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In this episode, Chelsea shows us all the little-known ways to live better online — something that's especially important to those of us practicing social distancing (which we all should be!), as we're spending even more time than usual at home and on our devices.

How to track your time: https://tommorkes.com/track-your-time/

Bad Bitch Book Club: https://www.badbitchbookclub.com/

Health benefits of reading: https://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/benefits-of-reading-real-books

"Digital minimalism": https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/147891.Cal_Newport

How to make a vision board: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/visualization-goals_b_878424

Importance of external reminders: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292114001214

"Phantom buzz": https://hbr.org/2018/03/having-your-smartphone-nearby-takes-a-toll-on-your-thinking

Watch more of The Financial Diet hosted by Chelsea Fagan here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD30V46E07RR99cC0gCjKUbt-BKoDUcnc

The Financial Diet site: http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefinancialdiet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TFDiet
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefinancialdiet/?hl=en
Hey, guys.

It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet, and this week's video was brought to you by Morning Brew. And today, I want to let you guys in on a little secret, which is that being a put together person is not something that just happens.

Unless you're extremely privileged, extremely wealthy or have managed to somehow rope someone into an indentured servitude type situation, you're going to have to be your own personal assistant, but the good news is that there are so many tools and strategies available to us that being our own personal assistant is actually a lot easier than it probably sounds. Basically, it's all about creating the right routines and habits in your life to set yourself up to make the most of your time and make sure that the important things in your life are getting done. And one of the best places to start with streamlining all of those various elements of your life is in your digital life.

Our phones and laptops and smart watches and car computers and technology is a huge, huge part of how we live our lives, and as sometimes said it makes for an excellent servant, but a terrible master. So this is all about being the master of your own technology and how to curate your digital life to be way more put together starting with number 1. Use a sheet or app to track the time that you use and how you use it.

One of the most common reasons that we often feel like we can't finish what we started or we can't get a hold over how we're spending our time is because we simply don't know how we're spending our time. A lot of the things that we do that takes up a lot of our time every day, even something like repeatedly checking our email, we often don't even realize that we're doing. These things almost become muscle memory to us, and so we can waste hours on tasks that we're not even really mentally involved in.

Scrolling through social media, where we barely even register what we're seeing, refreshing inboxes, even though we don't need to be checking them at that hour, or watching something on TV that we're barely even paying attention to. We can often feel like we have no time, but if we were to analyze how we've actually been spending that time, we would realize that we have plenty of it, it's just not being very well used. So this is where it can be incredibly effective to keep a log of how you're actually using your time.

Even if you don't do it for very long, a few weeks of being analytical about your time is incredibly powerful. For example, I've been able to totally transform my Sundays and how they're used because I break it up into a very structured, time-oriented routine. I have a class at a certain time, which obligates me to do my shopping at a certain time before it, do my cooking at a certain time after it.

I usually have one or two planned out activities that come at the beginning of the day, but I always know where that time is going, and I always know how I'm going to spend the last hour of my day on Sunday, which is laying out everything for Monday, including clearing my inbox so that I can start Monday fresh. This does mean a lot of people receive emails from me on a Sunday night, but I've always told them do not feel that you have to respond to them. That's just me.

And even if you don't want to be emailing other people on a Sunday night, you can do what I have often done now which is scheduling out emails. But as the experts put it, when you track your time, especially if you're diligent about tracking every time that you shift tasks, even if it's to social media, a guilty pleasure blog, et cetera, you'll recognize how much time you spend on non-essential activities. And tracking time doesn't mean you immediately get rid of certain activities or habits, it just means that you become incredibly cognizant over the ones that are actually providing you value and the ones that are really just serving as a distraction, because often, just even the act of switching between tasks is what can take us out of our flow states, make us less thoughtful and creative, and end up just creating a lot of lag on the work that we want to be doing or the fun we want to be having.

So track your time and see how you can use it better. Number 2 is subscribe to an informative email newsletter like Morning Brew. Morning brew is a super simple free way to better curate your digital life by signing up for an email newsletter that helps you stay informed without any extra effort on your part.

If you're looking to stay more up to date on the finance world, you should check out Morning Brew. Morning Brew is a free email newsletter sent out every morning, Monday to Saturday. You'll get it in your inbox in time to read it with your morning coffee, and while traditional business news can be dry, dense, or just plain boring, Morning Brew tells you what you need to know about the business world all in one quick, easy to digest place.

Our sales manager, Monica says, the first thing she does every morning is wake up, make coffee, and read Morning Brew. She says it's way more entertaining than other newsletters and gives her an update on the most important market and business headlines of the day. Definitely a game changer.

In just a five minute read, you'll get the wittiest, most relevant, and most informative business news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley delivered straight to your inbox. Click the link in our description to subscribe today. Number 3, use the Save feature on Instagram to your advantage.

So in case you didn't know, there's a little feature on Instagram that allows you to save posts to your profile. You can then organize what you've saved into little collections, which you can cure into inspiration boards, reading tips, recipes, ideas for projects, et cetera. TFD team member, Holly, actually uses this feature to save book recommendations, money and productivity tips, and even create makeshift photo albums with family photos.

If you are anything like me and can sometimes use Instagram a little bit to the detriment of your self-worth and relationship to consumerism, this is a good way to transition your relationship to Instagram to be more positive and productive, and for the record, in case you wanted to save some stuff that's a little controversial, no one can see what you're saving. Number 4 is join a digital book club. So this is where I have to give a big shout out to a friend of TFD, Mackenzie Newcomb, who created the Bad Bitch Book Club, which is a digital book club that focuses on the works of women.

It's a bunch of women getting together to talk about these awesome books and form an amazing network online. Mackenzie is great, her book club is great, and it provides a perfect example how a resource like this can be hugely additive to your life. I've personally been in and out of book clubs all the time.

I've done a few. I even started one here in New York that I really got to resurrect because it was great, where we focused a lot on actually non-fiction books, and one of the things that I found so fascinating and so helpful about this was when we would read books on topics like, for example, therapy. We read the book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

It didn't just provide an impetus to read a book that I otherwise might not have, it also gave me an excuse to have the kind of profound conversations around these topics that can otherwise be really hard to start. It's not like you can usually just walk up to a bunch of people and be like, hey, you want to talk about therapy? At least for most people, it's a taboo subject, but talking about it through the prism of a book or a fictional character or someone else's experience allows you to have these conversations and gain insights and perspectives and speak candidly about things that you otherwise might not be able to.

And that's not just anecdotal. There's good data to show that being a reader itself is great for your empathy. "Getting lost in a good read can make it easier for you to relate to others. Literary fiction specifically has the power to help its readers understand what others are thinking by reading other people's emotions, according to research published in Science.

The impact is much more significant on those who read literary fiction as opposed to nonfiction. Understanding others mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships which characterize human societies." David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano wrote of their findings. So reading alone can help broaden your horizons and deepen your empathy, but using that reading as an excuse to get closer to other people that you may otherwise not have done is a win-win, and generally speaking, it's always good to be cultivating hobbies that take you out of your normal routines and normal modes of thinking.

A book club, especially a digital book club, can be a very accessible version of that that's a little bit lower commitment but has a really high level punch when it comes to expanding your horizons. Number 5, use an RSS feed reader. So it is easy in our age of overwhelming amounts of information and sources from which to get it to feel like you are always catching up with the news or catching up with your reading and you don't even know where to start looking.

So an RSS feed is really helpful for curating what you actually want to be reading every day. Platforms like Feedly or The Old Reader help you curate an experience that's more easy to manage and helps you keep focused on the things that are beneficial to you, rather than just getting bombarded with everything you might be seeing on social media. Oftentimes, I'm personally guilty of seeing a really interesting looking article, bookmarking it to read later, and then totally forgetting about it because I'm distracted by the shiny new thing on my Twitter feed.

And RSS feeds are a great way to ensure that those things stay in your list to read and away from all of the cacophony that's going on social media. You can cure feeds to specific subjects, you can make them timely. For example, if you're trying to inform yourself about say an upcoming election, or you can make them strictly comprised of writers that you're particularly interested in following right now.

The point is, it's a nice way to curate your digital space down into something more manageable and something more beneficial. A little bit of zen on the internet goes a long way. Number 6, limit your phone to 10 apps.

This is time for a big confession, but apps are ruining my life. In the past few days alone, I've added several more apps that I'm sure are only going to further chip away at my sanity. And on the occasions where I've tried to purge my digital life of the things that were doing me harm such as Twitter, which I believe is poison for the brain.

I simply deleted the Twitter app and now use Twitter a lot on my mobile web browser, which is just like the same problem but a worse user experience. My colleague, Holly, did the exact same thing to the same results. Congratulations, we played ourselves.

But in an effort to continue punishing myself, I will not re-download the app, because insofar as the experience is crappier now, I do use it less. But here's the thing. I do want to get to a place of more digital minimalism, if we could call it that.

I want to get to a place where the apps I'm using are things that help enhance things like my productivity and my clarity and my enjoyment and are not just further clouding my life with things that I don't really need to be that aware of. I don't need to be that aware of people in general. Like I don't need to be aware every single time one of my friends did something i.e.

Instagram stories. I love you all, I love your journeys, I respect them, but I don't need to be that updated on you guys. Like when I click on someone's IG stories and it's like 100 of those little dashes, I'm like, honey.

What is this? I did not sign up for this telenovela. So curating down your apps to just the ones that are beneficial to you is a really good way to get started on that journey of making your digital life work for you and not you work for it.

But don't take it from me. Take it from king of digital minimalism himself, Cal Newport. He says, "If you keep interrupting your evening to check and respond to email or put aside a few hours after dinner to catch up on an approaching deadline, you're robbing your director detention centers of the uninterrupted rest they need for restoration.

Even if these work dashes consume only a small amount of time, they prevent you from reaching the levels of deeper relaxation in which the attention restoration can occur. Only the confidence that you're done with work until the next day can convince your brain to downshift to the level where it can begin to recharge for the day to follow. Put another way, trying to squeeze a little more work out of your evenings might reduce your effectiveness the next day enough that you end up getting less done than if you had just respected a shut down." Giving yourself permission to truly shut down and not feel like you have to be responsive or inundated with information at the end of the day or anytime you choose is so important, and the more apps you have that are sending you information and giving you updates and distracting you with their likes and followers and notifications and push notifications, the harder it is to truly do that.

So I may not be perfect, but at least I am trying to curate my app experience. And while 10 may not be the perfect number for you, at least getting rid of the ones that are truly not doing you any mental favors is a good place to start. Number 7 is creating inspiration boards.

So if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I love a good inspiration board, whether it's for planning an outfit, redoing a room, preparing for a vacation or personal trip, or even tackling a work project. I also love using things spreadsheets and visual lists in order to keep myself accountable to these things and motivated, and quite frankly, I find the act of creating inspiration boards to be incredibly soothing and meditative. And there's good data to show that visualizing a goal is actually incredibly effective in helping you reach it.

But it's not just about increasing your chances that you'll actually complete the thing you're trying to do, it's also about taking pleasure in the act of preparing and anticipating. Often, what can lead the individual events in our lives to feel somewhat disappointing is the fact that we didn't revel enough in the time leading up to them. Doing things like checking out the menu of a restaurant that you can't wait to eat at or looking at pictures of the places you're going to go on a trip or even putting together different outfit combinations for a special event you have coming up are a way of extending the pleasure of that moment and making yourself more present and grateful the entire lead up to it.

I'm a bit of a hedonist in the classical sense. I love maximizing pleasure and enjoyment in my life, and a huge part of that is reveling in the moments that lead up to something, and it's not just about staying motivated, although it is part of it, it's also about realizing that each moment is precious, including the moments of planning. So if you're working on saving up for something this summer, let's say, yes, you can help yourself reach that goal by being very fastidious about how you save and how you use your budgeting tools, but you can also find yourself extending that enjoyment and staying more on course by using inspiration boards to plan so many different elements of what you're going to do with that savings goal.

I'm not currently in the process of buying a home, but you could only imagine the kind of inspiration boards I'd have going on if I were. Lastly, set reminders for all of your important personal days and tasks. Most of us are pretty good at using some kind of a calendar app or assistant tool for planning our professional lives.

It's basically impossible to run most professional lives without a pretty tight grip on your calendar, but we should be using that planning as much in our personal lives as we do in our professional because so many of the things that make us so wonderful as people often just come down to remembering things. Scheduling a time to pick up your friend at the airport or reminding yourself to call your mother or setting a note to pick up flowers on your way home because it's a special day for your partner or setting a reminder to check back in on your friend who has her big meeting for a promotion today. 99% percent of feeling put together and on top of it and truly seeing people in our personal lives just comes down to remembering things. And yes, that can have an enormous impact professionally, but it can also really strengthen your personal relationships and keep your life in clean order.

Things like personal errands and tasks and appointments also feel way less overwhelming when you've got them neatly lined up on your calendar with plenty of reminders along the way. I'm personally a fervent user of Google Calendar, but there are plenty of tools that can help you do it in a really efficient way. My husband will often joke if someone asked me to do something, tell her to put it in her calendar right now and watch her do it, otherwise, it will not happen.

But the good news is, as soon as I do have that thing on my calendar, no one is following through more than Chelsea MF'n Fagan. You want to be the person who is dependable, who remembers people, and whose life generally seems to be in good working order, because it also leaves you with that really fresh, brilliant feeling of, I didn't forget anything, which is honestly something that money can't buy. So use these planning tools and calendars as much to your personal benefit as to your professional one.

However, a word of warning to not go overboard with these reminders and to make sure to set them at the times when you're most productive and likely to follow through on them. If you set up things that you know you're going to cancel, that's going to set up a discouraging effect where you feel like you can't hold true to yourself, which will disincline you from doing it in the future. Having a more put together digital life isn't complicated, it just takes a few steps in the right direction and a few of the right routines.

Once again, thank you to Morning Brew for sponsoring this video and do not forget to check them out at the link in our description. And as always, thank you for watching and don't forget to hit the Subscribe button and to come back every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday for new and awesome videos. Bye