Author Topic: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?  (Read 6260 times)

Urchina

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Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« on: March 13, 2018, 12:08:42 AM »
Calling all lifehackers! Since we've all got the same (limited) number of hours in a day and all (presumably) want to maximize the awesomeness of our time, I'm curious about the very best practices for an epic life.

In short: What is/are the very best habits, practices and patterns of your life -- the ones that give you the best ROI, the biggest (outsized) rewards compared to the effort or time you put into them?

These can be about anything -- money, health, personal relationships, learning, career -- I'm curious about all.

For me, for example, deciding to stop eating dairy has made a massive difference in how I feel -- with shockingly few regrets or challenges. I also find that developing the habit of making my bed every day first thing in the morning has a positive psychological as well as practical cascade effect of organization and self-efficacy -- pretty awesome for less than 45 seconds of my time.

So, please step right up and share! I can't be the only one who is thinking: What things make the biggest difference in life?

kei te pai

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2018, 02:51:55 AM »
Outsized rewards? Learning to be true to myself, and not worry about going along with the crowd. I prefer a day in the garden to a day shopping. I like early nights, not late parties. Home made food not fancy restaurants. Living simply and cheaply. Family, old friends and little kids.  Just wish it hadnt taken me so many years of uncomfortable shoes and brain numbing gatherings trying to be someone I wasnt.

Just Joe

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 07:30:46 AM »
All the best stuff that "I" figured out were ideas tossed about here in the forums. Not giving a flip about pointless stuff was a big mental health improvement for DW and I. Without that mental load it was easy to move on to other topics.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 03:35:55 PM »
For me, as a single person, it has been renting out the spare bedrooms in my house.

Gave me confidence to buy the house in the first place.  In the early years, rent entirely covered the cost of the house.  Over time, gained huge property appreciation relative to initial down payment.  Also the reduced cost allowed me to invest in stock as a young person with modest income, then to spend years unemployed with little consequence while the investments grew.  The small time investment in renting out the rooms paid large financial returns over time (20+ years).  Total gains in the neighborhood of $200k.

Fwiw, I am also very glad of the time I spent establishing and maintaining friendships, and being as trustworthy and available as possible towards family.  It is very nice to have, a result, several people who love me and who I can trust.

LessIsLess

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 03:39:33 PM »
Stop worrying about running out of money.  For many people, it's the worry that kills them, long before the actual lack of money would.

poetdereves

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 08:11:11 PM »
Mine is dedicating myself to never taking more than two days off of the gym/working out. It benefits my health, I’m motivated to eat better, I have a more positive attitude, get more done, and make friends. I realized the longer I would go between workouts, hikes, etc. the worse off I would be. I would eat more food and less quality, sleep worse, and my attitude and self image would diminish. It’s not been that hard of a habit to get into, but pays exponential dividends.

meatgrinder

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2018, 01:11:24 PM »
Stoicism

FI4good

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2018, 05:30:12 PM »
Giving up the want of need .

furrychickens

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2018, 06:40:35 AM »
To quote Count Rugen: “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”

Focusing on diet and exercise has had a huge impact on my life. That’s gonna look really different for different people.
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ketchup

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 07:15:32 AM »
When I'm driving, if someone cuts me off, zooms around me at 90mph, revs next to me like a tool at a red light, or any other douchebaggery, I forced myself to burst out into uproarious laughter.  I started doing this a few years ago.

Now commuting is lower stress.

This is best done only when driving alone.  It's difficult to explain to passengers.

meghan88

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2018, 11:31:22 AM »
Exercise:  (1) active commuting each day whatever the weather, (2) weight training twice per week, (3) running whenever I can manage it.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2018, 09:07:10 AM »
Meditating 5-10 minutes a day. I've been doing it for maybe a couple of years now, and I notice that I am just a little bit less reactive to things that used to really push my buttons. It hasn't turned me into a saint, but maybe a duck? Stuff rolls off my back a bit more now.

I like the idea of laughing when people do douchey things. Might have to steal that one.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2018, 09:33:01 AM »
Walking to and from work most days.  My jobs is stressful and I have small children.  This gives me 120 minutes per day of 'me' time plus exercise. 

Buying an apartment very close to the kids' school has also been really great.  I was a renter until age 44 and had no idea how much I'd enjoy actually owning a place.  And we have a great sense of community here.

Urchina

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2018, 05:56:45 PM »
It hasn't turned me into a saint, but maybe a duck? Stuff rolls off my back a bit more now.

Love this imagery.

How did you figure out what time to meditate each day? I've dabbled and have the Headspace app. I really like the way I feel when I do meditate, but am having a hard time figuring out a consistent time to meditate each day. First thing in the morning isn't a good choice for me.

Nederstash

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2018, 08:51:46 AM »
Meal prepping was huge for me. FYI: single person household.

Every Sunday morning I prep:
- 6 smoothies, which are 6 pieces of fruit cut up and adding in spinach/kale/cauliflower from the freezer. Pop it all in 6 freezer bags. When you're ready to eat, empty a bag into the blender, add warm water and blend.
- 2 portions each of 3 recipes for dinner. The first 2 can go in the fridge, the others can go in the freezer. Depends on the space you have available and how long your meals will last if only refrigerated. I found great microwave plates with covers for 1,24 euro each. Each morning, take your dinner from the freezer to put in the fridge and then microwave it when you come home.

Both at home and at the office I keep 1 loaf of bread in the freezer, a pack of rice crackers in the pantry and some hummus/peanut butter/whatever in the fridge. I don't have to lug around my lunches every day, just some groceries once every other week.

My meals are prepped for Sunday through Friday. Saturdays I use up leftovers and/or eat down my pantry. Seeing as I do eat at friends or family often, there's always leftovers. Some weeks I only need to prep 4 meals because I have leftovers.

Investment:
- 2-3 hours of a Sunday morning, depending on how fast you are with a knife and a set of pans!
Rewards:
- I don't have to waste a single thought on food during the week.
- Everything is portioned out, contains everything I need and is healthy!
- I only run the dishwasher once or twice a week... max.
- It's unbelievable how much food we buy that we don't consume. Since meal prepping, my grocery spending has gone down loads. My budget is at 180 euro max for a month. On food, I only spend 100-120, the rest is toiletries and such.
- On that note, my eating out budget (previously set at 100 a month) has not gone to mindless cafeteria lunches and drinks (which add up!!) but allowed me to really enjoy and splurge a bit when I do go out. Less stress and more enjoyment all around.
- Spring cleaning is coming up and it'll be easy to empty the fridge and freezer, since I hardly buy excess.
- By doing groceries only once a week, you force yourself to eat down your pantry. This has led me to use up some of those never used items in my pantry. Another win for spring cleaning, I think!
- As a single person, it's sometimes difficult to justify taking the time to cook more complex new dishes. You don't want to buy some ingredients, because you know you won't use them up before they go bad. Meal prepping does allow you to plan ahead, for instance to think of more dishes with that ingredient and freezing those. For instance I've learned that fresh herbs and nuts freeze great!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:09:04 AM by Nederstash »

Malkynn

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2018, 07:13:34 AM »
-Cooking for the entire week on the weekend: It takes us about 3 hours and I love never having to think about lunch or dinner during the work week. All portions for the entire week are already packed in the fridge in individual Tupperware containers.

-Not buying meat: this saves an ENORMOUS amount of money, and with websites like BudgetBytes, it’s very easy to find an enormous range of gourmet, frugal, vegetarian options. In fact, our meals have become so much more interesting since switching to vegetarian because it takes more dynamic flavour layering to make beans taste amazing. Much more interesting than a piece of meat with a “side”.

-Converting the guest bedroom into a gym: We rarely have overnight guests and when we do, they get an air mattress in the “gym.” Having a gym in the house makes it so easy to exercise. It takes minimal motivation to just go downstairs and workout for 20-40 minutes. I used to hate dragging myself to an actual gym after work, now it’s ridiculously easy.

-Working 3 days a week: the rewards of this are astronomical. Sure, I took a massive pay cut and pushed back all of my financial goals, but I love my life now and I’m not waiting anymore for FI to start living my best life. Plus, it’s given me time and energy to generate some amazing side hustles. Plus, despite taking a pay cut, I’m actually earning more per hour at my current job, so I consider it a raise.

-Learning to sew/serge: thrift shopping for clothes is a hell of a lot easier when you don’t have to worry too much about how the clothes fit.

-Good winter gear: where I live, it can get colder than Mars. Our winters are dark, freezing, and very long. It can end up easy to over pay for indoor entertainment that you drive to in the winter because it’s hard to go outside, and it can feel very isolating not seeing people outside of work much for months on end. I invested in gear that keeps me toasty at Mars-like temperatures, and it’s liberating to be able to be out and about in the cold wasteland while everyone else is hiding. I used to hate our winters, and now I like them.

Optimizer

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 06:30:36 AM »
I recently started dancing salsa and I love it. I have never done any dancing before but it's great. Although I have not had huge results after 3 classes I think it fits into this thread. My beginner course costs 130 EUR for 18 hours of dancing (in Germany, special price through connections).

Pros
 + Increases confidence. I bet you have seen the guys that seem real though on the outside but ain't got the guts to dance. I'm a gym guy myself and I wouldn't say that these guys are accomplished.
 + You will meet new people
 + Maybe even increases coordination and makes you "sense the beat"

Cons
 - Costs money
 - Definitely uncomfortable for starters (this might be a plus!)

HenryDavid

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2018, 07:43:10 AM »
1. human-powered commuting, because: save BIG on car costs + no traffic stress + meditative time + fitness, all in one go.
2. buy real food and cook it, because:. waaaaay cheaper + healthy + tastier + more connected with seasons, local food etc.
3. No TV. Because, duh. Also, consumerism implant no longer constantly updated by ads, time for better things (books, music . . . etc.)
4. Public library (local)! Because: community, access to everything in the world. Even tools sometimes. No $ changes hands.

These things alone will free up a significant amount of cash toward financial freedom, and make daily life so much better.
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MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #18 on: March 25, 2018, 08:28:35 AM »
-Automating retirement savings. I don't even think about our 401K money as "ours". We set it to max on both paychecks (and, have done so for over a decade) & the money just gets saved & invested. No stressing, budget balancing, etc. (We do those things, but the retirement money is before that)
-Like a PP, make all of our dinners on the weekends. I typically work from home on Fridays, so count that as a day where I can cook. I make dinners on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, & we eat leftovers the rest of the week. I also have emergency dinner options in the freezer, should we run out a day ahead or whatever.
-Menu plan. See above. Cuts down on food waste, saves time, but mostly makes me feel more in control of my life & less stressed.
-Keeping the house picked up all the time. Minimizes need for "big" cleaning, and makes me feel relaxed in my own home.


Arbitrage

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2018, 09:34:32 AM »
Lifting weights at lunchtime.  There's a gym at work, and I head on over there and pump iron rather than driving off somewhere for an expensive lunch like the typical worker.  When I get back to my office, I down a protein shake made at home, a couple of granola bars/handfuls of nuts, and get back to work.

Benefits:
Muscle mass/tone - I'm maintaining a very impressive physique despite now being on the wrong side of 40.  Confidence follows.
Weight control - In addition to the exercise, this gives me very good control over my intake at lunch.  No more fast food or huge portion sizes.
Money - Don't need to join a gym.  Don't waste money on expensive lunches.  My cost is around $2 per lunch.
Mental state - I look forward to the gym trip, and it breaks up the day nicely.  In addition, there's no problem trying to find motivation to go to the gym; it's automatic.  The only problems are when I can't find a way to fit in a lunch period among all the meetings or other obligations.  That puts me in a bad mood.
Productivity - We have a 45 minute lunch break, and people who go off campus take far longer than that.  I probably take about an hour including the shower/walk, though I don't take my mandated 10-minute morning break so I kind of roll that into it.  My improved mental state also allows me to be more productive.

Mezzie

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2018, 10:58:12 AM »
I spend about five minutes looking af the flowers at work every day. I feel calmer and more grateful to work where I do, and I sleep better (it gets me in the sun a bit; I spend most my time indoors). I would guess this is similar to the benefits of meditation that I am less regular with.

I recently replaced the alarm on my phone with and old-school alarm clock. Now if I wake up in the middle of the night, I don't start reading things on my phone since it's plugged in across the room. I've been able to fall back asleep faster so far, but this is new so it could be a coincidence.

I journal and write longhand letters. Both are good for my relationships and mental health.

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JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2018, 11:22:34 AM »
Exclude DRAMA from your life.  One overly dramatic frenemy in your life will just suck you dry, leaving less heart that you may have for your own endeavors.  Minimize your time with these people (especially if they are family), and reap the rewards.
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AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2018, 02:14:24 AM »
Outsized rewards? Learning to be true to myself, and not worry about going along with the crowd. I prefer a day in the garden to a day shopping. I like early nights, not late parties. Home made food not fancy restaurants. Living simply and cheaply. Family, old friends and little kids.  Just wish it hadnt taken me so many years of uncomfortable shoes and brain numbing gatherings trying to be someone I wasnt.

AGREE!
The amount of salad I have thrown away trying to be a person who eats salads. Well, I just hate leaves. I am a leaf hater. I'd rather have my veg in a different form.

furrychickens

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2018, 04:29:56 AM »
Outsized rewards? Learning to be true to myself, and not worry about going along with the crowd. I prefer a day in the garden to a day shopping. I like early nights, not late parties. Home made food not fancy restaurants. Living simply and cheaply. Family, old friends and little kids.  Just wish it hadnt taken me so many years of uncomfortable shoes and brain numbing gatherings trying to be someone I wasnt.

AGREE!
The amount of salad I have thrown away trying to be a person who eats salads. Well, I just hate leaves. I am a leaf hater. I'd rather have my veg in a different form.

Lol, yeah I can’t do salad on a frequent basis but I do get my greens in via smoothies.
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2Cent

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2018, 07:49:11 AM »
Not questioning commitments. When I decide something, I try to just do it without thinking about how hard it is or whether it hurts. This habbit will stop you from constantly feeling tempted to take an easier path and free your mind to think about other things. Also you won't have the constant need to optimise everything.

Set a date every year to review all subscriptions/services/insurance/etc. Much money is lost by forgetting to apply for cheaper rates, and this practice makes it focussed so you don't need to keep thinking about it.

Not multitasking. Especially bad when talking to kids/spouse/parents/etc. If you keep thinking about work, or even looking at your phone when someone is talking to you will make you miss out on much of the rewards of those relationships.

Audiobooks during commute.


Cali

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2018, 10:30:43 PM »
Returning to a paper planner. The one I buy has a month view and a day view but is the size of a quarter sheet of 8.5”x11” paper. It allows me to jot notes, reminders, etc. I tape receipts in it if Ithink there may be a return or future price matching, I tape expiring coupons and have a sleeve for gift cards and punch cards and such. I write down money I’ve spent or loaned or who paid for that lunch during my monthly work lunch outing with friends. It’s small and portable and has given me peace of mind.


furrychickens

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2018, 04:35:41 AM »
Returning to a paper planner. The one I buy has a month view and a day view but is the size of a quarter sheet of 8.5”x11” paper. It allows me to jot notes, reminders, etc. I tape receipts in it if Ithink there may be a return or future price matching, I tape expiring coupons and have a sleeve for gift cards and punch cards and such. I write down money I’ve spent or loaned or who paid for that lunch during my monthly work lunch outing with friends. It’s small and portable and has given me peace of mind.

I have become super reliant on my paper planner for a couple years now. Well worth the $10-15 I typically spend on a basic one.
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Malkynn

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2018, 05:08:54 AM »
Returning to a paper planner. The one I buy has a month view and a day view but is the size of a quarter sheet of 8.5”x11” paper. It allows me to jot notes, reminders, etc. I tape receipts in it if Ithink there may be a return or future price matching, I tape expiring coupons and have a sleeve for gift cards and punch cards and such. I write down money I’ve spent or loaned or who paid for that lunch during my monthly work lunch outing with friends. It’s small and portable and has given me peace of mind.

:(

I’m attempting to transition away from a paper planner. I’ve diligently used one since 1994, but now that I have multiple jobs and multiple projects, a basic paper planner just isn’t working for organization anymore.

Also, I am starting a position with a finance firm that involves a ton of meetings, which are scheduled in google calendar, so it’s inefficient to then cross reference and transcribe them in my paper planner.

However, I can’t function without a paper system for tasks because no “to do” app that I’ve found is flexible enough for organizing tasks for a half dozen positions, plus personal life, in way that allows me to triage them by importance and urgency. So I have a small notebook with a pen for “to do” lists and notes.

My brain is so programmed to timing things according to how many page flips I have though. It’s insane how lost I feel in the transition. It’s hard to reprogram 24 years of organizational programming.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2018, 06:24:26 AM »
Never drinking any sweet beverages. It's good for my teeth, it's good for my waistline, it's good for my budget. And I don't even think about it, because I really like water.

Also, having a CSA subscription. It forces us to eat mostly vegetables, and they are the most delicious vegetables imaginable. It keeps me on my toes when it comes to creative cooking (this week's challenge: radish greens), but I like that.

Cali

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2018, 06:54:54 AM »
I’m attempting to transition away from a paper planner. I’ve diligently used one since 1994, but now that I have multiple jobs and multiple projects, a basic paper planner just isn’t working for organization anymore.

Also, I am starting a position with a finance firm that involves a ton of meetings, which are scheduled in google calendar, so it’s inefficient to then cross reference and transcribe them in my paper planner. .

I don’t use my paper calendar to schedule work meetings. As you said there are too many of them and 99% of the time other people achedule them, send me a message in Outlook and I approve.
No sense in doing things twice just to have it on paper. I use paper for everything else.

Malkynn

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2018, 07:11:11 AM »
I’m attempting to transition away from a paper planner. I’ve diligently used one since 1994, but now that I have multiple jobs and multiple projects, a basic paper planner just isn’t working for organization anymore.

Also, I am starting a position with a finance firm that involves a ton of meetings, which are scheduled in google calendar, so it’s inefficient to then cross reference and transcribe them in my paper planner. .

I don’t use my paper calendar to schedule work meetings. As you said there are too many of them and 99% of the time other people achedule them, send me a message in Outlook and I approve.
No sense in doing things twice just to have it on paper. I use paper for everything else.

The problem is that my personal life and side hustles are rather blended.
My day job is super easy to schedule: I go, I work, I leave, I’m done.
My admin manage my schedule and my assistant keeps it flowing. I don’t even need to know what day of the week it is. I only ever need to know how many minutes until my next appointment.

My side hustles are done mostly flexibly in my “free time”, so they all need to coordinate in terms of scheduling and prioritizing. That’s where it gets complicated. “Lunch with mom” needs to coordinate with “meet with finance executive for side hustle #3” and “meet with banker for business account for side hustle #1” and “doctor’s appointment” and “write piece for side hustle #2” as well as “must pick up pesto for dinner tonight” because this all happens on my “days off”



tomita

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2018, 08:24:39 AM »
when you start something new, better just jump into it instead of thinking too long
I noticed If I think too long I won't go ahead
I joined dragon boat racing without knowing much about it and I like it
I am very pleased I didn't give myself time to have doubts 
now I'm looking forward to the next practice :)

Cali

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2018, 06:58:38 PM »
The problem is that my personal life and side hustles are rather blended.
My day job is super easy to schedule: I go, I work, I leave, I’m done.
My admin manage my schedule and my assistant keeps it flowing. I don’t even need to know what day of the week it is. I only ever need to know how many minutes until my next appointment.

My side hustles are done mostly flexibly in my “free time”, so they all need to coordinate in terms of scheduling and prioritizing. That’s where it gets complicated. “Lunch with mom” needs to coordinate with “meet with finance executive for side hustle #3” and “meet with banker for business account for side hustle #1” and “doctor’s appointment” and “write piece for side hustle #2” as well as “must pick up pesto for dinner tonight” because this all happens on my “days off”

Ah okay, in that case I understand the allure of the flexibility of digital.

blinx7

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2018, 07:20:56 PM »
Stuffing as much money as I can into tax deferred accounts for as long as possible.  Psychologically it is helpful for saving because it helps create a feeling of scarcity.  The funds in the 401(k), Roth IRA, 529s, home equity... well that's all "locked up." 

Inbox zero.  I don't constantly hover over my inbox but I try to clean it down to zero at least once a day.  Conversely, when I am working on an important project or on an important call, I purposefully try to ignore my e-mail for as long as possible. 

You can't do inbox zero without a good to do list.  I use todoist, almost religiously. 

Setting a goal of what I want to achieve in the morning.  Typically I work on my goal in the morning and then try to deal with calls / e-mails / admin stuff in the afternoon when energy is lower anyways. 

Carving out time to network, including at times putting it above paid work.  This is recent, and hard, because I am in a deadline driven field, but necessary.

Public transit to work.  Saves me thousands and I have time to read... or just zone out. 

I need to get better about health and fitness stuff.  I've gotten a bit out of shape.  I notice, though, that generally speaking when I eat out less I lose weight and when I eat out more I gain weight.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 07:39:58 PM by blinx7 »

NykkiC

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2018, 10:21:29 PM »
Figure out a simple and relaxing activity/treat that reminds you how wonderful life is and do it religiously once a week with no distractions.

Mine is a slow stroll from my apartment just North of the centre of Yerevan to Republic Square, buying a soft serve ice cream cone and strolling back. I keep reminding myself to walk slowly (I’m a natural powerwalker) and I leave my earphones at home so I’m not tempted to listen to podcasts or music. The whole thing can take me three to four hours and does wonders for how I feel for the rest of the week.

Mrs. D.

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2018, 10:28:17 PM »
I like this post. Thanks for the thoughtful question and responses.

-Ditto a PP on automatizing savings. Watching wealth pile up without even thinking about it is endlessly gratifying.
-I'm a devoted menu planner. At least one of my planned meals each week is a good freezer-friendly meal (chili, soup, stir fry, marinated meat/veggies, etc.) so I make a double batch and put one in the freezer. Makes life easier knowing I always have a stash of yummy, home-cooked food and it takes hardly any additional time to make.
-Being opening to meeting my neighbors has had huge rewards. It was awkward at first, but chit chat with my neighbors has turned into friendship, holiday get togethers, baby sitting, meal exchanges, even people who checked on our house during the big hurricane last year (I'm in Houston).
-Buying a Prius. I know the fuel savings will never offset the cost of buying a car, but getting 50 mpg and filling up less than once a month is immensely satisfying.
-Choosing the right life partner. Working, being a parent, working towards FIRE, they're all hard. Every day I'm grateful to have a partner who is equally mission-focused.

middo

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2018, 01:09:04 AM »
Drinking.  Or rather, reducing drinking alcohol drastically.

$ don't get spent.  And I wake up feeling better nearly every day.  I wasn't quite definitionally alcoholic, but would drink 4 or 5 standard drinks every day.  No more than twice a week now, and I feel better, and the $ saved.


Malkynn

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2018, 04:43:50 AM »
Carving out time to network, including at times putting it above paid work.  This is recent, and hard, because I am in a deadline driven field, but necessary.

Ooh. This is a great one.
I do this so automatically that I never would have even thought to include it in my list, but it really does give massive returns.

I generated three major side hustles just from always saying yes to dinners, lunches, meetings and courses from pretty much anyone even remotely interesting and then trying to be useful to that person or connect them with someone else useful. Somebody would know somebody and more lunches and coffee meetings happened, and more usefulness occurred. Eventually I ended up across the table from amazing people who were ideal to partner up with and side hustles were born seemingly out of thin air.

I’ve also dedicated a lot of unpaid time and energy to it over the past few years, I had no particular goal and no idea what it would lead to, but I knew it would eventually help me be in the right place at the right time.

Reiseishin

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2018, 12:28:16 PM »
It hasn't turned me into a saint, but maybe a duck? Stuff rolls off my back a bit more now.

Love this imagery.

How did you figure out what time to meditate each day? I've dabbled and have the Headspace app. I really like the way I feel when I do meditate, but am having a hard time figuring out a consistent time to meditate each day. First thing in the morning isn't a good choice for me.

Urchina, what I found most helpful was choosing a trigger to go meditate.

For me, I found it's easier first thing in the morning - get up, use the toilet, and go sit. I know myself well enough that if I let that opportunity slip by, I am not reliable for meditating later!

If morning doesn't work, how about midday? Or just before sleep? Meditation can be great to let the mind rest just before sleeping.

I don't use Headspace (Insight Timer is my favorite), but it's easy enough to set apps to chime when it's time to meditate - making it easy to set up a trigger.

Reiseishin

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2018, 12:42:29 PM »
Meditation. Hands down, not close. I meditate first thing most mornings. The days I don't, I can feel a difference - even if my colleagues can't for a few days. I started that habit around 3-4 years ago and it has made a huge difference.

Bike commuting. I hemmed and hawed for a few years as I'm in Minnesota: "But there's winter for 6 months!" "I need my parking!" Yeah, I didn't - I just shifted to mass transit during the icy months. This year, we're already well into bike season and I adore it. Bonus: it's faster than the car or campus shuttle to get to meeting locations. I regularly beat my coworkers who leave before I do to get their cars. :D

Regular training in Ki Aikido. I've been training in this martial art now for 5.5 years. I go three times a week to the dojo; one other night I usually facilitate a meditation practice group in the space. This has been utterly life-changing for me. It is where I can train sincerely with others who are also interested in improving themselves and learning how to be in good relationship and conduct with others.

Imagine taking meditation into motion - practicing that calmness in situations that stress you with other people, so you can bring it into your daily life. That's Ki Aikido. My marriage, family and work relationships have improved tremendously thanks to this training.

Perhaps the generalization here is, "having a regular schedule with a sincere, caring community and exercise that deeply inspires you, and pushes you further in development." I know not everyone wants to train in a martial art... though I never expected to, either!

Gratitudes. It sounds hokey, and I've had folks do double-takes, but I start my team meetings with "What are you grateful for today?" It immediately moves people from the previous issues they were fretting about, drops them into a different state of mind, and we all get to share what they're thankful for. I love this and it has done wonders in supporting a positive, people and solution-oriented perspective in me and my team.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2018, 04:53:07 PM »
I think pick-up sports are very underrated. A twice weekly game of soccer or basketball does wonders for me personally from both a mental and physical point of view.  Get away for a bit, don’t need a gym, have to stay fit (yay, no heart disease or smoking) or else be embarrassed, and don’t forget, mostly free.  I’m sure a regular tennis game, long distance run or bike would have similar effects, but without the camaraderie of team sports.

JGS
"If you can keep your head when all about you
 Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
 But make allowance for their doubting too.....

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
 If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
 And treat those two impostors just the same"

soccerluvof4

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #41 on: April 01, 2018, 06:12:01 AM »
Working out 2 Hours 5-6 days a week on average and reading AT LEAST and hour every morning depending on when I wake up probably average closer to two. 
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Freedomin5

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2018, 06:49:30 AM »
Church. We’ve found a community that cares for one another, shares our belief systems and values (in general), and helps and supports each other in times of need. We have sources of inspiration from ordinary people living godly lives (I can’t even count the number of families who foster abandoned disabled children or adopt children, for example). Go to church and get to know the people there if you want to have your faith restored in humanity. Yes, there will be people who are still baby Christians, and no one is perfect, obviously, but most of the people at church sure do try to follow Christ’s example.

On a more practical note, it’s where we’ve found most of our friends, and if we ever have a need, someone is bound to be able to help. I got my job, DH got his job, we were introduced to DD’s awesome preschool, we found a doctor...all through church.

On a grander scale, my personal faith has given me outsized rewards. It gives me hope when things feel hopeless (I’m looking at you, depression). It gives me a solid purpose for life and reasons for living. It provides a guideline on how to live a fulfilling life, so that I don’t have to wander aimlessly and try this and that for several years before finding something like stoicism that is actually similar but not as rich or comprehensive as what is taught by Jesus.

brooklynmoney

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2018, 08:33:09 AM »
Meal prepping was huge for me. FYI: single person household.

Every Sunday morning I prep:
- 6 smoothies, which are 6 pieces of fruit cut up and adding in spinach/kale/cauliflower from the freezer. Pop it all in 6 freezer bags. When you're ready to eat, empty a bag into the blender, add warm water and blend.
- 2 portions each of 3 recipes for dinner. The first 2 can go in the fridge, the others can go in the freezer. Depends on the space you have available and how long your meals will last if only refrigerated. I found great microwave plates with covers for 1,24 euro each. Each morning, take your dinner from the freezer to put in the fridge and then microwave it when you come home.

Both at home and at the office I keep 1 loaf of bread in the freezer, a pack of rice crackers in the pantry and some hummus/peanut butter/whatever in the fridge. I don't have to lug around my lunches every day, just some groceries once every other week.

My meals are prepped for Sunday through Friday. Saturdays I use up leftovers and/or eat down my pantry. Seeing as I do eat at friends or family often, there's always leftovers. Some weeks I only need to prep 4 meals because I have leftovers.

Investment:
- 2-3 hours of a Sunday morning, depending on how fast you are with a knife and a set of pans!
Rewards:
- I don't have to waste a single thought on food during the week.
- Everything is portioned out, contains everything I need and is healthy!
- I only run the dishwasher once or twice a week... max.
- It's unbelievable how much food we buy that we don't consume. Since meal prepping, my grocery spending has gone down loads. My budget is at 180 euro max for a month. On food, I only spend 100-120, the rest is toiletries and such.
- On that note, my eating out budget (previously set at 100 a month) has not gone to mindless cafeteria lunches and drinks (which add up!!) but allowed me to really enjoy and splurge a bit when I do go out. Less stress and more enjoyment all around.
- Spring cleaning is coming up and it'll be easy to empty the fridge and freezer, since I hardly buy excess.
- By doing groceries only once a week, you force yourself to eat down your pantry. This has led me to use up some of those never used items in my pantry. Another win for spring cleaning, I think!
- As a single person, it's sometimes difficult to justify taking the time to cook more complex new dishes. You don't want to buy some ingredients, because you know you won't use them up before they go bad. Meal prepping does allow you to plan ahead, for instance to think of more dishes with that ingredient and freezing those. For instance I've learned that fresh herbs and nuts freeze great!

Yes!!!! Meal planning, grocery shopping 1x a week and cooking everything on Sunday. Never do take out breakfast or lunch anymore and cut down ordering from Seamless to just occasionally. Also eating much healthier!!

totoro

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2018, 09:44:55 AM »
Gardening the lazy way - I spent a lot of time designing the garden at the start and now it is beautiful and productive and minimal work each year tx to the use of mulch, companion planting and auto watering systems. 

Ten minutes of cleaning every morning - keeps things in shape the whole week

Decluttering -  ruthless decluttering means less to manage

Kindness - pays off big time in my relationships

Instant pot - allows me to reduce cooking time dramatically for bean-based meals in particular

Choosing a house with high walkability - I use the car rarely - the kids walk to school and activities too

Automatic bill paying - never have to worry about paying any bills

Learning to cook - mastering basic techniques and working on them over the years has really paid off for the family

I really have to work on an exercise habit still...

kaizen soze

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2018, 10:17:51 AM »
Satiety index. I recently read a book called The Hungry Brain. It's a good read, but I bring it up because it mentioned something called the satiety index. The idea is how full do you feel after eating a certain amount of calories of different foods. If you can eat fewer calories but feel just as satisfied, then you are on  to something useful. 200 calories of cheese is low satiety. 200 calories of oatmeal is high satiety. The big surprise for me? Potatoes are one of the best foods for achieving satiety. A potato is like 4 times more filling than white bread according to science.

Plus potatoes are delicious and nutritious. I've replaced most starches with potatoes.

The best part? It actually works! It turns out that meat and potatoes is diet food. If I eat this way I am much less likely to get snack cravings between meals. And maintaining weight has been made easier.

Now for me I think of reducing the amount of money I spend on food as secondary to reducing the amount of calories I spend on satiety.

Imma

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2018, 10:21:43 AM »
- Not having a car (ever) . We never had a car, so never got used to that lifestyle. Walking / biking / using public traffic is a habit that we don't even have to think about. We live a life that is very focused on our local community. We live in a quiet neighbourhood in a university town with 200k people. All the shops we need are in our neighbourhood, we are close to nature / countryside, I bike to work, s/o takes the train to the next town. We are less than 10 minutes away from the train station and the city center in case we need anything from there, so this really feels like the best of both worlds.

- Keeping our bills low . We lived in rented houses with roommates until we were 24 / 27. My roommate then moved out and my s/o moved in. A year later we bought or own place, a very small townhouse in a nearby community. I've worked parttime since 2016, when I found a new job that paid me as much for 20 hours as my previous job did for 40 hours. I work (paid) overtime quite often, but all in all I'm certainly below 28 hrs / week on average. I have a chronic illness that limits my energy and I'm glad I don't have to spend all my energy on paid work. This way, I can cook nearly everything we eat from scratch and make most of my own clothes. In September I'm also going back to uni parttime to get a Master's degree. I wouldn't have been able to do that had I worked 40 hours/week.

- Pay attention to health. As I said, I'm not healthy, but I manage to live well because I put a lot of effort into staying as healthy as I can. I exercise often, I eat healthy fresh food, I go to the best doctor even though he works in a hospital 2 hours away, I make sure I always sleep 8 hours every night. It works.

- Stay away from bad people. We both grew up in disfunctional families and keeping our distance from certain people is the best thing we've ever done.

- Living a simple life. We've never wanted much, so we're really happy with how our life turned out and we have very few things to worry about.

onemorebike

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2018, 06:39:23 PM »
Meditate daily.

Gratitude journal daily.

Eat vegetarian.

Ride a bicycle for almost all transportation.

Live in a walkable, bikeable, transit friendly place.

Give up alcohol forever.

It has been a long journey but these lifehacks have been a game changer for me.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk


Serendip

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2018, 09:38:44 PM »
-Making the bed every morning & cleaning the kitchen before sleeping: nothing like a clean kitchen to start the day
(note: I make the bed, my SO does the dishes) :)

-Meditating

-Simplify
(in so many areas this is awesome: in particular we share one car, I changed locations so I can walk to work, no drama even when there is a blizzard or the road is closed)

-When we do spend, we buy/pay for quality and enjoy it


CintranGhola

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Re: Actions / Habits / Practices with outsized rewards?
« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2018, 12:34:32 PM »
Meditating for 10 minutes a day has been the biggest for me. That daily practice has improved my mindfulness immensely. As a ruminator, improved mindfulness has given me control over lifelong anxiety that would run completely off the rails for so much of my life.