In August 2006, I agreed to do a regular segment for the Health Hacks Podcast. Despite a brief
but exciting run that involved them
actually PAYING ME MONEY (yes, in some pathetic sense, I was a professional podcaster), as of August 2007, the Health Hacks Podcast is no more.
The good news is you can still listen to my segments because I've rereleased them as a separate, bare bones, Everyday Systems
Podcast. If I can ever motivate without a producer cracking the whip I'll even record new episodes.
On this page you'll find links to Everyday Systems Podcast audio files, approximate transcripts,
and bulletin board discussions. You can also subscribe to the Everyday Systems Podcast in iTunes.
For those of you who have no clue what I am talking about, Podcast
= Internet Radio (more or less). Click the mp3 download or flash player links to
Episode 42: Personal Punchcards Redux
Posted by Reinhard on 2013-11-26
Low-tech, high-psychology productivity tracking gets even simpler.
How well do I practice what I preach? What level of compliance is necessary for big picture success? What's the hardest everyday system? I attempt to answer these questions in my first annual self performance review.
Episode 31: What is the best piece of exercise equipment money can buy?
Posted by Reinhard on 2007-11-12
You may think you know the answer to this already -- or at least, the answer I am going to give you. But you're probably wrong. Because it's not a sledgehammer. Or even a sledgehammer with a sweater wrapper around it. It's a timer.
Episode 29: Top 5 health and fitness books (sort of)
Posted by Reinhard on 2007-07-05
I've been asked to talk about the top five health and fitness books I've read. Unfortunately I don't think I've read that many health and fitness books in my entire life, and they certainly weren't all worth recommending. So I'm going to have to narrow it down to four. And I'll be cheating a little because one of them hasn't even been published yet.
According to data from the Continuing Surveys of Food Intake by Individuals, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of our increased calorie consumption since 1977 has come from increased between-meal eating. Calories consumed at meals have stayed about the same. If this statistic is accurate, snacking is not only the biggest problem in terms of dietary excess, it is almost the entire problem.
Talk to yourself -- and record it. Why? Autotherapy. Catch all those great ideas that would have gotten away otherwise. Nag yourself into doing impossible tasks. Keep an even-keel diary that reflects a broader range of experience. Give serious books the serious attention they require.
A month is a much better granularity than the more typical yearly resolution we make on new years, because you can estimate better on that smaller scale, and recover and reset faster. And it's long enough (over 21 days!) for some habituation to occur, even with a slip up or two.
One thing that every self help guru can agree on is that you have to have an arbitrary number in your system. It is a little weird that the most rational concepts we have available to us -- numbers -- are so irrationally inspiring. But it clearly is the case.
Episode 11: Habit Tracking with the Habit Traffic Light
Posted by Reinhard on 2006-11-02
Need to keep track of something? Keep track of behavior, not results, with the Habit Traffic Light. Mark each calendar day with green for success, red for failure, yellow for exempt (S-days). It's cheap and keeps you focused on what you can control.
For every labor saving device there seem to be at least two time consuming devices to soak up all that freed time again. As T.S. Eliot put it, we are "distracted by distraction from distraction." Weekend Luddite is a system that addresses (at least in part) this problem of distraction management.
14 minutes is one minute less than the smallest unit of schedulistically significant time. No calendar has a finer granularity than 15 minutes. No one ever has a meeting that starts at 9:05 or 9:14. You have no excuse not to do this. Time-wise, it doesn't even register.
Take a sledgehammer and wrap an old sweater around it. This is your "shovelglove." Every week day morning, set a timer for 14 minutes. Use the shovelglove to perform shoveling, butter churning, wood chopping and other motions until the timer goes off. Stop. Rest on weekends and holidays.
Last week I gave a high level overview of the no s diet to give you a sense of how something this simple could possibly work. This week I'm going to zoom in a little to a smaller scale and go over each of the rules in a bit of detail.
Five years ago, I had all the usual self improvement problems. I was fat. I smoked too much. I drank too much. I exercised too little. And I diddled away all my free time in front of the computer. Low self esteem, that problem I guess I didn't really have, beyond what can be expected of a fat, slothful, drunk who wastes all his free time. So I came up with a bunch of simple, common sense self improvement systems to fix these problems. And they worked...