Mission Statement for Optimize Myself!

Welcome to my new site!  You’re probably on a quest for self-improvement or at least have a slight interest in the topic simply by the fact that you’ve stumbled upon my corner of the web!  Stay tuned for posts on the following topics in the near future:

  • Hourly Diary: I built this Android app for the purpose of creating a Time Diary to track and audit my use of time throughout the day.  Now, there are plenty of time diary apps out there, and you can certainly go old-school and track using a spreadsheet or even a pen and notepad.  However, how practical is it for you to stop what you’re doing and record the task throughout the day, if you tried that approach?  How about trying to fill out your Time Diary entries for 1-4pm at 10pm because you forgot or were too busy?  Hourly Diary will strive to make your time auditing process as unobtrusive as possible.  For example, it’ll ping you every hour on your phone and ask you to fill out a brief survey of your time use in the past hour.  This streamlines the process of auditing your time use everyday, and Hourly Diary also includes tools to display statistics on your use of time, including:
    • What day of the week and time of day are you most productive or energetic?
    • What day of the week and time of day should you strive to be more productive due to a discrepancy between your productivity and energy?
    • How much money are you gaining/losing due to your good/poor use of time (depending on the monetary value you assign to your time.)
  • Productivity and Time Management: Each of us gets 24 hours a day, and those hours and gone forever after we spend them.  How to get the most out of them?  The Hourly Diary program is a tool that’ll greatly enhance this process, but only if you understand the fundamentals that I’ll present here.
  • Saving and Managing Money: How do you get the most out of the money you’ve worked so hard to earn?  How do you optimize your spending with a reasonable amount of effort rather than creating an unsustainable and “cheap” budget by blindly cutting every little cost across the board?  How do you discern good vs bad investment advice and stay out of trouble in the financial markets?  Between 2009 and early 2010, I had a brief but grueling stint with poverty and lived on about $1000/mo; this taught me some valuable lessons about money which I’ll remember for decades to come.  I will teach the lessons and wisdom I learned from that experience in this section of my blog.
  • Credit Cards: For those of you who are disciplined enough to pay them off entirely most months, avoid late fees, and avoid the temptations to overspend, credit card hacking can be a lucrative way to squeeze more out of the money you spend via reward programs.  I’ll also show you how I managed to earn enough points for 2 overseas plane tickets for my new inlaws to come to my wedding.
  • Books: I’m an avid reader, although not as hardcore as many other bloggers you may have heard about.  I will generally strive to read at least 1 quality book every month and listen to audiobooks regularly on my 2 hour commute each day.  I’ll review and share books that have changed my life.
  • Technology: How do you simplify your life and stay organized with technology like using the right smartphone apps?  How do you bring back life to an older computer by installing Linux?  How do you improve the performance of your computer without wasting time reinstalling from scratch?
  • Via Negativa: This is more of a philosophy of eliminating the “bad” instead of adding more “good” things in life to solve problems or live better.  Simplicity is better unless proven otherwise.  No, I’m not advocating that you become a hardcore minimalist, but don’t hesitate to take a step back and carefully eliminate the bad and unnecessary.
  • Other Topics: As you can see, there is quite a bit of overlap between many of the topics above (i.e. installing Linux may also fall in the category of “Saving Money”.  Also, Via Negativa is a theme that’s integrated into nearly all of the above categories.) The above list is by no means an exhaustive list of topics I’ll be writing about, nor will all of the topics be discussed in the near future.  The site’s topics may also evolve over time based on your interests so definitely leave comments and stay tuned!

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