Arjun Yadav

A Look Back on 2021

Dec 31, 2021 15:31

Mountains - British Library

Credit for the image above.

Note: This post was last edited on Mar 31, 2022.

2021 was and will always be an important year for me, why? There are two reasons that I want to write about deeply here. I'll also have a reflection on what I accomplished this year and some aspirations for 2022.

Reason 1: Productivity

Last year, I fell into possibly the greatest rabbit hole I ever stumbled into, productivity channels, with most of my consumption being from Matt D'Avella and Ali Abdaal.

I learnt so many things about time management and how to get more done with the same amount of time (while still having fun and staying healthy).

The most important video of them all was this one by Matt D'Avella about tracking your time, I decided to try it out in mid-2021, though it wasn't till August 6th that I consistently did it till this very day.

Tracking my time changed this whole year, possibly my whole life. I would have never been able to balance my school, programming at EA Data, learning about EA and maintaining my hobbies: playing the guitar, cubing, learning chess, etc without it.

Other than that, Focusmate, using Todoist and setting a goal of 20, and recently 25 tasks a day and tracking the projects I do have all radically improved my productivity and general well-being.

Reason 2: Effective Altruism

My brother learnt about Effective Altruism sometime before me, but he soon told me about it.

At first, I was slightly skeptical (probably because I didn't understand a good chunk of it). I joined EA Cambridge's introductory fellowship and got two books, Doing Good Better and The Precipice, with the former being so influential to me that I wrote my capstone project for the fellowship about it.

I started to truly believe in Effective Altruism, in the sense that I believed it gave me a rational method to do the most good for the world.

This led to the EA Forum, which lead to me randomly cold-emailing the owner of Effective Altruism Data, showing a random project I made about unemployment and asking if I could join as a programmer (which somehow worked!).

EA has given me a lot of clarity on my life and I'm so glad my brother shared that little segment of his knowledge with me.

Some of my accomplishments in 2021

Some aspirations for 2022

  • Finish the maths research paper which I've already submitted for review. I hope to get it on arXiv, though a more ambitious (and unrealistic) goal is to get into a journal.
  • Talk about EA to a large audience, which I hope to do in early 2022.
  • Continue to be productive, happy, healthy and seek out opportunities!