Establishing Habits for a Productive Life

Wake Up Happy

Wake Up Happy (Sept. 9, 2012)

Sometimes we need to seek out the little joys in life, to focus on the small pleasures that make our day a little brighter.  ”Wake Up Happy,” a weekly installment, catalogues the things, people, activities, and events that make me excited to get out of bed in the morning.

The Buddha Walks Into a Bar. I just finished this book this morning and I’ve got to say, Lodro Rinzler provides hundreds of insightful and simple tips to help you live a more peaceful, more intelligent life.  I’ll write a post on this book sometime soon, but generally speaking, the book aims to apply ancient Buddhist wisdom to the modern, busy person’s everyday life, and I believe it does so surprisingly well.

Working on my friend’s film set.  I feel blessed to have such talented, hardworking friends.  A good friend of mine from high school who is now at USC is producing his own student film, and I had the opportunity to P.A. on set over the weekend.  I was blown away by the professionalism of the students and the quality of their work.  Major props to him and the crew.

SelfControl. This productivity app is largely responsible for saving my summer days from being squandered into oblivion.  Simply add websites you’d like to resist going on to your “blacklist,” then set a time limit.  SelfControl will block your IP address from accessing those sites for that amount of time, so even restarting your computer won’t shake it.  In the morning, after a quick perusal of all my favorite time-wasting websites, I open up this app and set it for a good eight hours.  That way, even if the temptation arises to click over to another website to distract myself from my work, I am physically prevented from doing so.  Genius!

Bill Cunningham New York.  For those who haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend this charming documentary.  Bill Cunningham is a man unlike any other – infinitely generous, a tad neurotic, endearingly innocent – and with the memory of an elephant to boot.  The film paints a tantalizing portrait of New York and the endless parade of characters who inhabit it.  Even though it centers around Cunningham and his fashion photography, there are still plenty of things in this film for a non-fashionista to love.

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Wake Up Happy (Sept. 1, 2012)

Sometimes we need to seek out the little joys in life, to focus on the small pleasures that make our day a little brighter.  “Wake Up Happy,” a weekly installment, catalogues the things, people, activities, and events that make me excited to get out of bed in the morning.

Songza’s Gorilla vs. Bear playlist. I’ve been waiting for a moment like this for some time now. This playlist brings together the songs posted on the cutting edge music blog Gorilla vs. Bear in one easy, ad-free, weekly updated mix.  With so many great music streaming options available online now, I’m finding less and less reason to download my own music.Evernote. I don’t know how I’m so late to the game on this one.  I’ve been hearing people talk about it for years, but I’ve just started using it this week. As an organization freak, this app is making my to-do-listing that much more enjoyable. Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa, CA.  Those 8 ozs of Nicaraguan coffee may have cost $7, but it was undeniably the best coffee experience I’ve ever had.  Portola Coffee Lab, like its other “third wave” coffee-brewing counterparts (Intelligentsia et al.) turns brewing into an art. (Or a science, as the baristas’ lab coats may indicate…) With only four beans on the menu at any one time, the Lab roasts their beans on location and brews them using one of three methods: Trifecta, pour-over, or Siphon. It is also home to the only Slayer Espresso Machine in Southern California – and that is no small matter.  This machine costs upwards of $18,000.    Poolside. This Los Angeles-based band’s relaxed yet funky vibe (or as they call it, “Daytime Disco”) has been the perfect backdrop for these 90º days.

My new North Face Lost World Hoodie.  I’m getting ready to go back up north for school in a couple weeks, and I’ve been looking for the perfect jacket to keep me warm on my fall/winter runs. This seems pretty perfect.