All in Lifestyle Design

The Power of Institutions

Whether we like them or not, institutions are here to stay. Although there are definitely times throughout history where tearing down the old and building something new paid off, for most of us, most of the time, it‘s most efficient to work within their confines rather than try to break free.

Custom Tea Set

This past year I made the choice to upgrade my travel tea set from the red dragon porcelain to a titanium set. Although I loved the old cups, the cups were extremely small, and porcelain is prone to breaking. Not to mention, the heat transfer through the porcelain was high enough that I often risked burning my fingers when pouring the tea.

Investing for Everyone

Many of the most valuable lessons from my time at the University of Chicago come from a class I took this semester called “Economics for Everyone” taught by Steven Levitt and John List. One of these lessons was Levitt’s 6 tips for a strong personal finance strategy.

The Power of Defaults

In my economics class this quarter, my professor has often stressed to us the power of defaults. The basic idea is similar to inertia: set people on a path, and they will continue on it. This has far-reaching consequences in various realms such as financial policies, legal decisions, and business plans. However, you can also use it to improve your social life.

Conflicting Optimizations

For those of us constantly thinking about lifestyle design, optimization is a familiar concept that we are always applying to new areas of our lives. However, these trends can intersect, leading two optimized solutions to be one unoptimized problem.

Single Tasking

Last week I began the long process of completely redoing the way I use my iPhone. As someone who who grew up around these devices, it always seemed that each new update and feature was serving up better ways to be productive and stay on top of the important tasks in my life. However, I am beginning to realize that these features, developer intentions aside, do not actually make me more productive or allow me to stay more closely in contact with friends.

Being on Time

My friends know I‘m notoriously late, but I don‘t tend to view myself and someone who is always running behind. Germans are stereotypically extremely punctual, and that is something I would say I value as well. Yet, numerous, unconnected, outside sources all were verifying the same thing: I am not punctual.

Living in the Now

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about how I want to live my life. I have a notion of what that looks like after college, but my lifestyle now doesn’t reflect that. Perhaps this has to do with a hesitancy to box myself in before experiencing all the new opportunities college has to offer, but I am inclined to think it has more to do with the notion of constraints. Whether it be set class times and schedules or limited financial resources, there are some things which play a major role in shaping my daily life, but that I am unable to change without diverting some major life trajectories.