The best financial decision I ever made

When Katie and I started going out, and for a long time afterwards, we lived apart. At first that just made sense (you don’t move in with someone three days after meeting them) and later it was a necessity, while I was working in London and she was finishing her doctorate in Oxford. Overall, long distance and living apart is rubbish, but it did mean that we managed to avoid all the thorny financial decisions that being in a relationship normally brings for much longer than you’d expect.

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Me, a parent: A manifesto

How can I be a good parent? Who should I be to be a good parent? What does it even mean to be a good parent? For the last 8 months especially, these are all questions I’ve been thinking about a lot. And, with any luck, in the coming years, I might unearth some answers.

Of course, it’s relatively easy to just think about it. Actually writing it down is much harder, and posting it on the internet for all to see is even worse. After all, I could be wrong. Or – infinitely worse – I might fail to live up to the standards I set myself. But as Cialdani shows, publicly putting a stake in the ground only increases the odds I will succeed. And I’d rather have better chances than unembarrassing failure. On that note…

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Tying together the latest neurology, psychology and neurology research, Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit presents a compelling description of habits: how we get them, how we change them and their wider appearance in companies and entire societies. With the framework he builds it becomes possible to understand why I can’t resist sugar and why Rosa Parks (and no one else) truly set the Civil Rights movement in motion. What’s more, it becomes possible to change my sugar addiction and understand how BigRetailChain is pulling my psychological levers to make me buy more. Well written, interesting and enjoyable, I strongly recommend this book. Continue reading

Because all the world’s a stage…

“All the world’s a stage; And all the men and women merely players”. And so begins the wailing Jaques as he paints a melancholic portrait of life. Tragic portrayals of life’s inevitability aside, Jaques is right and all the world really is a stage. Over the last couple of weekends I’ve been doing some improvised theatre workshops and I’ve learnt a lot, but nothing more important than that.

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Living an organised life in the clouds, part 5: References and Ticklers

There are two big parts to organising my life: using my time well, and not losing key information that I need to know. So far I’ve described how I organise my time using Fixed Blocks, Anytime Tasks and Projects. In this post I’m going to try and sum up the laundry list of techniques I have for tracking of all the info in my life. I’ll also mention what I do to capture inspiration and track my money (not the same thing) so apologies in advance for the length of this post!

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