This year I'll start with reflecting on the previous year of my life.
Recollect what I learned, what new habits I developed, articles I published, ..., you get it! The progress, good things that happened to me and areas I lacked behind.
The questions I'll answer will be these three:
- What went well this year?
- What didn't go so well this year?
- What did I learn & what I should work toward?
What went well this year?
Full time opportunity at Kavida.ai. I had started working as a Data Science Intern around December (2022) and this year around May I got an offer to work full time as a Junior Data Scientist.
You won't believe how awesome it was to dive into the world of startups, especially in Artificial Intelligence and Supply Chain. It's like living the dream, seriously. I never really fancied the big tech giants; I'm all about backing the guys with crazy ideas set to shake up the world.
Regular exercise for a healthy life. During my college days, it was hard for me to find or even give some time to my health. It would all be back and forth between college and home. Nontheless, after my last semester ended I began giving some time to my overall fitness. The goal wasn't to jack up, but just to get in a better shape overall, and be filled with energy for the day.
Although I did not kept track of what kind of exercises I did, I should start tracking them as well.
Health is everything. Getting good amount of sleep, doing regular exercise really improved my level of activity.
I graduated. Yeah. I'm happy that I no longer have to travel 50 km to and from, every day. But I'll always remember my college friends.
Adapting to analog scheduling. Every day, I would start with the schedule I had written last night on paper. This paper would also eventually become my to-do list for the day to keep my mind free of clutter of tasks I had to remember for the day.
Austin Kleon in his book "Steal like an Artist", says:
"The computer is really good for editing your idea, and it's really good for getting your ideas ready for publishing out into the world, but it's not really good for generating ideas."
This notebook isn't meant for generating the ideas but it serves as the central place for ideas and tasks come back to as I go through my day. Crossing off a task felt with like a sense of accomplishment.
Here is what worked for me, I would separate the page into two section, left section will be filled with schedule. On the right side, it starts with Highlight (of the day), the major task that has to finished at the end of the day, and below it would be To-do of anything that come across my mind or as the day go by.
An Upgrade to my desk. An ultrawide monitor. I always felt a need to work on an ultrawide, especially when I needed to go back-and-forth between tutorial/documentation and my main code editor window.
This was a nice addition and worth the wait. I love it!
2. What didn't go so well this year?
Consistency. I failed to achieve the level of consistency I wanted to. Things improved but not quite dramatically.
I failed to deliver article/blog every week. This was primarily due to my lack of ability to manage my time effectively. I focused more on delivering and completing the task at my full-time role, instead of learning things.
I also failed to post consistently on LinkedIn and share my new findings.
Fewer amount of contribution to Open Source. Working at a startup is no easy task, and finding time to contribute easily became a challenge for me. But, that's good. I need to overcome that.
Read lesser books. I managed to read only three books this year:
- Atomic Habits, by James Clear
- Steal like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
- Architecture Design Patterns for Python, by Harry J.W. Percival & Bob Gregory
3. What did I learn & what I should work toward?
- Focus on learning. That's what life is all about. I would die when I stop learning.
- Do small, fast low-cost experiments, and then scale it up. Experiments are the key to discovery. If one tool doesn't work for you, check out next. You'll find what you need, or you may create your own.
- Bring consistency to the everyday chaos. I always absolutely remember nothing about the little things I did that day, but I do remember the major things that got finished. If I can bring in consistent nature to my habits every day, I'll slowly get back on track. If I do skip for a day, don't let it slide for more than 2.
- Keep track of things. I can't improve If I don't measure it. Jot down what you're up to, what you're picking up, and anything else worth remembering.
That's it. Wish you a Happy New Year.