A normal day

This document essentially documents that way of life, some principles, some rules for myself and how i plan to spend rest the year. In other words, this document is simply a manual for an year long experiment.

Meta ideas #

  • Right mindset: instead of saying “i’ll solve this task today”, put your best effort for a period of time continuously over the days.

  • Practice:

    • Deliberate practice is what helps the average brain lift into the realm of those naturally gifted.
    • Practicing certain mental patterns deepens your mind.
    • Do mixed practice instead of block practiceexternal link . eg. practice after finishing the book(mixed) vs practicing after finishing the chapter(block). This way we use much more cognitive power.
      • Blocked practice (practicing the same skill under the same conditions) leads to more rapid gains in performance but limited transfer when variability is introduced.
      • Random/Mixed practice (adding variability and interleaving practice types) slows learning but improves retention and transfer.
  • Be real:

    • Donโ€™t fool yourselfexternal link . Donโ€™t blindly believe in your intellectual abilities.
    • Having a team can bring those projections down.
  • Pomodoro: In the sessions where it’s pure learning, make sure to use the tomato technique ๐Ÿ…

  • No snooze: if possible, never postpone what’s on agenda, never snooze

  • 0 days: if it’s a habit, no zero days

  • Hard things:

    • Do hard things daily so that hard tasks become regular task. break things down.
    • If something seems too hard, create a simpler version of the problem.
  • Study: See Taking study notes

  • Build/Apply:

    • If learning, build something out of it. A product, a poem, whatever.
    • At the least, list 2 things that can be built with the new knowledge.
    • Chunking is the act of grouping concepts into compact packages of information that are easier for the mind to access. Apply chunking.
  • Procrastination: It’s a habit that affects many areas of life. Just start, that’s the trick.

  • Complex things:

    • Often helpful to pretend that you are the concept youโ€™re trying to understand.
    • You learn complex concepts by trying to make sense out of the information you perceive. Not by having someone else telling it to you.
  • Sleep:

    • Sleep is part of the learning process. Consume new information and let your brain rest on it, so that you can learn on top of it. Don’t fuck w it.Incremental learning, otherwise it’s like building a wall without letting it dry.
    • Sleep also affects my mood, so it’s extremely important for me to get right amount of sleep.
  • Context switch: See how to context switch

  • Habit:

    • Habit is an energy saver! no need to focus when performing different habitual tasks.
    • Once your brain starts expecting a reward only then will the important rewiring takes place that will allow you to create new habits.

Guidelines #

  • Building & Learning cycle:
    • 2 weeks of building then 1 week of learning cycle will keep my mind sane.
  • Reminders:
    • Because the list of capture keeps growing, remind self to consume something everyday.
    • Remind self to do spaced repetition. when coming back to some info, try recalling it without looking at it, re-read only after you recall. Recall references too.
  • Meetings:
    • Only happens if they are on agenda
    • Try keeping less meetings either way
    • Tune people out. demand too much effort? feeling not so good about it? cancel it.
  • Entry:
    • Any day, other than Friday; ๐Ÿ’ป
      • Plan next day at the end of the evening of the working day (easier to disconnect, be present)
      • “park facing downhill” : Leave work in a state where there’s an obvious and easy task to start the next day with.
      • Use anti_lib.org and syllabi.org to fill study and consume sections in the agenda.
    • If Friday; ๐Ÿบ
      • Plan next week on the evening, go into weekend with a clear mind
      • Sync syllabus.org, syllabi.org and anti_lib.org

Daily agenda #

Calendar and Schedule #

  • Day outline: Google calendar linkexternal link | Org file(l.org)external link
  • We have a ouline of the day, the source for that is always l.org. It’s not prone to frequent change. I do not plan to change it in atleast 6months. It’s on repeat, exported to ics and imported to google calendar as ouline calendar.
  • New tasks for org-agenda will go in tasks.org if I have to create one from my laptop. we have the custom daily agenda view that I created(which will not contain external google calendar events).
  • Otherwise, I am allowed to create events in my own google calendar and use the calendars together. This gives me best of both worlds.

Weekday time distribution #

Duration Task Time split
02h workout + bath + meditation 90+30
07h study/build/hack 3+2+2
02h math/formal methods/thinking 1+1
01h Consume new information 1
08h Sleep 8
04h Chores 4

Weekend time distribution #

Duration Task Time split
02h workout + bath + meditation 90+30
01h study/build/hack 1
08h Sleep 8
13h whatever the fuck 13

Weird things #

Now it might be stupid to have such rituals but I decided to live life a certain way for which I am giving up on certain things, I have accepted that there are some things that i’ll never do etc. etc.

  • Morning Ritualexternal link : Basically puts the day into perspective. I use thisexternal link .
  • Night Ritualexternal link : I had this feeling of not doing enough, not knowing what’s going on etc. Now that feeling is normal and infact sometimes the fact but it does not help. Putting some kind of closure to the day helps.
  • Power nap: I usually don’t need this, but sometimes it’s different(I cannot describe how different) and I need to sleep for a while. Dreams are super weird when this happens but I think sleeping is sort of the way out of that weird feeling that I feel some afternoons.
  • Context switch ritual
  • If I am stressing out. drink water < double breathe in+lookup to the bulb < go for walk < boiler room music+try to focus < sleep < take a break for a day < eat favorite food < call a friend < cry < re-think life.

Daily management tools #

Because I get zoned out of my life so much, I need help all the time. After a fair amount of experimentation, I’ve settled on this set of tools just to manage time and energy.

  • Habits: Using loop habit trackerexternal link for tracking things that I consider habits.
  • Time tracking: I did not really need a time tracking but at the moment I am actively trying to make progress in 16 different subjects and I can’t really measure individual progress so easily because some things are related to work, some are purely interest and so on. But keeping track of time will help me see if I am leaving any subject behind, if i am not paying enough attention to some subject(ofc prioritization has its own place). For time tracking, I am using Track & Graphexternal link .
  • Distractions and Pomodoro: The forestappexternal link is great, I bought the pro one and works nicely when it comes to handling phone distractions for me.
  • Task management: Any new task pops up, if in emacs it goes to org-capture to tasks.org. If not, write it in paper/board/phone notes app and later transfer it into tasks.org. Once that is done, we plan for the next day each day and we plan for the next week each friday. Then use tasks.org to fill appropriate sections of the day in my personal google calendar.