I travel a lot.
Not all countries have the same standardization and cash controls as the United States or Western Europe. In most of the world, actually, everything is pretty ad hoc.
Part of this means, at least 5-10 times per year I'm having someone hand me the wrong amount of change or otherwise screwing up billing pricing.
Funny enough, no one ever hands me too much change. No one ever accidentally marks a bill as paid that isn't paid.
But the reverse happens. Often.
I'm staying with a friend of mine who is a very successful executive. He used to work from home before getting a huge contract at a Fortune 100 company, so he's not in his home office any more. He invited me to stay here, and so I'm sleeping in the office of an incredibly successful executive, investor, director of some large public companies, and otherwise incredibly prolific and brilliant guy.
It's 99% pleasant. We get to have brilliant conversations about money, strategy, investing, history, governance, travel, and so on in the evenings and weekends. I normally don't like chaos, but the home office is the most wonderful blend of chaos I've ever worked in. It's stacked with stuff - a couple of iPads, old discarded smartphones and Blackberries, a wireless printer, luggage, filing trays, tables. On the top shelf out of reach is a gigantic Grey Goose bottle, a painting of Buddha, and some sort of ornate chest.
The 1% of unpleasantness? My friend has a gigantic wolfhound. In the morning, someone picks up his dog and cares for it during the day, and the dog comes back at night.
It's a beautiful dog. But it doesn't respect anyone except my friend, and it wants to jump all over me or whoever else is nearby. He's clawed the hell out of my arms and I've got cuts on them. I need to study basic dog survival techniques post-haste because it's a little ridiculous.
This dog could cause massive problems for anyone. It's huge. It's enormous, with tons of weight and power and energy. And it's a hyper dog that doesn't like being inside, and we're on the 16th floor of a highrise.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Well, hello there. I've amended my time tracking twice recently.
Here's the old version, v5 -
——————————————- START OF DAY ROUTINE: Time awake: Total sleep (hours/minutes): Appointments today: Other time-sensitive things: Key habit today: What assets could I build/improve/acquire today: Planning: ——————————————- DO BEFORE GOING ONLINE: Vitamins (C, Fish oil, Calcium/D): Stretching: Situps: Brush/floss: Breathe: Borderlands (+Solo): Gratitude: Review Life Goals: Review “Current Targets”: Reach out: Help someone: ——————————————- DO SOMETIME DURING THE DAY: Exercise (walk/run/other): Listen to audio: Blog post: Email in box, start: Empty inbox completely: Organize/cleanup/etc: Look at to-do List: Do one thing on to-do list: ——————————————- TIME TRACKING:
File under "things you don't normally notice" -
I was in a cafe/art district in Beijing. Outside the cafe I normally work at, they were filming a scene.
There were maybe 60 extras who just walked back and forth in the foreground/background a number of times.
All normal stuff so far - but then I noticed, all 60 of the extras ranged from looking and dressing from above average to beautiful.
I never noticed this before, but I bet the people in the foreground/background of most TV and movies would be similar. I'm going to pay attention next time I'm in front of a TV or at the movie theater and see if this is true.
I was working on some tight deadlines while at a cafe.
Overwhelmingly, I had the urge to break from my diet and order a bunch of junk food - sandwiches, french fries, etc.
I'm not exactly sure why that urge comes up, but I think it's quite common. You've probably experienced it, yes?
If you're trying to refine your diet, or stop binge drinking, or sleep at a reasonable hour, or quit some bad habit, or... whatever... well, how have you gotten off track in the past?
Probably when there was a "good reason" - either something more important (like a deadline) or some general exception (like a "special occasion").
The best phrasing of this idea I've found. Meditate on it -
"Not what I have, but what I do, is my kingdom." - Thomas Carlysle
From a reader -
I read your article http://www.sebastianmarshall.com/the-million-dollar-question and was very interesting.
After reading it some days ago, I came back again to read it again, you have good tips for starting a business and makes it look easy :)
I hope to get some victories from your newsletter.
Hi Sebastian, I'll be short.
I have identified that one of my main problems today is my memory, and so I'd like to work on it. Searching for advice on the internet give way too many answers, and I really don't know which ones to trust. Have you ever tried any exercices to improve your memory? Do you know any good blog posts about that topic?
Spaced repetition is proven to work.
I'd save most of my income even if my ROI was -10%, because money is more useful in large quantities, especially when you break certain thresholds like:
*Can take 2-3 years off work when it's a good time to do so
*Can mix cash and and labor when joining a company to get a big equity stake
*Can buy tools and gifts without even looking at the cost if there's a solid benefit"
Cash is more useful/leverageable in large numbers than small for most middle class-ish people. Any gains you make are gravy, saving would be smart even if it cost you money to save.
I took a one night, two day trip to one to the provinces this past weekend. It was all very pleasant, I had a nice time, I got to stop by some local businesses and see how they were making goods to wholesale, and it was nice to be out in the clean and fresh air.
But maybe the most enjoyable part of thing was traveling with just a briefcase.
I'd only done that once before, a few years ago. I forgot about how nice and convenient it is. I wore the same pair of jeans, packed my computer and a couple basics, and bought a new shirt after I arrived. Man, it's nice getting through the airport without any luggage, and the additional mobility from not having any gear to worry about is nice.
Unless I'm under time pressure when I arrive or I already have a place I like to stay in a city that I've been before, I tend to not book anywhere to stay - I just arrive and walk around. Frequently this surprises/amazes people, but I think it works really well.
I walked into a business hotel at around 8PM in the evening after it started getting dark. Their rates were 170 RMB for their cheapest room to 800 RMB for the most expensive. I said, "I want one night. What's the absolutely best price you can do?" The girl at the desk offered me 88 RMB, which I took.