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How to Do More while Staying Sane

April 25, 2022

I’m a software engineer at a demanding startup, but I find time to pursue hobbies and side projects. I shoot landscapes, teach photography, host a podcast, and run a side startup that's helping photographers curate art galleries. I’m also learning piano. People have asked how I juggle everything without getting burned out. So I'm writing a series of articles describing my productivity process and tools that help me stay on top of things. If you’re struggling to find time to do what you've wanted to do, whether writing a book, learning a new language, or starting a side hustle, you’ll find value in these articles. 

I’ll be honest–it wasn’t easy for me. In 2016, I worked on a side project called Wize, a live-streaming app that connected teachers and students. The challenge was that I could only work on it at night and on weekends. I regularly got only four hours of sleep, and when it was time for my day job, I was rarely in the right mindset. I eventually got burned out and realized something had to change. So, I spent the next few months studying successful people and how they operate differently. I gained valuable insights but also found that some of the advice didn’t work in real life. People were writing things to capitalize on the billion-dollar productivity industry, clearly not having tried much of what they were preaching.

Over the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with various methods of managing time better, and I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I’ve developed a system that keeps me motivated and focused throughout the week, helps me zip through my tasks, and moves me toward my long-term goals. My strategies aren’t new. Inspiring authors like Cal Newport and Jake Knapp have influenced me. But, I’ve iterated on their techniques, tweaked them to my taste, and infused them with my own eureka moments. If you’re interested, follow along (subscribe with your email below), and I’ll show you the tactics, habits, mindsets, and tools that’ll help you get a bit more out of life.

My system is based around solving these common problems:
- Insufficient motivation.
- Lack of inspiration.
- Low energy levels.
- Inability to stay focused long enough.
- Ineffective time management.
- Absence of clear goals.
- Not organized.

Here are some topics we’ll cover:
- How to stay motivated throughout the day.
- How to move through boring tasks.
- How to create a personal knowledge base of your thoughts and ideas.
- How to make decisions and solve dilemmas. 
- How to manage your todos effectively.
- When to use analog tools and when to use digital.
- When you should multitask and when you shouldn’t.
- How to structure your day for maximum output.

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