How to Live an Effortless Life | Midori by the Sea | New Year Resolution
Everyone has 24 hours a day, but it’s not a fair game for everyone.
If there are specific goals that we want to achieve in our busy lives, then we’d need to squeeze space for completing them.
For example, I want to exercise for 30 minutes and read for an hour every day. I need an extra hour and a half to continue my work, social and rest as usual.
Our goals usually get pushed aside when there are more important things to do, and we don’t have enough time. This newsletter will tell you how to find extra time.
Prioritise January Goals
My previous issues and this video shows you how I set new year resolution with January-specific goals. January goals help us to adjust our schedule and prioritise our goals. You can check out my video here:
The January goals are usually exact with time. As mentioned, I need an extra hour and a half to read and exercise. So I must look at where I can take time out.
And the answer is: cheat the admin.
Time is our most scarce resource
Here’s an economic concept you must understand: opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost refers to the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. For example, if we decide to spend 15 minutes on laundry, we will lose 15 minutes on more productive things. This ranges from exercising and quality time with family to rest and meditation.
We must outsource, automate and regularise as much of these menial tasks as possible.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of what I have subscribed to. The suppliers deliver the service/product to me regularly without me clicking another button, and I will never go out of supply:
protein shake, coffee beans, female sanitary products, toiletries, cleaning products, detergent, tissue paper, water filter, insurance
You might think that doing this will stop you from seeking a good deal.
Agreed to an extent. We should regularly check-in to ensure we are in a decent deal, maybe every half a year or a year. But otherwise, spending time scouting for good deals, including supermarkets, will waste our time. In the long run, it’s likely to make us less productive and poorer.
Apart from cleaning service, I recommend people outsourcing their accounting and taxes. It’s a complicated area and frankly annoying. So if you have a side business, use Xero, a spreadsheet or even a bookkeeper to keep track of your income and expenses. Leave the rest of the compliance and filing to a qualified accountant.
If you are a landlord, leave the tenant management to a real estate agent you can trust. Or even a rent collection service so that if your tenant is not paying rent, someone will take care of it.
This gives you peace of mind and knows that the critical side of things is in order.
Please take some time to automate your investments! Start with Benjamin Graham’s book Intelligent Investor and learn about Dollar Cost Averaging.
There are so many companies/apps that can help you save and invest without you even knowing. Such as Moneybox rounds up your expenses and put them on an ISA.
Take some time before January ends to see if you have optimised your hard-earned savings. Are they sitting in a saving account with an interest rate lower than the inflation rate?
Bonus tip: meal times
For many, cooking and dining with family and friends are the only time to connect with them. How can we optimise our times with our loved ones without sacrificing our productivity, diet and health? Here are a few things I do.
- Recipe box: regularise, nutritious, combat food waste, variety
- Cook whilst you eat: Asians are familiar with the concept of on the dining table hotpot and grill. The only preparation is to wash raw ingredients, cut up vegetables and present them raw on the table. Then everyone cooks, eats and chats at the same time. No one is hiding in the kitchen. That optimises time together, and if done right, it can be nutritious (try Japanese nabe as opposed to Chinese hotpot soup base, for example). I recently bought a Bruno multi-functional pot-pan. Wait for my unboxing video and tips by subscribing to my Youtube Chanel here!
- Sparkling water: As a former-corporate accountant, I had spent a lot of time in the pub trying not to get drunk. Alcohol is fun, but excessive drinking is unhealthy, might risk alcoholism and the hungover next day is horrible and productivity-diminishing. I have learned to have one glass of wine or gin, then substitute with sparkling water (add some diluted syrup or a squeeze of lime for flavour) for the rest of the night. This helps so much and keeps conversation intellectual, too (!)
This has become a huge trend lately with the Minimalists and Marie Kondo. I have my own share of experience with it as I packed my boxes and moved down to Brighton during the pandemic. Here’s my popular article about how I treat my clothes that might help you kick start the journey or play around with the idea.
But committing to minimalism takes a lot of effort, and if done half-heartedly, we will end up with more stuff than before. So I am not going to elaborate further here. The above tips are practical enough for creating more time in your life for meaningful activities and achieving life goals!
That’s a wrap!
Are you going to do some regularisation today then?
Next week I will talk about an ugly topic that stops us from achieving our goals. We have touched on self-limiting beliefs previously, and we will dive deeper into what’s stopping us. We will also look at how people we associate with can make or break us.
Stay tuned, and if you like this, share this with your friends PLEASE!