A zen master’s guide to starting a journal – everything you need to know

October 30, 2018 in Lifestyle


The Five Minute Journal is one of the simplest ways that I have found to consistently ensure improving my well being and happiness. Both in terms of achievement and actual measurable, quantifiable results.

  • Tim Ferris

I bet you’re reading this and thinking…

“Journaling? Why do I care about journaling?” 

You might picture a teenage girl, laying on her bed with her feet waving in the air and writing about her crush in a pink diary .


That’s the association a lot of people have.

That journaling is for young people who are trying to discover themselves and deal with their emotions and hormones.

But that’s not at all what journaling is about. 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 colleague 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 🙂



Best practices when managing tasks you delegate to others

September 20, 2018 in GipsyBot

The ability to delegate effectively is no doubt one of the most important skills for managers. A study conducted in 2012 by Lawrence Technological University reported that 70% of leaders state they routinely delegate and 20% state they delegate often. Yet that majority of managers report struggling with too much on their plate. More often than not – it’s not that managers are delegating too much but that they are not delegating effectively.

Some signs that you might not be delegating effectively:

  • Your inbox is always full
  • Deadlines are missed
  • You do many of the same tasks you did prior to becoming a manager
  • Subordinates frequently come to you for clarification or guidance
  • You second guess subordinates’ decisions
  • Other managers at your level are consistently less busy than you

From our conversations with effective delegators, we’ve noticed certain patterns that we’re going to share with you in this article. We hope the following tips will help make you a better delegator at work.

  1. Ensure they have accepted the assignment
    You would be surprised how many managers make the mistake of not confirming acceptance of an assignment, and are surprised when tasks aren’t completed or deadlines not met. Communication is the key to success is any team, and it is critical that you confirm your subordinate understands and accepts the assignment.
  2. Define the desired result
    What is the result you seek? This should be clear to both the delegator and delegatee. If the deliverable is clear, and the scope defined, you minimize the number of revisions and clarification emails you receive down the road.
  3. Delegate the problem, not the task
    One of the biggest obstacles to effective delegation is not trusting subordinates to solve a problem, and consequently delegating specific tasks instead of the problem. Not only this reduce employee satisfaction, it creates more work for you. Instead, focus on defining the problem that needs to be solved, and leave the rest to your employee.
  4. Define the desired delivery date
    Needless to say, set clear delivery date expectations! While you might assume tasks can be completed within a certain time, people might have something else on their plate. Don’t let guesswork run your team – communicate, don’t assume.
  5. Track your delegated tasks using a task manager
    If you’re a frequent delegator, you’ll probably find it helpful to track your delegated tasks and when each is due. Avoid trying to remember them all in your head – it will only occupy your mindspace and make you less productive. You can use a journal, place emails in a “delegated” folder, or use GipsyBot, which specializes in managing delegated tasks.

Ad hoc requests: the #1 biggest impediment to team productivity

August 27, 2018 in GipsyBot

Ad hoc r
equests are tasks that come up unexpectedly, aren’t planned for, and are typically outside of a project’s scope. Regardless of whether your role requires you to assign these tasks to others or to complete them, they’re silently a productivity killer for everyone. But just how bad are they?

According to a survey conducted in 2008, between 40 to 60 percent of time spent at work was wasted due to these kind of interruptions. Culprits include impromptu meetings, last minute paperwork, redelegated tasks, even short email replies. That’s a lot of lost time. And time is money.There are two primary reasons why the current method of handling ad hoc requests is so detrimental to productivity:


Task Switching
Research conducted at the University of California, Irvine, found that it takes around 20 minutes for the average office worker to become re-absorbed in a task after an interruption. For some jobs like programming, it can take an hour or longer. We’ve all know the feeling of being “in the zone” when working on a task, and ad hoc requests remove us from that zone.


Uncaptured Tasks
For fellow productivity fanatics who’ve read Getting Things Done by David Allen, you’ve experienced the importance and value of capturing every single task that comes your way. Capturing tasks allows you to get things off your mind. Otherwise, your brain will continually be distracted by the countless number of things you have to do.Capturing ad-hoc requests is a challenge both for the assignor and the assignee. As there are no effective tools for managing these tasks, assignors are forced to keep post-it notes all over their desks, or create convoluted color-coded solutions with Microsoft Outlook folders, or rely on their memory.Assignees on the other end are challenged to remember what they promised to whom, and for when. In addition they have no easy way to prioritize all the requests they receive. They may have captured the requests in their own to do list, but that does not help with these two issues.


How do we deal with this?

It doesn’t help that, on average, office workers are interrupted by something every 3 minutes. What teams need is a better way to manage and coordinate these tasks. Project management tools don’t serve this category, since they focus more on tasks within projects (obviously). Neither do to-do-lists apps, which are more for personal use. The ideal solution is a tool that automatically captures, schedules, and tracks (if you’re the delegator) ad hoc tasks within a team so individuals can maintain their focus through all the noise. That’s exactly why we created GipsyBot. We strongly encourage you to give it a try and see the difference it will make in your day 🙂