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Why I track my time every single day

Yesterday, I put up an image Daniella sent me on Ben Franklin's Time Tracking.

After that, we got into a bit of a good discussion on the topic. We shared some thoughts on chaos and structure, and I wrote this -

Re: time tracking, it took me a few attempts and a few false starts before I started doing it. I've gotten a lot out of it, but I'm a big believer that your tools should serve you; you don't serve your tools. Track as much as makes sense for you so you get gains out of it. I'm naturally an unstructured person actually - I try to build structure and routine in the areas that I think it benefits, while letting creativity and chaos reign where it does well. My blog is actually more on the chaotic-just-let-it-flow side - I don't have an explicit pattern or schedule for posting. I just write something every day based on whatever I'm thinking or reading or corresponding about. I try to add more structure/order in areas where it helps a lot - even after doing it for a long time, I still forget to breathe and meditate a little at the start of my day if I don't refer to my time tracking. Likewise, tracking food and spending gives me a pretty good idea of what I'm eating and where my money is going, which adds a lot of value to my life. But again, it should serve you. Try it a little if you want to improve an area, make it work for you, make it yours. If it's not serving you at that time, discard it. I don't know if I'll track forever, but I'm still seeing big gains from it.

D writes back -

Thanks for the quick reply! Have to run to a concert now, but a question did pop into my head as I thought about the unstructured person living a semi-structured life and read your response. I guess I maybe resisted time tracking because it felt like I was self imposing structure on my daily life, which would "bind" me to it in a way. I'm the type of person that naturally resists structure but when I do have it, I do my best to succeed at it.

The Long Shots

On Tynan

I have a favorite type of hand in poker. I like it because it makes up a huge chunk of my winnings at poker, is good solid play, and looks idiotic to bad poker players. It's the kind of hand that pulls hundreds of dollars in your direction, and sometimes a couple angrily-thrown cards from your opponent when he's beaten, too.

Technically the hand would be called a plus-EV underdog draw, or something like that. In plain English, it's a long shot where you have the right odds to take it.

An example might be if I have four cards to a straight and I'm missing one from the middle. So maybe I have 4 5 6 8 of various suits. Let's say that there's still one more card to come. There are forty-six remaining cards (just trust me on this one), and only four of them, the sevens, will help me. I have less than a ten percent chance at winning the hand.

And yet, sometimes it's worth calling to see the next card. If it costs me thirty dollars to see it, but there's six hundred dollars in the pot, then mathematically I'm way ahead.

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