I've been tracking my time daily since October 2011, having seen a few articles that Sebastian had written about the idea. Here is a recent one that Sebastian wrote.
Time tracking has been immensely helpful in general, and like Sebastian's time tracking, mine has gone through many changes since I started while looking for whatever is going to be the most useful stuff to track for my life at that moment. Another nice benefit is that it serves as a memento for nostalgia purposes - I quite like looking back and seeing what I was doing 2 years ago.
You don't need any fancy tools to do this effectively - I've exclusively used a plain text file on my laptop, which I can edit with (for example) Notepad++.
(1) The basic format is always a diary where I list everything important that I did that day, and for my first month that's /all/ I included. Starting off simple is important to ensure that you can get into the habit of actually filling it out. Here is a sample from October 2011:
Mon 17 Oct
Around 2013, I came across the works of Sebastian Marshall while one of my friend was reading Ikigai.
I have been following Sebastian ever since.
It's been a long journey. I have not made any significant progress in life, but his philosophy, strategy has helped me create a strong base for myself. I'm still learning and trying to progress one day at a time.
He does not update his blogs like before anymore. So it's been a long time since I've been here on SebastianMarshall.com. And today when I stumbled upon it, I felt a huge dose of Nostalgia. Like walking on a war field long after the war is over. Nobody seems to be active, but all the important lessons are here. I feel alone, but that loneliness is inspiring. I'm happy to be able to write this here at this time. I have no better word to describe this feeling.
Starting at 2:24
One of the best ways to get more money is to execute on the low hanging fruit that’s already there. Duh, right? But as I look back at the past couple years learning about business and stuff, I noticed that there was a lot of easy opportunities that I didn’t take advantage of. Why? The opportunity was there, its was easy, but something held me back.
Sebastian wrote in this post that "By far, the #1 thing for a knack for getting money is not having hangups about getting money.”
I think this statement is revealed when we look at leverage. Its like this: when we don’t go to a top school like Harvard we think to ourselves “Of course those guys are succeeding, they have Harvard connections. I don’t have a Harvard connection” but at the same time, if we actually went to school at Harvard we might think “I don’t want to utilize my Harvard connections to get a high paying job, that’s cheating, it would be too easy”. Or, as another example, our parents introduce us to one of their wealthy friends, we don’t want to follow up because “I don’t want things given to me by my parents”.
But you should leverage those things. As I was thinking this, it reminded me of a blog post Jason Shen wrote a while back. He wrote:
Anybody recommend any good books, articles, or links on consulting? I've read million dollar consultant by Alan Weiss and it was really good, but looking for something more low level, practical, or for beginners.
I'm thinking about hosting a under 25 freelancer meetup in San Francisco, would anyone be interested or know anyone that might be interested?
I want it to be structured so that everyone who attends will be discussing in depth about their freelancing and actually engage in conversations to help eachother and talk about their freelancing experiences.
It would be pretty awesome if we all had plenty of mental energy to stay motivated and disciplined all day long, to be highly productive and highly creative whenever we needed, and to always feel vibrant and optimistic about the future.
However, the more you try to control elements of your life – whether it is to improve your health, wealth, social life or whatever – the more apparent it is how finite and scarce this “mental energy” can be.
In particular, it seems that whenever we use willpower – in any form and for any reason – we are using up resources from this pool of mental energy, much faster than the pool is replenished.
Psychologists have carried out plenty of experiments that strongly appear to confirm this model of willpower – Jason Shen and Sebastian recently put together a great post about it here: http://sebastianmarshall.com/developing-willpower-by-jason-shen which is very much worth reading if you haven't already!
Psychologists have also shown that decisions on matters that affect us can deplete the same mental resource as willpower. In some sense, these decisions and willpower are the same:
Modafinil has been one of my favourite drugs since I first used it over 5 years ago. It was during my neuroscience final year and after a lot of research into how to over-ride my need for sleep I found it.
It's a great drug and on the whole, fairly safe for most people. But people who buy it without consulting a doctor first should be careful about any other medication use.
I also highly recommend taking it in very early in the morning. I leave a tablet next to my bed with some water, set an alarm for 4am, wake up and swallow it before falling back to sleep. It takes over 2 hours to reach peak plasma concentration and you will find it wakes you up after about 2-3 hours. This way, the second you start your day you are fully-dosed, and by the time your day is ending and you actually want to sleep, the dose should be wearing off (with a half-life of 10-15 hours).
To learn about how mod works, how to stay safe and check drug interactions and other useful info, please read this article I wrote: http://improveanthony.com/2013/10/29/conqueringsleepwithmodafinil/
Stay safe and good luck achieving! Peter
Sebastian has a post today, Nothing Magical: "There's a certain tendency to look for magical solutions...The thing is, the[re] usually isn't a magical thing."
I'll go a bit farther. It has served me well for many to years to state and believe: There are no Solutions. Except in chemistry. There is only continuing struggle, effort, achievement, mistakes. There are no "solutions" for health, time management, willpower, productivity. Every type of action in the world requires some sort of ongoing, time-indefinite application.
The worst misuse of the word is by the political class, who propose "solutions" to poverty, ignorance, laziness and obesity. There are no solutions government can offer, only individuals taking action to improve. Conditions might be improved, but this is not a solution, and never can be.
Just leave it at four simple words. There are no Solutions. Believing it can help to free your mind for more effective actions.