Quit all your vices

For many, the major obstacles to the good life is the abundance of temptations keeping us in the same place:

  1. Put up barriers that constrain the activity within predetermined limits.
  2. Make a rule. "Only one episode of television per day."
  3. Use the power of consistent conditioning. "I only use social media on weekends." Now you won't think of checking it on a weekday.
  4. Set barriers that prevent you from engaging. Use an app to control social media websites.
  5. Set barriers you can't easily overcome. Give your friend the password to unblock your social media, so you can't disable it.
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Self Improvement

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How to make huge improvements

If you want to improve your life, you have to be committed and start from the right foundation.

The typical person could make considerable improvements in less than a year.

The productivity system is not just about getting more work done - it's about organising all of your goals and efforts.

When it comes to self-improvement, people can face two problems:

  • They don't feel they have enough time or energy.
  • They fail to follow through.

A productivity system, built correctly, solves both of these problems.

Exercise sharpens your mind and improves your mood. It is also entirely under your control.

It is recommended that you start with an exercise schedule that involves exercising at the same time every weekday so that it quickly becomes a habit. If you feel you are too busy, focus on high-intensity workouts for 20-30 minutes at a time.

Read 30 minutes, each day

Working towards any goal is the most important thing you can do. The second most important is to read books about how to do it better.

Every person can read thirty minutes per day during the in-between times in their schedule. You can commit more, but you shouldn't commit less.

Writing expands our memory by giving us a buffer to store thoughts before they fade from our memory. Writing also enables self-reflection. When you write down a long series of thoughts and then read it, you simultaneously articulate an idea and critique it.

Write weekly in your notebook about your current struggles, ambitions or plans.

Ensure that you speak with someone who is ahead of you in at least one dimension of their life, once per week. If you're working on your health, have a conversation with the person who is fit at the gym.

The biggest mistake we can make with self-improvement is to be too introverted.

Write down whenever you spend money on anything. A spreadsheet can be used to track your spending.

The good life is easier to attain if you're able to budget for it, such as using saved money to buy books.

Set yourself a time for bed and a wake time. Then stick to it. A consistent sleeping schedule allows you to predictably plan all the other things you intend to do.

  • Don't hit the snooze button, but practice getting up immediately.
  • Set aside the hour before bed for reading, journaling or quiet hobbies. It will make falling asleep easier.
  • Keep the same wake time on weekends as it is much easier to maintain.

Having a big project you're always working on helps to keep all the other foundational practices together. A project that will last 1-2 years works best to maximize effort.

Four major kinds of projects that can be rotated are career projects, learning projects, fitness projects, and creating projects.

This could be a new restaurant, a new activity, event, or just walking in a part of town you've never been to before.


A problem of productivity is that we tend to stick to activities we know are rewarding and tend to avoid trying new things that may be a waste of time. Adding some randomness in your calendar may offer profound results.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • Books are general; conversations are specific. Books can help greatly, but they are more like an atlas, whereas you may be in need of a tour guide.
  • A lot of important knowledge cannot be written down. A conversation covers deeper information than you cannot read from a transcript. You subtly absorb attitudes, practices and beliefs that cannot be recorded in books.
  • Access matters. Opportunities are often realized through talking with other people.

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IDEAS

Start With One Habit at a Time

New habits are very major life changes and should not be taken lightly. They require an enormous amount of discipline and mental energy to build, and you don't want to overwhelm yourself.

Only commit to one new habit at a time, and give yourself at least a one month buffer zone between new habits.

Finding Time For Learning
  • Most adults who are juggling work, parenting and self-care find it hard to set aside time to learn anything new.
  • The desire to learn is there, as one knows the importance of upgrading one’s skill sets. The challenge is to find the time to learn.
  • The most fundamental strategy is not to spread ourselves too thin, and have only one project at a time. If we want to learn tennis, painting and coding, we need to pick one first.
  • If multiple projects are important to us, we still need to focus on learning one project at a time and pick the second one after progress is made on the first one.

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