The World Needs Two of You

The World Needs Two of You

Unfortunately, that’s not possible. The next best thing we can do is to help you get more done in the time you have. That starts off by asking yourself, “Do you need to be the one that completes everything on your to-do list?” 


Let’s come back to that question. First, if we all looked at our lives there are some common tasks that are the same. We need to eat. That means getting groceries, cleaning, and cooking. We need to clean. That means getting cleaning supplies and finding the time to clean. 


You need to outsource


Now we all need to eat. The problem is how to get food worth eating. It’s easy to get fast food or food that you can microwave. A lot of times it’s actually delicious. That makes sense because food scientists, yes that is a thing, spend an inordinate time trying to convince your palate that the fast food or junk food you are eating is delicious. 


Not so delicious that you don’t want to eat more. Just delicious enough for you to eat it and probably a bit too much of it. Diabolical, I know.


No, I’m talking about good-for-you food that tastes delicious. That takes time. Time I don’t like to spend. 


There’s a few options:

1. Find ways to minimize time

2. Have it done for you


How to save time and still eat good food


Let’s break down number 1. Eating good food requires going to the right grocery stores and getting the right high-quality ingredients. That takes time. Not just time spent at the grocery store, but time to get ready, drive, park, pick up the stuff, and wait in line. 


Fortunately, there’s an app for that. A few actually. You can have Whole Foods delivered to you from Amazon for free within 1 hour. There’s also the app Instacart. You end up paying a little more for Instacart, but it even goes to Costco for you without you needing to be a member.


Now you can focus on the more fun part, actually cooking. That starts with getting the ingredients ready. Maybe, you don’t like to do that either. I know I don’t. 


There are services that will do all the shopping for you and send you the perfect quantity of materials. It even sends you the recipe and you can pick what you want to eat. Services like Blue Apron will let you shop recipes and then send you everything you need to make it. 


My brother loves to do this. He’s an ER resident and enjoys cooking, but just doesn’t have the time to research what he wants to eat and buy all the ingredients. He buys the basics and let’s Blue Apron send him the rest of what he needs.


Lastly, if you are like my wife and I you don’t like any part of cooking, but love to eat. There are services for you as well. Meal delivery services like Trifecta will send you ready to cook meals. They are as healthy as can be and you can choose between different types of food. We choose paleo, but there are others as well. You just put it in the microwave, warm it up, and it’s ready to eat. 


The food is pretty good and most importantly healthy. It even has calories and nutrients on there, so I can plan out the rest of the food I can eat in that day. 


Learning from Books

Cleanliness without a time sink

We all like to have a clean place to live. It’s personally hard for me to free up my mind for creative activities if I see a ton of stuff everywhere. Or a bunch of dust mites. 

There’re two steps that I’ve done to try and keep my apartment from becoming a den of filth:

1. Spot cleaning

2. One deep clean a month


Have you ever been into a room that you haven’t used in a while? What did you notice? Dust everywhere. How does it even get in there? It’s hard to say. One thing is for sure: dust will find a way. 

This typically shows up on the floor. Dust everywhere. Even more so for us with pets. Dust and dog hair. There was no way I could wait till the end of the month to do a deep clean. The dust would take over my small apartment. 

I’ve enlisted help. I got a Roomba You can get simple ones that do most of the work. It’ll vacuum around the house/apartment and even come back to charging station when it’s done. 


You can even get fancy ones that you can control with Wi-Fi. They work best when there is your place is all one level. 


This will only keep your place clean for so long, which is why I invest in one deep clean a month. The key word is invest. It’s either an investment of time or money. There’s only so many hours in a day, and I’d prefer not to clean.


I can recognize the mental health benefits of having a clean place though. And I always thought that hiring someone to clean my place was a needless expense and one that I couldn’t afford. Something for just the uber wealthy. 


I even did a quick google search one day when I was really busy and the dust was winning. $100 an hour for a maid? Would have been nice at the time, but I was a resident and that was way more than I could afford.


One day someone told me about Taskrabbit. You can use it to find people who will do common tasks such as helping you move or clean your house. I was able to find someone for $35/hr. My whole place could be cleaned for about $100. Now that was well worth it. 


So now, take all that time you saved and do more of what only you can do.

Technology Addiction

Technology Addiction

If you meet me before, you know I love sweets. Chocolates, gummy bears, cakes, cookies. Yum. I could be sitting working on a blogpost or at work and all a sudden get a constant craving. Some days I’d give in. Go out of my way to get something sweet. Other days, I’d have some willpower and be able to resist. Over the years, I’ve been able to get better at resisting the sugar fiend inside me.

I can still feel it though, deep inside. Even now, I’d love some toffee or some hot chocolate. Now imagine instead, my phone was vibrating. Of course, I’d pick it up. A text message. Let me do a quick reply. Oh, Instagram notification. Who posted something? And so on. All a sudden I’ve lost track of time and it’s an hour later.

Worse yet, at least with my sweet cravings, I’ll know that I should stop and not eat the whole box. With my phone or laptop the various notifications, beeps, vibrations are almost endless. It even sometimes feels productive. Let me reply to this email. Oh, a new article on my favorite blog, well that’s a productive use of my time. Let me read that too.

It’s late afternoon and I haven’t gotten a single thing done on my to-do list. No emails to reply to though! Yep, and all those new blog posts, read! In a sense, technology is worse than sugar. At least after the first few bites of anything sweet, I realize I shouldn’t be eating too much and am usually able to stop. My use of technology could be endless and that guilt is rarely there. I’m not usually doing anything that unproductive. There’s usually some benefit in my interaction with technology.

But that’s the problem, there’s no negative feedback loop. If anything, there’s a small positive feedback loop. I’m getting stuff done. And I keep going. But that blog post I wanted to write sits there as a blank word doc. I’ve let the world make my schedule instead of sticking to what I want to have done. I’ve been able to re-wire my brain a bit with my technology use. Before I sit down on my laptop or phone, I try to think of what I need to do with using it. I turn on do not disturb.

I try to be a little more intentional with my time. Rarely will an email or text need a reply right away. I’ve actually found that people are appreciative of this: if I respond right away then they feel the need to as well. I changed the ringtone for a handful of people in my phone so that it rings even on do not disturb. My wife. My parents. Just in case. I’ll send a quick text saying I’m busy though and ask if I can call them back in a bit.

Like with sweets, I’ll put my phone a little further away. Out of arm’s reach. This helps me resist the urge to grab it when there’s a second of downtime. I just got an email. It can wait. Let me finish this post.