Day Twenty-Six turned out to be incredible.
Lately, I've been working a practical process to get into "High Creative Mode" -- I think has a high hit-rate for getting into that Mode, but I'm not able to consistently execute it. D26, I did --
Strange opening to the day. Didn't sleep on the 15th to force-normalize my sleep schedule.
Woke up at 12:30AM after roughly 8 hours -- earlier than I expected, but I felt awake and refreshed.
First 90 minutes of day I spent reading, answered a couple emails, surfed the net, had water and coffee, was a little groggy. I'm waking up now.
My plan is to make a list of 5-10 things I want to do today, and make a serious High Creative Mode attempt to get into flow state and run through them fast.
1. Sit and play with Information/Resource Velocity Theory for a while. Just take some notes. Stop when I felt I've done enough, or if it's not clicking. Run it out if it's going great.
2. Broad review of everything - start with Biggest opportunities, especially the cash-generating ones
3. Put next actions and schedule all of those. Try scheduling those whole week M to F.
4. Weekly review / clean up time-tracking notes for last two weeks.
5. Post on blog.
6. Once it opens, go check out Regus and work there.
7. Rapidly triage email.
8. Quickly skim INBOX.
9. Get to the gym before 2PM, so I can make it to the office by 3:30PM.
10. From 4PM on, we've got that stacked work schedule.
Okay, today should be exciting!
Time is currently 2:05AM. Just took vitamins, supplements, water, coffee. Already ate food roughly an hour ago. Now, I'll take my time to do slow grooming and get dressed, and I'll pre-set up my laptop in the area I want to work.
2:55AM: I've been planning the day, getting things together for campaigns, and started thinking and outlining the Info/Resource piece. I wound up on a wiki-walk about Ancient Egypt by accident when I was checking some chemical properties of gold, but it wasn't long, was interesting, and seems not so bad. (40 productive, 10 reading)
Now, shower, grooming, etc. Have my work setup complete and the right notes open before heading to shower and clean up.
3:25AM: Showered, shaved, etc.
4AM: Reading a good book, a little more grooming. Time to work.
--Okay, Info/Velocity seems too abstract right now. I'm in a "just take action" mood.
4:10AM: Wrote up the last two days for blog. Going to read a little more.
6:10AM: A mix of reading and planning. Quite good. Did the Broad Review of Everything.
6:15AM: Ok, I want to leave and go to Regus (or a cafe, or something), but I don't think anything else is open. I'm kind of losing steam here and want a break. How to deal with that?
I guess maybe I'll just chip away at email. Logging into my inbox, going to pick a few off. I have 88 important ones to answer as of right now (already did maybe 10 today).
Down to 85 emails, did a particularly important one.
7AM: Heading out. Maybe Regus isn't open, I'll find a Starbucks or something if not.
8:15AM: At Regus. The person at the counter comes at 8:30AM… this is a 24-hour location, so could be good.
11:25AM: Very nice session. Did some outlining of writing, then wrong a *very strong* 600 words. Also got in some reading.
11:30AM: My attention is fading… been up 11 hours now. Will head to other Regus to check out their lounge and rents, plus the walk will be good for regenerating attention. If my focus is mostly gone, should definitely get in a gym workout starting about two hours from now, as well as weekly review and setting timetables for top campaigns for the next week, all before 3:30PM.
1:15PM: Walked here. Toured this Regus, got pricing for Global and Greater China on the platinum and platinum plus packages. Would be a good deal, except for the fact that I need a place for nighttime phonecalls. Still might be worth doing. Gold seems decent as well for just having a decent space and coffee, I've got new places to work that are probably superior to cafes in that they're cheaper, fast internet, and the coffee's free.
1:50PM: Ok, I'm out in space, got no concentration. I'm up for 14 hours now, so I should get either fitness, or relaxing, or something before work from 4PM to 8PM, then sleep right at 8PM until the client call at 4:30AM, and start tomorrow at that time.
4PM: Walked around some. Was feeling not strong enough to lift, so got a decent walk -- though, repairing my boots changed the shape of them and i've got blisters now. Ouch. Then took taxi to office.
7:20PM: Great work on making sales and marketing materials at work. Making a proposal for an $800 sub-job tomorrow, and turning that into a general product offering.
A very solid day.... except you'll notice my sleep schedule has been screwed up.
I'm not sure why. I've been largely doing things right, but when I'm awake/alert and when I'm tired seems pretty erratic and random lately. I wonder if I'm coming down with an illness? I really don't know, it's strange and not normal.
So you'll see, on D26, I worked something like 12:30AM to around 8PM, which is about 20 hours straight. I was really flagging hard from 4PM to 8PM, but I had important things scheduled.
This took a toll on me on D27, and I got "double-whammied" -- I woke up at 4:30AM for a phonecall, but my client had just gotten off a flight and missed the call and wasn't prepared. Then, I had to withdraw money to pay for my office (last day that rent was due), and the two ATM's nearest where I live were out of commission -- one had no more money at 4:30AM, the other one was broken.
That meant a few mile walk and hours burnt, and the whole day just kind of wound up going out into space after that. I'm particularly susceptible when wanting to do high level work to the beginning of the day getting screwed up with distractions, emergencies, or reschedulings. Of course, the right way to set things up is so that there's no chance those things happen in the morning.
So, Iwas groggy and didn't track it. Amazingly though, some structure we'd set up last week for tackling our biggest and most important campaigns first worked -- and despite being "out in space" I got some okay production (spent a few hours catching up on phonecalls), and then had an amazing work session in the afternoon/evening/night. We'd preplanned our most important campaigns and scheduled time on them, and just got right into executing despite it being a hazy day, and got some great production.
I'm still working on the High Creative Mode process. I've been journaling and documenting it, and refining my notes. If I'm able to get even a 50% hit rate on attempts at it, and can try 5 or 6 days a week... this would be huge.
A lot more thoughts on my mind, but today (D28) is stacked busy again.
Why I love Sebastian Marshall..
Information/Resource Velocity Theory
even when I Google'd this I got nothing.
I'm curious, how do you differentiate the High Creative Mode process from merely being aware of a period of time in which you're creative? Is there there a difference in terms of the way you process your thoughts and translate them into tangible results when you're in 'High Creative Mode' and when you're just in a normal state of creativity?
"Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here." -- Inscription on the Gates of Hell, Dante Alighieri's "Inferno"
The worthy detour? I think I've got a formula for "High Creative Mode"... just it's not particularly consistently effective yet, and it's playing a pretty high stakes game. On Day Seventeen, I made my first crack at applying it, and had an incredible day. I wrote a 5000-word piece, that after editing and getting the ending right, I think could be amazingly fantastic. Just writing it was a joy.
Following from that, I was walking on air for the rest of the day.
In Day Eighteen, I attempted the same thing, and fell short. This was maddening, and the whole day was aggravating. I think I've got a rough formula for High Creative Mode, but it doesn't produce 100% results. And when it fails, it's pretty ugly, at least so far.
I kept detailed notes on both days, much more fleshed out than usual. There's more stream-of-consciousness. They're... honestly, a little weird. You can evaluate for yourself:
I think it's our third day here. It's hard to tell because I've spent a good amount of that time sleeping. However, I'm now over the jet lag and ready for action again.
Last year when we came to Japan we had no jet lag at all. My jet lag strategy is to try to match my sleeping pattern to the destination's. We got into Japan at 4pm on Tuesday, so I should have been awake for 4-6 hours and have slept for 8 hours.
That's how we did it last year and it was fine.