I’ve often found it helpful to read about how others organize and attempt to optimize their time. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been doing recently on that front, in case anyone else finds them helpful:
- Vitamin D 5000 IU daily. As far as I can tell the jury is still mixed on vitamin D, but to me it seems worth the cost/benefit analysis.
- A daily scoop of Metamucil with water in the morning. A colorectal fellow at my school got me hooked on this, and I’ve found it has added a lot of value to my life. My sister doesn’t like the artificial flavoring ingredients, and I respect her point, but for me I think great is the enemy of good.
- Bright light in the AM. Especially helpful for East Coast winters. I’ve been doing it for 2 years, but more consistently recently.
- Smartphone on greyscale mode 24/7. I’ve been doing this for several months now, and I think it has helped to mitigate some of my phone addiction. It especially makes photo sharing sites like FB and instagram a lot less interesting.
- Charging my smartphone in the living room at night. I’ve done this for a month or two as well. Beyond the probably helpful but more nebulous effects on sleep hygiene, this definitely decreases the probability of getting a stressful email/text right before bed or in the middle of night when I wake up briefly.
- Blocking FB and Twitter on web and mobile. I’ve been doing this for the past month or two as a mental health break from these websites, and I’ve found it calming. I occasionally break the lock to look up a particular thing, but I always try to add it back right away. Just adding barriers is helpful for me when I have the “itch” to check something that’s likely to make me unhappy in the long run.
- Blue blocking orange glasses at night. I’ve been doing this for about 4.5 years. While I think it probably helps my sleep by preventing inhibition of melatonin production, the most obvious effect is that it helps decrease eye dryness.
- Caffeine pills instead of coffee. The first thing I do on most days is to take a 100 mg caffeine pill. I like coffee and drink it occasionally, but for daily use I find caffeine pills cheaper, more convenient, and much easier to dose. The precise dosing is key for me because I’m very sensitive to caffeine withdrawal and can end up with withdrawal headaches just from drinking a particularly large cup of coffee one day.