TL;DR ⧝ This is not an uniformed idealistic projection, nor was I born like this. It’s what I do, after 4+ years of tracking my behaviors daily to understand correlations between what I choose, and what happens.
After a seven year burnout, I became a self-tracking obsessionado because my life depended on it, and from 1 Nov 2019 I began my daily tracking journey which has led to this protocol.
I found the right tools to make daily tracking possible. Without them it would be an organizational nightmare. The following may seem complex, but this is where it is four years in; many things have been added, and even more have dropped off!
Linked databases. Feels holographic, the way that everything can be connected to everything else, and then through arranging your own interfaces you can frame the information that you need to see and filter out the rest. Notion was a neurological match for me as soon as I figured out how to use it, so it may not be the best fit for everyone else.
If enough people ask I may publish a template of my database, but at the moment I don’t have a clean version, just what I use on a daily basis. Please let me know if you’re interested.
An incredible tool which naturalizes vector graphics. I always found Illustrator to be a bit unintuitive, but without knowing anything you can pretty much jump into Figma and already put things together. I used it for over a year without any deeper knowledge of how it worked, simply to create diagrams and to arrange mood boards. Then a short course increased my fluidity with the program so that I could work in a more efficient and robust way, improving organization and increasing speed.
Networked thoughts forego the traditional folder storage structure. The idea with Obsidian and other networked-thought or second-brain programs is to link from within a note to other notes, so that your ideas emerge as meshes from across all your writing. I find Obsidian especially exciting because the files are stored locally (though cloud is possible with a paid plan), there’s an incredible community building useful plugins, and the interface is very intuitive. I haven’t used it as much as I would like to, simply because I am in the habit of making all my notes in notion and Figma. But recently a community plugin came online that leverages OpenAI GPT-3.5+ to map your notes, which I’m super excited to use… If it works out I expect that most if not all of my writings will be the result of AI-identified patterns across all my entries.
Focus Blocks is a community that meets on Zoom. During the week it runs 24/7, with a professional moderator who initiates and closes the hour with 5 minute intro/wrap up for maximum focus during that hour. I have a lot to say about this, because again it was a perfect match for my neurology and current build—wanting the accountability of a team without the shared space or even shared goals—and I signed up for it on a whim from an IG ad. Will forever be grateful for that algo….
The main thesis of Focus Blocks is that you don’t need superhuman willpower to show up consistently; instead you need to set up the correct environment of accountability and shared focus, which will entrain you to doing your best work. I came to the same conclusion but couldn’t find the environment. Mani has done the work of setting it up, and it has brought profound positive transformation to my life.
Means To An End
Investing time into this system according to a fixed schedule has highlighted so many correlations between choice and result, that I now feel responsible for and in power over my life. At least to the extent of what I can affect; there are many things we cannot control, and should not even attempt to.
I used to suffer from anxiety but I don’t anymore. I am very familiar with my strengths and weaknesses, and continually adjust the system to help me confront them regularly, so that I get to know all of myself as a whole being, addressing those parts which are mechanical as mechanical, and finding support emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Much of what I’ve written above could be found on any productivity blog. None of it matters unless you actually do it, and then it will take on a personal flavor over time. I hope that some of my recommendations point you in the right direction. I’m especially grateful for discovering Notion early on, and also for coming into Focus Blocks more recently. Both have aligned me to strong vectors of transformation.
※Take what you need, if it brings you into delight※ 2027 weseeclearly CC BY 4.0 DEED