Things have changed a lot in the last month for me and the demands on my time have multiplied. Many of the changes I have made fall into the category of forming a routine and I though I’d share some of my favorites.
The first thing I do most mornings is read. In general this falls into three categories: pleasure, improvement, and technology news. My go to fiction tends to be classic novels but this year I have read a ton of George R. R. Martin. Everyone knows A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) but I also very much enjoyed Tuf Voyaging, a collection of tales about the adventures of a feline friendly Ecological Engineer that Martin wrote for literary magazines. I also read a number of bios and memoirs with Rainn Wilson’s The Bassoon King being a recent favorite. For improvement I am subscribed to BC MBA Eric Barker’s Barking Up the Wrong Tree emails and Tim Ferriss’ Five Bullet Fridays. I am currently reading Ferriss’ The Four Hour Body as well as Michael Watkins’ The First 90 Days. One of my favorites and a book I love to give is Dale Carnegie’s classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I gave away two copies last year alone. For Tech news, I subscribed to Business Insider’s 10 Things in Tech You Need to Know Today, as well as Fred Wilson’s AVC daily blog. Beyond that, I use Twitter primarily for Tech and Startup news and love my friend and mentor John Gallaugher’s Week in Geek emails.
I recently started The Five Minute Journal. It is a quick and structured entry each morning and evening that helps reflect on gratitude and positive improvement. I am a week in and it’s earned me a massage-so far so good! I’d like to do more free journaling as well, but this is a great start.
I am about a month into a daily meditation practice using the mindfullness app Headspace. It’s a ten minute guided meditation. The jury is still out for me on benefits but there is certainly something positive about the routine and the act of carving time for self-improvement.
Making the Bed
This is a small thing that I have been doing for a while now but recently started thinking about in a new light. General Stanley McChrystal points to it as one of the most important things he does each day and I have started to view doing it as an accomplishment. Between that and meditating, I now walk out the door each day with two wins under my belt.
Most days, I use Bridj for my morning commute. Although a great service, the van nature of it means I get sick if I try to read. I asked for podcast suggestions and many friends answered the call. I have been enjoying Hardcore History, Star Talk, and 99% Invisible, but my favorite by far has been the Tim Ferriss Show. He interviews actors, founders, investors, researchers, and many other people to attempt to deconstruct what has made them successful. Some of my favorites have been Rainn Wilson, Scott Adams, Derek Sivers, and BJ Novak.
When I set out to write this post, I intended to add goals for 2016 as well but I’m already over 500 words so I’ll tackle that next time.
What are your routines or suggestions? Let me know in the comments!
For those of you skimming…
- Tuf Voyaging – George RR Martin
- The Bassoon King – Rainn Wilson
- The Four Hour Body – Tim Ferriss
- The First 90 Days – Michael Watkins
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
- Barking Up the Wrong Tree – Eric Barker
- Five Bullet Fridays – Tim Ferriss
- Ten Things in Tech You Need to Know Today – Business Insider
- AVC – Fred Wilson
- The Week in Geek – John Gallaugher
- The Five Minute Journal
- Headspace (Meditation and Mindfullness)
- Make Your Bed
January 12, 2016 at 9:01 am
Sounds like a productive start to 2016! Another form of self improvement that has been huge for me has been listening to audiobooks while I run or workout. Somedays it’s tough to choose between audiobook/podcast, but I find if I reserve podcasts for car/chores etc and audiobooks exclusively for working out I am better able to follow along. Nothing like educating yourself while you sweat. Listening to Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk currently.