alxndr

🤔 thoughts only

A place to share what I'm thinking of. Using this as an in-between personal private thoughts and what I would post on Twitter.
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by alxndr
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Thoughts on life.

I had a small panic today thinking that maybe I did the wrong choice. Maybe I shouldn't have accepted my new job.

My mentality right now is that I much prefer learning on my own about the things I really want to learn about. Yes doing product management is fun and I'm definitely learning a lot, but is that what I truly want to be working on?

I'm thinking of all the college kids that have the choice of taking a gap-year starting fall and just working on their own projects and I'm lowkey jealous. I'd definitely want to take a gap year and just put all the time into thinking, writing and learning all day every day.

One framework I like using in these cases is if I knew 100% that I would have no judgment, what would I do? And I tend to think that the answer might be -> Yeah I'd love to do it. Give myself a year to learn and if I didn't do anything in that year, then I'll force myself to get a corporate job at any company.

At the same time, I just accepted a job at a company and would feel really bad to just leave right now. Something I need to think about for the next couple of months.

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Thoughts on Twitter.

One thing I've realized is that I tend to share a lot more of what I'm doing since I've been more active on Twitter.

What I'm afraid of is that I will think of "what will give me a lot of likes" or "what is cool" instead of actually sharing things that I personally find interesting.

Something for me to be aware of.

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Thoughts on self-compassion.

I just quit my job and have 3 days off until I re-start at a small startup with a lot more responsibilities and realized today that for the past 6 months or so, I've never given myself a day to actually relax.

I always felt guilty to not do something during the day and never gave myself time to actually relax. I don't want to create an excuse for not doing anything, but I think I should definitely learn how to be more forgiving towards myself.

I really enjoy the combination of having non-zero days, but also forgiving yourself when that doesn't happen. It has to be a balance between sacrificing your present for your future self, while also being nice to your present self when that doesn't happen or when you are "selfish".

by alxndr
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Thoughts on Twitter.

I've been using Twitter a lot more than usual and it's super fun. I've never had as much fun as Twitter as in the past few weeks.

One thing I need to remind myself is to not get trapped in a constant dopamine hit.

But meeting new people and talking to new people has been extremely fun.

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Thoughts on Twitter.

Yesterday reminded me why I love Twitter. It's definitely the only platform where your favourite sportswriter would subscribe to your own newsletter.

Although it did make me stress out and ended up making a full blog-post on my favourite sportswriter haha.

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Have been posting a lot more consistently on Twitter. It's fun to just experiment with my thoughts and tweet it out.

What I enjoy the most is being a lot more carefree than before. Kinda like how I use Futureland. Instead of being very careful with what I tweet, I just send out pretty much anything that passes through my head.

Very similar to writing, I'm gonna get better at tweeting by posting more consistently.

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Thoughts on focus.

Not only that I'm not consistent, but I also have really bad focus. Earlier on this month, I was mainly focusing on design. I was finishing my LearnUI.Design course and was also designing on Figma a lot as well.

But since I've joined my newsletter mastermind, my focus has been all about writing. That's the only thing I'm thinking about.

Now I'm wondering if it's at all possible. Can you have a job + concentrate on 2 other hobbies of yours? And it becomes even harder when I want to include exercise as well.

One thing that I'm thinking of is really dedicating days to certain areas I want to improve.

Basically, Monday and Tuesday are dedicated to writing. Wednesday is dedicated to Design. Thursday is dedicated to Writing, etc. Basically allocating blocks of time where no matter what is happening in the world, I HAVE to focus on that area for that at least that amount of time.

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Thoughts on community.

I always underestimate how much a community can influence you (for the good and bad).

I'm so thankful for my newsletter gang and everyone on Futureland for really inspiring me and pushing me to output as much as possible.

I've been focusing a lot on improving my newsletter lately and will hopefully be able to grow it in the next couple of months.

I also got back to tweeting more - my goal is to remain consistent in that as well.

Next step is finding a balance between writing, product (management, design) and exercise. That's gonna be hella hard though.

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Thoughts on design.

A few days ago, I mentioned that I was confused about what to do. I think I realized why. I'm currently working on my project justreads, and I realized that I have a very hard time from going 0 -> 1 for designs.

I'm just bad at pushing pixels. So how can I become somewhat okay at pushing pixels? I guess there are some design systems that I can learn on how to help, but I feel that the best way to learn to push pixels is to… just push more pixels.

I initially didn't want to do any "Daily UI" challenges because to be a good designer, you also have to take into account the persona and WHO you are designing for. But to be honest, I'm not even at that stage yet. I should really just focus on getting better at creating things from scratch first and foremost. Learning what is the best way to design something without even knowing how to actually design first seems very backwards (unless you have another designer with you, which is not the case).

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Thoughts on choosing your niche on Twitter.

The advice that's given to quickly grow your Twitter account is to niche down on one particular subject and only (or mostly) talk about that as much as possible.

But for some reason, I hate the thought of doing that. Maybe it's "the way", but it just doesn't seem honest. I don't want to be "Alexander the product guy" or "Alexander the anime guy" or "Alexander the self-improvement guy". I just want to be me. If I have thoughts about product, I tweet about it. If I have thoughts about anime, I tweet about it. If I have thoughts about self-improvement, I tweet about it.

This method might not bring me Twitter fame - but I get to stay honest and be myself. So, in the end, it's worth it.

Now am I saying this to give myself an excuse of not growing my following? That I still need to determine…

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Thoughts on meditation vs walks

Walking and meditation both have very different functions for me.

I much prefer walking because when I walk, I don't have my phone with me and just grab a pen and paper. I try to walk 15-30 min per day and I use that time to just process everything that's going in my mind.

I use this time to close any open loops that are currently bothering me and try to prioritize and/or clarify what to work on.

Meditation is more like a reset for my mind. It's a way to clear everything that's currently on-going in my head and just let air pass through my body and back out.

I feel that meditation is much more passive vs walks (or the way that I use my walks) is more action-oriented.

I still believe that ideally I should be doing both.

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Thoughts on life.

Getting confused on what I truly want to do. I'm not sure what exactly I personally want to do in terms of product. Do I want to manage it (which is what i'm doing now)? Do I want to design it (which is what I'm learning)? Do I want to build it (which I just bought a course for)?

Obviously, I shouldn't be doing all of it - I just don't have time. But all of these are so close to each other that I feel that each is worth exploring.

I know that I for sure want the knowledge of a product manager. I love understand what customer problems are - but I also want to solve them.

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Thoughts about thoughts only.

I decided on a whim to create this project to share 1 or 2 thoughts that I had per day out in the open.

What I realized was that a lot of these thoughts that I'm sharing and talking about could definitely be a seed that will lead to an eventual essay.

I also started capturing any random thought I had (whenever possible) and it's such a cool habit that I developed thanks to Futureland. Super grateful 🙏

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Thoughts on helping others.

I realized how much fun I have meeting new people and helping them as much as I can. I don't consider myself an expert in anything, but whenever someone reaches out to me, I'm super psyched to be able to provide my POV and just responding to questions (and hoping that I provide value).

I always try to respond to people no matter how big their bloc of text is and follow-up with them because it always reminds me of when I try to reach out to other people and I get sad when they don't respond back haha.

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Thoughts on video-chatting during live-events.

First time actually video-chatting during a live-event (WWDC). Was happy to do it with the Futureland peeps and got to place faces to names.

Too bad I had to also work at the same time, but was nice to hear some background commentary as the event went a long.

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Thoughts on having fun.

I made a post a few days ago about the fact that I enjoy being alone.

Well, today was a very social day and I actually enjoyed it a lot.

My gf is leaving the city for work so I really wanted to just spend some quality time with her.

I think it goes back to asking yourself "will you regret not doing this when you'll be older?"

And I'd much rather spend some time with her than making sure I output something on Futureland haha.

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https://twitter.com/HuanWin/status/1274531289475899397

Thoughts on Twitter pt.3

Continuing on my thoughts from last time, I think I realized why Twitter is so dangerous for me. It's because it opens so many new loops for me.

By consuming new threads/ideas/concepts/articles, my brain is constantly stimulated, but I'm never able to digest them properly.

It literally becomes idea porn for the brain and it wants more and more. My brain then becomes overloaded or over-saturated with new ideas and I can't just concentrate on just one. It goes all over the place. Which is why I can't focus.

I see 3 potential solutions that would solve this.
1) As I already mentioned, kill the feed completely. Only use Twitter as a one-way street as I already explained in previous thought.
2) Make sure that I close every loop that I open. Force myself to consume the idea properly so that I can flush it out from my brain. Take action on the idea/concept/article that you saw by either writing about it on Roam/Futureland, reading it if it's an article or making sure that you store it in an read-later inbox.
3) This is a more complicated, but better version of 2, but it would be really cool to be able to have a limited/slower Twitter. Either only being able to consume say 10-15 tweets per day or getting a feed of the top 10 best tweets from your feed. This will limit the interaction that I have with new information and will allow me to properly close the loops.

Inspired by this tweet: https://twitter.com/HuanWin/status/1274531289475899397

by alxndr
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Thoughts on being lonely.

Weird thought I had, but I used to crave being in groups and hated to be alone. Anytime I could, I would schedule gatherings or try to be with my friends as much as possible.

But now, it's the opposite. I really love being in my bubble and concentrate on learning new things that I crave alone time.

Like having fun for me = being alone, learning new things and writing about things and building things.

Probably the weirdest feeling I've felt in a long time.

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Thoughts on Twitter pt.2

Just thought of a potentially really cool experiment so wanted to write about it before I forget.

I should think of using Twitter exactly how I use Futureland. Any random thought or interesting thing I find, I'd just take the time and write about it on Futureland and not expect anyone else to really reply.

What if I used Twitter the same way. Maybe for a week (up to a month), I would only use Tweetdeck so that I could only see responses to my tweet and DMs.

This way I will post more on Twitter, not care if my tweets are read or not and potentially generate more ideas if ever there are interactions. Worst comes to worst? I'll just have really bad tweets under my profile.

Ok, logging off for real now.

by alxndr
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Thoughts on Twitter.

Last thought before logging off. This is probably a "duh" thought, but the more time I spend on Twitter during the day, the less I tend to actually produce.

I'm starting to believe that Twitter is actually toxic for me because of the way I use it.

What I gain from Twitter is more ideas, more articles to read, but the result of this is information overload. I then become paralyzed with my ideas and thoughts and have no idea what to do first.

Without Twitter, my mind becomes a lot calmer. I know exactly what I need to do because I have way less new things to play around with.

I also feel that I have a bit of FOMO of not using Twitter every day.

Would love to develop these thoughts a bit further another time.

by alxndr
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I know that I haven't been sleeping optimally for the past couple of days and wonder if that affects my sleep.

I know that <7h really kills my productivity. For the past couple of days (even on weekends), I barely get a good 8h of sleep.

Not sure if it's stress or just not sleeping enough. Killing my outputs streak today to sleep early and start fresh tomorrow. Will see if it helps.

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Sometimes I feel that I'm just repeating the same message over and over. I know what to do - I just don't do it. Sometimes I annoy myself.

I know that I should Just Do It.

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Thoughts on reading.

I bought this huge "About Face - The essentials of interaction design" book, but no idea when I would be able to start and finish.

I'm thinking, maybe I should commit on reading 10 pages of it every day for the next 2 months. And then jot down important ideas, thoughts and summarize it in a tweet or just on futureland/roam.

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Thoughts on newsletters.

Still thinking on the best way I can showcase my newsletter. I'm thinking maybe I should publish all the small thoughts I've gathered throughout the week on certain topics and expand on one of them to be my main topic.

Ideally, I would share all of my thoughts on Twitter during the week, and then I can use which ones are the most engaged with and can expand on that one for a future main story?

My main story would then be either a popular thought I shared on Twitter or the one that I'm the most interested in and can expand on relatively easily?

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Thoughts on streaks.

For the past few days, I realized that my outputs were a lot weaker than what they should've been. I didn't want to break my "streak" on Futureland which is why I still posted them even though it was diluted.

I decided to care less about my streaks and more about actually doing something. It's ok if there are days when I'm not productive, I just need to be honest with myself. That's what's more important.

I also created a "fails only" project that will be used to explain the days where I haven't been productive. my goal with this new project is to make sure that I don't have consistent days without having an output.

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Thoughts on launching.

Didn't expect this, but someone with many more followers than me just announced a very similar idea to what I wanted to do.

Just goes to show that first-mover advantage is a real thing 😅.

Got bummed out for a few minutes, but had a call with my bro and we're just using that as fuel to also launch our idea. Our idea is still a bit different than we can still go on-top.

Goal is to launch a landing page ASAP. And then focus on designs + coding to get a bare-bones MVP.

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https://twitter.com/mikaelcho/status/1270743623391424513

Thoughts on building in public.

My brother and I have been talking about this new webapp we want to build. We're both learning how to design (me) and code (him) properly.

Our goal was to release an alpha by the end of summer that way we would be able to design it properly at least have something that is "nice" before launching it to the public.

However, seeing this Twitter thread https://twitter.com/mikaelcho/status/1270743623391424513 by the founder of Unsplash really got me thinking.

Do we REALLY need to have a "good" app before launching? We were scared that 1) nobody would like our app if it was minimal and had bad UI 2) someone might copy it and make it better.

In the end, we know that there is a demand for this webapp and building in public will force us to really dedicate time to make it better. As long as it fills the main job-to-be-done, some users will be able to enjoy it. Worst comes to worst, we'll have 0 users that use it.

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Thoughts on sleep.

I'm grateful for this pandemic because it really taught me the importance of sleep.

For the longest time, I've always slept <7 hours a day and I never felt any motivation to do anything.

However, because of the pandemic, I was able to gain 1-2h of sleep which made a HUGE difference in productivity.

I feel completely different when I'm running on a 7-8h of sleep. I'm motivated and can easily cruise through my to-dos and can produce a lot in one day.

Whenever I'm last minute for my newsletter, I usually go to sleep pretty late on Tuesday and send it out much later (around midnight - 1am instead of the usual 7-9PM).

Instead of sleeping earlier on Wednesday, I usually try to compensate by working more and end up sleeping late. This then creates a cycle where I become less productive (because lack of sleep) and sleep later to try and compensate for my lack of productivity.

I realize that I should really focus on prioritizing my sleep above all. It's literally the best way for me to be productive the next day and it's not worth it to deprive myself of sleep just to maintain my streak on futureland 😅.

Sleep early. And maybe the next day I'll be able to be doubly productive!

tldr; Sleep >>>>>>>>>>

by alxndr
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Thoughts on my newsletter:

I know that I shouldn't stop publishing on a weekly basis, but I wonder if I should stop forcing myself to write a new story every week. Instead, maybe I should just publish a summary of what I learned and new thoughts that have formed (basically listing the most interesting permanent notes that I've created) instead. This would allow me to concentrate on developing my own thoughts that are backed by arguments and not just brainstorming and writing fleeting notes.

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Some thoughts on note-taking:
Instead of trying to summarize an article, what's really more important is just identifying what resonates with me and how this affects my worldview.
I think highlighting could help for later on, but what's a lot more important is writing down what resonates with you right now.

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I've been thinking a lot lately on what would be my ideal process on how to create evergreen/permanent notes.

I think what I'm scared of is realizing that I actually don't know a lot about - anything. Which would mean I have lots to learn.

If I'm being honest with myself, I'm still unsure if the majority of my opinions or knowledge is really what I think or what I'm programmed to think.

I really want to start creating evergreen notes because this will really demonstrate what I truly think of concepts that I'm learning about.

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Hopefully, this is not a controversial thought, but I decided to limit myself to only 15 min (or less) of Twitter per day.

I understand what is going on right now and the importance of speaking in public about it, but it's definitely mentally draining to see and view all the destruction going on (I also can't imagine what it's like actually living through this, so I know that I'm definitely privileged).

I feel that spending my time on Futureland is much more calmer and a lot more inspiring. There are so many cool projects that are on-going on this site. It's amazing to see all the productivity that is happening and definitely helps me concentrate on my goal to producing instead of consuming.

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One of the best ways to confirm your understanding of a concept is to transform it into a visual design.

But the opposite is true as well.

If you're having a hard time grasping a concept, try to visualize it through design.

by alxndr
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I realize that I tend to try and learn things just because "I'm supposed to know this" or "it makes me more manly".

Although I love the idea of being good with manual labor, I know deep inside that I don't actually like and I'm also not good at it.

Instead, I should listen to myself and only do what I truly want to do and not do things to please others or to be someone I'm not.

I should just focus on doing things that I'm inherently good at and that I enjoy doing. This will be able to be more profitable in the long run.

The goal is to make enough money so that I can afford to pay for someone else to do work that I don't want to do myself.

internetvin
I can relate!
alxndr
@tania - Yeah UX is obviously super impo...
alxndr
Since everything is very similar, I'm ha...
internetvin
Interesting. I've been thinking about th...
justin
I wonder if this is a figment of getting...
alxndr
@jessmei haha glad I'm not the only one....
internetvin
Yeah I can relate and everyone’s definit...
alxndr
I definitely don't think this can be app...
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alxndr
alxndr 🤔 thoughts only