Archives for 2010
In my quest for minimalism and simplicity, one of the first areas of my life I looked to reduce was my wallet.
I’ve never kept a titanic trifold, but it was always big enough to bother me when I sat down… forcing me to wag myself into a position where it wasn’t as much of a pain in the butt (literally).
Keeping it in my front pockets hasn’t been an option the past couple years because that would compromise the nice fades I’ve got going on with my jeans… no way I would ever ruin them with some bogus wallet fade.
After some searching on mnmlist (the guide to all things minimal), I came across the solution:
I was sold. I didn’t think there was any way a “wallet” could get any more unobtrusive than that. I confidently clicked away $5 and eagerly awaited the day my money-band would arrive in the mail.
When it finally came, I felt like I used to on Christmas mornings when I’d rip open a present in hopes of a new video game, only to find socks…
… I thought the money-band was going to be made of some fancy stretchy material, devised by a team of chemists and physicists, fabricated for the sole purpose of being the single greatest money holding device known to man…
… but it’s just a dinky rubber-band. I paid $5 for a rubber-band.
Some son of a gun was able to reposition a rubber-band (a 2 cent product) as a cutting edge $3.99 product and I fell for it.
In any case, it does its job. I now only carry 1 debit card, my license, and less than $20 in cash, all snuggly held together by my money-band.
This bundle is extremely light weight and I often have to double check to make sure it’s still in my pocket… that’s how discreet it is.
It is kind of awkward getting your money out the first few times you use it though… you have to get used to pulling the band off and not fumbling your cash and cards looking like the dufus I did the first time I used it.
It’s only supposed to last upwards of a year before it deteriorates, as it is just a rubber-band. I’ll probably end up getting another one after mine breaks… I don’t think it’s worth the time to scavenge for a similarly sized rubber band at Staples when this one fulfills my needs.
If you end up getting one or start using a rubber-band, let me know what you think.
… and don’t let Constanza influence you otherwise.
I propose a new law:
All internet users must use their full name as their username for all websites, and on top of that, for their profile picture or avatar, they must use an actual picture of themselves.
I have my fingers crossed that Obama will pass it soon.
Internet anonymity is such a sham… if you don’t want a future employer or important other to find dirt about you on the internet, then don’t let it get there in the first place.
Through the veils of monikers, internet users are able to spew diatribes and masquerade an alter ego, all without ever revealing their true selfs.
This disconnect from the self, while therapeutic for some, makes the internet a place akin to Bizarro World… a far divide from the actual world we live in.
I think that the internet would become a lot more “normal” if more people simply used their real name and actual picture instead of some appellation and fictitious avatar for the websites they frequent.
Psychologically speaking, using a handle and avatar allows the user to lose their sense of self… it allows them to assume a new personality and toss the moral fibres they were raised with.
That’s why you see people say and do things on the internet they would never otherwise do in real life… they have have lost their self-awareness and act in a more primordial manner.
After running a website with a lot of teenage male users for over a year now, I’ve noticed that nearly every troublesome user I’ve dealt with was someone who assumed a pen-name… what a coincidence.
Want to know the secret behind MJ’s skills? Clapton’s “slowhand”? Picaso’s brush?
If you think any of those individuals was born with a gift…you’re dead wrong.
Experts say that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated practice until you can acquire mastery in one area of your life.
You can bet your ass those guys put in that much time (and then some).
10,000 hours equals nearly full 417 days… I think you better get started.
It’s easy to keep yourself busy… your mind focused on something… but knowing the right things to focus on is what separates those who succeed from those who fail.
For example, today I spent probably 2 or 3 hours making minor visual adjustments to this site. Is that really going to make a difference whether or not this site is a success?
Instead I could have spent those few hours writing posts… content is king, right?
I watched a video Eben Pagan gave about how he runs his business a few months back. He said to divvy up your time to the different areas of your business according to how important they are to bringing you money.
Here was his time breakdown:
40% Customer: Getting traffic, building relationships with your clients and other related business owners (basically bringing in new leads and interacting with them)
20% Conversion: In short, turn visitors into customers.
10% Content: Creating new materials for your people.
30% Management: This has to deal with time, people, and business management.
I guess I really should have been trying to get traffic to the site instead of writing posts or working on the design.
Getting traffic is probably the most difficult and tedious out of all those tasks for me to accomplish, but it should be my prime focus.
So while I did get work done on this site today… my time was disproportionately dispersed.
Focus can be applied to all areas of your life though, this website is just an example for you to see first hand.
If you want to get in shape, maybe you should focus more on your diet rather than just exercising…
…If you are in debt, don’t just focus on how to make more money, but how to spend less…
…If you are stressed, figure out how to prevent the stress from occurring in the first place rather than indulging to numb the feeling.
I think we naturally focus in on the wrong things because they much more superficial and easier to deal with than the actual causes of our problems. Realizing the right things to focus on and then actually follow through working on them is what leads the brave few to glory.
I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to use Facebook and Twitter without letting them be total time-drains, but here’s my current methodology for using them right now:
That is easily the quickest way to reduce the time you spend on the two sites. The past week or two I’ve been pretty good about it and have only checked them once around 5 PM each day.
If your self-control is lacking, here are a couple things you can do to help prevent yourself from visiting the site the ungodly number of times per day you do right now:
1. Remove Facebook and Twitter from your bookmarks (this makes you have to type in the link)
2. Disable autosave of links in your browser (so you have to type in the full link if you want to visit the site)
I actually don’t do number 2, but number 1 was huge for me. Having to spell out the link makes you more aware of what you are doing, and thus you have a chance to stop yourself.
I’ve gone to an extreme and removed everybody from my Facebook news stream (sorry guys!). Now I only see if people have commented on my updates.
I was planning to allow news from only my closest friends, but Facebook kept showing dumb updates like who they just became friends with or if they changed their profile, which I could care less about.
Twitter is nice because you don’t have to see any of that. I wish Facebook just let you see status updates.
Yes, this means that I see less of what is going on in the cyberworld. I think I’ll be able to deal with it…
If I want to know what’s going on with someone, I’ll just visit their page and see their status updates, usually a lot later than they actually happened, but I don’t think that’s a big deal.
Better yet, you can always call or meet up with people…texting is probably even better than FBing or tweeting.
In any case, limiting your news feed means less chance of getting sucked into the social media vortex.
Right now I use Hootsuite for posting updates, as I can update both my Facebook and Twitter in one fell swoop.
You can also see your news feeds with it, but it doesn’t show Facebook notifications which is somewhat of a downfall of the product. This forces me to actually go on Facebook.com to see if anyone commented on my stuff.
(If anyone knows of a web-based client that lets you see Facebook notifications, let me know.)
I don’t even go on Twitter.com anymore as I have multiple Twitter accounts, and Hootsuite lets me look at all of them with a couple clicks.
Otherwise I’d have to log-in and out a couple times which I’d rather not do.
This is obviously the most extreme way to spend less time on the two sites… I actually went about 6 or 7 months without either until I started SixPrizes.
I wanted to make a Fan Page for the site… you need to have an account to make one… damn you Zuckerberg.
I would probably get rid of my Facebook and Twitter if I wasn’t running a website, but it’s sort of a necessity now. Too many people are using social media right now and I can’t really ignore it.
Doing what I do may not be for you though… I just prefer to limit my time in front of a screen as much as I can.