10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Today

Changing or improving your life doesn’t have to be a long, frustrating, drawn-out process. I’m always in search of the smallest changes that yield the biggest returns, and below is my collection of quick tips that can make your life easier, more fulfilling, or just less of a pain in the ass.

Try one or two of these and tell me how great they worked.

Sleeping at the desk

Zack’s Not-So-Secret List of Simple Ways to Increase Happiness, Productivity, or General Awesomeness

1. Get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the past 2 months.

We both know that you should really donate everything you haven’t worn in the past two weeks, but I’ll cut you some slack. This isn’t about throwing away clothes you hate – it’s about getting rid of things that you don’t love. Having excess clothes that you’re never going to wear clogs up your closet, makes decision making more difficult, and serves as a constant reminder of unfinished business. Take two hours out of your weekend, tear everything out of your closet, put it in a big pile and start sorting. I’ll give you an allowance for three nostalgic t-shirts that you’ll never wear again (fraternity Beer Pong Championship shirt, etc).

When you’re done with that, think about the deep metaphor that you’ve just learned and apply it to other parts of your life. Shed yourself of activities, TV shows, people, work, and other obligations that you don’t love. You’ll feel lighter without a life that’s cluttered with fluff, and you’ll quickly fill those voids with meaningful things (you can think of me as a modern-day Mr. Miyagi, Daniel-san).

2. If something takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it immediately.

This is my favorite way to improve personal productivity. Whenever you encounter a task/obligation that requires less than 2 minutes of your time, like sharing this post on Facebook (hint, hint), just do it now. You’ll be amazed as how much this will reduce stress – both because you have less to remember and because you have a higher personal output.

3. Schedule a dinner with a group of 5 or more friends.

It’s actually scientifically proven that people who have dinner in groups of 5 or more at least once per week are happier than people who don’t. Planning an event yields more return than just the event itself – the anticipation of the event gives you something to look forward to. It takes less than 2 minutes to send an email, so you have to do this one right away.

4. Make a donation.

$5, $10, $50, $100. Whatever you can afford. If you don’t do this often, you’ll be surprised at how great it feels. I recommend checking out the charity first to see what percentage of your donation actually makes it to the end of the line – vs. being eaten up by big salaries, expensive fundraisers, and general wastefulness.

If you want some instant impact, give $20 to the next homeless person you see.

5. Practice saying “no.”

I had a friend in high school, Taylor, who had perfected the art of the “no.” When he didn’t want to do something, he’d look you in the face and respond, “I’d ’bout rather shoot myself in the face than do that.” I don’t recommend trying approach without a thick Southern accent, which has the magical power of making rude comments sound hilarious and acceptable.

Most people I know – myself included – get roped into doing things that they really don’t want to do. Saying “no” is liberating – stop giving automatic “yes” responses or, even worse, delaying the inevitable “no” by telling someone you’ll get back to them. If you aren’t instantly drawn to something, try a response like this: “I have plans that day, so I won’t be able to make it. If something changes, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

6. Stop sending open ended emails.

I used to send emails that said things like “is that shirt available in black, red, or blue?” The other person responds with the answer and thus starts the email chain. Eliminate all this superfluous nonsense with a more comprehensive email that gives instructions for the reasonable contingencies: “I’m looking for a shirt in size medium. My favorite colors are black, red, and blue – in that order. If one of those is in-stock, please create an order, respond with the order number and your phone extension, and I will call you this evening with my credit card number and shipping information. If none are available, please let me know the estimated lead time and email me when it becomes available.” BAM. One and done.

Methods like this allow me to run two automated companies and only work a few hours per week.

7. Use self-scheduling software.

Most people waste an inordinate amount of time scheduling meetings, dinners, family get-togethers, dates, conference calls, and other events. Self-scheduling software, like TimeTrade, is all web-based and most offer free 30-day trials – they allow you to block off parts of your schedule for personal time, work, etc, and your friends/family/blind dates can choose available time slots. This eliminates all the back-and-forth of trying to find a time that works for both of you, and has the added bonus of making you look really important (you may want to consider exaggerating other exciting aspects of your life if a self-scheduling calendar is completely incongruent with your general image). In case you lead an underwhelming social life, be sure to block off a bunch of nights before sending a completely empty calendar to a potential date.

When you’re trying to get a group together, like for Tip #3, try a poll-based scheduling software like Doodle. This allows you to pick a few dates and ask a group of people which date works best.

8. Start one day per week off right.

Remember how much energy you had in high school? Yeah, well that’s because your parents cooked you decent food, you slept normal hours, and you didn’t drink your face off during the week (well, not as often as you do now, at least). Food and sleep are fuel for your body – put crude oil in your car and see how it runs.

Try doing this one day per week and you’ll be blown away at how great you feel – you’ll get more done on that day than the other days combined:

Get in bed at 9:30 and set your alarm for 6:30 – then leave your alarm clock or phone across the room so you actually wake up. In the morning, throw on some sweats and take a brisk 15 minute walk (if it’s cold out, watch Rocky IV the night before to prevent whining). Eat three eggs and have coffee or tea as normal – but leave out the toast, cereal, sugar, juice, and other garbage you usually consume in the morning. Have trouble sleeping? Try 3mg of melatonin an hour before bed. If you drink coffee out of a fire hose like I do, PharmaGABA can help you from grinding your teeth out of your skull.

For extra credit, add some sort of weightlifting routine – I’m partial to kettlebells, but then again, I own a kettlebell company.

9. Know your instrument.

A mentor said this to me and it stuck. The most incredible tool you’ll ever own is your body and, if you want to maximize your effectiveness, you should get to know it well. Most people have a “productivity zone” – a period of a few hours each day when your energy level is at its peak (mine is from 8:30-noon, give or take). I forget the exact statistics, so I’ll make something up: 9 of out 10 people in a Danish study showed a 200% increase in productivity when they worked on their most difficult tasks during their peak-energy hours.

But seriously, give it a try. It works. Spend your low-energy zones doing things you enjoy doing, like watching cat videos on YouTube or thinking about ways to kill your boss.

10. Do your work in order of descending difficulty.

If you start your day off with harvesting FarmVille crops or cruising Facebook to compare your social life to people you barely know, this one goes out to you. Start off with the most difficult task first. Most people start off by opening their email and responding to new messages. Responding to emails is easy, and it’s something that you have to do, so it should be left for low/no-energy periods. Tackle your most difficult item first and you’ll always be rewarded with an easier task to do next.

There’s an added bonus – if you only get one thing done per day, like I usually do, you actually have something to show for it.

If these quick tips helped you, let’s dig deeper with The Most Important Thing You’ll Ever Learn.

I wish I could remember where I picked up each of these tips – I’d say most were somehow born from reading one of my favorite books, which I highly recommend checking out (disclosure: affiliate links):

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

Personal Development for Smart People

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

Like this post? Check out the first installment of my ongoing blog series: How I Make Money, Part I: Top 3 Myths That Stop Would-Be Entrepreneurs.

Did I miss something? Think I’m an idiot? Be sure to let me know in the comments section below.

405 thoughts on “10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Today

  1. Pingback: How To Survive A Break Up Reconnect With Yourself | Brandy & The Gang

  2. Pingback: Alles Gute zum First Day of Spring « living the american dream in europe

  3. Reblogged this on Fairy Godsister's Blog and commented:
    I read this post first the day after Valentine’s Day, when I was bored to death and in need of something that wouldn’t remind me of my single status. Addict that I am, I went on WordPress and looked under the recommended tab. I wasn’t big on reading an expatriate’s diary at first I must confess but his titles had a way of beckoning I couldn’t turn down. I was happy I came on to the site when I read ’10 easy ways to improve your life today’.

    Which of his tips spoke directly to me? I’ll tell you, but only after you’ve shared yours! Enjoy!

  4. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Today | BA Expat .

  5. Thank you for reminding me how to keep up my energy in my thirties as I missed out in remembering how to do this in my twenties. A most delightful post that has been shared in hopes that others will be just as inspired. 😀 Thank you. 😀

  6. Pingback: Improving your life today (that sure sounds nice, doesn’t it?) « peaceloveandnamastranges

  7. May I also add…
    Just be content with your life and be happy for the things you possess. Life is too short to chase after temparary materials, just be happy about yourself and live each day as if it was your last. 🙂
    Thanks for the tips.

  8. Damn you are funny!!! Thanks for starting my day off with solid advice and a few belly laughs. I reblogged this post to my blog contentconservative. I’m new to the blogging world so I don’t know how to highlight the link to my blog and all of that crap. In fact, I still type with 2 fingers.

  9. This is a great post! I have always struggled maintaining a healthy life style and most of that comes from not exactly doing what I need to be doing in my life. This is great advice about how to take it one step at a time. Check out my blog if you are interested: BlogScrum

  10. Pingback: 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Today « MyDestiny2011

  11. Reblogged this on Familosity and commented:
    Found this great article about 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life by BAX.

    Girls will find the time frame in # 1 crazy man talk but the concept itself is solid.

    Especially love # 2, and well, all the remaining points.


  12. I love number five, I put it in practice [ sometimes ] but if you do be prepared to get mean looks and attitudes. But you should include a probable very well known but rarely used one: be content. I have family members who can work on a project [ lets say a home project ] for months. Then they see something a friend or some else does and they are no longer happy with their work. Sort of a “keeping up with the Jones ” kind of thing. Never truely happy becuase thier never content.

  13. Wonderful. We should only surround ourselves with things that we honestly like, love and that inspire us. Better to have less, then to give and waste energy in things that frustrate us.

    Dinner party is a great idea … A challenge to many … there are many of us introverts. lol

  14. Brilliant Thankyou – i read this yesterday and tried tip number 10 today, it worked i got majority of my work done first thing, now on a friday afternoon, i just have the easier stuff.
    so BIG thank you 🙂

  15. Great advice! It made me think about how I could use your points to change my own habits. Good luck in BA! I am an expat in Madrid and I know that it is a very different experience!

  16. Pingback: Sleeps-too-much in Sweden? « Something Swedish

  17. Reblogged this on The Inner Dialogue and commented:
    I… Love this!!! These are the simple and manageable tips in life we all slack off on doing because they ARE simple and applicable to anyone. I also say up the getting up early and exercising to 3 days per week. It’s amazing the mental and physical change you see and feel; trimming down, more energy, positive attitude. As well, log your eating habits. When you write down everything you eat, it helps you establish better eating habits, as well as remembering something you’d like to try making a different way (or at home if you ate out).

    I’ve tried everything to gain healthier eating habits, but I was never better than when my diet was inclusive of protein and lots of fresh veggies and as much water as you can tolerate drinking. I’m not a big water drinker, so my co-worker and I compete with drinking water. We know we need to drink 4 of our water cups at work each day just to get the appropriate amount you need. So, we dig at one another when we finish a cup and it motivates us to continue. If anyone else is like me on the water situation, it’s good to pair up with a co-worker (or friend) who will help you kick up the “competition” to drink more water.

    Any thoughts on brown rice?

    PS – Thank you for this list. It’s the “just right” inspiration I was looking for. I’m going to email it to several people I know (probably all!). And congrats of being freshly pressed.

    • Thanks for all of the comments!

      As an easier/more powerful alternative to writing down everything you eat, try taking a camera phone photo of each meal you eat. Upload it to Facebook or send it to a friend to add some social pressure.

      Brown rice is better than pasta, but quinoa is a better alternative. In my opinion, beans are one of the best sources of carbohydrates.

  18. Loved these! I want to try that two minute rule.

    And FTR, I know my instrument. My instrument is faulty! My best working hours are 10pm-1am which isn’t fun when I have to wake up at 6:30 every morning! lol

    • Those are my best hours as well – but I found that I just didn’t feel good the rest of the day when I stayed up so late. I force myself to bed earlier and found that I have a morning productivity zone as well.

      A good rule of thumb is to try to go to sleep as close to the sunset and wake as close to sunrise as possible, while aiming for 8-9 hours of sleep.

  19. OK..
    1/ You have so many comments in such a short timeframe! Awesome
    2/ I checked out the Tekbell website and it is brilliant. I might actually buy one as a doorstopper..they look great!
    3/ Can you hurry up and write some more stuff on here!!

  20. Great post and certainly points to live by. I can say that one of my favorite is know your most productive time ( or times ) of day. I used to think I was an evening person–no way! Now, I don’t make any life-changing decisions after 1700 hrs.(5:00 P.M.). Another great one is do the tough stuff first–get it out of the way. It’s like saving the easy classes for senior year.

    Again, great post.

  21. Dude, I mostly wear two types of clothing: business and Slepping wear. If I threw away everything I’d not worn in the last two months then I really would be without any normal clothing at all.

  22. Great post, thanks for the tips. For me, #5 is the key – Life would have been so much easy if i perfected the art of saying “no”.

  23. I love #9. That’s one I know works, but I gotta say, you have to keep it up. It’s so much harder if you start to let it all slide and suddenly you’ve snoozed through your most productive time or like you warned, only answered emails that didn’t really matter to begin with.

    Great tips. I’ll be implementing many of these in my own life list. And I have the sudden urge to tear apart my closet, so thanks! LOL

  24. This is like the the long lost self-improvement primer I’ve been looking for. I enjoyed reading and learned a lot. I would have to follow you so I can comment again after trying one or two of your tips in this article. 😀

  25. Thanks for the kick in the pants that I needed. This goes right along with my New Year resolutions, yet laid out in an easier to accomplish format. Now I’m off to de-clutter my wardrobe and home.

  26. Great post! I just wrote about something similar (top 5 tips to make our live/work/love lives easier). I find it sad that we have to give ourselves reminders and tips to improve our lives. Instead of constantly striving, I wish we could just be. Productivity and happiness can have many different meanings. It doesn’t always have to be what society says.

  27. It’s a great idea to get rid of clothes that you’re no longer wearing, but, if I got rid of clothes I haven’t worn in two months, I’d have nothing to wear come summer. Do you not have a change of seasons where you live?

    • I refuse to believe that cold weather exists. I’m in search of the perpetual summer.

      If you suffer from climate seasonality, you should probably take that into account when chucking.

  28. Wow these are great Ideas… Can I mention/use your post in one of my upcoming blogs. I feel that this post can be a great tool to many and would love to spread the word of these simple tips and how (once I start doing them) they have worked for me.

    It would go on my livingmylifeasiknowit.wordpress.com blog!

  29. Great post! I will implement most of these advices. Since I live in Montreal where the winter are very cold, I won’t get rid of ALL my summer clothes because I didn’t wear them in the last two months 🙂

  30. There are some really interesting things listed here, definitely not the usual suggestions you get from any kind of life style magazine. I think I’m going to try some of these, especially #1 and #2.

    Thank you!

  31. The first 2 things to do frighten me…I still have clothes in my closet that have tags on them and I can’t seem to part with them, and, I’m also a HUGE procrastinator…even for things that take less than 2 minutes.

    “Water the plants? Nah, I’ll just leave that till later” – 1 week later, my plants have died.

    Great list and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 😉

  32. I usually find that lists such as this one just belabor the obvious, but this really is a good list. I’ve moved a lot over the years, so have had weeding through my stuff forced on me, and it’s been great. I can live with very little, and money I don’t spend on stuff (even good stuff) is money I can spend to do things, which is often much better. I think I’ll go back and read your previous posts!

  33. My flat’s a mess, I keep procrastinating, I’ve poor timekeeping; although I keep blaming my artistic temperament in reality I need to start doing some of the sensible things you mention!

  34. Number 6 is good, too. My favorite are emails like, “Want to get together for dinner?” I used to do this and I realized I was driving myself crazy. Now, it’s “Can you meet me for dinner this Friday at 7 at XYZ?”

  35. #9 is right on with me. I can only get creative stuff done in the morning. Also, I have a “bingo card” of stuff that needs to be filled before I need to feel at my best: decent diet, enough sleep, brisk walk, a good laugh with the fam. Thanks for a great post and congrats on being freshly pressed.

  36. I really like #2 which I haven’t thought before, but definitely makes sense that if something takes a little amount of time those tasks should be done first so you can use the extra time to tackle the more complicated stuff.

  37. A agree with all of your 10 easy steps, thanks for reminding me of one or the other I tend to forget. I’d like to add another one – ‘make smalll dreams come true right now!!!’.
    This could be just a receipe for a tasty cupcake that you’ve always wanted to give a try – or like I did just some days ago – publishing my essays at http://www.grin.com – I was thinking it over and over again and now that I finally did it (without mulli t over and over again) I can tell you it gave me a feeling of success – and yes it was so easy – it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to do so.
    Well – and what can I say a dream came true!

  38. Nice list! There’s not one thing on there that I don’t need to do. I now just need to figure out which one to start with…mmmm.

    Also, for the calender/scheduling with others I have found Tungle.me to be very useful and FREE!

  39. number 10 is really good. Starting from hardest works great… and off caurse it’s impossible to complete effectively difficult tasks in the end of working day. So when I see that my head is about to start aking from thinking, I start to do smth easier and in the end I get more things done.

  40. I really like your outlook on life and on work productivity. You put it all together and these tips are so simple that I can actually start using them right now … at work … while I am reading your blog … when i should be …ok, back to work

  41. Excellent post! These are absolutely things that people can easily do. So often you see lists like these and think, “Wow, that sounds really great…but that’s gonna take awhile and I have so many other things to do. I’ll go play Angry Birds while I think about whether I’ll follow these steps or not. Yeah, Angry Birds. Wait, what was I doing?”

    Anyway, the point is, I plan to do several of these things…for example, commenting on this post took me less than two minutes to do, so I did it right away!

  42. Hie, thanks for this amazing write up …
    Point 2 : makes sense to me , I would rather say : i should scrible this on sticky note and keep it always in front of me 🙂
    however point 1: m sorry , being a girl , I may feel sad about it :p …
    But this surely helps, I am forwarding the same to my friends and co-workers…


  43. Pingback: Shoot Thyself | mbfproductions

  44. Fantastic post, well-deserving of freshly pressed! My faves were #2, #5 and #9 gave me a big belly laugh. Hey, that could be #11 – always find a way to acquire a big ole’ belly laugh once a day. 🙂

  45. Having just moved to a new country and feeling like I need to get my act together, this is exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been thinking about trying to make a list of my own- but who am I kidding? Starting off with the most difficult thing iis a big yes in my book- I don’t do that and I feel bummy all day! I’ll have to tell my husband the 2 minute rule to get him to start flossing!! 🙂 Thank you very much for the post, great job and I hope to read more! ~Meg

  46. thanks so much for all the tips….
    no 2 & 5 are my problem right now…… 2 minutes work per day piled up for 3 month! 180minutes! this is EXACTLY why I suffered with my work nowadays >_<

    plus saying NO to your BOSS not easy as it may seem…. but I'll try….

  47. A good life is doing good to others. I will ask my friend Mr. Google Translate for help and maybe spread these tips on my norwegian blog. I will credit you of course. Thank you for this article.

  48. Interesting tips. I’m not going to agree with throwing out anything not worn in the last 2 months or my summer wardrobe would all have to go but agree that it should definitely be culled regularly!

    9 & 10 are particularly useful and probably mean that I should not be here now. Off to more difficult stuff I go.

  49. ¡Super! Muchísimas gracias por juntar esta excelente colección de buenos consejos. Voy a aplicar algunos — y los voy a compartir con mis socios también. Le deseo mucho éxito en Buenos Aires. (Si sigue sus propios consejos, no tengo ninguna duda que va a ser realmente exitoso.) Saludos desde Minnesota …

  50. Pingback: Get rid of things you think are precious « Anastasia's Choice

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  52. Productivity seems daunting to achieve but it’s actually just a matter of prioritization. However, the discipline and the character to stick to tasks take more effort to build. This is a great list to start with. Thanks for this!

  53. I totally want to make a copy of your favorite tips and post it on my wall at home. I definitely agree with you that if there is a task that can be done in under 2 minutes that you should just tackle it right away.

    I’ve tried making lists and I even list the stupid reminders like “set out my clothes for tomorrow” or “feed the pets.” When I could have just done these when I thought of them which would have made my list a lot smaller.

  54. Good advice… My message to share among us is simple that is… In our our heart we know it’s true : Massive, consistent action with pure persistence and a sense of flexibility in pursuing or goals will ultimately give us what we want, but we must abandon any sense that there is no solution

  55. AWESOME guide. Still clinging to an old worn out sofa set 30 years later due to sentimental attachment. Lol. Still clinging to passion when I should make money out of my writing talent. You made my day. Thanks.

  56. Thanks for the advice on pharmagaba and melatonin. It will be put to good use!
    Two of us were reading this and wondering, how do you say no politely when you have a schedule out for everyone to see where your me time is not blocked?
    You’re awesome, enjoyed reading!

    • Good question. You don’t have to publish your schedule publicly – you send a link to someone when they ask for it.

      Just tell them you’re busy and don’t send them the link. Problem solved!

      Sleep tight!

  57. Pingback: 10 Easy Things You Can Do To Improve Your Life Today « MathWoman

  58. Great post. I love the shed yourself of activities as well as clothes. I get rid of stuff all the time, but I need to be more pointed about getting rid of activities and not getting sucked into a routine that I don’t need or isn’t worth the time — like getting hooked on a TV show or talking on the phone with people when I don’t enjoy it — very liberating to say, “Yeah, I don’t do that anymore.”

  59. Wow this list is great! It’s awesome that most of them are so simple. However, getting rid of clothes is definitely hard- for women you may want to change it to 1 year instead of two months :-p we like to change our wardrobes with the seasons!

  60. One comment I must add about donation to a homeless person. Don’t just drop it in their cup. Look them in the eyes and tell them something, like, “I hope you have a nice day.” From my brief experience actually working with homeless people, they are invisible and know it. It makes them feel 200X better when someone notices them as a person, much more than your measly $20 will.

  61. Pingback: Gift No. 11 « Notes from Aunt Jim

  62. I like all of them except number seven. The first time a potential date sends me a calender to schedule a date, will be the last time. They’ll never hear from me again.

  63. This was awesome. I thought at first that it was tongue-in-cheek when you suggested throwing out all the clothes that you haven’t worn in 2 weeks, but when you mentioned your favorite beer pong t-shirt would make the cut, I knew we spoke the same language. Too funny!
    Great tips. I actually pulled out Eating for Your Type today and read that bread is really bad for type O’s. Love your tip about doing all the hard stuff first. I have sucked into the habit of reading emails and commenting on comments on my blog which is really the fun part of my day. I’ll clean the toilets first from now on….
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  64. These are awesome! I plan on using many as well as passing them on to people who I KNOW need to utilize some of these tips.

    Tip of my own: skip the coffee. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and you’ll find yourself waking up minutes or seconds before your alarm goes off, and feeling much more energized. And never hit snooze, roll out of bed the second you are conscious, or even before.

  65. Lovely post. Ahh…I remember those good old days when I had decent meals and actually slept some. Those were good times. Now my question is this: adults who don’t take care of themselves probably eventually have kids. Then they must suddenly make the leap to making decent meals and stuff all of a sudden! How am I ever going to achieve that?!

    Ah, well. It’s not like I’m going to be a parent tomorrow. I’ll save working on that for later. 😉

  66. Really Really enjoyed your blog. I appreciate the little things that increase your quality of life little bit at a time. I’m at that point in my life where it is no longer enough to just work harder, I have to work smarter. Thanks for the tips and for the book references!

  67. This is one of the best posts I’ve read on WordPress to date! I especially love tips 1-5. I’ve been meaning to clean out my closet for a while now and this finally motivated me to do it! Also your wonderful post is the perfect excuse to host a dinner party for my girl friends. Thank you so much for all of this great, easily implemented advice!

  68. Good advice. You make some very good points. Not sure if I agree with tossing clothes not worn within 2 weeks. I like the premise with a longer time frame. I think it can vary based on what person’s closet you are staring into.

  69. Reblogged this on Bound By Books and commented:
    Because I am working on my happiness project, I found that this post resonated with all the the little things I am trying to achieve. His tips serve as great reminders for treating yourself to a better life.

  70. Reblogged this on O + R: the buzz in the biz and commented:
    This week has been too busy for me to sit down and spend some time enlightening anyone, much less myself. I found this post today that speaks volumes to me.
    I am a strong believer in number 1, number 2, & number 4 and I know I need help with number 5!

    Hope this lends you some inspiration for the week while I take some time to get inspired myself.

  71. good stuff, i think more than anything, it’s good to start with #1.. being a stay-at-home mom, sometimes i do get tired of the monotony of daily chores and routines. i’ve been wishing for at least a day off but i find myself with tons of work to do during weekends… thank you for the tips, i think i would be able to squeeze in 1-day off.. we all need to recharge and have our own time to ourselves.. congrats on being FP.

  72. Why would I throw away my summer clothes (which I have not worn in 5 months!) only to have to go and buy new ones come May? I hate shopping!!!
    Why would I take up the habit of drinking coffee or tea in the morning if I run just fine on milk/water/juice?
    And could it be that I was more energetic while in highschool because I was roughly 20 years younger and had no kids that kept me up half of the night?
    Other than that, there are definitely one or two tips here that I might just try. Maybe one of my friends wants to cook for me and 4 others once a week…

  73. Great post! Lots of great tips I’d never thought of before! Will definitely try conquering tasks in descending order of difficulty as well as the 2-minute rule!

  74. Interesting ideas on how to deal effectively with life here! Though I would say, also cut out caffeine tea and coffee and the 3 eggs for breakfast too! Better to have a cup of herbal tea and perhaps some fruit, nuts, dried fruit, healthy cereal with no sugar such as museli or boil up some millet or even have a bowl of rice. Eat lots of superfoods such as raw chocolate, bee pollen, coconut oil, carob, barley grass, wheat grass, macca powder and similar. Also cut down on alcohol as much as possible as it does not help the body or mind – perhaps more than just one day a week!

    Ok, thats all for now, JO

    • If you can do without caffeine, all the better!

      Fruit and nuts aren’t bad, but they aren’t a significant source of protein. Protein is critical to maintaining energy. I personally believe that a high-carb breakfast – like fruit, cereal, rice, or oatmeal – causes fat gain and low energy.

      I do agree on reducing alcohol, though!

      • Thanks for your reply, I have heard of various theories, one is that protein isn’t too essential in our diets. I’m not sure how true this is. Also there are fruitarians who live off only fruit and nuts and say their energy increases through this diet. I was a semi-fruitarian myself for a while. I do find that if I eat just fruit and nuts and nothing else in the morning I seem to have more energy than when eating grains with the fruit and nuts. But raw chocolate really is the best source of energy I find. I have a recipe for raw chocolate somewhere on my blog! Raw chocolate can also be an appetite suppressant so you may not need to eat much else for a while. Raw chocolate is full of iron, magnesium, anti-oxidants and many other sources of nutrition and it is delicious. Normal chocolate has been heated a lot so does not have much nutrition in it. However there is caffeine in raw chocolate.

        My conclusion about diets is also that each person has an individual need and what is right for one may not be right for another!

        But thanks for writing this blog and generating a discussion on the subject! JO

    • There’s a growing body of research that suggests that fake sugars are really quite bad for you. Carbonated beverages as a whole aren’t great for your stomach or your teeth.

      For what it’s worth, I find that I get fatigued when I drink fake sugar.

      And if you don’t like coffee, have a big glass of water instead!

  75. I think you might’ve forgotten something:
    When you need help, ask for it. So many people struggle with that concept, they don’t want to seem week. It’d improve their lives so much if they just asked for help. It’s a pity that doesn’t happen very often.

    I have to seek people out for my blog (www.mathematicalmischief.wordpress.com) because they just don’t come looking for help, which is a shame. A lot of people would do that much better with their lives if they managed to apply that.

  76. Not sure if listening to your favorite music while trying to accomplish simple errands like folding laundry or doing the dishes was implied – but we think that’s a great way of enjoying the tasks set out for you and at times can increase your energy levels so remarkably that you are raring to go! and a running outdoors won’t hurt you either – great way to de-stress!

    Loved your post and blog in general. We at http://www.campusnowblogs.wordpress.com like to give people simple tips and facts to everyday life! Check us out.

  77. I appreciate the last one most. I usually decide on tasks based first on time/deadlines and then have liked to knock off afew easy ones to get the ball rolling & pat myself on the back – i think I’ll try your way for awhile. Great tips!

  78. interesting post: My mother use to say ‘a job started is a job finished!”…. funny thing now as i get older I can see her point. running a house sometimes is more about feeling to tired to start yet once moving it can happen… I also put time limits on things…eg’ spend 10mins tidying the bedroom or 1hour in the garden… Most of the time things get done easily. At the moment I am doing a 30day challenge of riding each day…. started out as 10mins now do an hour…. ahhha and i am not dead yet. I think 30days of finding something on your topic aday might be interesting challenge adding a thing to the list so by the end you are doing 30 things in a day..hmmm . thanks again

  79. Reblogged this on Küchenliesel and commented:
    Manchmal ist es einfach schön, solche Entdeckungen im WordPress-Orbit zu machen. Tipps, die man vielleicht schon gehört und ausprobiert hat. Aber eine Erinnerung hier und da tut gut.

  80. Cheers from the other side of the Andes. I’m a US expat in Santiago de Chile. I’m heading to Bs As next week 🙂

    I agree with Kelly Carter, exercise is super important and not enough people prioritize it.

  81. great post! thank you! some of these one might have heard or tried out before. but it needs reiteration. maybe you should add number 11: “read this post every first saturday of the month, or any other periodic day of the month”

    • That would be a great addition, I find 20-30 minutes a day works into most schedules, but an hour a day will have you body thanking you (and probably your significant other!) even if it is a leisurely walk or swimming.

  82. There are some clothes that I haven´t worn in ages because I´ve got to iron them!! Haha!
    By the way, you made me laugh!!
    ¡Muy bueno! Saludos de una española viviendo en UK!!
    Ps: I´m sharing it via facebook (if you don´t mind!!)

  83. #9 Know your instrument…

    So true dude. This is why I’m so agains standard work hours esecially for Generation Y. Everyone works best at different times. We should focus on having EFFICIENT employees. Not employees that clock in at exactly 8am every morning and spend 8 hours doing something that takes someone else 5 to do.

    All your advice was great. You rock!

    • Agree 100% – work smarter, not harder.

      There’s an easy solution…work for yourself 🙂 Work any hours you want, and you don’t have to work for/with stupid people, unless you’re into that.

  84. On #6, I try *so* hard to do that, but get overwhelmed by the number of people who send a quick response asking a question that has already been answered in your previous email.

    For example, here’s a section of one of my template emails:
    “Please complete and return the attached application with a utility bill and a photo of your vessel as soon as possible so I can begin the application review process. It takes about 24 hours (after receiving your paperwork) for me to get an approval or denial; I will contact you when I get your approval/denial to discuss your next steps.”

    For your reference, our rates can be found at (http://website.com/url). Please call me if you have questions about how to fill out the application.”

    And the response I get back is frighteningly like this (seriously):
    “i want to bring my boat in tonight though because i have to go out of town for a week so it’s not going to be convenient for me to send you the app right now. can you just tell me where to tie up and i’ll work on paperwork when i get back?”

    OR …they’ll just send me page 1 of 4 partially filled out, with a copy of a credit card bill from six months ago, and call me after they send this mess to ask if it’s been approved.

    SIDE. EYE. DELUXE. These are adults. I don’t ….I don’t understand. Is it just the fear of reading? You wouldn’t believe how many people say things like “That’s a lot of paperwork, I don’t want to read it, just tell me where to sign.” Or asking them to bring me things they already have results in a tremendous amount of sighing and Do-I-Have-To’s.

    Oooh, you’ve inspired me to make a new blog post. 😉 But seriously, how do you deal with emails when they ask you a question where you’ve already answered it, like they didn’t even read it?

  85. Well I recently had to do #1. I am moving from a 3 bedroom apt to a bachelor apt. so I had to downsize A LOT. I realized I was hanging onto things that I didn’t need, want or use. Sometimes Sentiment gets in the way of efficiency.
    I will be trying more of this suggestions, plus I own the 4 hour work week and have never read it. This I will do
    Thanks for writing this just when I needed to read it!!

  86. Great tips! I’m all for de-cluttering (another tip: every time you buy new clothes, throw out old ones in their place).

    I wish employers would take people’s different peak hours more seriously. I’d love to start work later and stay until later in the evening, but it’s not allowed.

      • Thanks for the links!
        I was in the process of starting my own business when I was offered this job. And apart from the hours, I absolutely love it. And this way I’m making sure I can save enough money to make one of my dreams come true in the near future and travel to Australia. I don’t mind the trade-off too much right now. Might have another go at creating my own company next winter though.

      • Why wait until next winter? Work on starting your company now, and maybe you’ll find that it will quickly grow to generate enough income to support you on your own.

        Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  87. this may not make sense coming from someone who hasnt really had much of a “life” but yeah im intrigued!!! also, just wondering, does anyone know any good tips on producing a cracking article that can get tons of views quite quickly without too much publicising? thnx 🙂

    • Your mom’s nutrition degree is informed by the USDA and their food pyramid of subsidies. The cholesterol in three eggs is good, not bad, for you, particularly if they’re from pasture-raised chickens. Decades of being “careful” about cholesterol in foods and replacing quality fat and protein with grains are the exact reason why people are having so many health problems now.

    • Lydia is right, the fear of eggs comes from outdated information. I will say, however, that I like my meals as balanced as possible, and my favorite breakfast to get me going is oatmeal with some fruit – and eggs on the side. I eat eggs almost every day, and my doctor tells me I have the cholesterol levels of an athlete. I stay physically active, but I’m no athlete 😛

  88. Thanks for the tips. I don’t know about dinner w/ 5 friends tip, but worth giving it a shot. Great post, thank you for sharing it 😀

  89. I like this and agree. Granted, I’m not sure I can succeed at some of them, but those ones are defintiely goals for me to work towards. Others, I am already doing and loving. Thanks 🙂

  90. All the points were well made. I might add an additional: Try doing some personal sharing with at least three strangers that you meet in a weeks period. You will be surprised how many wonderful people are out there, waiting to be “discovered.”

    • I could write a whole post about an ideal breakfast, but we’re looking for quick solutions here! The average American eats a terrible breakfast – if any breakfast at all – and eggs are a great source of protein. Replacing your morning carb load with a solid amount of protein will give you an added energy boost.

      Hope this clears things up!

  91. “if you only get 1 thing done per day, like I usually do, you actually have something to show for it.” Completely sound advice. So true! Looking forward to more posts. Cheers!

  92. I’m sorry, who “proved” this BS about needing a meal with 5 or more people (and once a week no less) to be happy? Another danged extravert, pushing their own agenda, no doubt…

    Other than that though… really a great blog! A lot of these tips can really make a difference in a day. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  93. get rid of everyting you haven’t worn in 2 months?!?…Well, I’d have to walk around naked in the summer then… LOL! But seriously, I love tip number 2… molehills become mountains so easily…esp. to the queen of procrastination (me). I’ll give that a try…

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