides a small self-esteem boost early on. And when you come home tired from a long day at work, there will be nothing between you and a good night’s sleep. —Rizwan Aseem

4. Write down the day’s most important task

Also known as ‘eating the frog’, decide on the one task you must perform that day to be successful and do it first thing when you get to work. —Patrick Mathieson

5. Meditate

Meditation only takes a few minutes every day, but it can bring many benefits like a decreased risk of mental illness and brain degeneration, increased serotonin production, lower blood pressure, decreased anxiety and much more. —Joshua Raichur

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If you have no clue how to meditate, try simply sitting in a quiet place and counting your breaths. Your focus should be on your breath and not your thoughts. Restart counting as soon as your mind distracts you and you find yourself thinking of something else. —Nistha Tripathi

6. Express gratitude

“My days go so much smoother when I remind myself: ‘dude, you could just as easily have been born in a Sudanese refugee camp. You’re one lucky mo-fo’.” —Patrick Mathieson

7. Listen to a podcast

There are plenty of five-minute podcasts out there, and if you can’t sit and read a book, they can be a great way to learn while doing brainless work. —Saranya Krishnamurthy

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8. Dress slightly better than the occasion calls for

If everyone at work wears casual clothes, wear casual clothes with a nice jacket — it’s easy to do, you’ll stand out from the herd in a positive way, and important people will take notice. —Rizwan Aseem

9. Become uncomfortable at least once a day

Summon the courage to do something that makes you anxious, like speaking up during a work conference call or saying ‘hi’ to someone new. As self-improvement coach George Addair once said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” —Patrick Mathieson

10. Try something new

Be it taking a different route to work, talking to a new person or experimenting with something you haven’t before, don’t let your curiosity and awe die in the daily grind. —Nistha Tripathi

11. Deal with clutter

As soon as you’re done using something, put it back where it belongs. This will help you drastically cut back on the clutter in your life and save you the time you would otherwise waste looking for something.

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Before you go to bed, pick up the clutter left around one space at a time. This could help you have a cleaner mind, have clearer thinking and focus on things that you really want to achieve. —Rizwan Aseem

12. Write

Writing every day can help you keep track of your progress, feel good and stay motivated to make even more progress. —Saranya Krishnamurthy

13. Walk more

Walk to work if you can, take the stairs, walk around the office when you’re stuck on a problem, get outside and walk during lunch and walk home again. The exercise isn’t just good for your body, it can also boost your energy levels, creativity and mood. —Aggregated from multiple Quora users

- Rachel Gillett

Read: Here are 25 things that science says can make you happier

Read: Yoga, puppy rooms and homeopathy used to de-stress students before exams

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