The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


– Do one horrid ugly chore that you always put off. (For me it seems to be scrubbing the bathroom porcelain that's the most loathed task).

– Do at least one thing you've been feeling bad about not having done. Write that letter, call that elderly relative, mail that gift, write those donation checks to your favorite charity.

– Do one thing you really love doing that you somehow haven't been good at getting around to lately. Walk on the beach, go see a movie, get together with the gang, hang out with the kids doing fun things together.

You'll feel so accomplished at bedtime!

10 bags by sunset

Here's a challenge for you: get 10 grocery bags of stuff out of your house by the end of the day.

Neatniks may have to resort to counting carrying out the trash & recycling, but us mere mortals should be able to achieve this goal with things that wouldn't have gone out anyhow.

How about:
– stuff to go to Goodwill or a similar charity that you already had waiting to take away
– borrowed things to return to to someone
– dry cleaning & alterations to be done
– books to return to the library
– stuff you have been intending to sell in a yard sale for over 10 months – give it to charity already, will ya?!
– stuff you never use ever but it's still perfectly good and you feel guilty about giving it away and… oh just get rid of it!
– canned food for the food bank
– clothes & shoes you never wear – whee! Charity is fun!
– wire hangers accumulated from the dry cleaner

Put more ideas in the comments and enjoy that lightened load!

Today’s Calling Cards

Your email signature file identifies you and your context. People will use it to reach you and to form an opinion of you.

Take a minute to be sure it's
– without errors
– up-to-date
– including only the contact methods that you want to be contacted by
– emphasizing what you want to emphasize
– succinct
– text-only

Good email manners go a long way to set you apart from the crowd.

Late July night

Enjoy the pleasures of this season where you live.

Northern hemisphere folks remember that summer isn't all just sweating. Have a water fight in the yard if it's hot. Go for a walk after things cool off. Get some fresh corn and watermelon. Count stars.

Southern hemisphere folks might want to skip the water fight, but walking and eating seasonal foods and of course counting stars are all excellent things to do on the last Wednesday in July.

Enjoy what you’ve got

Maybe tonight's a good night to stay home, make some dinner from ingredients you already have or eat up some leftovers, watch that movie that's been sitting around or read a book off that stack you keep intending to get to or play a favorite old game that's been gathering dust.

Without spending, you can have a really nice time and remind yourself of what is good about your life.

Pack Your Own

Next time you have to travel somewhere, think ahead and bring the stuff you otherwise up shelling out for. When you do need to spend, spend wisely.

– Bring your own decent headphones for the plane and for use with an MP3 player anywhere else you want some of your own music to give you aural privacy.

– Acknowledge in advance that most of the time now airlines will not provide anything worth eating and that the airport food choices will be fair to middling at high to higher prices. Pack a lunch or at least bring some good snacks from home.

– Tuck one or two of those magazines you've been meaning to get around to reading in your bag or print out a long article from the web. Something off the stack at home and no "it'll do" choice at the newstand in the airport.

– Staying in a hotel for business? Don't drink the stupid tiny $5 water bottle in the room, take a walk over to the nearest grocery or drug store and buy a big bottle for half that price. Your legs could use the stretch and you'll see a little of the outside world.

Got some more tips for penny-pinching travelers? Comment away!

The Magic of the Trash Can

I very much enjoyed this paragraph of a Keith Robinson Life Hacker piece on overcoming the piling habit:

Don't forget the trash can

A trash can or recycle bin is a reformed piler's best friend.
Anything you put in it will be out of your way forever. It's really
amazing how great it can feel to throw something away for-ev-er. For
some people it can be hard, so start slow. Go through your newly
contained stuff, or your existing piles and trash those things you'll
never need or use again.

Check it out, man! I just put stuff in this box and it will never bother me again! Amazing!

I bet you have one of those magic boxes too. Maybe you should fill it up today and put it out where the magicians will transform it into an empty one. Abracadabra!!

Build Your Day Out Of The Right Pieces

Here's a little trick for starting a day off.

First, think of the way you'd spend the day if you had no obligations at all, if you could do whatever you want.

Second, identify those things that must happen today or else tomorrow or the next day will suck.

Third, note the commitments you made to other people and/or social possibilities you'd already been considering which still sound appealing.

Now, build a day which has all three represented, with adequate time between to not feel rushed. I recommend cutting from group three to ensure you get enough of group one.