3 months ago
How you view the year will change after using this one-page calendar.
No other calendar is simpler, smaller, and reusable year after year. It works and is used here.
Most of us discard and replace our calendars annually. Each month, we move our calendar ahead another page, thus if we need to know which day of the week corresponds to a given day/month combination, we have to calculate it or flip forward/backward to the corresponding month. Questions like:
What day does this year's American Thanksgiving fall on?
Which months contain a Friday the thirteenth?
When is July 4th? What day of the week?
Alternatively, what day of the week is Christmas?
They're hard to figure out until you switch to the right month or look up all the months.
However, mathematically, the answers to these questions or any question that requires matching the day of the week with the day/month combination in a year are predictable, basic, and easy to work out. If you use this one-page calendar instead of a 12-month calendar, it lasts the whole year and is easy to alter for future years. Let me explain.
The 2023 one-page calendar is above. The days of the month are on the lower left, which works for all months if you know that:
There are 31 days in January, March, May, July, August, October, and December.
All of the months of April, June, September, and November have 30 days.
And depending on the year, February has either 28 days (in non-leap years) or 29 days (in leap years).
If you know this, this calendar makes it easy to match the day/month of the year to the weekday.
Here are some instances. American Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November. You'll always know the month and day of the week, but the date—the day in November—changes each year.
On any other calendar, you'd have to flip to November to see when the fourth Thursday is. This one-page calendar only requires:
pick the month of November in the top-right corner to begin.
drag your finger down until Thursday appears,
then turn left and follow the monthly calendar until you reach the fourth Thursday.
It's obvious: 2023 is the 23rd American Thanksgiving. For every month and day-of-the-week combination, start at the month, drag your finger down to the desired day, and then move to the left to see which dates match.
What if you knew the day of the week and the date of the month, but not the month(s)?
A different method using the same one-page calendar gives the answer. Which months have Friday the 13th this year? Just:
begin on the 13th of the month, the day you know you desire,
then swipe right with your finger till Friday appears.
and then work your way up until you can determine which months the specific Friday the 13th falls under.
One Friday the 13th occurred in January 2023, and another will occur in October.
The most typical reason to consult a calendar is when you know the month/day combination but not the day of the week.
Compared to single-month calendars, the one-page calendar excels here. Take July 4th, for instance. Find the weekday here:
beginning on the left on the fourth of the month, as you are aware,
also begin with July, the month of the year you are most familiar with, at the upper right,
you should move your two fingers in the opposite directions till they meet: on a Tuesday in 2023.
That's how you find your selected day/month combination's weekday.
Another example: Christmas. Christmas Day is always December 25th, however unless your conventional calendar is open to December of your particular year, a question like "what day of the week is Christmas?" difficult to answer.
Unlike the one-page calendar!
Remember the left-hand day of the month. Top-right, you see the month. Put two fingers, one from each hand, on the date (25th) and the month (December). Slide the day hand to the right and the month hand downwards until they touch.
They meet on Monday—December 25, 2023.
For 2023, that's fine, but what happens in 2024? Even worse, what if we want to know the day-of-the-week/day/month combo many years from now?
I think the one-page calendar shines here.
Except for the blue months in the upper-right corner of the one-page calendar, everything is the same year after year. The months also change in a consistent fashion.
Each non-leap year has 365 days—one more than a full 52 weeks (which is 364). Since January 1, 2023 began on a Sunday and 2023 has 365 days, we immediately know that December 31, 2023 will conclude on a Sunday (which you can confirm using the one-page calendar) and that January 1, 2024 will begin on a Monday. Then, reorder the months for 2024, taking in mind that February will have 29 days in a leap year.
Please note the differences between 2023 and 2024 month placement. In 2023:
October and January began on the same day of the week.
On the following Monday of the week, May began.
August started on the next day,
then the next weekday marked the start of February, March, and November, respectively.
Unlike June, which starts the following weekday,
While September and December start on the following day of the week,
Lastly, April and July start one extra day later.
Since 2024 is a leap year, February has 29 days, disrupting the rhythm. Month placements change to:
The first day of the week in January, April, and July is the same.
October will begin the following day.
Possibly starting the next weekday,
February and August start on the next weekday,
beginning on the following day of the week between March and November,
beginning the following weekday in June,
and commencing one more day of the week after that, September and December.
Due to the 366-day leap year, 2025 will start two days later than 2024 on January 1st.
Now, looking at the 2025 calendar, you can see that the 2023 pattern of which months start on which days is repeated! The sole variation is a shift of three days-of-the-week ahead because 2023 had one more day (365) than 52 full weeks (364), and 2024 had two more days (366). Again,
On Wednesday this time, January and October begin on the same day of the week.
Although May begins on Thursday,
August begins this Friday.
March, November, and February all begin on a Saturday.
Beginning on a Sunday in June
Beginning on Monday are September and December,
and on Tuesday, April and July begin.
In 2026 and 2027, the year will commence on a Thursday and a Friday, respectively.
We must return to our leap year monthly arrangement in 2028. Yes, January 1, 2028 begins on a Saturday, but February, which begins on a Tuesday three days before January, will have 29 days. Thus:
Start dates for January, April, and July are all Saturdays.
Given that October began on Sunday,
Although May starts on a Monday,
beginning on a Tuesday in February and August,
Beginning on a Wednesday in March and November,
Beginning on Thursday, June
and Friday marks the start of September and December.
This is great because there are only 14 calendar configurations: one for each of the seven non-leap years where January 1st begins on each of the seven days of the week, and one for each of the seven leap years where it begins on each day of the week.
The 2023 calendar will function in 2034, 2045, 2051, 2062, 2073, 2079, 2090, 2102, 2113, and 2119. Except when passing over a non-leap year that ends in 00, like 2100, the repeat time always extends to 12 years or shortens to an extra 6 years.
The pattern is repeated in 2025's calendar in 2031, 2042, 2053, 2059, 2070, 2081, 2087, 2098, 2110, and 2121.
The extra 6-year repeat at the end of the century on the calendar for 2026 will occur in the years 2037, 2043, 2054, 2065, 2071, 2082, 2093, 2099, 2105, and 2122.
The 2027s calendar repeats in 2038, 2049, 2055, 2066, 2077, 2083, 2094, 2100, 2106, and 2117, almost exactly matching the 2026s pattern.
For leap years, the recurrence pattern is every 28 years when not passing a non-leap year ending in 00, or 12 or 40 years when we do. 2024's calendar repeats in 2052, 2080, 2120, 2148, 2176, and 2216; 2028's in 2056, 2084, 2124, 2152, 2180, and 2220.
Knowing January 1st and whether it's a leap year lets you construct a one-page calendar for any year. Try it—you might find it easier than any other alternative!
3 months ago
Shifting from Obsidian to Tana?
I relocated my notes database from Roam Research to Obsidian earlier this year expecting to stay there for a long. Obsidian is a terrific tool, and I explained my move in that post.
Moving everything to Tana faster than intended. Tana? Why?
Tana is just another note-taking app, but it does it differently. Three note-taking apps existed before Tana:
simple note-taking programs like Apple Notes and Google Keep.
Roam Research and Obsidian are two graph-style applications that assisted connect your notes.
You can create effective tables and charts with data-focused tools like Notion and Airtable.
Tana is the first great software I've encountered that combines graph and data notes. Google Keep will certainly remain my rapid notes app of preference. This Shu Omi video gives a good overview:
Tana handles everything I did in Obsidian with books, people, and blog entries, plus more. I can find book quotes, log my workouts, and connect my thoughts more easily. It should make writing blog entries notes easier, so we'll see.
Tana is now invite-only, but if you're interested, visit their site and sign up. As Shu noted in the video above, the product hasn't been published yet but seems quite polished.
Whether I stay with Tana or not, I'm excited to see where these apps are going and how they can benefit us all.
4 months ago
Three Simple Daily Practices That Will Immediately Double Your Output
Most productive people are habitual.
Early in the day, do important tasks.
In his best-selling book Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy advised starting the day with your hardest, most important activity.
Most individuals work best in the morning. Energy and willpower peak then.
Mornings are also ideal for memory, focus, and problem-solving.
Thus, the morning is ideal for your hardest chores.
It makes sense to do these things during your peak performance hours.
Additionally, your morning sets the tone for the day. According to Brian Tracy, the first hour of the workday steers the remainder.
After doing your most critical chores, you may feel accomplished, confident, and motivated for the remainder of the day, which boosts productivity.
Develop Your Essentialism
In Essentialism, Greg McKeown claims that trying to be everything to everyone leads to mediocrity and tiredness.
You'll either burn out, be spread too thin, or compromise your ideals.
Greg McKeown advises Essentialism:
Clarify what’s truly important in your life and eliminate the rest.
Eliminating non-essential duties, activities, and commitments frees up time and energy for what matters most.
According to Greg McKeown, Essentialists live by design, not default.
You'll be happier and more productive if you follow your essentials.
Follow these three steps to live more essentialist.
Prioritize Your Tasks First
What matters most clarifies what matters less. List your most significant aims and values.
The clearer your priorities, the more you can focus on them.
On Essentialism, McKeown wrote, The ultimate form of effectiveness is the ability to deliberately invest our time and energy in the few things that matter most.
#2: Set Your Priorities in Order
Prioritize your priorities, not simply know them.
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” — Greg McKeown
Planning each day and allocating enough time for your priorities is the best method to become more purposeful.
#3: Practice saying "no"
If a request or demand conflicts with your aims or principles, you must learn to say no.
Saying no frees up space for our priorities.
Place Sleep Above All Else
Many believe they must forego sleep to be more productive. This is false.
A productive day starts with a good night's sleep.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep) says:
“Getting a good night’s sleep can improve cognitive performance, creativity, and overall productivity.”
Sleep helps us learn, remember, and repair.
Unfortunately, 35% of people don't receive the recommended 79 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep deprivation can cause:
increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and obesity
Depression, stress, and anxiety risk are all on the rise.
decrease in general contentment
decline in cognitive function
To live an ideal, productive, and healthy life, you must prioritize sleep.
Follow these six sleep optimization strategies to obtain enough sleep:
Establish a nightly ritual to relax and prepare for sleep.
Avoid using screens an hour before bed because the blue light they emit disrupts the generation of melatonin, a necessary hormone for sleep.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule to control your body's biological clock (and optimizes melatonin production)
Create a peaceful, dark, and cool sleeping environment.
Limit your intake of sweets and caffeine (especially in the hours leading up to bedtime)
Regular exercise (but not right before you go to bed, because your body temperature will be too high)
Sleep is one of the best ways to boost productivity.
Sleep is crucial, says Matthew Walker. It's the key to good health and longevity.
4 months ago
You can dominate your daily productivity with these 9 little-known Google Calendar tips.
Calendars are great unpaid employees.
After using Notion to organize my next three months' goals, my days were a mess.
I grew very chaotic afterward. I was overwhelmed, unsure of what to do, and wasting time attempting to plan the day after it had started.
Imagine if our skeletons were on the outside. Doesn’t work.
The goals were too big; I needed to break them into smaller chunks. But how?
Enters Google Calendar
RescueTime’s recommendations took me seven hours to make a daily planner. This epic narrative begins with a sheet of paper and concludes with a daily calendar that helps me focus and achieve more goals. Ain’t nobody got time for “what’s next?” all day.
Return to the Paleolithic Era
Plan in writing.
Not on the list, but it helped me plan my day. Physical writing boosts creativity and recall.
Find My Heart
RescueTime suggested I prioritize before planning. Personal and business goals were proposed.
My top priorities are to exercise, eat healthily, spend time in nature, and avoid stress.
Priorities include writing and publishing Medium articles, conducting more freelance editing and Medium outreach, and writing/editing sci-fi books.
These eight things will help me feel accomplished every day.
Make a baby calendar.
Create daily calendar templates.
Make family, pleasure, etc. calendars.
Google Calendar instructions:
Press the “+” button
Create a new calendar
Create recurring events for each day
My calendar, without the template:
Empty, so I can fill it with vital tasks.
With the template:
My daily skeleton corresponds with my priorities. I've been overwhelmed for years because I lack daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly structure.
Google Calendars helps me reach my goals and focus my energy.
Get your colored pencils ready
Color labeling lets me quickly see what's happening. Maybe you are too.
Google Calendar instructions:
Determine which colors correspond to each time block.
When establishing new events, select a color.
My calendar is color-coded as follows:
Yellow — passive income or other future-related activities
Red — important activities, like my monthly breast exam
Flamingo — shallow work, like emails, Twitter, etc.
Blue — all my favorite activities, like walking, watching comedy, napping, and sleeping. Oh, and eating.
Green — money-related events required for this adulting thing
Purple — writing-related stuff
Associating a time block with a color helps me stay focused. Less distractions mean faster work.
Open My Email
aka receive a daily email from Google Calendar.
Google Calendar sends a daily email feed of your calendars. I sent myself the template calendar in this email.
Google Calendar instructions:
Select the calendar that you want to send (left side)
Go down the page to see more alerts
Under the daily agenda area, click Email.
Get in Touch With Your Red Bull Wings — Naturally
aka audit your energy levels.
My daily planner has arrows. These indicate how much energy each activity requires or how much I have.
Rightward arrow denotes medium energy.
I do my Medium and professional editing in the morning because it's energy-intensive.
Niharikaa Sodhi recommends morning Medium editing.
I’m a morning person. As long as I go to bed at a reasonable time, 5 a.m. is super wild GO-TIME. It’s like the world was just born, and I marvel at its wonderfulness.
Freelance editing lets me do what I want. An afternoon snooze will help me finish on time.
Ditch Schedule View
aka focus on the weekly view.
RescueTime advocated utilizing the weekly view of Google Calendar, so I switched.
When you launch the phone app or desktop calendar, a red line shows where you are in the day.
I'll follow the red line's instructions. My digital supervisor is easy to follow.
In the image above, it's almost 3 p.m., therefore the red line implies it's time to snooze.
I won't forget this block ;).
Reduce the Lighting
aka dim previous days.
This is another Google Calendar feature I didn't know about. Once the allotted time passes, the time block dims. This keeps me present.
Google Calendar instructions:
To view choices, click.
Check Diminish the glare of the past.
Two additional RescueTimes hacks:
Maintain a space between tasks
I left 15 minutes between each time block to transition smoothly. This relates to my goal of less stress. If I set strict start and end times, I'll be stressed.
With a buffer, I can breathe, stroll around, and start the following time block fresh.
Find a time is related to the buffer.
This option allows you conclude small meetings five minutes early and longer ones ten. Before the next meeting, relax or go wild.
Decide on a backup day.
This productivity technique is amazing.
Spend this excess day catching up on work. It helps reduce tension and clutter.
That's all I can say about Google Calendar's functionality.
Dr Mehmet Yildiz
5 months ago
How I train my brain daily for clarity and productivity.
I use a conceptual and practical system I developed decades ago as an example.
Since childhood, I've been interested in the brain-mind connection, so I developed a system using scientific breakthroughs, experiments, and the experiences of successful people in my circles.
This story provides a high-level overview of a custom system to inform and inspire readers. Creating a mind gym was one of my best personal and professional investments.
Such a complex system may not be possible for everyone or appear luxurious at first. However, the process and approach may help you find more accessible and viable solutions.
Visualizing the brain as a muscle, I learned to stimulate it with physical and mental exercises, applying a new mindset and behavioral changes.
My methods and practices may not work for others because we're all different. I focus on the approach's principles and highlights so you can create your own program.
Some create a conceptual and practical system intuitively, and others intellectually. Both worked. I see intellect and intuition as higher selves.
The mental tools I introduce are based on lifestyle changes and can be personalized by anyone, barring physical constraints or underlying health conditions.
Some people can't meditate despite wanting to due to mental constraints. This story lacks exceptions.
People's systems may vary. Many have used my tools successfully. All have scientific backing because their benefits attracted scientists. None are unethical or controversial.
My focus is cognition, which is the neocortex's ability. These practices and tools can affect the limbic and reptilian brain regions.
A previous article discussed brain health's biological aspects. This article focuses on psychology.
Thinking, learning, and remembering are cognitive abilities. Cognitive abilities determine our health and performance.
Cognitive health is the ability to think, concentrate, learn, and remember. Cognitive performance boosting involves various tools and processes. My system and protocols address cognitive health and performance.
As a biological organ, the brain's abilities decline with age, especially if not used regularly. Older people have more neurodegenerative disorders like dementia.
As aging is inevitable, I focus on creating cognitive reserves to remain mentally functional as we age and face mental decline or cognitive impairment.
My protocols focus on neurogenesis, or brain growth and maintenance. Neurons and connections can grow at any age.
Metacognition refers to knowing our cognitive abilities, like thinking about thinking and learning how to learn.
In the following sections, I provide an overview of my system, mental tools, and protocols.
This system summarizes my 50-year career. Some may find it too abstract, so I give examples.
First, explain the system. Section 2 introduces activities. Third, how to measure and maintain mental growth.
1 — Developed a practical mental gym.
The mental gym is a metaphor for the physical fitness gym to improve our mental muscles.
This concept covers brain and mind functionality. Integrated biological and psychological components.
I'll describe my mental gym so my other points make sense. My mental gym has physical and mental tools.
Mindfulness, meditation, visualization, self-conversations, breathing exercises, expressive writing, working in a flow state, reading, music, dance, isometric training, barefoot walking, cold/heat exposure, CBT, and social engagements are regular tools.
Dancing, walking, and thermogenesis are body-related tools. As the brain is part of the body and houses the mind, these tools can affect mental abilities such as attention, focus, memory, task switching, and problem-solving.
Different people may like different tools. I chose these tools based on my needs, goals, and lifestyle. They're just examples. You can choose tools that fit your goals and personality.
2 — Performed tasks regularly.
These tools gave me clarity. They became daily hobbies. Some I did alone, others with others.
Some examples: I meditate daily. Even though my overactive mind made daily meditation difficult at first, I now enjoy it. Meditation three times a day sharpens my mind.
Self-talk is used for self-therapy and creativity. Self-talk was initially difficult, but neurogenesis rewired my brain to make it a habit.
Cold showers, warm baths with Epsom salts, fasting, barefoot walks on the beach or grass, dancing, calisthenics, trampoline hopping, and breathing exercises increase my mental clarity, creativity, and productivity.
These exercises can increase BDNF, which promotes nervous system growth. They improve mental capacity and performance by increasing blood flow and brain oxygenation.
I use weekly and occasional activities like dry saunas, talking with others, and community activities.
These activities stimulate the brain and mind, improving performance and cognitive capacity.
3 — Measured progress, set growth goals.
Measuring progress helps us stay on track. Without data, it's hard to stay motivated. When we face inevitable setbacks, we may abandon our dreams.
I created a daily checklist for a spreadsheet with macros. I tracked how often and long I did each activity.
I measured my progress objectively and subjectively. In the progress spreadsheet, I noted my meditation hours and subjective feelings.
In another column, I used good, moderate, and excellent to get qualitative data. It took time and effort. Later, I started benefiting from this automated structure.
Creating a page for each activity, such as meditation, self-talk, cold showers, walking, expressive writing, personal interactions, etc., gave me empirical data I could analyze, modify, and graph to show progress.
Colored charts showed each area's strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths motivate me to continue them. Identifying weaknesses helped me improve them.
As the system matured, data recording became a habit and took less time. I saw the result immediately because I automated the charts when I entered daily data. Early time investment paid off later.
Mind Gym Benefits, Effective Use, and Progress Measuring
This concept helped me move from comfort to risk. I accept things as they are.
Turnarounds were made. I stopped feeling "Fight-Flight-Freeze" and maintained self-control.
I tamed my overactive amygdala by strengthening my brain. Stress and anxiety decreased. With these shifts, I accepted criticism and turned envy into admiration. Clarity improved.
When the cognitive part of the brain became stronger and the primitive part was tamed, managing thoughts and emotions became easier. My AQ increased. I learned to tolerate people, physical, mental, and emotional obstacles.
Accessing vast information sources in my subconscious mind through an improved RAS allowed me to easily tap into my higher self and recognize flaws in my lower self.
The brain loves patterns and routines, so habits help. Observing, developing, and monitoring habits mindfully can be beneficial. Mindfulness helps us achieve this goal systematically.
As body and mind are connected, we must consider both when building habits. Consistent and joyful practices can strengthen neurons and neural connections.
Habits help us accomplish more with less effort. Regularly using mental tools and processes can improve our cognitive health and performance as we age.
Creating daily habits to improve cognitive abilities can sharpen our minds and boost our well-being.
Some apps monitor our activities and behavior to help build habits. If you can't replicate my system, try these apps. Some smartwatches and fitness devices include them.
Set aside time each day for mental activities you enjoy. Regular scheduling and practice can strengthen brain regions and form habits. Once you form habits, tasks become easy.
Improving our minds is a lifelong journey. It's easier and more sustainable to increase our efforts daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.
Despite life's ups and downs, many want to remain calm and cheerful.
This valuable skill is unrelated to wealth or fame. It's about our mindset, fueled by our biological and psychological needs.
Here are some lessons I've learned about staying calm and composed despite challenges and setbacks.
1 — Tranquillity starts with observing thoughts and feelings.
2 — Clear the mental clutter and emotional entanglements with conscious breathing and gentle movements.
3 — Accept situations and events as they are with no resistance.
4 — Self-love can lead to loving others and increasing compassion.
5 — Count your blessings and cultivate gratitude.
Clear thinking can bring joy and satisfaction. It's a privilege to wake up with a healthy body and clear mind, ready to connect with others and serve them.
Thank you for reading my perspectives. I wish you a healthy and happy life.