Timehacks and Lifehacks, February 2015 edition

I don’t quite have my blog/ report ready from my Visiting Professor trip to Wash U this week, so I’ll instead address something I was asked to talk about with the residents there.  If you know me at all, you know that I typically have one or two things* going on at any given time.  I was asked by Paul Wise, their residency program director, to share with the residents a few of my favorite tips and tricks.  I figured the rest of you deserved to know about them, too (and I have added a few that I forgot).  Please note that I do NOT have an endorsement arrangement with any commercial product that is mentioned here.

1.  I turned off my email notifications on my iPhone last year.  Yes, turned them off.  I realized that the pinging and ringing generated a Pavlovian response and I felt obligated to look.  It’s been liberating, and it’s helping me work towards my goal of batching email three times per day.

2.  Speaking of email, have you met Sanebox?  I have a Lunch subscription to it, and I love how it pre-processes my email for me.  And yes, their training system for email works.  If you have limited time to process email, it’s nice to just be able to go to your “main” email folder, leaving SaneLater, SaneNews, and SaneBulk for later.  And then there is the super-fabulous SaneBlackHole, where Spam goes to die.  If you want to give it a try, here’s a link for you.

3.  Twitter, of course.  I know, you’re thinking it can also be a time sink (true).  I love being able to get news almost in real-time and keep up with key journal publications this way.  Give it a try!  My recommended platform:  Hootsuite, mostly because I run >1 Twitter account and got tired of Tweeting from the wrong one and needing to rapidly delete.

4.  Blue Apron.  I love to cook, I love to try new recipes, I hate sourcing ingredients.  I’ve been doing Blue Apron for a year this month and can only recall one meal that was a complete miss- and I have made so many things I would not have tried on my own.  If you want to give it a try, let me know.  I do have some free meals to share.

5.  My WeightWatchers mobile app.  It helped me lose 30 pounds 2 years ago.  It’s helping me keep those 30 pounds gone by making accountability/ tracking easy.

6.  Wag.com.  I never seem to realize that I am running out of dog or cat food until…well, it’s close.  Really close.  Wag.com has shipping that will arrive within 1-2 days routinely, and they save me the hassle of dealing with food, “cookies” for Olivia, kitty litter for Tucker and Belle!, basically anything pet-related.  It’s hard to miss PetSmart when you can have pet supplies land on the doorstep.

7.  Those people who keep my day-to-day life going:  Dog walkers, daily.  Housekeeper, every other week.  Lawn guys, weekly and PRN for snow clearance.  My Nordstrom stylist and my shoe “dealer” at Arthur Beren in SF, PRN. My Mom, PRN.

8.  Last but not least, unless it’s during a run on clinical service, I do take one day off every week from my one or two things* that I am working on at any given time. I’m not sure it’s a time hack, but it’s definitely a life helper.

Happy Friday, all, and Happy Lunar New Year!


*This may be a slight understatement of reality.  Please let me enjoy my delusions.