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I graduated to Yellow Belt in MMA ?

Quick update on one of my side-hobbies today.

Context

In 2018, I moved to Bangalore after joining SellerCrowd, a fully-remote company. While making the move, I realized and acknowledged the fact that maintaining a healthy lifestyle would be a challenge as I’ll mostly work from the comfort of my home.

Prior to this remote gig, I was with Wingify in Pune and was quite physically active during the time as:

  • Wingify had a big office that facilitated movement throughout the day.
  • There were a few football courts nearby my house so I was playing twice every week.
  • Pune’s traffic was less taxing so I spent my evenings meeting friends or go & eat in different parts of the city.

All that kept me moving and as a result, in good shape.

Football days @Pune, India – 2017-18

Now, after moving to Bangalore in 2018, I kept myself active by practicing yoga in the morning and some cycling around the neighborhood + some occasional training at the apartment’s gym.

About 6 months passed with just yoga and cycling but I still felt that I needed to get involved in some other sports/physical activities. This was mostly because I was practicing yoga nominally from my house and cycling was not quite fun because Bangalore‘s traffic isn’t a pleasure to cycle in. + I missed playing football too.

Enter MMA

One evening while making my trip to my apartment’s gym half-heartedly, I noticed that a few kids were shouting in sync in the yoga room – which is just beside the gym. I went to peek and to my surprise, there was a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) session going on full-fledgedly.

I smiled, skipped gym that day and just stood there and watched the session go by. After the session got over, I went over to the instructor and without even asking what he’s going to teach me or how much time it’ll take me to go from White to Black belt (levels), I said: “I want to enroll in this class”.

Later when I thought about it, enrolling myself in the MMA class was a no brainer. Mostly because of my fascination towards close-combat fighting scenes I used to watch while growing up. Yes, I am talking about those Jackie Chan movies and Karate documentaries on Discovery channel and I was always intrigued by seeing these actors/athletes doing amazing stunts and at the same time being capable of defending themselves in tensed situations as a result of their training.

And that’s something I think I want to learn i.e.:

  1. Having strength, flexibility, and more stamina
  2. Capability to defend myself in tensed situations

Anyway, long story short, I enrolled about a year back and have been learning and practicing the basics under White belt. Last month I had my first belt exam and I graduated to Yellow belt!! 😀

Me with my sensei after graduating to Yellow belt

FYI – The form that I am learning is called Goju-ryu which is one of the main traditional Okinawan (Japanese) styles of karate. The belt or levels starts with White (which I started with), and then people progress to Yellow (my current), followed by Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown, Red, and Black. The change of belt color denotes the hard work and discipline that a student has put into mastering the art.

Well, that’s a brief summary of belts and the art form that I am learning. I’ll keep writing about my experience in MMA as I progress further.  Till then, here’s a video of me performing a basic kata – Kata Junino.

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2019’s Goal #3 – I am automating my home ??‍♂️

If you’re wondering what my goal #1 and #2 are, I am yet to write about them. ? In the meantime, I am ready to talk about my 3rd goal for 2019 i.e. automating my home.

Well, It’ll be a side “hobby” and I’ll take it real slow. Things that I’ll automate are:

  • Cleaning (With a Robot Vacuum Cleaner which potentially has good mobile-app integration so I don’t have to be home to start the device)
  • Lights (voice-controlled with Phillips Hue Bulbs)
  • Fan (voice-controlled if I find a workaround with my existing fan system)
  • Geysers (voice-controlled with Smart plugs)
  • TV (By installing a separate RC signal with Raspberry-Pi)
Few of the things (to start with) I’ll automate

Why automate?

This goal of automating the house comes from my long-lived fascination of 3 things:

  • Clean living environment – I am extremely fanatic about cleanliness. I’ve picked it up from my mom. Since the time I started living alone, I have always cleaned my house on my own. I don’t like dust getting accumulated for a longer period of time (2-3 days max is my threshold). Also, I don’t like unorganized stuff around me – this comes from being a designer as I am constantly trying to find symmetry and better layout in my designs and that transcends to my lifestyle as well. ✨
Cleanliness and organized stuff is what someone will notice first in my house
  • Productivity hacks – I have always gravitated towards the idea of improving productivity. I keep trying productivity hacks every now-and-then to better the output from what I already have, either for fun or for work. Although these experiments don’t lead to the desired output most of the times, irrespective of that, I do like to optimize little/big things around me. (P.S. I mostly do it for fun/learning. I am not a productivity-Hitler). ?‍?
  • Automation – Since the day I read the book, The 4 Hour Workweek, I started thinking about automating stuff that either takes a lot of time to get done or that I do not enjoy doing repetitively. For example, I like to prepare my breakfast and order lunch & dinner every day but then again, sometimes I just don’t want to. So I automated this part of my toutine with a service like Eat.Fit in Bangalore. Similarly, in my day job as a Product Designer, I introduced a design system so it can automate the component update process through all my mockups and hence speed up my design process (Read about why design systems are important here: Brad Frost’s Blog. ?

So what first?

I have always cleaned my house myself. I used to do dust-cleaning and mopping every weekend when I was in Pune. But then I moved to a bigger house in Bangalore. While dust cleaning was still manageable, mopping floor every weekend used to take a lot of time and effort. So finally, I started mopping every alternate weekend And for dust cleaning, I bought a hand-held vacuum cleaner last year expecting it to make my life easier. And honestly, it did make my life easier as mopping (a harder task) was down from 4x to 2x every month. ?

But here’s the twist. In India, houses pick up dust easily because they’re mostly surrounded by busy roads and construction sites. Yes, the construction never stops in this country and we barely use any tools to isolate dust at construction sites. This led me to automate the dust-cleaning process for my house once and for all.

So, I am taking the first step towards automation by buying a vacuum robot to automate floor dust-cleaning. After researching a lot on Vacuuming Robots made by companies like iRobot, Dyson, and Xiaomi, it seemed like all of them were doing the same job quite decently but the prices varied a lot because of the brand names. Xiaomi’s robot seemed like the best of the lot as it was 1/2th the price of iRobot and 1/4th the price of a Dyson robot. Plus this was my first try at vacuuming robots, so I didn’t want to spend a lot and finding that my money wasn’t worth it.

Xiaomi’s Robot Vacuum Cleaner packaging on the left and the device itself on the right

The Xiaomi’s Robot Vaccum Cleaner collects dust from the floor as far as it can see and reach; it cleans in a systematic path vs a random one and if the battery gets low while cleaning, it goes to the charging dock, charges itself and resumes back from the same spot. The best part is that it comes with a really intuitive app developed by Xiaomi itself. Have a look below.

From left to right: Mapping of the house done by the house, You can choose in what mode the robot needs to clean, You can also ask the robot to clean only specific areas drawn by you, and you can also move the robot manually using a remote control interface from the app. ?

The Verdict

After buying this robot and using it for 8+ weeks now, I can attest that I wake up to a clean house every day without having to worry about it. Dust accumulation has gone down and because of that, I am mopping the house only alternate weekends or maybe less. As for the robot maintenance, the dust is very easy to dispose off as it gets contained in a filter box, so that’s also an “easy” one and contributes to less work/time spent on robot maintenance. ✅

In a nutshell, I’ve been using this for 8+ weeks now and I think this will be one of my best return-on-investment purchases of 2019. ?

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Why investing in Bitcoin is meaningless for me??

2017’s second half has been all about bitcoin/cryptocurrencies. You could have easily noticed your relative, close friend, colleague or any random person on the internet go crazy about bitcoin/cryptocurrencies in the last couple of months.

Bitcoin's graph in 2017's 2nd half -themadscientistlab(dot)com-bitcoin-meaningless-sankalp-sinha
Bitcoin’s graph in 2017’s 2nd half

Among all, the most typical comments from people who are into buying/selling bitcoin/cryptocurrencies were like: “Bitcoin is going up!”, “You know bitcoin just hit $xxxxx!”, “Bitcoin is the next big thing! I bet my life!”, “If you’d have bought bitcoins 3 months ago, you’d have tripled your money by now.”. Yes, I hear and see all that happening. But I also see your desperation to make quick money and get rich the easy way. It’s a fucking propaganda!

Let me give you the truth on point-blank – Most people I know who invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies don’t care about the implications (+positive or -negative) blockchain or cryptocurrencies will bring. All they care about is how much money they can make in the shortest way/time possible. Plus you’ll notice people who have invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies will constantly encourage or shame people into buying cryptocurrencies they have bought, because:

  1. That’s how they justify their biased and idiotic decision in investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies
  2. That’s how they increase the value of bitcoin/cryptocurrencies. The more people put faith and invest in something, the more it’s worth goes up. It’s also about comforting themselves when the bubble burst and it’s not just them who took a hit or went bankrupt, it’s their friends and family as well. That’s psychologically comforting.

There’s nothing wrong in that, but in the short run, with induced FOMO (Fear of missing out), FUD (Fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and Peer pressure, it harms two entities:

  1. The majority who invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies for the sake of making money is affecting the real impact cryptocurrencies can bring ASAP i.e. helping individual/merchants/businesses adopt bitcoin once it settles down with its volatility and brings multiple benefits to transactions globally. For more clarity on the benefits of bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, watch this video.
  2. That majority itself ends up spending a lot of time and energy making a short-term quick buck in peer pressure while losing sight of what’s really important to them in the moment. (Ex. my friend keeps on checking his phone multiple times while conversing with colleagues, playing TT or Fifa, and while eating too)

Slap everyone who's asking you to buy bitcoins -blog-themadscientistlab(dot)com-bitcoin-meaningless-sankalp-sinha
Slap everyone who’s asking you to buy bitcoins

With that in mind, let me tell you why I haven’t invested in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies and neither planning to invest in near future. Here’s why:

  1. I don’t want to involve myself in the hassle/stress of when bitcoin/cryptocurrencies are going up or down. I want to live in the moment. When you invest in things that are volatile and is changing every second, it requires your attention to the full extent. It’s not bitcoin’s/cryptocurrencies’ fault. It’s just how it is and it needs your attention. So for me, living in the moment has greater value than giving my 24×7 attention to making few quick bucks.
  2. I don’t care how much money it’ll multiply me. I don’t get swayed away by FOMO/FUD/Peer pressure. I make enough to live happily every month, buy things I want (sometimes by waiting few months to save – that’s also fun + you value the things you buy with your saved money), travel 1-2 international countries every year. The logic here is that if I keep on running or say yes to every money-making opportunity world presents me with, my purpose is lost. There’s no value to uphold. There’s no focus.
  3. The repercussions of developing the habit/taste of making quick money are very dangerous. Investment in the real world doesn’t work that way. You don’t multiply your money 100%, 200% or more in just 3 months. Usually, the return on investment rates is ~4% to ~25% throughout the investment industry.
  4. I am a creative person. I want my time and energy to go into the creative work I am doing, towards my personal and professional goals, towards my fitness, towards making new memories with friends or loved ones, or maybe towards nurturing myself. There are tons of things I have in mind that’ll make me happier if I do/achieve them compared to multiplying my money 1x-5x in the short-term.

But you might say that “oh, but you are earning decent money and maybe that’s why you don’t care”.

buying-bitcoin-bullshit-blog-themadscientistlab(dot)com-bitcoin-meaningless-sankalp-sinha
Bullshit people give for buying bitcoins are endless

Here’s why it’s bullshit: How many people you know who are/were broke but started investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies? I know none. I have not seen a poor guy or someone who’s broke has started investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies. Everyone who has invested moderately/heavily in Bitcoin/cryptocurrencies is earning or has earned a decent amount of money. Plus if you’re poor/broke and you’ve put money in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies, you’re not investing, you’re gambling. Yes, you read that right! Investing in something without knowing what it does or really means, equals to gambling.

So think twice before investing in things that promise you quick/more return in the shortest time possible. DON’T fall into propaganda.

buying-bitcoin-is-propoganda-blog-themadscientistlab(dot)com-bitcoin-meaningless-sankalp-sinha
Don’t listen to people and follow the propaganda. Choose wisely!

P.S.: This post is not about robbing you of your opportunity of investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies or into anything else. Just by writing this post, I, for myself, am making sure that wherever my time and energy goes, it’s giving me the most value in return in terms of feeling joy, feeling content and feeling worthy (mostly the qualitative metric rather than quantitive). And I get that one cannot apply the same filter to everything that’s happening in life, but bitcoin/cryptocurrencies just don’t cut it to my to-do list when it comes to feeling accomplished for reasons I mentioned above. And I hope that this post will help someone gain that same perspective and choose better for themselves instead of investing in bitcoin/cryptocurrencies or any other quick-money-making investment opportunity in future.

Happy Christmas and choose wisely! 🙂

HackerNews discussion ->

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Getting along with minimal lifestyle-design again – #ProjectDoMoreWithLess

2016 has been an interesting and learning year for me. Both personally and professionally.

Personally, I was into my new relationship and was learning to adapt to differential habits we as humans have. It’s interesting how we want everyone else to be like us i.e. force our likings/habits and in the process ruin the relationship altogether. My learning from this is to embrace difference we all have as humans. I am still learning and it’s a long way to go.

Professionally, 2016 was more like reading/learning year for me. I didn’t design much but was reading about design and product development/management. My learning from this journey is that don’t just read articles or watch videos, put them into action. Plus, do one thing at a time and keep your mind focused on one goal until you get a good grip on it. Pretty obvious, right?! Well everyone has their right to their mistakes – a Good mistake that I did, was taking up too many projects at work and doing average in all of them. A year passed and from a design point of view in my career, I was at the same place I was in 2015. I grew very little in terms of enhancing/developing my design skills. Again, that’s another story for another blog post.

This blog post is about a new habit that I am trying to adopt lately. It’s about finding happiness by owning less. It’s about clearing up space around, both physically and mentally for the things that matter the most. It’s about reducing stress while increasing satisfaction and thus happiness in life. It’s about practicing Minimalism in every aspect of life.

This realization of practicing and putting minimalism in place came sudden and strong when I moved to a new apartment this year. In past 3 years, I’ve moved to 4 new apartments, all in 4 different locations/neighbourhood.

House #1 [Delhi]

House #2 [Delhi]

House #3 [Pune]

House #4 [Pune]

This constant change has led me to know more about the things I own. Every time I move to a new apartment, I come across things that I haven’t used for ages, but still kept them for any x number of reasons.

This year, while moving to my 3rd apartment, I noticed that I wasn’t using about 20%-30% of my total stuff and probably will not in near future as well. To give the gist, I had 2-3 shirts that I never wore, a small fridge that I wasn’t going to use because I live in a fully-furnished apt. now which has a bigger fridge, 2-3 extra bed sheets, 3 blue inked extra ball point pens, 2 same color highlighters, so on and so forth.

It was clear that I have hoarded a lot and using very less of my stuff. I’ve tried shedding things in the past but I do it when I am free or have nothing to do on a weekend. But this time I wanted to take this seriously and make this a habit. I needed to shed my belongings.

[Side note: If you’re struggling to see the value in adopting minimalism, don’t read further. Go and read why & how Joshua BeckerJoshua, Ryan and Leo Babauta adopted minimalism.]

Starting this year, among my other new year resolutions, I decided to audit my belongings, from big to medium to the smallest thing that I keep, I’ll audit everything, every 3-4 months. But in order to audit them in the most effective manner, I needed a system where I can track all my useless belongings better so later I can come back to it and decide to throw, donate, or sell.

Here’s how I am doing it:

  1. I am auditing every section of my house every 3rd or 4th month depending upon my availability and stuff hoarded along the way. After shedding a little in the last 6 months, I still have 3 closets to review.
  2. I have divided 4 sections for 4 weekends for the audit month. For example, I’ll audit kitchen the 1st weekend, bedroom room on 2nd, washroom on 3rd, and if anything is left, I am keeping the 4th weekend for that. Since I live in a studio apt., I don’t have rooms i.e. there’s only one room which has attached kitchen and washroom + a small balcony, but dividing them into sections is still easy.
  3. Maintain a note – Track everything. I am using Evernote to keep track of things that I am not using. You can use a notebook or a A4 paper. Don’t let this be an excuse. Just use anything to remember what you’re not using and can shed. Ex:
  4. Action time! Sell, donate or throw – Just do it! Once I’ve identified the items I’m not using or going to use, from different rooms/sections of my house, I decide what to do with them. I am using a combination of The 20-20 Method and The KonMari Method to decide what to do with my items. [I’ve explained what both of these rules mean below]

Rules you can follow:

You can use different rules or a combination of them while auditing and deciding what to do. I’ll list 3 of them here:

  1. The 20-20 Method by TheMinimalist.com says: “If you can get the item within 20 minutes of where you are and by spending less than $20, then you donate, sell or throw the item”
  2. The KonMari Method™ by Marie Kondo says (simplifying here) that if your belongings don’t spark joy when you hold them or when you’re around them, you should discard them. This is quite subjective and needs to be understood before applying.
  3. One Job, Multiple solutions Method says if you have multiple items for doing the same job, you can just keep one and shed the rest. For example, if you have 10 pens and you usually use 1-2 of them, you should shed the rest. People often keep things for the sake of keeping it. A lot of us are hoarders in general and like to collect stuff. Remember that collecting for the sake of it, is dangerous. It adds up to your space mentally and physically. You’ll spend more time maintaining stuff that you don’t own compared to using that time to do something you love.

So what’s my progress?

I’ve started auditing my stuff this year but will be doing this more seriously now. Here are things that I’ve shed so far (with details):

This will be an ongoing process and I’ll keep updating this post. If you want to stay updated and follow me on my minimal journey, you can follow me on my Instagram Profile – I’ll be updating there too.

If you’re auditing your belongings or just starting up, I’d love to know your process and the journey so far. Feel free to mention in comments!

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DIY : Smartphone holder

A few months back my phone (Blackberry Z10) started being buggy, slow and non-responsive, so I had to buy a new phone. I bought a OnePlus 3.

For some context, I have also started working towards designing a clean and functional workspace since last 2 years. Here’s what my current workspace looks like (long way to go though):

desk-1

desk-2

More on the history and love of designing a great workspace in a separate blog post. Moving on, I wanted a phone holder for my new phone because of these reasons:

  1. I spend most my time on my desk when I work on design/non-design related projects. So picking up my phone every time some notification has come up takes time and is annoying after a couple of times.
  2. Just peeking what has come and moving along (if it’s not important) with the work that I am doing is preferred
  3. I like things organized and clean around me

So I decided to make a phone holder instead of buying as I didn’t want to spend Rs. 500 or more in a good and sturdy phone holder. Below you’ll find steps to design your own phone holder and how much it can cost you. Here’s what the final model will look like:

finished-look

So, here are the steps to design your own phone holder:

  1. Sketch your design. Here’s mine:
    step-1-sketch
  2. Stuff you need to design the product:
    step-2-things

    • Mount board x 2 – Rs. 50
    • Long Scissor x 1 – Rs. 150
    • Long scale (30 cm preferred) x 1 – Rs. 150
    • Fevicol (100 gms) x 1 – Rs. 50
    • Feviquick 3 gms x 5 packs – Rs. 50
    • Binder Clip (6 pieces) – Rs. 100
    • Total will be Rs. 300-400 if you have few items like Ruler and Scissor at your home. Otherwise, the cost will go around Rs. 500 or below
  3. Cut long sheet to create the base (6 cm wide and 42 cm long):
    step-3-cut-long
  4. Fold from the middle and glue them together to make the stand sturdy:
    step-4-fold-to-make-strong
  5. Glue the board together with the help of Fevicol and clip them with the help of a Binder clip to make sure that all the sides are glued evenly:
    step-5-glue-them-together-and-clip
  6. Fold them around the middle so that one side is 12 cm and other is 9 cm or less. The 12 cm will be the base of holder:
    step-6-fold-from-the-middle
  7. Add bridges. The bridges should be the width of 1-2 cm length depending upon your speaker/charging port placement at the bottom of the phone. Bridges will be used to rest the phone:
    step-7-add-bridges-for-the-back-support
  8. Cut one more mount board with same width i.e. 6 cm and glue it with the rest. The length will depend upon the angle you want for the holder. I used 6 cm for the bottom and 8 cm for the top:
    step-8-connect-with-the-rest-1step-8-connect-with-the-rest-2
  9. Put a bit of Fevicol and Feviquick around the joints to make the bond stronger:
    step-9-put-fevicol-on-the-joints-to-make-them-sturdy
  10. Here’s how it’ll look like once gluing is done:
    step-10-heres-how-itll-look
  11. I also made two, one bigger for my OnePlus 3 which is 5.5” and a smaller one for my BlackBerry z10 (if I use it ever):
    step-11-made-two
  12. Put a little more Fevicol on the sides to smooth the edges out:
    step-12-smooth-out-the-sides-by-using-fevicol
  13. Once you’re satisfied with the edges and overall finish in terms of smoothness, paint them with any wood paint color. I chose white:step-13-paint-them
  14. Here’s what it’ll look once painted well. Remember to add 1-2 layers of paint to make it look more glossy. Here’s the bigger model:
    step-14-finsihed-bigger
  15. Here’s the small one:
    step-15-finished-small
  16. Here’s the top view of my workspace now 😀
    step-16-finished-top

Hope the steps are enough to give you a gist of the process and can be helpful if you decide to make one yourself.

Tip: Use Feviquick smartly and don’t let it touch your skin, or else your hands will look like this:
zhands

Let me know if you have any thoughts/comments about this DIY smartphone holder. Happy creating! 🙂

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Good read – January 2016

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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! 🙂

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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]
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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]
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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]