Building a life system that fits your needs in a digital era
I left my job in December 2020. With the pandemic hitting hard, I had plenty of time to catch up on readings, technologies and theories of our highly connected era.
As an ex-consultant, one of my main objective was to achieve a handful of high quality deliverables to solve complex problems for demanding clients. This required well proven theories and techniques. Since I am not working anymore, I wanted to apply my knowledge to help people solve issues of everyday life and achieve success.
Finding the right system
From my (very «thin») understanding, a system would be a set of processes and rules that acts all together for a common purpose.
For instance, think about switching from a very unhealthy to a healthy life which is my case. You would have to apply a set of processes and rules that help you reach your goal, and at the same time makes the experience pleasant so it can last long in time. Processes and rules would concern, sleep, diet, sport, mindfulness, etc.
It can become quite challenging in our hyper connected era full of noise such as media, notifications, email, calls, etc. However, our connected era also offers quite a lot of solutions that can help us reach our goals.
The Second Brain
By seeking for techniques and tools on YouTube, I discovered a concept called the Second Brain. It’s initiated by Tiago Forte, and discussed by many famous Productivity master/YouTuber such as Ali Abdaal (my favorite one).
The goal of the is to build a digital system that helps you gain in productivity by creating a digital knowledge system that helps capture, organize, distill and express any thoughts.
How does that apply to me wanting to be healthy? Well, that system should help me get rid of any stress due to lots of noise in my head due to a quite busy day. As a result, I should be efficient enough to have time and energy to do sport for instance, or cook a healthy meal. It makes sense, since being healthy is not only about physical effort, it also requires a lot of will and organisation.
Now let’s figure out how to generalize the « becoming healthy » exemple to building a system for your life.
Using the right techniques and tools
There are lots of amazing theories about how to improve ones life habits and way of living. However, one should not drown in theory, but find light in every new knowledge acquired.
Tiny changes, remarkable results.
The most important idea is that improvement should always be progressive. And the system you might want to build should help you stay consistent through time and keep a steady work.
As a concrete example, I believe the PARA « Projects, Areas, Resources and Archives » organisation system is a strong foundation. It is used in the concept of Second Brain. It works pretty well to keep every single part of your life mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive or MECE (for any consultant reading this article). It’s the cornerstone for a robust organisation system. As a result, it become very easy to organize, keep track or solve issues of your life.
As a tool, I use Notion to apply this system. It’s the main tool used by productivity gurus. You can have it on any device, and the user experience is quite amazing. The community is also very active. However, I believe there are infinite other ways of creating a digital knowledge system that I will explore.
You can read my research on my personal website: thebigsloth.xyz.