How are you Jun-te on

September 2023

Audio Clip for the audiophiles =>
Happy September guys!

I don't know about you guys but I feel the flu season is back.

My fiancée ( a teacher ) has just come back from work and welcomed us with a flu.

Funnily enough most of my social contact is also ill 😅

Look after yourself guys.

Keep warm and carry on.
Future Proofing
On September 1st, 2023 I had an all-day calendar event titled, "Have you made any money yet? From Past-Junte Sep 2022"

I remember making this goal and not knowing where the hell I'd be this time last year. So the simple yes or no answer of 'Have I made money' seemed simple enough.

Could I have predicted the creation of this newsletter back in September 2022? Considering I started this in January 2023 I highly doubt it.

With all this, budgeting, calendar optimisation, and goal-prioritisation some of my clients stress themselves out to try and future-proof themselves.

The need and want to future-proof themselves is inspiring but anxiety-inducing. I believe it is due to the nature that we can make the best plan today. So we must be able to make a plan tomorrow.

In the same way that tomorrow is not a guarantee we are making assumptions that we will wake up tomorrow and thus it has already lost a little truth.

The further you go, the more assumptions you are making, and thus it loses clarity.

My belief for this is that your life is always in a transition phase. There is no such thing as order or stability. Even if you have the perfect week I'm just deluding myself. My routines and my schedules from my systems have stayed fairly consistent but even if I look at how I have spent my time. No week is the same.

Most of my clients work on the basis of the someday I'll do X. Thinking that there might be a better time than today to do something. It is useful to see if you are hitting a goal or not, but obsessing over every detail will delude you. The classic example is saving up for a house deposit.

It's good to know on a monthly basis if you are saving enough for a house deposit for a set date, however, this does not guarantee we can buy a house at the given market and what the interest rate will be in the future.

Some things have to be found out once we meet a small milestone we can see.

Actionable step: Plan quarterly (3 months). Reassess. Repeat.

Our lives are ever-changing every 3 months. You might find the love of your life, you might get a new job offer, or a loved one might have passed away. Strive for 3 months and do the best you can with the data you have.
Slave to your calendar
The reaction to my calendar and my morning routine has been interesting, to say the least. 😂

To some inspiring... to others a prison.

People are entitled to their own opinions of course but I wanted to address some remarks I have gotten.

"It stresses me out seeing that calendar"

I can emphasise with this. There is a lot in my calendar and a lot of detail that some people wouldn't want.

I'm trying to balance, my YouTube channel, my newsletter, MealCraft (coding project), HealthTrinity (sleep exercise diet), My YNAB Consultations, a social life (poker + board games), dog sitting, and meaningful time with my fiancee. (Future goals of learning an instrument, a full-time job, hikes, learning a language, and much much more I'm sure.)

If your goals were singular, I would argue that you don't need a calendar as well. Currently, without a calendar, my life is more stressful as I would have always forgotten something. The complexity of my brain is actually simplified with a calendar causing me to spend less time worrying about what I should do and instead focus all my energy on working.

As always, focus on what works for you. In my case, I believe, the calendar simplifies my life and allows me to prioritise and focus on the work on hand more effectively.

Remember your emotions/feelings are your responsibility and not mine. If it stresses you out please feel free to not look at my calender. In my case, the calendar makes it fun to work and de-stresses me.

"I don't want to be limited by a Google calendar (technology). What would you do if you lost internet connection?"

An over-reliance on a tool can be dangerous. However not using a tool at all can be dangerous also. When this came up in my consultations I asked the client, how would you do "12 times 37".

Client: "Err... I'll use my calculator"

Jun-te: "Awesome and the calculator will allow you to do more complicated maths quickly. What would you do without a calculator?"

Client: "Use pen and paper?"

Jun-te: "Awesome, and for whatever reason if you didn't have access to a pen and paper what would you do?"

Client: "Do it in my head?"

Jun-te: "Exactly"

The tools allow us to do things easier. In my last newsletter, I showed that your inputs are money, time, and energy. The less you use tools, the more money you'll have but the less time and energy you have. The more reliance on tools, you'll probably have less money due to buying a calculator but have more time and energy to do more important calculations.

The benefit for me using my calendar and Reclaim AI, for a small cost, it allows me to save time and make time for important things more easily. What is the cost of doing everything in pen and paper? What problems do you want to solve? Doing calculations or insights from the calculations?

A disadvantage of pen and paper and the example I give is that it can't be shared. The benefit of the pen and paper will be that it'll be private, however, I wanted to increase my accountability; ideas, and insights.

This could only be done when people can criticize my calender without my time. I just have to share a link to my calendar and my business mentor, my sleep coach, and my business partners can all see how I'm using my time. Awesome.

The openly transparent nature, in my opinion, allows for better communication and thus better work.

I'm leveraging other people's tips and advice. I'm sure your way is amazing and works. If so, great! Even better if you could get feedback from people who love you and care for you and then decide for yourself how you want to implement these ideas.

"Aren't you just a slave to your calendar then?"

Your calendar is your tool. The tool helps you do the work you want to do. If for whatever reason the calendar, is making you more tired, more stressed, and more busy. Then maybe you need to iterate your calender again to work better for you. Feel free to add 12 hours of gaming and 12 hours of sleeping. However, humans are an interesting bunch. Tell them to do that and when they plan their future self they don't want to do anything that is worse for their future self. I mean who plans to fail? So it might be worth it, when planning your future self, to have the life you want and be better off tomorrow than today. See what happens when you implement that philosophy. I wouldn't be surprised if your calendar gets busy and a little chaotic like mine.

You are the captain (master) of your tool. The tool is not evil or good. It's just there to do a job. Hopefully, you can use the tool to help you do your job.

Budgeting every hour has allowed me to see the trade-offs of my life more clearly. Do you want to code or see the urgent friend who just appeared by your doorstep.

I get to choose. That's all I'm trying to do instead of letting the urgent things in my life dictate my life.

"I like your tool, how do I do this with my system (notion)"

I used Notion once. Hated it and left. However, there seems to be a cult-like following behind the notion and a concept called the second brain. The reason I didn't like the notion is because it is a tool that is dynamic and powerful enough to make it whatever you want it to be.

Sounds awesome, but in the same way a spreadsheet break. Notion also breaks. Feel free to fix your notion/spreadsheet if that is what you want to do. I want to buy a tool that just does the job and works ALL THE TIME. These tools are powerful for prototyping and getting a quick minimal viable product without code. I question its reliability in production and you using it as your second brain. Sounds like more work.

Your second brain is a liability and not an asset if it's a tool that needs to be fixed and maintained. Unless that's what you want to do.

My first prototype for my meal planning app was made in notion. Great for prototyping and testing the market to see if people want this app. Not great for production as it wasn't reliable.

If your tool isn't reliable your tool might as well be worthless. Imagine having a calculator that gave you the wrong answer based on whether it's raining or not. You'll fail to do any meaningful work in England!

Don't be afraid to try out new tools. See if it works and dump the ones you don't like.

I just like trying stuff and also breaking stuff. Breaking stuff however is a story for another time.
The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie.
My budget and my calendar are the promises I make to myself.

They tell you my best intentions I plan to do that day. With how I'm going to spend my time and how I'm going to spend my money.

In a sense, the calendar and the budget allow me to have a conversation with my future self.

My monkey brain sees the urgency of today and only cares about all the fires I have to put out, whereas my future self has dreams and ambitions that seem impossible to grasp with my monkey brain.

I had a look at my twin brothers' calendar recently and funnily enough. The only things on his calendar were other people's commitments/reminders. For example Badminton with his girlfriend on Saturday, our Mum visiting time for the UK at the end of the month, and a hospital visit for his bed-ridden friend.

I looked at his calendar and said

Jun-te: "So you keep all the promises with other people"

Pyung-te: "Yeah, it just things I need to remember"

Jun-te: "What about the promises you want to make to yourself?"

Pyung-te: "What do you mean?... I don't have any goals like you"

Jun-te: "When are you going to the gym?"

Pyungte: "Umm.. when I have time."

Pyungte: "Actually in fact... " (proceeds to add it to his calendar after juggling his work calendar and realistically when he can go to the gym)

By the simple act of writing down when he is going to the gym on his calendar, he has now scheduled and promised himself that he will go.

In the same way, he has promised himself that he would go to his commitments to his social group, he has now made a commitment to himself.

In other words, the calendar ( which he used for reminders anyway ) has now increased his urgency to go to the gym.

In mental health, people love throwing out the words, "Look after yourself" <= What does that mean?!?!?!?!?!?

My theory: "Doing and executing the promises you make to yourself".

You know, how often you have missed the target, the goals, the dreams that you've set yourself. However, if you have the skillset to meet all your social commitments you also have the skillset, imo, to look after yourself.

You simply add the promises into your calendar, the same way you show up for other people but now you do it for yourself.

This is hard.

If you had a meeting with me booked once a week and I didn't show up 8 times in a row. Would you trust me? Would you see me as reliable?

How many times have you not shown up for yourself?

However, if I start showing up on the 9th meeting. Coming to the meeting with high energy and a motivation to do better. Won't you, as my friends, trust me and build a better rapport with me? Won't this improve every week that I show up?

What does your rapport look like with yourself?

What does your rapport look like with your future self?

If you don't have a calendar and don't have a budget. Aren't you just lying to yourself, fooling yourself that it'll be fine?

I'm not going to lie, you are going to be fine.

But honestly, fuck fine. Why do you want to be fine? I want you to be phenomenal. As anyone knows who has suffered from mental health, the word fine is a dangerous word.

The calendar and the budget allow me to be not fine. It grounds me in the reality of today and promises to my future self. This can come with a little stress, this can come with a little anxiety but what's the alternative?

The delusion that you are fine.

Show up for yourself by adding promises to yourself via a calendar. Watch the relationship with yourself improve and see the wonders when you start believing in yourself.
Order and chaos
For some reason. The biggest push I get from my systems is from my twin brother and older brother.

Personally, I think it's because we are brothers. Maybe it is my brothers who are the only honest people in my life XD.

My older brother last month, read my newsletter and disliked the idea of systemizing the relationship.

For context: this is the act of setting a reminder every 4 weeks to go on a google chat together.

However, in this conversation my brother mentioned he would like to play Catan: Cities and Knights with me and my fiancée.

Jun-te: Sure bro, would you like to make it a monthly thing?

Jung Jin: Too many systems I want chaos.

Jun-te: What do you have in mind?

Jung Jin: I don't want to make my decisions with a calendar

Jun-te: How do you make decisions right now then?

Jung Jin: Sometimes, I roll a dice

Jun-te: ...

Jun-te: Okay, if we both roll a six shall we book a catan game then?

Jung Jin: Sounds fun.

I then proceeded to add a 'roll dice' for my brother in my morning routine -_- ...

We did manage to get a 12 and book a Catan game with all three of us XD.

Personally, I would argue that this just means he wants to play a game every 36 days... but there you go...

I have also added in my system of 'rolling two dice' instead of one as my big brother got lazy with his messages after we booked a cities and knights game.

Whether this is order or chaos I have no idea.

I would argue, that we have a system for us to book a game of Catan. Which in my opinion is a win.

The only downside is another step in my morning routine but everyone knows I love adding stuff to my morning routine anyway XD.

Till the next game brother <3>
A new tool... Speechify
For avid readers, everyone knows my tip for buying a physical copy of a book and an audible copy of the book. So you can listen and read at the same time.

That tip is already useful but I would like to tell you the next iteration within my tooling.

I have found an app called Speechify

This app essentially takes a screenshot of any webpage, PDF, or book and then reads it aloud for you.

It even has integration with the Kindle app, so it can read the Kindle book for you as well!

Except for the lack of pauses in certain places. It is amazing and I have now increased my listening speed to 3x. Amazing.

In fact, I used this app to re-listen to all my old newsletters. I don't imagine anyone else doing that but it was very insightful to read my old newsletters :)

I have also automated the audio file generation for my newsletter. Whether that's liked or hated by the community I shall see with feedback.

For now, use a little money to use less energy and time to absorb knowledge.

For me thats a win, I hope this is a useful tool for you as well. I also use it to proofread my newsletter as it 'reads out' typos for me.

Added bonus: I now only have to buy Kindle books and no longer the audiobooks and the hard books, so technically I'm saving money too.
As always thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter.

I am phenomenal except for the fact that I'm a little sick at the time of writing.

I hope you enjoyed reading and/or listening to my newsletter as I enjoyed writing it for you.

I would love to know how you guys are so please feel free to message me

Till the next month guys

Love Jun-te.
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