Rules I Use to Run My Life

How it all began

I had a setback in January 2018 and I hit the nadir while I was on vacation in Japan. I took the opportunity in the beautiful, relaxing snow mountains to deeply reflect on myself. Eventually, I decided I will redesign my lifestyle.

After the initial reflection, I started with a simple set of 3 rules:

  1. No longer base my identity on my career and work.
  2. Sleep as much as I want every day.
  3. Work out in gym and exercise 4 days a week.

Current Rules

These rules work so well I have added more over time. I expect to tweak, drop, and add more rules over time. So this page serves as a one-stop to view all my current rules. Easy to show to other people and also to remind myself to enforce compliance. All rules are ranked based on the time I added them to my life.

  1. No longer base my identity on my career and work (since Jan 2018)
  2. Sleep as much as I want every day
  3. Work out in gym and exercise 4 days a week
  4. Reach the move target on Apple watch on daily basis (since Feb 2018)
  5. Write 3 things I’m grateful for every day
  6. Focus on achieving 100k annual revenue
  7. Focus on achieving 10k SGD monthly recurring revenue
  8. Write 2 things I learn every day and share them on twitter (since Mar 2018)
  9. Build a blogging habit (since June 2018)

How to address project ideas

I have a separate rule set that specifically deals with project work . I have a tendency to take on too many stuff so this helps me to say no more easily. Thankfully with this new-found focus since Jan 2018, I have killed off many zombie projects that were sucking my energy.

Still, I will always be offered new opportunities and the like. And I’ll always have crazy ideas. To prevent giving birth to new zombie projects, I have created this 3 + 1 rule to validate ideas and opportunities I receive.

The 3 + 1 rule

The first pass involves asking 3 questions about the potential project. If any questions fail to elicit a clear yes answer (maybe means no), the project is a no.

The questions are

  1. Is it a B2B play?
  2. Does it result in recurring revenue?
  3. Does it involve technology?

Should a project idea answer a clear yes to these first 3 questions, then it now needs to pass the final, purely non-rational, and completely subjective question with a clear yes.

Does this feel like a Hell Yes?  On a scale of 1-10, does it feel like at least a 9 in terms of how much I want to do this?

The first 3 questions are designed to make me think with my head. The last question allows my heart to take part in the decision making. This approach allows me to reduce the amount of incongruity in my life. Hopefully, when I do commit to new projects, I can commit whole-heartedly having checked with my head and my heart.

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