@manuelmoreale

Winter is almost over

Another month is gone and finally March is here.
Damn this has been a loooong winter.

A bad weather is not helpful when you’re dealing with a lot of other things in your life. I’m struggling to keep up with all the projects but I’m happy we, my friend Ale and myself, managed to push live his new site. At least I can cross that off the list.

Hopefully this is the first and last version of the site for this year.

I also have an idea for a project that I’m constantly pushing back because I want to start working on it but there are other things I know I need to do first but damn if it’s hard.

The work has also found a way to disrupt my routines again: my morning routine is all over the place at the moment but things are going to get better as soon as I close a few projects.

As for the books, I’m finishing another few of them. I’ll probably write about those in the next week update.

How’s your week?

Cheers,
Manu

Style and lifestyle

Get rid of the book you haven’t pick up in years instead of buying a new, beautifully designed pair of shoes.

Take care of the scarf you use every day and don’t buy the new jacket.

Learn how to saw and fix the perfectly serviceable t-shirt you have in the closet.

Learn how to don’t get bothered by what other people think about your clothes, your hair, your home.

If you like minimalism, embrace the lifestyle, not the style.

Having only 30 items in your closet is useless if you spend the day worrying about how to combine them to look good.

Self questioning

Why am I doing this? Is a question I find myself asking increasingly often.

This must be part of the duality of the life I’m living. On one side I’m aware of things I should do, details I should improve, and on the other I have very little control over what’s going on in my brain.

I’m working on something and all of a sudden I’m reading a thread on twitter where people are yelling each other about a subject I really don’t care about that much.

Why am I doing this? Why am I reading this thread? what good can come out of all this?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about this. The fact that I’m constantly asking myself these questions is a sign of progress. It’s a sign that a part of me is noticing these moments and is trying to correct and improve the situation.

And that’s good.

Deal with it

I guess this is this week’s lesson.
Sometimes you just have to deal with the fact that you live a life where very few things are under your control.

So what can you do when things are not under your control? I think you can adapt and try to follow the flow and see if you can find a way around the obstacles because there aren’t other viable options really.

So sometimes the weather gets in the way, or health gets in the way, or money gets in the way or some other improbable events gets in the way and there’s nothing you can do really.

But hey, this is why life is exciting and never boring.

Books

Managed to finish two books in the past two weeks. I listened to Trevor Noah’s book and is great. Highly recommend this one if you’re looking for an entertaining book to read or listen. The audio book is read by Noah and the guy is amazing. On being uncertain is an interesting one but is not super great.

Starts really well but once the author hits the topic of religion things start to get a bit weird and the logic of the book falls apart. But the first chunk of the book is really good and there are quite a few interesting ideas in it.

Coming up next

I’m working on a v1.1 of this site because I like the idea of having a blog and not a weird in-between mix and I’m also working on a bunch of client things all at once which will probably go live in the upcoming weeks and months.

Catch you next week.

Cheers,
Manu

Obstacles

So this week got derailed by the flu. I was almost done with the current book but then I got stuck in bed and reading on an iPad is not the best when you have a damn headache.

Anyway, nothing tragic.

Weather is also quite terrible. Started raining, is all gray outside, humidity at 5000% and that is not helpful.

Need to bounce back though. Lots to do.

Find something that works for you

3 weeks have passed since I started to read in a more systematic way but I have already learned an important lesson about how my brain works and how I can improve myself.

Two lessons actually.

Small chunks are easier to handle and you need to find what works best for you and you only.

I’m not gonna try to argue in favor of my current approach because, well because it’s MY approach. Works for me and this is the only thing that matters.

I realized in this past three weeks that if I’m facing one big task such as reading an entire book or code a site, I tend to go all over the place and my mind finds all the possible ways to get distracted in order to avoid the task. But if instead I divide the task into small chunks I can easily tackle each and every one of them quite easily.

With the current book I know that if I read 9 pages every morning, afternoon and evening I’ll be done by the end of the week. 9 pages are nothing if you think about it.

Also by doing this I keep my brain in a constant state of having accomplished something which is good because this way I feel great and I get the extra motivation needed to keep going and maybe do some extra work.

So if you’re like me and you’re in a constant struggle to find the motivation to do what you need to do maybe you can give this technique a try.

Enjoyed Chris's book. Quite a few nice lesson in here and is a really fun read.

Habits

Managed to read the 3rd book of the year. Really happy about this new reading habit. Another tough week for my early wake up. Need to tweak some knob and see if I can fix it.

Ciao,
M.

I hate you Winter

Wake up early when outside is dark and cold is damn hard.
I hate you winter.

Tough week for one of my habits. Woke up at 5 only 3 out of 7 days. The fact that I went to bed way past midnight on Wednesday didn’t help. I need to find a solution.
I’m probably gonna try some sort of compromise because I don’t want to force myself to wake up after just 4 or 5 hours of sleep but at the same time I don’t want to stay in bed past 8.
I can maybe set the clock around 6.30, we’ll see.

My other habit is perfectly on track though. This morning I finished The Dictator’s Handbook and I’m almost done with my second audiobook of the year (I think I have a few hours left).

If you're looking for a book about politics, this is a good one

The book is great. I’ve never been a huge fan of politics but this book is really interesting. It managed to make me feel even less optimistic when it comes to government which is quite the achievement since my levels of optimism were already very, very low.

Already purchased my next book: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield.

Boring week from a work stand point. Haven’t shipped anything which is quite disappointing but I started working on a new client project and that’s good. I also got asked to work on a very exciting new site and I can’t wait to start.

I think that’s it for this week. I have a few topics in mind I need to find the time to write about. One is self questioning and the other is meditation as a design tool.

I’ll try to find the time to write down a few thought about these two in the upcoming days.

That's it, have a good one,
M.

So far so good

As the title says, so far so good.
This first 7 days of 2017 have been quite good and I’m really pleased with the result so far.

How was your first week of the year by the way?
Done anything noteworthy? Really curious to know what you’re up to in this 2017. It’s always inspiring to see what other people are doing with their lives so, please, let me know if you feel like.

Ok where were we? Oh yes, the first week.

Habits

My goal of waking up at 5am every day is perfectly on track. Woke up at 5 all week and I feel great. It’s incredible how productive can you be when you have plenty of time in the morning. This habit is gonna be harder to maintain once I’ll be back on the basketball court because I tend to go to bed really late on Wednesday and get up at 5 the next morning is gonna be quite a challenge but we’ll see.

I also finished reading and listening the first book and audiobook of the year.

I finally managed to reach the end of Bostrom's book!

The book I finished is Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom and the audiobook is Why Information Grows by César Hidalgo.

Both quite good, both on very interesting topics. The AI problem is a challenging one and it is fascinating and a bit frightening at the same time. Had Superintelligence on my reading list for about a year (😱) and I’m really happy that I finally found the time to finish it.

Already started reading The Dictator’s Handbook and listening to The Undoing Project.

I’m adopting a nice approach with the books. I divide the total number of pages in small chunks (I know books come in chapters but those are not neatly divided), 21 chunks to be precise.

Why 21? 7 days a week, 3 times a day. I’m trying to read something in the morning, at lunch and late at night, before going to sleep.

If I don’t skip a single one of those 21 chunks I can ready a book every week which is really great.

As for the blog, well as you can see I managed to find the time to write the post number 1 so I’m on track.

Work and Projects

From a work perspective has been a good week. Not amazing but for sure a positive one.

I coded my new site, finished the landing page for the Designed Space project I’m working on with my friend Mike, and shipped the new site for Fabio Lamanna. Also coded my blog and made progress on another few side projects.

The landing page coded for Designed Space

See you next week

So I guess that’s it for this first week of 2017. I have a few thought in mind I’ll probably share with you next week.

Ciao,
M.

Habits. habits everywhere

3... 2... 1...

BOOM!

We made it! We're in 2017. This damn 2016 is finally over and that means we just reached another of those totally arbitrary milestones in the human calendar.

Human psychology is weird and for some reason, new year's eve feels like the right time to throw the bad and old habits out the window and start fresh as soon as the clock pass midnight.

That’s plain stupid you might think and I’ll agree with you on that.

But this year I thought, you know what? I might start something on January 1st and see if I can stick to it for the next 365 days.

And, since I’m quite an idiot and well aware that you can barely manage to introduce one change in your life at the time, I decided to introduce a bunch of them.

That’s probably because in this way I can blame that and not myself for failing for the 120th time ahah.

Anyway, here’s the list of things I decided to introduce (or reintroduce in some case) in my life:

Wake up early

I used to wake up at 5am and was a great habit. Then, you know, winter comes, it gets cold, you wake up and is basically still night outside and that habits is quickly gone.

I’ll try to force myself to wake up at 5 again. Don’t care if it’s dark outside or cold or whatever.

Writing this thing you’re reading right now

I thought about this for quite some time now and this seems a good moment to start a blog. Why? Don’t know.
I’m well aware that my English is far from perfect decent but this is a nice way to improve on that as well.
Also I thing it’s a nice way to force myself to reflect on what’s going on in my life and that’s a nice thing to do.

Reading and cutting down distractions

In the last few months of 2016 I come to the conclusion that I must cut down distractions. And by distractions I mean things like news sites, youtube, twitter and all the rest of the internet noise.

And what better way to achieve that by replacing those moments with a book. I’ll try to read at least 1 book every month and also try to listen to 1 audiobook.

Declutter

Lastly I’ll try to push the declutter I started in 2016 even further by getting rid of as many physical stuff as I can.

How about you? Are you gonna do anything special in this 2017?

Ciao,
M.