Weekly Learnings Roundup (July 11, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (July 11, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

10 Life Lessons to Excel In Your 30s by Mark Manson

Mark puts together the Top 10 lessons that he sourced from hundreds of people in their 40s and beyond. As someone who just turned 30 last year, this is a really valuable article.

Books, documentaries, or podcast episodes I’m enjoying —

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

This short, practical book examines the rise of fascism and communism in the 20th century and what we can learn from them. With the increasingly ridiculed press to election hacking to fear mongering about the “others”, there is no more important time for regular citizens like ourselves to get involved and preserve our democratic rights. If it can happen in the United States, it can happen anywhere else in the world.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.

— Lao Tzu

Product I’m loving —

Upgraded Coconut Charcoal from Bulletproof

Activated charcoal has been used for thousands of years in ayuverdic medicine. It works by attracting positively charged toxins to help with detoxification of your gut. I take one or two Upgraded Coconut Charcoal from Bulletproof in situations where I know I may be eating some suspect food or when I’m going to be drinking some alcohol. It’s not meant to be taken on a regular basis but when you know you’ll be eating some lower quality food than you’re used to.

As always, please make sure to consult your doctor before you add supplements that you haven’t tried before!

Featured image via Pixabay.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Weekly Learnings Roundup (July 2, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (July 2, 2017)

Happy Canada Day and a Fourth of July everyone!

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

This Is How To Have An Amazing Relationship: 7 Secrets From Research by Eric Barker

Well written, well researched piece on relationships. The author does a great job simplifying the keys to a great relationship – and they’re all fairly simple in theory. In particular, “express appreciation frequently” and “support your partner’s goals” are two secrets that I need to work on.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

It is a simple matter of what you will do when the chips are down, my friend. When the fat lady is singing. When the walls are falling in, and the sky is dark, and the ground is rumbling. In that moment our actions will define us. And it makes no difference whether you are being watched by Allah, Jesus, Buddha, or whether you are not. On cold days a man can see his breath, on a hot day he can’t. On both occasions, the man breathes.

— Zadie Smith

“ah-ha!” thought of the week —

Keep your phone off your desk.

An easy way to increase your focus during the day is removing distractions from your immediate area. And one of the easiest ways to be distracted is by your phone. Let’s say you see a text come into your phone and you take 2 minutes to send a response. While it might seem like a 2-minute pause, the actual cost needs to include the time it takes for your brain to get back on task, which takes, according to a study, is upwards of 25 minutes.

If possible, keep your phone off your desk. Yes, disabling notifications is good but putting the phone away from your casual reach is way better.

Product I’m loving —

Inbox by Gmail

I highlighted Inbox by Gmail back in the February 28 Roundup but it’s worth bringing it back again for another review because they’ve made some key improvements that I love.

First, the Bundles feature has really made my life easier. Not only can I now categorize emails based on Social, Updates, Promos, etc., I’m able to bring them into my inbox just once in the morning to review. I don’t need to keep tabs on these categories multiple times a day and knowing they’ll arrive once in the morning at 7 a.m. makes it easier to stay focused on the right emails.

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Second, the Trips category in the bundles is amazing. It not only automatically recognizes when I’m going on a trip through flight or hotel confirmations, but I can also add certain emails to the specific Trip if it’s missing. This is really helpful when I’m on the fly and need to access certain information right in my email. (I’ve used tools like Trip Case which are also great but I love the convenience of this information right in my inbox better).

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Featured image by Jonathan Denney.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 25, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 25, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

6 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic by Mark Manson

Lots of valuable gems in here for anyone in a relationship (or looking to be in one). The first point “Letting Some Conflicts Go Unresolved” is a counter intuitive one. In his research of thousands of happily married couples, John Gottman (who’s basically the godfather of relationship research) highlights that “the idea that couples must communicate and resolve all their problems is a myth”. There will always be persistent disagreements and annoyances; it’s the couples that can let go of them that do the best in the long term.

Book that I’m enjoying —

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

An incredibly well-told chronicle of the gene. From the original discovery of the gene by an obscure German scientist to the DNA double helix by Watson and Crick to the current possibilities of gene editing, this is a fascinating look at the most important building block of all living things. There are massive implications in this book on the future of humanity. It’s a hefty read but worth the exploration.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.

— Kristin Hannah

Product I’m loving —

Webber Naturals Magnesium Citrate Powder

In a previous Weekly Learnings post, I highlighted the impact that magnesium supplementation has had on my health and particularly my sleep. (In an upcoming post, I’ll share how my sleep efficiency increased by 83% likely due to adding 450mg of magnesium to my diet). Webber Naturals is the one that’s been working for me but there are a lot of quality options for magnesium citrate that are affordable. Make sure you add it to hot water so it dissolves properly and dulls the strong berry flavour.

Featured image via Pexels.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 18, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 18, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

Trickle-down workaholism in startups by David Heinemeier Hansson

A piece by the founder of Basecamp, David Heinemeier Hansson (aka DHH), that has caused a fiery debate in the VC and startup space. Some argue that workholism is a part, if not a requirement, in the startup world. DHH argues the opposite and has great points to back it up.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

Life always gives us

exactly the teacher we need

at every moment.

This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath.

Every moment is the guru.

— Charlotte Joko Beck

“ah-ha!” thought of the week —

Track your sleep for 30 days.

Something that I do on a daily basis is track my sleep. I use my Fitbit to create awareness of my sleep time and sleep quality. Whether you have a wearable tracker, app, etc., it’s worth spending 30 days to develop greater awareness.

In particular, observing what time you’re going to sleep over the course of 30 days will give you a rough idea of when your body is naturally going to bed. Your body’s natural clock will fit into one of four “chronotypes”. Based on your chronotype, you’ll have ideal and less ideal times to do certain activities.

By creating that awareness of when your body naturally goes to sleep, you can start building your unique schedule around it. You can also take this free quiz to find out what your chronotype is or dive into The Power of When by Michael Breus which provides a detailed look into the power of leveraging your chronotype.

Product I’m loving —

Uni-Ball Vision Needle Ink Pens

My favourite ink pen on the market. It’s a bit more expensive than your regular Bic pen but the performance is far superior. It writes super well on my Moleskine and Productivity Planner. I don’t go anywhere without one (or two).

Featured image by FWStudio.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 13, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 13, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

Putting off the important things? It’s not for the reasons you think. by Oliver Burkeman

This article hit home for me. The reason why I put off an important project or task is not because I’m lazy – it’s because I feel the need to have everything lined up before I start. It’s what the author calls the “Importance Trap” which means “the more an activity really matters to you, the more you start to believe you need focus, energy, and long stretches of uninterrupted time in which to do it – things that, you tell yourself, you likely lack.”

It’s the reason why the Pomodoro Technique works so well for me. I reduce complexity and say to myself, “I’ll sit down for 25 minutes and see where this goes.” Making it a little easier for me to overcome the “Importance Trap”.

Books, documentaries, or podcast episodes I’m enjoying —

Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel on Audible

I recently discovered Esther Perel, a relationship expert, on a Tim Ferriss Show podcast episode. I really enjoyed her take on relationships and what can break them and what can maintain them. She has a new show on Audible (for free) in which she records conversations with real-life couples about their marital issues. It’s fascinating, educational, and very real. Anyone in a relationship should listen to this series even if it makes us a little uncomfortable.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

The simple act of being completely attentive and present to another person is an act of love, and it fosters unshakeable well-being.

— Sharon Salzberg

Featured image via Pixabay.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 4, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 4, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

Just Move the Chains: Daniel Pink on the Science of Staying Motivated by Heleo

Daniel Pink shares his personal story on how he got started, how people stay motivated, what to look for in hiring salespeople, and the best thing to do when starting a new habit. Great piece if you’re a fan of Dan’s work and research.

Books, documentaries, or podcast episodes I’m enjoying —

The Relationship Episode: Sex, Love, Polyamory, Marriage, and More (with Esther Perel) on The Tim Ferriss Show

A great episode on relationships featuring psychotherapist Esther Perel. The New York Times has called her one of the most important game changers in sexuality and relational health today. After listening to this episode, I’m planning on checking out her new Audible series Where Should We Begin which features real couples in candid conversation with Esther.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.

— Pema Chödrön

“ah-ha!” thought of the week —

Examine and eliminate your chequing account fees.

About a year ago I decided to consolidate a few of my financial assets into my chequings account. I had a number of Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) that I had been saving for a specific purpose (e.g. education fund, emergency fund, etc.) I did this primarily to keep my savings separate from my chequings account so that the money didn’t get mixed up. The return on investment was probably around 5% for about $1500-$2000 I had invested total. So about $80-$100 per year.

At the same time, I was paying $15 per month for my chequings account. Like most bank accounts, they had an offer to waive the monthly fee if I had a balance of $4000 in my account. However, I didn’t have a monthly balance over that limit so I was paying $180 per year in these fees.

I was basically losing $80-$100 (i.e. return on investment – chequings account fee) per year by not consolidating my assets into my chequings account.

I know that this really depends on how big your investments are so you want to make sure the math works. But for many young people building their assets in their 20s and early 30s, it’s worth watching out for these types of fees. Most banks offer to waive the account fee with a minimum asset balance so it’s good to take advantage of it and making a goal to hit to save money and build up a “buffer” in your budget.

For those curious about how I’m now handling the “mixing” of my everyday expenses and savings, I recommend checking out You Need a Budget. It’s the best budgeting tool that I believe is out there that helps you organize your savings in place and build up your financial assets. In terms of long-term savings like retirement or down payment savings, I use Wealthsimple as my low-cost asset management tool.

Featured image by Carl Heyerdahl.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Weekly Learnings Roundup (May 28, 2017)

Weekly Learnings Roundup (May 28, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment by Martin Seligman and John Tierney

An interesting look into the latest from the world of neuroscience and human behaviour. The authors share their thoughts on how humans, and our inherent ability to think about the future, is the key differentiator between ourselves and other species. A collective belief in the future is what allows us to develop things like language, culture, or technology. Individually, those who are stuck in the past are often depressed and by rewriting our past we can give hope for our future.

Books, documentaries, or podcast episodes I’m enjoying —

Transcript: Dr Rhonda Patrick on Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss from The Tim Ferriss Show

I know I shared this episode in my Weekly Learnings Roundup (May 14, 2017) but it’s worth revisiting. Firstly, the link above is to the transcript version of the podcast episode. Since Dr. Patrick goes so fast in dropping knowledge that it’s helpful to have the transcript handy. Second, I wanted to post her top six recommendations for living a healthier life. It’s worth exploring further by listening to the episode or experimenting with each recommendation for a few weeks.

#1 – Eliminate refined sugar from the diet to the greatest extent possible.

#2 – Practice time-restricted eating and eat generally in accordance with your circadian rhythm.

#3 – Do everything in your power to maximize vegetable intake, possibly using the micronutrient smoothie method as a way to jumpstart the habit.

#4 – Enlist your physician in helping you monitor your vitamin D blood status and then attempting to titrate your dose to an above 30 ng/ml range, possibly trying to land between 40 and 60 ng/ml.

#5 – Try to get some form of meaningfully vigorous cardiovascular exercise, at least 30 minutes, a few times per week.

#6 – Get bright blue light during the day, as early as possible, and avoid that same blue light as much as you can in the evenings.

In June, I’m planning on adding in an element of #2 – time-restricted eating – into my daily habits. To make things easy as a beginner, I’m just going to make it a universal rule to stop eating by 8 p.m. each evening. I’ll be monitoring how I feel and any visible effects of this change over the course of the month.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

Every minute can be a holy, sacred minute. Where do you seek the spiritual? You seek the spiritual in every ordinary thing that you do every day. Sweeping the floor, watering the vegetables, and washing the dishes become holy and sacred if mindfulness is there. With mindfulness and concentration, everything becomes spiritual.

 Thích Nhất Hạnh

Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist

Product or service I’m loving —

Instapaper

My favourite app for saving and reading web-based articles. It basically pulls the text from the article and arranges it into a minimalist format for easy reading. It’s easy to add highlights for future reference and you can also setup custom folders to organize your articles if you’d like. This app is particularly helpful if you visit websites like the New York Times or Harvard Business Review that cap your articles after a certain number per month (since Instapaper saves the article separately).

For IFTTT users out there, Instapaper can be linked to other apps. For example, when I see an article that I’d like to read later, I schedule a tweet through Buffer with the hashtag “mustread”. Once the tweet goes out later in the day or late in the week, I’ve setup an integration with Instapaper which sends any article with that hashtag to my Instapaper account. End result? I have a running list of the articles that I’d like to read throughout the week.

Featured image by Lorenzo Carafo.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.