Here are 4 quick tips I personally follow to make my life a little simpler. These are not pro-tips to make your life super-efficient and highly performant. Well not directly but once you start making your day-to-day life simpler than how it is right now you will yourself start seeing efficiency and productivity creeping in.
- Stop reading reviews before watching a movie or TV series or starting a book - Some time back I realized that I was missing out on a lot of good entertainment just because I decided to validate my choice by going through the reviews first. Reviews and Ratings are invaluable tools in a consumer’s toolbox which can make the decision to choose something more informed but so far I have seen that this does not really work for things that appeal to my subjective tastes. I have realized that I missed out on a lot of good movies because there were not that well-received initially which I enjoyed when I watched them eventually. On the other hand, the most hyped and positively reviewed have almost always failed to live up to the expectations. For most of the cases its because all the rave reviews cause me to built high hopes of the movie which, let’s be honest, is rather unfair on my part. Recently I started basing my movie or TV series decisions solely on the basis of direct contributors. Do I like the genre of the movie? Do I like the previous works of the actors/director of this movie? That’s more or less it. This should be more than sufficient to get you to a yay or nay on starting something. Do not waste time fretting over reviews.
- Drop the movie/TV series/book the moment you feel it’s not working for you - This is somewhat like the rule mentioned above and this is something that I have been following for a very long time with respect to the books. If I start reading a book and if at any point I start feeling that I am no longer connected to the book I drop it immediately. No matter if I have read more than 50% of it already. We all do this thing at some level when we start feeling that we are no longer enjoying the movie or the book but sit through it just because we have made an initial investment and don’t want to waste that. This is a classic case of ‘loss aversion’ where we are ok to invest 2 more hours into a shitty movie just because we have invested an hour already. Stop doing that this year. Even if you are at a movie hall, if you are not liking the movie, just get up and move along. Life is too short to be wasted on shitty movies and books. Even if it is a highly recommended and successful one.
- Avoid multitasking - It is a scientifically proven fact that humans are poor multitaskers. We like to think that we are great at doing many things at once but it, sadly, is not the case. Human beings have a limit capability of processing information and after one point, once bombarded with handling multiple tasks at once, it begins to lose its efficiency. We like to think that we are supercomputers with a lot of RAM and CPU cores while in reality, we have very little ram with a single processing core which performs really well when it has to manage only one process but starts struggling when it has to manage many processes. We all know what happens to a computer that is overburdened with multiple parallel running heavy-duty tasks. It heats up and processes start to crash. That’s the same case with your brain as well. Do only one thing at a time. If you are watching TV then keep your phone aside. Once you train yourself to do only one thing at a time, all the things that demand your attention will automatically order themselves on the basis of priority.
- Install fewer apps - Everything has an app these days. That does not mean you need to install every single one of them. Open your phone right now, scroll through the apps installed in it and count all the apps that you haven’t used in the last 6 months. Do you really need these apps? Businesses want you to install their not primarily because they want you to get more convenience but so that they can track and send communications to you. I personally pro-actively enable or disable the notifications that the apps send me but I belong to a very small minority of people who do this. Most people learn to live with the constant buzzing of the phone that comes with every notification that every random app sends you. Audit all the apps on your phone and remove anything that has not been used for the last 3 months and do this activity regularly. In these times of super-fast internet you can install any app as and when you need it.
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