1 year ago for day 125, 2019 with 446 words.

Designing my own life (2 of 2)

  1. Define After this initial research phase, you can start to make a preliminary overview of the areas of your life. These areas will form the basis for the rest of the system. I simply started by making a big list of all the things I liked. From this list, I tried to look for patterns. As soon as you have a good overview of everything you are invested in you can track progress on it. Some examples of tracking are: Tracking energy: Some activities are energizing, while others are energy draining. Log your major activities for a few weeks and note how energized each activity makes you feel. Track learnings: What situations made you learn a lot? Track failings: Often failures are the best learnings. By going back to things that didn't work you can try to learn from those mistakes.

Your list will give you ideas on how to improve your routines, habits, and activities. One of the things I uncovered, for example, is that traveling gives me tremendous new energy, motivation, and inspiration. By digging deeper I found that this roots back to emerging myself with new people, trying new food and exploring a city. For these aspects, you don't necessarily need to fly to the other side of the world. You can even do that in your own city by going to a new neighborhood.

  1. Ideate Designing your life is a big fluffy wicked problem. It's like navigating for the right direction without a destination in mind. The problem with designing your life is that you don't know exactly where you're going. You may just have a general idea of "I like this kind of stuff" and "I don't like that kind of stuff", and the kind of things that give you energy as opposed to draining you of energy. But not much more than that.

  2. Prototype and test You have to ideate on different possible roads. The only way to do that is by doing little experiments. Which brings us to the next step of the process. And remember again that these steps are not linear in any way.

In web development, a prototype is used to test out an idea quickly. Instead of endlessly analyzing things on paper, you will have to get out there fast. The idea is to build your way forward by doing small experiments, or as a design thinker would say, building prototypes. You should do the same thing: send your ideas out into the world and see how they perform. In other words, test them. Then, come back, iterate, and send something else out into the world to see how it does.


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By Kent de Bruin

Building up the habit

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