EDC Series Part Two: The things you carry on your body

Many of the things that are part of your EDC is stuff that you carry on your body. These are the items that are with you the entire day. There is a lot of benefits on being aware about what you bring with you at all times.

Clothing

Your clothing is without a doubt part of your EDC and should be thoroughly thought through. If you are exposed to the elements a lot you should consider something that allows you to stay dry and warm and if you stay mainly indoors you should aim for something that is within the dresscode that also allow you to carry all of the rest of your stuff while still keeping a low profile.

Cargo pants are an invaluable asset if they are allowed within the dresscode you have to follow as they allow you to bring a lot of useful stuff in your pockets. Functional jackets and vests have the same benefits.

Smartphone

Pretty much anyone is using a smartphone nowadays. It is an amazing tool that puts the collected knowledge of the world right at your fingertips. Make sure that you download the necessary apps that enables you to simplify the workflow of your day.

Pen

This is one asset that most people ignore. The value of carrying a pen with you every day is enormous. How many times have you asked everyone around you to borrow a pen in order to sign something or making a note? You probably lost count haven’t you? I always carry a Fisher Bullet Space Pen in my pants front pocket as well as a Parker Jotter in my jacket and have lost track on how many times I have had to use them on the fly.

Notebook

Of course you can take notes on your smartphone or tablet. But there is something special of actually putting your ideas in writing as well as being able to scribble out some sketches when needed. A cheap and simple notebook should always be in your back pocket.

Wallet

There is always a need to protect your cards and your cash from all the cool stuff you have in your pockets as well as from the elements. The choice of wallet is a personal one that you should consider with your needs and lifestyle as criteria. I use an EXENTRI WALLET. There are also wallets that protect you from being ripped off by the RFID chip in new cards.

Keychain

A keychain is much needed in order to organize and protect your keys. There are traditional ones as well as the fancy and awesome folding ones that has taken the market by storm. The choice is up to you.

Wristwatch

I have been using a Polar V800 sports watch since they first came out. It allows me to keep track on my day to day activity levels, workout effort, time and date of course and it has smart notifications so that I can see what is going on on my smartphone without taking it out of my pocket. I strongly believe that smart watches is the future. But one should never be without a classic timepiece for those formal occasions.

Flashlight

I cannot begin to describe how useful this is and how much you are going to be using this every day when you begin to carry it and start to remember that  you have it on you. There is always things that go missing under furniture or in dark corners etc and with a flashlight at hand you will eliminate that annoyance from your life for good. I carry a small cheap AAA flashlight, but there is of course a lot of more expensive, cool alternatives out there. AAA batteries are readily available everywhere in comparison button cells and so on.

Multitool

MacGyver could do everything thanks to his swiss army knife, no problem was too big for him. Having the tools to take care of small problems and malfunctions will make you the go-to-guy at work, building you a great reputation. I switch between carrying a Victorinox Tinker and a Leatherman Wave.

Flashdrive  

I carry one in my pocket at all times so that I have my resume and other documents at hand at all times. This is backed up in the cloud as well so that I can access my documents both online and offline whenever needed. Make sure that you password protect your flashdrive just in case it ends up in the wrong hands.

 

That was it for this week. I hope that you have found some of this information valuable. Please let me know in the comments section or via the contact form if you have any questions or anything you want to add. Stay tuned for a new article in this series next friday.

EDC Series Part One: What is EDC?

EDC Series Part One: What is EDC?

EDC, an abbreviation for Everyday Carry has become an ever more popular subject in the last couple of years. The phenomenon has everything to do with being prepared for all the situations that you may meet in day to day life.

A lot of people are showing off their EDC’s to the internet, inspiring each others on sites like everydaycarry.com.

Every friday for the the next few weeks I will post a new article covering this topic in order to hopefully inspire others to be prepared for the problems of day to day life. This is by no means a weird school for doomsday preppers, but an inspiration to how you can get through your day at ease thanks to the right tool at the right time.

I will be covering topics on how to put together your own EDC, choosing a bag or backpack, general items that everyone should be carrying as well as good suggestions on things you could be carrying in order to make your day easier.

Having the correct tools to make sure that you can simply solve the tasks of everyday life will dramatically improve your efficiency and in time it will improve your reputation due to you becoming the go-to guy (or girl) and the real office MacGyver.

I hope that you find this series useful and please let me know in the comments section or via the contact form if you have any additions or questions.

5 fantastic books on becoming rich- create wealth

Becoming a millionaire is something that has always facinated me, in order to hopefully achieve this in the near future I try to read as many  books as possible on wealth creation.
Here are some of my favorites

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

A brilliant book on rapid wealth creation, the book teaches you what you need to know in order to become a millionaire while you are still young

Money: Master the Game by Anthony Robbins

A great book teaching you all you need to know about the game that money represents. Everything from investing, 401K’s and financial sense is covered in this book

Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill

This classic help you to get into the mindset and spirit of creating wealth. Napoleon Hill spent a quarter of a century studying the most successful people of his time as well as the least successful ones in order to create this masterpiece of a classic that is as relevant today as it was back then.

Secrets Of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

A superb book that goes into the mental aspect of the game, helping you figure out what mental blocks that are holding you back and keeps you from realizing your full financial potential.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

An inspiring and easily read book telling the story of how young Robert learned from his friends father that the key to financial freedom lies withing being able to sell and to be a business owner and not an employee so that you can leverage your money and time instead of being restricted to 24 hours per day. The book also contains several good examples on how you can start making passive income.
That is my five favorite books at the moment, but keep checking in as I will continue to post reviews and list of great reads several times a year.
What is your favorite books on wealth creation?

Book review: The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco

The Millionaire Fastlane has to be one of the most motivating books that I have read in a long time, the entire book takes you on a road trip to riches providing you the right car and the right road maps for you to find your way to your final destination: Financial freedom in a young age. The book is straight to the point and is written in a conversational easily read style.

When MJ DeMarco was a young boy he was on his way to buy an ice cream when he saw a Lamborghini showing up. He asked the rather young man driving the car what he did for a living expecting to the guy to answer that he was an executive or something like that, but instead the guy answered that he was an inventor.

Fascinated by this relatively young man being able to afford a supercar, MJ decided there and then that he was going to become a millionaire and own a Lamborghini so he started to study what other self made millionaires had done to come where they are today. This strategy worked and MJ is now retired at a young age with a nice house and guess what, a Lamborghini.

Get the book here at Amazon!

There are three kinds of people in the world. We have the sidewalkers that spend all of their money (sometimes, even more than they own) every single month in order to get instant gratitude by sacrificing tomorrow. Then there is the slowlaners, they follow the solutions off all the personal finance gurus and work hard at a job their entire life, saving 10 percent off their income in order to hopefully become a millionaire when they are old and unable to enjoy their money. That is IF the stock market increases, and they don’t die before they get to enjoy the money. The fastlaners work extremely hard for a short time in order to create passive income systems and products and services that can be unlimitedly leveraged in order to make large amounts of money. They know that “get rich fast” is not a scam but that there is no such thing as “get rich easy”.

The book gives a lot of fantastic rules and ideas on how you can use the Fastlane system in order to make yourself rich in a short amount of time. It tells you exactly how you can go about finding problems that need to be solved in order to bring value to massive amounts of people in order to make massive amounts of money.

Get the book here at Amazon!

How about the risk you say? People that work at a job (like I am) are selling five days of their life in order to get two days of freedom. Fastlaners follow different rules; they sell five years of their lives in order to be set for the rest of their lives.

Money doesn’t bring you happiness, freedom does. And money can for sure buy you freedom.

All in all a fantastic and inspiring book that I recommend to everyone looking to improve their financial situation.

Get the book here at Amazon!

Why you should consider going paperless

I believe that I probably will never be able to go completely paperless as I really like to do all my drafts on paper as this enables me to structure my notes better. However, after I started to digitize my notes, receipts, documents and so on I have noticed a lot of improvements in my day to day life.

Massively decluttering

Before I began reducing the paper around my apartment, there were paper everywhere. There would be old envelopes, documents, notes, bills, receipts and so on. Some had fallen on the floor due to the draft from some open windows and I was beating myself up for being a pig that was living like this.

By simply scanning my notes, receipts and other documents I can easily find them in the cloud or on my hard drive the minute I need them. If I need to keep hardcopies of some documents I just put them in an organizer folder that I tidy up occasionally.

All you need to get started with this is just a simple scanner and a computer

Saving money

Before I used to receive all my bills per mail (snail mail that is). Occasionally, one of my bills would get lost in the massive pile of papers on my living room table and I would pay it too late and had to pay fees in addition.

When going “almost” paperless I sat down for a few hours and arranged for almost all my bills to arrive online, either by email or that they show up directly in my internet banking. This has made my life so much simpler and I can pay everything on time as there are no cracks for my bills to fall through anymore.

Saving our lungs

The rainforest is getting smaller every day, there is no getting around that. The paper industry is one of the perpetrators that contribute to this. I am by no means a radical environmentalist that screams save the whales, kill the people, but I do however believe that if there is something I can do that both benefits me and the environment alike, then why wouldn’t I do it?

Think about it, you will benefit both economically and environmentally. If everyone reduced their paper consummation by getting their bills online, opting for a ceramic mug instead of paper cups at work, and started buying e-books and e-magazines instead of paper ones. Just think about the massive benefits for both the environment and everyone that lives on this earth.

Saving space

Books are heavy, bulky pieces of awesomeness. They take up a lot of space, cost quite a bit of money and uses an insane amount of paper. I will not lie, I have quite a large book collection and I will probably not get rid of it. My books are my babies, but I do try to sell or give away the books that I will only read once and that are not needed as reference books. But every time that I buy new books now I always make sure that I check if they are available for my Kindle first. Normally these are cheaper and they don’t take up any space.

Saving your employers money

Where I work, we have a lot of coffee machines, and where there are coffee machines there will be paper cups. I drink quite a lot of coffee, and I wouldn’t even dare to think about how many paper cups this would add up to in a year.

A simple solution for this is to either get a cup in the cafeteria or bringing a commuter mug from home. You can wash it once a week and just rinse it off between cups. Just think about how much your employer could save every year. And in the long run, more savings could assist in increasing wages.

As a bonus, you could fill up your mug before your commute home, saving you a fortune on the latte you would have bought anyways.

Learn touch typing in less than a week

It is probably about a year ago that I decided that I was done typing by searching for the correct keys and hitting them one by one. I knew that I had to learn touch typing, but when I was watching others it looked like some sort of black magic to be able to hit all the correct keys without looking once at the keyboard.

So how long does it take?

The incredible good news is that touch typing isn’t hard to learn at all; I spent probably 3 or 4 hours in one day before being able to write without looking at the keys. Within a week of 1-2 hours per day of practicing as well as using touch to chat and do all the writing on the computer I was able to write faster than my previous speed using the search and hit method.

I cannot guarantee that you will get the same results as I am. You can do a little worse or a whole lot better, but I am positive that you will grasp the full concept of touch typing in less than a week if you practice just a few hours per day.

Why should you learn touch typing?

Basic computer skills are almost a must in the workplace now and being able to touch type at a greater speed than average means that you will be able to do more work than the average person in the same amount of time. When you start to learn touch typing you will feel like a wizard, just making the words you are thinking about appear on the screen just by using skill and muscle memory. When you start to really master touch typing you don’t even have to look at the screen anymore, you can pay full attention in a class or lecture while writing comprehensive notes on your computer without looking. I’m not completely there yet but I am getting real close for sure.

Where can I learn touch typing?

I have tried quite a few different typing programs, most of them are online based and the one I found the most useful is totally free and enabled me to learn the basics of touch typing in less than a week. Typing.com is a fantastic piece of software that will enable you to start from absolute scratch and improve in giant leaps in a very short time. They have different typing tests and games that you can do and when you are registered you can also print a certificate that states your typing speed in words per minute as well as your accuracy percentage. I recommend that you start by taking a few typing  tests before you start and then again a few more after the one week is over so that you can see just how much you have improved.

Keys for success

Learning to touch type is just like learning any other skill, and like any other skill you will get the greatest results if you deconstruct the skill so that you can focus on the most important parts first so that you experience that initial mastery that motivates you to continue. Typing.com does an amazing job in doing this deconstruction for you and helping you along the right track. The other key to success is to go cold turkey on your previous typing technique and use touch typing for all your typing from now on. It will be painfully slow and awkward the first couple of days, but when you really immerse yourself in a skill like this you will experience massive gains in skill in comparison to if you where just practicing with the online course.

Other tools that can help

Another great free test you could try online is typingtest.com, you can choose from different types of categories in which to type and then do tests of different lengths. They also have a course but I have not tried it so I would not feel confident in recommending it.

One tool that do cost a bit of money is Das Keyboard, it is a high quality mechanical keyboard with a twist; it has no signs and letters on the keys! This will help you gain fluency in typing in the shortest time possible because there is no reason for you to look at the keys anymore. It costs a little, but it is well worth the investment for a great keyboard and also looks amazing and clean on your desk.

The rest is up to you!

In order for you to start increasing your typing speed and your fluency in touch typing you need to practice, practice and then practice some more. Try to find something that makes sure that you have to type every day. This could be web chatting with your family and friends, writing that book you always wanted to write, taking great notes or anything else that sparks your motivation. It will be slow and demanding at first, but I promise you that you will increase your skills faster than you could ever have imagined.

I wish you all the luck you can get and I look forward to hear how you did in your first week and beyond.

How to read faster- Double your reading speed

I have said it time after time and will probably continue to say it for years to come, in order to become the best version of yourself, you have to read a lot of books. Sounds boring right? The thing is that books contain an immense amount of information gathered by some of the best people in their fields, sometimes over the course of a lifetime. We the readers are able to consume this information in just a couple of days or hours.

Imagine a person that has read 5 books his entire life and one that has read 200 books. Which one do you think is going to succeed? Which one has a ton of references and knows which opportunities to look for? I hope that you chose the second one.

A lot of the most successful people in the world are voracious readers and attribute their success to reading and continuing to learn new skills and knowledge long after their graduation. I have set this as a goal for myself and hope to get you on the team of lifelong learning as well.

So how can we train ourselves to read faster in order to read more books every year?

Start by determining your starting reading speed

First of all you are going to need a book, preferably one with approximately the same amount of words per page (for example a normal fiction book). Start by counting the number of words in the first 5 lines and then divide that number by 5 so that you get the average number of words per line.

Next, count the number of lines on 5 pages and divide that number by 5 to get the average number of lines per page.

You are now ready to start reading. I recommend that you read for about 5 or 10 minutes. Focus on reading at a comfortable speed where you have full comprehension the entire time that you are reading. Use a timer on your phone to make sure that you stop immediately when the time is up, Make a mark on the page at the word where you stopped.

Now you count all the full pages that you have read, multiply the page count by the average number of lines per page. You now have the amount of lines that you have read. Add the number of lines that you have read on the page that you stopped and multiply that total by the average number of words per line.

You now have the total amount of words that you have read in that session, add the last few words from the last line where you stopped reading and divide the total by the number of minutes that you read.

You now have your benchmark WPM (Words Per Minute). This is the metric that we want to start improving. Keep checking this at regular intervals with full comprehension so that you can see your improvements over time.

The NUMBER 1 hack that can dramatically improve your reading speed

When you are at school you learn to read by reading out loud, and the teachers asked you to read out loud inside your head. This act of saying all of the words inside your head is called sub vocalizing and it is killing you reading speed potential.

It is a fantastic tool when you are first starting to learn how to read, but over time it becomes an obstacle for the very reason that you are speaking a lot slower than you are able to read. I struggled a lot when I first got started trying to get rid of this habit but it almost doubled my reading speed when I got the hang of it.

Just think about it, do you actually read the billboards and road signs or do you just glace at the writing and take in the information? Most likely you are probably doing this with many things in your life, you look at the text and then you just know what it says.

The fantastic thing is that when you stop sub vocalizing, you no longer have to read one word at the time and repeat it in your head. You will most likely be able to read three or four words at the time. Our brain is an amazing thing that can take that chunk of a few words at a time and process it so that you still have close to full comprehension. Now that’s amazing!

Using Spreeder

On spreeder.com you can use their free software to train yourself to read faster. They also have a paid speed reading course that you can take online, but I have not yet tried this so I will not recommend it before I have tried it. If you have tried it and liked it, please let me know in the comments section or by sending me a mail in the contact menu.

With Spreeder the text of your choice (copy and paste) will flash on the screen one word at the time at the WPM speed that you set it to. I like to set it to flash in two or three word chunks and make sure that it is faster than my inner voice can keep up with.

I think it is a fantastic tool that I use often. Many times I use it when I am reading articles; I just paste it in to Spreeder and set the reading speed high. This enables me to consume most of the information in record time, although some of my comprehension is still lost in some of the higher reading speeds.

The rest is up to you

Like most other things in life, practice makes perfect. Make it one of your goals to read every single day, focus on having full comprehension and challenge yourself by increasing your reading speed a little every day.

After a couple of weeks or a month, recheck your reading speed and compare it to the benchmark speed and let me know how you did.

Great books on speed reading

Speed Reading: The Comprehensive Guide To Speed Reading – Increase Your Reading Speed By 300% In Less Than 24 Hours (Amazon)

Accelerated Learning: 10 Powerful Ways to Unleash Your Power & Out-Perform ANYONE: Become An Expert In Your Field, Learn Any Skill or Subject, Increase … Accelerated Learning, Learning Techniques) (Amazon)

Memory: 3 Books in 1 (Unlimited Memory, Photographic Memory & Speed Reading) (Amazon)

8 amazing ways to find 16 hours to learn new things every week.

We can all relate to it, there is a massive amount of information, knowledge and skills that you would like to acquire, but not enough hours in the day to cover it all in the time you want.

Here I will show you 8 small adjustments you can to in your day to day life that will enable you to find over 16 hours of extra time every single week to learn what you are interested in.

With these tips in addition to your normal hours that you study at home or where it might be you will be obtaining massive amounts of knowledge in record time which will give you the competitive edge in the workplace, hobby, life, the possibilities are endless.

So without further introduction, here is my list on 8 ways to finding more time to learn.

#1 While you are on the toilet (20 min x 7 =140min)

Let’s face it; we all have to use the bathroom on a daily basis. For the most part it is a time when we do absolutely nothing (well, except from the obvious). It is estimated that we spend about 92 days in a lifetime in the bathroom. To round that of, that is a total of 90 days that you can be listening to audio books or reading. That’s an incredible amount of time!

 

#2 In between tasks at work (20min x 7 =140min)

In most jobs there is those small windows of time that we are in between tasks or assignments, if not there is still a lunch break during the days. Most people use this time to read up on Facebook and the like, but not you. You know that this is valuable time that you take advantage of to improve on yourself by reading a chapter or listening to an audio book for a little while.

#3 While driving (2 hours+)

It is estimated that the average person spend approximately 5 years driving in a lifetime. If you can leverage that time from passive time to learning/study time then you will have five years of knowledge more than the average guy. We both know that this will help set you apart from the rest. So get yourself an Audible Membership and start on those 5 years today.

 

#4 When you are stuck in an airport (varies)

Of course, not everyone is stuck in an airport at regular times like I am, but whenever you are you can make use of that time by reading, listening to audio books and even to do actual work. In an environment like this you are crazy productive because there is a lot less distractions to take away your focus.

#5 On planes, trains etc. (varies)

The same thing goes here as for airports and the like. You can be crazy productive and thanks to that you are able to free up more time to do the things that means the most to you.

 

#6 While working (1-2 hours)

A lot of the jobs available out there enable you to be able to read or listen to an audio book. If you drive delivery trucks there is nothing wrong with listening to audio books, same thing if you are doing the dishes somewhere. In many jobs, my estimate on 1-2 hours can be tremendously more giving you an insane amount of extra time learning new things. And the best of all, you are getting paid to do it. Just a piece of advice: Make sure that you listening to audio books or reading does not affect the quality or quantity of your work!

#7 When you are out shopping (1 hour)

Same as the others, listen to podcasts or audio books while roaming the shops and you will gain a lot of hours in a lifetime.

 

#8  Walking the dog (1 hr x 7 =7Hours+)

This one is one of my all time favorites. When you are out walking the dog, listen to audio books, TED talks or whatever helps you reach your goals. After a while you will start to see the results and can start to take even longer and more frequent walks, this will supercharge your learning no matter what you are interested in. And the best: You do not even have to own a dog, there is nothing stopping you from taking walks by yourself.

I hope that this has been helpful to you and that you reach all the goals you set your mind to. If you have more tips, let me know in the comments or contact me under the contact tab on the top of the page!

The top 5 reasons that I love my Amazon Kindle

I was probably among the very first people in Norway to get an Amazon Kindle, hardly anyone I knew had even heard about it when I first got one. It was the old type with the button keyboard and it was state of the art back then. After getting one for the first time I was sold and here are my top five reasons why:

Fantastic travel companion

I travel quite a lot for work and spend extended times in hotels and airports. Normally for a two week trip I would have needed to pack a 3-4 books and probably a magazine with me as well as everything else. With my Kindle Paperwhite it weighs next to nothing and takes up less space than a pocket book in my bag. (Just don’t forget it in the seat pocket in front of you when you leave the plane as that will result in a lot of hassle with lost and found! Trust me!)

Declutters my home

I absolutely love books, there is nothing that has helped me as much in my life than reading books have and my apartment has taken the hit for it with books everywhere. Lately I have started to sell some of the books I have already read and taken notes from. I can do this because my Kindle can hold approx. 1100 books for me so that I don’t have to take up any more space than I have to. Of course I take pride in some of my hardcopies but at least the Kindle helps with the bulk of it.

Way cheaper books

Kindle books are almost always cheaper than hardcopies because they don’t need any printing, shipping or handling. That means that it pays for itself in a short time if you are like me and buy a lot of books.

No yelling in bed

My Kindle Paperwhite has saved me in bed (pun intended). I normally was denied to keep the bedside lamp on because my girlfriend wants the room dark when trying to sleep. But now my Kindle has light that is adjustable so that I can read before falling asleep without bothering anyone else. And the amazing thing is that it does not fatigue my eyes like a cellphone or tablet would.

Amazing selection

The selection on Kindle titles is nothing short of amazing. There are normal titles like the ones you find in bookstores as well as a huge selection of self-published titles that are normally very well researched and straight to the point. In a bookstore you are mostly restricted to what they have on the shelves or that they can order for you. With the Kindle store the books are plentiful (some classics are free) and since they are digital, they are a commodity that does not run out of store.

Get one here: Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi