My Lifeflow

Image from Ten Bulls

Lifeflow is to life as workflow is to work. Your lifeflow is simply the daily processes, protocols, systems, habits, routines, and rituals you use each day. Ideally they are designed to create a balance between making progress on your Dream, maintaining a healthy mind and body, and enjoying the journey.

Something that should be kept in mind when designing and implementing one’s lifeflow is the balance between short-term happiness and sacrificing short-term happiness for progress towards one’s long-term goals. Sacrificing short-term happiness for long-term progress is sometimes necessary for “life satisfaction”.

“The key here is memory. Satisfaction is retrospective. Happiness occurs in real time. In Kahneman’s work, he found that people tell themselves a story about their lives, which may or may not add up to a pleasing tale. Yet, our day-to-day experiences yield positive feelings that may not advance that longer story, necessarily. Memory is enduring. Feelings pass.”

A Nobel Prize-winning psychologist says most people don’t really want to be happy, QZ.com, Ephrat Livni, December 21, 2018

Morning Routine

I will have ideally slept 8 or more hours and have at least 2 hours free in the morning to do the following.

  1. Make the bed
  2. Weigh myself and record it in Samsung Health
  3. Brush my teeth
  4. Drink water
  5. Take vitamins (currently vitamin B complex and fish oil)
  6. Meditate (currently for no set time, usually 5 to 25 minutes) I use InsightTimer
  7. Journal
  8. Complete morning chores
    1. Put away dry dishes and wash any dishes from the day before
    2. Hang up laundry and put remaining clothes in the dryer
    3. Clean litter boxes (every M, W, and F)
  9. Exercise M-F (currently bike riding because Taiwan is on level 3 soft lockdown, I was swimming before the pools were closed)
  10. Stretch (currently doing a variation of the Yijin Jing)

Afternoon

The afternoon is when I work on the Dream of my 108-day cycle

  • Clear Todoist (A task managing app)
  • Set aside 30 minutes to 180 minutes to work on Drea

Early Evening

This is a time for social activities with my wife, friends, or myself (video games, additional writing, reading, music, TV/movies, YouTube, art, etc.)

Late Evening

My evening routine is currently a work in progress. Something like this would be ideal.

  • Shut off electronics 1 hour before bedtime
  • Meditate
  • Journal
  • Take meds
  • Go to sleep with 9 hour window for sleeping

Anytime Daily Tasks

These are simple tasks that can be done pretty much whenever I have down time. I have a low minimum goal to hit, but it usually leads to far greater results than the minimum. I currently only have two.

  • Read one page of a book
  • Study one Chinese character using Anki (a flashcard management app)

Intermittent Fasting (IF)

I started experimenting with IF as a means of managing my weight and for the associated health benefits (Johns Hopkins | Harvard | Healthline). I do a minimum of 16:8 (16 hour fast with an 8 hour eating window), but I really like going longer periods of time (20+ hours). It’s only been a few weeks of doing this as I write this (8.24), but a major takeaway has been that I’ve naturally started eating better because I want nutrient rich food when I eat. Especially after 20+ hours. I plan on doing a 108 hour fast at some point during my current cycle.

I’m using the app Zero Fasting to track my fasting and eating periods.

Tools I use and home screen setups

There are a number of apps I use to aid my lifeflow. I’ll list them in the order they normally get used throughout the day.

Sleep as Android – This is the first app I used in the morning and the last app I use at night. I use Sleep as Android to monitor my sleep health. Sleep is my number one priority in life above all things in terms of mental and physical health management. If sleep isn’t your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY I highly recommend reading or listening to the book Why We Sleep. I don’t know of a good iPhone equivalent to Sleep as Android, but I’m sure there’s one out there.

OFFTIME – I stay away from social media until I fully complete my morning routine. If necessary I activate OFFTIME to block apps like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Alternatively you can just put your phone somewhere hard to reach.

Loop Habit Tracker (Google Play Store) – I have all of my daily habits organized as widget buttons on a home screen listed in the order that I do them. I swipe over and click them as I get them done. This is an Android only app. HabitBull seems like it could be a good replacement app for the iPhone.

Home Screen with Loop Habit Tracker Widgets

InsightTimer – I use InsightTimer to track my meditation. There are a wide variety of meditations available on this app for free. There are also different communities you can join. I meditate on a meditation cushion and mat.

LEUCHTTURM1917 Medium Lined Notebook – This is the type of journal I use for pen and paper journaling. I like these journals because…

  • they have a table of contents you can fill out as you use it or when you finish it
  • they come with stickers to label and organize them
  • the paper is of a high quality
  • there are perforated sheets in the back in case you want to write someone a note and rip it out

They’re expensive but when you start keeping journals for decades, the higher quality paper and design is greatly appreciated.

Pilot Juice up 04 – This is my current favorite pen.

YouTube Premium – This removes ads from YouTube, allows you to download videos or listen to them in the background, and also comes with YouTube Music.

Google Podcast – Sometimes I listen to podcasts when I exercise.

Audible – Sometimes I listen to books.

Kindle – Sometimes I read books.

Samsung Health – I was always hesitant to use Samsung Health, but my wife bought me a Samsung smartwatch so I connected it to the health app.

Todoist – This is what I use to organize my to-dos and other tasks.

eMoods and Mood Meter – I use two mood tracking apps, three if you included Insight Timer’s new mood tracking feature.

Straight from their website… “eMoods is a user-friendly app for patients to track symptom data relating to Bipolar I and II disorders, Depression, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders”. I use eMoods at the end of the day. I rate my levels of elevated mood, depression, anxiety, and irritability. I can also track the meds I’m taking inside of it.

Mood Meter, straight from the website… “A gift of self awareness for yourself, and for others. Based on decades of research from Yale. Tell your Mood Meter mobile app how you feel and build emotional intelligence that lasts a lifetime.” I like this app because it increases my emotional vocabulary. It’s based on science and is something anyone can use to help understand their emotions better.

Tracking my mood is important for me because I have Bipolar 1. I can go from zero to “crazy” real fast. If I’m monitoring my mood I have a much better chance of spotting patterns and making life adjustments in response to the change in my mood and energy.

Canva – Canva is a really useful tool when you want to make a quick design for social media. I specifically use it to make daily updates about the progress with my 108-day cycle. Here’s an example of a post.

My Home Screen

v1.0 | v1.1 (Current)