Low hanging fruits (LWCW 2020)

Dur­ing Less Wrong Com­mu­nity Week-end (Europe), in one event peo­ple share low-hang­ing fruit they used. I chaired it this year and defined low-hang­ing fruit as some­thing that can be eas­ily bought or done that im­proved the life. Here is the list of fruits shared in 2020. All ty­pos are mine. “I” usu­ally re­flect the one who gave the mes­sage and not the au­thor of this blog post.

Water wa­ter­ing bulbs

If you don’t know how much to wa­ter your plants, if you did too much or not enough, let bulbs do it for you. Ex­am­ples of bulbs are

Be­fore work time

Re­serve some time in the morn­ing, be­fore you head out to work, and in­vest this into some­thing that is im­por­tant to you. You do this with­out any ex­pe­rience from the day (bad/​good) and with you full phys­i­cal abil­ity.

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Kalimba

Play­ing mu­sic is to listen­ing to live mu­sic as live mu­sic is to recorded mu­sic. If you don’t want to spend time to learn an in­stru­ment, the Kal­imba is cheap and di­rectly lead to beau­tiful mu­sics.

Bet­ter sleeping

No de­vice at night

Set all de­vices to lock at sleep­ing time.

Light

Get a smart light­bulb, and set­ting to slowly dim/​be­come red for the half hour be­fore bed—makes go­ing to bed at the right time the de­fault ac­tion and makes me feel tired, and sign­fi­cantly de­creases the willpower it takes.

End the day with a pa­per book to avoid look­ing at screen.

Two to ten min­utes of sun in the morn­ing, or by de­fault strong light

Melatonine

Takes mela­to­nine.

Morning

Sched­ule things in morn­ing so that you have in­cen­tive to sleep.

Hav­ing phone 3 me­ters from bed, to force to go out­side of bed to turn it of

Day /​ night separation

En­sur­ing you don’t see your bed from your work­place (and re­cip­ro­cally) , to feel the sep­a­ra­tion be­tween work space and per­sonal space

Neater writing

Switch­ing to us­ing a foun­tain pen can force you to write slower and there­fore neater. Pilot makes very cheap and good-writ­ing foun­tain pens (the Pilot Var­sity) that are dis­pos­able just like reg­u­lar bal­l­points, they’re around $20 US for a pack of 12

Note taking

One note

Use the soft­ware One Note to keep tracks of notes about ev­ery­thing.

Re­call­ing fact about friends

You can use space rep­e­ti­tion sys­tem to re­call fact about friends (who is friend with who, where they moved to, what’s the cur­rent job...)

Writ­ing a name done help to re­mem­ber it (some peo­ple at least)

Uses Face­book event to re­mem­ber who went to an event, who you met, and use it to take note (avoid notes from fetlife events)

Spaced rep­e­ti­tion also helps to re­call birth­days of friends/​fam­ily!

Re­late knowledge

Create your own wiki (e.g. wiki­me­dia) to keep notes and links them to­gether, so that you can re­visit them when you want. Pre-com­mit two hours each month to see if you want to im­prove the wiki, add links, explanation

Bullet

Bul­let jour­nal­ing, there’s a great guide on red­dit at /​r/​bulletjournal

Notebook

car­ry­ing a small A5 or A6 sized note­book with you can be very useful

Idea catcher

Have an idea catcher, some place to write idea down to not for­get it and not keep­ing the idea in mind while you do some­thing else

Pass­word manager

Use a pass­word man­ager to re­call gen­eral pri­vate in­for­ma­tion you need to gen­er­ally have pri­vate and ac­cessible such as ac­count num­ber, all pre­vi­ous ad­dresses, photo, file

Win time while writing

If there are uni­code sym­bols you ex­pect to use of­ten (e.g. math sym­bol, for­eign let­ter), save them as short­cut or emoji, so they can be ac­cessed quickly and put in any message

Us­ing au­to­cor­rect al­low to shorten text you write of­ten. E.g. @@ is au­to­mat­i­cally re­placed by your email adresse, sigma re­place by σ )

You can also do this on win­dows with au­to­hotkey and there are similar scripts for linux/​mac

even lower hang­ing: I find the US in­ter­na­tional lay­out helpful”

Water stone

Start with com­bi­na­tion stone. low to get bet­ter knife, and then cook eas­ier to cut your food. It helps to re­lax. Allow more flex­i­bil­ity/​gran­u­lar­ity than stan­dard knife sharpening

Emails

Set up email in­box rules to sort mes­sages from senders you con­sider low-pri­or­ity or work-re­lated (if you use a com­bined in­box) to their own folder so you don’t have to look at them all the time. also: if us­ing Out­look Web App there’s an op­tion to have a text mes­sage sent to your phone as a re­sult of an in­box rule: I have a rule that texts me if my boss’s boss (2 lev­els up) sends a di­rect email with my name in the To: line

Chat

Use more gif in chat con­ver­sa­tion to add more silli­ness and joy in chat discussions

Light

As your light bulbs in your house burn out con­vert to LED ones, they use less power and can be softer too! You can buy LEDs with the sun spec­trum and same in­ten­sity!

Sex life

Keep a list of de­sire/​fan­tasy, so that if a new re­la­tion­ship ask what new thing you’d want to try, you don’t get lost think­ing about it

Back pain

Lean­ing about the back of the chair a few time a day re­lax. Most office chair al­low to do it

In­stead of get­ting a gam­ing chair spend the same money on a lightly used ex­ec­u­tive office chair like a Her­man Miller or a Steel­case, your back will thank you. also: if you have a dealer that sells those fancy chairs near you, you can go try them to find out what size fits you best be­fore you look for used one

Lost wallet

Have a list of phone num­ber to call in your wallet so that the peo­ple can call you.

Ex­tra lists

Neel Nanda shared his per­sonal list of low hang­ing fruit.