I’ve missed my Quick Updates for the last two weeks. I’ve started drafting them on Sunday evenings but then I get distracted with something else and don’t end up finishing them. Before I know it the week is almost over again.
I am going to wrap up them up and publish them, however I thought I would try another experiment as well. I am going block time as frequently as possible – best case daily, worst case every few days – to jot down thoughts that are currently swimming around in my head. They will be completely arbitrary and most likely not fully formed. Let’s see where this goes.
- Time vs Priority – I’ve become really efficient at managing my time. I do slip on occasion though. Every now and again I find myself wanting to do something but don’t because I don’t have enough time. I’ve realised this is a lie. I have more than enough time to do anything – they key is determining whether things are priority or not. If something is a priority, I will have enough time.
- 2x, 5x, 10x Improvements – When looking to improve something, whether personal or business, I am a 10x person. I prefer to push as hard as possible to get maximum results. However, I have realised that pushing for 10x can have down side which means it’s often not sustainable (ie. burnout, broken process, etc). It is also important to measure the improvement relative to the starting base / point. Right now, incremental improvements that are 2x – 3x are more sustainable and actually compound better over time than a once-off 10x improvement – this applies to personal and business at the moment.
- Data, Data, Data – Hyve is growing way too fast and we’re having to make some massive changes. Looking at all the different datastore options we have and considering all the various moving parts. A really fun challenge at the moment – the implementation is going to be a hard slog. Right now we’re using MySQL, ElasticSearch, and Redshift. Luckily I have a solid team working through all the details too.
And that’s it for now.
Image by Chris Lim – CC License
Week of 19 – 25 September.
Had a pretty busy week. Even though I have a pretty good routine, I still feel like there is a lack of rhythm to my day – which may in turn be bleeding into the business (or I’m just being hyper sensitive). Things are going well overall, maybe that’s why I’m uneasy?
- Monday – Breakfast at Shift. Bumped into Mark & James, who seem to pop past every other morning to grab coffee. Love having impromptu chats with them. Spent most of the day in meetings and on Skype calls. I can’t remember where I had lunch – probably somewhere in Cape Quarter. Spent time on agreements and then a training session with the team. Light work in the evening with a bit Netflix.
“Look, I’m not a rich person. I’m a poor person with money.” – Pablo Escobar, Narcos
- Tuesday – Breakfast at Shift, worked there for most of the morning. An out of office meeting and then lunch with Brad and Maria. Had more meetings at the office and then went to gym. Had a tough session, my mind was lagging behind so I only really kicked into gear 20 minutes in – will look to improve my mental readiness prior. Walked home. Light work in the evening.
“Maybe keep a few reps in the bank, you’re going to need ’em later.” – Roland
- Wednesday – Breakfast (guess where?). Stephan joined me so we could sync on a few projects. Another day full of meetings. Popped past the bank to get a new card. Demo from the frontend team on how they’ve integrated their workflow with Laravel. Walked home. Light work in the evening.
- Thursday – Breakfast. Another day of meeting apocalypse. Lunch with Ashley from PropertyFox at Yumcious, good catch-up on their journey and good ol’ start-up talk. Leg day at gym. Walked home. Finished watching Narcos.
“I’m not worried about making mistakes we notice tomorrow. I’m worried about mistakes that we only realise 30 to 60 days from now.” – Me in a meeting.
- Friday – Breakfast at Loading Bay with Brad and Charl. A few morning meetings + email. Merged my weekly Ops meeting with Nicole into lunch – rather time efficient, except I end up talking with my mouth full for 45 minutes. A few product meetings and then got to play with our first deployment of Metabase – so stoked, much fun to be had looking at our data. Finished watching the Harry Potter series of movies.
- Saturday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Uber’d around Cape Town for a while – pit stop at Cape Quarter. Went for a massage at Sorbet Man, was worth it. Chilled for the rest of the day and watched the Jungle Book – double worth it. Decided it was cheat day and ordered NY Slice Pizza – negative worth it.
“If you want a new toy, just buy a car!” – Romanda
- Sunday – Breakfast with Romanda. A walk through Green Point Park onto the Promenade towards the V&A Waterfront. Did some light shopping at the Waterfront. Caught up on The Office, we’ve started watching from Season 1 again. Started the usual Sunday evening prep. for the week ahead.
I’ve pretty much settled on Shift as my default breakfast spot, so from now on let’s just assume I have breakfast there unless I specify otherwise, ok?
Over the next few weeks I will attempt to reduce the number of meetings I have per day. I’ll also have a dedicated day without meetings – hoping I can keep this up. It’s not that meetings aren’t productive, it’s more so that I do want days were I can focus on a single task or two and complete them in their entirety.
Until next week kids.
Week of 12 – 18 September.
It’s been a super long time since I wrote an update. Thought I’d get into the swing of it again. My week is basically summed by JHB doesn’t have a decent espresso anywhere.
- Monday – Caught the red eye with Brad and Charl to Johannesburg. Had a mini breakfast at the Slow Lounge at the airport. Caught up on some audio books during the flight (love my Beats Solo). A short mission on the Gautrain and then travelled around from meeting to meeting with B/C + Simon. Stayed at the Holiday Inn Sandton, really impressed with the rooms – construction noise was minimal. Sandton is basically one construction zone at the moment. Gautrain to Centurion – business dinner. Uber drive back to Sandton. Late night email + sleep.
- Tuesday – Woke up early. Caught up on more email. Breakfast with B/C at the hotel. Gautrain trips up and down JHB – meetings, meetings. Headed home to see the family in JHB. Dinner at Fahrenheit (average).
- Wednesday – Breakfast at Mugg n Bean (ugh) with Mom. Flight back to Cape Town. Caught up on email while in flight + caught a quick nap. Uber to the office. Meetings (better known as putting out fires).
- Thursday – Breakfast at Shift (ie. proper espresso). Meetings throughout the day. Tried to get through email backlog caused by travelling. More meetings. Had to skip gym.
- Friday – Breakfast at Shift. Meetings throughout the day. Had some really good reporting and product meetings. Spending lots of my time thinking about creating more efficiency within the business while giving people more autonomy. A quick table tennis match to end the day, walked home. Fell asleep super early.
- Saturday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. A lovely sunny day but chilly as well. Went to Canal Walk – someone got a new pair of Nike Roshes. Went to dinner at Dash – Queen Victoria Hotel – definitely worth a visit, would love to do lunch there.
- Sunday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Long walk through the Green Point Park down the Sea Point Promenade. Caught an Uber to Kloof Street. Light shopping. Chilled at Jerry’s Burger Bar – super awesome, very unhealthy. Chilled evening, Sunday evening prep. for the week ahead.
Should start tracking my sleep patterns again and will add those to my updates going forward. I’m still focused on my health – working out more frequently, very conscious of what I eat. Also, started watching Narcos which my brother recommended. Definitely worth a watch.
That’s all for now kids, have a wikkid week.
Week of 18 – 24 April.
Basically a week of practise what you preach.
- Monday – 06h30 wake-up. Quick jog to gym. Cold shower. Breakfast at Shift. Meetings at the office. Lunch at Food Fitness Factory (FFF) with Brad, Charl, and Maria. Work and meetings. Hair cut at Blokes. Walked home. Email. Upgraded to a Macbook Pro 13″ Retina – life has changed. Dinner at Balducci with Romanda.
- Tuesday – Take-away breakfast from FFF, super healthy oats. Meetings. Spent time reviewing agreements – really enjoy it, I need to continue with my LLB. Lunch at Bootlegger. Work and email at the office. A brutal gym session. Dinner at home. Rest.
- Wednesday – Breakfast at Shift. Worked from home for the day. Lunch at Rocomamas with Mike. More hacking. Dinner at home. Watched some TV. Had to stay up slightly later due to some network upgrades on a live project.
- Thursday – Breakfast at Loading Bay. Work and meetings. Lunch at Manhattans with Brendon and Vince. Spent more time coding. Gym. Walked home Dinner at home.
- Friday – Breakfast at Bootlegger. Headed to the office. Reviewed more agreements. Lunch at Loading Bay with Mike. A few meetings and email. Headed home. Chilled for the evening.
- Saturday – Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Went to the Bokeh Fashion Film Festival. Enjoyed some of the talks. A really nice venue and setup as well. Now fighting the urge to buy a C-Class Coupe, it’s a beautiful car. Had lunch at Tashas. Watch Ted 2 finally – it wasn’t a great film but it was random and funny.
- Sunday – Breakfast at Vovo Telo. A walk around the V&A harbour, watched some Triathlon athletes swimming. Spent the afternoon working, researching, and catching up on things in general.
In terms of health, it’s been a really good week. I’ve started gym, I’m eating quite healthy, and got fairly good sleep. I’ll start including my Jawbone statistics again next week. I’m quite bummed to be missing AfrikaBurn, however I’m quite happy to be working and resting in between.
Even though I’m walking to work and back home again, I still feel like I’m using Uber too much – and I don’t know why. I think I’m nearing my 1000th Uber trip (I need to check). On a side note, I am using Siri a lot more – especially for timing the steeping of my tea.
Any way, that’s programming as usual. Until next week.
It’s been quite a while since I posted an update. I have been on a bit of a philosophical re-alignment. I started feeling burnt out around early March, as a result of pushing really hard in January and February – never mind the last few years.
Unfortunately I won’t ever stop pushing hard, however I needed to create more balance in my life. I am definitely not after the elusive work-life balance. I am more so after a self determined balance that ensures I am living a fulfilled life and everything I do is aligned to my goals, philosophy, and belief systems. I’ve been fully tilted towards work.
Instead of spending time keeping notes for my updates, I spent time journaling thoughts and questioned everything from the ground up. I have enjoyed the process and I don’t think I am anywhere near done. However, I am starting to feel revived again and am much more focused.
“What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily?” – Seneca
I have doubled down on my following of Stoicism. Each morning I listen a letter written by Seneca (Tao of Seneca) – this upcoming week is Stoic week. I have realised the value of my time and now focus relentlessly on protecting it and ensuring it is spent wisely*.
I have started giving much needed attention to my health, prevention is better than cure. Getting 8 hours of sleep and regular exercise has become a must.
And, lastly, I am paying to attention to maintaining deeper relationships with those already near and dear to me as well as building deeper relationships with more people. Trying to ensure I don’t eat alone is a good example of using my time wisely to improve my relationships with people.
Expect the usual updates to resume as of next week. Until then, keep it classy Internet.
* Note how I used the word wisely and not something like productively or efficiently. It’s an important note. Think about it.
Weeks of 22 February – 6 March.
As the dates would suggest, I didn’t post an update last week for the first time since I’ve started doing my weekly updates. I’m going to try a different format for this update – instead of doing the daily break down, I’ll do some highlights and lowlights.
- Breakfasts & Coffees – I’ve continued the Bootlegger spree – spinach and salmon omelette is my new staple. Think I visited Shift once, still like it. Origin is still my go-to, to-go, coffee spot throughout the day.
- Lunches & Dinners – Went to Carne with Romanda, best steak in Cape Town. Had lunch with Clint at Loading Bay (super decent bunless burgers). Had a great catch-up with Johann, he brought me up-to-speed on his journey with his start-up Passmarked. Lunch with Brad, Simon, and Michelle at Food Fitness Factory – always the healthy option.
- Brad’s Wedding – Had an awesome weekend in Tulbagh for Brad and Maria’s wedding at Montpellier. Romanda and I stayed in a treehouse at Vindoux. Had one of the best massages of my life at their day spa. Rented a Mercedes Benz C180 for the trip / weekend – a decent car, but I wouldn’t buy one.
- Run / Steps – I was able to sneak in a run somewhere, I’ve been getting frustrated with the lack of physical exercise while I’ve been bogged down with work. I’m trying to keep my step counts up by walking everywhere, so I’m feeling good.
- Philosophy & Deep Thoughts – Had a great long chat with my Dad the other day – parents can often provide profound insight (they know us best right?). Started listening to Tao of Seneca on my walk to work and back. I’m starting to better understand who I want to be over the next 50+ years.
- Lack of Sleep – Starting to feel the effects. I will write an essay on this in due course. Suffice to say this won’t be a continuing trend soon.
- Personal Admin – Have a bunch of things on the back burner that need attention. It’s easy to park personal admin, with the typical “I’ll get to it later” excuse. However, there has been some real opportunity cost by not doing some things.
- Coffee / Caffeine – I’m consuming way too much caffeine at the moment – I need to dial it down. I’ll do so with a measured approach, so as to manage the caffeine withdrawals (read migraines). I’ll decrease by around 40mg a day (about 1 / 1.5 cups).
I’m quite excited for the week ahead – the project I’ve been working on has launched and we’ll start to see the uptick this week. However, I’m more excited for the week of stoicism ahead.
Week of 15 – 21 February.
I’m really trying to think long-term lately, whether the decision be macro or micro. The aim is to reduce short-term emotional rollercoaster rides and improve my thinking around what really matters. When you think long, things appear to be a lot clearer – all the bullshit fades into the fringes.
- Monday – 4h 45min sleep. Breakfast at Bootlegger – impromptu meeting with Brad and Charl. Quick catch-ups once in the office. Emails and code. NutriBullet and then a proper sync with the team. A bit more code and planning – loving CloudCraft. Walked home, watched some TV, and more late night hacking.
- Tuesday – 5h 11min sleep. Worked from home. Grabbed lunch from Shift Espresso Bar. Walked to the office for a quick check-in and then back home to continue working. Dinner at Manos (quality has slipped). Have an awesome idea for a book. More late night hacking.
- Wednesday – 3h 8min sleep. Grabbed a coffee to go from Bootlegger with Bridget and Nicole. Spent the morning hacking. Lunch with Matt at Bootlegger – a deep chat about company culture, organisation, process, and the art of delegation. Continued hacking throughout the afternoon – some quick check-ins with the team. A new pair of Nike’s from Superbalist arrived. Walked home. Dinner from Woolies. Watched some TV. Late night hacking.
- Thursday – 6h 16min sleep. Increase in sleep meant I felt wrecked for most of the morning. Worked from home for the morning. Met Mike for lunch at The Butcher Man. Decided to give Periscope a bash – some random people watched us waiting for our burgers. Got into the office, a bunch of meetings and design reviews. Headed home. Mondial for dinner. Watched TV and then more hacking.
- Friday – 6h 33min sleep. Woke-up and ranted about education on Twitter – sparked by the recent student protests at UCT. A broken system that needs fixing (not-for-profit). Had a NutriBullet and Uber’d to the office. Lunch with Vince at IYO. A few more meetings. Headed home. Watched TV and chilled for the evening.
- Saturday – 8h 52min sleep. Breakfast at Shift with Romanda. A quick mission to the Waterfront and Sea Point – walked around Sea Point for a while. Pit stop at Woolies to grab a coffee on the way home (and claim my R250 gift card for the fly incident). Afternoon hacking. Romanda and I met up with Mike, Bridget and Glen at Extrablatt for pre-match drinks and snacks. Walked to the stadium to watch Kaizer Chiefs play against Super Sport United. Glad AmaKhosi won. Loved the vibe around Green Point after the match – we’re so distracted by what divides in this country, it’s nice to know things can still unite us!
- Sunday – 8h 28min sleep. Slept in a bit. Late breakfast at Shift with Romanda. Bumped into Mike – he joined us for a bit. Spent the afternoon working. Watched some TV and then more hacking.
Health Stats: Pretty stoked with my progress this week. I’ve had a NutriBullet every day and eating quite healthy (80/20 rule). I averaged 10.5k steps per day (up by 1.7k). Obviously sleep is lacking a bit, trying to make it up towards the end of the week doesn’t help either. It needs to be consistent. I averaged 6h 10min (down 22min).
“Then again, what’s the point of having fuck you money if you never say fuck you?” – Bobby Axelrod, Billions
Whenever I go on late night hacking binges, Hip Hop plays an important role. I don’t know how anyone grinds without Hip Hop – although Micheal Burry did use metal to do his thing. I’ve been looping an old favourite of mine, Vado – Large on the Street.
Another busy week ahead – I’m sure it’s going to be a good one. Let’s see where the chips fall.