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Episode 12: Sandy Xu Episode 12

Episode 12: Sandy Xu

· 43:37

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Welcome to Episode #12 of the Focus and Chill podcast. We’re lucky to have Sandy Xu as our guest today. Sandy is passionate about the transition to net zero carbon emissions. She is a renewable energy analyst, convenor of the Sustainability Book club, and obsessed with finding low-carbon running shoes. She’s also Jeremy’s wife.

  1. JN: What projects are you concentrating on during your focused hours?
    1. Modelling in Python, not clay
    2. Forecasting prices of electricity to make sure that 
    3. Studying Masters of Data Science
      1. EV battery longevity
  2. How about the rest of the time? What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
    1. Sustainability book club (quarterly):
      1. Books:
        1. “Together we can”
        2. “The big switch”
        3. “Dark Emu”
  3. What does your morning routine look like and how has it evolved over time?
    1. Muse: meditation headset
      1. Is it neurofeedback?
    2. Journaling:
      1. Free writing
      2. Structured:
        1. What am I grateful 
        2. What am I excited about
    3. Anki
      1. Data science flashcards, e.g. what is cross entropy?
    4. Habit Stacking
      1. Meditation / Journaling / HIIT (5 mins) / Anki (5 mins) / DataCamp (10 mins)
  4. JC: What do you do to optimize productivity during your working hours?
    1. Energy management > time management
      1. Peak performance in the morning: tackle difficult coding tasks first thing
      2. Energy slump after lunch
      3. Naps help
      4. Another peak in the early evening: study
    2. Time blocking: book meetings with herself so that other people can’t interrupt her during deep work 
    3. Body doubling
    4. Distraction blocking using Focus Bear
    5. Pomodoro technique
    6. Changing locations (go to the library)
  5. JN: How do you switch off at night?
    1. Reading books
    2. Evening journaling
      1. How the day went
      2. Plan for the next day
    3. How do you stop studying from eating into switch off time?
      1. Prioritize setting tomorrow’s tasks
      2. Shutting down computers/devices
      3. Hot shower/foot spa in the evening
  6. JC: What habits do you want to remove from your life? 
    1. Inconsistent morning routine
    2. Overcoming fear of starting
    3. Excuses to not do things in the morning / kick them to the evening
    4. To don’t list:
      1. Facebook
      2. WeChat
      3. YouTube
  7. JN: What resources (books, philosophies, apps) do you find most helpful for productivity and habit formation?
    1. Books:
      1. Atomic habits, Clear
        1. Habit Stacking
      2. Tiny Habits, Fogg
      3. When, Pink
      4. Collection of Chinese aphorisms
    2. Apps:
      1. Forest: can’t use the phone while focusing though doesn’t work on the computer that well
      2. Focus Bear
  8. JC: Where can people connect with you or find your work?
    1. Meetup page for Sustainability Book club
    2. LinkedIn
  9. JC: Do you have any final words or asks for our audience?
    1. A long journey starts with a single step


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