Jan 052011

*note* probably should have posted this right after new years. Maybe I should have added don’t procrastinate to the list.

So I decided since it’s a new year it might be interesting to start off learning some new things to make life easier.  Here are some of my tips for life!(Life hacks) along with some of my favorites I found online.

(image taken from a outside store in Tallinn, Estonia – see the streaks of snow? – it’s a man with some great ideas – who wants this thing in their house?!? I never did find out if the statue/light was anatomically correct in the front haha)

Tip#1: Cooking is the process of turning ingredients into Food.  Don’t buy any food from a box or a can or anything with a label that has any ingredients you don’t know (or can’t pronounce).  Stick to fresh fruits, meats, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts etc.  You will feel better, look better, lose weight, and be more productive.

Tip#2: Drink more water.  Helps with all sorts of things – higher energy levels, healthy skin, digestive problems, lowers, cancer risk, cures headaches, cleanses the body, lowers heart disease risk – AND prevents hangovers (anybody else forget that one this past new years eve?)

Tip#3: To-do lists.  I actually never used them, but my girlfriend got me into this.  It’s great because it’s a way to take things off your mind.  If you’re working on something but also trying to remember all the other things you have to do a list can get all of that clutter out of your brain.  Ta Da List is a good site for this.

Tip#4: Spend time offline.  Lately I’ve been ignoring this one.  I’ve been knee-deep in research on internet marketing, blog marketing, facebook marketing, social media tools, and social networking sites.  It’s hard to process all that information without some downtime.  In fact I plan to spend a good long time later today with a big piece of blank paper and a pen trying to structure everything I’ve learned making a Mind Map.

Tip#5: Single Task. It’s so easy to try to do a million things all at once. Give one thing all your attention until it is finished, then move on to the next. Chances are you will do a better job at a task while giving it your full attention. This is easier said than done! While working managing an eCommerce store I was always on the phone with suppliers and customers, while trying to read emails, manage my team, work on marketing and design, having meeting constantly being interrupted with phone calls etc. It’s a wonder anything got done.

Tip#6: If you’re reading this in a place where it’s very cold outside (as it is here in Finland) you can use outside as your refrigerator! Living most of my life in Los Angeles I never knew if you had warm beer, putting it outside would make it cold quicker than the refrigerator. A lot of people might already know this but to me it’s new! For extra points use a pile of snow to hold your bottles.

Tip#7: For people who don’t live in a cold place right now, there is another, more scientific way to get your beers cold in 3 minutes. Put the cans in a pot with ice. Add 2 cups of salt and then fill the pot with water. In 3 minutes the cans will be ice cold. You could scale this plan to work with a cooler also – never tried it but it might have some use while camping.

Tip#8: Have a system to not forget to bring important things. This would have helped me with my recent glasses situation. Put important things on your shoes, or with your keys so you can’t forget them. If you try to get in your car without your keys, you’ll be forced to go back and see the thing you were also supposed to bring! On a side note, a system for where to keep your keys is important. My mom is notorious for losing her’s even though there’s a key hook right near the door in my parents house. On a tangent, I also got her as a gift a little beeper thing you put on your key chain. You press a button on a small remote and go looking for the beeping. She proceeded to lose the remote *sigh (I still love her though!)

Tip#9: Staying motivated. If you want to get something done, there’s nothing better than bragging to your friends about it first. Then you will feel the pressure to actually do what you say or be subject to ridicule.

Tip#10: Find out how the hell people are making money online! Everything seems like some weird pyramid scam. I’m trying to figure out what is really going on because the best Life Hack I can think of is to be able to make money working from anywhere. I love traveling and want to work a flexible schedule (I’m a bit of a night owl so waking up for an early morning commute is rough). If you learn this secret please share it (with me only).

Bonus Tip: Like me on Facebook because I need fans – and it will help me help you (is that a Jerry McGuire reference? wow.) Thanks for reading! Comment if you have any other Life tips.

Dec 222010

So admittedly this rant has nothing to do with social media or blogging…or does it?  I’ll keep it short anyways.  Every Tuesday my girlfriend and I have a Sauna booking at the Sauna in our apartment complex (If you don’t know much about Finnish Sauna culture, they are quite ubiquitous – I read there are like 2.5 million Sauna’s in Finland and the population is only around 5.3 million).  Our complex has electronic key card locks (a la hotel room style) – this is important to note.  Well, our Sauna booking is from 7pm-10pm (this time frame is apparently quite strictly enforced).  So the convention is to make trips between the Sauna, comfortable for Finns at around 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit), and outside (which here in Otaniemi is currently -7.38 degrees Celsius or 18.71 degrees Fahrenheit).  
(me in central Helsinki at this art exhibition with many of these bear statues, each designed to represent a different country of the world – sadly I forget which country this bear was from.  Oh yeah, I’m wearing my glasses in this picture)

On a quick aside (this is a rant, I can do what I want!), if you’re American and you start to understand Celsius, you might have been living abroad for too long haha.  Well, we didn’t keep track of the time and made a trip outside after a particularly hard round of löyly (the act of throwing water on the heated rocks in the Sauna).   It felt so nice we stayed outside in the cold for quite awhile, literally steaming (quite funny to see).  Low and Behold, we then attempt to go back in using our electronic key card, only to find it’s now past 10pm and the key no longer works.  Inside were my glasses.  Shit.

I’m accustomed to staying up late, reading things online and working on blog stuff.  Quite coincidentally I had just been thinking I should get a back-up pair of specs.  I found a cool website (which is not paying me to promote them or anything but I liked the site so I’ll mention it) http://www.warbyparker.com where you can take a picture of yourself and fit the glasses to your face to complete a virtual “try-on.”  I had been having some fun playing around with the site and especially liked how they charge only $95.00 for the frames and lenses (plus apparently they give away a pair for each one sold to needy people worldwide).   Weird how coincidences like this sometimes happen – it’s like my subconscious was trying to warn me about the possibility I might lose my glasses and the internet randomly brought me a solution (which I of course failed to acknowledge at the time).

I guess my rant is this:  I put on my contacts and tried to stay up late as usual, but they’re just not the same.  My eyes started hurting and they kept blurring the screen a little, causing me to constantly rub them.  This caused me a horribly unproductive evening (where I couldn’t work on setting up my new WordPress.org blog as planned).   I dunno, funny how dependent some of us are on having an oddly shaped glass placed in front of our eyeballs.  I know I’m not the only one – so if you have any stories or comments please share!