Loader Logo
Ideas Post

Steve Alvest


Things that I like to overcomplicate with complex systems

I'm pretty nerdy when left to my own devices, so I have a tendency to systemize everything in overcomplicated ways.

    1. Music playlists

    I keep three main playlists: Minor leagues, Major leagues, and All-stars. I put new music I want to try out in Minor leagues. Every month, I choose one album in Minor leagues to promote to Major leagues. When I really like a song in Major leagues, I put a copy into All-stars. There are 100 songs in each of Minor leagues and All-stars. There are 400 songs in Major leagues. I also have a special system for how I listen to the music and move songs between lists...

    2. Investing

    I have a spreadsheet with ten tabs. Five of the tabs are to keep track of stocks in separate investment accounts. Another four tabs are for summarizing information. The last tab is to keep track of stock ideas. All of the tabs use formulas to automatically draw stock and cryptocurrency quotes from the internet, and perform calculations on them such as profit/loss in comparison to a benchmark. Then I also have a separate folder in Google Drive that holds a database of research information for individual stocks...

    3. What to cook

    I'm the chef of my household and cook most meals for the family. But how do I decide what to cook? Let me explain... I have about two dozen cookbooks in which I've labeled each recipe with a number. I have a spreadsheet with all of my cookbooks, how many recipes are in there, and formulas that can randomly pick a recipe from my dozens of cookbooks. That's how I can choose a new recipe to cook in the week. The new recipe goes into a rotation of tried and true dishes that I cook regularly on rotation. But I actually have three rotation lists, one for breakfasts, one for lunches, and one for dinners. Then I have other lists for new dishes I want to try in the future, and retired dishes, and, and... nevermind.

    4. Passion projects

    I've kept a massive idea list of project ideas since I was about 13 years old. At one point there were about 1,200 ideas on the list. Then I made a system for pruning and exploring the list. I made a tournament style bracket where every year I pit ideas against each other to decide which are the best ideas to try. The worst ideas may get eliminated. The best ideas rise to the top. Then I have another system for actually working on the best ideas...

    5. Exercise

    I keep an electronic list of exercise challenges and things to try in a rotation. I also regularly go to the gym, where I have a system of burning a certain amount of calories by a certain amount of time while bringing my heart rate to a certain level at certain times... I also keep a chart of my weight each morning and have a system of what days to be strict with my diet and what days to "cheat"... I kind of works. I'm gradually shedding my dad bod.

    6. My reading list

    I keep a spreadsheet of books to read. On the spreadsheet, I list the book title, author, Amazon star rating, and how many reviews it's based off of. I keep track of the books I'm currently reading, and use the list to help me choose the next books to read. When I'm reading, I have a system for taking notes and acting on the actionable items I come across. Did I mention I also catalog the books on my bookshelf by the Dewey Decimal System?

    7. My daily routine

    I have a Google Doc that I look at every day that is basically the model for a perfect day. I list all of the habits I hope to create and keep track of them in the Doc. It's split into Morning Routine, TODO, and Evening Routine. I rarely complete everything as planned, but whenever I find myself wondering what I should be doing, I refer to the Doc. Whenever I want to start a new habit, I add it to the Doc. Oh yeah, and I also keep a separate Calendar that I look at every day, and also a Google Tasks list that reminds me of what to do on my phone...

    8. Maintaining friendships

    Autism is a spectrum. I don't have autism, but I do have some features. One is that I have to consciously try to learn and use techniques for dealing with social interactions, like in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. It doesn't come natural to me. I also have a tendency to not maintain existing relationships, so I made a system for that... I have a spreadsheet of friends with whom I'd like to maintain relationships. Every time I interact with someone on the list, I'll note the date and type of interaction. Once a week, I try to review the list and see if there's anyone I haven't interacted with for a long time. If so, I should probably send an email or make a phone call...

    9. Collecting baseball cards

    Oh my, I could get lost in my baseball card systems. I've got a spreadsheet (okay, maybe 30 spreadsheets) for keeping track of star players and how they did for each season of their careers. Each year, I update the sheet and use it to choose five new players to start to collect. These are players who I think are about halfway through Hall of Fame careers... Then I have another set of documents codifying a set of standards for choosing prospects who I think will someday become stars. I pick twelve of them each year to start collecting... By "collecting," I mean I try to acquire the player's rookie card, a base card, and a certified autograph... Then I have a system for putting the cards into folders or on display in my office...

    10. Personal finances

    I've got a spreadsheet called "Money," which has five tabs. On one tab, I keep track of monthly payments, expenditures, and money coming in. On another sheet, I keep a running list for balancing my checking account. On two other sheets I have estimations for future balances for keeping track of when I can afford to retire. Then I have a tab for listing major purchases and how much I paid for them, so I can be sure to extract maximum value out of the most expensive things I buy. I collect receipts for every purchase my family makes and put them into the spreadsheet to make sure we're not spending more than we're bringing in...

0 Like.0 Comment
Jayand 5 more liked this
Comments (0)

No comments.