Five thoughts on a Monday morning.

I send out a newsletter every Monday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time. To get my writing in your mailbox each Monday, subscribe to the mailing list. Much obliged.

1. Habits / consistency / keeping the streak alive

Struggled to write something this morning. As motivation, I looked at my recent output:

  • 10 consecutive weeks of putting out a written piece.
  • 13 straight weeks of releasing a podcast. (Actually, 15 podcasts in 13 weeks.)

That’s a Good Enough reason to write and produce—to keep the streak alive. I can’t control how the world responds to my work, but I can certainly control putting the work in.

If I really needed a break, I’d take it. I wouldn’t beat myself up over it.

But it’s good to produce. Let’s keep it going.

2. Exiting Shanghai lockdown season

The lockdown was a long and winding road. And who knows? It might rear its ugly head again.

On the surface, people seem to have gotten past it. Looking around, you wouldn’t believe we were locked in our homes for the better part of 60 to 80 days, depending on where you lived.

The lockdown has taken a mental toll on me and I will not forget the experience. It’s hard to truly relax; I’ve felt a constant sense of low-grade anxiety.

Most people I’ve spoken to believe the worst is over. Funny thing is—they also said something similar after 2020.

They also didn’t say it, exactly, but everything in Shanghai in March of 2022 felt perfectly normal.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

I remain cautiously optimistic about the state of things, with a healthy dash of vigilance thrown in.

3. The value of weekend rest

Weekdays have been tiring: a high level of self-expectation placed on myself as part of the #startupgrind, evening meetings, side projects, and a month-long Shanghai heat wave.

All of these things have culminated in me feeling drained throughout the week.

Over the past few weekends, I’ve tried to embrace doing nothing.

Just sleeping in, reading, watching TV, playing with my cats, and being there for the wife if she needs it.

Early signs are encouraging, even if I feel slightly guilty about it. I tell myself that I need the rest.

It’s challenging because I always want to be doing something.

4. Twitter addiction

I’d been scrolling and checking Twitter an unhealthy amount. I’d do it in the morning, between meetings, and throughout the day. It’s eradicated my ability to focus and I hated myself for doing this.

Over the past week, I’ve taken steps to curb Twitter usage: treating it more like email (checking the app once or twice a day), setting a timer to read a book for 20 minutes in the morning (so that I can re-acclimate myself to dopamine-free experiences), and replacing Twitter with listening to podcasts.

The one thing I’ve not done is try and shut down Twitter usage entirely: deleting my account and throwing away the keys. It’s possible to have a healthy relationship with any platform; to me, it’s more about internal mastery than taking a hard line.

Knowing myself is key. I know that when I stop something, cold-turkey style, the addiction gets replaced with another substitute.

I’m always going to obsessed with something—it’s how I learn and make progress. I just need to channel the obsessive energy into projects and feeling better about myself in the process.

More reasons to “stay”—there is value to using Twitter to promote my work. And as I’ve written before, Twitter is a great place to build connections, so long as it’s done right.

Therefore, gradual adjustment it is. Wish me luck!

5. Playing Magic: The Gathering

I played Magic again and it felt real good.

Played a Modern weekly on Saturday. Just signed up to play a Pioneer event next Saturday: a China Open Qualifier that feeds into the new PT qualification system.

All this was done through physical paper Magic cards.

I quit Magic Online four months ago—right around the time I decided to produce content on a weekly basis—and haven’t looked back.

Take care of yourself, and be well.


To get my writing in your mailbox every Monday, subscribe to the mailing list. Much obliged.

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