Here is EXACTLY what I do when I am bored and there is nothing to do

Last night I went to bed early.

Almost 5 hours later, I was still awake. Because my mind was buzzing with ideas on what to write here in my next blog.

I want to live well past the age of 100. Because I have so much to do… so much to say.

And that is my cure for boredom: I create way more than I consume.

Ibrahim Diallo said it best here:

Boredom becomes part of our routine. We have to consume social media to become less bored, yet the more we consume the more bored we are…

Switching from consumption to production started to break the thick barrier of habit I had formed in the past. The more I wrote, the easier it was to get ideas out of my head. The more ideas came out of my head, the less I was feeling the need to be entertained. I spent the rest of the day writing about something that I thought was fun, even if it’s just for myself…

The cure for boredom is not a constant stream of entertainment. It’s creating something that wasn’t there before.

This is why I blog every day of the week (Monday thru Friday). It helps me improve an extra 1% every day. And most important, creating stuff keeps me from being bored with nothing to do.

How to draw animations just like the pros do (video demonstration)

There is a reason Disney animations are so loved. Disney mastered a formula known as the 12 principles of animation. It was created in the 1930s and popularized by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas.

Their 12 principles of animation are:

Squash and stretch
Anticipation
Staging
Straight ahead action and pose to pose
Follow through and overlapping action
Slow in and slow out
Arc
Secondary action
Timing
Exaggeration
Solid drawing
Appeal

This is the best tutorial on the principles of animations I have ever viewed:

Or we can get these animation tutorials in book form here.

How to read a book mindfully (like a librarian)

I never learned how to properly read a book – all my life.

Sure, elementary school taught us how to recognize letters, numbers and words. But I was never taught how to comprehend.

We were assigned a book to read as homework but forgot it all in just a few days.

As a result, I was frustrated and bored. And I only read my first book (cover to cover) near my 50th birthday. No joke.

I thought I was screwed up in the head. And about 20 years ago, I asked a doctor for help with my attention. He asked me one question – do I have to reread newspaper articles. I said yes. About 5 minutes later, he prescribed me the powerful amphetamine drug Ritalin! In mere days, that drug numbed my brain. Even worse, I did not comprehend books better. About the only good thing about Ritalin was it suppressed my appetite – and I became “crack thin.”

I am not alone. A lot of people do not know how to read. I know this is the truth, because people would much rather watch my videos than read my blog posts.

Marcella Frydman Manoharan recommends these tips on how to read mindfully:

Find a window of time when you can focus on your reading, rather than trying to squeeze it into a busy day or get a few pages in before bedtime.

Pick reading that will engage but not deplete you, something that requires a bit of mental energy, but doesn’t end up as another item on your growing to-do list. There’s a whole world of text out there to discover: novels, biographies, histories, but also collections of essays, science writing, poems and long-form journalism.

Consider reading in print. If much of your reading is on a screen – your phone, computer or tablet — then mindful reading from a tangible book could be a nice break from the pinging.

As you turn the pages, notice the quality of light, the color and even the smell of the ink on the page, the way that the spine of your book feels against the palms of your hands. You may find yourself more easily bored or sleepy. Take note: This is you slowing down – the point of this exercise to begin with.

Pay attention to language. Look at an individual word; look up unfamiliar words. Maybe you use a pencil to underline language that you notice, or maybe you just make a mental note. Either way, get into the details — the rhythm of a sentence, a detail that conjures a person or place. Notice as reading causes your thoughts to meander. Reading does not have to be a comprehensive or linear exercise. Your mind is not a vacuum sweeping up each word mechanically. You will invariably drift off, think of something else, imagine what you’re getting for lunch, or what you should have said to your date last night — all of this is expected.

When your mind wanders, gently usher yourself back to the text and keep going. If you’ve forgotten the last passage you read, you can always go back and read it again. Or don’t. There’s value in a bit of uncertainty, in finding peace within ambiguity.

Finally, don’t over-prepare for your reading. You don’t really need the perfect lounge chair, with light at just the right slant and a cup of tea precisely brewed. Mindful reading can provide an oasis even in more turbulent settings.

I use the “5-minute rule” when reading new books. That is, I set a 5-minute timer on my phone. And I convince myself to read the book for at least 5 minutes. If it holds my interest after the phone’s alarm sounds, I will read longer. If not, the book gets donated to a local library.

Many people I know recommend this classic book by Mortimer J. Adler titled How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Who knew reading mindfully is a 70-year old tactic.

This new seat-belt system protects our dogs from car crashes (video demonstration)

This patent shows Glenn W. Sheren invented the car seat belt in March of 1955. And since then, he let other car manufacturers use his seat-belt design to save lives.

But what about the safety of dogs in cars? Why is there not a seat belt for them all these years?

Well, that is about to change.

Introducing the ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack seat belt system:

Unfortunately, this ZuGoPet Rocketeer Pack is almost $200.00…

Instead, we can get this similar doggy seat-belt system here at almost half the price.

Revealed: Apple does not allow us to family share in-app purchases (explained)

For many years, I have been under the impression that I was permitted to share my in-app purchases with up to 6 family members (with Family Sharing enabled in our settings). As long as I list them in my main account, they would get access to the iOS apps I paid for.

Yet for years, this feature never worked. I would click the “Restore Purchase” link, and nothing would happen.

And now I know why…

Get this: Apple does not allow us to share our in-app purchases with our family members. This is why FREE iOS apps are more expensive. And I bet most iOS developers know this. This is why they give the apps away FREE and offer their better features at a price. (How sneaky is that?)

So here is my hack:

I look for iOS apps that charge an upfront price. I avoid free apps. This way, my family can share my app. And if the app stinks, I take advantage of Apple’s (generally) no-questions-asked app refund policy.