Do the Opposite #81

Overcome Dread Tasks & Procrastination, The 5 Hour Rule, Try Something New For 30 Days, How to Convince Your Partner to Retire Early

Good News Everyone!

Welcome to the newest issue of the Do the Opposite newsletter, sent every other week!

If you enjoy it, share it to help it grow:

Share Do the Opposite Newsletter

Subscribe to the free version of this newsletter and start getting a letter every other week. If you want to support the effort that goes into writing Do the Opposite, you can subscribe to the paid version.

If you want to share any resources (articles, books or anything else) with the community, please reply to this email with your recommendations or DM me on Twitter!

Thank you!

I would like to thank my paying subscribers for supporting the effort that goes into writing Do the Opposite! Your support truly means a lot to me!


“How To Overcome Dread Tasks” by Daniel Gross

I felt like this article was written for me. As a chronic procrastinator, I can relate to the struggle of tackling dread tasks. For me, the worst ones are the vague tasks where I’m not sure where to start and how exactly to tackle it. Not knowing “the best way” to do a task often stops me from starting on it.

Often I feel like I’m going in circles in my attempts to beat procrastination: I succeed for a short period of time, and then I am back to where I’ve started from. Well, I’ll just keep trying to break the mold.

In this article, Daniel gives several great tips that help fight procrastination.

“Killing your $1000 Grocery Bill” by Mr. Money Mustache (Pete Adeney)

Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be such a massive burden on your budget. I know that the readers of Do the Opposite are spread throughout the globe, so the $1000 number will not make sense in many cases. Consider this a “Killing Your Over-the-Top Grocery Bill” article.

Remember that this is not about depriving yourself of the joys of life and definitely not about not eating the healthiest diet you possibly can. It’s about optimization and there’s always room for optimization.

“How My Partner Convinced Me To Retire Early” by A Purple Life

If you’ve been reading Do the Opposite for a while, you know that one of the big themes here is FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early). If by now I’ve managed to convince you that it’s worth trying out, you might have trouble explaining this to your significant other and getting them onboard.

First of all, remember that these ideas are a little radical for most people, especially when they are first introduced to them. For example, I first learnt about the concept of FIRE in 2017 but I’ve embraced it only in 2019.

The best way, as always, is through personal example. Start making these changes in your own life, and give it time. Over time the benefits will accrue and become impossible to deny. In this article, an anonymous FIRE blogger “A Purple Life” shares the story of how she got convinced by her partner to pursue financial independence, and how she became even more hardcore about it than her partner was.


The 5 Hour Rule | Thomas Frank

The landscape of our lives is changing faster than ever. Whatever knowledge we’ve acquired during the years of our schooling (school, college, university) is simply not enough to succeed. We have to keep striving for mastery in our professions of choice.

Besides our main occupation, there are many areas of life we could improve by learning more about them: personal finance, cooking, nutrition, exercise, electronics, raising children, taking care of pets/plants, foreign languages and many more.

Constant learning is key to thriving in life and being able to adapt to changing circumstances. The 5 Hour Rule can help us do just that.

Try Something New for 30 Days | Matt Cutts, TED Talks

This super-short and fun video will inspire you to try something new for a month. These little experiments can break the routine that has set in in our lives, rejuvenate our playful spirit and make life richer with new experiences. As Socrates once said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

P.S. As you know I’m a big proponent of 100 day challenges :) However, in this case I think it’s better to try multiple things for 30 days, and then if you want to make one of them into a habit, do it for 100 days.

Your Money or Your Life Summary (By Vicki Robin) | The Swedish Investor

“Your Money or Your Life” is one of the foundational resources behind the financial independence movement. The book was originally released in 1992 and the second, updated edition was released in 2018. It was eye-opening to me when I read it in the beginning of last year, and I’m recommending it left and right since then.

I’ve shared some key takeaways from the book here in DTO #41. This video is a great way to learn about the principles and ideas that the book presents. I hope that after you watch it, you won’t be able to resist picking up the book. It truly has the potential to change your life.

Featured Tweet



“Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser foe.”
— Miyamoto Musashi, “A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy”

“If you aim at great things, you must not allow yourself inclination toward the attainment of other things, however slight; but you must entirely quit some of them, and for the present postpone the rest.”
— Epictetus

“Fear does not go away by itself. You have to confront your fear, mold it, then learn to control it in it's own irrational reality. Every human being has the power to do just that. To go deep within and confront your inner being is a powerful act. Going deep and developing the will power is the only way.”
— Wim Hof, “Becoming the Iceman”


I’m building an app called ZERNO to help you build & stick to habits ― if you join the waitlist, you’ll be in the limited few to get early access to the app!

Join the Waitlist


There's also a YouTube channel with new videos coming out twice a week on the same themes that are covered in this newsletter. Take a look at the channel here and let the ideas influence you into an improved and happier life!

Watch DTO on YouTube


Do the Opposite has a public Telegram channel. The content there is a little different than in the newsletter: faster to consume, a bit more random ― basically anything weird or interesting that catches my eye: articles, tweets, videos, images, etc. Hope to see you there as well! :)

Join Our Telegram Channel!


If you find this newsletter helpful, you can help it grow by spreading the word!

Share Do the Opposite Newsletter

Subscribe to the free version of this newsletter and start getting a letter every other week. If you want to support the effort that goes into writing Do the Opposite, you can subscribe to the paid version.

Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway