Archives for category: Enjoying Life Tips

I downloaded a bunch of ebooks over the past few weeks. I had been forgetting that there has been some incredible material in the ebook format for some time now, and decided I would just download a whole bunch and start reading. My ebook collection is pretty overwhelming, but Jeff at SleepWarrior got my attention with his 40 Sleep Hacks: The Geeks Guide to Optimizing Sleep.

I’ve managed to cut my nighttime sleep to 6-hours a night, so I can wake up early enough to start the morning in quiet (parents of small children can understand) and to have the time to ride my bike to work. Of course, I would come home exhausted and was terribly ineffective in the afternoon and evening – when I am supposed to be studying for grad school.

The most beneficial chapter from 40 Sleep Hacks was about taking naps. It lead me to realize that I had two major misconceptions on napping that I’m sure some of you might have too. The first one is that there’s some stigma with most of society that believe adult napping is for lazy people. Stop sleeping on the job! Get more sleep at night! The fact is, napping can actually increase productivity, improve stamina, reduce stress, and produce a host of other benefits according to SleepWarrior.

The second misconception I had about napping is that a nap doesn’t have to be an hour long, or even five minutes. The light bulb for me was that you can set your alarm like you would going to bed at night! I know it sounds like a silly realization, but this is why reading is so important. I can just go about my life without realizing little facts that are right in front of my face. This is also a testament to finding some ebooks and reading plenty of them.

20-minutes is the perfect length to take a nap. I actually set my alarm for 30-minutes so I can guarantee 20-minutes of sleep without being late to my next committment. Another great part about the afternoon nap is that I have an excuse to follow it with a mini morning routine which includes the best beverage on earth – coffee. It’s amazing on how relaxed I am after my nap, and drink a relaxing cup of espresso, then just knock out any work I have to do, without the craziness of trying to cram my work into the afternoon. Of course, I also have more energy to study and write the million papers I have to write in the evening, and still be in bed to read by 10pm, asleep by 11, and up at 5am. It truly, truly works this way.

Of course, 40 Sleep Hacks isn’t all about naps. There are also great chapters on sleep such as having a nighttime sleep schedule, diet, and dreaming. I just wanted to tell the world that it’s okay to take a nap, and napping can truly improve your quality of life in many ways. Although the siesta-practicing cultures don’t need to hear this. They have it pretty well figured out.

Always Enjoy Life,

Zach Ellerbrook

If you enjoyed reading this article, please pass it on to someone you think can benefit from its contents. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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Give a crap about someone besides yourself. That’s the surest and quickest way to always enjoy life.

The main thing that gives me motivation to enjoy life all the time is my relationship with God, but that relationship has taken 34-years to develop, and only 12 of those years has the relationship been strong and actively cultivated. Traveling a spiritual path is highly recommended, but giving a crap about other people literally produces immediate results.

Quick things that we all (should) know to bring temporary joy would be holding the door open for someone, or helping someone carry something when their hands are too full. I have read plenty of uplifting stories about the first time someone volunteered at the local soup kitchen (or community bicycle shop).  But I have found that the way to really turn temporary feelings of joy into permanent habits is to care about others in my daily activities. Being a husband and father certainly comes to mind. I can quickly up my feelings of self-worth and joy when I actually do things around the house, without my wife nagging telling me to (love you honey!). It’s really exciting when I do work that she usually does.

But putting my wife and kids before my wishes is an obvious place where I can bring joy into my own life. How about a place that isn’t known for having an abundance of joy – say, work?

Yes indeed, there can be much joy for yourself at work… if you actively give a crap about someone besides yourself. There are several things that you can do, you can:

Do your work: I know, right? Maybe just doing your work isn’t the key, but understanding that your work benefits someone. Your customers, your co-workers, or even your boss (I’m biased, I happen to like my boss). Quick tip: Being in a job that’s meaningful to you helps produce joy from doing the work. Just sayin’.

Speak highly of someone: Like many things in this world, gossip and the watercooler can have benefits if used wisely and in moderation. Besides, I don’t care if a million people read this post. If any of you say that you don’t gossip, you are LYING. So since we all gossip, we might as well make it positive, right? On this same note, here’s something that might surprise you, but can bring even more joy to your life.

Speak highly of someone who is usually spoken lowly of: In other words, that guy that always gets “thrown under the bus”? Pick him out from under that bus and see how people react. There is something positive about everybody, and I’ll bet that person has done something that you appreciate, so make sure everyone else knows about it. It might even make everyone feel pretty good.

If you’re still not sure how these tips can help you enjoy life all the time, especially at work, leave a comment or e-mail me and I’ll answer any questions you might have. Of course, if you just ask yourself (or a God of your understanding if you have one), “How can I give a crap about someone besides me today?” You might be surprised at how quickly the right answer comes.

Always Enjoy Life

Zach Ellerbrook

If you enjoyed reading this article, please pass it on to someone you think can benefit from its contents. You can also follow me on Twitter.