Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged Tools

Evaluating Your Time, The Trick To A Happier Life

They say that when people start to track what they eat they generally start eating less, just because they’re being conscious of what they are eating.  The same rings true when you look at how you’re spending your life, what time you dedicate to different things.  Over the past month or so I’ve been taking a look at how am I spending my life, where is my time going and how do I feel about it all.

I wanted to map what my life is actually like and compare it to what I want it to be.  The difference between what it is and what I want it to be signals where I need to make changes.  To do this, I’ve found a few tools that I’ve really liked and thought I’d share some of them here.

Track your life with Life Cycle

This is a pretty neat app that automates the tracking of your entire day and it does it pretty well.  It uses your GPS to figure out what you do where and then tracks how long you’re doing it.  You tell it where you work, it tracks time spent at work.  You tell it where you work out, grocery shop, get dinner, do errands and it tracks it all.  At the end of the day you get a snapshot of what your day was.

So here you can see I spent 7 hours and 23 minutes sleeping, 6 hours 28 minutes working, and so on.  The app interfaces with the iPhone’s health app, tracking your steps and it also connect to their other app, Sleep Cycle (more on that in a minute).

Track your sleep with Sleep Cycle

This is from the makers of the Life Cycle app and interfaces with it, its basically required to use.  Basically it analyzes how you sleep by detecting movement on your bed and breathing patterns.  It operates on the premise that when you are in deep REM sleep (the kind that really gets you rested up) your body actually prevents itself from moving so we don’t act out our dreams and many other reasons.  This means when we are in deep sleep, we don’t really move.  The app tracks this and measures your sleep patterns.

Understand better how you work with Rescue Time

If you’re like me, when it comes to work, it’s almost all done on a computer.  Rescue time puts a little program on your computer to track exactly what you’re doing and for how long.  It can spit out reports to show you exactly what you’ve been up to, it can categorize those into “productive” or “non productive” activities.

rescue time tracking

This is really good for those who get distracted easily on the web or on their computers.  We know that just because you’re on your computer, doesn’t mean you’re actually working.  Since using this app (over two years for me now) I’ve found that I get on my computer, do only work, then shut down and move on with life.  In short, I don’t waste time, get my work done quickly and get on with more important things.

Dig into emails with Gmail Meter

One of the lessons I learned from using Rescue Time (above) was that I spend a lot of time in email.  Email is often a terrible use of time.  The saying goes: “an email inbox is a convenient way to organize other people’s priorities.”  I use an add-on to Gmail called Gmail Meter which analyzes your email.  I’ve taken some drastic steps to help reduce the number of emails I receive.  For example I used to receive around 400 emails a day, now 170 email per day.  I still have a very long way to go.

It also shows your top people who email you.  This helps me identify people who I need to break it off with if they are endless emailers or validate that the emails I do get and send are productive.

So What Does This All Mean?

After sitting with this data, I break out my life into three main categories:  Recreational, Sleeping and Business Activities. Having objective data is a very important step because we can get down to specifics and reality, not guesses and gut feelings.

I then can ask myself, what do I want my life to be like?  What do I want a day to look like?  Then after that I can delve into things more specifically: what do I want my free time (recreational) to look like?  When I run my business, what should that look and feel like?  How much sleep do I want to make sure I have?

The important part here is defining what will make you happy and then comparing it to reality.  The gap is where I need to focus and make intentional changes.

For me, email is a huge issue.  I also spend more time driving that I like.  My average sleep time is around 8 hours, which is good, but I need to work out more.

You can use fancy tools like I have here or simply jot down in a notebook.  The point is, how often do you take inventory on your goals and your life?  Most people don’t.  Most people do nothing or at best, work of guesses.

Your Turn!

  • How do you track your time spent?
  • How do you keep on track to your goals?

Minimalist Kitchen Podcast Episode

minimalist-kitchen

This week I talk about a minimalist kitchen in my tiny house.

Listen in by clicking here

Tool School 2016 – From The Field

This was a video we shot via periscope back during the 2016 Conference.  Tool School is part of our Conference where we get hands on with power tools to show folks how to use tools safely.

Episode 2.5 – Tiny House Chat

episode 2

A while ago I did a post on this topic, but this week I released an episode where I go over the article, but then also share how I decided to solve those problems.

The original post is here: See it here

The podcast can be found here: Tweenisode 2.5

I Built My Tiny House And Have All These Tools… Now What?

So a comment from one of my posts the other day got me thinking.  There are many people who have built their tiny home and now have all these tools that they acquired for their build, but don’t have a need for them anymore.  So now what?

Reduce-Resource-Consumption-Sharing-Corporate-Consumption-Tool-sharing-library_1There are those who are professional builders/craftsmen/craftswomen that will have them for their job, but that isn’t the case for many.  For others they just built a house (just think about that, they built an entire house) at that point they have learned some amazing skills and might just have caught the bug and start other fun project.

However, there are many of us who don’t need all those tools and it seems at odds to have a tiny house and a ton of tools. Up until this point I have suggested trying to recoup some of the money by selling them on craigs list, but what if we tried something different.

What if we took the tools that we used to build our Tiny House and passed them on to another tiny house builder?  Tools are expensive so I would think there would need to be some sort of exchange, perhaps a labor exchange or money.  How neat would it be if you helped out someone on their tiny house for a reasonable amount of time, which gave you the skills for your own home and in exchange, in lieu of a hourly payment, you were to adopt their tools?

I also thought about having a set of tools that I could rent out to people through this website for a small fraction of what the tools cost, but logistically that might be a nightmare because shipping would really expensive on it because of the size of some of these things, and if you get a bad apple who doesn’t take care of things.

There are of course website that have this concept where you can connect with local people who have things, some municipalities do things like this and then in Charlotte (and other places) there are tool banks that you can do this from, but I haven’t seen an option that would allow you to build a whole house by renting for less than the cost of purchase.

Your Turn!

  • What do you think of the idea of passing on tools to another Tiny House builder?
  • What do you think about a tiny house tool lending library?

 

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