Zen and the Art of Designing Yourself

From Victor Filippov’s lecture at “Profsoux 2016” conference.

We deny things that we don’t like. We prefer not to see, hear or speak evil. Write down everything in a notepad to break this vicious circle of denial. It can be an imaginary notepad, just a note in mind. Observe yourself and try to find patterns. To refuse them you need to perceive them first.

A reflection is a dialog with yourself. There is no thinking, no managers and executives without a reflection. If you don’t perceive, you make everything on a hunch. Notice a way you live to be able to change it.

We set ourselves goals and objectives. I wrote them down and realised that I don’t need a half. I’ve got rid of 3 projects, which would have taken years of my life. The list of goals shortened from 15 items to 3.

How much time did you work on Friday? Track all your activities. It’s easy with the Pomodoro timer (25 minutes for task and 5 minutes for relaxation). Russian scientist Aleksander Lubischev worked an average of 7–8 hours and slipped 10 hours per day. We know it from his life-long time records.

Observe yourself to see hidden habits. Observing and recording is a base for changing a behaviour. Read the book “The Power of Habit” to learn more.

We spend to much time at work but we do it inefficiently.

Twice a month I go to cities nearby for 1–2 days. This travel charges me with emotions and impressions like a week-long vacation.

I wandered around the city. I was tired and saw sleepy people around me. An idea of project came up from this observation — a place where you can take a half-hour nap and a shower.

Where are no barriers to make your life better. You don’t need to change anything, just observe and notice. A form of your notices doesn’t matter. Flowly — the tool to make lists with infinite nesting levels — was useful to me.

Do it constantly to get a result. Summarise things you have done during a week, a month and a year — before you open a bottle of champaign to celebrate a year’s end.

“Getting things done” forces your to change a behaviour. An observation methodology allows you to change it without a force. You could even stop recording from time to time.

Also published on Medium. Есть версия на русском.

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