More on Productivity
1 year 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!
1 year ago
Effective Technical Book Reading Techniques
Technical books aren't like novels. We need a new approach to technical texts. I've spent years looking for a decent reading method. I tried numerous ways before finding one that worked. This post explains how I read technical books efficiently.
What Do I Mean When I Say Effective?
Effectiveness depends on the book. Effective implies I know where to find answers after reading a reference book. Effective implies I learned the book's knowledge after reading it.
I use reference books as tools in my toolkit. I won't carry all my tools; I'll merely need them. Non-reference books teach me techniques. I never have to make an effort to use them since I always have them.
Reference books I like:
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
You can also check My Top Takeaways from Refactoring here.
Non-reference books I like:
Technical books might be overwhelming to read in one sitting. Especially when you have no idea what is coming next as you read. When you don't know how deep the rabbit hole goes, you feel lost as you read. This is my years-long method for overcoming this difficulty.
Whether you follow the step-by-step guide or not, remember these:
Understand the terminology. Make sure you get the meaning of any terms you come across more than once. The likelihood that a term will be significant increases as you encounter it more frequently.
Know when to stop. I've always believed that in order to truly comprehend something, I must delve as deeply as possible into it. That, however, is not usually very effective. There are moments when you have to draw the line and start putting theory into practice (if applicable).
Look over your notes. When reading technical books or documents, taking notes is a crucial habit to develop. Additionally, you must regularly examine your notes if you want to get the most out of them. This will assist you in internalizing the lessons you acquired from the book. And you'll see that the urge to review reduces with time.
Let's talk about how I read a technical book step by step.
0. Read the Foreword/Preface
These sections are crucial in technical books. They answer Who should read it, What each chapter discusses, and sometimes How to Read? This is helpful before reading the book. Who could know the ideal way to read the book better than the author, right?
I scan the chapter. Fast scanning is needed.
I review the headings.
I scan the pictures quickly.
I assess the chapter's length to determine whether I might divide it into more manageable sections.
Skimming is faster than reading but slower than scanning.
I focus more on the captions and subtitles for the photographs.
I read each paragraph's opening and closing sentences.
I examined the code samples.
I attempt to grasp each section's basic points without getting bogged down in the specifics.
Throughout the entire reading period, I make an effort to make mental notes of what may require additional attention and what may not. Because I don't want to spend time taking physical notes, kindly notice that I am using the term "mental" here. It is much simpler to recall. You may think that this is more significant than typing or writing “Pay attention to X.”
I move on quickly. This is something I considered crucial because, when trying to skim, it is simple to start reading the entire thing.
3. Complete reading
Previous steps pay off.
I finished reading the chapter.
I concentrate on the passages that I mentally underlined when skimming.
I put the book away and make my own notes. It is typically more difficult than it seems for me. But it's important to speak in your own words. You must choose the right words to adequately summarize what you have read. How do those words make you feel? Additionally, you must be able to summarize your notes while you are taking them. Sometimes as I'm writing my notes, I realize I have no words to convey what I'm thinking or, even worse, I start to doubt what I'm writing down. This is a good indication that I haven't internalized that idea thoroughly enough.
I jot my inquiries down. Normally, I read on while compiling my questions in the hopes that I will learn the answers as I read. I'll explore those issues more if I wasn't able to find the answers to my inquiries while reading the book.
Best part: If you take lovely notes like I do, you can publish them as a blog post with a few tweaks.
This is my learning journey. I wanted to show you. This post may help someone with a similar learning style. You can alter the principles above for any technical material.
1 year 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.
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1 year ago
The Steve Jobs Formula: A Guide to Everything
A must-read for everyone
Jobs is well-known. You probably know the tall, thin guy who wore the same clothing every day. His influence is unavoidable. In fewer than 40 years, Jobs' innovations have impacted computers, movies, cellphones, music, and communication.
Steve Jobs may be more imaginative than the typical person, but if we can use some of his ingenuity, ambition, and good traits, we'll be successful. This essay explains how to follow his guidance and success secrets.
1. Repetition is necessary for success.
Be patient and diligent to master something. Practice makes perfect. This is why older workers are often more skilled.
When should you repeat a task? When you're confident and excited to share your product. It's when to stop tweaking and repeating.
Jobs stated he'd make the crowd sh** their pants with an iChat demo.
Use this in your daily life.
Start with the end in mind. You can put it in writing and be as detailed as you like with your plan's schedule and metrics. For instance, you have a goal of selling three coffee makers in a week.
Break it down, break the goal down into particular tasks you must complete, and then repeat those tasks. To sell your coffee maker, you might need to make 50 phone calls.
Be mindful of the amount of work necessary to produce the desired results. Continue doing this until you are happy with your product.
2. Acquire the ability to add and subtract.
How did Picasso invent cubism? Pablo Picasso was influenced by stylised, non-naturalistic African masks that depict a human figure.
Artists create. Constantly seeking inspiration. They think creatively about random objects. Jobs said creativity is linking things. Creative people feel terrible when asked how they achieved something unique because they didn't do it all. They saw innovation. They had mastered connecting and synthesizing experiences.
Use this in your daily life.
On your phone, there is a note-taking app. Ideas for what you desire to learn should be written down. It may be learning a new language, calligraphy, or anything else that inspires or intrigues you.
Note any ideas you have, quotations, or any information that strikes you as important.
Spend time with smart individuals, that is the most important thing. Jim Rohn, a well-known motivational speaker, has observed that we are the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time.
Learning alone won't get you very far. You need to put what you've learnt into practice. If you don't use your knowledge and skills, they are useless.
3. Develop the ability to refuse.
Steve Jobs deleted thousands of items when he created Apple's design ethic. Saying no to distractions meant upsetting customers and partners.
John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple, said something like this. According to Sculley, Steve’s methodology differs from others as he always believed that the most critical decisions are things you choose not to do.
Use this in your daily life.
Never be afraid to say "no," "I won't," or "I don't want to." Keep it simple. This method works well in some situations.
Give a different option. For instance, X might be interested even if I won't be able to achieve it.
Control your top priority. Before saying yes to anything, make sure your work schedule and priority list are up to date.
4. Follow your passion
“Follow your passion” is the worst advice people can give you. Steve Jobs didn't start Apple because he suddenly loved computers. He wanted to help others attain their maximum potential.
Great things take a lot of work, so quitting makes sense if you're not passionate. Jobs learned from history that successful people were passionate about their work and persisted through challenges.
Use this in your daily life.
Stay away from your passion. Allow it to develop daily. Keep working at your 9-5-hour job while carefully gauging your level of desire and endurance. Less risk exists.
The truth is that if you decide to work on a project by yourself rather than in a group, it will take you years to complete it instead of a week. Instead, network with others who have interests in common.
Prepare a fallback strategy in case things go wrong.
Success, this small two-syllable word eventually gives your life meaning, a perspective. What is success? For most, it's achieving their ambitions. However, there's a catch. Successful people aren't always happy.
Furthermore, where do people’s goals and achievements end? It’s a never-ending process. Success is a journey, not a destination. We wish you not to lose your way on this journey.
1 year ago
Read These Books on Personal Finance to Boost Your Net Worth
And retire sooner.
Books can make you filthy rich.
If you apply what you learn. In 2011, I was broke and had broken dreams.
Someone suggested I read finance books. One Up On Wall Street was his first recommendation.
Finance books were my crack.
I've read every money book since then. Some are good, but most stink.
These books will make you rich.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson
This isn't a cliche book.
This book was inspired by a How to Get Rich tweet thread.
It’s one of the best tweets I’ve ever read.
Naval thinks differently. He nukes ordinary ideas. I've never heard better money advice.
Eric Jorgenson wrote a book about this tweet thread with Navals permission. A must-read, easy-to-digest book.
Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy — Naval
Morgan Housel's The Psychology of Money
Many finance books advise investing like a dunce.
They almost all peddle the buy an index fund BS. Different book.
It's about money-making psychology. Because any fool can get rich and drunk on their ego. Few can consistently make money.
Each chapter is short. A single-page chapter breaks all book publishing rules.
Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money — Morgan Housel
J.L. Collins' The Simple Path to Wealth
Most of the best money books were written by bloggers.
JL Collins blogs. This easy-to-read book was written for his daughter.
This book popularized the phrase F You Money. With enough money in your bank account and investment portfolio, you can say F You more.
A bad boss is an example. You can leave instead of enduring his wrath.
You can then sit at home and look for another job while financially secure. JL says its mind-freedom is powerful.
You own the things you own and they in turn own you — J.L. Collins
Tony Robbins' Unshakeable
I like Tony. This book makes me sweaty.
Tony interviews the world's top financiers. He interviews people who rarely do so.
This book taught me all-weather portfolio. It's a way to invest in different asset classes in good, bad, recession, or depression times.
Look at it:
Investing isn’t about buying one big winner — that’s gambling. It’s about investing in a diversified portfolio of assets.
The best opportunities come in times of maximum pessimism — Tony Robbins
Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor
This book helped me distinguish between a spectator and an investor.
Spectators are those who shout that crypto, NFTs, or XYZ platform will die.
Tourists. They want attention and to say "I told you so." They make short-term and long-term predictions like fortunetellers. LOL. Idiots.
Benjamin Graham teaches smart investing. You'll buy a long-term asset. To be confident in recessions, use dollar-cost averaging.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — Benjamin Graham
The Napoleon Hill book Think and Grow Rich
This classic book introduced positive thinking to modern self-help.
Lazy pessimists can't become rich. No way.
Napoleon said, "Thoughts create reality."
No surprise that he discusses obsession and focus in this book. They are the fastest ways to make more money to invest in time and wealth-protecting assets.
The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat — Napoleon Hill
Ramit Sethi's book I Will Teach You To Be Rich
This book is mostly good. The part about credit cards is trash.
Avoid credit card temptations. I don't care about their airline points.
This book teaches you to master money basics (that many people mess up) then automate it so your monkey brain doesn't ruin your financial future.
The book includes great negotiation tactics to help you make more money in less time.
The 85 Percent Solution: Getting started is more important than becoming an expert — Ramit Sethi
David Bach's The Automatic Millionaire
You've probably met a six- or seven-figure earner who's broke. All their money goes to useless things like cars.
Money isn't as essential as what you do with it. David teaches how to automate your earnings for more money.
Compounding works once investing is automated. So you get rich.
His strategy eliminates luck and (almost) guarantees millionaire status.
Every time you earn one dollar, make sure to pay yourself first — David Bach
Thomas J. Stanley's The Millionaire Next Door
Thomas defies the definition of rich.
He spends much of the book highlighting millionaire traits he's studied.
Rich people are quiet, so you wouldn't know they're wealthy. They don't earn much money or drive a BMW.
Thomas will give you the math to get started.
I am not impressed with what people own. But I’m impressed with what they achieve. I’m proud to be a physician. Always strive to be the best in your field…. Don’t chase money. If you are the best in your field, money will find you. — Thomas J. Stanley
by Bill Perkins "Die With Zero"
Let’s end with one last book.
Bill's book angered many people. He says we spend too much time saving for retirement and die rich. That bank money is lost time.
Your grandkids could use the money. When children inherit money, they become lazy, entitled a-holes.
Bill wants us to spend our money on life-enhancing experiences. Stop saving money like monopoly monkeys.
You should be focusing on maximizing your life enjoyment rather than on maximizing your wealth. Those are two very different goals. Money is just a means to an end: Having money helps you to achieve the more important goal of enjoying your life. But trying to maximize money actually gets in the way of achieving the more important goal — Bill Perkins
1 year ago
In his final days, Steve Jobs sent an email to himself. What It Said Was This
An email capturing Steve Jobs's philosophy.
Steve Jobs may have been the most inspired and driven entrepreneur.
He worked on projects because he wanted to leave a legacy.
Steve Jobs' final email to himself encapsulated his philosophy.
After his death from pancreatic cancer in October 2011, Laurene Powell Jobs released the email. He was 56.
Read: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (#BestSeller)
September 2010 Steve Jobs email:
“I grow little of the food I eat, and of the little I do grow, I do not breed or perfect the seeds.” “I do not make my own clothing. I speak a language I did not invent or refine,” he continued. “I did not discover the mathematics I use… I am moved by music I did not create myself.”
Jobs ended his email by reflecting on how others created everything he uses.
“When I needed medical attention, I was helpless to help myself survive.”
The Apple co-founder concluded by praising humanity.
“I did not invent the transistor, the microprocessor, object-oriented programming, or most of the technology I work with. I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well-being,” he concluded.
The email was made public as a part of the Steve Jobs Archive, a website that was launched in tribute to his legacy.
Steve Jobs' widow founded the internet archive. Apple CEO Tim Cook and former design leader Jony Ive were prominent guests.
Steve Jobs has always inspired because he shows how even the best can be improved.
High expectations were always there, and they were consistently met.
We miss him because he was one of the few with lifelong enthusiasm and persona.