How I Optimize

Recently I have made choices on how I spend my time and this has helped me decide what I say YES to and more importantly what I say NO to

Optimize for time over money

If I had to choose between taking muni or Lyft to work, I choose Lyft.  Muni takes 45 minutes for a 4 mile trip to downtown San Francisco. Lyft costs more, but gets me there in 20 minutes.  I pull up my laptop and write a blog post while I’m in Lyft.

Optimize for attention

I install a free AdBlocker, but I donate $15 for it in order to get rid of ads on webpages.  I pay for ad free Hulu, ad free YouTube, ad free Crunchyroll.

I stop reading news and just read books and the Sunday newspaper delivered to my home.

I listen to Piano Dreamers radio when I write, read and not music with lyrics because I can only single task, no one can multitask!

Optimize for family

My family comes before almost everything except my own health.  Spending time with my daughter, my wife & my parents always bubbles to the top.

Optimize for deeper meaningful relationship

I only have 2 really close friendships, that is all I have time for.  And even that I don’t spend enough time nurturing.

I spend time mentoring several women at work and I try to spending meaningful time with them to help them with advice they are seeking.

Optimize for long term

My time and interaction has a long term focus.  Long term is 10 years, 15 years.  So I optimize for long term vs short wins.

Optimize for scope of impact

I spend time to have deeper impact on a single person, but I optimize for larger impact. For example, I may spend hours mentoring a person but I might distill that work into a blog like impactfulengineer.org to help hundreds later.

Optimize for no regret

I say YES to anything that I will regret when I am dying on my deathbed.

 

Tony Tam

Senior Principal Architect @ Splunk Founder of ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org