10 Ways to Deal With Zen Habits

The blog brighterlife had a post out today called “How To Use Zen Habits: 10 Tips” that I absolutely loved. In response, I’ve written my own 10 tips for How to Deal With Zen Habits (if the number of posts here overwhelms you).

  1. Use it as a reward. Only allow yourself to read one ZH article after each productive task. Just did a workout? Go read a health tips article! Just met a deadline? Read a GTD article! But only one. Then get back to work.
  2. Make it a yearly goal. Sure, it can be a lot of work to try to tackle the ZH archives. But if you tackle a few a day, you’ll read 1,000 in a year! Just make a little daily progress.
  3. Drink lots of water. Reading ZH can take hours. You need to stay hydrated. Power bars work well too.
  4. Take breaks. You can’t read too much for too long. You will go blind. Every 20 minutes, stand up, stretch, take a walk. Then get back to reading ZH.
  5. Reward yourself. If you read 10 articles, give yourself a treat! Make it enjoyable.
  6. Only follow every 10th tip. That means, in a Top 10 list of tips, you will only need to follow 1 tip. But in a Top 50, you will need to follow 5. That may be too much math. Just choose random tips to follow.
  7. Skim. You don’t need to read every word. Even Leo doesn’t read every word he writes. Just scan each post for key words that appeal to you (“Beer!” “Sex!” “World of Warcraft!”). Ignore the rest.
  8. Get a life. If you’re reading too much ZH, you’re ignoring your real life. It’s best to read ZH in small doses, and then go and do something meaningful, like cleaning the cat litter. Too much of a good thing can be dangerous.
  9. Put each ZH post on your GTD Next Action lists. A new ZH post on becoming a patient parent just came out? Add it to your “@Computer” list and get to it as soon as you can. If you do your Weekly Review and there are 5 or more ZH posts still on your list, put them on your Someday/Maybe list.
  10. Just crank. OK, there are times when you can’t read each post lovingly. You gotta crank through them, because your project deadline is in an hour and your really should be working on it rather than trying to read “147 Ways to Be Better in Bed While Still Being Productive — AKA Reproductive Productivity”.