Death of “CTRL + T” and typing “fa…. + Enter”

I am a Facebook addict! I spend almost 1-2 hours (or more) on social networks on a daily basis. *sigh*

I was reading this article over the weekend: “Can we be both makers and managers?” [Link to the article], which explains it’s important to manage your roles as a human being when it comes to creation and management. Reading while jumping hyperlinks I landed on this post by Paul Jarvis on Productivity where he says:

“I suck at multi-tasking. Not just doing more than one thing at a time, but being interrupted when doing one task by something else. This comes mostly in the form of notifications on your computer or phone. Someone liked your photo on Instagram? Someone @’ed you on Twitter? A file was uploaded to Dropbox? New email?!

I’ve managed to not miss anything or forget anything in the 2 years since I’ve killed all notifications. Instead, I use the program I’m using at any given time, and when I’m done, I move onto something else. So I only see Twitter when I log into Twitter. I only see my inbox when I open up my email program. Focus works.”

~[Link to the article]

After reading this, I logged out of my social accounts. It just felt the urgent need of doing that as I always end up going on facebook or other social channels every few minutes (say 30-40 mins) and end up seeing the same news feed I have seen earlier. It serves me no good and I waste my time in the process. Why I land up on my social accounts that often? Because:

  • I want to know what’s happening in or around the world (I have FOMO – Fear of missing out)
  • I want to share interesting some stuff – I realised I am not a social media manager nor my job description includes that. I do that on a personal level, and if I do it personally, I can do it any time of the day, week or month. I don’t need to be there all the time to share what I like. It should not come in between what’s important to me. Be it work, relationships, health or whatever.

Here’s my online surfing data recorded by RescueTime for November 2015:

RescueTime Data

Note: I forgot to start the OS app and only turned the Chrome extension on, so it couldn’t track my Photoshop or Sketch’s timings which could have been the productive time I have had while using my computer.

Nonetheless, I regret wasting my time surfing randomly on social networks. TIME TO MAKE SOME CHANGES NOW.

But, what I don’t want, is to lose my ability to share cool stuff I see or read online with my friends or/and to interested readers. I really like the newsletters I get every now and then from people or blog I have subscribed to. Two of which I enjoy reading are from Tim Ferriss (Author of The Four Hour Work Week) and Noah Kagan (CEO/Founder of AppSumo). They both have started sending newsletters with interesting stuff they see/read/do online and offline. I enjoy reading these newsletters for two reasons:

  • I get to read interesting curated stuff which I wouldn’t find or find after many hours of surfing online. Plus the content they share is aligned with the stuff I like to read or know about. So they do the hard work for me. I sit back, read, learn and enjoy.
  • Second, I get these newsletters directly in my inbox which is great, so that I don’t have to bookmark them or go back to some place to keep a tab on them. I read them at my own convenience and will.

So, about the changes I am going to make:

  • Log out of all the social accounts. Log in once a day for a start – My target is to reduce it to once in two days in the next 6 months.
  • Compile a note (on my Evernote or in a word doc) of interesting stuff I read online and share them via a blog post rather than going on Facebook or Twitter every single time I want to share them.

Let 2016 be distraction free! 🙂

Clearing debt, exercising every alternate day, re-designing portfolio website and much more…..my to-do list/challenges for September/October 2015

[From left to right: Shaleen – My twin brother and has passion in communication marketing – Website link | Roshan – Good friend and has passion in IOT/Computer tech. – LinkedIn profile | Swati – Good friend. Still figuring out her passion(s) 🙂 | Me – Best friend 😉 – Website link  | Rahul – Good friend and has passion in tech. R&D – Website link]
August was quite a month for me. I had good days and bad days.

  • Good days because I travelled to Pondicherry and Bengaluru with my close friends. This trip was one of those things which we have been discussing/day dreaming since our first college days. We got to realise this dream last month – Makes me happy 🙂
  • Bad days because I broke up with the girl I thought I would live my life with. I felt depressed for 2-3 days, but moved on pretty quickly. Thanks to few close friends, online articles, and a bit of self-motivation.

Quick tip on dealing with heartbreaks/failures is to have multiple happiness baskets in life as suggested by Tim Ferriss. The concept of having multiple happiness baskets is to have/do different things which makes you happy. For instance, I love playing football, cycling, designing, sketching…etc. The point of having/doing multiple things that makes you happy is to have backup when you fail at one of them. For example, if I lose my leg one day (which I don’t want) and I can’t play football or cycle anymore, there will still be designing and sketching that I can do which will keep me happy. So, my life won’t get blank and dark all of a sudden. So work on creating different happiness baskets….it works…..trust me.

Moving on, there are things to achieve and things to enjoy in life 🙂

I have been missing out on goals in the past few months because I set a lot of them. So this time, I’ll be a bit realistic based on past records. Here are my goals for this month (September/October) posted below.

You can read about my to-do list of August here: [Link]

Goals for September/Octorber 2015:

  • Exercising every alternate day – I recently came across a youtube video [Link] of two guys who built pretty amazing stamina, fitness level, and body. They achieved all that without hitting the gym. The video explains the workout process they follow…which suggest to workout extensively a day and rest the next so on and so forth. So, I have started following the same routine of exercising alternate days and leaving weekends to take breaks and rest [Update: 3 weeks done]
    Here’s what my activity log looks like :

    Fitbit data
    Week’s activity – Data by Fitbit Flex

    Fitbit data
    A healthy day 🙂 – Data by Fitbit Flex
  • Buy and eat dry fruits, 2 bananas and 2 eggs daily – Exercising, building stamina and building muscle needs nutrients. So forming a habit to get those nutrients on a daily basis. By the way, dry fruits have some amazing health benefits.
    Here are few: [Link]

    Egg and milk
    Egg and milk

    Dry fruits
    Dry fruits
  • Read book: The 7 habits of highly effective people – [Online purchase link] [Update: Read 80/400 pages]
  • Clear 20k/70k of debt – Have around 70k debt as I switched to a different location and bought things along the way. But, I have stopped using my credit card and resolved to not using it again. Debt is bad. [Update: 50k left 🙂 ]
  • Sankalpsinha.com’s landing page re-design – And also start developing if get time. [Update: Development started]
  • One blog post other than this – Framed it roughly – Writing on forming habits.
  • Create contact backup in an Excel sheet – I recommend everyone to have a contact backup somewhere in your email or saved in hard-drive for emergencies – Best is to have it online for easy accessibility. Also, send one of the copies to your relatives and friends. More on this in different blog post. [Update: 0% done]

Cycle to work, joining a kick-ass company, finding a new house and much more…..my to-do list/challenges for August 2015

Well, this blog post took some time to post. Here’s why:

  • Switched jobs. From Exponential to Wingify, same as UI/UX Designer
  • Changed location based on the new job – Shifted near to office
  • Putting systems in place in the new house like a neat workspace (Pic above), well-managed kitchen, and other household stuff.
  • Got engaged in office training, tasks and hi-hellos.
  • Fell in love with a girl. We are together now 🙂

But moving on, everything is set. I am cycling to office every day now – Makes me happy.

Here are my goals for this month (August) posted below.

You can read about my to-do list of May here: [Link]

Goals for August 2015:

  • 22 Days pushup challenge – Leaving weekends to take breaks and rest [Update: 15 days done]
  • 22 Sketches in total – Want to see all sketches so far? Go here : [Link] [Update: 10 done]
  • 15 Letwallinspire posters – See all posters here : [Link] [Update: 7 days done]
  • Create other social media accounts for Letwallinspire – To have maximised outreach through different social media platforms.
  • Buy and eat dry fruits daily – Dry fruits have amazing health benefits. Here are few : [Link] [Update: 20 days done]
  • Read book: Getting things done [Online purchase link] [Update: Read 20-30 pages only]
  • Clear 30% (20k/60k) of debt – Have around 60k debt as I switched to a different location and bought things along the way. I also have stopped using my credit card and resolved to not using it again. Debt is bad. [Update: Clearing a bit by bit]
  • Sankalpsinha.com’s landing page re-design – And also start developing if get time. [Update: 100% done. Development started :D] – For updates on this stay tuned to the facebook page: [Link]
  • One blog post other than this [Update: Somewhat written. Yet to finalize and post. It’s on forming habits]
  • Create contact backup in a document or excel file – I recommend everyone to have a contact backup somewhere in your email or saved in hard-drive for emergencies. Also send one of the copies to your relatives and friends. More on this in different post. [Update: Not started]

Sketching every single day, practicing guitar basics, auditing belongings and much more…..my goals for May 2015

Change is here. Switching jobs for the better 🙂 Joining Wingify, a Delhi based software startup that has expertise in A/B testing via its digital product Visual Website Optimizer. Will be joining them in June. That’s it for now, the good news. Will be posting another article about how I got the job.

You can read about my to-do list of April here : [Link]

Goals for May 2015 : 

  1. Write 1 blog post about exercises to be done – Experiment by setting a monthly target for 30 sets of few different exercises and note down the results.
  2. Sankalpsinha.com’s redesign + about section (detailed) – This one has been sitting on my list for quite a time now. Time to take action on this one. Why I need to redesign the website is because it’s not mobile friendly first, it doesn’t have filters based on type of works I have done and it doesn’t have a simple yet explained about section.
  3. Do 31 sketches – 10 for May, 10 for April, 10 for March, 1 for February from backlog goals from January.
  4. Fix previous blog post’s images, links and spellchecks – To have originality and relativity in post images.
  5. Read book : Getting things done [Online purchase link]
  6. Practice guitar basics – Jumping right into playing songs on guitar seems like going the hard way. I have to focus and learn the basics again first.
  7. Keep exercising – Have been doing streching, 30 pushups, 30 squats, running a bit and cycling with decent breakfast (500ml Milk + Egg sandwich/2 boiled egg + 2 Bananas + 1 Apple) on a daily basis. No wonder why I feel good everyday 🙂 But the challenge still remains – To make it a habit. I think I am pretty close to nail this one 😉
  8. Keep eating healthy – See above! Have been eating a healthy breakfast (500ml Milk + Egg sandwich/2 boiled egg + 2 Bananas + 1 Apple) everyday for 20 days straight now. But eating at McD, KFC and other unhealthy outlets is still a challenge. Trying my best. Let’s see what I can do.
  9. Audit belongings – Just a measure to ensure I have less belongings as I belive the less you have, the more carefree you will be.
  10. Save Rs.5000 – As I am practicing saving these days. 5k is just a target, nothing fancy about the figure. [Update : 100% done]

Experiment on limiting myself to computer/mobile screen exposure, Finding startups who will be willing to buy poster, Simplifying Sankalpsinha.com’s about section and much more…..my goals for March 2015

Well truth be told, I am pacing a bit on analyzing, planning, setting and achieving my goals. While looking back (since January 2015) I can clearly tell that I got better at visualizing my goals and steps needed to achieve them. But it’s not enough. I need to increase my pace more, bit by bit. To achieve that I need to focus less on distractions and focus more on tasks at hand, which seems obvious but I wonder how many us do it in a right way.

Anyway, let’s reflect on my goals and hope I will do better this month compared to the last two.

Goals for March 2015:

  • Finish book : THE LEAN STARTUP – Backlog goal from January. [Online purchase link] [Update : 100% done]
  • Write 1 blog post about exercises to be done – Experiment by setting a monthly target for 30 sets of few different exercises on a daily basis and note down the results. [Update : 30% done as have completed the first draft, need to edit  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Publish blog post about goals for March 2015 [Update : 100% done]
  • Do 28 sketches – 10 for March, 10 for February and 8 from backlog goals from January. [Update : 0% done  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Learn to play Ed-sheeran’s Don’t on guitar – Backlog goal from January. [Update : 0% done. Tried taking up the chords of the song but failed. I think I need to focus on the basics again – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Finalize the mobile layout of the blog – To maintain design harmony across different screen sizes [Update : 100% done. Check the blog @ experiments.themadscientistlab.com ]
  • Simplify Sankalpsinha.com’s about section – Need to finalize the detailed intro. Short intro is done and is same as on the blog (Link) – [Backlog goal from January] [Update : 0% done  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Write 1 blog post for March 2015 – Experimenting on limiting myself to computer/mobile screen exposure [Update : 0% done. Still considering whether or not to take up this experiment as most of my works are computer/internet related. May be that’s why I need to do this?  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Start book : Getting things done [Online purchase link[Update : 2% done  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Stop eating packed food – Try eating more of natural food [Update : 60% done  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Find startups who are willing to buy poster – Apart from validating the poster business idea via an online website, validating it with real potential customers might be more valuable and easier. [Update : 0% done  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]
  • Fix previous blog post’s images, links and spellchecks [Update : 0% done  – Carried to to-do list of April 2015]

Validating my poster business idea for free, 30 day push-up challenge, consuming more natural nutrients and much more…..my goals for February 2015

Procrastination was a close friend of mine last month. I barely achieved 50% of my goals.

However I achieved important VS. average goals. That’s the advantage of writing – you practically write your own goals/thoughts on paper – making them more visual, concrete in your mind and thus better to conceptualize your steps accordingly.

Goals for February 2015 :

  1. Develop a test website for LETWALLINSPIRE – To test hypothesis that people want to buy posters [Update : 100% done]
  2. Finish book : THE LEAN STARTUP – Backlog goal from January [Online purchase link] [Update : 100% done]
  3. Start book : Getting things done [Online purchase link] [Update : 100% done]
  4. Learn to play Ed-Sheeran’s Don’t on guitar – Backlog goal from January [Update : 0% done]
  5. Start exercising seriously – Experiment by setting a monthly target for 30 sets of few workouts and note down results [Experiment details will be posted in a separate blog post] [Update : 100% done]
  6. Start eating fruits – Fruit juice kills many nutrients, so eat fruits and drink vegetable juice [Update : 100% done]
  7. Simplify Sankalpsinha.com’s about section – Because details when scattered add no value to the brand – [Backlog goal from January] [Update : 50% done – have written the intro section. Have to write the detailed version yet.]
  8. Finalize blog navigation and branding – So to have a theme and framework to write and focus on [Backlog from January] [Update : 100% done]
  9. Write 1 blog post other than goal-summary blog [Update : 100% done]
  10. Write 25 headlines for blog post – To test which headline/title performs better. Here’s few tips on why/how to test headlines [Upworthy article[Update : 100% done]
  11. Save 5000 Rs. – To practice saving [Update : 100% done]
  12. Do 18 sketches – 10 for February and 8 from backlog goals from January. [Update : 100% done]

Books to read this year – 2015

Here’s the list of books I will be reading this year [If you’re curious, here’s the full list of my goals this year – Link].

The list has been compiled mostly from a self-help perspective rather than just reading-for-fun perspective. I have also added the purchase links of the books in case you want to read them as well. I might also put my thoughts on these books in separate blog posts once I am done reading them. 🙂

  1. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses – by Eric Ries – Link
  2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – by David Allen – Link
  3. One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work – by Stephen Key – Link
  4. The $100 Startup: Fire your Boss, Do what you Love and Work Better to Live More – by Chris Guillebeau – Link
  5. Steve Jobs – by Walter Isaacson – Link
  6. Delivering Happiness – by Tony Hsieh – Link
  7. Losing My Virginity – by Richard Branson – Link
  8. Daily Rituals: How Artists Work – by Mason Currey – Link
  9. Secrets of Power Negotiating – by Roger Dawson – Link
  10. The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation – by Ron Adner – Link
  11. Permission Marketing: The Marketing Classic for the Internet Age – by Seth Godin – Link
  12. Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious – by Gerd Gigerenzer – Link

Hope I finish what I started. Fingers crossed 😉

Happy reading!