We decided to participate in Dry January and added on a Vegetarian (not Vegan) only diet for the start of the year. Another idea we discussed was also cutting out coffee, but two changes were more than enough. We did, however, try to cut the caffeine down to one cup a day and no sooner than 1.5 hours after waking up. But like I said earlier, crash changes are not sustainable or successful. So we planned some approaches around how to stick to and get the most out of these experiments.
Defining a plan for the day, sets the chess board and allows you to see all the moves you can make to maximize your day. Being rested gives you the energy you need to get through the low periods. Isolating tasks gives you the concentration you need to get challenging tasks done.
This post is inspired by and modeled after the Lifehacker Series by the same name. I thought to create a similar post after a flurry of mentoring meetings with Colleagues and Graduate & Undergraduate Students. Many of the questions asking about my working approach reminding me of the Lifehacker posts. So, through the sincerest flattery, I will summarize here, my approach to productivity and work.
Great design can be applied to yourself as well. Every decision factors into how we design the experience of our lives. Whether we create or just consume. What are commute will be, or how our weekends will flow, or what our morning routine will be. We can sketch out truly meaningful and interesting lives when we apply careful reflection on past experiences and emotions and an eye on the bigger picture.
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Add in the occasional tech question or recommendation from a friend/colleague, and I am finding myself with more installed apps and tools than is probably necessary. So, I am sharing advice on how I set up my machine for easy reference and updating year-to-year. I have thrown in links to some tutorials and example projects. Yes, I am excluding Windows and other machines, because I just don’t work on them regularly. But, I am sure a lot of these tools are either cross platformed or applicable to any Unix-based machine.
For this follow up post, I am sharing some ideas for getting to the same state that we are in. Or even down to just one car in a multi-person household. First off, there is no perfectly balanced equation for everyone. You will have to adjust the levers of what you are willing to pay on housing and other items in order to make living in Atlanta without a car workable. I sincerely hope these ideas help a lot of people get out of their cars. Atlanta’s traffic situation is getting progressively worse. The downstream impacts of that congestion have not even fully materialized.
Minimalism represents time and balance for me. The time to do and experience all the things I want. Along with finding the discipline to not let what other people define as import dominate my time. For me, that means cutting out the “noise” of life more than getting rid of things. It requires being ok with earning less, having less, but definitely experiencing more.
In 2010 Dave Brailsford took over as the General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team). To take the team to new heights, Brailsford introduced the team to a concept that he referred to as the “aggregation of marginal gains.” The concept can be summed up as improving every facet of training by 1 percent so that collectively those marginal gains could equate to a larger performance improvement overall. At the 2012 Olympic Games the team dominated the competition by winning 70 percent of the gold medals available.