Before chopping a fruit or vegetable, look up the best way to deal with it.
I always seek out video instructions on how to chop things.
For example, here’s the best way to chop a bell pepper.
Video: “Fastest Way to Cut a Bell Pepper – Food Basic”
Ignore paper instructions; search for a video instead.
This applies to furniture and appliances, like when you’re replacing a vacuum battery or putting IKEA furniture together: it saves time to toss the pamphlet and go straight to YouTube.
When studying: Put your study sheet in a zip-lock bag and stick it on the wall while you shower.
Specifically: Write a condensed version of your notes on a sheet of paper, and put it in a freezer-sized zip-lock plastic bag. Showers are conducive to thoughtful states of mind, so you might find you’re able to remember things better.
To fall asleep: Think through what you did that day in as much detail as possible, starting from the moment you opened your eyes.
The idea is to give your mind something to focus on—and something that’s different each day, but not remotely interesting—so you have to strain to think about it.
This is so boring that I usually fall asleep after “breakfast.”
To remember whether you’ve done something: Do something odd right after you’ve done it, like tapping your chest three times, hopping on one foot, or spinning in a circle.
When you do something routine, like locking the door, your brain goes on autopilot. Performing a strange action right after gives you a “hook” to remember.
For example, if you’re locking up your house before a big trip, spin in a circle right after you’ve done it. Later, when you think “Did I remember to lock the house?”, you’ll know, “I did, because I remember spinning in a circle.”
When packing for a trip: Take a picture of everything you pack.
Lay out everything you’re going to pack on the floor, next to the bag it goes in. Take a picture. Then, when you’re packing to go home, quickly review the photo to make sure you’ve remembered everything.
(Next-level: Keep a written list of everything you pack, such as in Workflowy or Excel.)
While on a trip: Put stuff away in as few places as possible.
The safest thing to do is not put anything away. Leave it all on the surface of a table or dresser.
If you do put stuff away, never put ~one~ thing in a drawer/box/cubby by itself. Keep things grouped such that when you scan your “What I packed” photo, at least one thing from each group leaps out at you.
To remember to do something: Write a note to yourself and post it where you are guaranteed to see it.
For example, if I need to remember to bring a certain book with me to a meeting, I’ll write “Bring book” on a post-it and tape it to my doorknob (on the inside), so I can’t leave my apartment without touching the note.
Carry around a mini notebook, and take notes on what you did, how it made you feel, and what you wish you’d done instead.*
Similarly: Periodically review what you did over the past week (look over your calendar appointments for a reminder), take note of anything you wish you’d done differently, and convert it into a lesson learned for next time.
*I got this from a CGP Grey video—one of the Q&As.
Wash socks in a bag.
You know how socks are always getting lost in the laundry? Put them in a mesh laundry bag. I stick the bag straight in the washing machine and dryer. No more lost socks.
Note: Some people solve this problem by only buying one type of sock (e.g., twenty pairs of black crew socks), so it doesn’t matter if they lose some of them. That would work if you only need one type of sock.
Use food to adjust your sleep schedule.
The easiest way to keep a steady sleep schedule is to get up at the same time every day. (That is, vary your sleep time, but fix your wake time; choose when to go to bed based on how tired you are, but wake up at the same time no matter what.)
So when you’re getting used to a new wake time, force yourself to get up with the alarm and eat something right away (ideally within 25 min, but within an hour is okay).
Even if you’re not hungry. Even if you end up going back to sleep on the couch after. Just a bite or two of food is enough to get your brain to remember “This is when we get fed.”
Over time, if you don’t eat for an hour before going to bed, and do eat within an hour of waking up, your brain will associate those times with sleeping and waking, and waking up will feel easier.
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