Tag Archives: habits

Goof-On!

Things to do/read when I want to goof off or an bored that would actually be productive without being painful

So when I’m tired, either physically or emotionally, I find that I tend to seek easy distractions. It reminds me of vegging out to whatever was on “the tube” back when TVs were actually tubes and you had to watch “what was on.” Except now it tends to be FaceBook or Instagram. Not that there’s anything wrong with social media, but I’d rather do it on purpose, not because I’m too decision-fatigued to come up with something better to do.

A lot of the time, when I quit swiping through whatever app it is, I regret that instead of goofing off, I didn’t do something just as easy, but more enriching, like go through articles I’ve bookmarked to read later, or read up on some of the tips and tricks linked from my favorite podcast. Call it goofing on. Sometimes the only reason I didn’t is that I would have had to decide on something and then find it.

So this page is my equivalent of setting out my running shoes the night before – something you do when the motivation and will are high, that reduces the barrier for me when I know it will be low. Give some of these a try if you want, and let me know if you have any top links/resources/activities you’d add!

In the vein of tinyhabits.com and coach.me (formerly LiftApp), the habit I’m trying to build is:

When I want to play a game, check FB, etc., I open this list first.

The list of Goof Ons:

Things to do when I have no energy at all (these are listed first for a reason!)

  • Check my calendar
  • Look at the family photo stream
  • Check Safari reading list
  • Check Kindle and/or iBooks for non-fiction I might feel like reading a page from
  • Read show notes from favorite episodes of The Tim Ferriss Show

Things to do when I’m frustrated and need to do something else for a minute

  • DuoLingo
  • Process email (either business or personal)
  • Think of one thing I’ve learned from the most recent thing I’ve read and put one or more action items in my calendar that will help me put it into practice.
  • read Four Hour Chef
  • do one push-up – 5 sec. down and 5 sec. up
  • do one L pull-up
  • do one air squat
  • Check FB saved links (don’t do this when I’m too fatigued, I’ll open FB and get stuck on the news feed)
Three of us goofing off

Goofing off

Habits I’ve removed from LiftApp

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Opinions vary on how long to track a new habit, but I think the best use of Lift is to establish a new positive habit. And, given our limited willpower and cognitive space, it works best to focus on just a few at a time. So I’ve adopted the strategy of no longer tracking some habits once they’re established.

Examples of habits I no longer track in Lift:
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Daily Routine

Zihang H., who I follow on Lift, posted the following question recently:

How to make our lives more interesting since most of our daily lives consists [sic] of endless routine?

It’s been a long time since I’ve been bored, but I thought about it and posted this response:

During the times in my life where my central activities bored me, I was happiest when I spent as much time in active personal development as possible. Other times, like now, my central activities are incredibly challenging (no boredom possible), so my routine is all about setting up a good foundation for the central activities, getting the mundane stuff done as efficiently as possible, and carving out small-but-workable slices of time for personal development.

One tiny action that will improve your life

updated from the original article dated 8/24/2010

What gets measured gets managed.
–Dr. Peter Drucker

a tape measure

photo courtesy of gd365

This is an incredibly powerful statement. It’s why step one in any effort to lose weight should be to keep a food log…and it’s why that simple act is so often the turning point for people. If there’s any aspect of your life that is out of your control, or simply missing, you can make a great stride towards changing that fact simply by measuring it.

Do you feel you’re wasting your life away in front of the television or computer? Is your weight out of control? Do you smoke and wish you didn’t? Does being fit seem attractive, but getting there impossible? Start recording your behavior. Just doing it for a single 24 hour period will be illuminating. The knowledge you gain might encourage you to continue for a week, and then maybe three. If you do something consistently for 3 weeks, it becomes a habit.
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