Decision Fatigue

I have been planning to buy a Shampoo Bottle for 3 months. It is not available on Amazon, and local stores don’t have it in stock. They have recommended I go to a bigger shop down the block, but I have been busy.

Now, Should I buy another brand of Shampoo and risk losing what is left of my crowning glory. These are the small decision which bog me down. These small decisions are the toughest. Another area where I have severe decision fatigue is what goes inside my stomach.

Some meal gives me acidity, some meal makes me feel bloated. As a consequence, I eat a shawarma dinner twice a week, twice a week I skip dinner and snack it out.

I have decided to keep a decision journal from today.

A meditation on Focus

Doing deep meaningful focussed work brings you joy

Man, I just cannot focus. The joy of doing deep focussed work also know as “flow” is lost for me. Up until now, I just didn’t think I had the tools to focus deep work.

But recently I have discovered some wonderful productivity tools like taskheat which helps me plan my projects by breaking it down in to a flow chart. But before you can focus, you need to know what the hell should you focus on. It shouldn’t happen that you focus on some project and then after wasting years you regret it. I am using Airfous for prioritisation.

Once I am decided on the one task I need to accomplish, I use one of the most simplistic app called Flowlist. This app is just amazing to just focus on that one thing you need to dig deep into.

I am an advanced app user. I have never been able to use a paper to jot down my ideas. I am a digital first inspite of belonging to Zen X. If you have been doing this on paper, you are miles ahead of me. But I am catching up soon on getting focussed and experiencing the joy of deep meaningful work.

How I manage my tasks

You know there are thousands and thousands of articles on productivity, and I might have read a few thousands of pieces. So here is my take on how to manage tasks. Maybe you will find some wisdom in this? (Leave comments)

Ok, first I classify the task into mainly two types

1) Algorithmic Tasks
2) Heuristic Tasks
3) Dated Tasks
4) Location Based Tasks

An algorithmic task is simple straight forward for, e.g., – Call XYZ or email ABC

For, e.g., – Imagine you are a dog, and your Boss is your master who throws a ball in front of you and asks you to fetch it. Simple right? Yes, that’s an algorithmic task.

A Heuristic task is a complex task, it includes a lot of googling, thinking, and finding the best method to do the same, knowing that there could be an even better way to do that task, but you are running out of time.

For Eg – If you are a dog, and your boss says he has thrown a rubber ball, and you have to jump into the ocean and retrieve a golden ball in record time because he is calculating ROI

Warning – If you are are accepting any new project, try to gauge what would be the proportion of algorithmic and heuristic tasks, if the percentage of heuristic tasks are higher, you should demand higher pay from your client.

Dated Task – These are the task, which only gets activated on a particular date, like paying your broadband or electricity bill.

Location based Task – These are tasks which are location dependent, for, e.g., you are travelling next week to Pune, and you need to do a few things to do there. So this folder contains that task. Task managers like Todoist have a GPS based Task Manager, which reminds you of a task when you reach a particular location automatically.

I use an app called todoist to manage these two types of tasks.

I also use another task management app called Meistertask to manage my tasks filtered on the basis on projects. Task by projects comes 2nd in my task completion workflow; my first attack is always tasks based on the above four criteria.

Also use email folders to file emails if there is task associated with it, many email apps like Airmail have an integration with todoist where you can assign a task straight from your email client.

Sleep deprivation and Restoration in Mumbai

I once took a poll on my Facebook and most of the people said that it is rather mandatory to get about 8 hours of sleep.

I used to sleep for 8 hours, but now since last two weeks, I have decided to hack my sleep. Getting 8 hours sleep, means one has to compromise on two things.

1) if you sleep early, you miss this quality time with yourself from 12 am to 2 am. So I am not ready to let go of this.

After 12 am, one is free from all chores and distractions. The time between 12 am to 2 pm is the time for some quiet reading or journaling. So now I tend to sleep around 2 am or even later. My circadian clock is set to make me wake up at 7.30 (if not earlier) every day no matter what time I sleep.

2) Walking up early means getting a head start on your work, so I wake up around 7.30 and almost right in the bed, I start organising my tasks for different projects, I’m currently working on at the moment.

As the day progresses, I mange my breakfast and then the entire day is until 6 pm is basically, meeting people, calling, emailing which involves travelling and a hell lot of multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking is unavoidable, and one feels sleep catching up. I doze off in uber or ola ride with my Meditation music from brain.fm for about 15 mins. A nap of 15 mins, charges you up for another 2/3 hours of meetings and stuff.

If I am at home, I try to get a 15min to 30 min nap in the afternoon; that is if one lucky. Sometimes, you are so tired, but your mind over-worked up, that you cannot sleep even when you are sleepy.

Restoration

Tiredness happens because of the traffic, the stress, the various inconveniences in our life and city. My recovery time is appalling; earlier I used just stop working for a few days when I had completed a gruelling task. But that breaks set your back to square one. So tiring is inevitable, some get tired easily, some might not. It depends on your gene’s, your health, your diet and other external and internal factors.

What I do nowadays, is that I have started anticipating when and what tasks will make me tire soon. I try to think how I can get less tired by doing that task efficiently. I also am giving extraordinary attention to my diet, but unfortunately, sometimes skipping meals are unavoidable.

But if I get tired, I see that I recover very soon, bananas is a great recovery food for me, chocolates, peanuts or whatever I can carry in my bag. Also, a lot of water helps.

One of the most important thing I do for restoration is trying to eat my dinner before 7 pm and try to eat a nutritious breakfast.

So these are my hacks for sleep deprivation and restoration. What are your hacks, how do you cheat sleep or restore and nourish yourself back after a gruelling project? Let me know.