It’s interesting for me how I can get caught up in certain moments in life and totally miss anything else. I don’t mean this in a positive way. I can recall two specific periods during the last 4 years where I was so deep submerged with solving a problem that, in retrospective, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed living. I stopped reading, I was absent at social interactions, I was anxious. All because I wanted to fix those problems and get them out of the way as soon as possible. I don’t talk about a week or two, I talk about being in this state for three months. And saying I want to fix something as soon as possible and spending three months on it doesn’t seem like a good idea when ignoring your health and all the other things that you normally would enjoy. Also I don’t think only spending time on that one problem wasn’t that effective. I remember sometimes sitting in front of the computer and thinking about how I could solve a certain problem without making any real progress. That whole pressure I put upon myself stunted me. It would have been more wise to define a certain time during the day to work on it. But of course, we are always wiser afterwards. Or are we? The reason why I write this down is because after reading the chapter “Alive time or dead time?” by Ryan Holiday’s new book Ego is the Enemy is that I realized those months I spent on solving those problems were mostly dead time. Life is too short to spent it ruthlessly. So this note should help me remind me of that.
A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts, so he loses touch with reality and lives in a world of illusions.
— Alan Watts
An interesting quote to keep in mind while designing Shimatta. Shimatta's goal is to capture thoughts based on your daily experiences and learnings. It shouldn't actively force you to think about stuff that you could write down just for the sake of doing so. But what if a thought occurs but you're not in the habit of writing them down or you forget doing so?
A solution for this could be to let the user setup individual reminders. Reminders that will be sent at a moment the user thinks is the best time to reflect on his thoughts. Be it in the evening or the next morning those thoughts occurred.
Also just reminding a user "what was on your mind today?" might be to generic. Everyone is different, everyone does different things during the day. I for example stumble across interesting articles or programming libraries during the day which I might want to keep in mind. So my reminder should ask me:
"Have you found any interesting links today? What's interesting about them and how will you be able to implement them in the future?"
Of course, those are just thoughts about improving how to write down thoughts. And as the initial quote said, just thinking without doing detaches you from reality. I don't know if the described solution above is useful unless I built it and tried it out.
I’m not saying we should only build products that are “exciting.” A lot of products are boring and unsexy. That’s OK. The key is to solve problems for a group of people you’re passionate about. If you can make money doing that, without undermining your values, you’re winning.
To learn more about intermittent fasting check out these links:
Currently I'm eating breakfast at 9am, lunch at 1pm and dinner between 5 and 6pm. I workout on Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8pm (1 hour strength, 1 hour Krav Maga) and on Saturday mornings (strength). That means I'm going to start fasting at 9pm to 1pm the next day and skip breakfast. Not sure how my body will respond to this new stressor. I'm going to take it slow and start with two days a week and gradually go up afterwards if I feel like continuing.
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying "no" to 1,000 things.
Hmm... Should I work on Shimatta, Desk Hunt, Remember Posters, our accounting tool, client work, that new crazy idea or ...
I guess it's time to remove some of those. Or at least put them on the bench.
After long three months of merging myself into accounting I've finally reached a long awaited milestone. I've generated all the necessary reports and they are currently reviewed by our trustee. If all goes well I can hopefully close the accounting topic for this year.
Our accounting tool automatically generates ~90% of all entries and reports by itself at the moment. Of course it still needs some user interaction to do this. But we managed to get rid of most of the boring manual labor. All we need to do is assign transactions (automatically imported from our bank accounts / credit cards) to commercial documents. The rest is automatically taken care of by the system. There is still a lot more room for improvement and automation but for now I'm very pleased with what we have.
As for the next step: It would be interesting to show our tool to other small companies with the same needs. There is a lot of competition in the accounting software field but not a single competitor seemed to accomplish what I was looking for: saving me time. There might be some web based solutions which automate some things, but not a single one convinced me (especially not if I've to manually migrate 100+ documents and all the information I need is already stored somewhere else). Otherwise I wouldn't have used my time to build a solution for it. I would have bought it. Trust me, you don't want to build an accounting tool. It's horrible. Especially if you have no idea about accounting (at least not when I started with the development).
So if someone (especially other small swiss companies) reads this who has had it with those user unfriendly tools which cause you to spend more rather than less time with accounting, drop us an email. We would love to show you our solution and help you spend more time lying on the beach sipping mojitos instead of working through a pile of receipts.
What a great idea. Renting most of your home to cover your mortgage and some living costs and by this gaining more freedom.
We need our smartphones, notifications screens and web browsers to be exoskeletons for our minds and interpersonal relationships that put our values, not our impulses, first. People’s time is valuable. And we should protect it with the same rigor as privacy and other digital rights.