In a recent blog post, I discussed the advantages of minimalism. But while a lot of people confuse minimalism with owning a handful of things, the truth is we all need certain objects in our lives. What the minimalist movement encourages you to do is to keep only those material things that bring value to your life and then get rid of everything else. So with that in mind, I decided to write an article with a series of cheap purchases that have improved my life significantly. Note that every item relates to a healthy habit I’ve been trying to pursue for the last couple of years.
Kindle to Read More
I’ve written about the Kindle on several occasions. I’ve written about how it changed my life, I’ve reviewed it, and more importantly, I’ve talked about how it enabled me to read more than ever. The Kindle Basic is an amazing device because it’s cheap and gives you a friction-free reading experience you can take anywhere. I’ve been using a Kindle every day for well over a year and this is an item I can’t recommend enough.
Alarm Clock to Wake Up in Time
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day is very important. Having a physical alarm clock is important as well, since using the app on your phone or tablet means having those devices by your side at all times which might lead to some mindless scrolling. A physical clock, on the other hand, does one thing and one thing exceptionally well: it gives you the time. I’ve been using an iHome for the past 10 years or so and while I considered replacing it more than once, I can’t complain. Any alarm clock will do and the simpler the better.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 to Exercise More
If you want to get a fitness tracker that’s accurate and doesn’t cost much, it doesn’t get better than the Mi Band 5. The Band has several fitness features and tracks most of them extremely well. On top of that, the display is vibrant and holds a charge for weeks. Although I enjoy running on a regular basis, the features I use the most are the most basic ones: the step tracker, alarms, and checking the time.
Books to Learn
I don’t buy as many physical books as I once did. But if there’s a cheap purchase that has the ability to change your life, books are at the top of the list. I’ve written several articles about books I’ve read and some of them have added incredible value to my life in the form of life lessons. Of course, different people are going to like different books, but if you like books about productivity, organization, or memoirs, you can go over some of my blog posts and check out the ones I mention.
Notebook to Remember Everything I Read
Along with my Kindle, I carry a notebook wherever I go. I summarize the main principles of books and write down ideas, quotes, or lists. This is a way to organize my life in a tactile and physical way. I then transcribe most of the notes to Notion so that I can have everything in the same place. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t really have a favorite notepad I swear by, so I use whatever I can get my hands on.
Daily Planner to Plan My Days
I have a terrible memory and I often forget things. A few years ago, I decided to start using a daily planner and this legitimately changed my life. I write down my daily highlights, goals for the day, things I don’t want to forget, and more. Also, whenever I’m doing something important and remember something I have to do afterward, I immediately write it down so that I don’t forget it, but also to not be worried while I work. Thanks to a daily planner, I am more focused, less distracted, I forget fewer things and I feel much more organized. Again, I don’t have a favorite daily planner and for the past few years, I’ve experimented with different designs and brands.
Water Bottle to Hydrate
Hydrating is one of those important things we tend to forget about, so I always carry a bottle of water with me wherever I go and I also keep one at the side of my bed. I don’t really have an expensive water bottle from a specific brand that I’d like to recommend, but I do encourage people to have one with them at all times. On those occasions when I do drink a lot of water, I notice a difference in my body, so that’s why I feel better when I carry a water bottle with me.
Running Shoes to Go on Runs
One of the healthiest habits I started was running. For the longest time, I used old shoes I should have thrown away for running and that was one of the worst decisions I could have made. It made running painful and I didn’t enjoy it as much. As soon as I got a nice pair of running shoes, my feet didn’t hurt at all and just the act of putting them on was nice.
Headphones to Eliminate Distractions
I used a pair of Apple earbuds for listening to podcasts for years. Eventually, I switched to the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core. Despite being part of the budget line, the headphones sound terrific for the price and they’re great for when I want to work and there are noisy distractions in my environment. Again, I don’t use them all the time, but when I do, they get the job done.