I make too many excuses and I need to change that

Photo by Jack Anstey

I love what I do at M25 VC in addition to all the others things I want to learn or do outside of “work”. However, when I am home working on side projects or exploring interests, I make excuses from start to finish. This mainly happens because of three reasons:

  1. I don’t know where to start
  2. I get distracted to do something else
  3. I end up watching videos or be on social media

An example that highlights the situation is when I was trying to learn Hindi after dinner one day. I was 10 minutes into a module from Mango Languages before I found myself googling for some sentence translation. After learning what they were, I found a notification that my friend released a video. With that, I ended up on Youtube and went down the rabbit hole for 30+minutes. Then I remembered that I still had some chores to finish before going to bed.

That cycle is repeating too many times and progress is taking way longer than it should. I want to change that.

I recently came across Valentin Perez and his project Re Human through jordangonen’s awesome weekly newsletter couple of weeks ago. Valentin is developing himself in 15 areas at the same time from music production to meditating. I have been following his progress for a while and it really resonates with me as I try to make some progress on my own interests. More importantly, turning them into habits and being more disciplined.

So I started making a list of things I wanted to explore, learn or improve.

The list ended up being 30 things 🤦🏽‍♀️

There is no way I have time to work on all of them and narrowed the list down to 7 things I want to focus on as I start this experiment with a plan and goal for each one.


1. Fitness/Health

This should be a given but I don’t put in the effort and end up making poor choices. My most recent excuse to not go to my workout class was because I didn’t want to wash my hair 😅 and ended up eating too much junk food without even thinking.

Plan: Three workout classes per week and plan meals (not meal prep) for the next week.

Goal: Be able to run a 7-minute mile.

2. Data Visualizations

I love taking data sets and turning them into stories that have insights and are aesthetically pleasing.

Plan: Three datasets that I want to work with are data from Chicago Blend, screen time for each BTS member from their music videos, and my Spotify playlist list dating back to the first song that was added on 11/2013.

Goal: Be able to apply for The Pudding Awards next year in November.

3̶.̶ ̶G̶A̶N̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶A̶r̶t̶

(Changed 1/6/2018)

I am interested in learning more about how neural networks can be used to create art with trained models.

Plan: Dissect on how Robbie Barrat created his model with “art-DCGAN”.

Goal: Recreate my own version and write a tutorial on it.

3. Storytelling

I struggle with telling the details of a story as I am the type of person that get’s from point A to B with no BS. However, there is a time and place where those details matter and I want to get better at it.

Plan: Take a storytelling class at Second City

Goal: Be more articulate in talking or explaining ideas.

4. Mental Math

My grandma would be so disappointed if she ever finds out that I use a calculator for simple math (Back in the day, I never used a calculator to do algebra level math).

Plan: Relearn some of the Vedic mathematics tricks to do multiplications and divisions. More specifically with number 12 and percentages.

Goal: Decrease usage of the calculator when talking with others.

5. Cooking

I make awesome dishes and would like to continue that by trying new recipes.

Plan: Continue making a new dish every week and post it at TastebudsTwist with my friend.

Goal: Hold dinner events twice a month.

6. Learn Hindi

I wish I paid more attention in Hindi classes while growing up in India. In my defense, we were learning 3 languages (Telugu, Hindi, and English) at a time and no one around me spoke Hindi.

Plan: Go through all Hindi modules on Mango Languages.

Goal: Be able to communicate without any help while traveling in India next year.

7̶.̶ ̶V̶i̶d̶e̶o̶s̶

(Changed 1/6/2018)

I loved putting out videos two years ago (I cringe at watching them now) but found a different style that I like to work on (I will share it after I get more comfortable with the content).

Plan: Put out one video a week.

Goal: Entertain? Teach? Validation?

7. Coding Projects

There are small things that we do every day that can be automated and I want to find a solution for those ideas.

Plan: Work on project ideas.

Goal: Automate/enhance


I will be focusing on some areas every day and others once a week. Here is the plan for next week:

🤞🏽

Some other things I might focus on if I have more time in the week: Midwest tech/VC ecosystem, analyze songs, recreate photos, clean up photos from previous photo shoots, and add “people I want to work with” section to the website.


Things I am keeping an eye out for:

  1. What do I do when I have to attend an unexpected event?
  2. How will this impact my work and personal life?
  3. Is this too much to handle?

Check back in next week to get an update on the progress or follow for more frequent tweets.