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28 Comments

  1. Oh….my dream is to be hyper-productive and not waste any time. But, alas, I’m addicted to social media.

    Well, when I want it badly enough, I’ll get unaddicted.

    BTW–for podcasts, you can also brush up on other, non-finance topics (though I would add Dave Ramsey to your list). Freakonomics, Stuff You Missed in History, Radiolab and Planet Money are all fascinating and educational.

    Another idea is to listen to books on tape or, if you are learning a foreign language, books on tape in that language.

  2. Love the morning routine Mr.G. I try and be more productive than slothful. If I do plan to goof off, I use it as a reward, making sure I get all of my productive stuff in first.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Exactly, Brian. Being hard on yourself early in the day allows for some guilt-free sloth later in the day.

  3. Alicia W Warren

    Thanks Mr. Groovy for the Duolingo tip. Just had my first lesson and am now 7% fluent. Maybe if you add that to my few words of medical Spanish and my food Spanish I might be at 10%.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Alicia. Learning Spanish is a slog. My Duolingo streak is now up to 597 days. And I’m still lost when I watch La Raina Del Sur on Netflix. But I can discern the meaning of most articles in Spanish newspapers. So it’s coming along, however slowly. Good luck.

  4. I have been trying to be more disciplined with the way that I spend time. I have been waking up at 5am in order to work out for an hour in the morning and I feel terrific after the workout. Although I am definitely dragging by the end of the day. I definitely need to add more podcasts on my commute home. I usually zone out which is not nearly as productive. So thanks for the great reminder!!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Strategically used, podcasts are a godsend. Mrs. G and take advantage of them on our trips to and from Wake Forest. Without them, three hours of radio would be tough. And I hear you about dragging by the end of the day. On the days I get up at 4:30, I’m pretty much useless by 9 pm.

  5. I definitely lack productivity on certain days. I have found that when I get back from a trip it takes longer to adjust and I find myself wasting a ton of hours doing absolutely nothing. I think I need to get back to a check off list to help navigate my day when autopilot is all I can muster so this post is going to come in handy!

    FYI – another great podcast some of your younger or non FI readers may be interested in is ChooseFI. If you haven’t given them a listen check it out! šŸ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Miss M. I hear you about the lack of productivity. I find that if I don’t do my morning miracle, so to speak, I run the extreme risk of being a wastoid for the day. For me, sloth definitely begets sloth. And thanks for the podcast tip. I never heard of ChooseFI before. Mrs. G and I will listen to it today on our walk.

      • Mrs. Groovy

        LOL, he’s heard Choose FI before but didn’t know the name. And I’ve been in touch with Jonathan and Brad to get Mr. G on for an interview.

        The episode we heard yesterday was excellent — Justin from Root of Good. Anyone bent on retiring early and especially with children, should give a listen.

  6. Really interesting article. I like the idea of just aiming to win each day.

    I love the idea of Duolingo in the morning. Learning a foreign language is always on my “Someday, Maybe” list, but I never actually get to it in any meaningful way.

    I get up before everyone else and start my day with some stretches, some exercise, a walk, meditation, and a page of journaling. I’ve found that actually checking those things off my to do list first thing in the morning helps me get a jump start to my day.

    • Mr. Groovy

      You win the morning, you win the day. After reading Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans, I’m intrigued by meditation and journaling. Those two habits seem to be very common among the Titans. Check out Duolingo when you get a chance. It’s a very painless way to start the learning process.

  7. Great stuff. A successful life is a collection of days that we can say we won. The day provides so many opportunities for victory. Do your job, exercise, read, try to be creative, help someone, learn about new topics. The options are limited.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. Winning the day is actually easy if you’re a thinker and a doer. The problem is that too many Americans have grown too comfortable with sitting and complaining. And perpetual victims rarely win the day. Meh. Thanks for stopping by, Dave. There’s an awful lot of wisdom in your comment. Cheers.

  8. I try to delete slothfulness but still enjoy an hour of tv a night. It’s a good time to get onto forums and discussions.

    As for the rest- your right. Maximize and optimize – moptimize! Your day

    • Mr. Groovy

      TV was definitely one of my vices. That’s probably the biggest reason Mrs. G and I cut the cord. An hour of TV a night is reasonable. But we were watching way more than that. Cutting the cord made it easier to moptimize. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And thanks for coining “moptimize.” Great freakin’ word.

  9. I’m getting more slothful as I get older. I’m just not driven to be productive anymore. This hedonistic adaptation seems like a natural progression for early retirees. Now, I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time with my kids much more than working.

    Before I retired from my full time job, I was much more productive. Full time job, blogging 3x per week, and a baby. It was nuts.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! I’m the opposite. I got less slothful as a got older. Prior to my late 30s, I was a bum. But we are the same when it comes to gainful employment. Don’t miss that at all. It’s much more fun working or keeping busy when it’s for things that excite you. Thanks for stopping by, Joe. And kudos to your productivity before you called it quits. Full time job + 3 blog posts per week + a baby + a wife = a tremendous freakin’ feat. You’re a far better man than I ever was.

  10. I’m absolutely with you on enriching yourself during your commute. I only had a 15-minute commute at my job, but would usually listen to Tim Ferriss podcasts on the way there and back at 1.5x speed. I could get through an episode every day or two and the time between listening sessions gave me time to process what I had learned.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Chris. I was allowed to work from home before I discovered podcasts. I wish I would have known about them sooner. There’s only one main road heading east out of uptown Charlotte. If that road had just one minor accident, my commute home would double from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Brutal. Podcasts definitely make the war of commuting much more tolerable. Tim Ferriss is a nut, but in a good way. Mrs. G and I queue him up every other week during our walks. I’ll have to give the 1.5x a try. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  11. I definitely need to start learning another language! I love your plan and how you make that a priority. My father suffers from Alzhemier’s and one thing that is big in the literature to help prevent it is to keep learning and challenging our minds. Developing app’s, writing an ebook and a blog, learning a language – you’ve got this thing nailed, Mr. G! Love it!

    • Mr. Groovy

      My Duolingo streak is up to 586 days! I find that I can now make out the gist of most periodicos. But when I watch a Mexican novella or listen to Spanish radio, I’m completely lost. I may catch one word out of twenty.

      Where this love of learning came from I can’t say. If I had to pinpoint one thing, though, it would be this. Do you remember Leo Buscaglia? I believe it was in his book Living, Loving, and Learning that he told about his father’s dinner routine. Every night when the family sat down to dinner, his father would go around to each of the children and ask them what they had learned that day. And Leo and his siblings had to come up with one thing. I always thought that was pretty cool. He forced his children to do at least one productive thing every single day.

      Thanks for the kind words, Vicki. And God bless your dad. Alzhemier’s isn’t fun.

  12. Thought provoking article. I try to follow many of the concepts here (been doing podcasting on commute for last year, and it has certainly helped my morale and personal outlook).

    I always exercise in the mornings, though evening walks with my spouse might be a good thing to start.

    I try to do some woodworking for the first hour I am home (or yardwork) but sometimes the motivation isn’t there.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I hear ya, Kevin. The longer I wait to do the things that are really important to me the less likely they’re going to get done. If I don’t do my workout in the morning or work on my ebook, I often find an excuse not to do either in the evening. Sigh. Willpower and discipline muscles that weaken as the day progresses.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I feel the same way. With just a little effort, there’s no reason why every day can’t be a win. Just listen to one podcast. Read one chapter in a book. Make a stranger smile. If I don’t do something productive, I feel like total slug. Love your style, Lance. Have a great weekend, my friend.