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Episode 44:

Be Considerate of

Your Future Self

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Based on the number of memes on the (sad/confusing/annoying) realities of adulting, we all can use some help on how to uplevel our life skills. This is where Erin Zammett Ruddy’s book, The Little Book of Life Skills, comes in handy. In this episode, we talk with Erin about her book, the inspiration behind it, and what key takeaways she’s consistently implemented in her life that have helped her “adult” better. As a self-proclaimed “work-in-progress” (aren’t we all?), Erin wrote this book for herself and for everyone that wants to be better at the simple tasks so we can feel a little better about ourselves. As she highlights in the conversation, this book is all about how you can do things better in your day so your day feels full of little wins.

Episode Recap:

Interview with Erin Zammett Ruddy - 2:52

“You Want Me To Do What??” section - 50:43


  • Erin developed this book from the realization that she’d accumulated a network of experts that could help her “adult” better

  • One of the main changes that Erin has made & stuck to since researching & writing the book is in how she wakes up. The key things for waking up better are:

    • Don’t hit the snooze button

    • Count 1-2-3 (if you can’t get yourself out of bed)

    • Swing your legs over the edge of the bed and onto the floor

    • Take 5 deep breaths

    • Drink a full glass of water

    • Get outside within 15 minutes of waking up to stop the melatonin drip

  • The book has several tips on related to working including these top tips on working from home:

    • Don’t start working first thing when you get up, but rather do a normal morning routine

    • Don’t multitask with your work & life stuff - don’t do laundry or unload the dishwasher or other housework during the work day

  • Erin has been working from home for the past 10 years and recommends the following for your mental health when working from home:

    • When possible, take a walk during a work call rather than sitting at your desk

    • Schedule time to have personal calls with friends & colleagues during the week so you have that personal (read: not work-related) connection

    • Meet colleagues or friends for coffee, a walk, or lunch

    • Finish your day strong by unplugging your phone at night. Then spend time reviewing your day for what went well, what didn’t go well, and when you felt drained during the day. The key is to be kind to yourself & reflect on the day without judgement so you can set yourself up for a strong tomorrow.

  • Shanna’s favorite interpersonal tip from the book was on how to offer condolences, especially the important message that there is no statute of limitations on offering condolences.

  • “Don’t put it down, put it away” - This is a mantra that Erin shares has been a big hit with her friends and many of her social media followers. The mantra comes from the ‘1 minute rule’ in the book for having less clutter - if it takes 1 minute or less to do something, just do it.

  • Erin’s Top 3 Favorite Tips from the Book:

    • The Calming Breath (16 second breath) - inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath of a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4

    • Setting a timer for 10-15 minutes when doing a task so that you: a) realize how much you really can get done in that time and b) stay efficient with what you are doing

    • Be considerate of your future self by thinking of yourself in the weeks, months, years to come not just what is in front of you - this can be applied to finances, clutter, and making plans