I’m Nav Chatterji.
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Mumbai, India - Sunday February 3, 2019 #experiments #personal
Mumbai is a very interesting city. Although there is a level of hustle and bustle, there is an extremely chill vibe when it comes to one’s day to day here. So while sitting at the iconic Radio Club and enjoying the view over a few beers prior to my flight back home, I started thinking about my routine back in Delhi as an entrepreneur and how it got there.
I’ve now been back in New Delhi for the past 5 years (previously I was in Dallas and New York). Texas is known to be laid back, while New York - well, it’s New York Pace. So I think my routine today has a mix of both. As an entrepreneur you have the luxury to define “weekdays” vs “weekends” , “work time” vs “play time”. The last 5 years have given be plenty of time to experiment with different routines and assess them. Following is my schedule as it stands today, and the reasoning behind it.
Location & Transport
Like any large metropolitan city, traffic sucks. So the obvious thing to do as an entrepreneur (or otherwise) is live near where you work. Following is my triangle (home, work, gym), net distance is 1.5km. Because of this proximity I don’t need to own a car. Driving is the single most stressful activity here in India and I simply don’t get why many of my friends indulge in it. For me, a simple INR 40 Auto ride suffices. I use Ola for longer trips and extreme weather days. (PS: Both run on CNG, so in a way doing my part feels good as well). Here is a great break down by Deepak Abbot on owning vs. ride sharing (Uber/Ola) in Delhi. Link
Breaking Down Your Day
My schedule is defined by the following: Work, gym, meals and sleep.
How you define your work time is key. What I did was assess traffic congestion within my triangle over time. Google Maps is also awesome at helping you figure this out. Here is my triangle on Google Maps (toggle the time/day). The time difference from work to home between peak and trough can go up to 30 mins. Since I’m taking autos most of the time, having less traffic congestion is easier on my lungs as well.
I used the same analogy of traffic with my gym routine. The point of the gym is to go in, workout and leave. Nothing else. Best way to find out when a gym is the lightest is to ask when the trainers train. That should be your window, not too many members and you share sets with trainers (so free advice as well :)
I love food. So my meals are meals and not snacks. But with that said I aim to keep a long gap between dinner (which is typically heavy) and breakfast/brunch (again heavy), about 15 hours. If I’m hungry, I’ll have a small afternoon snack (soup/salad), otherwise I skip lunch completely.
Once upon a time I could do 3 / 4 hours of a sleep per day for weeks on end (as an investment banker). Today I literally won’t be able to function unless I get 8-9 hours of sleep.
10:30 am - Wake-up and Get Ready.
11:00 am - Breakfast + Supplements + Spend time with family.
12:00 pm - Gym
1:00 pm - Snack + Plan Day + Fires
1:30 pm - Work
4:30 pm - Break
5:00 pm - Work
8:00 pm - Leave for home
8:30 pm - Dinner + Spend time with family.
10:30pm - Work
1:30am - Read / Watch / Chill
2:30am - Sleep
(Exceptions: Wednesdays I skip the gym and take a personal half day till 1:30pm. Friday evenings I’m out for dinner / drinks with my fiance and friends and skip the nightly work slot.)
Can you actually have a productive day, with it starting at 1:00pm?
"Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep 'til noon." — Mark Twain
The night before (between 10:30pm - 1:30am) I use Streak (Boomerang is another great option) to schedule emails that go out at 8:00am (while I’m asleep). I do the same with Slack using Timy. Replies to these typically start coming in around 11am/12pm which then helps plan my day and tend fires by the time I’m back from the gym. I’m not a huge fan of meetings and calls, so I’ve windowed out a maximum of 8, 30 min slots per week for meetings and calls. Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:00pm - 5:00pm. This constraint has helped me filter out unnecessary meetings / calls and has been working pretty well thus far.
Do you have a quirky routine? I’d love to hear about it.
New Delhi, India - Sunday January 31, 2019 #experiments #personal
There are those that love newsletters and then there are those that hate them. With the overwhelming deluge of social media options today having something that asynchronously updates those that care (subscribers giving permission) in predetermined windows of time is nice. Hence I have always been a fan.
Email, in my opinion is possibly the best form of communication ever invented. It’s one to one, or one to many with a clear framework of what the intent is based on the content. It’s interruption free and it’s likelihood of going away is near zero unlike other social media platforms. Ie. as long as there is the internet, we will have emails and thus newsletters.
Over the past few months I’ve been slowly stepping away from traditional social media platforms, specifically Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin … it’s become a bit too “peacockish” for me. Outside of what has been covered by the media regarding privacy, etc - The concept of empty currency in the form of likes and followers has never really sat well with me.
I get my daily dose of news from Twitter (which is the only “social media” platform I foresee using) and other curated platforms like Hackernews, Reddit, Producthunt, etc and email Newsletters. Yup, newsletters. I'm subscribed to over 100 newsletters with a separate email address and have a email client which manages those newsletters. I've had some incredible one-one email conversations and debates with the author / curator of these newsletters.
Starting today I will be experimenting with a newsletter which I will push out every 8 weeks. It will be a simple 8 week catch-up of this blog and my primary way of catching up with “friends” outside the traditional way of actually meeting them in person.
So why not add comments to your blog articles? I’ve never really been a fan of public comments. After observing many public forums I’ve seen that majority of the popular threads revolve around arguments that end up becoming unconstructive, time absorbing flame wars where most participants just need a hug. Hence replies to each newsletter will come directly to me incase you would like to chat about any of the topics I cover. Simple one to one, via email. And of course if we are in the same vicinity I’m always happy to chat over a beer or 2 :)
I will be using Tinyletter for my newsletter. A simple, free service by the team at Mailchimp. You can click here to subscribe to my newsletter.
Varanasi, India - Sunday January 31, 2019 #photography
New Delhi, India - Sunday January 27, 2019 #experiments #personal
Through Lazy Eight, I have helped my fair share of companies design and build their websites. But this past weekend I decided to do a fun little weekend experiment. The aim was to build a usable, simple website (in this case a blog) and host it without having to type in a single line of HTML/CSS or terminal command. So let’s get started.
Building Your Website Using Google Docs.
Firstly let’s open up Google Docs and create a document: [Website Name - Draft]
Header: You can create a simple header and add some iconography from Noun Project. Screen mark-up
Content : My aim was to have medium to long form content and photography. Content Screen mark-up . Photography Screen mark-up
After you are done drafting your content make a copy of the Google Document and name that one: [Website Name - v1.01]. Content from this document will be the one that is published. Your Draft document can now be your rough drafts/ideas.
Once you have finalized the content for your website on [Website Name - v1.001] , Download it as HTML. Screen mark-up After unzipping the folder, you can now view how it will look like on a browser. Screen mark-up . You should also check how it will look on a mobile device. Screen mark-up
Domain Name + Hosting
I love Namecheap and have now been using them for the last few years. If the domain extension doesn’t really matter for you there are some really cheap options. Screen mark-up
Since we are building a relatively simple site I would suggest using a hosting plan from Namecheap itself. These days they are pretty cheap eg. Namecheap’s simple shared hosting plan is only INR 1000 /yr ($14) vs. a $60/yr Digitalocean / AWS plan, which are best suited for larger projects. On purchasing the hosting plan please pair it with the domain name you just bought. Once you purchase the hosting plan you will get an email from the provider with your hosting Cpanel info. Screen mark-up
Moving your website to your server.
Firstly you will need to download a FTP client. This helps you move your files easily between your desktop and server. I recommend Filezilla . Once you have this installed, fire it up. To login you will need the following information from the hosting email. URL , cPanel Username, cPanel Password and Port: 21. Once you have logged in you will need to drag the files into your public_html folder. Screen mark-up
Your website is now live :)
You can visit your domain name and the website should be live. (Optional: I would recommend getting an SSL. Namecheap give those for free for a year and it helps secure your website. Screen mark-up
Updating your website.
Everytime you update your content on your google doc, rename it to: [Website Name - v1.002] , [Website Name - v1.003]...etc. Versioning is good practice. Fire Up Fillezilla and then push the new HTML file and image folder into your public_html folder on your server (remember to rename it to index.html).
Hope you enjoyed this. I’ll be maintaining this as my personal website with the aim to figure out ways to make this even more efficient for non-coders. Next up, trying to get my mom to set her own blog up using these instructions :)
Varanasi, India - Sunday January 27, 2019 #photography