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Planning Your day like Sebastian Marshall

I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect.

As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading.

That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot.

Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012.

The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it. 

I bought Sebastian Marshall's book, Ikigai, when it first came out. His is one of very few blogs that I read regularly, so I had high expectations for the book. And, hey... even if it's not great, I like supporting people I respect. As soon as I bought the book, I read the first chapter. It was the blog post that I mentioned in the isolation post. Oh, I thought, I guess this book is just a bunch of blog posts that I've already read. I stopped reading. That was six months ago. These days I read about 2-3 books per week, which means that I have a really tough time keeping my reading list full. Last week I was searching through my Kindle to see if I had any half-finished books I'd forgotten about, and I decided to give Sebastian's book another shot. Man, am I glad I did. I'm not sure I've ever read a book with lessons that can be applied so quickly for such immediate results. Ikigai is one of the top few books I've read in 2012. The focus of the book is rational and efficient productivity. Or at least that's what I got most out of it. If you're into that sort of thing, definitely read it.  I now plan my day every morning. Sebastian shares his daily planning routine, which I used as a rough template for my own. Every morning I record the time I went to bed the night before, the time I woke up, the time I brushed my teeth, the time I finish planning, and the time I finished writing a blog post (I'm writing one every single day, but not posting them all).  Recording the time you finish these things is a bit of subtle genius from Sebastian. When you record the time you finish something, you tend to do it earlier. Today I woke up and had two immediate phone calls that had to be made, which pushed my whole schedule back. As soon as I saw the time, I started doing my few morning things, including writing this post. Morning used to be my least productive time of day, but now I jump right in and start producing. The rest of day planning consists of making a todo list for yourself. You're supposed to create a list that you believe can be completed to 70%, but I've completed 90-100% every day, despite trying to make the list harder each time. It's amazing how much you can get done when you have a plan and start early. I use the tasks feature of Google Calendar for my todo list. It's not amazing, but it's good enough and keeps me looking at my calendar, which makes me more likely to schedule things and see when they're happening. At the end of the day, I do a quick five minute summary, as prescribed by Sebastian. I record whether or not I flossed, reflected on the possibility of death, and played my violin. I write down my key accomplishments for the day, my top life goals, a quick analysis of the day, and my top priority for the following day. Last, I record how many minutes I wasted, how many minutes I worked on SETT, and how many minutes I spent writing. RescueTime helps me come up with a rough estimate of these things. There's a lot more than planning your day in Ikigai, but that was the big value that I got from it. He also spends a lot of time covering the same sort of strategy and philosophies that I'm a big fan of and write about here. ### The great Alaska trip starts next Saturday. A few friends and I will be riding our motorcycles to Alaska for no real reason at all.

What Can You do with Two Hours in the Morning?

On Mike Dariano

Why do I get up at 600 AM?

I commented to someone last week that it's been five years since I've held a full-time job, and back then I had two. I was able to hold two because the hours for grading papers was flexible and I was efficient in my work. These jobs, teaching assistant and AmeriCorps volunteer ended when we had our first daughter. In the five and a half years since then I've always had an itch to do something. Defining myself as just a stay at home dad isn't quite enough. I'm incredibly grateful for the days I get to spend with my daughters, but I also need to do something for myself. To do something I get up at 600.

For the past half year I've been working on The Fatherhood Book. This project goes from exciting me immensely to being a pile of dog crap that I need to clean off my lawn. Writers say this happens often so I'm on the right path. I've written and edited almost all of it during my two hours in the morning. The book is a short 20K words, but it's the first 20K word project I've begun and almost finished.

In the mornings I also find guests for 27GoodThings.com. This site earns about thirty dollars a month through the Amazon Affiliate program. I run the site because I love finding good things to read, watch, and use and it allows me to connect and help other people.

In the mornings I also write the posts for this site. Usually that means I write a handful of posts one morning and schedule them to be published later. This post for example, was drafted on November 31st.

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