It's funny how even when the week got derailed on Day 2, just having goals means you can stay roughly on track.
Here was the night-before for Day 5:
Day 5 plan (done the next day, didn't do before sleep):
Once awake, focus on creative writing until it's complete.
Do some general clearup maintenance.
Review weekly goals, assess what needs to be done Mon/Tues (Day 6/7) to meet all metrics.
5:30PM: Took a long sleep, interspersed with waking up and doing a little writing, a little reading, a little maintenance / answering emails, etc. Didn't track, can't even really guess at the passing time… though got some good writing in.
9:30PM: A variety of cleanup / clearup (60 general-life, 60 maintenance, 60 reading, 60 distraction)
10:10PM: (20 semi-productive, 20 distraction)
Ok, I'd like to gear down on writing and do a great piece. This cafe open until 2AM, great ambiance here, feeling very strong mentally. First, pick which piece to finish.
1AM: Cafe actually closes now… did a lot of writing, couldn't get the affect and pace correct for the piece, but good writing anyways. (20 general-life, 150 writing)
8AM: (60 relaxing, 60 walking, 120 maintenance, 60 planning, 60 general-life, 120 distraction)
And then I sat and figured out how to make sure on-track with everything for the rest of the week. Here, I'm posting Day Six's night before review as well so you can see how it fits together --
I did all the tasks set forth… the writing didn't come out good enough for publishing yet (normally I'd say screw it and publish anyways, but there's a great piece in here somewhere if I can get the affect and pace right), did a lot of maintenance, email, bills, things like that. And general planning.
Physical Fitness: A very solid week. Have another lift on Monday, and this one's going well.
*Sales process built out quite a lot, and iterating now.
*Need to run a campaign Monday or Tuesday to meet this objective.
*Target: 100 sales calls. So far: 32. Needed over Mon/Tues to achieve: 68 total.
*Added two clients, which is ahead of pace.
*Cash isn't in bank yet, but on-track.
*Launch GiveGetWin by early July -- mostly on pace. Could push a little more.
*Average $50/day from GGW until stable early, then reach $200/day -- mostly on pace.
*Do a complete roadmap for CPNC -- no advancement, but isn't a top priority this week.
*Contact 10 top nonprofit officials to get guidance on everything a solid nonprofit needs -- no advancement, and probably should do some this week.
*Use this to create a "Nonprofit Roadmap" covering all the bases -- no advancement, but isn't a top priority this week.
*Get back on to time tracking every single day -- yes.
*Plan the next day the night before -- yes.
*Come out of this cycle not burned out, but rather healthy and vibrant -- seemingly so.
*Document this daily with observations, share with the world -- yes.
*Write one excellent piece (by my standards) each week -- wasn't able to complete an excellent piece over Sat/Sun. Take another crack at it.
*Massively increase humility -- a few things, can do some more.
*Get constant feedback from talented people -- no advancement, and should be.
*Set up two weekly discussions -- sales, and efficiency -- no advancement, but isn't a top priority this week.
This creates five must-focus areas for Mon/Tues to close out this week's goals:
*Run a lead campaign Mon or Tues
*68 sales calls between Mon/Tues
*Contact a number of relevant officials Mon or Tues
*Take a crack at writing a piece (I might miss on this one, realistically -- I don't see where the high quality time to do it will come from)
*Solicit some feedback.
This is vaguely doable.
PLAN FOR DAY SIX:
*Wake 1:20PM for 1:30PM call.
*Have a good call, get reqs for that project
*Immediately after call,
--Bring laptop with to gym
*Post-gym: Flow state, solicit some feedback and take a crack at writing (my best shot… maybe write a "pretty damn solid" piece if a great one isn't happening)
*Lead-gen from 8PM to 11PM, work very fast on it
*11PM: Hit the phones immediately. I've never tried Pomodoro's before, but maybe that's the answer here.
Leaving for Day7…
*Whatever last sales calls to do
*Contact nonprofit officials
…and somehow, despite the week being off-track quite badly, the core stuff all seems to be happening.
I've had some other running around to do that's built into my notes as "general-life" or whatever, and some errands and maintenance. I've been meaning to answer the most common questions, give feedback, etc, but haven't gotten around to it. The next two days are a crunch, but then I'll look to do it.
Also: I'm guessing at some point you considered moving to a fixed sleep cycle and decided it was sub-optimum? Curious, why is that?
It's been very very interesting to read this ground-level view of your day-to-day life. Inspiring to see that even someone who seems to achieve a lot still has to keep grinding every day.
Just as an interesting Devil's Advocate view, what do you think of this Peter Drucker quote:
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
After reading your Day 0 blog post, I was inspired to do my own 90-day challenge, but after spending 2 hours or so brainstorming approaches I realised the best approach for me would be to focus on high-value activities, and aiming high, rather than trying to max out every single hour. I personally found time tracking too stressful and it made it hard to either relax or get anything done.
(My personal feeling is that approaches to productivity are very, very personal, depending on both your own personality and the work you're doing. So multiple approaches might be valid).
So anyway, instead of trying to max every hour, I thought "what would major success in this area look like? And what could I do to reach that area?" This gets the gears turning. For example, I decided to aim for £X/day freelancing - about the upper end of the range you see for Ruby developer contract jobs online (I'm currently happy to be getting more than X/3, and if I took a permanent, "junior programmer" position (I just graduated), I'd be lucky to get more than X/4). So the wheels start turning. I need to figure out what a "senior developer" can do that I can't, figure out the most important subskills to ramp up, figure out how to find rich, desperate clients, figure out how to sell myself... This all suggests a range of actions, some of which are very simple, but potentially bring in a ton of value.
Would be great to hear your thoughts.
After Day Two was off the rails entirely, I wanted to rest and recuperate a little, so I set my benchmarks low. Okay, I'd rather gear down and be Conan the Barbarian with a big ol' sword, but it didn't work out like that.
Here was my plan, emphasis added --
Wake 5:30PM (7 hours sleep… hmm). GGW call scheduled for 6PM.
GGW call concludes… 7PM?
Yesterday was the first day in awhile where I was really alone. I've been so caught up in moving, I've barely had a minute to think about free time. But, my roommate (and best friend) Sally just left town for 8 days. I'm finally settled at work and, with my social life in its current spartan state, I realized last night that the next 8 days would be a lot of just... me.
So, I biked home after work. Read some John Seymour. Ate some spaghetti. Watched people from my front deck perch. Then I thought, "Hell, let's see the world." So I tied on my shoes and started walking.
My city is incredible, for those of you who don't know. The picture above is just one of the hundreds of hidden graffiti artscapes dotting the buildings around town. I have driven by this building a hundred times. But it was only when I walked past that I actually noticed the art.
Lately, I've become acutely aware of the pace of my actions. I think it comes as a result of my zen studies, my commuting to work by bike, and my Friday farming. I also started working for a nonprofit whose focus is natural lands. The slowness is almost overwhelming when you begin to spend time in nature.
Nonetheless, this isn't the first time I've appreciated the benefits of a slower pace. Each morning that I bike to work, I bump into people. I actually am going slow enough to smile at my neighbors, wish them a "good morning." (Can you imagine that in place of the anger you feel at morning traffic?) Also, when I visited Sally in London last year, I had to entertain myself while she was in class all day. So I spent 10 days walking London. It is one of my favorite trips to date, a bizarre fact considering I was alone for most of it.