Make it a great day

The most common closing phrase in my emails is “Have a great day“.

Starting today, however, I’m changing that to “Make it a great day“.

It just popped into my head and the main reason I like it is that it’s a lot more empowering to say “Make it” rather than just “Have“.

It’s sort of “I hope the surrounding world, of which you have no control, has the good grace to grant you a great day” versus “You have the power to change the course of your day, as well as how you choose to deal with what is thrown at you“.

It’s a subtle difference in wording but a very different perspective. And I just love it.

So make it a great day, everyone!

Meeting cost visualizer

As if someone had read my previous post “What if you could see staff costs when booking a meeting?“, there is now an iOS app to measure and visualize the cost of a meeting.

Meeting cost visualizer is an ultra-simple and purposeful app which does just what you expect.

  1. Enter the average hourly cost per meeting participant.
  2. Enter the number of participants.
  3. Click Start.
  4. Watch and create awareness.

Remember to start it the minute the meeting is scheduled to begin. Then check out the money down the drain, by the time everyone has arrived, sat down and the technology is up and running.

As the careful reader will notice, you might wonder if I was inspired by the app, rather than the other way around, since it was released months before my previous post was published. Don’t tell anyone.

A protein shaker can mix more than protein

My protein shaker has become one of my most used kitchen tools.

Just because it’s made for protein, it doesn’t mean it can’t be used to shake other things. Pretty obvious, right?

Not only do you use a single tool for mixing and dispensing, but it’s also a ready storage container, should you need it.

Since this epiphany, I never use anything but my shaker for making pancake batter and scrambled eggs.

BBC is telling me to download their stuff illegally

I just received a DVD box set of “In the Night Garden”, which I ordered for my little boy.

All the other parents are downloading it for free, but for some strange reason I decided to actually buy this BBC Children’s production.

So how does BBC thank me for paying for their product, instead of “stealing” it?

Do they thank me? No!

Instead I must suffer through an intro text “WARNING! COPYRIGHT NOTICE!” etc, with the silent implication that they expect whoever buys their product to be up to no good.

Do I get instant and easy access to the content? Hell, no!

I have to sit through their horrendous mix of trailers promoting their other productions.

With this spectacularly awful customer experience, BBC are sending me a one-word message: Download!

Unsubscribe email rule

Yesterday I set a new rule in my email application.

Any email containing the word unsubscribe is marked red.

That way I know what action is required. It takes a second or two to determine whether this is something  I want to continue receiving, and the answer is usually no. I search for the text unsubscribe, I click the unsubscribe link, and I’m done with it.

There are other ways to do it but this is a drop-dead simple way to combine automation with manual review and high efficiency.



Fit Forever by Dolph Lundgren – Review

Fit Forever is the fitness book (for lack of a better term) by action star Dolph Lundgren.

The book is both a training manual and a biography, where the open and self-disclosing stories of his life serve as both a relevant background as well as a motivation to the workout routines.

As far as the physical part goes, it’s pretty much what can be expected. Some general personal advice and examples, some workout programs and some nutritional tips.

What sets the book apart from many others like it, is that it doesn’t assume that the reader will be able to rearrange his life to completely and live by the book’s gospel. It rather tells of how to keep the best routine you can while dealing with all the distractions and intrusions of a busy life.

So my favorite part of the book is the No Excuses workout program. It’s a short intense workout that requires no training tools, and is designed to be performed when you don’t have time to go to the gym. 15 exercises for the whole body in 15 minutes including warm-up. According to Dolph these aren’t just a bunch of standard exercises for the whole body, but an ultimate combo that he has experimented with and worked hard to perfect over many years to get maximum results.

I perform the No Excuses workout several times a week, usually at 6.30 in the morning while my 11-month-old son sits next to me on the floor raking though his toys, enjoying a fresh diaper.

At the time of this writing the book is only available in Swedish, but an international edition is expected in 2012.

Simple calculation of what your time is worth

Most people don’t seem to value their time in money, which is weird since having a job means trading time for money.

The monetary value of your time is pretty easy to calculate.

( monthly income after taxes) /  (average work hours per month) = your value of an hour

You simply divide your monthly income after taxes by your average work hours per month, which gives you how much you bring in per worked hour.

That is the price at which you sell your average hour. So, you should buy your hours at the same or preferably a lower price.

Some example calculations at $20/hour:

  • Paying $100 extra on an airplane ticket that means a 7 hours shorter flight – $40 gain.
  • Paying $20 for a cab ride when the walk is 30 minutes – $10 loss. (If the circumstances make the cab ride a safer option is a factor not taken into account here.)
  • Saving $800 on a cheaper computer that means 100 hours of extra maintenance, slower work, lost work etc. over time – $1200 loss.

Pretty simple, right?

Bear in mind though that this calculation is for assessing time that is lost or gained. Quality of life and time is an entirely different matter, for which I have no formulas.

Never answer the same telemarketer twice

A drop dead simple lifehack for never answering a telemarketer twice, which I’ve been using for years.

  • Create a contact named Telemarketer in your phone.
  • Get a call from a telemarketer, and you more ore less politely tell him or her that you are not interested in buying anything.
  • Every time a new telemarketer calls you, you add their number to that contact.

So if a telemarketer calls from the same number again, it shows up at Telemarketer and you simply don’t answer.

If you like, you may also set a custom ringtone for that contact.

Simple and works on most phones.

The icon of the nasty green telemarketer is by Michael Gullbrandson  and is used by permission.