On Life Design: a Reality Check
I don't think anyone will tell you this because it's not the kind of advice that people like to give. It took me a long time to except the sad truth.
I wanted to optimize my life so I could have more time to do the things I love. Plain and simple. And naturally I wanted a short cut to get there. I figured I'd read some books and follow some blogs and listen to a few podcasts and quickly learn all of the best ways to live my life.
That didn't work. So naturally I read more books and more blogs and listened to more podcasts... yah. Before I knew it I was stuck in that vicious sneaky cycle where my best intentions of learning and implementing turn into a time wasting obsession that only leads to more confusion and disorganization.
And then, typical of life, one simple realization fixed the problem.
It's my freaking life. I'm the only one who knows the best way to optimize it. And that's how it should be.
The not-so-exciting truth is, if you are going to properly optimize your life, you will need to try out lots of different applications, subscription services, etc. Sign-up, test it out a few times and then either cancel and try something new or keep it and make it work for you. The good news is the more you do this, the easier it becomes and it will soon stop feeling like extra work.
An example: I care a lot about the design of an application. I like things to be very clean and simple looking. I will almost always prefer a site that is aesthetically pleasing to one that isn't. Even if that means paying more or sacrificing customer service. Obviously this is not true of everyone or there wouldn't be so many awful looking websites ;)
Looking for a place to start? Try out Last Pass to save all your log-in info and keep your accounts organized for you. Honestly, it will take several hours to get all of your accounts into their system and you will hate me. But once every single website, username and password you use is in one single and secure place, you will love me. Also, having this service set up removes much of the headache associated with trying new services since it automatically creates passwords, saves them and fills them into sites when needed. You can even add bank accounts, credit cards, IDs, passports and private notes. Everything is sharable so if you need to share anything with your assistant, friends or family you can without giving the actual password. It's life changing.
A couple last thoughts:
1) if you're initial reaction to this is, "I don't have the time", I would like to remind you that if it's important to you, you will find the time. And I don't mean getting up at 4am and cramming in extra stuff. I mean taking a look at your existing life and removing time wasting activities. (TV and Facebook are usually good places to start)
2) if anyone has other suggestions for the word "optimize" I'm all ears. There's got to be a better term for this stuff.