Posts Tagged ‘list’

8 random things about me

In Too lazy to assign a category on June 22, 2007 at 4:18 pm

Quite a while ago, I got tagged by random butter, but never actually got to posting. Previously I answered 80 questions, or 31 questions, I posted 5 things, several random tidbits, some sort of introductory article, or 49 things about me (just a bunch of tests really). How hard can it be to write down just 8 more things? Apparently harder than it should be.

Perhaps it's because right now I feel exhausted, not having slept well recently (mmm … recently? it's a recurrent thing), caught in pre – during – post birthday depressing feelings, and fed up with … well, never mind. I wasn't tagged to whine for 8 paragraphs or anything.

Let's try:

  1. I once found someone dead. A young man, not even in his twenties. He lived in the apartment building I used to live.
  2. I tried to save someone from a cocaine addiction (not the above mentionded guy), but failed. I brought him to the hospital several times, I took care of him when he went to rehab, visiting him each and every day. I put up with his lies, and promises. Sometimes he seemed to be doing better, but always he fell back. At a certain point I decided I really couldn't help him. It hurt.
  3. I used to have a babysitter that died on the soccer field from a heart attack, at age thirtysomething, leaving behind a wife and two small children.
  4. I've often contemplated suicide, but never found the courage.
  5. I am often torn between several contradicting thoughts, options or possibilities.
  6. I wanted to play ice hockey but my mom didn't let me.
  7. I wish I could live in an alternate society with the people I love or think I love (both online and offline). Get some land, and construct some form of community from scratch. Slow food, high tech and with plenty of possibilities for all to explore.
  8. I am able to feel deeply for someone I've never met face to face (well, not yet anyway) and to me that's not a weird thing at all.

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52 Tips for Happiness and Productivity

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 28, 2007 at 8:35 pm

52 Tips for Happiness and Productivity

  1. Try rising early. It’s not for everyone, I’ll admit. It may not be for you. But I’ve found it to be an amazing change in my life. It has made the start of my days much more positive, and I now have time for writing, exercise, and silent contemplation. I talked about this recently in my post 10 Benefits of Rising Early, and How to Do It.
  2. Do less. This is both a happiness and productivity tip. Doing less will make you happier, because your life won’t be so hectic and filled with stress. You will have time for things that give you pleasure, for the loved ones in your life, for life itself. It’s also a productivity tip: if you focus on the essential tasks, the big ones, the ones that will give you the most return for your time, and eliminate the rest, you will actually be more productive. You’ll get fewer tasks done, but you will be more effective. See How to Pare Your To-do List Down to the Essentials.
  3. Slow down. Many new readers to this site have read my productivity articles and think that I’m all about being hyper-productive. I’m not. Long-time readers know that I am about a simpler way of life. Unfortunately, in my free-lance blogging, other websites usually ask me to write about productivity, so the preponderance of my productivity writing has given the impression, I think, that I think people should be churning out work at an amazing rate, to the exclusion of all else. Actually, I feel that life is much more enjoyable if you slow down. By doing less, you can actually get more done, even if you work more slowly. And when you’re not working, you should definitely try switching to slow mode. Drive slower (it is so much more relaxing), walk slower, eat slower. See Slow Down to Enjoy Life for more.
  4. Practice patience. I’ve talked about how I’m trying to develop patience in my parenting article, How to Become a Patient Parent, but these tips really apply to everyone. If you easily lose your temper, you can become more patient with these tips. Once you’ve developed this skill (and it’s a skill, like everything else, not an unchangeable inborn trait), your life will become much saner and you will be much happier.
  5. Practice compassion. This may be the most important tip of all, in my opinion. If you were to choose any of these, I would choose this one. The first part of compassion is empathy — and this ability to understand how others feel can be developed through practice. Start by imagining the suffering of a loved one. Understand their pain, the emotions they go through, and why they would react the way they would. By doing this exercise a number of times, you are developing a skill that can be applied to others — for every person you see, try to understand what they are going through. Try to learn and understand more about their background, and why they react the way they do. Once you’ve developed this invaluable skill, learn the other half of compassion — acting on your understanding, and helping others, alleviating their suffering, acting with kindness. This one thing can bring true happiness to your life, and the lives of those around you.
  6. Find your passion. Another indispensable tip. This might be the second on my list of priorities. Find something you love to do, and your life will become immensely improved. You will love your work, the thing that you spend 40 hours (or more) a week doing. You will become more productive, procrastinate less, be less stressed. You will produce something you are proud of, and happy about. Read this article for some practical tips.
  7. Lose weight. This only applies, of course, if you are overweight. But losing your extra fat (and when I say lose weight, I mean lose fat), decreases your health risks (obviously), makes you look better, and in general is very likely to increase your happiness about yourself. I actually recommend that you learn to be comfortable and happy with how you look now, and not feel negative about yourself even if you are overweight. However, I’ve found that losing weight (at least for me) is a great way to feel better about your body. Do not make this an unhealthy obsession, however — lose weight gradually, and enjoy the process. See the next two tips for the best methods for doing this.
  8. Exercise. Make this a daily habit. Exercise not only helps you lose weight, but for me, it’s made me feel so much better. I actually enjoy exercise now. It’s a time of contemplation for me, and I feel so much better about myself afterwards. See Top 42 Exercise Hacks and How to Make Exercise a Daily Habit and 7 Ways to Build the Exercise Habit.
  9. Eat healthy. I don’t recommend dieting. It’s too restrictive and you usually fall off it at some point. I do recommend changes to your diet, however — ones you make gradually, and that can be sustained for life. It not only helps lose weight, but really, once you start eating healthier, it is actually much more enjoyable. See my Top 15 Diet Hacks for more.
  10. Meditate. OK, you might be like me — not into New-Age stuff. But meditation can actually be a very simple method for relaxing, for bringing calm, for returning yourself to sanity, for contemplation. My friend Scott Young wrote a good post about doing that here.
  11. Get organized. This one’s not necessary. You could go through life wonderfully messy, searching for stuff, enjoying the search. But I’ve tried disorganized, and I’ve tried organized. The second is much more enjoyable to me. Read How to Never Lose Anything Again for a start on the subject, as well as how I keep my family organized.
  12. Think positive. Another one of the most important tips on this list, thinking positive — as cliche as it might sound — is one of the single best changes you can make in your life that will lead to so many more positive tips. As I wrote about here, learning to think positive was the skill that turned my life around. It makes everything else on this list possible. Read more about it here.
  13. Simplify your finances. Cut down on the number of accounts you have, cut down on your credit cards, spend less, reduce your bills. Make your finances automagical. Simplifying your finances greatly reduces your stress. Also see 10 Habits to Develop For Financial Stability and Success.
  14. Simplify your life. Another of my top tips. I’ve greatly simplified my life, in many ways, and I can say that having less stuff in my life, and less to do, has greatly increased my enjoyment of life. De-clutter, simplify your commitments, simplify your work space, simplify your wardrobe, simplify your rooms.
  15. Accept what you have. The problem with many of us is that we always think that we’ll be happy when we reach a certain destination — when we get a certain job, or retire, or get our dream house. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there, you might have a new destination in mind. Instead, try being happy with where you are, with who you are, and what you have. To do that, instead of comparing what you have with other people, or with what you want, compare yourself those who have less, with those who are going through tragedy, with those who are struggling. You will see that you actually are extremely blessed. And this can lead to more happiness with your current situation.
  16. Envision your ultimate life. What would your ultimate life be like? Where would you live, what would you do, what would you do with your days? Come up with a clear picture of this, and write it down. Now, one step at a time, make it come true. Some ways of doing that follow.
  17. Set long-term goals. Your vision of your ultimate life will help you come up with long-term goals. Of those goals, pick one to accomplish within the next year, and really focus on that. Now, pick one medium-term goal to achieve in the next few months that will get you further toward your longer-term goal. Now decide what you can do this week, and today, to get you to your medium-term goal. Just choose one thing at a time, focus on it, make it happen, and then choose the next thing to focus on. See Think About Your Life Goals.
  18. Review goals. Setting goals is important, but the key to making them a reality is actually reviewing them (at least monthly, but weekly is better) and taking action steps to make them come true. Again, focus on one at a time, and really focus on them. Read Review Your Goals Weekly.
  19. Life mission. Related to envisioning your ultimate life, but different — it’s important that you think about how you would like to be remembered when you die — so you can start living the life that leads to that now. Live with purpose in life, and wake up every day with that purpose in mind. Read the Key to Dying Happy for more concrete steps.
  20. Plan your big tasks for week and day. Give purpose to your day by determining the three most important things you can do with your day, and making those a priority. Do the same thing with your week to increase your productivity: pick out the big tasks you’d like to accomplish this week, and schedule those first. See Purpose Your Day and Plan Your Big Rocks First.
  21. Maintain focus. One important key to achieving your goals is to maintain focus on them. To do this, again, it’s important that you select one goal at a time. This will prevent your focus from spreading too thin. It’s also important that you give yourself constant reminders of your goal, so you don’t lose that focus. Put up a poster of your current goal, or print it out and put it out somewhere visible, and send yourself emailed reminders. However you do it, find a way to maintain a laser-sharp focus, and the goal will come true.
  22. Enjoy the journey. Goals are important, but not at the expense of happiness now. It’s important to maintain a balance between going where you want to go, and being happy as you go there. It’s easy to forget that, so be sure to remind yourself of this little, but important, tip as you make your journey.
  23. Create a morning and evening routine. These are two great ways to add structure to your day, make sure you review your goals and log your progress, and get your day off to a great start. An evening routine, for example, could be a great way not only to wind down from a long day and review how your day went, but to prepare yourself for your next day so the morning isn’t so hectic. Your morning routine is great way to greet the day, to get some exercise or meditation or quiet contemplation, or to get some writing or other work done.
  24. Develop intimate relationships. It’s great to have a special someone, of course, but intimate relationships could be found with anyone around you. If you have a significant other, be sure to spend time each day and each week with that person, to work on your relationship and communicate and continue to bond. But if you don’t, there’s no need to despair (if in fact you are) … intimate relationships can be developed with friends, other family members, kids, roommates, classmate, co-workers. Every single person we meet is a fellow human being, with the same desires for happiness, for food and shelter, for an intimate connection. Find that common thread, be open and sincere, find out more about each other, understand each other, and give love. This can be one of the most important things you do.
  25. Eliminate debt. Financially, this is a huge way to relieve stress and make you feel much more secure. I suggest that you get rid of your credit cards (if you have a problem with credit card debt or impulse spending) and create a snowball plan for yourself. It may take a couple of years, but you can get out of debt.
  26. Enjoy the simple pleasures. You can find these everywhere. Food (I love berries!), sunsets, sand between your toes, fresh-cut grass, playing with your child, a good book and a warm bed, dancing in the rain, your favorite music. You could probably make a list of 20 simple pleasures right now, things you enjoy that you could find every day. Sprinkle those little pleasures throughout your day. It makes the journey much more enjoyable.
  27. Empty your inbox and clear your desk. This might take a little while to do at first, but once you’ve emptied your inbox and cleared off your desk, it doesn’t take long to keep them clear from then on. It’s a simple habit that’s vastly rewarding. I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from having a clean desk. I recommend you give it a try.
  28. Build an emergency fund. This is standard-issue financial advice, I know … and yet it is extremely important. I cannot stress how important it is to have at least a tiny emergency fund in the bank. You often hear that you should have six months saved up. Don’t be intimidated by that. Start out with just a hundred dollars if you can. Cut back on a few things. Then build it up, every payday. Once you have, let’s say, $1,000, it will make a huge difference in your life. It’s not much, and you should still add to it every paycheck, but at least now you’re not living paycheck-to-paycheck, and if an unexpected emergency comes up you can pay for it, rather than not paying other bills and falling behind. It’s a simple step, but it will mean a lot.
  29. Keep a journal. This is not one of the more important tips, but I can attest that it’s rewarding. I, for one, have a bad long-term memory, and by writing things down, I can look back and remember what happened a month ago. I just started this a couple months ago, actually, but ti’s been awesome. I started an online journal, something I call the one-sentence journal, and my goal is to just write one sentence a day. Sometimes I write two or three, but the idea is the same — just get one or two things down that happened that day, so I can always look back on it later.
  30. Use the power of others. Achieving your goals can be difficult, but using the power of others makes it much more likely to happen. For example, put positive public pressure on yourself by announcing your goal on your blog. Or join an online forum, or a group in your neighborhood, that you can count on for support. I have a mailing list for the May Challenge here on Zen Habits, for example, and our group has helped me stick to my goal of daily exercise even when I started to falter — and the rest of the group can tell you they’ve experienced similar success because of the positive power of the group.
  31. Read, and read to your kids. I read all the time — it’s one of my favorite things to do in the world. I love to curl up with a good novel (or even a trashy one) and I can waste away an afternoon with a book. And I’m passing on my love of reading to my kids, by reading to them every day. I love spending time with them this way, and we all enjoy the stories we share together through books. See Best All-time Children’s Books.
  32. Limit your information intake. In our lives today, we get a tremendous amount of information through email, blog feeds, reading websites, paperwork, memos, newspapers, magazines, television, DVDs, radio, mobile phones and Blackberries. Not only can this be overwhelming, but it can be distracting and can fill up your life until you have no time for more important things. Go on a media fast to get control over your information intake, and to simplify your life
  33. Create simple systems. Once you’ve simplified your life, the way to keep it simple is by creating systems for everything you do regularly. Create an efficient system for laundry, mail and paperwork, errands, your workflow. Anything, really. See ways to Streamline Your Life and to make your mail and paperwork painless.
  34. Take time to decompress after stress. There will inevitably be times in your life when you go through high stress. Perhaps several times a week. To maintain your sanity, you need to find ways to decompress. Here are some great ways to do that.
  35. Be present. Time can go by extremely quickly. Before you know it, your life has passed you by. Your kids are grown and your youth is gone. Don’t let your life slip by — enjoy it while it’s here. Instead of dwelling in the past or thinking about the future, practice being in the here and now. Here are some practical tips for being present.
  36. Develop equanimity. Keep your sanity through all the challenges that life throws at you. Rude drivers, irritating co-workers, mean commenters on your blog, inconsiderate family members. This takes a bit of practice, but you can let these things slide off you like you’re Teflon. Try these practical tips.
  37. Spend time with family and loved ones. One of the things that can lead to the greatest happiness, make this a priority every week, every day. Clear off as much time as possible to spend with those you love, and truly enjoy those times. Be present as you do it — don’t think about work or your blog or what you need to do. Read this for more.
  38. Pick yourself up when you’re down. There will always be times in our lives when we get a little down, even depressed. Take action to get yourself out of your slump. Here are some great ways to do that.
  39. Don’t compare yourself to others. This is hard to do, but it can be a great way to accept who you are and what you have. Whenever you find yourself comparing yourself to a co-worker, a friend, or someone famous (those models on magazines with amazing abs), stop. And realize that you are different, with different strengths. Take a minute to appreciate all the good things about yourself, and to be grateful for all the blessings in your life.
  40. Focus on benefits, not difficulties. If you find yourself struggling to do something, or procrastinating, stop thinking about how hard something is, or why you don’t want to do it. Focus instead on what benefits it will have for you, what opportunities it will create — the good things about it. By changing the way you see things, you can change how you feel about them and make it easier to get things done.
  41. Be romantic. If you have that special someone, find little ways to be romantic. It can do wonders to keep your relationship alive and fresh. It doesn’t take tons of money, either. See these ideas to get you started.
  42. Lose arguments. I know someone who just celebrated his 50th anniversary, and I asked him for his secret to a long and happy marriage. He told me, that if I ever get into an argument with my wife, to just shut up. What he meant, I think, is that I shouldn’t try to be right in every argument. I think this is a reminder many of us need, not just the married ones. But instead of just giving up the argument, instead of trying to be right, instead seek to understand. Really try to understand the other person’s position, to see it from their point of view. This little tip can lead to much happiness.
  43. Get into the flow. This is both a happiness and productivity tip. Flow is the term for the state we enter when we are completely focused on the work or task before us. We are so immersed in our task that we lose track of time. Having work and leisure that gets you in this state of flow will almost undoubtedly lead to happiness. People find greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re absorbed in a mindful challenge. Get into that flow by first doing something you are passionate about, and second by eliminating all distractions and really focusing on the task before you.
  44. Single-task. I don’t believe in multi-tasking, at least not on a day-to-day basis. Instead, focus on one task at a time. This leads to greater productivity and less stress. You can’t go wrong with that kind of combination. See these tips for more.
  45. Be frugal. This is a habit, rather than a goal. It is a way of living, a different mindset, and the best way to live within your means. It doesn’t mean being cheap or forsaking pleasure, but it does mean finding less expensive ways to do things, learning to live with less (and be happier in the process), and controlling impulse spending. I don’t have a single article to give you as reference, but frugality is a recurring theme on Zen Habits.
  46. Start small and slow. Regular Zen Habits readers know that I advocate starting slow with any goal or habit change, and starting with a small goal rather than a big one. Why small? Because it’s something you are sure to achieve — and once you do achieve it, you can use that success to push you to further success. It’s a simple technique, but it really works. Start slow when you start exercise, or other similar activities — there’s no need to rush it in the beginning, to overdo it. You have the rest of your life!
  47. Learn to deal with detractors. We all face detractors in our lives. They are the naysayers who, even if they are well-intentioned, will make us feel unworthy, or that you cannot achieve a goal. They will tease or be negative. In order to achieve your goals, you need to learn how to deal with these detractors and overcome this common obstacle. Read these tips for some ideas.
  48. Go outdoors. These days, too many of us spend so much of our time indoors, especially if our jobs and our ways of having fun are all online. Our kids are often just as bad or worse, with so many ways to watch TV, surf the internet or play video games. Get them and yourself outdoors, appreciate nature, the beauty of the world around us, and the fun of physical activity. See this article for more ideas (to do with or without kids).
  49. Retire early. This isn’t a sure way to become happy — you can retire and be bored out of your mind and unhappy — but it’s surely a cool goal. And if you do something meaningful with your life, such as volunteer and help others, it can be a way to be really happy. It’s not an easy goal, either, but you can retire early by cutting back on your living expenses, increasing your income, and investing the difference. The more you can do of all three, the fast you’ll retire. And that’s a truly liberating idea.
  50. Savor the little things. Sure, the big things can bring big pleasure, but there are so many more little things in our lives. Savor them when they come up. It’s a way of practicing being present — stop and notice what you’re doing right now, what’s around you. And take time to enjoy it. Read this article for more.
  51. Be lazy. There’s a time to be productive, and there’s a time to be plain ol’ lazy. I like the latter, and do it every chance I get. Does that make me a lazy person? Probably not, but even if it does, I don’t care. It makes me happy, and the kids love being lazy with me.
  52. Help others. While finding pleasure in life is one way to be happy, doing something that is more than you, that helps others to be happy or to suffer less, is even more rewarding. I suggest you find a good cause or two and volunteer some of your time. You don’t have to commit to big chunks of your life, but just volunteer for a couple of hours. All of us can find a couple of hours in a week or a month. If you do this, you will find out how tremendously happy this will make you. You might even become addicted.

Copy / paste from Zen Habits

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80 questions

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 17, 2007 at 10:58 pm

1. How old will you be in five years?
Forty-two. I will know whether life really begins at forty.I have my doubts.

2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?

3. How tall are you?
175 cm

4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
New opportunities.

5. What's the last movie you saw?
Dark horse, on DVD.

6. Who was the last person you called?
My mother.

7. Who was the last person to call you?
My mother.

8. What was the last text message you received?
A message telling me I missed 4 calls.

9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail?
The person whose calls I missed.

10. Do you prefer to call or text?
Depends on what needs to be communicated.

11. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Filling in my Facebook profile. Not even 6000 people from Belgium have an account.

12. Are your parents married/divorced?

13. When did you last see your mom?
On mother's day.

14. What color are your eyes?

15. What time did you wake up today?
I woke up way too early, I got up too late.

16. What are you wearing right now?
Nothing much.

17. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I dislike Christmas.

18. Where is your favorite place to be?

19. Where is your least favorite place to be?
Over here.

20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
I'd travel around.

21. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
No idea. Heaven? Hell? Antwerp? Elsewhere (see 18)? Or perhaps in a castle, with Maiki?

22. Do you tan or burn?
Burn, baby, burn.

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
Reality was worse than my worst fears.

24. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
A post by Áine.

25. How many TVs do you have in your house?
Just one.

26. How big is your bed?
Double. Not big enough.

27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer?

28. Do you sleep with or without clothes on?
Usually without, unless it's too cold.

29. What color are your sheets?
It varies.

30. How many pillows do you sleep with?
Just one.

31. What is your favorite season?

32. What do you like about fall?
Nothing much.

33. What do you like about winter?
Even less.

34. What do you like about the summer?
Light, warmth, more time to spend outside the house, opportunity to eat outside, perhaps in the garden.

35. What do you like about spring?
After winter? Everything.

36. How many states/provinces have you lived in?
Not enough.

37. What cities/towns have you lived in?
Bergen op Zoom, Antwerp. Like I said, not enough.

39. Are you a social person?
Theoretically … yes. I have come to appreciate time by myself as well though.

40. What was the last thing you ate?

41. What is your favorite restaurant?
I don't have one favourite. I like variety.

42. What is your favorite ice cream?
Peanutbutter Vanilla.

43. What is your favorite dessert?
This doesn't look bad: fresh fruit and sabayon. How about a grand dessert for two?

44. What is your favorite kind of soup?
Tom Yum Goong.

45. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich?
I prefer a Fluffernutter.

46. Do you like Chinese food?
If it's authentical and not trying to cater European tastes.

47. Do you like coffee?

48. How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average?
Not enough.

49. What do you drink in the morning?

52. Do you know how to play poker?
Not as good as to risk playing strip poker with just anyone.

53. Do you like to cuddle?
It depends on my mood. When I'm in pain, please don't touch me.

54. Have you ever been to Canada?

55. Do you have an addictive personality?

Your Personality is 53% Addictive

You may have an addictive personality, but you have it mostly under check.

Just don't start any new bad habits, okay?

Do You Have an Addictive Personality?

56. Do you eat out or at home more often?
Home. It's too expensive to eat out all the time.

58. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?

59. Do you want kids?
The answer to that question has become urgent.

60. Do you speak any other languages?
Yes, several.

61. Have you ever gotten stitches?
Yes, several times. As a child I fell several times, and when I was 17 I had a breast reduction.

62. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Yes, someone in the building I used to live, was addicted to cocaine. Bad, bad habit.

63. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?

64. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat?
Depends on who's sitting next to me.

65. Do you know how to drive a stick?
Of course. Don't like those automatic cars.

66. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
Books, shoes, gadgets.

67. Do you wear any jewelry?
Earrings, a ring, sometimes a bracelet or necklace, and flowers in my hair.

68. What is your favorite TV show?
At the moment it's Home and Away, because it's on when I get home from work. I usually watch the show before I start making dinner.

69. Can you roll your tongue?
No. But I can do other things.

70. Who is the funniest person you know?
Najib Amhali and Alex Agnew.

71. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
Hell no.

72. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
An oldfashioned one.

73. Do you still have clothes from when you were little?
Yes, some.

74. What red object is closest to you right now?
The case in which I keep my fountain pen.

75. Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth?

76. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Slightly open.

77. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
Big bear.

78. Do you flirt a lot?
Not enough.

79. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
I never eat chicken nuggets.

80. What is your favorite food?
thai, italian, indian, mexican, icecream, chocolate, pancakes.

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52 proven stress reducers

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 14, 2007 at 10:47 am

1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.

2. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table. Make lunches. Put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.

3. Don't rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc. ("The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory."- Old Chinese Proverb)

4. Do nothing you have to lie about later.

5. Make copies of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden. Carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.

6. Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, appliances, home and relationships will be less likely to break down "at the worst possible moment."

7. Be prepared to wait. A paperback book can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.

8. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.

9. Plan ahead. Don't let the gas tank get below onequarter full, keep a well- stocked "emergency shelf'' of home staples, don't wait until you're down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more, etc.

10. Don't put up with something that doesn't work right. If your alarm clock wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers-whatever-are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.

11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.

12. Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.

13. Always set up contingency plans, "just in case." ("If for some reason either of us is delayed, here's what we'll do…" Or, "If we get split up in the shopping center, here's where we'll meet.")

14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn't get mowed this weekend.

15. Pollyanna-Power! For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10 or 50 or 100 blessings. Count 'em!

16. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back the directions that someone expects of you, etc., can save hours. (The old "the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get" idea.)

17. Say "No!" Saying no to extra projects, social activities and invitations you know you don't have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and to be alone.

18. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect.

(The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or so is almost nil.)

19. Turn "needs" into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don't get attached to preferences.

20. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

21. Make friends with nonworriers. Chronic worrywarts are contagious.

22. Take many stretch breaks when you sit a lot.
23. If you can't find quiet at home, wear earplugs.

24. Get enough sleep. Set your alarm for bedtime.

25. Organize! A place for everything and everything in its place. Losing things is stressful.

26. Monitor your body for stress signs. If your stomach muscles are knotted and your breathing is shallow, relax your muscles and take some deep, slow breaths.

27. Write your thoughts and feelings down on paper. It can help you clarify and give you a renewed perspective.

28. Do this yoga exercise when you need to relax: Inhale through your nose to the count of eight. Pucker your lips and exhale slowly to the count of 16. Concentrate on the long sighing sound and feel the tension dissolve. Repeat 10 times.

29. Visualize success before any experience you fear. Take time to go over every part of the event in your mind. Imagine how great you will look, and how well you will present yourself.

30. If the stress of deadlines gets in the way of doing a job, use diversion. Take your mind off the task and you will focus better when you're on task.

31. Talk out your problems with a friend. It helps to relieve confusion.

32. Avoid people and places that don't fit your personal needs and desires. If you hate politics, don't spend time with politically excited people.

33. Learn to live one day at a time.

34. Everyday, do something you really enjoy.

35. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.

36. Take a bath or shower to relieve tension.

37. Do a favor for someone every day.

38. Focus on understanding rather than on being under stood, on loving rather than on being loved.

39. Looking good makes you feel better.

40. Take more time between tasks to relax. Schedule a realistic day.

41. Be flexible. Some things are not worth perfection.

42. Stop negative self-talk: "I'm too fat, too old, etc…"

43. Change pace on weekends. If your week was slow, be active. If you felt nothing was accomplished during the week, do a weekend project.

44. "Worry about the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves." Pay attention to the details in front of you.

45. Do one thing at a time. When you are working on one thing, don't think about everything else you have to do.

46. Allow time every day for privacy, quiet and thinking.

47. Do unpleasant tasks early and enjoy the rest of the day.

48. Delegate responsibility to capable people.

49. Take lunch breaks. Get away from your work in body and in mind.

50. Count to 1,000, not 10, before you say something that could make matters worse.

51. Forgive people and events. Accept that we live in an imperfect world.

52. Have an optimistic view of the world. Most people do the best they can.


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40 questions

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 6, 2007 at 9:39 am

1. When you're home alone, do you still close the door when you use the restroom ?
I don't close the door, not usually.

2. If you have to go grocery shopping, would you rather go alone or with someone ?
I'd prefer company, if only to help me carry the heavy stuff.

3. It's your best friends birthday, do you buy them a gift even though they didn't buy you one for yours ?
I'm not too much of a birthday person.

4. You win the lottery. Lump sum or small payments over a period of time ?
Give me all at once, and I'll take care of it.

5. Do you like your music loud or at a reasonable level ?
It depends on the kind of music I'm listening to.

6. Are you a beach person or a snowy mountain person ?
Mmm … neither. If I have to choose, I'd prefer the beach. I don't like cold too much.

7. When do you brush your teeth ?
Morning and evening.

8. Can you watch scary movies alone ?
Scary movies often make me laugh.

9. Soft bed or firm ?
Inbetween I guess.

10. Would you rather stay home all day, or be out and about ?
It depends on my mood.

11. What's one of your worst memories ?
Being abused.

12. Do you like to keep the peace or be confrontational ?
I'm rather confrontational.

13. Are you more likely to be with a large group of people or a few close friends ?
I used to be surrounded by many, but I've become more of a solitary person over time.

14. What are your plans for October ?
October is still too far away for me to have concrete plans.

15. If money were not a problem, where would you like to live ?
Somewhere calm and sunny, but with a lively town nearby. If money were not a problem, I'd be travelling a lot.

16. What is your ideal profession ?
Not the one I have now. I'd like something more creative and challenging.

17. Are you close to your Mom and Dad ?
I'm close to my mom, I have no contact with my father anymore (and that's a good thing).

18. What is one fear that you can't seem to overcome ?
The fear of failure.

19. Are you good at math ?
Not really.

21. Is there anyone that you regret ever meeting ?
Yes. But it was inevitable.

22. Rate your life on a scale from 1 – 10:
That would be a 6.

23. Would you rather have roommates or live alone ?
In Europe, roommates are less common. I'd like to be able to buy a castle or old factory building, and live there with several people, in perfect balance between community and privacy.

24. Do you like any of your friends a little more than just a friend ?
Yes, I certainly do.

25. Do you like to drive ?
No, I don't. It's handy to get me from A to B, but it's not like I enjoy driving.

27. If you found out that you were going to be a parent, what would you do ?
Be surprised. Be happy. Prepare.

28. Do you give money to homeless people when they ask ?
Sometimes. Not always though.

29. A weekend in Las Vegas or Miami ?
Can I go elsewhere?

30. When you go to the store, do you have a list or just buy random things ?
I've got a list in my head, but also buy things that are not on that list.

31. What do you wear to sleep in ?
Nothing. Unless it's too cold, in which case I wear something that covers my shoulders, in order to avoid stiff muscles.

32. You have 3 months left to live, what do you do ?

33. You're having a bad day, what one thing can make your day better ?
A good conversation.

34. Tanning bed ?
No, not at all.

35. Is there anything you would change about your body if you could ?
Just one thing? I guess I'd have an entire list.

36. You wake up in an unfamiliar place, what is your first reaction ?
Who's that cutie next to me? Hehe, j/k.

37. Is there anything that you should be doing right now ?

38. If there was a way to know when and how you're going to die, would you want that information ?
I'm not sure.

39. What is your favorite breakfast food ?
I don't often eat breakfast. Just coffee. I know that's not a good thing. I do like homemade bread, fresh orange juice, and yoghurt.

40. Your phone rings at 4am, who do you expect it to be ?
Someone with bad news.

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QotD: My Daily Dose

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 3, 2007 at 10:45 pm

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has Or Will

In Too lazy to assign a category on April 30, 2007 at 10:58 pm

1. "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

2. "Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."

3. "Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why, why, why?' Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand."

4. "There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

5. "She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing."

6. "Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.'"

7. "There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too."

8. "Since Alice had never received any religious instruction, and since she had led a blameless life, she never thought of her awful luck as being anything but accidents in a very busy place. Good for her."

9. "That is my principal objection to life, I think: It's too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes."

10. "Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak."

11. "All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental."

12. "Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooon?"

13. "So it goes."

14. "I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' ever since, and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."

15. "We must be careful about what we pretend to be."

For background information, read the article

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40 things you’d love to say out loud at work

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 22, 2007 at 9:36 pm

1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a damn word you're saying.
10. Ahhhh .. I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a damn.
14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any connections between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?!
20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
27. Sarcasm is just one service we offer.
28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic and disorder…my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
39. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
40. Oh, I get it…like humor…but different.

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31 questions

In Too lazy to assign a category on December 28, 2006 at 8:30 pm

1. What’s your name spelled backwards?
amri ettëirneh adrareg edlihtam taamver

2. Have you ever licked a 9-volt battery?
of all the things to lick, why should i pick a 9-volt battery? because it tickles?

3. Last time you swam in a pool?
mmm … might be 10 years ago by now.

4. Type of music you dislike most?
gabber music.

5. Do you have cable?
yes, cable tv.

6. Ever made a prank phone call?
well, that was the plan, but i ended up talking for over an hour with the person at the other side of the line.

7. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
why not both, eh?

8. Chips or popcorn?

9. Have you ever smoked peanut shells?
no, but i did smoke cattail, or typha latifolia which according to Wikipedia also is called cat-o'-nine-tails *grin*

10. Orange juice or apple?
orange juice please.

11. Have you ever won a trophy?
yes, i have. several actually.

12. Ever ordered from an infomercial?
nope and never will. i think advertising should stay seperate from information or news. i also dislike infotainment.

13. Ever thrown up in public?
mmm … not that i can remember anyway.

14. Would you prefer being a millionaire or finding true love?
let's see … please define true love. and the part about being a millionaire … in what currency would that be?

15. Where would you like to go right now?
australia. if only.

16. Ever spin around in circles until you got so dizzy you fell?
yes. i've also had a balance disorder that caused vertigo, which was no fun at all.

17. What's the most comfortable thing you own?
a pair of old worn out grey pants i still love to wear around the house.

18. Have you ever stolen a sign from a street?
several. it was kind of a sport when i was at uni.

19. What was the last thing you were thinking about?
how i like cherry coke even though it's terribly sweet, and why i sometimes eat one more strawberry mallow knowing i will feel sick.

20. Is the moon out right now?
yes, and it looks like this, the moon phase is waxing gibbous.

21. What's one of your weird quirks that nobody really understands?
my tendency to sign up for oodles of communities and start even more blogs.

22. Ever thought about why grass is green?
no, but i have thought about why it always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

23. Can you build a detailed sand castle?
you mean, like this? eurhm … nope.

24. What's one of your favorite possessions?
a silver ring with 'ewald – irma' engraved inside, a golden brooch in the shape of the letter i that belonged to my grandmother, a golden bracelet i got from my mother when i turned 21 and a djembe i got for a birthday.

25. Do you like to sleep?
i'm an insomniac. it's a horrible question.

26. Is your bed comfortable?
i'm an insomniac. it's a horrible question.

27. What's the most awkward thing that happened to you in public?
blocked from memory.

28. Who's the last person that freaked you out?
i'm not easily freaked out. last person that freaked me out though, was ewald, online known as wchulseiee.

29. How come macaroni and cheese is so good?
how come ice cream is better?

30. Is pink the new black?
what's wrong with the original black?

31. What thought made you cry last?
the thought that my mother, like all other people, is mortal.

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49 things about me

In Too lazy to assign a category on August 27, 2006 at 5:48 pm

Political compass:

Febr. 19th 2004:

Economic Left/Right: -7.62
Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.18


Economic Left/Right: -8.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.26


You scored as Postmodernist.

Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.


Your dominant intelligence is linguistic intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well. An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly. You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view. A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

My Personal Dna Report

I should drive a Saturn Sky, I am a pumpkin pie, a blue flower, similar to French food, just like a Bloody Mary, a poet, and teal green.

My blog should be purple, and my eyes should be green. My heart is purple, and my medieval archetype a magician. I am a carnal lover, and a Goddess. I could tell you the story of O yeah !

I cry because I am confused, and I should be dating a Sagittarius. The historic lunatic that represents me is Caligula. I am an ENFP. I am also an un-American Commie Pinko. If I were a movie, I would be a groundbreaking documentary. I am also a white self-existing world-bridger (see also part 2).

My given name isn't exactly popular. I am not ashamed to admit that quite often I feel lonely. My html colour is #4B0082. I like poffertjes, a Dutch specialty. I like answering random questions. My sex-sign is Leo. I like the idea of simple living. I have either a gorilla or a bear personality. But I might also have a rooster personality.

My kisses are entrancing. My energy is orange. I am infected with several human viruses, such as free BSD, brand names, computer games and politics. I blogged about same-sex marriage, and the difference between civil and religious marriage all the way back in 2003. I want this kind of cat. I once drew a one line self portrait. I took Dante's Inferno test.

I belong to the Deer people. My tree is a fig tree. I am a born leader and efficient manager. I know how to spell. I have an experimenting and visioning thinking style.

I once had a black eye, that turned into a beautiful rainbow. I love quotes, I really do.

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