fbpx

A typical day in the life of Alina Vandenberghe – GipsyBot CEO

March 13, 2019 in GipsyBot

I can’t run a productivity company and not be on the top of my game, right?

Well, it’s not by accident that I got into this space. I have been naturally obsessed by efficiency ever since I was a kid. Multitasking came early for me – I was working to pay for my education ever since I was 12

A few years later [sic] I’m the co-founder of two Saas companies and the mom to a 1 month old baby boy. I have to plan my days VERY carefully to make sure I’m most productive

Continue reading »

Here’s our anti-term sheet for VCs… Do you have yours?

November 6, 2018 in GipsyBot

Pretty soon GipsyBot will embark on a fundraising journey, naturally I’ve started thinking about the most productive way to find the “perfect VC”.

I’ve read enough blogs posts on fundraising, they all focus on the same thing: how to pitch.

But few of them talk about the selection process from a founders’ standpoint.

And for me, at least at this stage, that’s far more important than my deck or the size of my raise.

I want to look forward to board meetings.

I don’t want to view them as a chore.

Similar to how one would write a criteria for finding someone to share their life once they decide they want to get married, I started creating a list of the things I’m looking forward from our future VC partner.

This post from Paul Graham on what to look for in a founder also inspired me.

So below are the attributes I’ll be looking for in my VC dating game: Continue reading »

What I tried at the Bulletproof Labs (a playground for adults)

October 29, 2018 in Time Hacker

I’ve been following Dave Asprey (the “inventor” of the BulletProof coffee) for many years now. I used to enjoy reading about his relentless efforts to make himself live longer and healthier through unorthodox ways.

I’ve read all his books and I think he inspired some great threads in the biohacking world. I have fallen off his fan list a year or so ago when I felt his actions were driven by the desire to make a profit more than by his drive to make others achieve their health goals.

I still enjoy reading his published work and most importantly I love that he created a playground for “biohackers” at the BulletProof lab in Santa Monica in Los Angeles. You’re supposed to get a week worth of gym workout in 20 minutes in this place

Every time I go I have a lot of fun trying devices I wouldn’t have access to otherwise. There’s no place like it. The only regret I have is , because i don’t live full time in LA, I don’t have to the opportunity to do a full run of training that can show me net improvements.

Here’s what I tried so far Continue reading »

My experience at 1440 Multiversity (a summer camp for adults)

October 24, 2018 in Time Hacker

I really dislike cooking. So much so that my biggest dream is that someday I will have a personal chef. One who’s as obsessive on macros and nutrients and latest data on longevity and health factors as I am.

Until then I sort my One Meal a Day (OMAD) on my own (I do OMAD because it saves me about 14 hours a week time and data shows it’s most effective way to keep your body in great shape) Continue reading »

How should you display comments in your app?

October 22, 2018 in Product

Comments are a good way to create engagement within your app and most importantly create value to users/visitors by allowing them collaborate and/or express their opinions

You can show comments in social media app, on a blog post/video, on a question/answers app or in a collaborative app. Within all these options – what’s the best way to display comments to your users? In the chronological order? Show most recent first? Or show top comments (most popular first)?

Today we had to decide how to show comments on tasks in our app. Because every decision we make has to be well documented (and made publicly available) I thought I might as well make fully public. Here’s the way I think of it… Continue reading »

Keto Summit – Day 1 Recap

October 14, 2018 in Time Hacker

Ever since my neighbor, who was a second mom to me, died suddenly when I was a kid I just thought life is short. And that you just suddenly die even if you are healthy.

This “hypothesis” was confirmed to me later on in college when a friend who looked super lean and as strong as an ox died of heart disease.

So I was sure that by 30 I will just die.

Now that I’m past 30, not dead, and with a baby on the way I feel I want to optimize as much as possible every second I have. For as long as I can possibly can. Continue reading »

How fast can you read a book (and understand it)

October 10, 2018 in Time Hacker

They say reading a book should be handled as drinking wine. You savor it, you don’t rush to finish it. But I’m of the opinion that not all books are like wine. Some need reading without the need of pondering on every word (like most business related books). Hence I continuously look for ways to improve my books/year ratio. I’m currently at 1 book a week  (see my list for this year) and here’s a breakdown on how I do it (My goal is to get to two books a week by next year)

 

 

 

Reading speed 

 

I can read at about 480-500 words per minute to have a 100% comprehension. I only apply this speed to read work related documents such legal documents, product specs, dev docs.

For everything else, to achieve a 50%-75% comprehension rate – which is more than enough for me – I can go up to 700-1000 (you can use this website to test yourself)

 

Average book reading times 

 

You average book has between 75,000 and 120,000 words

So if you divide this by your average reading speed you should get the average amount of time it takes to read a book. Kindle tries to calculate this by taking into account your pauses as well but most users find it wildly unreliable.

In my case I am noticing that my reading speed for books is closer to 300 because I get easily distracted (a word reminds of something i need to do, or something i need to research) so I pause often.

So an average book should take me about 6 hours to read. This would assume I take about an hour a day to read almost every day.

 

Audio books reading times

 

A typical audio book on regular speed has a 150-160 words per minute rate. Apparently our thoughts have a 10x greater speed than that so most people can’t really listen to books at this speed (I think) because thoughts pop up in between words.

My best audio speed is somewhere at around 2.5x – 3x the regular speed. So I can easily get around 500 words per minute and have a close to perfection comprehension.

It takes some practicing but this means I can finish a book in 3.5 hours. 

 

That’s almost twice as fast than reading it!

30 minutes a day set aside for reading is much more achievable in my case. Especially just before I go to bed as it doesn’t strain my eyes OR during commute/wait time.

 

Next I will be working on

  • learning how to get distracted less when reading and not listening to some content
  • learning how to get better comprehension at high reading speeds
  • improve my reading speed
  • see if I can do audio at 3.5 speed and not loose comprehension
  • see if I can add more reading time to my weeks

 

If I find reliable methods about the above I will be sure to publish an article about it.

Curious to see in comments how you manage to get through your list of books most efficient!

This little tool tells me how much time I’ll spend reading an article

October 9, 2018 in Time Hacker

Often tasks in my GipsyBot list are articles others tell me I should read. I trust the judgement of those who send me articles and have the best intention of reading the referred links.

But it’s not always obvious how much this specific task will take me

I want to pre-build this feature into GipsyBot but until we do, I found an easy way to do this.

I installed this Chrome Extension that’s unobtrusive tool that shows reading time in the upper left corner . Here’s an example from a Harvard article my co-founder sent

 

 

And now when I add a task to my list I know exactly how much time I will spend on it

 

 

I found this useful on long google docs I have to review as well 🙂