Appearing Superhuman Volume 3
My weekly newsletter is a compilation of things I found interesting, challenges I’m taking on, and the automations, processes, and habits I’m using to ‘appear superhuman.’
If you don’t remember signing up or aren’t interested anymore, feel free to hit that unsubscribe button below. If you’re still along for the ride, then rock on 🤘
The Elephant, The Rider, and the Path – A Tale of Behavior Change (2-minute video) – I’ve read loads of books on change and habits, but one book in particular by Dan Heath called Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard had an idea that took hold of me, and I think about almost daily which is simply to ‘clear the path’ for any change you want to make. This short video does a good job explaining what that means and how it works, and I’m going to reference it a bit in this issue.
One Sec App (5-minutes for setup) – How much would you spend to get an hour back of your day, every day? I paid $18 for a one-year subscription to One Sec, and it’s already forcing me to use my phone with more intention. Every time I click on certain apps on my phone, it forces me to pause, shows me how many times I’ve opened that app in the past 24 hours, and makes me pick an intention before continuing. It’s like Screen Time on steroids. It’s honestly the best money I’ve spent in a long time.
Protein Ice Cream (5-minutes to make) – I suck at going to bed hungry. My cravings for sweet and salty settle in around 7 PM every night, and I rarely don’t indulge them. Rather than fighting it anymore, I’ve opted to save room in my calories for the day for something protein-rich, and filling, and this protein ice cream definitely does the trick. I’ve literally made a batch every night this week.
The recipe varies widely but the basics you’ll need are ice, frozen fruit, PB2 powder, xantham gum, and protein powder. Some people are adding sugar-free jello packets for more flavor or greek yogurt to up the protein. Pick your poison from the dozens of recipes on YouTube. I learned about this from Will Tennyson. Here he is showing just how thick this ice cream gets.
Discord Improved My Marriage (4-minute read) – Here’s a quick article with a catchy headline that actually makes sense. I recently started using Trello with my wife to organize everything we need to prepare for our first child. It worked alright, but I couldn’t help but wonder if something else would work even better. I haven’t tried Discord channels for the different areas of our lives, but it’d be a cool experiment to try.
I also thought it might be cool to do that with a couple of buddies I have an ongoing iMessage thread going with. I often feel bad messaging them early in the morning or when they might be at work or with their family. Discord or Slack feels like less pressure somehow. It also feels more organized since we talk about a lot of different topics.
Quote I’m Revisiting:
“I think about life as having three things at least that I think are really important: One of them is increasing simplicity. Just sheer simplicity. Two is time in flow state. The third is time with people I love.” — Jim Collins
Album of the Week:
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis: Spotify YouTube – I like to think I have an eclectic taste in music in that I don’t dismiss any genre anymore, and I actively seek out new stuff, but I made the realization recently that I don’t listen to a lot of jazz. After some poking around, I found a lot of people consider this 1959 album by Miles Davis to be one of the best ever, and man, they weren’t kidding. I can easily listen to this on repeat.
Picture of the Week:
For my dad’s birthday / father’s day last week, we took him to the Dallas Museum of Art, and I immediately fell in love with this painting aptly named — the Icebergs.
I came home, did a little research, and stumbled upon this article: Would You Pay $2.5 Million for That Painting? Turns out it has a pretty rich history. Here is my favorite section from that article:
“Before it was all over, the painting at the top of the stairs would become one of the most fiercely sought art objects in history, bring a record $2.5 million at auction—the most ever paid for an American painting—and end up as an “anonymous” gift to the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, where it now reigns as superstar acquisition and a focus of ongoing controversy.”
Process of the Week:
If you’ve been following since Volume 1, you’ll know my wife and I are due with our first child any day now, which has me thinking A LOT about how much my life is going to change. To prepare for the change, we’re doing everything we can to ensure we’re ready for the baby.
Here’s where I need to create processes to ‘clear the path’ for the things that need to get done regardless of how sleep-deprived or busy I become. If you missed the video above (2 minutes) it’ll explain what clearing the path means.
I’m a big fan of a book called Atomic Habits by James Clear, and in one section in particular, he says new habits should be so easily digestible that you can at least start them in 2 minutes or less. By the way, I found this really long list of habits along with examples extremely helpful.
Starting is often the hardest part, so doing something for just 2 minutes will often build the momentum to keep going. You’ll see that theme throughout future newsletters as well. Today, I’m going to keep it simple with just a simple one time purchase and a list to pair:
CLEANING THE HOUSE
Picture a house with kids, and I doubt the first image that comes to mind is one of pristine counter tops, freshly mopped floors, and everything neat and tidy in its place.
My wife and I are methodical about making sure our house is in good condition at all times. Keeping it that way without kids and when we have plenty of energy is easy. I have a feeling that’s all about to change.
But, does it have to?
Sure, some things will slide but we don’t have to completely let go. In fact, I’d wager with the simple system I’m about to discuss we can keep it looking 90% as good.
I need to make the act of ‘starting to clean’ a bit easier and I’ve borrowed an inexpensive play from professional cleaning companies by buying this large gray caddy ($16). I filled it with everything I need to clean just about any room in my house.
No more going back and forth between the kitchen or the garage to the room I’m cleaning and no more cleaning up my cleaning supplies when I’m done. It’s all ready to go in one spot that’s easily accessible and transferable to any room.
I’ve made it easier to get going and build a bit of momentum, but how do I keep going? Or know where to start?
It all comes down to having a recurring checklist.
I have a recurring reminder on my phone to clean a specific room spaced out at specific intervals, which has a checklist of everything to clean in each room. I use a program called Things3, which you can see a screenshot of below:
To make it easy I’ve create a simple cleaning checklist you can steal for yourself. Here’s a quick recap:
The two-minute habit: physically place the caddy in the room my reminder tells me to clean that day and spend two minutes doing the first thing on the list.
More often than not, I go well beyond that two minutes. I may not always finish every little thing (often because it’s already clean to me) but I get close.
I bought the caddy, created the lists, and set them recurring. I never have to think about cleaning again. I just do what pops up on my list that day and restock my caddy when things runs out. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Here’s something to think about or journal on this week:
If you only had 1-hour each day this week to work on your business, side hustle, personal project, or day job then what would you do with that hour?
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