I didn't track Days Twenty or Twenty-One. On these days, I did a few valuable things and got in approximately 5 hours of very high-level creative work onto sales and marketing (almost by accident), and went to the gym once. But the days were very flawed.
Short answer is I was gearing up on Day Twenty for a big day, had my morning rituals in order, and took modafinil. Now, I've written about modafinil before -- it makes you really concentrate intensely. It's great when producing, but if you get off-track while on it, you can get really off-track.
So I took modafinil, and then made a gigantic mistake -- I checked my email.
And my email was particularly ugly that morning. You know the like "oh man, that's a pretty significant pain-in-the-ass emails" that you get a couple times a month? Well, I had like 3-5 of them sitting on top of my inbox. From my lawyer in Hong Kong (bad news), my landlord (rejecting me trying to extend a lease on reasonable terms, he wants something crazy and isn't really in touch with the property market here), a couple mails from clients, and an actually very solid opportunity but one that's pretty neurosis-increasing.
I should've willpowered through it, but the day was off-track after that. Then, didn't get to sleep until 11AM the next morning (modafinil + energy drink), and the next day was basically shot too.
Day 22 is largely back on track. I'll write up a weekly review shortly. These two untracked days weren't terrible, I dove into email and negotiations, and did some client work. But mostly, blah, especially when originally targetting a high caliber day.
Again, don't check your email in the morning if you have important creative work to do!
(But you already knew that...)
(But are you doing it?)
I tried the no-email-in-the-morning thing a few times. Never worked out. Not even a week without internet could fix it, when I was back, I went right back into checking it first thing in the morning.
Here's how you actually do it: open Self Control before you go to sleep, make a guess when you'll wake up and how long you want to block it, then set Self Control to that time.
I always block email for the first couple of hours every day lately, it's awesome.
Modafinil isn't the biggest gain I've made towards peak experiences -- that'd be just basic exercise. It's not the largest gain towards general well-being, which is just a cleaner diet and very good hydration. It's not even the biggest no-brainer of a nootropic, the honor of which probably goes to Piracetam.
But with that said -- wow. It's some pretty amazing stuff.
In this post, we'll cover: 1. The effects and subjective experience, negative and postive, of Modafinil. 2. The routine I built around taking it, through trial and error, for best performance. 3. Some jumping-off points for further research.
I used to dislike to work. I saw how most people lived their lives, slogging through work that they hated, and I was determined not to fall into that trap. I made the mistake of generalizing, lumping all work together in the same bucket.
Since then, things have changed. In terms of monumental personal life changes, becoming a hard worker is the most recent one I've undergone. About a year ago, for reasons I touched on in this post, I decided that it was imperative for me to become a hard worker. I didn't do it because I had suddenly fallen in love with work, but rather because I had began to feel as though I was behind. And believe me, it wasn't love at first sight.
To fall in love with hard work, you must understand why it's necessary. When I was young I was told that sugar was bad, but I never understood exactly why it was bad, so I kept eating it. Only when I learned how it chemically affected my body did I finally give it up. The same is true of work-- if you don't know why you have to work hard and love it, you'll probably never actually do it.
Work is your gift to the world. That sounds corny, but it's true. And believe me, you owe the world a gift or two. Think of all of the various things that millions of people around the world have done for you to enjoy the life you have. They made up languages, invented stuff, procreated at the exact right times to create your ancestry, and managed to not kill each other in the process. We're lucky to be here, and the high standard of living we all enjoy now is only because of those who came before us. Some, like Einstein, had huge impact, but even people you don't notice, like the janitors, are making your life better.