I’ve been “auditing” a lot of my stuff lately, which basically means taking a look at not only the stuff that I use most, but the stuff that gives the most back and specifically the things that fly under the radar.
Sure, I use my computer pretty much every day, but it’s the smaller things that I’m trying to notice more, the things that you don’t notice but that still offer some value to your day. Mine is obviously tailored specifically to my life, but I think it’s a valuable exercise to try and really discover the things that bring you the most joy or productivity or well-being or confidence or (fill-in-the-blank).
Here’s my list.
This stuff is amazing. Beard Oil helps to moisturize the skin underneath your beard while also keeping your beard protected and healthy. I live in Los Angeles, which is an actual fucking desert, so it gets dry here, and a dry beard is an unhappy beard. I use the Tree Ranger, but they’ve got a ton of different scents to choose from.
I wear these pretty much everyday, and after a year+ of usage, they’re basically as comfortable as sweatpants. Raw denim can be a bitch to wear-in, but once you do it’s worth the initial discomfort. I love buying things that’ll get better with age, and things that can tell your own story through the way you wear them. They’re expensive, but when you factor in the total wears you’ll get, it ends up being, like, pennies a day.
Digital calendars and to-do lists have their place in my life, but for the most important and overarching goals and plans, the Moleskine Weekly Planner has changed my life. Each Sunday, I write out that week’s goals: working out, writing, socially, work-related, books to read. Then, each day, I keep track of what I accomplished. How many words I’ve written, which books I’ve made progress in, if I’ve tracked my food, if I made it out of the house to socialize with friends (yeah, I need to remind myself to do that). Because it’s a record of all the successes I’ve had, it usually makes me feel pretty good when I look back at the past week’s entry before planning the current week — that helps to motivate me to continue the streak and keep kicking ass. There’s something in the tactile art of actually writing with pen and paper and the physical record of stuff you’ve done that I fine tremendously helpful for both my productivity and my mindset.
Gamechanger. I read a lot, and my first Kindle was one of the best gifts I’d ever received, but the Paperwhite is a step above for one simple reason; it allows me to read at night before bed without fucking up my sleep patterns. I was using an iPad Mini for a while, but the light on an iPad shoots directly out from the screen into your eyes, and exposure to blue light messes up your sleep patterns. The Paperwhite has LEDs that shine on the surface of the Kindle, and since I’ve started using it, getting to sleep after reading a few chapters of The Count of Monte Cristo isn’t an issue.
Everything I need, right where I need it. This thing has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion. Right now, I keep a spare MacBook Pro charger, an External Hard Drive, a Battery Backup, a spare set of Apple Earpods, an Apple Lightning cable, a Micro-USB cable, a spare Apple USB Wall Charger, two USB Thumb Drives and a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth all perfectly organized in this thing. It fits into almost any bag, and having all the electronic add-ons I’d need in one pouch (instead of packed into the bag I’m using) means it’s easy to transfer from place to place or bag to bag.
There it is, my list of five things that make my life just a little bit better. What things will you notice, things that add value to your life are go unrecognized?
HW Edwards talks about writing, books, life in LA and marketing here at Medium, and writes short fiction at Fictum. He quit Twitter and Facebook and has never been happier.
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