100 ways to slightly improve your life?

beach with people and a sunset

I saw this list in the Guardian recently and had to have a listen while having brunch.

I wanted to pick out a few which I thought were worthy of mentioning/commenting.

8 Send a voice note instead of a text; they sound like personal mini podcasts.

I like this one and will likely do this more often, as sometimes I find it a pain to outline what I’m thinking/saying in text and end up making a call. But this is nice middle ground. Although I have to say Google’s speech to text is so good now, I have been using that much more.

27 If possible, take the stairs.

I like this one as generally if I’m going to the 2nd or 3rd floor I’ll walk it but higher I take the lift. Modern buildings tend to have double or even triple high receptions, meaning the first floor is actually 2 or 3 floors up. So I make a judgement call rather than making a hard call.

28 Always be willing to miss the next train.

My dyslexia does generally make me late, knowing this about myself I always give myself an out. Usually not buying single tickets if I can absolutely afford it. This is similar with Trains and Trams. Of course with things like Airplanes this is much more tricky.

37 If you’re going less than a mile, walk or cycle. About half of car journeys are under two miles, yet these create more pollution than longer journeys as the engine isn’t warmed up yet.

My move to Manchester, was somewhat tied this. If I’m meeting someone in Manchester city centre I’m walking or sometimes skateboarding. I walk quickly always beating Google maps times.

41 Buy a plant. Think you’ll kill it? Buy a fake one.

I could rant about my plants over the pandemic, which ended up going outside because for some reason (I gather old soil might be part of the problem) it was the source of lots of flies (not fruit flies). So many I just had to get rid of them all. However I did buy fake ones and the flies are long gone. I’m happier now!

47 Take out your headphones when walking – listen to the world.

I use to do this but due to the amount of books and news I’m listening to, generally have my headphones on. Maybe this is part of the reason why its become harder to hear the mosquito sound now?

56 Call an old friend out of the blue.

This is something I’ve been doing during the pandemic and its been incredible. I can’t even tell you the amazing conversations I have with people I know but haven’t spoke to in a long time for varies reasons. Everything from life changing events like marriages, divorces, new births and of  course near/deaths.

62 Go to bed earlier – but don’t take your phone with you.

This one bugs me and I’m drafting a post/rant about why to be healthy? Means getting up early and going to bed early. I think its nonsense and needs to be called out. Its clear some people are morning people, some are evening and some are night people. Equating this with health is just lazy nonsense and I’m fed up with it (expect much more soon).
Taking your phone to bed is also something I raise my eyes at. For example I use mine for sleep tracking and don’t doom-scroll or even look at socialmedia. Its what you do with it not necessarily the technology.

79 Ignore the algorithm – listen to music outside your usual taste.

Absolutely, I do find systems like Spotify really difficult to consider using. I know people say there is special playlists which introduce some discoverability. However everyone is listening to the same thing which makes me puzzle what makes it into the list, why and what is the effect of this?

86 Nap.

Most sleep research indicates napping isn’t good for you. Don’t get me wrong, if its needed then great but regular napping isn’t good for your general sleep. If it said nap if you really need to, that would be different but it doesn’t.

87 Learn how to breathe deeply: in through the nose, out through the mouth, making the exhale longer than the inhale.

Something I learned early in life while suffering with Asthma is how to breath better and deeply. I have found it very useful on the path to falling a sleep quickly at night.
While wearing a mask especially while sitting for a while I have found it calming.

97 Listen to the albums you loved as a teenager.

I won’t disagree but there is a balance to be struck. I have written a lot about the pull of nostalgia and a concern about it.

A during my blogging, I have said something along the lines of average advice for average lives? I don’t think the advice is bad but rather average. Maybe if reduced to 15 or 20, it might be of a high quality or with more clear direction?

Its  worthy of some reading over brunch anyway (as I did today)…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.