I’m pretty sure that the more random theses lists are, the more I enjoy them. This one is all over the place, but I really love everything on it. Each item on this list also proves that it’s the little things, and the that the sum of a bunch of little things can make a big impact. What I mean is that it’s not really the item that has made a difference, but the constant use and what it represents. Although I did actually need most of these to do the thing, it’s not the thing that is so great, but what the repetitive action with every single one of these results in. As Chris from Northern Exposure philosophically pointed out in one of my all time favorite quotes: “It is not the thing you fling, but the fling itself.”.
1. The app Productive – I finally started taking turmeric pills much to the satisfaction of my mom, who swears by it for joint pain. She was right, my hip feels much better when I take it, but I keep forgetting to take it. I found this app on a list a month or so ago and started using it as a reminder, it’s free to use for up to 5 habits, and it has really helped! At this rate, I might just be able to run again soon.
2. My Morning Routine – It started off innocently enough. I found myself wanting to make sure that I was doing the things that made my day feel productive even on the days when I had to leave the studio to work at the tv station. I found myself getting up early enough to make sure certain routines were being done and it made a big difference. Then I started to add more things that would make my day better, such as writing morning pages and visualizing my day. I have been tweaking it here and there, adding and removing things to find my ideal routine, I’m really into the act of it. The biggest change in how my day went started when I stopped beginning my day by reading emails in bed. I now do my routine and then sit down at my desk and open the email after everything else is done. It really doesn’t matter that the first email reading of the day has been pushed 45 minutes to anyone but me, and to me, it has made a huge impact. I plan on going into this more in the next few weeks on the blog, so keep an eye out if it interests you.
3. Hard boiled eggs – These are up there on the list of things that make my life so much better when they exist, but are oddly something that I avoid doing. I prepare a dozen at once and eat one during my morning routine as are the perfect amount of food to start my day. In general, I have a problem eating enough protein, and eggs are such a great source of it, so it’s no brainer to have them readily available and easy to eat. I really need to get better at making the next batch as soon as I eat the last egg. I do buy them, I just slack on cooking them.
4. Auto transfers – This is one of those really obvious things that I had sort of forgotten I could do and it was game changing when I finally did it. I started this a few months ago and was quickly obsessed with the awesomeness of it. I manage our household finances, and every week, Adam and I each contribute x amount to our joint checking account. That account is used for anything household related or for activities that we do together. So things like utility bills, eating out together, travel or home repairs would all be included. Our savings account is attached to it as well. One day as I was transferring money to our savings, I realized that if I set it up to do it automatically, just like how almost all of our bills are paid, the weekly amount would just go there without my ever forgetting or avoiding to move it over. I set it up so the day after we send money from each of our own accounts to the checking account, a set amount goes right to our savings. I even already increased it a little because I realized we wouldn’t miss it if I did it. Every couple of weeks I give Adam a status report of both the checking and savings amounts and the last couple of times, Adam has been shocked that the savings has consistently been growing, even if it’s not by huge amounts, it still has been going up and up. I was really excited too and was yelling “I know, right!?!?!” a lot.
This is not rocket science, it’s basically just paying ourselves first, which BTW, I read yesterday should be the equivalent of one hour of each of your workdays. I haven’t figured out what that would be for each of us, but I aim make sure the amount is at least around there going forward. I also started doing this with things that are paid annually, mostly taxes. I know some people prefer to open multiple accounts to keep things separate but I find that if I just note the amount put aside in my ledger that it works for me. I do this with our property taxes and with income taxes from the tv station as it’s a contract position. For property taxes, I just have it set so the annual amount divided by 12 is taken out each month, and for my self employment taxes, I manually set 25% aside from each check I receive as the amounts differ.
5. Rubber gloves – Another, duh/a-ha!, moment. I have to pay more attention to the condition of my hands and nails now that I have them all front and center on DIY videos. I am brutal on manicures, but am learning and trying to make them last. One thing I do is get the lightest, most natural polish, so you can’t really tell if gets roughed up and the other is that I started wearing rubber gloves when I do dishes (I love to hand wash dishes, its soothing to me). I started this to protect the manicures, but the extreme dryness and skin cracking around my nails has gotten better too. I also can use much hotter water as my hands are protected, so that has to be a good thing sanitation wise. Win win for rubber gloves!