Lights Spreadsheet, Week 5
So, I keep this Lights Spreadsheet to keep track of the actions I most want to be doing each day.
It works as a control — it gets me to do more of these actions.
It also works as a warning sign — if I see I’ve had mediocre sleep or no exercise for 4 days in a row, it prompts me to fix that before things start getting out of hand.
An underrated skill --
Seeing an opportunity you know you can execute, you'd like execute, that you have a high confidence of executing, that'd be pleasurable to execute, and would pay off --
-- and still saying, "That would work, and yet, I'm not doing it."
It's rarely terrible ideas and drudgery that distract us from the big things we have to do. It's shiny stuff. Yeah, avoid pointless no-payoff shiny stuff. But the meaningful high-payoff shiny stuff might be even more dangerous.
The desert began to recede, giving way to harder ground. Hot sand transmuted into baked clay, and once again into rocky terrain.
It was nighttime now. The rolling waves of heat seemed to roll back; all the heat seemed to depart back to wherever it came, and it was surprisingly cold.
The boy kept walking, the terrain started to incline — he was going upwards.
Abruptly, he found himself on the edge of a cliff.
It seemed like the edge of the very universe — with no pollution from the lights of the city, no torchlights or electricity or campfires, the stars stretched for miles and miles, perhaps stretching as far as for-ever.
Good question from Guy Montag yesterday --
I don't disagree with Pascal's Wager because there's a negative opportunity cost(years of religious servitude) involved. I disagree with it because it's doing a dishonesty to myself to pretend like I know something when I just don't have the knowledge to make a judgement call.
So I have a question for you. "Do you think it's better to base your beliefs on what brings you opportunity, or truth? "
I think I'm pretty demonstrably in the very-much-likes-truth camp. We could say that, and that's the end of the story.
I'm very much in the yes we have free will camp. Judgment and decisionmaking happen. Descartes said "Cogito ergo sum" -- "I think, therefore I am" -- I've taken a similar approach to free will.
Besides, on the off chance we don't have free will and the universe is purely deterministic, you haven't lost anything. Why argue against free will? Making that argument only does something significant if we live in a universe with free will. If it's all deterministic, your judgments are already settled and automatic. You gain nothing in the no-free-will universe because you have no choice in that universe. Asserting your free will -- heck, just call it "will" -- this can only be helpful.
It's like Pascal's Wager without the opportunity cost. Declaring free will costs nothing. If you're right, it's useful to acknowledge and assert your will. If you're wrong, well, you were going to be wrong anyways, eh?
So, ok. Me on free will -- "Does it exist? Yes."
But I do muse over the mechanics of it. Clearly physics and causality reign in the universe; indeed, the universe seems to simply be physics and causality.
I suppose this isn’t news to anyone, but as soon as I started ensuring I hit my fitness targets each day, the quality of thought, action, sleep quality, and achievement across the board improved.
It was just a short swim three days ago, and then very simple bodyweight exercises — jumping jacks, air squats, pushups, bicycle situps — but apparently it’s enough to trigger that totality-of-whatever-it-is that makes fitness give its huge boosts.
The Lights Spreadsheet is nice in that, when things are starting to get shaky, it’s possible to precisely nail where, and look for correlations and causation. No fitness = a big problem.
One observation I’ve made recently is just how big the fall-off is from peak morning performance to the last evening-time thinking of the day.
The odds of me badly mis-estimating my chances of working and then screwing off procrastinating, eating junk food, or rationalizing some bad decisions is almost zero in the first 4-6 hours awake, and still very low the next 4-6 hours.
It’s that last run of hours in the day, when fatigue has kicked in and the mind isn’t fresh — that’s where bad decisions come in.
The thing is, when your cognition is compromised, it’s often hard to be aware of that very fact. At least, that’s how it happens for me.
Here, this is a common situation lately — it’ll be somewhere from 7PM to 10PM and I’ll have one or two more “medium-sized” chunks of work I wanted to do for the day that aren’t done.
A guest post from the always-smart Noah Gibbs.
Any form of communication when transmitted or recorded, cuts out important parts of the experience. Audio, video, Skype, SMS...
This has always been true. We say "book smart" to describe the specific ways in books impoverish the learning experience - "book smart" opposes "street smart" because of the things you learn on the street but never from books.
As we learn more of these modern communications, we will discover how they impoverish our learning experiences, each in their separate ways.
This is the fourth published week of the "Lights Spreadsheet" -- tracking/controls on habits and productivity. This follows on the heels of Week 3, which was published yesterday.
The first thing I've got to say is, wow, this is so very useful for analysis. Combined with a bit of thinking and other things, I can see where the chain reactions that lead to fallings-off are.
I suppose the first thing to note down is that this is not quite the bloodbath it looks like. I inadvertently had a good opportunity to start working on my #2 biggest project, the one that I was holding off on getting started, and it got underway well.
This came at the cost of general admin (FinalVersion, Touch It Once/TIZ) and "Progress on Biggest Thing" (a project which is almost finished).
This is the third published week of the "Lights Spreadsheet" -- a tracking/control method for daily habits and production. Here were last week's results.
So, what happens with the fall-off? Here's my journal notes/weekly planning from before the week, from an entry titled "Doctrine/Plans for 1 May to 7 May" --
Thursday, 1st May to Wednesday, 7th May