“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker
Life optimization has long been one of my private obsessions.
My mind is constantly looking for ways to tweak and enhance my daily routines and processes — and honestly, I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t do it.
The same way good businesses are always refining their standard operating procedures (SOPs) to improve workflow…
…Our daily lives are a goldmine for experimentation and optimization — and the opportunities to improve our workflow are nearly endless.
(even 1-2% improvements add up to enormous, life-changing benefits over time)
So I’ve listed a few of my favorite “life optimizations” below.
Some are small and subtle, some are not so small — but as you read through them, please remember:
These are my favorites.
They may or may not work for you, and far more important than adopting my optimizations is adopting the mindset of optimization:
Like a scientist in a lab who is constantly testing variables, running experiments, and checking results…
…We can continuously improve all dimensions of our daily life, if we give our attention to it.
Okay, let’s begin:
- Drink warm water (and don’t drink cold water).
An old Chinese Medicine trick; warm water is easily absorbed by the body, while cold water weakens the spleen and harms digestion.
(Do not use plastic bottles — get a proper insulated, stainless steel bottle like Hydroflask — and fill it ~ half with hot water and half with cold water. Adjust temperature to your preference)
As a bonus, add a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt to your morning water for minerals.
Also, drink slowly (no chugging), stop drinking water 15 minutes before meals, and avoid drinking water for 1 hour after meals — and see how much better your digestion feels.
- Water, cold shower, sunlight, meditation.
The magic bullet of morning routines:
- Wake up (do not check your phone)
- Begin slowly drinking your warm water with Celtic Sea Salt
- 2-3 minute cold shower (as cold as it will go)
- 5 minutes of sunlight paired with light movement and stretching (make sure the sun is getting in your eyes, just don’t look directly at it)
Then, enjoy feeling incredible for the rest of the day.
- Walk after every meal (especially dinner).
Another old Chinese Medicine trick for dramatically improving digestion, heart function, and sleep.
Your walk can be as short as ~5-10 minutes (or as long as you’d like), just make sure you feel a slight elevation in heart rate.
In a pinch, I’ll just walk up and down my stairs while I brush my teeth.
- Match your tasks to your internal rhythms.
We all have specific times of day when we’re most effective at specific tasks.
I write best first thing in the morning, I train best around noon, and I’m good at open-ended creative tasks around 3 pm.
I also suck at training first thing in the morning, and I’m practically useless at work between 12 – 3 pm.
But that’s just me.
We all have a unique internal rhythm, and our job is to learn it and match our daily tasks to that rhythm, rather than fighting against it.
Okay, I think that’s good for today.
I planned on listing ~5-10 of these, but we ran a bit longer than I expected.
So I think we’ll make this an ongoing series 🙂
(there are probably ~50 we could list, likely more)
Let me know what you think of this idea, and your results if you try any of these out.
One final note:
I obsess over this stuff because I find it fun.
The daily laboratory is my happy place, and tweaking, adjusting, and optimizing my daily life puts a goofy smile on my face.
Bring that type of energy to optimizing your own life, and hit me up a year from now.
The results may be shocking.
P.S. While writing, I realized how much there is to say on this topic.
After 650 words, we’ve only just dipped our toe in the water.
So at some point, I might even put together a step-by-step course on life design & life optimization.
I’d have a blast creating a guided process for:
- Designing a grand life vision
- Fixing the holes in your daily process that are mis-aligned with that life vision
- Implementing daily habits and optimizations that will bring that life vision into reality
- Building a personalized productivity and self-management system
- Continuing to optimize your life as you and your vision evolve
Now that I’m actually writing this out, I’m starting to get excited.
Let me know if you feel the same way, and maybe we’ll make it happen 🙂