Categories
Thoughts

Theme for 2024

Previous themes

Review

The Theme for 2023 was Stability and looking back, I think that I’ve probably made great strides towards that. Not all the time, but most of the times I opted for the choice that gave me more peace in my mind, and generally I feel that I am in calmer waters now.

left: where I was; right: where I want to be | circa. 2023

I think I got pretty close to what I aimed for 12 months ago.

Some nice things that happened in 2023 for me.

  • Became a husband
  • Settled in my new house and held countless house warmings
  • Started to take Youtube more seriously @kaitypes
  • Travelled to Japan, Taiwan and Bali
  • Changed team at work and started working on a new project
  • Got 5 new keyboards 🙈

While talking to my wife on new year’s eve, I figured what my theme for 2024 will be.

Create more than I consume

I’ve noticed this dangerous trend I’m on where I’ve been spending countless hours consuming… stuff. Mindlessly scrolling Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube instead of creating my own content. Ordering take outs for almost every meal instead of cooking at home. Working on others’ priorities at work rather than creating my own to be more clear about what needs to be done. Buying more and more camera gear instead of just posting/sharing what I’ve already shot. I’ve shot thousands of photos that I just need to make some effort of sharing.

I feel I have to explain this a little because it’s not the usual “be healthier”, “get richer”, “be nicer”. Why create instead of consume?

Put simply, creation brings value to the world, while consumption at best does nothing, and at worst takes value away from the world. I feel a innate desire to be a man that brings value, not be a mindless zombie.

Feel free to google “Create more than you consume” and you’ll see lots of articles telling you about the benefits of creating. Benefits like being able to learn better, to practice mindfulness, to create luck for yourself.

When I imagine a movie about me, I wouldn’t want the movie to be 2 hours of me just… eat sleep work repeat. If there’s an autobiography about me, I would like at least 300 pages of something interesting.

Current status

Technically, I’ve been creating journal entries pretty much everyday so hopefully I’ll be able to channel this energy into other endeavours.

  • 2021: Migrated from another platform
  • 2022: Missed 29 days
  • 2023: Missed 4 days (I’m actually shocked and proud of this)

Because of this journal, I considered not hosting a blog anymore because, I haven’t been writing much, have no idea who even reads this. But since the theme is creation, let’s give it another try.

Even though December 2023 has been pretty terrible as I’ve been sick for almost the entire month, plus closing the last week with Covid has been less than ideal. That said, I am hopeful for 2024 and if this theme works, I’m poised for an exciting year.


Finally to recap, a theme differs from a resolution because it’s not a goal. I would not have failed if I’ve created less than I’ve consumed in 2024. The purpose of a theme is to act as a guide during decision points. When given a choice, this guide will point me towards creation instead of consumption.

Happy new year!

Categories
Thoughts

How to be more open to more ideas

Random thoughts at night while in reservist.

Recently my wife asked me: “how is it that we both read the same thing, or attend the same event, and yet the insights you glean is deeper than me?

I realised that I have change my approach to any form of incoming information these days. I consciously try to interact with an open mind. The point of reading is not the agree with everything the author says, but to be open to new perspectives, ideas and approaches that I may not have considered or dismissed previously. I also try not to be too quick to dismiss an idea just because it sounds ridiculous on the first pass.

As with many things in life, an idea exists on a spectrum. It is very rarely that someone is just outright wrong about something, it is way more likely that the idea is just a suboptimal solution for a given problem. Since everyone’s situation and context is different there is almost always a completely acceptable reason for the “wrong” conclusion that someone ends up with.

When I try to distill down the thoughts and actions that I take when given new information, I think it boils down to these few things.

  1. Am I too proud to admit that there’s a chance I could be wrong?
  2. Can I see it making any sense given multiple situations?
  3. Do I agree with the author’s approach?
  4. Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone to try the approach?

For example, I recently read a book named “How to talk to anyone”, that there’s a method of eye contact known as epoxy eyes where you have your eyes completely glued onto a person to show interest. My understanding of eye contact is that I should not maintain it for long periods of time because it can be off-puting, but the author suggests that there are positive effects when done correctly.

I am open to the idea that I could be wrong about what I know of eye contact, and I can imagine it making sense when trying to court a partner. I do not know if I agree with the author’s approach, but I am willing to step out of my comfort zone to give it a shot. And then through experiencing it I am able to better judge if this bit of information has any usefulness in my life.

That’s all, just needed a place to dump my midnight thoughts.

Categories
Thoughts

I enjoy being terrible at things

I enjoying being terrible at things… at the start. I don’t enjoy staying terrible at it. So recently my friend invited me to play tennis and I was extremely hesitant at first; because I’m a complete newb and I’m worried that I’ll injure my wrist with all that table tennis muscle memory.

I was pleasantly wrong. Gave it a shot last week and I’ve just came back from my second session today. It has been so long that I’ve been this shit at something. It’s honestly a refreshing experience because as I get older, I realise that I’m less open to new experiences and often stay within my comfort zone, only doing things within my area of expertise. Looks like I’ve been missing out on life.

However, I feel it is important to experience new things with people of similar experience level. If I were to be absolutely thrashed in my first session, it would most likely crush any motivation for a second session. (it would also be really boring for that advanced player). It is really exciting to improve with a group of like-minded and similarly-skilled people.

I draw similarities with a TikTok I saw recently about how we should seek mentors that’s within our skill/situation range. i.e. If I’m starting a new business, I wouldn’t look for a mentor who is coaching people with millions. Instead, I should look for someone who can get me from $0 to the first $10k, and another person who can help me get from $10k to $100k, and someone who can get me from $100k to $1 million.

It’s the realisation that we need different groups of people at different stages of our lives in order to progress from where we are, otherwise we’ll just stagnate. It’s not that one group of people is better than the other, but it’s necessary for each group to exist in our lives in order to grow (and of course, those people will do their own growing as well).

Would I be playing tennis with this group of people a year or two from now? It’s unlikely. But they are the folks who help get me from zero to one, and I hope to reflect upon this period of time as a fond memory in the future.

Categories
Productivity Thoughts

Keep my productivity simple

For a long time, I’ve been trying to figure out how to be more focused and productive. I’ve had mixed success, with periods of enhanced productivity, and periods where I barely accomplish anything at the end of the day.

What I’ve tried:

  • living in the calendar
    • everything goes into the calendar
    • block out time for myself to do stuffs
  • living in the todo list
    • everything goes into the list, both short and long term
  • mixing both calendar and todo list
  • doing an “inbox” system where any adhoc tasks go into this inbox and pushed them into the various places that it belongs so that I can work on them later
    • e.g. email gets flagged, messages set to remind
  • digital pomodoro timer on the computer/phone
  • journal style where I jolt down the list of important things that I want to get done in a week
  • a simple physical paper todo list
    • max 3 items
    • 1 item that is a star item that I must do that day

They are all useful techniques which has seen some success but the reason they have failed me is because of one simple reason.

discipline to follow through and do it consistently

me – all my life

All of them require me to keep a top level list of items that help me to visualise the amount of work I have, and to groom it consistently. The moment I miss out 1 or 2 items, or say “it’s too much effort to add this item in cause it’s just going to take 10 mins”, this system kind of falls apart because I lose the discipline to keep it “up to date”.

After many attempts, I finally stumble upon something that worked for me.

Physical pomodoro timer

How does it work? Just turn the knob and it will start counting down. I started with trying the 4 cycle pomorodo that goes.

  1. 25 mins work, 5 min break
  2. 25 mins work, 5 min break
  3. 25 mins work, 5 min break
  4. 25 mins work, 15 min break

So every 2 hours 10 mins (130mins), I get 100 mins of actual quality work in. This is the default setting that most pomodoro technique uses and if you’re trying it out, I would suggest you to give this configuration a try. Notice how I call this a configuration, it’s not meant to be static, but rather to be dynamic and fit your working habits. So if your work is the type that requires a good 45 mins of concentration each time, make it work for you, not the other way around.

The point of any productivity technique is to get you into the groove of the work, or what some would call the “flow state”, so if you’re in the zone and the timer goes off, don’t stop, don’t break the momentum, you can proceed to the next block of time without taking a break, don’t let the process break your flow.

All I’ve done so far is explained what the pomodoro technique is, and I’ve tried it before, so what changed? What’s the difference between a physical timer versus a digital timer I see on my screen?

1. Visibility / Obviousness

A digital timer can get hidden behind windows, it seems like such an innocuous behaviour but “out of sight, out of mind” has a very strong effect on me. Being able to see the highlighted part of the timer go down is a really strong visual indicator on the amount of time that is left. More so than numbers counting down on a screen.

2. Ease of use

Twisting a physical knob is all I have to do. A digital timer requires me to click into settings, or go through a few clicks to choose a specific time. It’s not as straight forward to set an arbitrary 17 mins.

3. I can use it when I’m not on my computer

I’m digital native, but there are still things I enjoy doing that is not on the computer. Being able to use the pomodoro technique for practicing arts and crafts is super useful, and it reduces the chance of me getting distracted by something else on the internet.

If you’re wondering which product I’m using, it’s this secura 60 minute visual timer. I’m not getting paid for this, so feel free to choose any physical pomodoro timer that works for you (p.s. there’s a ton out there).

Summary

I’ve been using the physical timer for about a month or so and I notice that it has boosted my productivity noticeably. Of course I don’t use it purely on its own, I still rely on todos, Second Brain, and the Zettelkasten method; I just don’t have to use those methods as religiously, and still have faith that I will still be able to get my stuffs done.. This timer is just a really simple way to trick myself to start working, and get something done. Give it a try if you’re struggling as much as me.

Categories
Development Reviews

Mac Mini M1

disclaimer: I started writing this in Nov 2021 but I totally forgot about it until now, but it’s such a waste to throw it away so I’m still publishing it and adding my experiences with it so far.

I bought a Mac Mini M1 on 26 October 2021; with this new addition, I’ve been fully assimilated into the Apple Ecosystem.

  • iPhone 11
  • Apple Watch SE
  • iPad Pro 2018
  • Air Pods Pro
  • Macbook Pro 2020 (work)

I’ve achieved the level of integration where one phone call causes all my devices to ring and sing for my attention. If anyone knew me before, they would’ve known that I’m really not that much of an Apple fan. Each Apple devices that I own are the first Apple I’ve bought in their category. At this point you might be asking why did I go for an Apple desktop, and at this point, “why not?

Okay I do have legit reasons for buying it other than this whimsical “why not” argument.

  • I want to edit videos, and I really like Final Cut Pro
  • I want to do more development and I’m more comfortable coding on MacOS
    • or any *nix environment but.. I’m sure you can agree that macos is way more polished than any linux distribution
  • I don’t really game much on my windows desktop these days
  • my table is small, a small computer makes sense
  • the M1 chip is really efficient and I like to save electricity if possible

Predicting the questions a reader might have

Why didn’t I wait for the M2 chip?
I waited almost a year hoping the the Mac Mini will get refreshed but it didn’t. Rumours is that it’ll come out mid of 2022 and, there’s no point waiting so long for performance between M1 and M1 Pro.
(edit: it’s Feb 2023 and Apple finally announced M2 option for the Mac Mini, I’m extremely glad I didn’t bother waiting for it.)

Why didn’t I get the new M1 Pro/Max Macbooks?
Have you seen the price on those puppies?! Sorry, starting from $2,999 is too much for a home computer that I don’t plan to do any intense work on it.
(edit: if I have to make the choice again now, I will strongly consider the M2 Macbook Air.)

3 weeks experience

The first thing that stood out to me is how quiet the Mac Mini is, it’s honestly quite hard to tell if it’s on without going 20cm next to it and hear the quiet whoosh of the fans spinning.

The second thing was the performance, it has been extremely snappy in doing day to day operations. What got me extremely excited was when I timed the start up times of my [[ZSH]] shell after installing all my usual plugins and settings. An average start up time of 0.004 seconds.

Try running this function on your shell to have a nice comparison of how crazy 0.004 seconds is.

timezsh() {
  shell=${1-$SHELL}
  for i in $(seq 1 10); do /usr/bin/time $shell -i -c exit; done
}

I have not run into any software compatibility issues with any of my tools, which I’m super pleased with. This is inline with what all the reviewers have been saying, Rosetta 2 is pretty damn amazing. Then again, it has been a year so most of the kinks have already been worked out, and all the tools I use have already been updated; so gains the triple S rating of super smooth sailing.

Photo Editing

I decided to try out Luminar AI instead of Lightroom this time round, purely because I’m not really a fan of Adobe’s subscription pricing, and all the demos of the tasty AI assisted effects has tempted me. Since it’s my first time using Luminar AI, I have no idea how much of the performance is the software, and how much is the hardware, but it is reasonably speedy.

Compared to my current desktop running Lightroom on an Intel i7 8700 w/ GTX 1050TI, I would say that the Mac Mini is a hair faster for photo edits.

Edit: 2023, I have actually switched back to using Adobe Lightroom because I’m just more familiar with it and the controls made more sense to me. It’s not exactly “quick”, but it’s definitely more than capable for editing pictures.

Video Editing

2023: Well, I had every thought and intention to use it for video editing but with Covid cutting off travel, and procrastination in shooting videos meant that I haven’t exactly completed a video edit since I bought it. x⸑x

After using it for over a year

Since I don’t really game much, I didn’t feel I’ve missed out much ever since switching over to the Mac Mini M1. Performance is more than enough for daily tasks, and I haven’t felt the urge to upgrade it yet.

Storage is an issue though as I’m running out with the paltry 500GB. Initial plans were to attach a dock with external storage, but yet another thing that I haven’t got around to doing.

Streaming

I did use it to do some light streaming/recording tasks and it handled it beautifully. No observable lags, but to be fair, it’s just recording of my desktop plus 1 camera, plus some code compilation at the same time, so it’s not a particularly intensive workload.

Development

Only used it for personal projects so it’s not really anything intensive. But running docker and some node applications at the same time with hot reload was smooth and changes were nearly instant. I don’t recall a situation where I thought “why are the changes not complied yet”.

Summary

The Mac Mini is such a compelling option for anyone who doesn’t game. The performance to price ratio is unbeatable. And the M2 option improves on this point again while bringing the price down.

If you’re just looking for a no-frills desktop computer, I can 100% recommend this.

Categories
Thoughts

Theme for 2023

Continuing the theme of setting themes at the start of each year, here’s my theme for 2023

Stability

For posterity

Review

Healthier diet: I’ve probably failed to stick to this theme more times than I can count, but it has also helped guide me to a healthier choice more times than I can count. Perhaps it’s an indication of my ability to count. Anyway, this theme wasn’t foolproof but at the very least I think there’s a significant improvement compared to when I was without a guide. Having a health type of theme for 2 years has imprinted enough muscle memory that I probably don’t need it for the third year, which is the whole point of doing this!

Improving relationships: this is even harder to measure than health, I’m a poor judge of the outcome of my relationships, but I am fairly comfortable in saying that I have made efforts in keeping in touch with my close friends, to be a better colleague, and soon to be a good husband. I have depleted my social energy and trained my mental muscle to really consider hanging out instead of cooping up at home.

Stability

Much has happened in 2022, it was a hell of a roller coaster ride, and it’s a long ass ride because I feel I’ve not gotten off it yet.

From anime: Saint Oniisan

In hindsight, I would say that almost everything that stressed me out last year has been resolved, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. New year finally rolled around, I’ve levelled up to the new meta and I’m not liking the first patch notes, there are subsequent patches to my status that I’m looking forward to so not all is bad.

What stability means to me as a guide is that, when given a choice, I will take the less risky option, the choice that gives me a more peace of mind, anything that can calm the turbulent waves

This also means that I’ll be taking the more boring choice, and that will lead to slower progress in general, but right now I prefer to move at a slower pace where my footing is sure, instead of a topsy curvy path where I’ve no idea what the future will throw at me.

Left: where I am. Right: where I want to be.

Others

I also do wish to publish more regularly, I even bought a dedicated keyboard (QK60) just to do this. I have ideas of doing videos, but perhaps I’ll start with written content and progress to videos? The more I plan, the more I realise how much time and effort content creators pour into their craft. It’s all too easy to sit back and consume content of others.

Well, at least I manage to finish writing this before the end of January, here’s to a better year for all of us.

Categories
Thoughts

Dealing with emotions

In the past couple of weeks, I feel that I’ve been in an extraordinary amount of stress and emotional turmoil. There has been… 7 stress generators and I’ve honestly felt overwhelmed every single day.

Thankfully at this point of writing, it has been reduced to 4.

I’m going to write about how I’ve dealt with all these things happening all at once; for me to reference in the future, and for the random reader that might find this useful. It’s a combination of thoughts, ideas, phrases that has helped me.

  1. Feelings are real but not reality; acknowledge that whatever that I’m feeling is real, then let it go. Just because it feels like the world is burning doesn’t mean that it really is.
  2. The english language identifies emotion as part of yourself; “I am sad”, implies that you are sadness. I like the Irish phrase of “ta bron orm”, which translates to “sadness is on me”. It’s just an emotion that is on you for the time being.
  3. This too shall pass; Winter always turns to spring; The darker the night, the nearer the dawn
  4. Focus on being present, if you focus on the present, there are very little things that is a problem right now. If you are sheltered and well fed, there are no problems that exist in the now. Most of our modern problems exists in the future.
  5. Anxiety and fear are emotions that are future-oriented, sadness is past oriented. Recognise that these emotions exists to help me make better decisions in the present.
  6. Do the next and most necessary thing, it is all, and the only thing that I can do.
  7. Suffering only exist because I care about it, and caring about anything gives it meaning. Trying to avoid suffering is to care less, which makes it less meaningful, which is just running away. Thus, I accept the suffering because it’s the only way for me to find meaning in life.
  8. Regardless of how it looks in retrospective, I believe that I always make the best decision given what I know at the moment. Therefore, if what I know changes, have the courage to make a different decision.
  9. Write 3 things that I’m grateful for everyday because honestly, it could’ve been worse
  10. Choose to be kind, if it’s all the same then might as well
Categories
Books Learning Thoughts

Self-help books reflection

Thoughts from this year’s reservice, unlike one of the past years where I was focused on being a mobile warrior; this time I was more focused on reading and catching up on all the books that I’ve loaded into my kindle but I haven’t made time for.

Naturally, my army mates saw the kindle got curious about what books I’ve been reading, so I started sharing some of the things I’ve learnt over the past couple of months, and also shamelessly plugging some of the reflection that I’ve written previously.

This was when I got the feedback of: “I’ve always thought that self-help books are useless because the things they say are pretty much common sense, what’s the point of reading it?”. I absolutely agreed with that sentiment because that was exactly how I felt when I started reading these type of books. However, the more I read, the less skeptical I became about this whole idea of self-help.

What I’ve learnt from these self-help books is mainly about building distinctions. What are distinctions? It is the ability to distinguish one thing from another. e.g. how do you distinguish an apple from an orange? Or harder distinctions like fuscia vs hot pink colors. It’s about how we see the world very differently from one another, even if we are looking at exactly the same thing. For example, what I am able to distinguish from looking at a fish is very different from what a sushi chef. It’s because the chef has built distinctions that I just couldn’t see; i.e. the intricate breakdown of the fish parts, whether it’s tasty or not.

Similarly, as long as all the “common sense” remain as concepts or thoughts in my head without actualizing into tangible forms like words, it remains a fleeting idea that I would have a really hard time distinguishing in real life. This is a huge part of why I enjoy writing. Writing has always helped to organize the thoughts in my head, because what makes sense in my headspace is ephemeral. If I’m not able to communicate that to anyone else, it remains as this abstract cloud of energy in my head. Consequently, being able to form words that can translate sensibly in someone else’s head is a whole other challenge on it’s own.

I have found that many of these self-help books have concepts that are extremely similar to one another, twins in some cases, cousins in others, but they are definitely in the same family. In my private reflections, I often find myself referencing similar key points from various books. This drives home the point that when the same concepts are communicated with a different choice of words, it gives the concept a slightly different meaning. I believe that there really is a subtle difference in how the authors understood these concepts from one another. Thus when I attempt to explain it to others, I will probably form a different string of words due my own (and slightly different) understanding of the concept.

Another enlightening moment came when I was explaining the books to my friend. It is the old adage “teaching someone else is the best way to learn“. Yes, the adage makes intuitive sense. Yes, I’ve experienced this phenomenon before. But this is the first time I’ve felt as if I’ve understood it. The examples I’ve written above is a direct result of my attempts to explain the books to my friend. It seems only through the act of actually teaching others over and over that you tangible-lized these concepts into something that only you yourself can access. It’s really one of those “you’ll get it once you do it” type of situations.

And now I have reached the part where I have no idea how to end this post off because I am writing this in a spur of inspiration. So, I’ll summarize with the few points I was trying to make

  1. Give self-help books a open-minded shot even though it might seem like common sense, it’s not that I doubt you are a perfectly well-adjusted human being, but.. where’s the harm in trying to be better?
  2. Communication is hard, you’re essentially trying to use a tangible medium to relay your intangible thoughts
  3. Forming distinctions is how we can differentiate things, so form as many as you can
  4. Teaching others is really the best way to learn
Categories
Books Productivity Reviews

10 things I learnt from Four Thousand Weeks

I’ve been into self-help books recently, and I’ve just finished reading Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. I really enjoyed it, so I’ve compiled a list of learnings that was super helpful for me and wanted to share about it.

1. You won’t have time to do everything that you want to do

On average you only have 4000 weeks on earth, you cannot possibly do everything that you want to do. Many of us imagine time as a conveyor belt that is constantly passing us by, each hour or week is like a container carried on the belt, which we feel compelled to fill up as it passes if we were to feel that we’re making good use of our time. When there are too many things to fit in the container, we feel unpleasantly busy, when there are too few, we feel bored. If we keep pace with the passing containers, we congratulate ourselves for “staying on top of things” and feel like we’ve justified our existence; if we let too many pass by unfilled, we feel we’ve wasted them.

The more we attempt mastery over time, to attain the feeling of total control over your time, the more we face the inevitable constraints of being human. Embrace your limitations as a human, that you will most definitely not have the time for everything that you want to do — “and so, at the very least, you can stop beating yourself up for failing”.

2. Eigenzeit – Proper Time

time inherent to a process itself

Meaningful productivity: not hurrying things but for letting things take the time that they should. We often feel busy because we try to do more in less time. But many things/processes has a set amount of time defined by the nature of it, rushing it only frustrates you.

Farmers don’t feel idle when they are not working because they know that they cannot hurry the earth

However long it takes for harvest is however long it is going to take. Just like you can’t rush a pregnancy, there are many things in life where we need to learn to let things run its course and stop rushing.

(cue the math question about how long giving birth will take with 1 versus 9 women)

3. Freedom through commitments; Joy of missing out

When you commit, you foreclose the possibility of the future; who could say if that possibility is any better? But it is this act of commitment that makes the choice meaningful. Choosing the right things to commit to frees you up to do things that truly matters to you.

Joy of missing out, the opposite of FOMO. If you don’t choose what to miss out on, then your choices can’t mean anything.

4. We don’t feel like doing things that are truly important to us

It sounds paradoxical, but because important things matter to us, therefore:

  • We are forced to face our limits
  • We experience discomfort because we value the task at hand
  • We use distractions to seek relief from confronting our limitations

Antidote is to submit to this unpleasantness, this is what it feels like for finite humans to commit to valuable tasks. (e.g. I find it somewhat unpleasant writing this reflection even though this is valuable to me)

5. Rest for the sake of resting ⭐

Increasingly, “we are the kind of people who don’t actually want to rest”, who find it seriously unpleasant to pause in our efforts to get things done, and get anxious when we don’t feel like we’re sufficiently productive.

The purpose of rest is not to recover so that you can work harder tomorrow. Rest for the sake of resting, enjoy the moment.

(consider) the possibility that today, at least, there might be nothing more you need to do in order to justify your existence.

It is not wasteful to rest. Not every moment spent awake should be put towards personal growth.

This resonated deeply with me.

6. Work expands so as to fill time available for its completion

There is no reason to believe you’ll ever feel “on top of things”. The more you try to get done, the more there will be to do.

when housewife get access to washing machines and vacuum cleaners, they didn’t save time cleaning because society’s standards of cleanliness simply rose to offset the benefits

It’s not that you never get through your email, it’s the process of “getting through your email” actually generates more email. This relates to “maximisers vs satisficers”. It’s near impossible to get maximise 100% on anything, so you’ll always feel like you fall short, but if you learn to accept things at satisfactory level, you’ll find life to be a lot more pleasant.

7. Learn to say “no”, the hard kind of no

We all know about saying “no”. It’s easy to say no to the things you don’t want to do, but it’s much harder to say “no” to the things that you actually want to do. Just like how spending the time writing right now means that I am forgoing spending time with my family, or any other things that I would like to do.

the core challenge of managing our limited time isn’t about how to get everything done—that’s never going to happen—but how to decide most wisely what not to do, and how to feel at peace about not doing it

8. Limit your work in progress

If you have too many different things to work on, you end up finishing none of it, feel bad about it, and the cycle goes on.

Since you only have finite time, prioritise your tasks. Consciously choose to forgo the things that you want to do, to make space for the truly important ones.

Personally, I’ve chosen to limit my active projects to only 3 items. It’s the whole reason why I was able to write this entry at all.

9. Do the next and most necessary thing

This relates to the “fog of the future” idea that you can only choose the best possible option given what you know at the moment. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you realised that you’ve made the wrong choice in retrospect, it was the best you could do given what you knew.

Honestly the “next and most necessary thing” is all that any of us can aspire to do in any moment. “And we must do it despite not having any objective way to be sure what the right course of action even is.”

10. Embrace your limitations

Embracing your limits means giving up hope that with the right techniques, and a bit more effort, you’d be able to meet other people’s limitless demands, realise your every ambition, excel in every role, or give every good cause or humanitarian crisis the attention it seems like it deserves. It means giving up hope of ever feeling totally in control, or certain that acutely painful experiences aren’t coming your way. And it means giving up, as far as possible, the master hope that lurks beneath all this, the hope that somehow this isn’t really it—that this is just a dress rehearsal, and that one day you’ll feel truly confident that you have what it takes.

The author summarised the book a lot better than I could ever hope to.


I’ve had a great time reading this book because so many of the ideologies and examples are highly relatable for me. I highly recommend reading this book because it has actually influenced how I think and affected how I approach productivity, and learning to embrace my limits as a human.

Categories
Reviews

Apple Magic Trackpad 2 in 2022

I just bought the Apple Magic Trackpad 2 in 2022, a 7 year old product. Why? Justifications aside, because I can; also cause someone was setting it 2nd hand (2 months old) at 35% discount ヽ(´▽`)/

I’ve always been curious (for the past 4 years) about using a trackpad in a desktop setting, the gesture controls just seems like a nice thing to have.

What I like about it ❤️

  • Navigation
    • Extremely useful for moving around in large diagrams: something I do quite often in my job
    • Very useful for excel sheets
    • Web browsing with gestures is awesome, especially the 2 finger swipe to go back to previous page
    • 2 finger double tap zoom to fill screen
  • 3 finger drag (enabled in accessibility): less fatigue on my finger since I don’t have to click and hold
    • moving windows
    • highlighting text
    • moving browser tabs
    • moving files
    • basically anything that needs click and hold
  • battery life seems pretty good; should be able to last a month per charge
  • works flawlessly with universal control (what’s this?)

What I don’t like about it 💔

  • Scrolling long pages/documents, more actions needed: too used to the freewheel scrolling features on MX Master 3
  • not as comfortable; still figuring out the ergonomics
  • no middle-click? what the f?
    • there are apps that can replicate this behaviour but they are paid 🤮

Conclusion 📕

Would I recommend it? Well… no. I’m not against it, but unless you’re very clear what you want to use it for, there really isn’t a strong use case for it. It’s definitely a nice-to-have gadget if you do see it on a huge discount!

Some people have complained that it’s not as accurate as a mouse for daily tasks, I didn’t face any issues. I will be using it as my primary pointer device and see how it goes. When I get a bigger desk, I believe I would switch to a mouse + trackpad combo and use whichever makes sense for the task at hand.