Ridwan's Rough Notes

Micro Thoughts & Meditations on Intentional Living

I have written about Meditation a few days back. I was pondering the effects of Mindfulness Meditation on me and how it helped me cope with stress and sleep better.

Lately, I'm overwhelmed with emotions and struggle to cope with them. Whenever I feel I'm off balance, I always go back to what I know will work for me. They are Prayer & Meditation. So, I have re-subscribed to Calm app and will be restarting my meditation practice.

I have not set any goals for the practice. If I had to, then it is to meditate 10 minutes for the next 7 days.

#journal #meditation

A few weeks back, I subscribed to GTD Connect after a discount offer from the GTD Connect Team. I have been practising GTD on and off since 2015. As a tinkerer of productivity systems and an avid consumer of productivity content, I have tried out various methodologies to get a slight edge in my productivity. I always struggle with the new system and end up coming back to the GTD methodology. I feel like I'm wired for David Allen's GTD practice.

In one of the GTD Connect podcast episodes, David talks about finishing your thinking when stuff first shows up in your inboxes. It's called Clarifying. That's my kryptonite. I always find it difficult to define the expected outcome and the next physical action to move that thing forward. But, rather than asking that important question: “what is it?”; I start to go for what I need to do and start organising them into lists. This episode really made me realise that I'm doing something wrong!

Moving forward, when I pick a captured item, I shall ask the following questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. Is it action?
  3. If yes, what is the expected outcome?
  4. What is the next physical action to move closer to the defined outcome?

After answering the above questions, I can start organising the next actions in my fancy task management app.

#journal #productivity #GTD

Today has been a day of meetings and unexpected interruptions. However, I was able to quickly realign my schedule to handle these quite well.

As we enter into the last month of 2021 and the Omicron variant at our doorsteps, these are times for reflection and getting ourselves prepared for whatever the future holds.

One thing I want to start in December is to read 25 pages a day and at least finish one book. If I can complete this one goal for the month, I will be happy as Larry!

#journal #reading

Meditation is something I have been practising on and off for more than 7 years. My consistency with meditation wavers quite a lot. I struggle to maintain the practice because spending 20 minutes first thing in the morning is daunting because I have been told by “self-help” gurus (read influencers) that on top of meditation, I should be journaling, exercising, practising gratitude etc. If I follow all of these recommended “first things in the morning” practices, I will just end up spending hours and hours doing these practices wondering if they will really bring me any benefit?

Moving forward, I'm going to keep my morning ritual pretty simple:

  • Wake-up & Ablution
  • Make coffee
  • Prayer & read 5 verses of the Holy Quran.
  • Journal for 7 minutes in Obsidian.
  • Shower & get ready for work.

#journal #meditation

I have been meaning to read more. Every time, I fail miserably. I understand that my default action is to watch mindless YouTube videos. But, even if I'm aware of my pattern, it is a bit hard to break it.

A few days back, I watched a YouTube video on habit formation from the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, where the author was talking about Identity Habits. It means that when one takes an identity of a reader, then it is easier to implement the habits required to establish that identity.

James Clear recommends creating that identity first. Then, prove to yourself with small wins. For example, when I take the identity as a reader, I can schedule a time to read at least 25 pages a day.

As we near the end of the year, I want to schedule a time to read 25 pages a day for December. And, the best time for me is to read after writing one page in my journal.

#journal #habits

I have published my third weekly newsletter today. I feel it is good to reflect upon the week and jot down my thoughts. I’m not sure how everything is going to pan out in the future. But, it does give me an outlet to express myself.

Speaking of expressing myself, I have been blogging on and off for quite some time now. The urge to start writing again started after my father’s passing. He always encouraged me to write. Now he is not here with us but I want to honour my father with my writings. I strongly believe any good that happens from this endeavour will definitely make my father proud in the hereafter.

I purchased a Rocketbook to capture my thoughts and ideas that I may take action in the future. I'm really excited to use this notebook. The scanning feature works really well. My initial impression is that this is awesome. I shall wait for a few weeks before sharing my thoughts about it.

#journal #ideas

I'm starting a new series of blog posts. In these posts I will be reflecting upon my day and try to pick out a few story-worthy moments, I want to reflect upon and remember. The inspiration for this series comes from Matthew Dicks's Storyworthy book. Matt recommends an exercise called Homework of Life where he spends five minutes reflecting upon the day and picking out a story-worthy moment that he would cherish and share with an audience. I liked that idea. And, having a semi-anonymous blog gives me an opportunity to share a public journal that will soon be filled with grateful moments.

Today I have taken it upon myself to fully implement the GTD system over the course of the next few weeks. By the end of this year 2021, I want to have a solid GTD system in place.

Storm Arwen has caused a lot of damage across the UK. We went for a walk at Woolston Park and encountered fallen trees. Hope people stay safe.

I tried the Stair Stepper machine at the gym. I could only manage 5 minutes on it. I kind of like it. I'm going to incorporate it into my workout routine. I guess, just 5 minutes will do for a start.

#journal #storyworthy

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I am slowly learning the GTD Methodology. It is one of the best stress-free productivity systems out there.

I was listening to an episode from the GTD Connect library on the power of writing things down and an idea for using the Tickler file.

Two things really stuck with me that I will be implementing in my life straightway:

  • Spend one minute at various points in your day to perform a Mind Sweep. Highly recommended times to perform one is:

    • Early in the morning
    • Before starting your workday
    • Before closing your workday
    • Before going to sleep
  • Add a note in the Tickler folder to spend a fiver on yourself. You can buy yourself a cup of coffee or a cupcake or whatever you want. Try to keep this practice as a recurring reminder. The surprise element will bring joy and put a smile on your face. I love this idea so much! I'm using the GTD Intentional Journal that comes as part of my GTD Connect membership. You can use your calendar for this recurring note. Hope you will try it out.

#journal #gtd

I will never get to say, இனிய பிறந்தநாள் வாழ்த்துகள் வாப்பா (Happy Birthday, Father) again.

The very first thing I do on my father's birthday is, wish him. My father was not really keen on birthday wishes. This year onward, I will get to say it.

Growing up in a Kilakarai-Tamil-Muslim household, it may be a cultural thing that we were not exposed to saying “I Love You” explicitly. It's always known. We never doubted the love and affection from our parents. However, after my late teen years, my father hugs me and say “I love you, my son or I'm proud of you, my son”. I have felt awkward when I hear him say that. Not because I didn't like it. It was because I did not know how to receive it.

I love my father very much. I see him as my hero. During his last days, it never donned on me to say “I Love You Vappa”. When his soul departed right next to us, I stood there helpless and forsaken. I will never get to say “I Love You, My Father”.

He taught us good manners and values. We can vouch that he has embodied the words of the Holy Messenger of God Almighty (SAW), as quoted in the Book of Tirmidhi:

There is no gift that a father gives his children more virtuous than good manners.

By God's will, my siblings and I will strive to be true to the Holy Messenger's words like our father.

We Miss You, My Beloved Father. I Love You, My Dearest Vappa!

#journal #vappa