Inspired by Tynan’s „Love Work“ post I want to kick off a series of changes to my life to drastically enhance my productivity. Its always a good thing to reflect your days while doing these kind of projects so I was thinking to start a blog, but then I realized SETT is quite perfect for that. So here I am, documenting my progress! Im surprised Im the first doing this :)
So how am I? I’m a 23 year old German that just graduated from university. Although I had the best GPA of my graduation year (Small group though, something like 80 people. Im from a small University.) I decided not to look for a job like my fellow students. While I was studying abroad in South America and working as an intern in China, I fell in love with travelling and being fully in charge of my life. So since 1 month Ive been working on writing a guide book in German for students that would like to go abroad as well. After that Id like to start my own business.
Unfortunately I have troubles working hard at home. There are so many distractions, that I am barely able to get more than 4 hours work done on a good day. Im not working on weekends and because of that Im usually super unproductive on Mondays too. Damn it!! So I have decided its time to do something about it.
When not working, Im well aware of failing my goals. Ive noticed Im doing two things to deal with the guilt: Watching TV shows/Surf on the web and eating fast food. Lowering my consciousness like that helps in the short term to make me feel better, but of course that’s not what I really want. To prevent falling in that trap, I want to cut these things out for at least 3 months. I know this will be hard in the beginning, but Im hoping that my preferences will have changed at the end so I can easily maintain it. I already blocked all time wasting web sites with a browser plugin and deleted all TV shows and movies from my HD. My fridge is stocked with healthy veggies and fruits and my girlfriend agreed to cook vegan for me the next few months. So far so good.
My goal is to work 60 hours a week. While that’s not remotely as extreme as Tynan suggests in his post, its still a 300% increase of the 20 hours a week Im doing currently. Since Im doing sports every day and am also living with my girlfriend, 60 hours is as good as it can get for now. Im intending on working 10 hours on weekdays and about 5 hours on Saturday/Sunday to maintain the daily habit.
I will be starting all this from tomorrow and report in this thread to see how it goes. Wish me luck :)
Today was probably the most productive day of my life. I didnt know you can get as much work done in one day as I did today. Whenever I wanted to stop writing I simply told myself „Stop being a fucking joker“ (TM Sebastian Marshall. Great post, read it if you dont know it). Occasionally I would change my location and carry my notebook to a bench in the forest or take a walk around my village to regain focus. It worked like a charm. In the end I got like 300% more done than on previous working days. The only real break I took was for going to the gym 90 minutes.
Today was easy though. The first day of changing a habit is always easy. The hard part will be to keep this up for 3 months. I decided I will be ready with the rough, unedited text of my book on Friday night. That gives me 3 more full days to write around 50 – 100 pages (Already got 80). My goal for tomorrow is thus to write at least 20 pages. Wish me luck.
Picture is todays vegan lunch :)
Just a quick update for everybody who wonders how its going. Not perfect, but quite good actually.
I made good progress in all 3 of them. I didnt succeed like 100%, but as long as Im not giving up and moving in the right direction Im perfectly satisfied. I think you need to have a shitload of willpower to change 3 substantial habits at once like this. Respect to everybody who can!
Well. Lets break it down in 3 areas:
Healthy eating: Here im really focusing on what Tynan wrote lately. My main goal is not to eat vegan, but to start disliking Fast Food and to start liking healthy foods instead. I remember reading something similar from Steve Pavlina. In order to reach your goal, you dont have to take a series of action, but rather change your personality. Thats it. Thats lasting change. So how am I doing? Unfortunately I was truely addicted to fast food so I already cheated 2 or 3 times (cant remember). The main problem is Im really weak, when presented with the opportunity to cheat. When im driving past Burger King and Im super hungry and no one is looking, I failed. Next time was in the middle of the night, again hungry and in a bar, while everybody was ordering bread with bacon. Fortunately it only lasts for 1 day and the next day Im back on track. Then again, mistakes are only acceptable if you learn from them so I tried to deal with those "tempting moments". I printed a detailed list why it is a very bad idea to cheat and carry it in my wallet all day long. I committed myself to reading it before I ever eat something wrong again. It includes bullet points like "If you dont follow up on the goals you made yourself, you will create brain patterns that encourage you to fail. Youre causing long term damage for a piece of Pizza. Dont eat it." etc. Its about 10 bullet points.
Also I dedicated a full day to read about healthy food. I ordered a vegan cooking book to learn more recipes and studied those today. Then I studied some more about the negative effects of bad foods and also the positive effects of good foods. I read some stories about people who irreversibly destroyed their health with unhealthy eating habits, I looked at fat people in Google Images, etc. etc. Again, I tried everything to force myself to dislike foods. Since then I havent cheated anymore.
Even if I will, every time I failed so far I got better afterwards. So key here is really not to give up in the long run and eventually I will succeed.
Regarding watching media its been GREAT. I havent seen a movie since I started and only streamed 1 single episode of TV. I did some surfing though, which led me to create a password for my Safari Plug-In that blocks all time wasting homepages like reddit (I had the block before, but just deactivated it when I didnt feel like working). Actually my girlfriend created the password and I dont know it. So shes in charge wether I can surf or not. In a bright moment I made her promise that she wont enter the password if I ask her to. I imagine once I go "cold turkey" like this regarding time wasting homepages for a while, I dont need to babysit myself any longer and can go without the plugin. Already dont have the urge to watch any TV anymore.
This is the most important section. Actually the other 2 habits mostly came up just because I wanted to increase my ability to work harder. So whats going on in this key area so far?
I finished my book by now although I didnt meet the deadline of last Friday. I learned to work a lot more efficient regarding writing. My writing speed today is about 3x faster than at the beginning, so that I produce around 2.500 words per day.
Regarding the hours I put in its increasing, but slowly. I still give in too easily on distractions. In the morning I start right away, then I get to write like 2-3 hours and feel exhausted. I take a break (Usually sports or cooking) but then after, I get distracted for up to another 3 hours with other stuff (Socializing, playing ping pong lol, etc.). So I guess a good starting point for increasing my working hours is not to take these breaks. I could take a break of writing, and start doing some other productive things like designing the book cover or learn how to use Adobe InDesign. I will try that tomorrow.
Wow that was long. Not sure if anybody even reads this, but it was great for reviewing myself ;)
What helped me a lot to write this post is the Full Screen mode of SETT. Nice feature! It didnt work to add a photo though (Safari 6.0 on Mountain Lion). Neither add photo nor Embed media works when editing for me right now.
Will report back in a few days. Heres a vegan meal my girlfriend prepared for me today:
One of the great things about being polyphasic is that my friends are on awful sleep schedules. Some of them stay up until 7am, others wake up at 7am, so at any given time there's a good chance that I have awake friends.
This morning at 7am Hayden calls and asks if I want to do yoga with him. Of course I do. This is the hot yoga, "Bikram", which literally translated means "the most severe torture known to man that somehow hotties can handle".
I hop in my car and head to his place. Hmm. The ride seems a little rough. Not to get too sidetracked, but I thought it would be really cool if I bought 19" rims instead of the stock 16" rims. It looks fantastic, but these stupid wheels have given me nothing but trouble. Literally every single one has gone flat, they have damaged my brakes, etc.
Before Ive tried blogging . I made one at Googles blogger... and I have made around 3-4 posts and Ive even spent some time on it. And guess what Ive only got 1 follower a friend and I even think she didnt bother reading my posts and just signed in because she just saw my blog (lol) shes not much of a reader.
Anyway. Since then ive really doubt the power of blogs and its use. I always wonder how famous bloggers got to where they are now.
When you pour all your thoughts into words and somehow want to make it readable.. then poof no views. notifications or anything . heck, you dont even know if anyone even read or understood or appreciated your post.