Top products from r/theXeffect

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Top comments that mention products on r/theXeffect:

u/1961_Geekess · 11 pointsr/theXeffect

I've got 3 things that have helped me over the years:

Robert Sapolsky’s observations on our brains and rewards:

In a lecture set I listened to from Sapolsky he talked about how when a mouse pushes a lever and suddenly a reward appears that first time, they get that thrill with the reward. But once they learn that pushing the lever gets the reward the thrill happens with pushing the lever. “This is going to be great!”

This is really an important thing to grasp, you reinforce feeling good doing the thing that will result in the reward by knowing that reward is coming.

You can use this to manipulate your own behavior, if you can be a bit disciplined about the reward, possibly a good application of the x effect. For example I use “I can play video games only after I clean the kitchen.” When I know I get to play once I’m done, it feels great. This has turned me into heck of a housekeeper!

Even more interesting, intermittent rewards for a task are even more strongly reinforcing. You can find this in this article on This is why gambling is so strongly reinforcing. “There is a chance this is going to be great!”

I personally have not leveraged this type of reward strategy, but I can imagine allowing yourself the roll of a dice for a reward and declining it if you don’t get a 1 or 2 perhaps. Well, I can imagine it, but I don’t think I’d like it!

Tool for getting started:

I read David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” back in its heyday. There was one strategy that I held onto from that book that has made a huge difference for me over the years.

For anything that seems daunting, too complicated, that you keep avoiding starting on, try this approach. What one small thing you can do to make any progress at all. This step can be TINY, but just pick something.

A small example. I had a set of tapes I needed to return to someone who had loaned them to me. I had no idea where he was, I’d have to package them up, go to the post office, etc. The whole thought of it always stopped me in my tracks. Cue this technique. I made my first task looking up his address. Another, getting paper to wrap the package, and so on and so on. Within a week something that had been weighing on my mind for years was gone. It was such a relief.

This may sound like just common sense, but I am sure you all have that thing you just can’t get yourself to even start. The wonderful thing about picking a first step is they often cause a cascade of action. Sometimes it’s just getting started.

Keeping my house clean:

When I was at my wits end trying to keep my house clean, I ended up stumbling on this book "Sidetracked Home Executives"

The title is silly, but the method is great. Establish a tickler file of home cleaning tasks with different repeats, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc and use a tickler file to drive them. The majority of tasks are actually small, but if you persistently do them as scheduled you keep your home in great shape. Has made a huge difference for me.

Hope this helps!

u/kaidomac · 10 pointsr/theXeffect

Going to throw some pop psychology in here:

  1. There's a great book called "Mindset" by Carol Dweck, which puts forth the idea that we only have one of two mindsets about any given situation in our lives. In short, they are the "fixed" mindset ("this is why I can't") and the "growth" mindset ("how can I?"). It's the idea that you can learn & grow & do better by being proactive instead of reactive, aka working on stuff instead of just living by excuses.
  2. I suffered from a strong "all or nothing" mentality growing up, which was really stressful, because it's hard to put forth a tremendous amount of effort consistently on any single thing that actually works real work. I can do it for video games or Internet surfing non-stop, and I can do big-effort potshots here & there on projects, like staying up all night to write an essay, but I'd always paint myself into a corner mentally because of my perfectionist attitude. I did great work...when I worked...but I'd often quit because I'd hit some sort of slump where I wasn't Superman in every single situation, like I wanted to be & thought I had to be. It's an odd line of thinking, but we're emotionally-driven creates, and it was difficult to work through those feelings!
  3. I later came to learn about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which says that feelings & emotions are separate; feelings are things you have, but emotions come from thinking. We're all subjective to cognitive distortions as well, which are incorrect forms of thinking. In my case, I suffered from very polarized thinking - I had to do it perfectly, or else it wasn't worth doing! Or that I was a failure. This sounds incredibly silly writing it out, but because thoughts convert into emotions & we live emotional lives, I was constantly struggling with feeling discouraged because I couldn't do things perfectly all the time!
  4. I then came across a fantastic TED Talk by Angela Duckworth on the concept of "grit" as a means to success. The basic idea is that the key to success is not giving up. This sounds incredibly obvious when you listen to it, but in practice, that concept is far from the reality that most people live in! "I can't cook", "I can't play the guitar", "I'm terrible at sports", etc. are all examples of using a fixed mindset to make an excuse & then quit all forward progress on whatever it is you're working on. That's why being "gritty" is so important - you only fail if you quit!

    I have 3 definitions of grit, all of which involved mental choices:

  5. Being willing to experiment until you obtain success
  6. Being willing to fail until you obtain success
  7. Being willing to be persistent until you obtain success

    To flesh that out a bit:

  8. If you've ever tried cooking something, chances are you've goofed up at least once recipe along the way, or perhaps you tried a recipe that was kinda-sorta good, but needed some tinkering along the way. In this case, being willing to experiment with things instead of just quitting means that you can grow & develop a successful recipe - or skill or achievement - until you get to where you want to be, which is, by definition, success! Because of our built-in human nature, screw-ups feel like failures, which tend to make us stop working on things because we just flat-out quit.
  9. The classic example here is of a baby learning how to talk - they have to stumble & fall for months & months until they figure it out. If adults had to do it, we'd just quit, because that's too hard to do in the face of so much failure - it didn't come easy the first or the second or the third time, so I guess that's that, we're just terrible at whatever we're working on! But that's not the case - certain things come easy to certain people, and some those same things can be monumentally difficult for other people, and that's okay!
  10. It sounds weird to use failure as a path to success, but that's simply how reality operates: you keep chipping away on it, consistently, over time, until you achieve success. Failure is not a Bad Thing; quitting is a bad thing, when your goal is to be successful. With this perspective, we can now adopt failure as part of our success story, rather than a sign that we should stop trying.
  11. Likewise, being persistent is the key to continuing on the path. One of my current personal mottos is "small bites daily". That idea is partly from the question: "How do you eat an elephant?", to which the answer is "one bite at a time." The other part is about making consistent progress as the primary engine for success, so combining those two ideas, I came up with "small bites daily".

    part 1/2
u/Corricon · 1 pointr/theXeffect

since you mentioned you have insomnia, is it alright if I leave some general tips? I've found these very helpful for myself.

1) set a bedtime alarm on your phone. Use an app like AMdroid to set up an alarm that requires something before it can be dismissed; this is under "Challenges" in the profile settings. Make another, possibly easily dismissed, alarm for fifteen minutes earlier than your bedtime, and try to end whatever you're doing before your true bedtime alarm sounds, or at least end it before you type in the Challenge and dismiss the true bedtime alarm.

2) brush your teeth at least half an hour before bed; toothpaste can keep you awake. Make sure that it's also at least half an hour after you last ate or drank (besides water) so that you don't damage the enamel.

3) replace the lightbulbs in your house with incandescent bulbs, red bulbs, or blue-light-blocking LEDs. Regular LEDs will keep you awake.

4) google "f.lux" and download it on your computer. Look for day/night screen settings on your phone. These will lessen the amount of blue light coming from your screens at nighttime. If you do use a screen near bedtime (phone, tv, computer, etc.) have a regular light on in the room as well, so you're not just staring at a screen in the dark.

5) get a sound machine. I like this one. I set it to Brown Noise, loudest setting, 90 minutes.

6) when trying to fall asleep, masturbate, without using any porn. The porn would wake you up.

7) make a rule that if you fail to fall asleep, the only thing you can do is listen to a not-that-interesting audiobook or podcast. While lying in your bed, in the dark. (Some people would tell you the opposite - to get out of bed and walk around, not to get used to lying in bed awake. That doesn't work for me, though. If that's better for you, feel free to do that instead.)

8) get blinds and drapes, the darker the better. Cover any lights in your room either with black paper and tape, or by putting clothes on them.

9) go to your phone's settings and turn on automatic Do Not Disturb times. You can choose favorite phone numbers that this won't apply to, if necessary. This will also prevent notification sounds/lights. 

10) check what you're ingesting. It's best to give up coffee completely; while the first half of the caffeine will be gone in 5 hours, the other half of caffeine can stay in your system for 30 hours. Even decaf can have as much as 1/7 the amount of caffeine as a regular coffee (depending on type). Other caffeines, like soda, diet soda, or tea, quit for a while, then after you're sleeping well try having it in the morning (or before [5 hours after your intended wake up time]) and see if it's a problem at night. Cinnamon should also only be in the morning. Decaf tea, decaf coffee, and chocolate might be alright in small amounts in the mornings. Check your multivitamin for B12, too much will keep you awake (I need to stay below 8 mcg a day myself). Take your vitamins with breakfast unless a doctor says otherwise.

11) I highly recommend eating a little chocolate or cacao powder in the morning. It will give you serotonin which helps you to sleep when the cardiovascular stimulant wears off. Also, as soon as you wake up, open your drapes and blinds to get some sunlight. Exercising for 30 minutes after breakfast everyday will help your sleep cycle.

12) this is optional: you can download a browser extension for your computer or an app for your phone to lock it down before bedtime, so you're physically incapable of using it.

I hope something helps. Just keep trying, you'll get better at it! 🏃🏻‍♀️

u/AMAducer · 3 pointsr/theXeffect

WOOOO! You should pick up a copy of "Understanding Comics". I'm not a great drawer, but I love making stick figure comics that tell stories.

Whatever you decide to draw, this will help your composition and choice in what to draw! I hope you enjoy it.

u/johnthebatshit · 14 pointsr/theXeffect

Encourage everyone to try out this card. The idea is based on the Brian Tracy [book] (

The premise of the idea:

> "If the first thing you do every morning is to eat a live frog you can then go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that its probably the worst thing thats going to happen to you all day long. Your 'frog' is your biggest most important task. its the one your most likely to procastinate on if you dont do something about it right now. Its also the ONE task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment."

You can listen to the full audio book on youtube [here] (

Eat that frog!

u/questionablegains · 2 pointsr/theXeffect

Oh man, next time I take a picture remind me to get up from my computer! They're just stickers, but you apply them all at once as a full contact sheet. This is the product I used.

And thanks for the wishes :)

u/BearBong · 3 pointsr/theXeffect

OP, if you haven't bought an eye mask yet, I highly recco this one. I got one for travel and sleeping at music festivals / camping. My gf immediately wanted one. So much better than the $6 ones that sit on your eye lids. You'll love it

u/khufumen · 3 pointsr/theXeffect

I would recommend:

  1. Exercise for a minimum of 5 minutes daily

  2. Practice mindfulness for a minimum of 5 minutes daily

  3. Explicitly define the creative skill you want to work on and do it for a minimum of 10 minutes daily.

  4. Be located in the bedroom by 11:00 PM

  5. Choose one thing for a diet change and do it for several weeks until if feels comfortable. Then add another one. I eliminated wheat from my diet which has been challenging but doable.

    At the start of your life changes, don't try to do too much. The race will always go to the tortoise. If 5 minutes is too much then go for a minute. You've got your entire life to work on your habits. Good book to read is the 15 second Principle
u/HedoNNN · 2 pointsr/theXeffect

Yes, this is one of my two goals (will post my cards soon).
Make sure to head to /r/getoutofbed
Reading and implementing "The Miracle Morning", while being nothing new actualy helped me too.

u/Vuddah · 1 pointr/theXeffect

Highly recommend the book Willpower. They have a great chapter talking about ol Ben.

u/TheBlueAdept707 · 3 pointsr/theXeffect

I'm currently trying to learn this via the book Search Inside Yourself. It's pretty good so far!

u/reddexx · 1 pointr/theXeffect

"Read aloud Self-Talk cards daily for 5 minutes"

I find this practice to be invaluable for my mental health and well-being. Lacking motivation? Feeling blergh? Not focused? Read aloud positive self-talk cards for five minutes to yourself in the mirror. Holy CRAP does it rev up your whole day.

I am definitely doing this card again because I want the lifetime unbreakable habit. Only change I'm going to make is doing these in the morning because it affects the course of the entire day.

For more information on Self-Talk:

The Self-Talk Solution (my favorite)

What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/theXeffect

Nice. My showers usually only take about 5 minutes. I use one of these. Saves me tons of time and has probably saved me some money, too, because no zoning out. All business.

u/AdmiralAkbartender · 3 pointsr/theXeffect

I listened to an interesting podcast on it You can buy a bulb and add to an ordinary lamp that it fits. Like this

Interesting article (NSFWish)

You can buy expensive units to do it, but many people just use an ordinary lamp with specialist bulb.

u/tastescrunchy · 1 pointr/theXeffect

This is actually legit take a look


By the guy who wrote the Chicken Soup for the soul books, but more than that he has a lot of addiction in his family (including his kids) and seems to get it

u/jsh · 4 pointsr/theXeffect

I disagree with this guy, 5 minutes is better than nothing as getting started is the hard part. See the mini habits book.