Sunday, October 19, 2008

Success Master Skills: 50 Ways to Reduce Entropy in Daily Life

This post is technically Part 3 in my series on Entropy in Human Achievement. Part 1 is here Part 2 is here. Entropy is the disorder that seeps into our lives on a daily basis. With each lost credit card, misplaced phone number, wrong turn, late arrival, we rob ourselves of the satisfaction of getting what we truly want. Our energy and forward motion is blunted or blocked entirely. As we set up procedures in advance, we clear the way for more personal satisfaction, because we spend more time doing what we actually want to be doing. We don't waste energy "finding our way back" to our daily tasks and purposes. Here are just a few of the things we can do to prevent entropy from entering our lives. I will comment on some of these items in subsequent posts.

  1. Develop routines for as many life areas as possible (eating, exercising, saving, recreation, cell phone charging etc)
  2. Make lists
  3. Prioritize tasks
  4. Work from a list each day
  5. Set benchmarks for diet, exercise, finance, etc
  6. Quantify activities and plans. Measure results quantitatively
  7. Log the hitting of the benchmarks
  8. Work on big projects first, and longest
  9. Use checklists for multi-step tasks you do frequently
  10. Use checklists for multi-step tasks you do infrequently
  11. Send incoming calls to voicemail
  12. Give new processes time to work. Change processes with deliberation.
  13. Processes that work are rare. Eliminate or change successful processes very carefully if at all
  14. Increase resources allocated to successful processes
  15. Exit failing processes quickly, despite emotional attachment
  16. Go to bed at the same time every night
  17. Stay in one relationship
  18. Reward successes of big projects
  19. Stay away from volatile , erratic people
  20. Stay away from lazy people
  21. Stay away from people who use or previously used drugs
  22. Stay away from failing people
  23. Always assume there is a better expert than you on any topic
  24. Obtain outside expertise for all important tasks and goals (consultants, books, courses)
  25. Keep a notebook and/or voice recorder for recording ideas
  26. Read and write affirmations
  27. Write your goals frequently
  28. Stop doing what isn’t working. Review this often
  29. Measure twice and cut once
  30. Measure your weight and keep records
  31. Measure your cholesterol and keep records
  32. Use maps and GPS when driving
  33. Develop some form of personal information management
  34. Take pictures of all belongings for insurance purposes. Store offsite
  35. Back up all data frequently
  36. Use label makers, file cabinets, file folders and databases
  37. If something is a “whim”, identify it as such and don’t do it right now
  38. Keep a journal of what is working in your life and review it
  39. Put cell phone, keys, wallet, glasses, in the same place every night
  40. Use GTD
  41. Value the retention of capital as much as the spending of money
  42. Save at least ½ of any windfall
  43. Go for intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic rewards
  44. Avoid tying rewards to the approval of others
  45. Keep carry-on bags with you
  46. Do all scheduled automobile maintenance
  47. Practice asset allocation strategies in investments
  48. Never enter a gambling casino. Do not engage in gambling.
  49. Get professional medical opinions on any health issues
  50. Do not smoke

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Chris Tang said...

great post. Your articles are adding values to my life. 50 ways...i will try to follow those ways, hopefully it will become habits in my life.Thanks for sharing good information.

Manny said...

Thanks for the comment, Chris!

Anonymous said...

I think this list is so long that it will create the opposite effect.