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.
My mind has been scrambled the last couple days. I don't know why, it came on very suddenly. I've made massive strides over the two weeks before - I accomplished about six months worth of work over two weeks. I felt on top of the world. I wasn't even very tired afterwards, I felt good, ready to go.
Then yesterday, just bzzt - nothing. Foggy, almost like confusion. Couldn't focus at all. Strange. I said, y'know what? I haven't had a day off in a while, I'm just going to take the day off. Went and sat at a cafe and listened to some audio for about four hours, walked around and saw the city, went and had a massage, and then sat and ate fruit. Spend like 10 hours in a row just thinking and relaxing, which is good, I don't take full days off very often. I had some good ideas when I was out at the cafe and took some extensive notes, so I got some production out of it too without even trying to.
Now, I wish I could say, "And then I was recharged, and today I was awesome!" But no, I woke up in a fog again. Damn this. I track my time and have some routines to keep me running well, but I was foggy despite it, unable to focus really. Suck, what is this?
I was working, but it was half-working. Now, half-working is a big problem in my opinion. Half-working tires you out as much or more than real full working, but you get about 5% as much stuff done. Yes, 5%. Good work requires something like focus. It doesn't necessarily require the highest levels of focus and flow (though that stuff is very good), but it requires working through the mentally difficult parts when they come up. The worst part about half-work is you cruise through the easy enough stuff, then stumble on a difficult part.
This is doubly bad, because when you come back to your work, you're staring the hardest part in the face. This sucks, you need to kind of regroup and double down to get re-started while staring a difficult or complex part of work in the face. But again, I was in that mental fog and so I start half-working on it, and then I wander off again. And I try to come back to the work, but then - bam, there's this hard problem staring me right in the face, that I already failed to conquer twice.
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.