Swedish Lakes

I love swimming in lakes at any temperature and time of the year. This is a picture of my favorite lake, Sommen, in the province of Östergötland in Sweden.

My Story

I come from a family of entrepreneurs and have always liked building things, whether woodworking or writing code for applications. My mom is Polish, my dad is Swedish, and I grew up bilingual and have lived in both countries. 

I like schedules, checklists, and “productive activities.” This helped me do well in high school and achieve top grades while excelling at skipping the classes I thought were a waste of time. I was fortunate enough to have parents who fully supported my decision on how to spend my time.

After graduating high school, I got two undergraduate degrees in Sweden in economics and mathematics. I have always liked math, and applying mathematical rigor to answering economic questions appealed to me. I went on to get a Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. This is also where I met my husband during the first week of math camp.

When I started my Ph.D., I thought I wanted to be an academic professor and do research, but pretty early, I realized that I like to solve real-world problems and see the immediate impact of the solutions. This led me to work for various technology companies, from early startups to established companies like Zillow and Chewy, where I am currently an Associate Director on the Applied Economics Research team. 

In addition to my work in technology, I am an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California. I teach and develop undergraduate and graduate data science and big data econometrics courses. I also serve as the Consumer/Retail Roundtable Chair at the National Association for Business Economics, the largest international association of applied economists, strategists, academics, and policy-makers committed to applying economics.

Principles

I love working from home, and I am passionate about creating a productive home environment where I can incorporate health and fitness into my daily life. I don’t believe in “life hacks,” but I do believe there are methods to make life easier. I try to organize my life around a few principles that have worked for me empirically.

There are no shortcuts

Anything that promises quick and easy results of big magnitude tends to be bullshit. If it were possible to achieve big things without effort, everyone would do it. I like training handstands precisely because they exemplify this principle. If you’re interested in handstanding, check out @handstandsandlife.

It’s not about motivation; it’s about discipline

If you sit on the couch waiting for motivation to arrive, things will never happen.

Separate the planning and execution phases

If you try to revise the plan while executing, things become muddled. I separate the research and planning phases, and once the time to execute comes, I focus on going down a list of items I can check off.

Lifting heavy things improves the mood

I love weightlifting and kettlebell workouts. Learning to lift requires attention to detail and technique and is also very meditative.

More is not better; better is better

This applies in many areas. Weightlifting is a perfect example – fewer honest high-quality reps are better than a lot of reps with bad form.

Begin the day with a conquest

We can get dopamine kicks from browsing social media or from actually accomplishing something. I try not to open social media before noon and start the day by working on tasks I planned the day before.

A controlled dose of suffering is good

My favorite method for overcoming resistance on a daily basis is the ice bath.

Random Questions

My dogs are borzoi, which are technically not a dogs; my best guess is 30% dog, 20% cat, 15% muppet, and 35% other mythical creature. For more borzoi content, check out @eskilborzoi. You can find a short documentary in which Eskil explains the borzoi breed in 90 seconds here.

Eskil the Borzoi

The cat, aka The God of Flof, thinks the dog is an excellent addition to the family. In addition to stealing hooman food, he can now steal dog food and treats and play his new favorite game: whack-a-snoot.

Eskil and Flof

The God of Flof welcomes any number of loyal servants to his household.

Eskil and Arvid

I have an easy time learning languages, I speak five languages fluently, and we speak Spanish at home since my husband is Mexican.

Meat, definitely meat. With cheese and (very) dark chocolate coming in a close second.

I love working out, baking sourdough bread, and woodworking.

Yes, I have a few ongoing projects in the areas of theoretical or applied econometrics. You can find my published research here.