Life in the Bottle

    I work in a commercial organization, but I always believed that a business should do something useful for the world. Of course, it can be said that the products of the business are the benefits, but somehow the language does not turn.

    Always wanted to do something for people - ordinary, not related to the company, not customers, even potential ones. Something useful that helps make life better.

    Well done. Tested on themselves, convinced of the usefulness, lay out for all to see and universal use. Free, of course. Service to manage their own lives.

    To better understand why and why it was created, I will tell you a little about my life. I am sure in some moments you will recognize yourself.

    Something about me

    So, I am 34 years old, I am a programmer-manager-writer, and I have a lot of problems.

    For example, health. In childhood, when I was in school, my health did not bother me at all. Well, that is I, of course, had a cold, even lay in hospital once, but on the whole - everything was fine. I went in for sports - skiing, basketball, weightlifting. And I thought it would always be like this.

    But here, a few months ago, I learned what osteochondrosis is. It is even cool - it hurts somewhere in the lower back, when you turn your head, and only to the left. For several days it was scary to drive by car, because I could not turn my head.

    I also know well what is overweight. True, I can not understand where it comes from. I eat less than in childhood, and I weigh more. With a height of 175 cm, I weigh 90 kg, and being a student and a schoolboy did not reach 62.

    I'm not talking about shortness of breath when walking fast, or God forbid, running, wanting to lie down on the couch, watch TV or just do nothing . It is now my dream.

    Or, for example, children. Eight years ago, when I had a daughter, I walked with her every day for 2-4 hours. I did not have the fatigue, the desire to shirk — I wanted to walk with her. I took a stroller, a bicycle and a scooter, some money, and we went to the park, where we were sticking up until dark.

    Now I have two children, but I only have enough time and energy to take them away from school / kindergarten for about 10 minutes to play in the evening and go to the store once a week. Although, to judge, nothing much in life has changed.

    With work, everything is exactly the opposite. The first years of work I studied, understood and raised my competence only in what I was doing. I did not read books, did not study new areas of knowledge, God forbid, going beyond the scope of current activities.

    The last 3-4 years I was interested in the expansion of the professional outlook. It's not just about new programming languages, but also about the ability to lead people, negotiate, write texts, implement changes in business, create new products, etc.

    Personal development is worth a stake. For example, I dreamed all my life, or I was going to learn English. Not because I need him at work — I just want to, and that's all. I learned German at school, so the base is zero. But the years go by, and the matter does not move from its place.

    To summarize, everything is bad for me, and every day it gets worse. In all but work.

    I can, of course, turn a blind eye to it, deceive myself and those around me, and pretend that I am fine. Actually, there is nothing else left - anyway, no one except my family has anything to do with my life.


    I am always haunted by the same thought: that's when ... then my life will change! Instead of three points, different formulations constantly appear.

    For example, in childhood it was “when I will be big”. I have met many examples and jokes about the fact that such a thought lives in the heads of adults, and from myself I can confirm - yes, it does. At 34, I'm still waiting for me to be big.

    Most often go bind to work. That's when I become a CIO, then, finally, I can relax a bit and take care of the children. That's when I put the product on the market, then I'll start, finally, doing jogging, and then new sneakers were lying around. That's when the company starts to bring such and such income, then I will begin, finally, to learn English.

    And so on to infinity. But even more endlessly - the list of what I missed, waiting for some new state.

    The worst thing in this sense is to look back. I realized this idea in childhood, when the school year was ending, summer was coming, there was really nothing to do, and a slight yearning rolled in - one more year ... Now this happens more often every weekend.

    You look at the past year, and you think - damn, I could have done so much ... Ok, next year I will do ... But ... And you call yourself another state that you need to achieve in order to start doing something. So, for example, new year promises are born.

    But there were also reverse examples. For example, in childhood, I was a weak child, physically - I had enough stamina, but not strength. For example, he could not pull up on the bar, enough for five times. And once, in May, when once again they passed the standards on physical education, the teacher said - not to me, but to everyone at once: if you want to pull a lot, you just have to pull up every day.

    This thought, for some reason, densely lodged in my head. I lived in the village, therefore, on the same day, I built a crossbar in the backyard - serious, solid, so that I could not only pull myself up, but also make uplifts with a coup (my dream).

    I was engaged every day - the summer, there were no computers, a lot of free time. The result was not long in coming - by the end of the holidays I was catching up 30-50 times, and doing 10-15 lifts with a coup.

    And similar examples happened several times in a life. For example, a couple of years ago, also in the summer, I decided to run. And somehow it happened that lasted three months. In the first days I ran three laps around the stadium, and barely alive came home. The pressure jumped up - so that I could not stand on my feet, and lay down on the floor for 15 minutes. After three months, I ran 15 laps, almost without killing my breath.

    Every time, after such cases, I made the same conclusion: hurray, I reached the desired state! Now my life will change!

    What happened next? Threw, of course. I reached the state! What is the result? Again, three circles with shortness of breath, a maximum of six pull-ups, and no lifting coup. There came an understanding of the escalator.


    Thought is not new, it is even in the books of Lewis Carroll. Remember, probably: “We need to run as fast just to stay in place, but to get somewhere, you must run at least twice as fast!”.

    In one of the books, I don’t remember exactly which one, it was called an escalator. You need to go up, and the escalator goes down. To climb it, you must go with a speed exceeding the speed of the escalator.

    A thought is as obvious as it is not used in life, at least in mine. It makes no sense to try to reach a state, a certain level of development, in order to stay on it. Life will inevitably send back down.

    The most obvious example is health. Starting at a certain age, it rolls down. Even theories calling for eating only natural products, they say, there is little food alone, we must also move.

    Health escalator I feel good on myself. I can't do anything that I could fifteen years ago. Neither run, nor jump, nor lift a 150-pound barbell. And the further, the worse.

    Or, for example, relationships with people - friends are the same. I have not paid them enough attention for a long time, because I subconsciously expect that the level achieved once is preserved without my participation.

    For example, I have a friend from institute. We lived together in a hostel, we chatted, walked around the city, looked for work, went to interviews, helped each other in school (I knew programming better, he was fundamental subjects, like physics or TOE), went to the factory to do practical work, etc. Do not spill water, as they say. Then we worked together, but I left, then he. It would seem, well, okay - we after all parted excellent friends, i.e. at a good, qualitative level of relations?

    But the years have passed, and we almost do not communicate. So, sometimes, in Skype, say hello, or something at work will discuss. I don’t know how he’s doing, even with difficulty answering the question of how many children he has. He is likewise. The relationship escalator worked - it stopped on it, and slowly went down.

    Even in relationships with children, this escalator is there. My daughter and I were not pouring water - and walking, and playing, and I bathed her every day (up to a certain age), and only went to the stores together. In general, it was my daughter. And then the escalator worked.

    I got carried away with work, or something else, now I don’t remember, and the relationship turned bad. No, we didn’t swear - although, to confess, I’d raise my voice much more often. And now, after a few years, I know my daughter much worse. I do not even know what to give to her on her birthday. And when she first fell in love, and began to walk with a certain boy by the hand, I learned about it from my wife, although earlier it was exactly the opposite. With our daughter, in fact, we have a business relationship - like at work.

    Life all the time pulls me down the escalator. Achieve some conditions - it is meaningless, because you still roll. This is not the floors in the mall. What to do then? What to strive for? Goals to?

    But after all, goals are also states. There are, of course, goals that do not fall back - for example, to buy an apartment and pay a mortgage. But in health, relationships, family, the escalator is still working. In addition to exotic cases, such as removal of appendicitis.

    What to direct their efforts? I understood this when I started working as a manager. No states, there are threads.


    Have you ever worked as a manager? This, which is engaged in money, and sales, and production, and all that is connected with the business?

    If not, take my word for it. If so, then I am sure you will agree with me.

    The work of the leader was well described by Putin when he described his impressions of the work by the Prime Minister. He said this: this is how to stand under a waterfall .

    Work, tasks, problems, goals never end . Whatever you do, no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you have a forehead, you always have a lot of work. No matter how successfully passed, the next one comes, and you, whether you want to or not, have to work again. And no one except you is responsible for this.

    The job of a manager isflow control . Everything should work in the company, and always. There must be sales, otherwise there will be no money. Production should work, otherwise there will be nothing to sell. There must be employees, otherwise there will be no one to work. Money should come from customers, otherwise there will be nothing to buy materials and pay wages. There must be marketing, otherwise buyers won't know anything about your products. New products must be created, otherwise in a few months, or years, there will be nothing to offer to customers. And so - to infinity.

    Do you understand? All of the above are streams. They need to deal with constantly, otherwise they will run out, and then, along the chain, the business will fall apart. None of the streams can be thrown, stopped, or solved forever , and never worry about it again.

    There are plenty of examples where a company, having decided thatreached a certain state - market share, consumer respect, product quality, etc. - and stopped, ceasing to engage in some kind of flow. It takes a little time, and the company dies. Or, seeing a crisis at the very last moment, begins to scramble out.

    So, having felt the flow of business the hard way, I realized that it was exactly the same in life . It consists of the same streams, which must constantly deal with .

    For example, health is such a flow of life, one of many. Doing health - the stream is in good condition, you don’t do it - it goes backwards, on the escalator, and if you harm yourself at all - you run down the escalator, helping to drive your life into the damp earth.

    Any stream needs constant recharge. Let not every day, but it is necessary to do something that strengthens the flow - health, family relationships, with friends and relatives, self-development, work, finally.

    Well, it seems, everything is clear - I decided. I start to run, walk with children, learn English, write poems and make repairs. Delight was indescribable - I hadn’t done so much useful things in a day! I felt keenly that in a day, really, only 24 hours, and this time is very little!

    But the next day the situation changed. No, I have not forgotten, and have not changed my mind. There was just no time, objectively - it was necessary to finish the important work. Came home late, tired like a dog. I didn’t go jogging, didn’t walk with the children, didn’t learn English. Okay, I thought tomorrow.

    Tomorrow was just enough for a run. The day after tomorrow did not do anything. This went on for several days, and I even began to forget what I generally have to do to enhance the flow of life.

    But, next weekend, when there was time for reflexing, I remembered. He got dressed, went for a run, took the children to the park, hung wallpaper in the corridor. And again delight! Yes I can! My life is getting better and better! Or not?

    Emotions said yes! I did everything I planned today. And the mind said - uh, wait ... Today, yes, and yesterday? Well, yes, there was no time yesterday ... And the day before yesterday? Also, the day before? Here and emotions surrendered. Especially when I tried to remember what I was doing a week ago, two weeks, a month, etc. Memory failed.


    Perhaps I have a bad memory, although I have never complained. Even at school, where I studied well, I was constantly told that I was getting out only at the expense of memory.

    Perhaps it's in my, or our, modern life. When you live in the village, without the Internet, a telephone, with one channel on the TV, and you still don’t work, you need to memorize very little. Now the brain is constantly overloaded with information.

    We need to remember tasks for work, and I have a lot of them, and all of them are heterogeneous, across all business flows. We must remember the plots of all the books that I write. Part of the brain takes the Internet and TV, although I try to go there less often and not get carried away. A lot of things have to be remembered at home - training, school, kindergarten, all the time you need to go somewhere, take something, buy, bring, etc. Part of the time the brain takes plans and reflection, where without it. What is the result?

    As a result, I don’t remember a damn thing what I did a few days ago. The order of life does not change much, so some events do not even need to be remembered. For example, if my daughter has a training session on Mondays, then I will answer the question “what did you do on Monday, three weeks ago?” - I drove my daughter to the training session. And more? Well, I went to work. And more? And everything, I do not remember anything more.

    Sharply and accurately, I felt a bad memory when I began to keep a diary. I dreamed about it for a long time, and I know for sure that it is useful and fascinating, especially to re-read what I wrote several years ago. But here's a bad luck - if today I didn’t write down what happened yesterday, then tomorrow I don’t remember. Just something extraordinary will come to mind, and such trifles as jogging, English, or walking with children will not.

    So little that I do not remember, the emotions of the current day also interfere. I didn’t go jogging for a week - you’re going through it, but you’ve come out once - you are happy! And this joy overshadows, hides from me the real picture. The reality is that in a week I went for a run once. And he was going to - seven.

    Having made something from my list once, I start thinking: well, everything! Now everything will change! I will do it every day!

    Further, of course, I quit, and wait until I begin to worry again. When I get to the point, I start again, again I come to the delight of my own willpower and determination, and again I quit. And so, in fact, for many years.

    If you look in the eyes of the truth, instead of 365 runs in a year, I do, at most, 10. The same goes for the rest of the streams. And, after each of these ten “special days,” emotions and poor memory make me think that I'm fine.

    In general, there is no hope for memory, I decided. And he began to write.

    At first I just wrote down the days when I did what I planned. Ran - excellent, mark. Passed the English grammar paragraph - entry. But soon I realized that this was not enough.

    Not so much the days when I followed the plan are important, how many days when I was lazy. Because these days are much more. Following the escalator principle, I wrote down the good days with a plus sign, and the bad ones with a minus sign. It turned out a balance.


    The balance horrified me. Even though I chose a very “lazy scale”: jogging - plus five points, no jogging - minus one point.

    The balance over the period, as a sum of points, was, of course, negative. An escalator was dragging me down.

    I decided to be honest with myself, and changed the scale. I estimated the lack of jogging at minus five, and saw a more realistic picture - in a week I was “decreasing” by 25 points. It is clear that all the numbers are relative, and one can argue about the correctness of the scale for a long time. And with whom to argue? My life, this is not a job, where there are indicators invented by someone about which you can speculate. activities . Just not to be confused in terminology.

    Realizing the rapid descent on the escalator, I not only began to run more often, but also engaged in other streams. I came up with certain actions, steps to strengthen other aspects of my life, and called these actions

    You do activity - you change the state of the stream. And, both in a minus, and in plus. Is smoking an activity? Or drinking alcohol? What kind of activity! And it makes, as a rule, a negative contribution.

    It quickly came to the conclusion that activity does not affect one stream, but several at once. For example, a walk in children in the park is both a “plus” to the family, and a positive contribution to health. I’m not sitting on a bench, I’m really carrying them all over the park, winding a few kilometers, breathing in the fresh air of a pine forest.

    But, of course, I encountered difficulties in keeping records. It’s one thing to put a plus sign in the calendar, considering only jogging, and quite another to do several activities with different contributions to the streams. Automation was required.


    At first, of course, I rushed to look for a suitable service or mobile application. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I did not find anything suitable.

    There are applications that measure the parameters of physical activity - the number of steps, mileage runs, eaten calories, etc. There are a million applications in which you can conduct tasks, and sum up some statistics on their implementation. But, first, it is necessary to constantly write down these tasks, and secondly, there are neither my streams nor assessments of tasks in any points, especially in negative ones.

    For me, the main thing was the understanding of balance . I'm going up, or rolling down. And balance flows.

    Flow balance

    A lot of books have been written on this topic, I will mention two: “Seven skills of highly efficient people” by Stephen Covey and “Complete F: Life as a business project” by Radislav Gandapas.

    The first is a classic, the second is relatively new. They both say: the balance of all aspects of life is extremely important.

    Radislav Gandapas in his book gives a lot of examples of how life spoils, if the flows are unbalanced. He has six streams: love, welfare, hobbies, friendship, health and work. The key idea of ​​his book: balance is more important than the state of specific flows.

    He argues that it is better if all flows are low, but about the same level. Unbalance, that is, a big difference between the flows, deprives a person of happiness. Actually, he also defined the state of happiness as a balance between flows. A significant difference (as far as I remember, 8 points on a 10-point scale) leads to death. In particular, the author took the liberty to consider as an example the life of A.S. Pushkin, before his death, and on his model proved its inevitability.

    I always felt the influence of imbalance, I simply did not understand what it was connected with. For example, I, like any programmer, often enjoy work. How can I break away from the code that is about to work? Or has it already earned, but is there still so much to improve? Hours at work fly by, and you are so carried away that you really don't want to go home! And in the evening and at night - you can not restrain yourself, and again you sit at the computer to continue.

    I have at such moments is almost always a fault, inexplicable feeling that can be described as "I'm missing something" . I myself can not explain where it comes from, and what exactly I am missing, but I can’t get rid of it.

    The only way I know is to force myself to switch to another stream. Play with the children, go on the same run, smack the dumbbells, read a book. Any stream other than work. And anxiety passes, giving way to a strong, spiritual joy.

    Apparently, Radislav Gandapas wrote about this in his book. Joy arises from bringing the flow to a balanced state. Well, or at least, from the elimination of a clear imbalance.

    I decided for myself that I would not only carry out my activities and monitor the status of each stream, but also keep an eye on the balance. I carefully studied the method proposed by Radislav Gandapas and understood that it does not suit me.

    In short, he proposes to monitor the flows, sometimes assessing their condition.on a scale from 0 to 10. Well, of course,do something about it .

    I have already used this technique when I recorded my runs, and I knew where it would lead. The assessment of the condition will be carried out in the context of the present day, with a strong dependence on the emotional state, and not on reality. Nothing hurts today - I’ll put on health 8. But tomorrow I’m sick, but the assessment has already been done, and by the next one everything will pass. The score coincided with a fun walk in the park - I’ll put a bunch of points on the Семья Family ’stream, and then I’ll be working like a damn month. And so on.

    Therefore, from the book I took only the idea of ​​balancing flows, adding my account of activities. Well, since I did not find a suitable service, I had to make my own. I will say right away - I did not do it myself, I am not yet a master of Internet technologies, I acted only as the author of the methodology. Realization involved Eugene Malyarov.


    Actually, the service was born. He does not even have a well-established name, we still use the phrase Flowcon Life.

    In general, we did the service Flowcon, to manage the flow in the business. But, since the essence is the same, we decided to call the service for life management in the same way, adding the prefix Life. In general, Flowcon is short for flows control. In Russian - Flacon.

    The service is incredibly easy to use. There are only two entities in it - “flow” and “activity” . We came up with the following flows: Health, Work, Family, People, Personal.

    With health, everything is clear. With work, too. Well, with the family. People are a bit more complicated - we include in this stream all people except family. Friends, relatives, readers, fans - who you have, those and people. Of course, only those with whom you have a relationship, or you want to create and develop such a relationship.

    In private included everything related to self-development. Reading books, learning new things for yourself, meditating - whatever, you better know. But the main thing is complete freedom. Each user of the service decides for himself what is family, work, health, etc. There are no restrictions. If you work as a programmer, and in the evenings write articles, then decide for yourself where to put your writing - to work, or to personal. If you consider your family not only your wife and children, but your uncle and aunt, please.

    The main interface of the service looks like this:

    Specifically, this picture shows all five streams, and the numbers - personally, my balance for each of them for the week. No matter how hard I try, I can’t take out my health as a plus.

    You can look for today, yesterday, week or month - the switch can be seen in the picture.

    The second is the activity. They are completely invented by you. Activity is any action you consider necessary to take into account. Activity makes a contribution to any number of streams - maybe one, maybe - all five.

    I have several activities introduced, and if I deploy a stream, this is what I will see:

    Under the stream, the activities that I have identified for Health are drawn. As you can see, all week I drank instant coffee, three days ago I started smoking again, and I never went in for sports. The result is minus 22. In contrast to the activity, there is a quantity , i.e. how many times have I done this very activity. Plus sign adds one, minus - respectively, diminishes.

    And if I do sports? For example, five times ... Now I’m stumbling on the pros, and the picture will change:

    As you can see, the flow of health would be a plus. But, you have to be honest with yourself - I will return everything back, as it was.

    Some people who call themselves visuals do not like to look at the numbers - they prefer graphics. Therefore, turning the page down, we will see two charts:

    The left one, called radar, shows a good balance (which I don’t have, alas). I spent too much time this week on work and people, I was a little busy with my family and personal development, but I completely abandoned my health. Please note - the scale has negative values.

    The right chart shows the same numbers, but at a slightly different angle. For example, here it is brighter and easier to see that it has climbed into a minus, because some bars creep up, and others - down.

    When you enter the service, he will ask to register or log in - this must be done. A personal database will be created for you, and you can use the service from any device.

    But you will not see any activities - only streams. You can customize your personal activities by clicking the button with the cog wheel:

    You will see a list of activities. By clicking on the button highlighted in red, you can add activity. If you have, suddenly, in the list there are activities like “Dumbbells” or “Not a day without a line” - we apologize, this is test data, you can delete them.

    You will

    see a form for entering a new activity: As you can see, it is very simple. At first, you give activity to some kind of name - for example, “Walk with children”. Then choose the main thread - the one in which it will be displayed in the interface. For example, for a walk with children it will be “Family”.

    Well, you determine what contribution this activity makes to the streams. Seven options:

    None is zero, i.e. no effect at all. Small is 1 point. Average - 5 points. Big is 10 points. Well and, accordingly, the sign is important - a positive contribution, or a negative one.

    Toggle switch "Use this type of activity" is needed to enable or disable. For example, you are tired of running, decided to go to the gym - great, turn off the run, create a new activity.

    When done, click "Write and close." Everything, you can return to the main interface, and put the pluses and minuses.

    There is one feature. Plus and minus work for today , i.e. when you clicked a plus, then the activity counts. The minus, respectively, can reduce only the number of activities of today, but only to zero.

    And then - how much fantasy. It is enough just to understand simple math. One plus is one piece of activity that contributes 1, 5 or 10 points to the corresponding streams.

    For example, coffee. If you, like me, believe that coffee is evil, then the question arises - how to start this activity? Option two.

    You can make the activity "One mug of coffee", with a contribution of minus one, and plyusovat after each mug drunk. You can do, as I - “Coffee drank today?”, With a contribution of minus five, or even minus ten, and put a plus sign once a day. As you wish, do so.

    Or, for example, sport. If you always do it the same way.- for example, half an hour, with the same intensity - then you can start one activity, put plus five, and be marked once a day. And you can, for example, make the activity “Sport, 15 minutes” and regulate the contribution by the number of activities. Worked for 15 minutes - one piece, 30 minutes - two pieces, etc.

    Actually, everything. Simple and clear. Set up the activity, do not forget to celebrate - during the day, or in the evening - and follow the balance. Every flow and life in general.


    We have a lot of plans for the development of this service. From eliminating glitches that you will surely meet, to developing integral life assessment, linking to tasks, and creating a mobile application or a separate service.

    For example, now there is no integral assessment of the balance, although it suggests itself. Just sum up the balance for each day, and display on the chart so that you can see the dynamics - how it was every day.

    The integral assessment of the balance between the streams is not enough - now it can only be assessed with the eyes, on a graph. And you want to have one simple, personally understandable to the user, a number that answers the question - am I fine, or not?

    We need not only activity, but also tasks. After all, activity is a kind of repetitive action that is performed every, or almost every day, contributing to the flow and balance. And there are one-time tasks, such as “Dressing up Santa Claus and congratulating the children”, or “Go to a professional conference”, which make a tangible contribution to the balance. But I don’t want to start them in the form of activities - they will hang out in the interface, cluttering it up. Well, your opinion is interesting. Using the service, you ask questions, point out shortcomings, find mistakes, suggest new ideas. The service is so simple that it is a pleasure to improve it.

    Well, I dare to hope, he will bring real benefits to one of you.

    Yes, I almost forgot. Service is here:

    If you get lost on the site, you can always find a button with a cheerful little man in the main menu:

    It works from a computer and from a mobile device.

    Thank you for your attention, good luck, and balance in life!

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