Here are a few ideas and takeaways from 2020 that I lived by and are worth sharing.

Craig Federighi’s view from the top

Looking back, and don't judge me for this, but Craig Federighi random talk on Youtube had a great impact on decisions that I made even before 2020 started. I got really obsessed with what he said because more than anything it solidified my perspective on life and what I wanted to do going forward.

I saw myself with this opportunity of making the best out of what I had at that time and for this reason I decided to do things, like (1) leaving my comfort zone and formally study UX design (2) bringing value to software product startups and being more than just an engineer who writes code (3) but most importantly, following my heart and being where I want to be the most.

You should watch his talk, or read the blog post where I dissected what he said.

Life as a single player game

This school of thought is something I recently stumbled upon (read this this blog post or listen to this podcast!) which basically says that you need to stop relying on other people to make the most important decisions in your life.

It further says that because you’re born alone. You’re going to die alone. All of your interpretations are alone. All your memories are alone. You’re gone in three generations and no one cares. Before you showed up nobody cared. It’s all single player at the end of the day.

The smartest and most successful people always try to do their own thing and you're much more likely to find your own winning path if you're focused on yourself than following others or relying on other opinions or judgment.

The more focused you are, the more what everyone else is doing becomes irrelevant.

Writing on this blog

Another highlight for this year is how I doubled down on writing regularly. I got a great response from the community but more importantly it helped me learn more about topics that I really cared about.

I found that sharing your thoughts and teaching what you know to even a single person is very rewarding and feels very satisfying!

For example, there is a series of tutorials on this website where I guide how you can step up your own blog just like this one because I believe everyone should write because everyone has something they can teach.

  1. I have written a blog post at least twice a month and have ±10k unique page views in the last year.
  2. My most popular blog post 10 UX best practices to learn from darkroom had 1000 visitors on the day it was published.
  3. This post marks my 39th blog post minus the 10 newsletters

I know these are not great numbers but I am still very pleased of being able to write and have an audience.

My obsession with time management and productivity

From the start of this year I got obsessed with time management because there is no other way to live when you have to do your own groceries and your own laundry and then study while working 6 hours a day.

So I made an app that didn't work for anybody (I know) but learning from these mistakes I made a system for myself that is promising and I am super excited to share it with the rest of the world in the coming days.

The most productive time that I've spent is when I'm not tracking it. Sometimes you just want to get lost in the problem. Sometimes you just want to forget the ticking time and when you're really zoned into a problem then it's that feeling which is productive for me. I try to incorporate this with my time management, because tracking can be good or bad. You just have to be aware of it.

A few more thoughts about time management and productivity.

  1. The benefit is in doing something consistently for no matter how long.
  2. Always try and associate yourself with people who share the same goals.
  3. If something is your number one priority you will get it done.

Final words

I could have done a lot of the things a lot differently, but the truth is that there is no other way that I could have done what I did throughout this year. This is because the person who I am will always do certain things in a certain way because it is who I am and to change who you are is an awful waste of your time, because to change the past or to predict the future is not humanly possible.

A song that encapsulates 2020 as a feeling

TBH I can't even stand this songs anymore because I've played it so many times, but i guess in 10 years this song will remind me of everything that happened throughout this year

An image that encapsulates 2020 as a thought

A wet and rainy summer day in Kingston upon Thames, London