Level up!

Since coming across the term on Pinterest I have become interested in the idea of life hacking. Life hacking runs the gamut of fixing broken thongs with bread bag tabs (true story, mine are sporting one of these at this very moment) to finding better use of  time. The term ‘life hack’ relates to levelling up in a video game, without doing more work. That’s my focus – improving my life without adding more stuff or responsibilities.

Yay! It took 33 years, but I'm finally at level 2.

Yay! It took 33 years, but I’m finally at level 2.

Lately two areas of my life have been suffering due to tiredness and…I was going to say ‘busyness’ but if I’m honest, it’s Breaking Bad that’s the true cause. I finally caved after avoiding it for all five seasons and started it from the beginning. It’s Anthony Hopkins’ fault. So, each night after Little Fearse is asleep we try to knock out another few episodes. I often fall asleep during the second one, which hampers our efforts. There are nights I have had an after dinner coffee to combat this. It’s like some kind of monster.

The first area that has suffered is reading. I love reading before bed, but I’m often too tired even without Breaking Bad marathons to blame. I’ll read a page and fall asleep with the book on my head. In addition to this my self education through multiple modern classic book lists has suffered greatly, as many of these books require more concentration than I can summons. On a recent visit to the library I discovered they have a brilliant and expansive collection of audio books. I currently have Grapes of Wrath on loan and have been listening to it on my way to and from work – time that I previously found quite frustrating as I’m often stuck in traffic. I have life hacked this time – I now read while I drive. As a bonus, I have tried to read Grapes of Wrath a bunch of times but found it a bit snoozy. Having it read to me has been great and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. So much so that I’ve kept up-to-date with my physical copy of the book and will read a page or two at home when I have a snatched moment. Finding a way to make the drive to and from work something I look forward to has been a revelation for me. Level up!

The other area that has caved under the pressure of Breaking Bad is chat with BP. I mean, we still talk. We ask about each other’s day and share concerns and tell Little Fearse stories, but aside from that, we’re just focusing on Walt and Jesse. That is about laziness and anti-priorities. Luckily we only have two seasons to go. Imagine if I was starting Bold and the Beautiful  from the beginning. (Sorry. Don’t imagine that, it’s a waste of imagination.) So, we hacked our lives and our relationship at the same time by the simple act of doing the dishes. Other people worked this out ages ago. We have generally been the lazy after dinner types who mutter something about doing the dishes tomorrow. Then maybe one of us will do them tomorrow, but it might be the next day, until one of us (me) cracks it and washes the lot. (They have traditionally been left to drip dry, creating another havoc of sorts on the drying rack.) This aspect of our relationship has to be left over from share housing days. Anyway, this week we (I) had enough and declared that after dinner we were going to do the dishes together every single night. This means we spend an extra 15 minutes together a day, we get that extra talk in and (get this!) the kitchen is clean in the morning. THE KITCHEN IS CLEAN IN THE MORNING. Revolutionary. Level up!

Most importantly, these level ups involve something I was going to do anyway – driving to work or doing the dishes. I’m not adding another responsibility to my life and I’m not manically multi-tasking.

How do you level up? Got any life hack tips to get me up to level 3?

Mama xo


10 thoughts on “Level up!

  1. I so hear you! Breaking Bad took over our lives for a few weeks – then I had the added “stress” of catching up on Walking Dead because my men (hubby and sons) wanted me to watch it with them… So I “marathon-watched” to catch up! We are now back to normal and, like you, levelling up with sharing tasks so it’s not just one or the other doing the mundane. I like the doing the dishes together idea (although, I also get the boys to do their share! BEFORE watching TV, otherwise, I wake up to a dirty kitchen – ugh!)

    Things will definitely change when Little Fearse can do her share!

  2. As I began reading, I was thinking of mentioning audio books, but then you’ve already discovered those. I’ve gotten through a few history tomes that way. I like the learning but not the reading of history books.

    I knit while I watch TV. I assume if you knit, you’d already be doing that, but maybe there’s another hobby you can do while watching Breaking Bad?

    • True! Sometimes I write blog entries while watching Breaking Bad if that counts. 😛 I don’t have any current ‘mind free’ hobbies, but perhaps I could take up knitting again. I always loved it but wasn’t very good at it! Good idea Christy.

  3. Life hacking ideas are awesome, I particularly like the audio book idea, would like to try it for solo driving (although I do also enjoy ‘sing at the top of my lungs alone-time’ while driving on my own).

  4. Loved this, as I could relate to 99% of it (I’ve never watched Breaking Bad so I’m taking away the 1% there, and I won’t allow myself to get sucked into it because I’ve already been down this road with Mad Men–completely addictive and sleep-depriving). I have an ever-growing stack of books on my nightstand, and I pathetically read about two pages per night before falling asleep in the middle of the same chapter! Glad you found a way to make your commute a good use of time. I used to do that, too, during my commuting years. Really does make the time fly, when you otherwise would be cursing the traffic.

  5. Pingback: The neglectful blogger…. | The New Good Life

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