Clear the Deck
Press reply. Say hello.
Good afternoon. Currently listening to Brain.fm’s Unwind mode as I walk around the nearby track, processing thoughts and writing. The music has a very atmospheric, Blade Runner, melodic type sound. Ulysses is in Typewriter mode, where every line other than the one I’m typing is almost invisible. It just finished raining here. There’s a slight breeze, with a little mist in the air. Very gloomy. Been spending a lot time of walking. A lot of time in silence. A lot of time being as present as possible. A lot of time journaling in a notebook. Rapid logging, trying to find patterns and creative ideas throughout the day. I’ve also been preparing all of my systems for the upcoming year. Deep cleaning all my tools, getting them ready for big projects. You’ll also notice that the newsletter’s structure has becoming simpler, while also gaining many more words. That alone should give you a glimpse of where I’m at mentally. As always, I hope this letter finds you well.
Table of Contents
- No More Social
- Clear the Deck
No More Social
I don’t have any more social networks on my phone. No more Facebook. No more Instagram. No more Threads. Any app that isn’t bringing complete clarity to my day has now been removed.
For input, I use Kindle, Reeder, Overcast, and YouTube. And even with these apps, I’ve been keeping an eye on the signal to noise ratio, removing any subscription that I’ve been passively skipping.
For output, I use my weekly newsletter and the Artifact app to publish my writing. I’ve also been journaling daily, using physical notebooks (Field Notes on the go and The Subtle Notebook at my desk) and Apple’s Journal app to reflect and rapid log throughout the day.
All of this (these apps, input, output, etc.) comes down to two things: being present and being mindful.
Clear the Deck
A few weeks ago, I started doing weekly reviews on Wednesdays instead of the weekend. This adjustment has made them much more effective for me. Before, I always had intentions to do a review during the weekend, but weekends is the time to relax, make fun plans, spend time with family, and definitely not look at a task manager. So even though my intentions were good, they were never executed.
Doing reviews on Wednesday shifted my entire perspextive on the reviews, and has also made a day that is usually a drudge, a day to actually look forward to. With it being in the middle of the week, I can look back at the last two days, and then look ahead at the next two, before the weekend. And if I happen to not finish the review on that Wednesday, I have two more days before the weekend starts to wrap up any unfinished tasks.
For the review, I have three sections that I focus on: Digital, Analog, and House.
Digital: Review projects and tasks, clear out inboxes, log screen time averages, delete any screenshots, review calendar events, delete apps, move articles to Matter, and review Kindle samples.
Analog: Review Field Notes pages, review Subtle Notebook pages, process any loose index cards, and process any loose checklists.
House: Go through loose mail, put clothes to wash, pickup any trash in office, clear off desk, pickup any loose clothes, organize closet, find items to throw away, and find items to donate.
After going through each one of these areas, I walk away feeling refreshed and focused, knowing that everything in my life is now accounted for. This inspires new ideas and projects, and gives me the clarity needed to be present for the rest of the week.