#0 - New Beginnings

Hi! Welcome to my first newsletter issue that, hopefully, will mark the beginning of a new phase in my life!

#0 - New Beginnings
Photo by Dayne Topkin / Unsplash

For the past 3 years I've been fantasizing about the idea of starting a personal website and newsletter. But, as it happens with almost everything new or out of our comfort zone, we wait to learn everything before starting, we procrastinate with pointless tasks and we just feel "weird" about it. But isn't that the point? To expose ourselves to new discomforts and learn along the way?! I believe living a steady and comfortable life, within our circle of friends and activities we have been doing since forever, isn't the best way to live. There's so much more to learn and so many people to meet. And, with this blog, I hope to achieve that.

Here is an example that explains why I'm starting this. Picture the following: you live in a small village with your family, close friends and neighbours that you happen to know quite well. If you never leave your small village, you will never see another village or city, you will never experience different cultures and never meet new people. Life opportunities will be limited to what happens in your small village and you will live a repetitive and boring life. Do you want this in your life? The answer is probably not.

Now, extrapolate it to the internet world that we live in. If you are reading this, you already are in the internet world. But if you only consume content it's like you are visiting a new village without talking to new people, to understand their ideas and culture and share yours. You won't get the whole experience, you won't understand their culture and ideas and you won't meet new people that can potentially change your life forever. But, if you start publishing your ideas and start interacting with people like you, you'll be meeting amazing new people that can change your life, just like you can change theirs.

This small story it's (obviously) not completely mine, but from Ali Abdaal, that more or less defends this concept when he tries to explain why joining the creator community is a great idea.

The internet is such an incredible opportunity, and to not share my ideas and knowledge seems to me like a waste of my time. If what I publish can change at least one person´s life in the world, why wouldn't I take the chance?

Learning how to write better and express my thoughts more clearly, learning a little bit of design and marketing, learning how to build a brand/business, meeting like-minded people and changing someone's life. The aforementioned are some of the things that I hope to achieve with this blog.

👨‍💻 Productivity Tips

In the past few days, I've been trying to make the most of my free time. Now that I'm graduated and searching for a job, my free time is almost infinite. And as some have experienced, when you have too much free time you end up doing the same task throughout the whole day (check Parkinson's Law).

To avoid non-productive days, I've been time blocking everything I will do. Time blocking is far from new to me, but now that I don't have any obligation structuring my day (apart from practice, but still flexible) I'm struggling with doing meaningful work. I don't like (actually hate) to feel like I didn't do anything that can potentially help me achieve more. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with taking time to chill. But I do think making time in my calendar for the meaningful work and for the chilling time, clearly sets my mind to work and to chill when it's the due time, without feeling like a hard task or having regrets.

Here is an example of my daily week routine from the past days.

I plan my day according to my energy levels, which is related to my circadian phenotype. I think it's one of the smartest ways to do it when you have the freedom to choose your daily routine.

Although I still have a lot of research to do on circadian rhythms, through self-awareness I know my brain performance starts to increase around 1h30 after I wake up, so it's when I start to do meaningful work. I also know that at lunchtime I'm sleepy, so I tend to just eat, chill and do low energy tasks (washing the dishes, cleaning my room, etc). Through years of experience, I also noticed that my optimal training time is around 16-18h. In the future, I will dive deep into how one could structurize the day around his circadian phenotype and will publish some articles about it.

💡 Recommendations

Yes theory: Everyone should know Yes Theory. Their content is just out of this world, and the message they want to transmit is fundamentally necessary. Recently I've done a Yes Theory marathon, and the video that touched me the most was the one where Thomas Brag went to Afghanistan. There are no words to describe it, the video speaks for itself. It was filmed before the American army left. I can't imagine how those people's lives changed after what happened and can only hope that one day they can finally live a life free of conflicts, fears and with freedom.

The Impact of Circadian Phenotype and Time since Awakening on Diurnal Performance in Athletes: If you are an athlete or just a fitness enthusiast, you know how it feels to practice at certain hours of the day. It feels like someone has beaten you up the day before. Somehow, you can't get the full power and coordination you are used to. Well, the following article shared to me by @catia43 studied the impact of the circadian phenotype on physical performance in athletes. The difference can be up to 26% 😲. Try to self assess your circadian phenotype and adapt your practice time accordingly, when possible! In a nutshell: Early risers tend to peak at ~12h or 5:36h after waking up; Intermediate phenotype at ~16h  or  6:30h after waking up; Night Owls at ~20h or 11:11h after waking up.

Have a great day,

Hugo Duarte