I was feeling my energy and focus was off, so I decided to take a day entirely off and let come what may. Here's the notes --
Day was unplanned, but good. Did some reading, some daydreaming, got a massage, went for a walk, did more reading… got inspired at one point and answered like 30 emails, including some important ones to advance potential projects. Did some goal-setting and planning, did some brainstorming on writing pieces.
Didn't track the day at all -- didn't even try to. Just relaxed, etc. Sleeping around 3:20AM.
As a side note, my energy/focus was really low, and I wasn't sure why. I sat and thought about it for a while, and I wondered if I was overtrained/undernourished perhaps... I've been eating very clean with basically zero carbohydrates, but maybe I wasn't eating enough?
I sat and thought about it for an hour, then decided to have a cheat day. So I ate rice, some scones, bread and butter, fruit, fruit candy, peanut M&M's, Red Bull, gummy bears, and more bread. I was going quite crazy, I was wondering if my metabolism had slowed down or if I was undernourished.
I decided beforehand that I'd do this, max, every Saturday... and maybe wouldn't do it again for a month, or whatever. Not a regular occurrence.
Something about the day worked -- when I woke up for Day Twelve (today), I felt great, much more energy. I actually meant to sleep 10+ hours, but awoke after only 8 hours feeling fantastic. I'm not sure if it was a day with no forcing work (though I did get a few good things done towards the end), the general massage/chilling out, the lots of reading, or the diet cheat day with high calories... but whatever it was, feeling very good the next day.
Grinding away and drilling down when focus/attention is totally shot is a terrible idea... it just doesn't work. If a little distracted, okay, gear down and work. But it focus/attention totally shot, and it's largely physical more than mental, then spend some time really recharging physically. So, I did, and feeling great now.
As a sidenote, the week's metrics are basically totally shot now, but whatever. I'm here to get the best I can out of myself, to produce as best as I can, to serve, learn, grow, etc. You set targets to have something to measure yourself by, and this week I likely fall short of my targets. I'll analyze why and improve next week. Still a few more days to grab some more production and do some cool stuff, though.
Keep up the good work. Doesn't matter if you have off days, as long as you continue pushing towards your goals. We're not going to get each day perfect from the start--but like you've pointed out before, increase your percentages by just a hairline each day, and you'll amass victories eventually. Worry not about being busy, but on doing the actions that will reap you dividends.
One of the things I've gotten tremendous amounts of mileage out of it is tracking my time, habits, and life each day.
To put it simply - I now realize it's impossible to understand how your life is going without some careful observation. There's a lot of time each day, and knowing where that time goes, what you ate, what you did and didn't do... it's almost impossible to get a good picture of your life without some kind of measuring.
I'm going to you my newest tracking template, and then I'll give some analysis. Before I start though, I'd like to share a quote -
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.” -John Gall
Thus, if you want to track your time, please do not attempt to track 20 things at once, because it's unlikely to work. I started very simply, as I described in "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking" - I'd recommend you read that post if you want to do something like this.
Note this is a long post detailing my thoughts and what I learned in the last 2 months since I was gone. Bolding in lines I felt needed to be emphasized.
First a personal story.
I stopped blogging for the past month and half because an opportunity came along, but in reality the opportunity had always been there. For the longest time I wanted to make money online, from my computer and one of my friends told me about this great, low risk way to make money online, but I didn’t believe it and I always had an excuse. I would post on this blog, learn languages, spend time biking around exploring etc. and use all that to rationalize not giving my friends proposition a shot. My friend kept telling me he could help me at anytime, it would cost him almost nothing to get me on board, and in fact it would be of great help to him. Once in a while I would help out, but I wouldn’t see the money in it. The job required me to be on and aware over a long period of time. I just didn’t feel it was worth it.
Then one day, when I was having one of my long bike rides around the city I asked myself why has one month passed and nothing changed? Yeah I’ve gotten a bit better at Japanese and German, I’d read some good books like The Art of Learning and The Slight Edge, and I’d also had some amazing food experiences and watched all of Arrested Development. But something didn’t seem right. I felt a lot of my time was going to waste. I wasn't necessarily being unproductive: my grades were doing good, I had genuinely learned a great deal about various things. I was in good shape, and was having a great time eating amazing food and meeting new people. I was overall pretty content with myself.