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Music + Technology + Random Nonsense from the Music Industry by Ethan Kaplan, VP Product, Live Nation

The Ultimate Life Hacks

This blog took off, so to speak, because Merlin Mann linked to it in relation to a discussion of My So Called Digital Life. That being: my life as it transpires between the eyes and the screen. Information, communication and work essentially. This of course negates the other part of my life, that which transpires off the screen.

In the last five weeks or so, I’ve made a consorted effort to get my life off the screen on as good as a path as my digital life. That means, diet, exercise and spending time away from the Mac’s, trying to actually enjoy what Amy and I did in the past year (this ever fucking house). The past year kind of sucked, in that we bought a house and renovated it at the same time as my work situation heated up (in a good way). We combined the most stressful parts of a marriage (job, remodel, home purchase and moving) into one 6 month cycle of hell, and emerged on the other end kind of OK.

So here are my life-hacks for NON computer usage, that I’ve taken up since January.

Exercise – I’ve never been much for physical activity, because I was a nerd and I hated PE and such. I played tennis growing up, but never played any particular sport well. Since we moved down to LA from Santa Barbara, I’ve been taken to more physical activity. However, in the course of our move, my gym attendance dropped off. I’m now back to five days a week, in a process that includes running a 5k (3.1 miles, usually in 24 minutes) and ends with weights and core exercises. I do this right when I get home from work, before the laptop comes out, before the TV goes on, before I eat dinner. I find that running while listening to music helps me clear my head and get a better handle on the day that had transpired. The good consequence of all this is I’ve lost 15 pounds in 4 weeks. Not bad. I weight less than I have in a long, long time and feel much better as well.

Diet – I’ve taken to decreasing my portion size, and increasing my intake of non-processed foods. That means more salad, more yogurt, granola and organic foods. I still enjoy a BBQ chicken pizza, but now I can’t finish them (which is a GOOD thing). Lowering portion size and exercising decreases your need to stuff your face. Also: Lean Pockets (the pizza ones) are a working man’s friend. Easy to make, 200 calories.

Water – For every diet pepsi I drink, I now drink a bottle of water. This has started working well, and actually decreased the amount of diet pepsi I’m drinking (otherwise I’d just pee all day long, natch).

and by far the most important non-computer life-hack:

NO COMPUTER TIME: This started this week. I decided that when I got home, I was not touching a computer. My laptop would stay in my bag and I wouldn’t even think about it. This has worked very well indeed, and I find that I’m still as caught up at work as I normally am. It almost seems that working at home on the laptop only serves to generate more work, not eliminate it. The only thing that I haven’t caught up on is RSS feeds, and you know, I read too many of them anyhow.

This last hint especially applies to all married nerds out there: your wives will thank you. A lot.

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2 Responses

  1. Joel Tanner says:

    Congrats Ethan. I think you’ve got a winning plan. I was doing almost the same thing for a few months, and the results were great… then the holidays came around. If you’re looking for other things to eat (low calorie, but satisfying) you should try the Lean Cuisine meals (300-500 cals). Also, for breakfast there are the Lean Pockets as well as the South Beach breakfast burritos. More specifically, here is what I was doing.

  2. Jason Sares says:

    Exercise
    I ride my bike to work everyday and around town. Sure work is only a mile or so away and the bike has a small electric motor but still more work than pushing a gas peddle.

    Diet
    Not so great.

    Water
    I hardly drink any soda. Mostly water and unsweetened tea, followed by beer of course.

    No Computer Time
    I don’t have a hard rule about this but usually Saturday and Sunday are computer free.