“What are those?”
I was writing in a coffeeshop, in the flow of what I was working on—getting words on the page, in the zone.
The man was pointing to my AirPods—they had come out a couple of days ago and I managed to snag some.
I explained to him how they work—I can tap on them to summon Siri or play or pause a podcast. I also told him how I wear them religiously—I don’t leave the house without them.
I’m an evangelist for few things, but AirPods—well—I will brag about these forever.
When I finished my technological sermon, he looked at me and said, “It’s a bit much, isn’t? What about just enjoying the moment?”
He walked off and I thought—
He completely missed the point.
I’m all about getting off your phone and watching the sunset. I’m all about putting down your camera at your kids play and watching the actual play (or concert, or what have you.)
But when it comes to productivity—when it comes to simplicity and offloading all the minutiae and noise in my head—I’m all about that.
I recently read an article about how we are becoming Cyborgs—getting so attached to our technology that it becomes this symbiotic relationship.
And here’s the thing—I’m all for it.
I’m Pro-Cyborg—I automate everything that is boring and that doesn’t give me life.
Acorns is a great way to automate your savings. You can simply invest in what you’d like—have your purchases rounded up to the nearest dollar and that change goes right into your account. You can also set up automatic payments from any checking or savings account. If you are looking to start simply putting a little money aside or start investing slowly—this is the way to go.
Stop cleaning your house.
One of my best moves was to get a housekeeper. She comes once a month, does a deep cleaning of my little apartment and it takes the pressure off of me. I’m not a complete slob, but I work a 40 hour job and I write about 15 hours a week for this blog so something had to give.
Sometimes we have this shame of having someone else clean our house, but we don’t have shame of other people cooking our food. Give me a break. Spend a little less time out and get someone to clean. Done.
Use your smartphone in a smarter way.
My phone pings and pings. PINGS. Why? Because I put reminders for nearly everything in there. My calendar is full of “brah—don’t forget this. Now these are things that happen every year, month or week like clockwork; I just want to be ahead of it.
Here are some examples:
- Renewing your drivers license and stickers.
- Insurance payments.
- Other bills (phone, renters insurance, etc.)
You don’t have to speak them; you can simply type them into your phone. My trick is when I have to pay rent or some annual payment comes up, it reminds me to put in a reminder to be reminder. Welcome to reminder inception.
I also look for stuff that’s bugging me. Maybe I’m waiting to hear back from an interview, but I won’t hear back until Thursday. You think my brain is going to put me at peace until Thursday? NOPE.
So I put in a reminder: “Worry about the interview on Thursday.” The minute my brain knows I have a reminder, the anxiety stops. Instantly.
Now if you are looking for next level stuff. . .
Autopay your life.
First, direct deposit your check, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that. C’mon. Check the calendar. Second, have your bills on autopay. I get it; some of us are not financially savvy, but having all of my bills go to autopay has been a dream come true. I know two payments I have to make: car and rent. Every month.
So I have half of my car payment and rent come out of my pay check each month. I get paid twice a month so at the end of the month, boom, my bank sends a check to another bank for my car payment and my landlord. Everything else come to me. (I plan on having my insurance and all of that paid automatically as well.) Now I know I won’t get my car repo-ed or be homeless. Success!
Regulate your emotions.
I thought this mindfulness craze was a bunch of malarky to be honest. Mindfulness? Come on. It wasn’t until I started using 10% Happier, a great app to practice mediation. I’ve done it for 30 days in a row and found myself to be calmer and have more clarity. It times your meditations and I’ve found it to be great for 10-15 minutes of serenity.
Offload the mental clutter.
If you’ve been on this blog for ten minutes, you know how much I love Evernote. Use it. Get to it. Put all the things in there that you have to keep track of. Here’s an article for more information; love me some Evernote.
End the life of shopping.
I’m not going to go into a rant about how we buy too much stuff. I’m not that guy (today), but I loathe and hear me sisters and brothers, loathe, going into Target or Walmart. The crowds—the lines—you gotta be kidding me. It’s such a time sink that I can’t handle it. So what do I do, I order online all of the time—then I pick that stuff up. I pop in—show some ID—and I’m out of there. I’m not sucked into sales or the dollar section. I’m not going to impulse buy.
Have an everyday carry.
I have certain objects I carry with me regardless of where I go: wallet, AirPods, phone, Field Notes notebook, pencil. End of list. This way I can capture thoughts and listen to podcasts or music wherever I go. I’m not putting in my brain to hold on to—I have to write it down. When I get home, I offload all of it right inside my place. I throw everything on a charger if need be.
If you repeat any action, write it down.
If you have a system, but you keep it in your head, that’s an issue and a cause for failure. You’re inviting chaos into the system. A misstep. Create a checklist. Something you refer to. Travel often? Make a list of bleeping everything you have to bring. Whether it’s shopping, posting a blog or practicing guitar—make a checklist.
Being a cyborg is about moving the mundane into the world of the automatic. You don’t have to spend time worrying about if that bill got paid or if you have enough money in your account for rent. You can offload the boring tasks to spend more time on the exciting and worthwhile tasks and even your loved ones.
Know someone who needs to become a cyborg as well, so we can have a cyborg army? Slap the share buttons on the left hand side!