Well, before we look at the stats (and there isn’t much to look at), I gotta say that this was the ultimate embarrasment of a week, and also that this is exactly what happened between my numerous restarts while I wasn’t posting. Basically what happens is that I just fall off the wagon… completely. There’s not just minor fumbling for me either, I fully crash when things don’t go well.
Daily goals completed 0 / 5
Morning routines completed 0 / 7
Evening routines completed 0 / 7
Points scored -483
I know. You didn’t know that much minus points is even possible in my point system. It shouldn’t be, either. It would have been borderline impossible last year for me to score that much negative even during my bad weeks. But you know, I’ve made punishment for my vices much more severe this year, and last week was all about indulging in them.
I’m not going to throw excuses. I just never even tried. That’s the worst way to fail, right? Regardless, if this week is a similar catastrophe, I am going to simply give up on this challenge and look for some alternative way to kick-start my productivity (though obviously it is clear that no matter what I do, I always will have to use self-discipline – it’s just that I’d give up on this challenge).
For next week, I’ll simplify my daily goals a bit. I will have to establish certain culture of completing them, other wise I might as well not make goals. So for next week they are very simple and straight forward for every day:
Daily goal for EVERY DAY: Add 500 words to my novel and add 500 words to some other story you’re working on.
1000 words of writing a day. Simple enough, you’d think. At least it would mean 7000 words of progress towards my goals every week. I need to become eventually much more prolific to realize the vision I have in my mind, but that will do for a start to get me out of this funk.
Thanks for reading, let me know if you have anything to say in the comments.
Alright, first week since restarting has passed and it’s time to see what kind of results the first week yielded – I can say right off the cuff that while the improvement over recent weeks was distinct, overall it was very modest, especially compared to last year. I need to improve vastly to even reach those levels. With that being said, let’s delve into the numbers.
Daily goals completed 1 / 5
Morning routines completed 4 / 7
Evening routines completed 4 / 7
Points scored 38
Not perfect indeed, anything but. Every day I managed positive points despite being at lowest nearly 70 points on the negative side on some days, due to indulging in my vices. I ended up not tracking my work that well, so no hourly reports. The most miserable thing of course here is that I didn’t even manage to complete fairly simple daily goals, not until Friday when I absolutely had to complete my goal, just to not make rising back from negative points impossible. Which is actually what I’m facing today as well – I just like digging myself into trouble.
Still, it’s a start and a step towards better direction. Despite only lowly 38 points, it actually was my 4th best week of the year. While it just tells that my year has been pathetic so far, it still points to me slowly getting back from the rut I’ve been in.
So in the end, my weekly goal didn’t get completed. Thus my weekly goal for this week is completion of 3 stories and further progress on my book project.
Monday: Finish one Fiverr article + publish this post
Tuesday: Finish the long overdue story and start two others, picked from brainstormed ideas or started from scratch.
Wednesday: Add 1000 words to the book and another thousand to one of the stories.
Thursday: Finish the second story of the week, and add further 1000 words on the book.
Friday: Finish the third story, and add 1000 words to the book.
Alright, so I’ve kept failing with my schedule numerous times, and as the week is changing again, I’m going to have an another attempt. I’ve seen my productivity take a slight turn for the better over last few days, so I have feel I might be turning a corner from this slump that, in reality, has been going on since early December. There’s a lot of stuff I’m having to focus on so I should finally be able to crank up the productivity to be able to deal with it.
I’ve made another few tweaks to my schedule. As I said in the original post, the schedule is sound and I like it, but naturally real life experimentation has prompted me to change a few things.
One of the key changes is changing my sleeping pattern a little bit. You see, my most productive times in general coincide with me taking up some polyphasic sleeping pattern that sets the structure for my life. I used to experiment with polyphasic sleep a lot in the past and while I never found a working schedule, I learned a lot about sleep and wrote of my experiences back in the day at blogger. If you want to read some really old stuff I wrote half-delirious under serious sleep deprivation, perhaps that’s something you’d like to check out.
Anyway, I’m not going to go balls out back to polyphasic sleep like I did back in the day. I’m not looking to sleep deprive myself AT ALL. I’m merely forcing a sleeping schedule on me that’s both sustainable and rigid. The sleep schedule will be the skeleton that the day’s will be worked around. At the same time I need it to be more flexible than going to bed at elevenish and waking up at nine. So simple answer is getting up at the same time every day and having two slots for powernaps.
During my polyphasic efforts I learned I could consistently sleep as little as 3½ hours a night, if I just took a nap during the day. Now eventually after few weeks this led to crashing, but the key point is that I functioned. That’s what I’m looking for here – maintaining my ability to function even if sometimes night’s sleep gets short, yet achieving regularity in my schedule.
For this I’m using flexible polyphasic schedule that I’ve devised based on my experience with polyphasic sleep.
Core: As long as possible but at least 5.5 hours. Wake up at 7 am.
Nap 1: 11.30 – 12.00 am.
Nap 2: 17.30 – 18.00 pm.
That means, that even if I for some reason decide to stay up late, 1.30 am. is the deadzone I will have to be in the bed by. Core sleep can be full night’s sleep as well and ideally it should be that. As for naps, notice how they coincide well with my original schedule, one of them at the end of morning routine, other at the end of work mode.
In polyphasic community 4.5 hours + 2 naps is a very commonly accepted schedule. My minimum core sleep is even longer than that though. Why’s that? Two reasons: First, adding more sleep obviously helps if something doesn’t go as planned. Second, I’ve noticed my sleep cycles are a bit longer than for general population, so that’s why the adjustment. Finally remember this is a new schedule even to me that I’ve not tried, so we will see how my body reacts to it. Again, real life testing might end up with me tweaking it.
In any case, neither of the naps are mandatory. If I’ve slept full night and feel fresh once noon rolls out, no reason to go bed. But if I instead had a long night and slept poorly and feel destroyed, then I’ll take that half an hour respite any day. From my experience just that one nap might be incredibly invigorating. That said, it’s not failsafe either, so sometimes it makes you even more tired. The same rules go for second nap as well.
This schedule has one significant advantage that it shares with other polyphasic schedules – you’re never too far from another sleeptime if you’re tired, making it easier to push through. But in general polyphasic sleeping patterns are rigid – this doesn’t have that problem. If I don’t feel like taking a nap, I simply won’t. Generally speaking polyphasic sleeping patterns are for limiting sleep time while maintaining functionality, but for me the time I sleep doesn’t matter too much. I merely am looking for it to create the structure for me to form my days around.
While this is the only major change, I’ve made minor tweaks to both morning routine and evening routine.
As said, I’ll get up earlier now. However, instead of adding to my morning routine, I’ve taken things off from it. I no longer force myself to work out in addition to playing football. I mean think about it. Football alone suffices for physical exercise. I don’t mean that I stop working out – I just don’t require myself to do it in the morning any more. However, I will still keep doing it most days. Just not every day.
To evening routine I’ve added 10 minutes of cleaning up my room for every day. I’m a chaotic, dirty and messy person. That’s why taking just few minutes at the end of the day to tidy up the places will be a major help to keeping my environment from getting cluttered.
Week 1 Preview
So that all being said, let’s talk about the forthcoming week. As earlier, I will keep tracking the following metrics to measure my progress with my self-discipline challenge:
Daily goals completed ? / 5
Morning routines completed ? / 7
Evening routines completed ? / 7
Points scored ?
Also, I’ll be adding a measurement of hours worked during the week, as the points scored don’t always tell the whole truth. I could score amazing points by just doing yoga all day, which is all fine and dandy, and probably would be really beneficial for me actually… but it doesn’t get stuff done. So that’s why I’ll also follow the work I do.
Another change I’ve decided to do is to start pre-deciding the daily goals before the week and to publish them here – that ought to make me post here at least once a week.
My overall goal is to get to Malaysia by end of the summer, and to achieve that I’ve been looking to build passive income by writing books for Kindle. That’s why my focus is going to keep that way for next week. Cause this is the first week I’m not looking to have very intense daily goals – I just need to start building the habit of succeeding on them, instead of trying to reach for too far. So here goes:
Week’s goal: Add two finished stories to your platform and keep growing it.
Monday: Finish up the story currently on the works, proofread, edit and upload it to your platform (preparing book launch with free content).
Tuesday: Do some mailing list tweaks, brainstorm at least 15 story ideas.
Wednesday: Add at least 2000 words to your upcoming book.
Thursday: Write a full, short story for your platform.
Friday: Add 1000 words to your upcoming book, pick 3 story ideas out of earlier brainstormed ones and further prepare them for next week.
I’m intentionally bit vague as this list is primarily just for me. I think I mentioned the reasons why I’m being a bit secretive about this in one of my earlier posts.
In any case, I hope this was interesting, if not, just as well, as I needed to write this to get a bit clearer on my own ideas anyway.
What’s up? It’s been nearly a month since my last post, and I haven’t even posted updates on my self-discipline challenge. Why’s that? Well, simply put, I failed miserably.
Also I didn’t just fail my challenge miserably, my whole life fell out of hinges. I fell off all important habits that keep me on track like working out, stretching, meditation… My sleeping pattern flipped around and I was doing nothing productive all day or night. So I’m no closer to getting to Malaysia than a month ago, and I do feel disappointed with myself.
I’m not gonna give off excuses as to why this happened, in fact I think I should look into it more after the fact, now all I need to focus is getting back to track. I’ve been contemplating a few days whether I should get back to my self-discipline challenge, and I think I am going to, at least to some extent. However on some days life just really gets into way of trying to follow a tight schedule like that.
So I’m not going to obsess over making it perfectly every day, instead what I’m aiming for is simply returning to at least basic levels of productivity. I need to stop striving for perfection on 10 % of the days and being completely off on 90 % of the days, and instead maintain consistent effort on 100 % of the days, even if it isn’t perfection.
Some might say that they saw this coming, that a schedule like that is impossible anyway – but I really went beyond just failing that. At the moment, I’m completely failing life and I’m not okay with it. Basically it feels that I’ve returned back to 2010 – it wasn’t any longer than that when all I’d do during my days would be reading blogs, playing games and maybe occasionally writing something. I’m not in a much better place now, let me tell you.
But just like when I don’t stretch for few weeks and restart I feel as stiff as I was years ago and I’m dismayed of it seeming like I’ve lost all the gains of the years of doing it, it only takes a few weeks to come back to that old peak level. It just takes some consistent effort. Any positive effects Japan trip could have had on me were killed off by the fact that I wasn’t putting enough effort in to sustain that momentum.
Another thing that needs changing for me is overthinking where to be productive. Fact is, any productivity is better than no productivity. So for instance, I hope to post more on this blog as well, even if this blog is anything but a priority to me right now. In any case, it’s time to start hustling my ass off.
On another note, I’ve also kept pounding out record negative point weeks on my points system… Yeah. Tells exactly how unproductive I’ve been. To beat 2012 weekly average I really need to find a whole another level of self-discipline soon.
I brushed the topic of what is going to happen now to me in my previous post. I know that the most likely I’ll be staying in Finland at least until end of the summer. But what after that?
I think it was as early as 2009 I pledged to myself I wouldn’t stay in Finland for another winter. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Finland. I enjoy every summer here. Emphasis on the word “summer”. Winter, on the other hand… Not so much. I’ve really grown to dislike cold. So even as early as that, I made the pledge to get away from here, to live somewhere warmer and more pleasant. Well, rest is NOT history. Winter after winter I’ve struggled through here.
Now it has to stop though, and I have gotten a girlfriend in MUCH warmer country. At least it makes the choice of what warm country to go so much easier. I have to get to the Malaysia – not only to avoid harsh Finnish winters, but also to finally end the period of torturing long-distance relationship.
So what’s stopping me? The same thing as always – finances. I made finances one of my main goals for 2013 and everything is converging in such a way that they will be pivotal in anything else I do from now on. I have to finally get this thing done.
What I’ve always lacked, really, is a plan. For the most part the sporadic action that I do take has been a bit aimless, lacking thrust behind it, cause in all honesty I really have had no fucking idea what I’ve been doing. So now for once I’m going to plan this thing, starting with the end in mind, instead of just taking aimless action and seeing where it takes me. No more wandering around, it’s time to decide a destination on the map and figure out what route takes me there.
Destination, as said, is easy to figure out – Malaysia. But it is beyond just pointing out a place in the map.
What Would It Actual Entail to Move to Malaysia?
To move to Malaysia, a few things have to happen first. I’d need…
Some regular income to sustain living there.
Nest egg of money to get set-up.
Or in short, money. Of course there’s lot of other things to consider as well, like visas and stuff like that, but I’m no expert in that, so I’m not going to get to that.
I myself figured I’d need around 2000 € nest egg and at least 1000 € of regular income a month. Malaysia might be cheap country to live, but I’d rather aim for having extra instead of trying to penny-pinch my way through like I’ve always done.
I think earning 2000 € before end of summer is a realistic goal for me even if I don’t do anything. If I just keep up what I’ve done so far, which is the occasional day of manual labor, and doing sporadic writing gigs on Fiverr, I’ll probably accumulate enough by the end of summer. Not to be arrogant though, I nearly screwed up Japan because of over-estimating these avenues. But lets say that I don’t need to do that much of effort to achieve that goal, it more or less becomes automatically achieved if I just achieve the latter, given I have practically no expenses at the moment.
Setting Up 1000 € / Month Income Stream
Well, there’s basically two alternatives to this. Let’s go through those. I either…
Create the income online using the methods that have already brought me results (Kindle, Fiverr).
Get a job in Malaysia.
I would say that “no prices for guessing which I’m gonna go for”, but actually my choice isn’t as straightforward – actually I think I’m gonna sort of go for both.
I would be all for Kindle/Fiverr income escalation but the thing is… I’m not sure if it’s gonna scale up to 1000 € a month or more that easy. If we consider my aim to get to Malaysia to be at the end of August, I only have a bit over 20 weeks. Of course I’m not starting at 0 – I’m starting at something like 100 €/month, but it still means I should get my income up by 50 € every week.
Is it possible? Sure. But I have a bad tendency to fall short of my goals, and also it’s not entirely in my hands. Sure, I can work hard to create passive and active income sources, but in the end that kind of income is always susceptible to external influences so no matter how hard and well I work, I might not make it. That’s why I intend to incorporate getting a job in Malaysia as a part of my strategy.
The good thing is that in all of this I can still focus on one main thing – writing.
How come, you ask? Well obviously all of my Fiverr gigs pretty much are, what… writing, exactly. And, when I create books for Kindle… yes, I’m writing again. And what kind of work would I look for in Malaysia… yes, you’re starting to get it, writing work! So no matter what I were doing, all of it would in the end be writing, so my focus wouldn’t be splattered all over the place.
Of course getting a J-O-B wouldn’t be easy for a guy like me. I look a little bit sketchy, I have absolutely no credentials, am introverted and not socially most smooth person you could come across… But I still believe it’s possible. I at the very least believe I could easily pull off writing work in Malaysia.
Putting It All Together…
I already put it all together – in a sense, anyway. I already formed my daily schedule. In essence, this plan would be the contents of the work-modes scheduled there. But lets get more concrete here. How am I going to form 1000 € of income doing Kindle and Fiverr?
Well, using the estimate of every Kindle book earning me 50 € / month on average, I’d need to write 20 books. That means book a week. Well, not impossible, but incredibly arduous. Also, in the end the average might turn out to be too optimistic (though my current only book is earning actually much more than that, but you can’t form a principle on basis of one instance).
It’s unrealistic for me to expect that I’d write that many books. So instead I’m going to aim for 10 books in that same time frame. In other words, every other week I’d need to have to release something new. Meanwhile I’d slowly increase the influx of Fiverr orders by adding to the number of gigs – last time I went up to 17 gigs and found myself overwhelmed by work, so I know there’s opportunities out there, if I just work hard.
I will be writing my books under a pen name and it’s certain type of fiction I am natural writing at, thus making the book every other week pace possible. I won’t be publishing them here, but I will be keeping you updated how that goes.
All Three Prongs of the Attack:
Start a platform under my pen name and create some free short stories on bigger sites hosting this kind of fiction.
Constantly create new content during the week
Edit and revise the material during weekend preceding the launch
Launch the new book
Rinse and repeat
Do good work, deliver early, keep up with the orders
Increase workload by adding gigs
Keep doing good work and keeping up.
Rinse and repeat.
Getting a job
Create a profile to major job search sites of the area.
Write a good CV.
Start applying on any interesting positions.
Get to interviews
Ace them and get a job or rinse and repeat
There you go. Now the hard part – actually following through with the plan.
More than a week ago I posted up my new schedule here. I started an extremely rigid schedule for my day-to-day living, at least until the end of summer.
Now I’ve decided I’m actually gonna call the efforts to living up to this schedule “Self-Discipline Challenge” and I’m going to be tracking how well I’m faring here on week-to-week basis. Cause let’s face it – you can’t do this forever. I mean I guess there’s some personality types who would enjoy living in a very regular, routine style of life, but I’m not one of them. Ultimately I want to have enough willpower and self-discipline to get work done without needing to adhere to strict routines.
However, now, as I told you in my previous post, I am just looking to get moving back to right direction and living with a tight routine for an extended period of time feels like it could be a worthwhile experience to me. I’d imagine it can teach me a lot of things. So without further ado, let’s get to what happened during my first week of attempting to follow my schedule.
I’m planning to track a lot more numbers regarding this, but we will see how I will implement it. You can see couple of things straight away from my numbers – the starts and finishes to the days have been decent, but the in-between part, the most important one, has been a constant struggle. Also, as the point score indicates, the productivity has been extremely low.
Well, not exactly. You see, answer for ridiculously low score (equivalent of bit over 2 hours of writing) is not that I’ve been that lazy (though I have been), but that I punish myself severely in points for my vices, like eating junk food and playing games. Both of which I’ve done abundantly in last week. So take my point score with a grain of salt, cause ultimately it is also a proxy for measuring healthiness of my life (overall how close I’m living to the ideal I have).
But let’s examine the issues with daily goals. Why I only completed one of them all week? Shouldn’t the two work-modes of the schedule, both of them 2 hours in total length, be plenty to work with and finish even fairly big daily goals? Yes, if I had worked those four hours I would have almost certainly completed every single one of my daily goals.
That also is the point where my adherence to schedule starts teetering. First issue is the old time issue – the three hours I have for morning routine after wake-up barely is enough. So I run a bit over which compounds over the time designated for breakfast and showering. By the time I get to computer, ready to work, I might already be 1½ hours behind the schedule.
But you know what, in the end, that’s okay. I have three hours of free-time at the end of the day, after all. I can always stretch to that time. But I tend to not even get started. Here we come to the other stumbling block, much bigger than any other time issue ever could be – distractions and lack of discipline, and frankly this biggest issue with my whole schedule.
You see, timing of my work-modes couldn’t be any more awkward. Why, you ask? Well, let me be frank about what I’ve been doing most of my work-times last week: Skyping with my girlfriend. Yeah, cause my afternoon is her evening and time after work due to time zone difference.
It has made me think of even scrapping the whole schedule, or restructuring it. But then again, I’m adhering to every other component of it almost perfectly, which makes me feel like this schedule might still be good, if I could just circumvent this time-zone thing somehow. This experiment would be easier if I’d just be in Malaysia. Oh well. I’m not going to magically teleport to Malaysia any time soon.
So in the meantime I will have to keep figuring it out. Ultimately, I don’t yet have an answer for it, and I know that the second week will hold similar numbers to first week, but I will thinking of it. But I will keep my efforts up. I’ve decided this experiment will last at least to end of summer. But I’ll talk about it more in my next post.
I can’t believe I went over two weeks without updating! Time flies when you’re… lazy. No, I’ve definitely not been busy since Japan, I’ve been more or less as lazy as before it. Here’s a video I shot on Saturday, exactly week after returning home:
I know, I’m even more scattered than I was in front of people in Japan. Then again, maybe being in front of people forces you to kind of try to be coherent. In any case, as I tell you in the video, Japan didn’t propel me into the kind of life momentum I was hoping for. Then again perhaps it’s a lazy way of thinking that I could just throw myself out of my comfort zone once and expect my life to change. Becoming Awesome is a continuous process, that has to be gone through every day. You earn your awesomeness every day – or don’t earn it. Lately I’ve not been earning it. I’ve been lame and lazy.
But things are about to change. As I discussed in this video that’s now over a week old, I was struggling between kind of “going with the flow” type of productivity, and having a very rigid schedule. Since then, I’ve decided that I will need to form a super rigid schedule to snap myself out of the lazy rut I’ve been in lately. So I’ve basically formed a timetable for my whole day, that I will follow rigidly every day, as long as its possible. I will go through it in a minute, but for now, let’s focus on discussing about this kind of productivity.
I can see that having to use a schedule that tells you when to do what and forces you the times to be productive being a bit of a crutch. I mean, you want to be able to just snap into productive and creative mode, at any time, any place. Not having to need a specific time every day and a timetable that tells you to do it for it. But you know what? I don’t care. I’m at a level where I just need to get moving. I don’t have the inner self-discipline to just go with the flow and trust that I will work hard enough by only doing that. No, if I go that route I’m just going to play fucking FIFA all day. So fuck it, let’s script my days. I can go with a very rigid template cause I don’t really have a social life or any other external commitments. So this is not something that would work for you. It’s not even certain it’s even going to work for me.
This is where Japan comes in. In Japan, I tapped into some weird, stubborn, resilient and determined part of my mind to complete a video every day, even when it totally wasn’t easy. Sometimes I’d stay up until 2 am. to edit, knowing I’d need to be up at 7 the next day. Now I need to tap into those same resources to find same hellbent attitude to following my schedule as well. That no matter what, if it somehow is possible, I will follow my schedule. Of course, like in Japan, I’ll be reasonable, if it some days isn’t possible I’ll try to not crush myself about it.
So yeah, I think you now understand why I’d want to form a tight schedule. Now we are ready to move into the schedule itself. If you’ve read some of my old posts, you remember I have tried to formulate a schedule like this before. So when I created this, I already had some experience and knew what works, and what doesn’t in terms of almost completely timetabling your day. Also the last week since the video I already betatested a schedule resembling the current one, that even in itself is unlikely to be the final schedule. So this is not some stuff just slapped together. No, every action has a reason behind it and I’ve made some tweaks to make sure I can follow it. I must say also that the time limits are not super strict, but guidelines.
As a final note before we get to it, I’ve also included some stuff related to my point system into the schedule (in italics so you can quickly distinguish them). You can just ignore this, but for those who give a little bit of a fuck, you can kind of see how I measure my productivity. But without further ado, lets get to it.
My New Schedule
9:00 – deadline for getting up 1 point bonus if I’m playing footy or working out within 15 minutes of waking up, 1 bonus point for naturally getting up before 8 (my alarms, yes I need multiple, are set to 9)
Why did I choose my waking up point to be 9 am? I struggled with the balance for a long time, cause probably my dream schedule productivity-wise would be waking up at 2 am. I know, ridiculous, but that’s when I have insanely productive days – by the time other wake up I’ve already completed much more than most of the will all day. But that’s not a sustainable sleeping pattern for many reasons. I tried many earlier wake-up times, but ultimately they all failed. Reason for this is simple – sometimes I stay up late to watch football. And in those days, if I stick to my early wake up time, I simply cant get up. 9 am is good balance – it is still in the morning, but I also can get up after going to bed after late matches that end at 1 am. Of course, if my body decides to wake me earlier (and I feel rested), more power to me, I’m just gonna get up earlier then.
Once I’m up, I will move to my morning routine – however, I’m exempted from morning routine on the days I will work with dad – it will make it simply impossible to complete such amounts of stuff before work. As long as I still do the habits in my morning routine at some other points of the day, I’m okay.
MORNING ROUTINE (-10 points for failed completion on days that are not exempted)
Minimum of 45 minutes of football(2 points)
What can I say? I just love football, and want to make sure I’m practicing daily. While I enjoy playing football I’d always skip it due to lack of time if I didn’t force it. Why do it first thing in the morning? My reasoning is simple – I just need something easy and low mental effort thing to start my day with. That is why football is the perfect start.
Minimum of 30 minutes of working out (separate from football) (6 points)
I run at least 5 kilometres already in my football session, why’d I do another separate work out as well in my morning routine? Well, football, while great, is not well-rounded exercise. I want to train my upper body as well and hit the weights or bodyweight exercises as well to really get those testosterone and growth hormone responses out of my body. Also, morning is the best time for all working out because your stress hormone cortisol is naturally up, as I tell you in my book,Healthy Eating.
Washing dishes, heating the house. (2 points)
Basically doing the house chores so I don’t have to deal with them during rest of the day.
12:00 – deadline for finishing morning routine. Breakfast.
Not eating the breakfast first thing in the morning is a very conscious choice. I generally have no appetite just after waking up, and to get maximum momentum into the day I want to get going right away. Also, doing work out and football with empty stomach is said to positively affect fat burning – not that I have much fat to burn, and I also am a bit sceptical about the whole theory, but since it works for some people and fits my plans, why not?
One of my fitness goals at the moment is (and has been for a long time) gaining muscle mass. That is why I know I need to eat a lot. I’ve also learned that I can’t down that much protein per meal, so I simply will have to eat a lot of meals. However, breakfast will be after around 12 hours of not eating, so it will be a big meal.
WORK PHASE OF THE DAY
13:00 – 15:00 first work mode of the day. – 28 points
15:00 – second meal for the day
16:00 – 18:00 More work mode. - 28 points
18:00 – Third meal of the day
Around 20: Fourth meal of the day
I’m timetabling all my meals cause if I don’t, I simply forget to eat. For real. I do that all the time. I forget to eat and end up with 1 or 2 meals a day. No wonder I struggle to gain mass. So to really make an attempt at it I need to make eating frequently a habit. Now I said the breakfast will be a big meal – that wont be a problem since I’m used to big meals and my stomach will be empty. As for other meals, I’m aiming to get minimum of 400 calories and minimum of 25 grams of protein each meal – in fact those are meals requirements. For most people the restriction would probably go other way, limiting calories, but as I said, I’m trying to gain mass here. (1 point for every 25 grams of protein ingested)
But work-mode, being productive, that’s what this part of the day is really all about, not just consuming calories. I will set a daily goal for every day and look to complete it. Daily goal will be somehow related to my weekly goal, which again is related to my main goals, so that way I make sure I’m making progress on my bigger projects. However, I do afford myself weekends off, there will be no work phase as such on Saturdays and Sundays. (Failure to complete daily goal -10 points)
Why do I want to timetable my work-modes so rigidly? Simple – I want to eliminate procrastination as much as possible. When I force myself just to sit down and start working at a set time, I don’t give myself a chance to procrastinate. “Going with the flow” so to speak allows room for all kinds of procrastination. While I will certainly be working the time, what kind of work will depend on any given days commitments. I might, for example, be busy with Fiverr orders, or if I’m having quiet time in Fiverr, I’m working on my next Kindle book, or improving my site, or anything like that.
I also left 18 onwards empty so I have some room to move around in my schedule. This time can be used for whatever is needed. (If I use this time for working even more, like a workaholic, I can score further 42 points for the 3 hours of work)
21:00 – Deadline for starting evening routine.1 extra point for shutting computer down early at 20.
EVENING ROUTINE(-10 points for failure to complete)
Shut down computer, dim the lights as much as possible.
Reasons for this were explained in my book, Healthy Eating. I want to lower my body’s cortisol response and trigger melatonin production to become tired early enough. I want to be sleeping by midnight to maximize growth hormone secretion.
Stretch for 30 minutes or yoga. (8 points)
I have to say yoga is much more effective than regular stretching, but it requires more effort and concentration as well. On some days I just rather stretch – but in any case there’s a benefit and it’s the perfect way to prepare to going to bed.
One final small meal.
Mostly protein and maybe veggies, just a small meal to cap off the day – but it still has to go over the minimum requirement of 400 calories and 25 protein grams. Just following this minimum plan, I will reach by the end of the day at least total of 2000 calories and 125 grams of protein – however because my breakfast is bigger and I will try to consciously go over my limits consistently, the hope is the end numbers are over 3000 calories and around 150 grams of protein per day. I should gain some weight with those numbers.
20 minutes of meditation (5 points)
Meditation doesn’t need much explanation. It’s another perfect activity done to calm my mind on the way to bed, as well as it having cognitive benefits, as well as lowering blood pressure, stress, etc. I’ve tried to get meditation habit down multiple times and failed, but as a part of a bigger routine I think I should be able to finally pull it off. It’s something I really need, cause I’m trapped in my thoughts more than anyone I know. Then again, I don’t really know how trapped in their thoughts anyone I know is…
After this evening routine will be finished and I’m ready to bed. If I’m not tired I will dedicate rest of the night for reading.
1 bonus point for falling asleep before 23.
So there we go, that’s my daily schedule for as long as this phase of my life continues. Likely at least until end of the summer. If I fail to follow it… Well, guess writing this post was a big waste of time then. But no, I’m not going to give up easily on this this time. Even with occasional failures I will always restart this. For once in my life, I actually feel I have a good schedule that I’m actually able to follow. Only break I get from the schedule is weekends, or rather the work phase is removed – I still need to complete the morning and evening routines.
Final note regarding points: just by completing the minimums of this daily routine, I will earn 84 points – 79 for actions I take, and 5 points for eating protein. 84 points would score 7th in my current top-10 most productive days of all time (my record is November 30th 2011: 114). So the bar is set kind of high – I’m now expecting top-10 all-time productivity for every day. Scoring the 84 points just 5 days a week would bring a total of 420 points, which would bring me 2nd place in my all time most productive weeks, and leave me only 81 points off my most productive week ever (Week 45/2012). So just by following this rigid schedule, I stand to score to the region of my current record points every week. Just by looking at this it looks likely I will have some slip-ups – but like I said, I won’t give up, so probably by summer all my top-10 weekly scores will be above 500 points.
I think my current absolute maximum for a daily score lies in somewhere around 150 points, but that would take a really dedicated, undistracted and industrious day.
What do you think of all this? Do you use a similar system? Or do you “go with the flow?” Let me know in the comments!
Japan trip came to an end today, and I’m typing this safely from Finnish soil.
In this first video a very tired me talks about wandering around in Japan in my last full day and contrasts that to kind of the overall situation in my life. It’s interesting albeit you can really tell I’m tired and I’m not in my most articulate state – the idea is solid though. Check it out:
In my second video I come to you from Helsinki much later on that day. I’m still not very articulate in this, perhaps you can tell of my elevated nervousness levels due to being in “kind of” my old environment, but again I communicate solid ideas – nothing new, but important core lessons everyone should take note of that always are worth reminding of. Check it out:
I’m overall happy with how I ended this trip with these videos, and of course Japan trip as a whole is a raging success. I’m sad that it has ended, but there will be new and awesome adventures ahead of me.
My trip is winding down. Last full day is drawing its final breath. I do some minor reflecting on this video and go through a bunch of people who made this trip possible for me… however, the video is kinda ruined. I think either my mic was poorly plugged, or it is broken, cause the video has background static.
Nothing I can do about it though. Will see for tomorrow’s video, final one from Japan, if the mic indeed is crooked or if I was just careless. I think the thanks can be heard anyway through the static, though it obviously sucks.
So yeah, thanks for all involved, all I hope is that I didn’t forget anyone. In any case, Japan has been an enjoyable experience, and I will surely be reflecting on it for a long time in my future posts.