One of our modern vices (in America, and most of modern society) is that we like to ‘work for work sake’. Utilitarianism: when we are NOT working, we are ‘sinning’.
But still– I like to do stuff. I like the idea of ‘doing more’. Doing more of what I love and care about. For myself that means making more photos, looking at more of my own photos, writing more, thinking more, walking more, wondering more, and creating more.
The question on my mind:
What are the practical strategies in order to achieve more in a 24-hour day, and within our lifetime?
1. What do you care for?
The goal isn’t to work for work sake. The goal is for us to only work on things we care for.
So — what do you care for? If you lived your entire 24-hour day on loop for eternity (the eternal return), what do you wish to MAXIMIZE during your day, and what do you desire to NOT do in a day?
Better to sleep 12 hours in a day, and have 3-hours of insanely productive work than to sleep 3 hours in a day and have 12 hours of mediocre work.
I think one of the biggest sins against the body is the notion that sleep is optional. I would probably make the argument that sleep is 1000x more important than food. We can go 40 days without eating food, but we cannot even go half a week without sleep (or else we would die).
My practical strategy has been this:
Intermittent fasting (don’t eat food when the sun is out), and only have one MASSIVE MEAL in the evening.
The benefit of this approach is this:
- Having a little bit of hunger during the day keeps me sharp, keen, and focused.
- When I finally do break my fast and have my (massive) dinner, food tastes 100x better.
- After my massive dinner, I get ‘food coma’, then can go immediately to sleep.
3. To do more, you need more physical power
My thought is that our ‘mental work’ (academic, intelligent work) requires much PHYSICAL power. And vice-versa; our physical exercises (powerlifting) requires much MENTAL power.
The problem in modern living is this:
We put 99% of our focus into our ‘mental’ well-being, but 0-1% of our focus into our ‘physical’ well-being.
I think this leads to physical degeneration. Consider all these over-fat academics; if they stopped consuming so much sugar and bagels (and perhaps started to deadlift), they would probably become 10x more productive in their academic work. It is a foolish notion to think that the mind can operate independently of the body.
How do we gain more physical power? Lift more weights, stress our muscles, walk much, drink a lot of water, and prioritize our rest/recovery in the evenings.
4. Let much fall to the wayside
There are a trillion things to do and worry about. If you want to ACCOMPLISH MORE (of what you care about), you must leave MORE UNDONE work!
Focus on doing more work which is important to YOU, and IGNORE more work which others try to super-impose upon you (check your inbox less often).
I can personally attest that my periods of most creative productivity have been the times when I spent as little humanly possible time on email, social media, and ‘work’.
Once again, the goal isn’t to do everything on your todo list. The goal is to IGNORE MORE WORK (superfluous work) in order to ACHIEVE MORE WORK (essential work)!
5. Reflect in the evenings
Apparently something that Seneca did in the evenings: reflect on his day, and figuring out what he would do differently the next day.
Similar note for Steve Jobs: he would look at the mirror and think to himself, “Am I doing what I want to be doing?” If the answer were “no” too many days in a row, he would try to figure out what to change in his life.
6. YOU CHOOSE!
Ultimately you are the captain of your own life. Steer your life in the direction you desire.
Listen less to others, listen more to yourself and your own gut.
Empower yourself in life:
- 29 Life Lessons I’ve Learned
- How to Conquer Your Fears in Life
- Conquer Yourself
- How to Focus
- Avoid Excess
- Innovation is Knowing What Not to Do in Your Photography and Life
- Embracing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
- Don’t Crowd-Source Your Self-Esteem