My life management system
My purpose is to live a good life, i.e., to self-actualize and eventually transcend. Fulfilling this purpose involves too much information for my brain to handle. I need a well-thought of tool based on philosophy, psychology, and praxeology to help me keep track of my journey towards fulfilling my purpose. Enter the life management system.
# What is the purpose of the life management system?
A life management system should free your mind
Build a life management system that helps you be at peace with your choices of action
A life management system can also be a meaning-making machine. By incorporating journaling and public writing, taking photographs, writing about my days, and reviewing them, I am able to find patterns and narratives that really help me to savor each moment.
# Theory: Understand the concepts behind a life management system
# Framework: Apply the concepts through a structure
The framework of my life management system is the structure I follow to implement the insights and lessons I learned from studying the theory behind it. As my understanding of the theory strengthens, so will this framework.
In building any system or tool, I follow the design principle Choose the minimum viable tool or solution first before optimizing. I try to solve problems using the least amount of resources to avoid waste.
Integrating a life management system in my life, involved introducing three things:
Tools require time and effort to learn. The same can be said with getting used to structures and incorporating habits. If I start by looking for the most optimal tools, structures, and habits to implement, I will be too overwhelmed to start and make progress. It became clear to me early on that it is best to integrate an LMS in my life slowly and with modest goals. I started by building a Minimum viable life management system then optimized along the way as I got more used to it.
# Ground level: Capture and organize actionable and non-actionable information
The ground level captures and organizes Loose ends. Per getting things done, it is better to start organizing your life by tackling your loose ends first so that you are freed with mental space that you can use to think about your Sky level.
Here is my life management system ground level setup.
# Sky level: Get clear about what you want
Once I had my ground level in place and have acquainted myself to it, I was able to free myself with enough mental space and energy to think about what I really want. This is the best time to think about my motivations and intentions.
- Write a Purpose statement.
- Ideally, this is the first step. However, I found articulating my Purpose very tricky and difficult at first as I wasn’t clear about the point and meaning of life. Even if I had enough self-knowledge, answering the question “Why do you live?” was still difficult. I decided to use a temporary purpose and skipped thinking about it altogether and focused on working with my life areas first.
- Purpose statement: My purpose is to understand reality and respond to it appropriately so I can live a happy and meaningful life.
- Do the best future self exercise to create a vision.
- Write a Mission statement.
- Divide life into life areas.
- Life areas are important to make sense of divergent projects (Areas are mini life purposes).
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be used as life areas.
- Divide life areas into sub-areas if necessary.
- Set goals for each life area.
- Here are my life goals.
- Remember that each goal shall be tied to a project eventually.
After setting up a system to organize your actions and a system to organize your areas and goals, it is important to set up systems to look back at your actions and evaluate whether you have succeeded in your aspirations. To maintain awareness of the connection of individual actions with goals and areas, implement a multi-layered review system.
- Use an annual review.
- The purpose of the annual review is to create a meaningful connection between what you accomplished in your monthly projects and areas, and your Sky level (i.e., purpose, vision, and mission).
- I use the annual review to aggregate an annual report, which I use to create new goals and a new vision for the coming year.
- I then write an annual review article that I share to the public.
- Here is my annual review routine.
- Use a Monthly review.
- The purpose of the monthly review is to create a meaningful connection between monthly projects and areas as well as your vision for the year.
- I use the monthly review to write a monthly report for the month.
- I then create a publishable version of this report and share it via Uman.
- For the coming month, I review my sky level and choose the goals to tackle and setup project folders and todo lists for each.
- Here is my monthly review routine.
- Use a weekly review.
- The purpose of the weekly review is to process all accumulated loose ends in all inboxes both actionable and non-actionable and to make sure that projects and tasks are up-to-date.
- Here is My weekly review routine.
- Use a Daily review.
- The purpose of the daily review is to choose and perform actions for the day from all the options you have articulated.
- Here is my daily review routine.
# Project management
After choosing the projects I will work on at any given month, project management involves the day-to-day engagement with these projects.
The questions you need to ask here are:
- What is the kind of work you want to be doing?
- What are the creative artifacts or end-states you want to produce?
- What routines and workflows do you have to install to produce those artifacts or end-states?
- Will you share whatever it is you produce?
- How often will you share?
- How do you determine what to share and what to leave out?
Integrate your sharing process with your review system.
Individual project workflow
My workflow involves working on small projects that are documented then shared.
- Target a specific area of life.
- Set a goal.
- Conduct research.
- Create a meta-plan.
- Apply plan.
- Report results via blog and newsetter.
Every month, you need to have at least one intellectual project. These projects are simply structure notes for a very specific problem or topic.