My everyday activities are based on a process I've created for myself. To make it better each day and what's more important, to make it effective, I'm constantly questioning, modyfing and improving it. It probably will not work for you, but you will certainly find plenty of inspiration and resources, which may help you build your own.
Everyone is constantly telling you what is good for you. They don't want you to look for your own answers. They want you to believe in theirs. ~ Dan Millman
A little of context
It is widely accepted that setting a Goals is essential to achieving results. Other say it's better to work on a Process basis.
I find myself that act on the basis of both — Goals AND Process is the best approach. And btw. this is how I use a concept Genius of the AND from Jim Collins.
In a practice, I find it difficult to determine the future for more than a week ahead (sometimes even this is impossible). It's not uncommon for me to have no idea what I'll be doing the next day. At the same time, I have a general outline of where I am going.
My attitude toward Goals
For a bigger goals, it is a good idea to divide them into a smaller chunks, to reduce "Resistance" about you can learn more in the War of Art book. The realization of smaller goals imparts momentum through, among other things, the use of dopamine, about which more you can learn from Huberman Lab.
In practice, goals have a few important drawbacks:
- goals build expectations which may not match reality or an actual result
- we never know IF we really want it (that's one is hard to believe)
- we never know what we are really going to get and what price we need to pay
- achieving a big goal has an effect of "well, but now what?!"
- giving up the target and modyfing it is not easy (i.e. because of a Commitment Bias and/or Status Quo Bias)
Among other reasons I use goals on a case-by-case basis. Previously I used an OKR system, but I found it stupid because this system was developed for an organization like Google or Intel, not individuals (that's my opinion). Today I mainly operate on the basis of the Process and the Direction.
Direction vs. Goal
- A goal has a deadline and conditions for its fulfillment. A direction does not.
- By definition, a direction can be followed but not reached
- A difference between one and the other has a big narrative role and as David Goggins says The dialogue we have with ourselves is the most important of all.
I operate on a basis of a continously optimized process that takes into account:
- Fundaments (a sleep, diet, sports, relax)
- Getting to know myself by writing and reading my journal and Knowing thyself myself with i.e. StrengthsFinder, MBTI or Principles You assesments
- My environment (people, newsfeed)
- Development of a Learning System
- Learning about Mental Models
- Reading Books
- Using a Leverage so my single hour generates a mutliplying effect
- Freedom — I do not sell my time and I avoid planned activities
While designing my Process I rely on:
- Curiosity — because it is what leads us to unimaginable places
- Open-mindedness — because of a fact that I, as well as any other person, simply may be wrong and something that is even widely accepted as truth, may have little to do with it.
- In implementing this process, the most important thing to me is to maintain a discipline about i.e. Jocko Willink talks a lot about in his book Extreme Ownership and David Goggins writes in his book Can't Hurt Me.
- I pay attention to the Ergodicity, a Leverage and The Compound Effect.
- Dan Millman and his book Way of The Peaceful Warrior
- Books like How to Fail at Almost Anything and Still Win Big and Pound the Stone — those had a huge role in my attitude towards a Process.
- Taking full responsibility for what I do (again Extreme Ownership) and full commitment (Skin in The Game)
- Simply Acting (War of Art)
- Letting Go
- Constant questioning (Think Again)
- Simplifyying (Insanely Simple and Think Like a Rocket Scientist)
- "Dancing on the edge of my current competence" — all the time
- Continuously learning new things
- Using habits (Atomic Habits)
- Focusing on what I'm doing at the moment (Deep Work and Hyperfocus)
- Using Leverage and The Compound Effect
- Playing Long Term Game with Long Term People (The Infinite Game, Pound the Stone and How to Fail at Almost Anything and Still Win Big).
- Using my Intuition (Blink)
- Doing things that makes me stronger and Antifragile (Fooled by Randomness)
- Not giving up (unless it's a matter of honor or a common sense) (Grit and That WIll Never Work)
- Learning everything about everything (Range and Rebel Ideas)
- Making a smart decisions (All I want to Know is Where Im Going to Die So Ill Never Go There, The Great Mental Models, Seeking Wisdom, Gladiators Pirates and Games of Trust)
- Knowing thyself myself (Understanding the INFJ Personality Type)
- Questioning Authority, especially mine (Authority Bias)
- Shaping Shaping and updating the so-called "Models of Reality" (The Code of The Extraordinary Mind)
- Bending reality to my will with Can't Hurt Me
In practice, my Process is baed on a foundation which is my health — both physical and mental. I manage to keep a good condition with activities like:
- Regular Sleep — you can learn more about this from Huberman Lab podcast. I sleep at least 7 hours and do not use additional aids beside of Ashwagandha. I avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime.
- Diet — Vitamin D, K, Omega 3 and Magnesium. Once every quarter I eat bee pollen diluted overnight in boiled, cooled water (⚠️ NOTE: bee pollen is a strong allergen).
- Sport — 3x a week and Romwod (see more at Apps).
- Breathing exercises with apps — Oak, Headspace and Reveri (see more at Apps).
- Doing nothing — that's a form of a meditation but without any rules. I just do nothing for ~45 minutes a day. This is a key activity to me for remaining creative and calm.
- Focusing on what I'm doing — I listen to endel.io (see more at Apps).
Developing my Process couldn't be possible without a deep understanding of myself. This is the most important part of a process itself. I mean by this i.e.:
- Keeping a Jorunal
- Personality Tests (MBTI, StrenghtsFinder, Principles You and The Big Five)
- Spending time in a soltitude, mostly offline
- Staying open which includes making mistakes. Books like Think Like a Rocket Scientist and Black Box Thinking have taught me about this a lot.
While creating my Process and improving it isn't an easy task, actually living by all of those rules is even harder. But there is one thing, which makes it possible and that is — my surrounding. I believe that it is impossible to fundamentally change ourselves, but our beliefs and habits may change.
- Nearest Surrounding — I pay attention to with whom I spend the most time
- Proactivity — I actively take care of my relationship with people who are important to me
- Discovery — I intentionally reach out people I feel I want to have contact with. The same goes with activities I feel like are good to me.
- Limitation — I avoid meeting and being among people who take my energy (or I take away theirs). Constraints are also a very important part of my Creative and Decision Making processes.
Surround yourself with people who have achieved what you want to achieve and have something in common with them.
Beside of my Process, I had develop my unique style of work. An answer to a fraquent question I receive "How are you able to manage all of this" is this:
- Actual work — I work everyday ~8-12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week
- Focus & Relax — I maintain as much both focus and high quality rest as possible
- Leverage — I use Automation, Hardware and Apps which saves me a lot of time and energy
In other words, I do everything to make the best use of my time and energy. For this is necessary to build an efficient Process and a core foundations of it. Probably one of the most important puzzles of all of this is to learn how to rest effectively. One day I've receieved a suggestion — "Adam, if you work hard, you must also rest in a same way". I completly agree with this.
Up until now, a couple of times I've mentioned a Leverage. This is one of the most powerful concepts I know. Using it properly leads me to a place where I can do something now, and getting results for the next couple of years or even — for a rest of my life. I have a couple of rules of using this concept:
- My time is not for sale — since Q2 2020 I have made a decision not to sell my time. I have almost completely reduced consulting and work for clients in favor of developing my own products. I only do this when it either makes me happy or gives me benefits way beyond financial.
- I take actions that take advantage of scale and help others for a long time (like creating online content)
- When I tak action I ask myself "How to make 100 hour of a single hour?"
- I pay attention to small details. I eliminate them with Automation or optimize them (e.g., by simplifying) to the reasonable limits
- I automate many areas of my daily work. I have an army of robots, that work for me day and night.
The most interesting and important form of leverage is the idea of a product with minimal replication cost. ~ Naval Ravikant