Shylands Newsletter — October 2018

A monthly newsletter for product people that challenges you to improve your life and work.

Hey there! I hope you had a good October.

I spent mine moving to Germany — and in the process discovering a variety of new life problems. You can read more about the biggest problem I’ve encountered, and ideas on how I’ll solve it in my article Making New Friends, in a New City as a Remote Worker. I’ve decided to use the move as an opportunity for personal growth.

Until recently I’ve found it too easy to relax into routines and avoid pushing myself to grow as a person. With this newsletter, I’ll be sharing the things that have motivated me to try and make the most of my life and work.

Life

Learn how to train your brain to accept and even enjoy change
Gaining control over your own mind feels like a superpower. To better understand your mind I recommend trying Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Regardless of if you feel you have mental health issues, you’ll likely gain personal insights that are both fascinating and actionable.

Track your personal metrics, so you can measure and improve
For years I’ve been a poor sleeper, so earlier this year I made a dashboard of sleep variables and tracked them every day. It enabled me to identify patterns and make improvements that I might not have noticed otherwise.

A strategy for building a daily exercise habit
Sound advice to try and not rush into new habits. Try building them up little by little so they don’t feel so daunting.

Try the Wim Hof method to increase your energy levels and reduce stress
I’ve been doing this before exercising in the morning and the benefits are amazing. Plus I can now hold my breath for over 3mins, maybe that will come in handy someday…

Work

What to do with too much advice
There is a lot of advice out there, good and bad. Don’t let waiting for the right advice stop you from making decisions and then acting on them.

Learn how to write appealing copy
Learning how to write or at least appreciate good writing is something I believe everyone working in product should do, no matter their role.

A guide to stoicism for creatives, entrepreneurs and freelances
Try applying the principles of stoicism to your work and work life. You might gain a different outlook and become a better co-worker.

Contemplation

Are you building or considering building your own product? Have you ever thought about why you’re doing it? For money? For prestige? To make the world better? If you haven’t, try taking a few minutes to think about it. I know when I did I re-evaluated what I’d like to work on in future.

Cheers for reading 👍
This newsletter is a bit of an experiment, so I’d really appreciate it if you could tweet me what you thought of its content. In particular what you didn’t find interesting or would like to see more of. Thanks for your help!