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Did my hacks work?

In 2019, I planned to achieve nothing. All I did was change my environment with little hacks and by tweaking routine, adding technology, pushing existing skills beyond my immediate network, and paying attention to where I could save money. It was remarkably effective!

None of these hacks involved weight less, restriction, isolation, 'evolution', kale, or smoothies; it was all about increasing efficiency, energy, and stamina in line with the way I already live my life.

This is an update of a previous blog, 6 months from when I tried to make some small, underwhelming, remarkably boring changes in my day-to-day routine. All the mental, physical, and organisational flexibility I have in life comes from me - my approach, my attitude, my expectations, and my energy but most of all it comes from daily routine.

1. Buy Period Proof Underwear: this was a game changer because it meant that I didn’t have to think about bleeding through anything when I was on my period. From work, I could go straight to the gym and do bendy stuff and there was no leaking from a tampon or ‘squeaking’ from a Mooncup. Unfortunately, the period proof underwear does not release farts in the same way a normal pair of pants does; you have been warned!

2. Try SymProve: still haven’t tried this – it remains on my list for the next half of 2019.

3. Take Spirulina Daily: so, I’ve been taking 'Fushi Organic Spirulina Capsules' in the morning and the evening. Spirulina is an algae that's high in micro-nutrients, has a rich concentration of beta carotene, vitamin B12, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, iron and the fatty acid GLA. No lie, I ran out last week for a few days and felt very tired – it may have been work, it may have been many other things, but this was the only major thing that changed in terms of what I was eating. I’m fully on-board the Spirulina express.

4. Support with Practical Skills: when people ask, I’m going to try and help. This includes writing references for people, reviewing PhD proposals, and making suggestions on writing effective complaint letters. The little things make a huge difference and I want to try support people better.

5. Meet Great People: friends make the world wonderful and the energy that people carry and share is the best thing in the world. Hanging out with people who have a great synergy is a high unlike any I’ve ever experienced. There’s a running joke that it’s super hard to make friends as an adult; it is but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

6. Get a Millennial Railcard: I got one and just in time; for work, I seem to take a train to Bristol on about a weekly basis. In the last 10 working days, I have worked in Oxford, Bristol, Portsmouth, and London. Money well spent, now saved.

7. Nail Tax Advisory: well, I got an internal promotion earlier in the year so will just keep the curiosity up and focus on being as organised as I can. I’ve got a desk and pouffe at home now – all courtesy of British Heart Foundation; my work laptop has internet on the go; and I work across the Bristol and Reading teams which diversifies the workload.

8. Wrap up 2018: there are a few things from 2018 that I didn’t get done which includes the application to the Chartered Institution of Arbitration for Fellow status which I still need to do but it’s super expensive! I also want to maintain the commitments I made last year with the University of Bradford Alumni Committee and have been unable to attend meetings in person but have attended by Skype.

9. Save a Bunch of Money; the MoneyBox app has been really cool for this. I basically invest all my spare change into this investment app and get alright returns on it. The plan for this year is to keep clearing a credit card, paying off the student loan, and start saving for a mortgage.

10. Keep Blogging: Someone said to me last year that once you hit a certain number of blog posts, the opportunity to create a book is much more probable. Nothing is a given but lining up likelihood is an effective way to make things happen so, on the off chance that things line up, I’m going to keep writing regularly. The post on white saviourism got 200 hits which I was really proud of.

11. Let Dating Die: this actually worked! I got really picky with dating and waited for a while before I went on dates with people. I used Hinge – a dating app which was a bit more chill. Dylan and I went for a date which ended up lasting three hours and the subsequent two dates morphed into being 10 hours long, and he’s my boyfriend now.

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