My Systems, Routines, Tools, and More

Last updated: 22 June, 2024

I was once interviewed about my weekly routines and systems.

Now, I modify that interview every 6 months and post it here: 

1) How do you work day to day?

Maker vs manager days

I split my week into ‘maker’ days and ‘manager’ days.

I put all meetings on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. These are ‘manager’ days. Some manager days will have fifteen back-to-back calls. I find back-to-back calls easier than adhoc calls.

I reserve creative work for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday – the ‘maker’ days.

Energy management vs time management

I alternate between keeping a structured schedule and no schedule.

No schedule allows me to focus on what's energising in the moment. I try to manage ‘energy’. If I feel like doing something, I often give in to that feeling. This creates ‘flow’, boosting productivity.

But there are also times when I keep a schedule. Keeping a schedule eliminates mental bandwidth, promotes batching, and helps me get stuff done. Some days I wake up and just follow my calendar all day.

Why the change? No schedule is good for creative ‘entrepreneur mode’. A schedule is for ‘operator mode’.

Energy & focus hacks

Operating at maximum energy is upstream of just about everything else. This means:

Walking  7k steps daily on average.

Exercising – 4x weekly on average (even for 20min), normally at the gym. I also have resistance bands I keep next to my desk that I will use throughout the day.

Sleeping – 7hrs daily on average. My current favourite sleep stack is 1g magnesium glycinate, 3g glycine, 200mg theanine, 100mg inositol, occasionally GABA.

Eating – so much comes down to controlling blood sugar spikes and monitoring this through a CGM. If you haven't done this, I cannot recommend enough! Diet wise, I try to eat nutrient rich foods including lots of greens, eggs, red meat, whilst minimizing processed carbs & seed oils.

Supplementing – 10-40 supplements per day, depending on what I need.

Environment – removing mold, dust, environmental toxins, maximizing light exposure, standing desk, ergonomic chair, elevated monitor. I love this stuff because you do it once and you're set for life.

Technology systems

Focus blocking

When doing deep work, I block distractions using Cold Turkey. I close Slack and set my Slack status to “Deep work; blocking Slack until 5pm. Call if urgent”

Inbox management

I use four different emails. This allows me to preemptively triage information to the right inbox, and prioritize inboxes.

My two high priority inboxes are my personal email and my work email.

My remaining two inboxes are for (1) all personal life admin comms (banks, booking flights/accom, Amazon, Uber, etc), (2) email newsletters.

Calendar use

I usually do 30-minute meetings with a 15min block after them to either action meeting items or to extend the meeting if it’s good.

I've tried using my calendar as a to-do list but I’m not good enough at following it and other work comes up.

Karabiner, Paste, keyboard shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts saves me probably 30 minutes per day.

My favourite is the custom shortcuts I have set up to jump around windows. I use Karabiner for this. This app is free but I would readily pay $1,000.

I also love the Paste App (for clipboard management) and Raycast (for search and window management).

Finally, I invest time into learning the shortcuts of the software: Arc, Linear, Slack, Notion. It makes a huge difference.

Focus music

I’ve experimented with all kinds of focus music. Binaural beats, study music, classical music, etc.

However, this playlist is by far the best to help me focus.

I wear Sony XM5s and think Tidal is far better than Spotify (try it!)

SaaS stack

Personal productivity tools I'm using:

  • Vimcal
  • Rize
  • Arc
  • Raycast
  • Focus to-do
  • 1password
  • Loom
  • Bartender
  • Flux
  • Karabiner
  • Tidal
  • Notion
  • Linear
  • Slack

Software tools I've used in the past:

  • Rewind
  • Freedom
  • 2do
  • Motion
  • Superhuman
  • Timeular
  • TickTick
  • DayOne
  • Spotify
  • Lastpass

Week planning and day planning

Each week I start by setting priorities for the week. I try to focus on high leverage tasks I can uniquely do.

Each day, I also create a list of tasks and share this with my team. The quality of my day is predicted by the quality of this plan.

A typical Monday (maker day)

7:30am-8am: Wake up, yoga, supplements

8am-10am: Manager tasks for week

10am-1pm: High priority roadmapping & sprint planning work

1pm-1:30pm: Lunch of ground venison, mixed green vegetables, mushrooms, eggs

1:30pm-5pm: Deep work

5pm-5:30pm: Dinner

5:30pm-6pm: Exercise

6pm-11pm: Deep work

2) What does work-life balance mean to you?

An ‘optimal’ work-life balance doesn’t exist. It’s personal.

If what you really want is adventure and freedom, don’t work 80hrs per week.

But if you're trying to build a generational company, 80hrs might be the minimum.

I’ve always worked 7 days per week and always plan to. The moment I don’t feel like working 7 days a week is a sign that I’m not doing what I really love. Work should feel like play.

Biologically, humans derive meaning from ‘work’. The word has just been stigmatised in popular culture. Work is a very human part of life.

In turn, ‘life’ should spawn creativity and allow you to recharge emotionally and physically to help you at work.

So long as I exercise 3+ times per week, view sunlight and walk daily, and sleep 7 hours each night, I never feel close to burnout. Energy management is doing the little things right.

3) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I've started using a reverse osmosis water filter.

I've replaced my polyester socks with cotton socks.

I spent 12 months tracking my sleep with an EEG headband.

I use an off-market wearable which predicts my brain function in any given moment.

I don’t drink alcohol anymore unless it’s either (a) tasty / experiential, or (b) with a girl on a date.

I started using Open, a company I invested in, for meditation and yoga.

I hired an EA.

I use Karabiner, Raycast, and Paste App to supercharge my laptop.

I listen to far fewer podcasts and sit with my thoughts more.

4) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you'd like to recommend?

Hundreds. But I’ll keep it to a few.


  • Dune, the fiction book. It’s better than 30 podcasts combined. The audiobook is also a masterpiece.
  • Poor Charlie’s Almanac. Must read. Period.
  • The Fountainhead. Controversial but powerful.
  • Almost anything Nassim Taleb writes.
  • Untethered Soul (just the first two chapters).


“Founders” podcast is underrated. But by the time you're reading, it will probably be overrated.

Otherwise I’m cookie-cutter: 20VC, Huberman Lab, All In, Invest Like the Best.

I used to listen to 10-20 podcasts per week at 2-4x speed on OwlTail. Now I prefer to sit with my thoughts.

YouTube Videos

  • “Competition is for Losers with Peter Thiel”
  • “A Conversation with James Gorman, Chairman & CEO of Morgan Stanley” (at only 40k views, this is underrated)
  • “Jack Dorsey at Startup School 2013” (at only 150k views, this is also underrated)

5) Do you have any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

Take more risks: Speak out, message people you admire, build a company, apply to jobs before you're qualified, ask the person you fancy out on a date.

Break the rules: Don't dispassionately accept the world the way it is; if there's a better way to do something, do it; question social norms; have the courage to chart your own path.

Learn, always: You can't go wrong if you follow this formula for life – it's the way the world works.

Don't be a stranger: You can reach me anytime on LinkedIn.