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8 Ways to Have More Time

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who needs only four or five hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, I’m not—without a consistent minimum of 6-8 hours, and usually on the high side of that range, I don’t perform very well.

If you’re like me and need your sleep, and if you’re not otherwise superhuman, you may need to hack your way to greater time and productivity. Many of us are constantly looking for more time. These 8 tips might help.

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8 Easy Actions to Kickstart Your Way to Free Travel

When you’re just starting to learn about free travel or travel hacking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a deluge of information and recommendations.

But fear not! Here’s a current and highly practical list of things you can do right now to kickstart your way to the trip of your dream.

Bonus: most of these actions are very simple to complete, and almost all of them are FREE.

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What Time Should You Arrive at the Airport?

I’m unusual in that I love airports. I'll regularly arrive 2-3 hours in advance of my flight, sometimes even at a small airport without a lounge. There’s just something about being around the bustle of people in motion and aircraft on the tarmac that I find reassuring.

But let’s say that you’re a normal person. Assuming you don’t want to live as I do, when should you arrive at the airport before a flight?

Two simple guidelines will help.

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Three Things I Know Are True: Writing Books


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I’ve been attempting to find “true north” in a lot of things lately. This new series explores what I believe in different areas of work and life. Your answers may differ; the point is to find what’s true for you.

Today’s topic is writing books. Here are three things I know are true.

1. The basic process is easier than most people think.

As I’ve explained before, it’s not that hard to write a book. A book is composed of a number of chapters and words. If you break down the process in a logical manner, you can see approximately how many words are required on a daily or weekly basis to achieve the goal in whatever time period you set.

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A Better Approach to “Never Check Email in the Morning”


226823992_0eb2580004_z You’ve heard the conventional wisdom: never check email in the morning.

That sounds great, unless your job involves communicating with people, or if you happen to care about what people have to say to you. In either of those cases, you very well might want (or need!) to see what's happened overnight just as you sit down to work.

It's also true, though, that it's easy to get sucked into replies and never end up creating or building or just working on something that requires long-term focus, all because you can't get your nose out of the inbox.

Years ago I found a better way that I still use most days of the week. Here's how it works.

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Packing Essentials

It doesn’t take me long to pack for most trips. I typically bring the same clothes and “stuff” with me no matter my destination or purpose of travel. Sure, there’s some variance—a warmer scarf depending on season, or a nicer jacket depending on what kind of meetings I have on the other side.

On average, it takes me twenty minutes. No more, no less. If I’m doing laundry and sorting through the mail while packing, the whole process might take up to an hour, but that's the cost of multitasking.

The greatest challenge is indecision. Do I want two pairs of jeans? (Usually just one, but I waver.) Do I need to bring my bathing suit? (I don’t swim often, and when I do I can wear my running shorts.)

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There’s Always Time to Write a Book


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Some inspiring insight from Laura Vanderkam:

"I have never believed that book writing needs to be all-consuming. It wasn’t for Toni Morrison writing The Bluest Eye at night after her kids went to bed and let’s face it, we’re not likely to produce anything like The Bluest Eye no matter how much time we spend writing. Books are projects like any other.

Incidentally, you can make time for the rest of your life too. I’m always amused by the lines in book acknowledgements in which authors (generally, male authors) thank their families for putting up with all their missed dinners. Not only am I not missing dinner, I’m generally cooking it."

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A Family’s Year in Italy: On the Road with Jacqueline Jannotta

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Getting the gumption to make travel part of your life is hard enough when it's just you, let alone adding three other people. Jacqueline Jannotta did just that, though—she brought her husband kids into a year-long adventure. Here's how this family of four did it:

I worked for both sitcoms and dotcoms in Chicago, L.A. and Florida before becoming a freelance writer and moving to Portland, Oregon. I’ve always cherished the connections I made as I zig-zagged around the country, and have been curious about the ever growing social constellations we find ourselves in.

This ultimately became the impetus for an unforgettable journey: moving my family of four to live in Genoa, Italy for a year.

Jacqueline-Jannotta

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Why You Should Write

“That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it. Writing needn’t be a formal enterprise to have this effect.…

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How Valuable Were Your Last 40 Minutes?

Q: What are your tricks for time management? “The simple answer is to attempt to avoid, at all costs, situations that waste people’s time.” “Regarding my personal time management, I also try to live by the philosophy that focuses on: ‘What did I do that was productive and beneficial in the last 40 minutes?’ I…

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Eating in Restaurants Alone

I eat at restaurants by myself all over the world. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me—in fact, I often enjoy it. A few tips: Bring something to do. I usually have my Tom Bihn laptop bag, so I have plenty of choices: actual laptop, New Yorker or Economist magazine, my paper notebook, reference…

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How I Deal with Anxiety

Update: New post, two years later *** On any given day I’m anxious about any number of things. I don’t relax very well. I feel tense and unsettled at least a couple of times throughout the day. And I worry, because generally I think worry is good. Of course, not all worry is good, and…

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