Every year I look back at myself one year back and cringe.
So as a gift to my future self, this is a collection of all my current habits
I know I’m making a meme out of myself
I take a lot of notes. After trying many apps I’ve settled on Apple Notes. My thinking here is that the standard Notes app is here to stay. Even if I ever go broke I still should still be able to access it.
If I’m not able to access Notes, I’ll have bigger worries than retrieving information from my digital brain.
The way I take notes is simple: if I appreciate something I save it in my notes and add some tags at the end of it. Tags are random keywords that I might think about when trying to remember what I’m searching for.
Here’s an example of my latest note:
Titles are a use case for the note. Content is something I want to remember or save.
I also use Things to log every task I do at work for my performance reviews. The workflow here is that I either set reminders for things I want to do in the future (eg. delete a feature flag after 30 days) or log tasks with a tag for the competence they belong to. This is particularly helpful when trying to figure out what are things I should focus on doing more.
Follow up notes
After every meeting with friends and family I write a follow up note that I generally keep for myself.
This is how they’re structured:
- Notable points about the person
- What they do, best parts of the conversation, feelings
- Call to Action, things I have to improve or do more based on my interaction
- Call to Action for the other person, my suggestions or advice and opinions I gave
I like spending my time with people that add challenge my ideas, or add value to my thinking. Writing follow up notes prompts me to reach out to more people that inspire me.
I find Call to Actions to be the most important part of this. The ultimate impact that somebody can have on your life is to cause you to change your behaviors.
Everyday I try learning something new.
The way I do this is that I consume a resource that I want to get value from. After that I find the smallest action I can take with that piece of knowledge.
An example of me doing it for coding stuff:
- I watch an Egghead video on React Hooks
- I try to refactor a class component into a functional component that uses hooks
The only way to learn is to keep verifying and apllying the information you’ve absorbed.
I consider learning to be the most important investment I can make. So when buying tools or resources to learn, I never think twice about spending money.
Quantified Self and health
Around a year ago I got into tracking data around my life.
Almost 6 months ago I started working with a personal coach to keep me accountable on my health goals and provide analysis.
It might sound a bit insane, but being aware of your behavioral trends is life changing.
Here’s what I track, how I track things and why.
What & How
- Sleep - Apple Watch + Autosleep app
- Heart Rate - Apple Watch
- Locations -Gyroscope
- Nutrients and eating times -Gyroscope X
- Weight and body composition - Withings Body+
- Physical activity and steps - Apple Watch + Strava
- Mood - Gyroscope
- Computer Activity - Rescue Time
- Music Listened - Lastfm
- Blood - 🏥 Hospital every 6 months
- Books Read - Goodreads
My coach told me that he has found HRV (Heart Rate Variability) to be the metric that is most correlated with good things.
So if you want to start tracking something start tracking that.
The reason I track all these things is because I feed all that data into Gyroscope.
Since I started tracking things here’s how my behaviors have changed:
- I do intermittent fasting on most days
- I eat mostly animals and vegetables, not much carbs. Almost never have any sweets
- I now drink rarely as it makes my sleep less efficient
- I sleep more
- I workout more and started running
- I walk a lot more
- I spend less time on distracting sites or apps
- I decreased my bodyfat percentage by 3% to 11.5% (not that it matters)
- I’m a lot more energetic
The hard part is that being too obsessed with measuring makes you stressful.
The solution is to automate your tracking and outsource the analysis and actions.
And execute orders like a monkey.
No social media (Almost 😅)
I’m not on Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin and haven’t been for almost 5 years
I am on Twitter though, but here is how I engage with it:
- When I open the site I engage in conversations with the goal of increasing impressions.
- I block all politics and news
- If I find a profile of someone I find interesting I DM or email them
Over time though, I’m having diminishing returns from having a Twitter profile. It used to be the only way for me to interact with people involved in the tech world when I lived in Milan.
Now my job is to write code. Most of my friends are now in tech too.
But it still feels like magic to be able to find smart people to meet IRL anywhere you go by tweeting!
I won’t delete Twitter any time soon.
Things that might make me cringe a year from now
I wear a sleep mask to sleep
I use my phone in grayscale
I don’t have notifications for anything, only phone calls
I take creatine in cycles
I take caffeine in cycles
I run with toe socks
I do self isolation retreats where I isolate for a certain amount of time and focus on something (this is so cool that the whole world is copying me right now)
Email me at hi [at] ferrucc [dot] io with any feedback or ideas.
Special thanks to Tom McCarthy for reviewing this article