04 August 2008

The art of KISS

Nope, I'm not about to get all romantic on a Sunday night/Monday morning. KISS as in Keep It Simple Stupid.

A lot of my blog entries have been looonnngg posts with an automatic-writing style to it and in some ways, it's tiring for me to even re-read them after a while let alone anyone who's curious about what I'm thinking, so I'm going to try my best to get to my point as soon as possible here.

So I've been spending my whole day re-organizing my room/work area and everything else so that I've created more empty spaces. Oddly, I've always been the type of person who aims to just fill up any empty space with something because I feel that I'm not making the most of a shelf if nothing's on it. But I was thinking about its relation to design and even music. If anything, it's the empty space in a design and the non-notes in a song that allow people to stop and enjoy what is occupying the space/music. And so I started telling myself to keep it as basic and simple and minimalist as possible and so far so good! My room feels more spacious all of a sudden and I feel like I can even kind of go for a walk if I need to do a 'ponder stroll' :P It's quite nice, just having what is necessary and chucking away all the rest. Of course, there still lies the problem of me needing a lot of things! For one, I've got 3 freaking screens on my desk! :P I've managed to connect all my many computers so I only have to use 1 keyboard and 1 mouse thanks to the crazy power of Synergy! I've streamlined a lot of my drumming area. Like I used to have a little flat area to keep my macbook for recording/practice and another area for my mp3 player for play-alongs and another area for my exercise books. Then I realized, I never ever use all 3 things at the same time! They're mutually exclusive! If I'm reading from an exercise book (by the way, for all you drum freaks, I'm working on Afro-Caribbean Drum Grooves, I remember like 9 months ago, I tried out the first exercise and just gave up because of the insane coordination/limb independence it required, but now I can do it and it's a lot of fun!) Ahaha, I can appreciate the finer details of this type of music now! I never realized how complex it was! The accents, the crazy hand/foot patterns, it really forces you to divide yourself into 4 parts!

And this whole mutually exclusive thing made me think about how much this can be a good factor in my arranging my life, which kept leading me to the whole KISS attitude. I went berserk and started throwing away drum catalogues I had collected as knowledge/references because I figured if I ever needed to read something, I could download the PDF's! I threw away name cards of people because I have all that information stored in my contact database, so what's the use of the card? I cleared up my desktop and re-mapped some of my shortcuts (yay for AutoHotKey) combined with ol' trusty ObjectDock but I still have Launchy installed for times when my hands are on the keyboard so I don't ever need to move away or to the mouse if I don't need to. Yes, if you haven't noticed, I'm a productivity/efficiency freak. If you're wondering, my macbook is similarly set up but I use QuickSilver (I prefer it over Spotlight). Though I still haven't found a good mind-mapping software that I'm happy with (so if you got any suggestions, please let me know).

Alright, KISS! Mutually exclusive, it's another thing that came up when I was researching some more about the typical "I want to lose fat and gain muscle" routine. In fact, those 2 things are mutually exclusive! In a nutshell, to lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume. To gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn! And the only proper solution is to do them at different times. In other words, in phases. You burn fat first (but also risk burning some muscle) then you pack on some muscle (but also risk packing on some fat), then go back to burn fat, repeat. In the end, your goal is to come out with more muscle and less fat after a few phases.

So now we got the KISS attitude, we've got the realizing that things that are mutually exclusive can help towards KISS and now we have the concept of phases. This brought me back to when I first dove into GTD, one thing the author David Allen talked about how you end up wasting a lot of energy in the process of changing tracks. Like if you tried to over multi-task you end up wasting more effort because your lack of strong, deep focus on the thing you're working on results in a weaker outcome. As a lot of people know, I'm a multi-task lover. I try to make sure I'm pushing everything to the limit, I try to eat while I walk rather than sit down, I leave my reading to the bus instead of sitting in my room and wasting precious work-time, etc. But this phases concept brought me back a lot because I do agree, I've suffered from a lot of over-multi-tasking and ended up more confused with what's going on than I expected.

KISS, mutually exclusive, phases, not over-multi-tasking and focus. And that's my goal for the next 10 days, to keep it simple by making sure I focus on phasing all my mutually exclusive tasks while trying my to make sure I know my multi-tasking limits. This is going to be a tough 10 days because it'll require quite some discipline on my part because I know I get really greedy sometimes and just wanna do so many things all at the same time which sounds possible on paper, but from my experience usually fails :P. Like telling myself I'm ready to go do cardio for an hour straight at the gym! Sure, I'm fit enough, but 1 hour later, I'll be dead. And the rest of my day/night suffer.

So here we go! Woohoo! A (relatively) short simple post! :D Have a good week + 3 days!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...




How's life dude?

Bombing ur blog now. ;p


12 August, 2008 15:50  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Ahahah "relatively" it was short and simple! Ahaha you know how my blog posts are like :P

Life's good, it's busy, not stressful/hectic busy, but like literally packed, got stuff lined up at like every hour! It's good, and the weather's getting better, not boiling anymore Woohoo!! :D

How are those pina coladas?

13 August, 2008 12:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No pina coladas. Bummer! Hahaha!!! Nevertheless, had a great time. Got my open water diving license. Woohoo!!! The feeling is super wonderful. :D

Will reply at inbox n wall at a later date. Something came up. Sorry.

Saw some pics of u with hot girls. Woot! Woot! ;P


13 August, 2008 19:35  
Blogger Vivek Mahbubani said...

Oh well, no Pina Coladas also means no extra calories ;)
Ahaha congrats on the water diving license! Good stuff! Now you can go under water in your bath tub... professionally! :D

Ahah no rush, yr on holdiay la!

13 August, 2008 21:48  

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