In Defense of Doing Nothing

October 12, 2015


This is a guest post by my friend Nathan Atkinson, and a wonderful reminder on this holiday weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian friends!

Mr. Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

This quote from Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium seems idealistic in a world where being busy is worn as a badge of honor. Do a quick search for “productivity” on Google, and you will likely find thousands – if not millions – of articles, books, methods, apps, programs, and entire websites devoted to the topic. There is no shortage of advice about getting more done. From the GTD (Getting Things Done) productivity system to the Bullet Journal to the thousands of to-do list apps in app stores, there are many systems designed to help you do more in 24 hours.

I’ve tried my fair share of productivity hacks, systems, plans and apps. What I’ve discovered is that most of these systems don’t stick, and maintaining many of these systems is harder than the tasks that you actually need to get done. Among the endless advice about how to get more done, I’ve found something that helps me focus on what’s truly important.

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Choose Your Own Financial Adventure

October 5, 2015


When I was a kid, I avoided reading any of those “choose your own adventure” books. You know, the ones that ask you to make a decision at the end of each chapter, which determines the next part of the plot, the next phase of your character’s life and, ultimately, the ending of the story. I chose not to read any of them, because I hated knowing I’d have to skip past many of the other stories and never know the other possible outcomes of the book.

What was I going to miss out on!? What if one of the chapters I skipped was the best one in the entire book? What if that chapter took me down a better path, with a better outcome than the one I’d chosen? And what if I felt like I’d made a mistake and couldn’t go back in time to fix it? I didn’t want to make the wrong choices and deal with any regrets, so I opted not to read the books at all – and deciding to do nothing is a mistake I made many times in my life after that, especially when it came to my finances.

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September 2015 Budget & Shopping Ban Update

October 1, 2015


Ahhhhhhh… <– that’s the sigh of relief I let out, as I sat down to write this. September felt like one of the longest and shortest months of this entire year; short because it flew by, long because it seemed like all I did was work. Whenever a friend asked what I was doing, I usually said “working” to which they often replied “do you ever take a day off!?” I don’t like feeling that busy, but I hustled this month for a reason – and it was about more than just making money. I’ll explain more on Monday, but for now let’s look at how my budget worked out (including my latest net worth update).

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