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'Daily'
Notes on my 'Daily' practice
120 entries
First: Oct 15, 2020
1 contributor
ethan
So lovely how you use Futureland for you...
justin
I guess it gets quite grey up there duri...
internetvin
L
internetvin
@jchangsta yeah it's essential for me. T...
tania
digging this entry and the progress you ...
justin
That’s great you’re able to keep it cons...
ethan
Nice, yea the ordering of journals feels...
abu
You mentioned this before but I love thi...
cullin
I think this is why many people fail at ...
ethan
Tomorrow morning is gonna be solid 🌄
trixthekid
It's cool that you found an unconvention...
Renaming to 'Daily'

I've been slowly making some 'workspace' / 'workflow' improvements. Part of that process has been leaning deeper into using the Apple Watch. I gave it a factory reset last night. Added cellular to it (I'll experiment with using it instead of my phone as my main device) and tuned in its watch face.

Top left is the date
Top right is the time
Bottom left is quick access to a 25min timer
Bottom right is quick access to 'Daily' on Futureland

Adjusted the order of ‘Laundry’ and ‘Trash’ to ‘Trash’ being first. Doesn’t make sense to move to the higher floor of our place for Laundry and then back down for Trash (lol).

It's currently 11:44PM in Toronto, which is super late and I'm at 52 entries right now and I should end the night with about 54+, which is great and seemingly a new baseline.

Today I was a on a shorter schedule because of a massage, which was extremely useful.

I really dislike cutting it late like this but it's part of this continual process. Working on it.

I added some new supplements into the mix today. I'm really curious about Athletic Greens specifically and I'll start experimenting with that tomorrow.

I moved a journal titled, 'Future Planning' which is an important email I'm working on to earlier in my Daily and it has benefitted from higher quality entries so far.

It might make sense to play with the order of some things. Moving some FL stuff higher in the day and potentially adding FL Roadmap as a new journal. And then moving some of the movement based stuff later in the day. My routine is pretty locked in right now but I wonder if this shift in order might lend itself to more deep work.

I don't know yet. I have a couple of other little hacks that might help… hm.

It's 10:41PM in Toronto and I'm at 34 entries right now, I figure I'll be at about 36~ before wrapping for the night. That's really great on a weekend and probably the kind of number I can expect on average now.

I really enjoy this way of working through things iteratively and on a daily cadence, I find it allows me to focus on 'flow' instead of 'projects', which is very difficult to describe without experiencing it. I'm digging that I found a way to chain a bunch of new little things together this week. New vitamin additions, just like 'housekeeping' stuff like trash and laundry. It's been good throwing them into the mix.

A little thing that I'm also starting to notice is that when something becomes 'more important' I can put it earlier in my 'Daily'. Putting it earlier in my Daily usually means it is more likely to get 'more time' but also the beginning of my 'Daily' is the most dialled in so when I throw something in there after a few key journals it becomes almost interruptive in a positive way. It creates a heightened desire to clear the journal from that position so I can get back to the previous locked in state. I'll experiment with this more and see what happens.

The main thing to work on continues to be cutting early and waking up early. I currently wake up at around 7:30AM, but if I could bring that time way earlier to like 5AM (like it was before the holidays), it opens up space for more deep work. I've been working towards this each day since the holidays ended and I'm slowly getting back there. I'm definitely back into 'a flow' right now, but I think the next level will happen once I figure out that morning space.

It's 10:50PM in Toronto and I'm currently at 40 entries and I should end at around 42-44 for the day. This is really good for me on a weekend.

This cut off time is not ideal but it's improving each day now in terms of when I sleep. It's tough to be disciplined about this.

One of the really positive elements of my 'Daily' right now is just the order of specific simple things. Especially in the morning, things are very dialled in. Things seem to happen in the correct sequential order and I'm starting to move through things a bit faster (still naturally).

I got Futureland's newsletter done this afternoon, which was great and it was pretty seamless. I made some notes for the next one as well.

There's a new journal on my Daily titled, 'Cardio' and I'm not really sure what will come of it yet. It's slotted in for tomorrow.

There's still a lot of improvement to be made on the iOS app but I find myself using it more as @lucas continues to improve it.

I'm still working my way back up to early morning creative sessions where I can do more designing and writing. I think that's the next thing that will have a huge impact on my Daily. Working on it lol

It's 9:44PM in Toronto and I'm at 48 entries so far and I should end with 50+, which is great. The best thing though is that I'm cutting it early tonight and I need to because going into the weekend I have to do most of my Dailies in the morning. I'll try and get up as early as I can and start running through them. The 'main thing' I need to do tomorrow is write this week's newsletter for Futureland, which I work on incrementally each week through a journal and try to finish on Fridays, but this week I'll have to finish it tomorrow.

Chaining a few things like 'Laundry', 'Trash' and 'Workspace' together and moving them earlier in my 'Daily' is working really well right now.

Still slowly need to build back up to design / writing work but that's a function of earlier cut offs.

Good night!

Added an old private journal titled 'workspace' back into my 'Daily'. The focus of the journal is just genera enhancements to my workspace and workflow each day. I'm chaining it together with 'Laundry' and 'Trash' (lol), and keeping it early in the day which I have is the best time slot. I'll start contributing to it tomorrow.

A kind of pattern I've been noticing here (others are too) is that there's often a plateau before a break through in entries. It's kind of interesting perhaps on a subconscious level you know you're flowin' or whatever and then something just happens. Ignore the latest '26', that's today and I'm still moving through my day. But yeah the more I keep living like this I'm starting to see more 'patterns'.

Today's Friday, so tomorrow is the weekend which mean there will be a big shift in my routine. Especially if I'm doing the tech sabbath tomorrow. It'll be super important for me make an early cut off tonight.

I added a private ‘Trash’ journal into the mix immediately after ‘Laundry’. I can chain these things together pretty easily. Once we can group journals, all of this would fall under ‘Maintenance’ for me.

I also worked out that if I put this kind of stuff earlier in my Daily, there’s a higher likelihood I’ll do it and it usually only takes a couple of mins and has a big impact.

2

It's 10:47PM in Toronto right now and I'm at 39 entries right now for the night. I'll end with at least 42.

The best thing about today is I'm on track for an earlier cut off. It's not ideal but it's an improvement.

I'm slowly figuring out little optimizations to make certain parts of my 'Daily' move faster. Shuffling things around can have a huge impact. Something that is super inconvenient at one point of the day is easily done at another point in the day.

Using a continuous timer through the day is an essential tool to keep me focused. Sometimes my emotions might be up or down for whatever reason and a simple way out of it is just setting a timer for 25mins on my watch and and then doing just one singular activity (with maximum presence) until the timer is over. I log each one of these in Pomodoros. Maybe I can rename that journal to something else since this timer is almost becoming like a functional way for me to practice 'Zen' or something.

Kind of a personal aside that is just interesting. I have a journal for my son, it focuses on how I 'play' with him. I try and practice 'playing', I suck at it right now. But a kind of interesting element of it has been that I've been approaching it incrementally as well. It's kind of a weird thing, but I was surprised at some of the things that have been developing over time. I pick him up from his pre-school every day and it started with just snacks. Meaning, I would bring a little snack for him when I picked him up. It would always be a surprise. Sometimes an Apple, sometimes vegetables, sometimes crackers. Then I started parking a little further from the school. So we have to go on a walk to get back to the car. Then I took him to this big park. So it started from just like journaling about my son and now there's like this little string of changes in motion it's really cool. lol

It’s 11:43pm in Toronto and I’m at about 43 entries right now. I’ll hit about 45~ before I go to sleep.

Continuous timer through out the day had a big impact on my ability to focus.

Sleep is still off. I’m trying to work this stuff out each day. It feels like things are getting just a little better each day.

I have a journal for ‘Laundry’ in my Daily (lol) and I moved it up higher in the day for logistical reasons. It’s one of the later journals I get to in the day and it’s an easy one to handle and just makes more sense to have it earlier in my day. So I changed that. Big laundry improvements coming up! Haha

I was on a shortened day in general so that limited output. But the biggest insight was just how valuable a continuous timer is in my work flow. There’s just no way I cannot use it at this point. I use an Apple Watch right now but it might make sense to switch to a Casio watch or something so that it doesn’t have to be charged and is just always available as a timer.

I need a watch that lasts a really long time and allows me to very easily and quickly start / stop a 25min timer. This continuous timer thing is so weird but it makes a huge difference in my ability to just focus on one thing at a time and move through reality in a state of observation.

There’s of course tons of these watches. I might pick one up and use it instead of my Apple Watch. This continuous timer is the primary function of my Apple Watch at this point.

Starting to set continuous timers again today as I move through my Daily to see if I helps me focus, reduce lag time and result in an earlier down time.

It’s 11:16pm in Toronto. Later than I want it to be. And I’m at 41 entries right now. I imagine I’ll finish at around 43~

I tried to short circuit my sleep today to see if I could get to bed earlier by forcing myself to wake up at 430am. It almost worked. I’ll keep running experiments and I’ll get there soon. A problem right now is sleep and lag time between activities.

I dropped a journal titled FL Sustainability off my Daily and added a new journal titled FL Onboarding. The latter is a priority right now and takes us in all of the intended directions so I’ll try to work on that incrementally now at a daily cadence. I’m also getting interested in the idea of dropping some journals from my daily but we will see. I’m not convinced this is the move yet.

Before I forget. A visual that came to mind. I put my attention on key daily behaviours (Daily) over time those behaviours produces creative ‘states’ and staying in those states over time yields by products like films, software, video games, books, whatever. In other words the ‘intended effect’ is a continuous creative state and the ‘side effect’ is everything I create.

It's 11:36pm now in Toronto and I'll think I'll land at about 47 entries before I cut it (which will be right now).

My water intake was super high today at 13 glasses. Just felt really good throughout the day in that sense.

My workouts are opening up again slowly because my chest is getting a bit less tight. Stretching continuously through the day seems to be useful.

Still haven't been able to incorporate 'design' and 'black hole' work into the mix but that's a function of bringing my sleep time in earlier. Working on that.

There's a lot of 'lag time' through out my 'Daily' right now just handling some of the technical issues that are coming up for users. I wonder how that will change once it is resolved.

I got a bunch of 'community' work done today and that takes a lot of my focus these days.

I made a bunch of bad espresso today.

Current order of my Dailies. Not hitting 'design' work or 'black hole' these days (yet)

A thing I want to work out today (this week) is shortening ‘lag time’ between the various journals in my Daily. I’ll try and stay on that over the next few days. I’m curious if I run through my Daily in a hyper focused way, what’s the earliest I can get through all of it? Including design related activities. I’ll have to work up to answering that question but I’m curious about it a lot.

It's 11:55PM in Toronto and I'm at at 43 entries right now, I think I'll end with around 45~ by the time I sleep.

That's a high entry count for me (in general and especially on the weekend) and it mostly has to do with increased water intake (I'm trying to see how that improves my flexibility) and higher experimentation with espresso today (worked out some cool stuff).

Still haven't worked design into the mix again, which will happen organically once I figure out how to move my 'Daily' earlier in the day again, which I also haven't figured out yet (lol). It'll happen though.

Good night <3

It's 11:58PM on Saturday night in Toronto and I'm currently at 29 entries. I imagine I'll hit around 34~ before I wrap for the night. Which is pretty good for the weekend. I spent most of the day with family so in moments I had I kind of just cruised through my journals doing maintenance on most of them.

The thing that took up the most time today was writing Futureland's newsletter, which should go out tomorrow. I have a journal titled, 'FL Newsletter' that I use to work through the journal incrementally through the week. Noting journals that are interesting or topics that might be worth writing a short sentence about. This makes it easier when it's time to sit down and write the full newsletter (usually on Friday or Saturday). Writing the newsletter and writing this evening were the two 'states of deep work' today.

Water intake was good today. My chest might be opening up again, it still hurts throughout the day but I was able to bang out some pushups today so maybe that's a good sign. Overall exercise was done but in a very minimal format. Quick sequences in yoga and just pushups for exercise.

I'll be cutting a lot later than I'd like tonight (a consistent trend in January), but just rolling with it. I know this will eventually improve some how. I might need to change something in my daily mix but that will show up organically.

There's a lot of new journals on FL that I haven't had a chance to explore yet. Hopefully I can dive into them tomorrow :)

I'm at 31 entries right now and I'll close out around 35~ I imagine before bed.

It's not a bad day but like 40+ is ideal for me (as I've mentioned) because that likely means I'm getting into onboarding and design work. I imagine with my current Daily if I was hitting everything here I think I would need to be close to 50 entries / day or perhaps more. Interesting to see that gap and also wonder what it would take to achieve that regularly (and if that even makes sense).

There's still a bunch of lag time in my day that I think is going to take until the end of next week to sort out. I likely need to get back on a continuous timer (pomodoro) but it's not fitting in organically right now. Have to 'work up to it' or something.

I'm bummed that my sternum or chest or whatever is injured and it's holding up work outs but I've naturally started like rolling out muscles more and doing longer yoga sessions which is cool. I'll probably start adding cardio into the mix soon to just try new things while I'm recovering.

Still need to improve sleep but feel like things are coming together slowly again each day.

Tomorrow is the weekend which means, I should probably run through all of my journals very quickly early in the day and then that will leave room for more focused time on any more important journals (need to finish the newsletter for this week).

It's 11:54PM in Toronto. It's another late cut off time for me but I got a bunch of rest in today. Well I had to. I've kind injured my sternum or a muscle around it or something so it's been affecting my flow. I tried to rest it out today. I imagine tomorrow will be 'kind of' similar.

I hit about 33 entries today (it seems like right now 40+ is ideal for my current needs) and didn't get into any design work but I think all of this stuff is going to pick up organically.

I added Roll into my Daily stack today. It's a good idea to just kind of prime my body before any yoga or kettle bell work. I want to make yoga (stretching) a much bigger part of my life. It would be cool to hit like hour long sessions daily but that's going to take a lot of working up to.

I added a journal titled 'Future Planning' into my daily which is a journal I'm using for an email I need to work through. I started it today and I'm not too worried about getting it done. I've been effectively using 'Daily' to chip away at little projects like this just 15mins a day and stuff. It's really helpful to not have to like block out a lot of time to do this stuff and just slowly chip away at certain things.

I don't have much time for drawing stuff yet (and I suck!) but it's a fun way to end the day. Even if only for a few minutes.

Otherwise, just need to get my sleep on track again. And need to rest my chest or whatever to not drop of physical stuff. Let's see how the days progress. :)

1

It's midnight in Toronto and I'm at about 35 entries right now I'll end with probably 37~ before I cut it for the night.

There's a bunch of lag time in between things right now that I need to get rid of but overall things are definitely start to pick up again after the holidays. I'm still not using Pomodoros (a timer for focus) much right now and I'm entirely sure why but maybe that's what is leading to increased lag time.

I haven't picked up design yet but started making very small steps into working through 'onboarding' which is definitely movement in the right direction in terms of a more complete run through of my Daily. Had a quick chat with @Marco about this today. It was a simple quick set of audio notes that ended up being super productive.

Future planning is 1/2 journals I added yesterday to my Daily. This one is an important email I need to run through. I haven't been able to get to it yet. It seems my current stack requires I get up earlier and I'm not doing that yet. This will be a recurring note here I think.

I should probably move Digital Art higher in the stack cause it's at the end right now and I'm usually surprised when I see it there at night (lol).

I find myself looking up at the Sky, and thinking I should take a photo very often but then I don't. I'm learning that I take less photos of the sky as the weather gets colder here. That kind of made me sad to think about lol. But then I also thought how lame it is to not look up for a moment and appreciate how beautiful it can be. Who cares if it's cold.

Overall today had a very 'stop and go' feel vs the day feeling like a singular flow of movements. It's going to take time to get there but I'm sticking with it. I think when I can group journals in a specific way it will help and more importantly when I can wake up a bit earlier :)

Oh yeah and I'll probably need to add 'Rolling' to my Daily now too because of this little chest injury thing. I need to get it to loosen up and recover because it's really holding me back in my work outs. Either that or need to switch to high intensity cardio or something. The idea of adding another journal into the mix seems absurd right now but feels like an important one.

It's 11:32PM in Toronto and I'm going to cut it soon. It's later than I'd like but an improvement over the past few days. I'll figure out the best format for this reflection over time. I'll close out at above 40 entries today (which is a very good day for me).

I added two new journals into the mix that I haven't started yet. One is about a regular finance review thing for family (not my natural vibe) and the other is for an important (and fun) email I need to write to Sachi about the future.

All design work hasn't really started again since the holidays, so my contribution to the black hole has been limited. But I think this stuff will pick back up organically in the next few days.

I'm finding it difficult to log pomodoros right now. I'm definitely in a focused state but just not something I am thinking about as I'm working through my stuff. Not sure what to do about that yet.

My up time was super late today. Probably the latest it's been in a very very long time. I think I just needed the rest after a few late nights because of transitioning from the holidays and growing FL work. I can already feel things improving each day now.

Prob makes sense to take a screenshot of my 'Daily' to reflect on where I'm at by the end of each day as part of the reflections I usually write here.

Prob need to create a journal called 'Chuck 70s' to remember to put them on a the beginning of the day (lol) I'll explain later

I moved Fish oil to earlier in my 'Daily' as well because I'm finding the optimal time to take it is right after lunch (has to be taken with a meal).

In general I find it frustrating that I can't visually group certain things in my 'Daily' in some way. I want to be able to look in one specific spot for anything that has to do with 'quick intake'. Like a small little visual group for water, espresso, fish oil, protein and whatever else. Doesn't need a label.

2

Moving Water ahead of espresso in my 'Daily'. It just doesn't make sense to make an espresso first when it's so easy to get a quick glass of Water in.

Also I find if I log a water entry earlier in the day my overall water intake ends up being higher. I'd be surprised if anyone finds any benefits to Water later in their 'Daily' stack.

I'm renaming this journal to 'Daily' today since it should and already does include multi-dimensional notes on my daily practice. The original purpose of creating this journal was to try and adjust my life to start at 4AM so that I would have a few hours of dedicated creative time in the morning. I learned that this process has little to do with just 'waking up early' and rather the time you wake up is the product of more complex daily system. In other words, waking up at 4AM requires me to change the time I sleep, change the time and what I eat, change how I work and when I work on it, change when I do or don't drink espresso, change who I hang out with, change how I unwind and on. This is a multi-year process and I would also say given my current responsibilities, 5AM is probably the highest 'wake up yield' I will achieve for the foreseeable future (but I could be wrong).

As I was journaling here I uncovered little optimizations that had huge impacts. For example, setting an alarm and plugging it in beside my espresso machine before going to bed. So when I would wake up to turn off the alarm I would already be standing at my espresso machine. As I was making these kinds of adjustments, I started to wonder is this a journal about waking up early or is starting to enter the realm of design or something? There's many optimizations like this that come to mind and I think they are very valuable.

So yeah. I'll rename this journal to 'Daily' and it will be described as, "notes on my 'Daily' practice". Let's see how it evolves over time, but I know it will include quick notes of optimizations I could or am making as well as longer reflective entries (potentially on each day) like this.

Today was the first day back into my regular routine. The immediate thing I noticed is higher and more focused output. My cut time is going to be later tonight but all good. Definitely need some kind of re-ordering in my Daily right now. But I think that'll happen naturally. Creating a journal for 'Fish Oil' was a good idea already took it for 2 consecutive days (was forgetting in the past). My chest tightness / injury thing is holding up my workouts but all good. I've been rolling it out a bunch with a lacrosse ball.

I think it would be useful to split my day into ‘big journals’ and ‘little journals’. It probably also makes sense to rename this journal at some point to ‘Daily’ since it’s become a continual reflection on my daily process but for now I’ll keep it at ‘4AM’ because I find my wake up time is a good indicator of the quality of daily routine.

My routine should start progressing more rapidly into higher output tomorrow. I actually missed an entry here after almost 3 months yesterday. I thought I contributed to it already :( - the whole thing is telling of how things have been off during the ‘holidays’. Theres a bunch of good learning experiences that have come out of this. I’m stoked to start running experiments again.

Still cutting it at midnight tonight so looks like it really will take until next week for stuff to sort itself out. I'm slowly opening up to things again. It's cool I'm getting a lot of ideas right now and a lot of rest too :)

It probably makes sense to ease off any 'design' work until Jan 4 and keep my Daily focused on personal routine like meditation, yoga, exercise and eating clean and then work wise focus mainly on community, writing and research based activities. It's interesting to have things separated into components like that in some way. So during the holidays I can turn down the volume on design work but then turn up the volume on community and writing.

It's 12:36AM so I'm in this consistent cycle of later sleep times to catch up on work with a new holiday set up. Hm. Maybe I need to adjust something here until my schedule opens back up on Jan 4. Maybe prioritizing sleep times over everything else and adjusting my Daily to make that happen…

Definitely got into more creative work today, which was nice. My sleep time is still very late catching up on everything and back into swing of things but the shift today was in the overall quality of my process. There was a higher overall entry count today. I'll hit around 35~ entries by the time I cut it for tonight (which will be in the next 5 mins). It's late 12:12AM currently… I'm working on it.

Back at my place. It will take a few days to transition out of the holidays. It's been an interesting learning experience so far (lol). Much less of a workout and yoga today vs previous two days. Deep work is hit or miss right now. Today was a miss. Let's see how it builds up now that I'm back into my main space. :)

Slowly building my routine back up. You can see the general fluctuations here. It felt like yesterday I was kicking back into gear. You can also see a clear drop from the holidays. I’ll break 20 today though. I’m leaving my parents tomorrow but I don’t think my routine will hit full gear until after Jan 4 but let’s see.

It’s 11:51pm. Getting back into my routine slowly but theres overall less time cause of the holidays. I got some key creative work done today and the quality of my states throughout the day were better. Something to build on for tomorrow.

It's 12:19AM right now which means my routine is way off right now lol. I've been getting through a lot of dailies still it's just the timing of everything is way off. I've been spending time with family but I think tomorrow I'll try to make some changes to start curving things back into a norm. Good night

It's 10:18PM on Christmas Day. I spent it with my family. I worked through some journals at various points in the day (family time) and I'm moving through the rest now. I've been thinking about Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind a bunch again lately. How do I more consistently dial into the states that Shunryu Suzuki writes about?

Hopefully I can cut early tonight and be up early to get into some creative work in the morning before everyone else is up. Hard to say at this point though lol

It's 11:54PM on Christmas Eve, a lot of emotions to process from the year. It's been crazy. The year started off by meeting @lucas in Toronto and kind of just continued on from there lol

I'm spending time with my family rn but I managed to get some time into my daily throughout the day. I imagine tomorrow will be the same kind of vibe. Down times have been way later lately :(

I got up today around 7:50AM. Again feel well rested. The only thing I've changed on that front is taking a bit of CBD before bed. My up times are still later because of later down times due to a lot of 'creative thinking states' throughout the day. This happens to me every now and then and I'm not entirely sure what to make of it yet. It seems like it's kind of an organic part of my process but I'm not sure. It's something that I haven't actually thought about with this level of awareness before.

I feel a strong and growing desire to make a lot of things right now. Perhaps in the discipline of video or perhaps in the discipline of music or writing or something else entirely. It kind of feels like some need to express + a need to kind of balance out the changing dynamics of my internals with a little more clarity about what FL is. It's hard to describe in a lot of ways. It's definitely something I'll need to meditate on for many days.

Work outs and yoga were great today. I didn't make any time in for design. I'm kind of oscillating between designing interfaces and then like trying to figure out new mental frameworks for the next set of organic experimentation with FL and for myself. My general output feels really high on a daily basis. I'm thinking a lot about what I want to learn next and what that might mean in terms of some experiments I could run here. How I should adjust the design of my day. The next set of challenges that might be interesting to explore.

I still try to stick to everything on my Daily over the holidays but it requires some adjusting since there's more time with family. In my case it just means I need to be more disciplined about my early morning creative sessions, since they might be my only time to for certain journals I really care about.

So yeah, a lot on my mind today lol

I got up today around 8AM but I felt super well rested. I took some CBD before I went to bed and that might have been why. Don't know though. That wake up time is super late for me and I definitely need to push it up because if I don't I won't be able to wake up early on the weekends, which means I'll lose my weekend creative sessions (scary stuff). Today was a fun day though, I was vibing in terms of creative work. I've been chatting with a lot of people about FL lately because it feels like I'm in a state where I really need to soak in perspectives and learn from others. I also think on a spiritual level (or something) I'm opening up to the necessary idea that we need to let people in to help us see this project through. There's a lot to share there and I think I can write about that another time in another journal.

I didn't maintain high quality throughout all of daily today though. I had to rush my exercise and yoga, but I'll see if I can clean that up tomorrow.

I got up around 6:30AM this morning but I was really out of it because I had a tough time sleeping last night. I don't know I just couldn't fall asleep. I was just up all night thinking about stuff it felt like. This doesn't really happen often but when it does happen it's always a weird experience. Sometimes it felt like I might've slept and other times it feels like I haven't. It's kind of a weird thing where for like hours you just don't fall asleep. Sleep in general is a kind of weird thing, to just like close your eyes and leave reality for hours. It's so weird lol but so cool too. These flesh computers need to be charged hahah. So because of this lame sleep I was pretty tired throughout the day and I actually had to take a nap get my energy back. I still got a bunch of stuff done but it threw off my day in a lot of ways because there's a lot I need to catch up on right now and the lack of sleep meant my day was less linear. I'll see if I can bring back the continuous timer tomorrow and see if makes difference tonight. I'll also need to find a way to get some sleep tonight. I know some people use cannabis or melatonin as a way to fall asleep on nights where it is tough and they need to be rested for the next day. The melatonin I currently have is like 'timed-release' which sucks because if I wake up earlier by any chance then melatonin is still moving through my body… but yeah definitely something I need to think about for nights where my mind is too active or I just need to go to sleep. A fail safe.

Other notes; I moved my water journal way up in my Daily because depending on how the day was going I wouldn't drink my first glass of water until the afternoon. Moving it up means it's something I'll get into earlier. So now I'll drink my first glass of water right after I make espresso and then start meditating.

I got up today at 8:34AM which is actually later than I got up yesterday 😱. So I definitely need to make some changes here. Basically what I've worked out happens is my routine kind of builds up to really high states of creativity and output and then something will happen, perhaps something I get stuck on or something that takes up a lot fo mental space and it throws off my routine, which starts by me going to bed a bit later and then waking up a bit later and then going to bed a bit later and then waking up a bit later and on until the routine is out of wack and then I need to build back up to those heightened states.

I'm going to start running some experiments with unbundling my journals to see if that makes a difference. I'll share some of this publicly so people know what I mean but I'm curious what happens if I take some of the larger journals I have and create smaller journals to tackle specific elements of them. For example, I am part of a journal called Futureland which we use to store our process working through this project. But what if I had another journal titled FL newsletter and it was on my daily so I could work on that a bit each day instead of just working through it on the weekend in entirety. Spreading that work out across like little sessions each day feels a lot less stressful and makes things less variable. Other examples of unbundling are like instead off my 'Supplements' journal, I might create little journals for each supplement I take so I can remember to take each one and make specific notes on each if I need to. I think with the ability to just drop an emoji in specific journals it opens up quick tracking for some of that stuff. So these journals give me the ability to just start with a simple tracking and then expanding into full notes, rich media for even collaborative projects. Pretty cool to think about.

But yeah I need to make some changes here.

I got up today just before 8AM which is probably the latest I have gotten up in a couple of months. Felt fatigued today which sucks but I was still able to get a decent session of yoga and exercise in which helped with energy. I definitely noticed an strength decrease during both of those things though. I'm not gonna get into much more tonight. Gonna cut it and try to turn it around again. I find right now I'm at a level where there's like a few days each week where I hit like a super high level of output and energy for me. And then the other days are less consistent. I think that's how this experiment might continue. A (hopefully) growing percentage of the week I'm hitting higher energy and creative states over time. This will be an on-going thing for 2021. I'm only 70 entries into this right now and journaling / experimenting under this subject has been super useful. It'll be cool to see how it develops over 200 / 300 entries. Hopefully things improve lol <3

Good night!

I woke up today at 7:38AM which is super late for me especially within context of this journal but it's because I went to bed later last night. I had to help a friend. A cool thing about this experiment is I learn a lot about what I really care about. The things that I am willing to make exceptions for. I really care about my community, my family and my friends. I always try to let myself sleep as much as I can so that's why my 'up time' was later today. I tried the alternative approach to this 4am experiment where I just wake up at 4am no matter what time I go to bed and wow, I definitely do not recommend doing that lol.

I've had a lot on my mind today. I'm thinking a lot about Futureland and what we might need. So there's a lot of processing loops going on that kind of hinder my ability to create things. This is normal for me, I enter a phase of deep thinking when I need to work something and make some decisions about stuff and then as I do, I go into more rapid creation again. I think I'm already getting clearer which is pretty neat. Today I've spent a lot of time chatting with our community and meeting some new people. Getting perspectives.

I'll have a lot to catch up on this evening and I'll need to get an early session in tomorrow morning o make up for some lost creative time. :)

I woke up around 7:15AM today. It's 11:57PM right now which is ridiculously late for me but I needed to help a friend with some stuff so I had to be flexible with my routine today. I'm not going to share much today outside of longer meditation sessions are important. And as I've mentioned a bunch of times exercising in the morning is essential for a heightened mood and energy through out the day. I never want to swing kettlebells in the morning but it's just the reality of what I need to do to feel a specific way and have a certain level of energy. That's it for now!

I woke up today around 6:30AM. I had this kind of weird experience where I was drifting in and out of consciousness (lol) as I was waking up. I kept thinking that like alarm wasn't set or wouldn't go off or something. It was weird. I would just tell myself to go back to sleep and then to wake up when the alarm would go off. When it did finally go off, it felt like my brain had been abruptly ripped out of the dream world. Kind of like Neo in the Matrix, where's like touching the back of his head. I felt mostly fine after drinking that first espresso though.

Overall there was a bunch of lag time in my morning routine. I go into meditation pretty quickly and then into yoga but the transition from yoga to exercise was slow. I was answering a lot of messages that came through my phone in the morning. I usually get messages about Futureland so they tend to create open (and interesting) loops in my mind. When I hit these processing loops it can be hard to break out of them. They continued through my exercise, where I would think about and write stuff in between my sets.

It's kind of crazy but I think the way to reduce 'general lag time' is to put my Apple Watch on as soon I wake up and start a 25min timer. For some reason once the timer is running, I can focus. @kristen alluded to how weird this is. It really is super weird, that it works. I had a similar conversation with @marco in regards to this effect. He said, "once you've drank a glass of tracked water, how can you even stand drinking an untracked glass?" (loll). Yeah obviously this is an absurd effect but there's something going on in regards to this whole 'tracking effect'. It seems to be something that exists on all dimensions, perhaps even in meditation when you observe your own thoughts, they kind of just unravel and disappear once you look at them. The observer effect perhaps. This is definitely something I need to investigate more.

Any ways that's a super long way of saying that I had a lot on my mind this morning and it kind of trailed into the rest of my day and part of this is good and part of isn't and the part that isn't I can probably reduce by setting a 25min timer.

Otherwise yeah there's like a general lightness and fullness to my mood. Sometimes I forget why. It will be the middle of the day and I'll wonder like, "why do I feel like I have so much energy?". And then I'll remember that it's because I exercised in the morning. Essential.

I woke up today at 6:22AM. As usual, walked over to turn of my alarm and then made an espresso. The filter screen on my manual espresso machine might have become a bit warped but it's kind off hard to say exactly. It's making my espresso taste a bit different, but I'll figure that out soon. Afterwards I meditated and the session was brief today. I might pick up another session in the afternoon depending on how I feel. Then I goto into yoga and exercise. Getting into this seemed like an immense task lol. I was very stiff during yoga but loosened up as I continued through the sequences. With exercise, I started listening to some music and then just picked up the kettlebell without thinking and started swinging it. After a bit of that I was definitely, 'up' lol

The transition from my exercise into my creative work is not clear yet because it's not exactly specific what I am going to work on after I am done exercise. I definitely work on Futureland but there's a lot of 'thinking' that happens right now about what I should focus on and why. So I think it might be helpful to re-order my 'Daily' a bit and see if I can do something immediately tangible creative work after my work out. Just to maintain flow and speed because things move really well (for the most part) from the time my alarm goes off.

I woke up today around 6:30AM. I walked over to my alarm which is beside my manual espresso machine and turned that thing off. I made an espresso and drank it with 200mg of L-Theanine. From there I started meditating and then got into some yoga and exercise. It can be a painful thing doing it in the morning but the energy boost is super useful. Like it's a boost and balancing on all dimensions. Strength, clarity and mood. It's definitely the absolute best way for me to start my morning. The other cool thing is that when I exercise in the morning it incentivizes me to start drinking water earlier in the day. So there's like a combination and chaining of activities happening here. I'm getting there.

Also I don't remember when I started doing this but it's definitely been over a month now. I sleep on the floor in my living room. Initially I did this so that I could move this experiment out of the bedroom where I share a bed with my wife. I wanted more control of the space. She obviously doesn't want to be waking up at 4AM or 5AM lol. But it's become this thing that I really enjoy which is weird. I really like sleeping on the floor now. I like having my own little space at night and in the morning. I'm not sure why but sleeping on a flat surface seems to relax my body more. We have a really nice bed, but I always found it difficult to get comfortable. I find on the floor I just lay on my back and immediately feel my body getting very relaxed. Sinking in to the floor. At first, it was painful like if I turned to my side which I would do often (because that's how I used to sleep on my bed), but now I find my body is super comfortable with it. I just lay on my back and breathe and naturally fall asleep. It's a weird thing I imagine but a kind of quirk about me that has developed out of this experimentation.

I've been considering running some experiments with sleeping on a Tatami mat. I might try that out soon. I like that there's one less thing I need. Feels like this whole thing suits me well lol

I need to get my wake up time earlier, but otherwise it was a good morning :)

It's 10:01PM in Toronto and I'm about to wrap soon. Today was a slow day because I went to bed super late last night. I still got up early but I was fatigued throughout the day and it was basically a low output day for me in general . The worst in awhile I'd say. I felt like I needed a break last night so I let myself zone out and play some video games (something I enjoy doing but don't do very often). It was a good learning lesson in that if I want to maintain a really high level of output I am going to have to entirely let go of some outlets or things I really enjoy. This is a running process though and something I'm thinking about a bunch. A huge contrast between Sunday and Saturday.

Good night!

It's 6:06AM on Saturday morning in Toronto. Had a bit of luck today! I've written about this here a lot but my time for creative work is limited on the weekends. So it's extra important for me to wake up early if I can. I had my alarm set for 5:50AM this morning and for some reason I ended up getting up at 4:15AM feeling mostly refreshed (lol). So I've been able to get a bunch of stuff done already and move through my journals. I'll still need to pick up some stuff in the afternoon / evening, but this is a good start to the day. <3

It's 8:34PM in Toronto on Friday. I got up around 7AM today which is obviously late within the context of this experiment. Mostly because I went to bed a bit later last night. I try to never cut into my '8 hours'. I'm going into the weekend now , which means I'll have less time for creative work and the order of things switch up. Since I spend a bunch of time tuning my routine every day, the weekends are a weird thing that throw me off. My environment changes and distractions increase. This means it's super important to be disciplined about sleep times on the weekend to make sure I get up early enough to get through a bunch of my journals before everyone else is up.

Some notes on today. I found that my short term memory was weaker or something today. I'm not exactly sure why but I found myself 'thinking' a lot about what to do next. Much more than normal. I also forgot some things while working out and had to switch the order of sets. Like doing the 3rd thing in my set to start instead of the first thing. This kind of stuff usually doesn't happen. It might just be because I'm working on a bunch of new things right now and 'processing' a lot. My morning routine was a bit off today too which meant that my meditation was brief and later in the morning than usual so that could be part of it too. Just an interesting observation.

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It's 5:23PM in Toronto. I woke up around 6AM. I felt like I had a lot of energy today, much less fatigue than usual. I think there's two reasons for this. (1) I probably got enough sleep and (2) I did yoga and my kettle bell work out in the morning instead of the afternoon. I found (2) made a big difference in my overall energy levels and mood for the whole day. I was able to get through a bunch of stuff today. I have no idea why this happens but it's probably worth digging up some scientific papers on it. I'll keep experimenting with doing this stuff in the morning to see if its a consistent 'state' effect.

This 'good feeling' after exercise is of course something I have felt many times before and something I have heard others experience, but what's different about it in context of this experimentation is that I'm playing with exercise at various points in my day and experientially observing the difference in my life. What happens if exercise in the afternoon? What about at night? What about in the morning? So yeah I'll keep with this in the morning for a bit and see what happens.

Other notes are; I still suck at 'cutting off' from my work in a natural way. Also I should probably experiment with playing some video games at a set time (if I can) to see if it gives me a mental break (outside of meditation) and how that feels… lol

It's 3:38PM. I got up today around 7:30AM. My alarm was set for 6:30AM though however it was triggered silently or extremely quietly. This has happened before and I'm not entirely sure why it happens at all. I'll need to figure out why before I set my alarm again tonight. It was great to get some extra sleep though and I found myself naturally waking up and just laying on the floor (I sleep on the floor) wondering why my alarm hasn't gone off yet. The sky looked different than it usually does, more like the morning (lol).

Since I had a later start this morning, I got right into meditation and then right into creative work. Using a continuous timer on my watch has been helping a bunch. I have to remember to set it though after each timer goes off. There's this chimes functionality but I think I need to update my (Apple) watch before I can do that, which I can't figure out how to do right now because it won't pair with my phone. It might have something to do with version incompatibility. I'm on a developer version of iOS on my phone. I don't know. This also means I still can't add FL to my watch which is a drag because, I have to grab my phone every time I want to publish. I'd be fine with using like a simple electronic watch, but then I can't easily publish to Futureland from it… But anyways this continuous timer thing is really useful. I think there's a lot to build on here because it kind of trains you to stay in a certain 'state' or 'zone'. Of course, the one I'm trying to stay in is 'not thinking' or 'empty' or this.

I currently do yoga and work out in the afternoon and I notice a huge energy and clarity boost after doing this. I wonder if it makes sense to move exercise earlier in the day. It's hard to say right now. I should probably experiment with that more. Maybe when sleep time is a bit more stable.

The other thing is having a clear cut off for 'output' as I transition into the second part of the day which is 'family'. Sometimes I'll need to transition and then just leave some journals for the evening before I go to bed. I do this often actually and it's something I'd like to stop doing. I'll try to start with that today~ or tomorrow~.

It's 9:47PM and I'll be cutting it in a moment. I got up at 6:43AM which is not ideal but of course part of the process. There's a few adjustments I made throughout the day today that were really interesting.

Taking @luke_'s recommendation, I started using my Apple Watch's timer instead of my iPhone's. What I do is set a continuous 25min timer through out the day. My watch is on DND and I do not keep my phone around. While the timer is running, I try to not think and do only one thing at a time. If I am cooking I try to just cook, if I am writing I try to just write. If I am taking out the trash, I try to do just take out the trash. It's like meditating while you are moving. You're moving through your day doing things but from a state of nothingness, observing your actions from a kind of neutral state instead of watching the little movies in your head as you do them. If something makes me 'think', which is a kind of rapid conjuring up of thoughts and feelings I take a moment to observe it and then I either adjust something or don't do the thing I just did again. I think a big reason why I'm fascinated with this is because I'm trying to move beyond any existing programming as I am creating things and living. I think in a lot of ways to understand the extent of what I can do, I need to practice the functional skill of 'getting out of the way'. It feels as though there's something to build on here.

I need to update my Watch and when I do, I'll (finally) add FL to it and start publishing more from the Watch. I think if I can move away from my iPhone and towards the Watch as my primary device, it might be exactly what the kind of stripped down tool I'm looking for.

I also made some workspace adjustments that I'll be testing over the next few days. I have a bit more space now to walk around as I work (I use a standing desk). And a door that I can close. I find having that door is essential, whether it is closed or not. I always find I work best in rooms with doors (lol), there's something about a sense of separation that makes me feel I can go deeper into my work

I got up today around 5:45AM~. I spent most of the time I had this morning in a longer meditation session. My mind was pretty active, I took 10mg of melatonin around 8PM last night and when I woke up it kind of felt like it hadn't gone through my system or something. So when I woke up I find it difficult to transition to different journals with out lag time or a lack of motivation. I ended up doing yoga and exercising later in the day instead of shortly after meditation.

Most of the work I am doing right now is thinking / writing based. I'm stoked to pick up some interface design stuff again once I make it through more of this :)

Oh yeah, also might start using my Apple Watch more as a tool to publish to Futureland without using my phone and also in my 'continuous timer' experiments.

I spent a bit of time reviewing this research article, 'Sleep duration is associated with white matter microstructure and cognitive performance in healthy adults'. The findings are interesting and give me some direction in terms of my experimentation here. Essentially, sleep duration is more important than sleep quality in terms of cognitive performance.

Here's the Abstract:

Reduced sleep duration and sleep deprivation have been associated with cognitive impairment as well as decreased white matter integrity as reported by experimental studies. However, it is largely unknown whether differences in sleep duration and sleep quality might affect microstructural white matter and cognition. Therefore, the present study aims to examine the cross‐sectional relationship between sleep duration, sleep quality, and cognitive performance in a naturalistic study design, by focusing on the association with white matter integrity in a large sample of healthy, young adults. To address this, 1,065 participants, taken from the publicly available sample of the Human Connectome Project, underwent diffusion tensor imaging. Moreover, broad cognitive performance measures (NIH Cognition Toolbox) and sleep duration and quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) were assessed. The results revealed a significant positive association between sleep duration and overall cognitive performance. Shorter sleep duration significantly correlated with fractional anisotropy (FA) reductions in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF). In turn, FA in this tract was related to measures of cognitive performance and was shown to significantly mediate the association of sleep duration and cognition. For cognition only, associations shift to a negative association of sleep duration and cognition for participants sleeping more than 8 hr a day. Investigations into subjective sleep quality showed no such associations. The present study showed that real‐world differences in sleep duration, but not subjective sleep quality are related to cognitive performance measures and white matter integrity in the SLF in healthy, young adults.

And some excerpts from a section at the end titled, 'Discussion':

To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the relationship between subjective sleep quality, sleep quantity, cognitive performance, and white matter microstructure in a well‐powered sample of healthy, young adults. Our findings demonstrate that reported sleep duration, but not subjective sleep quality is associated with both cognitive performance, especially in language subdomains, and white matter integrity of the SLF irrespective of age, sex, or BMI. Moreover, the mediation analysis showed that white matter microstructure mediated the association of sleep duration and cognitive performance. Taken together, our results suggest that cognition and white matter integrity are not only affected by experimental sleep deprivation but are also associated with natural differences in habitual sleep duration.

The findings of the present study are in line with other studies, which showed that cognitive performance and white matter are associated with sleep duration. A previous study demonstrated that only objective total sleep time, but not subjective sleep indices predicted memory performance in community‐based older adults (Cavuoto et al., 2016). In contrast, other studies demonstrate that neither subjective nor objective measures of sleep (measured with the PSQI) are associated with cognitive performance in elderly participants (Blackwell et al., 2011; Saint Martin et al., 2012). We did not find any interactions with age in our analyses, but as the mean age is comparably low (mean age = 28.8) and the age range (22–37 years) is restricted in our sample, future studies with larger samples across the whole lifespan should investigate age‐related differences in the association of sleep duration and brain structure and function to address these heterogeneous findings. Previous findings of a nonlinear (quadratic) relationship between sleep duration and cognition could be replicated with the present sample. Our exploratory analyses revealed a negative U‐shaped association of sleep duration with cognition. Nonetheless, the coefficient on the linear sleep duration regressor remained significant in this model as well, suggesting a stronger association of reduced sleep duration with cognition compared to increased sleep duration. In line with that, statistical analyses in which our sample was divided into subsamples based on sleep duration validate the finding of an inverse U‐shaped association. Although increased sleep duration is negatively associated with cognition, the association of sleep duration with cognition is positive for short and moderate (recommended (Hirshkowitz et al., 2015)) sleep durations. As there is no clear biological hypothesis linking prolonged sleep duration and cognition yet (Marshall & Stranges, 2010), questions remain whether this cross‐sectional observation of prolonged sleep duration and impaired cognition in this comparatively small group (n = 55) could also be the result of comorbid risk factors (Patel, Malhotra, Gottlieb, White, & Hu, 2006). In contrast, our nonlinear analysis revealed no significant association of the coefficient estimate for the squared sleep duration regressor with fractional anisotropy in the SLF.

To conclude, our findings suggest an association of short and long sleep durations with cognitive performance and an association of shorter sleep duration with decreased integrity of white matter microstructure. Considering the growing incidence of sleep problems in western societies, the present study points toward the possible importance of recommended nighttime sleep for healthy brain structure and function.

So basically it's likely really important for me to nail my 'cut off times' so that I give myself the best change for high cognitive performance (lol) each day. :)

It's currently 3:16PM. For some reason my alarm didn't go off this morning. No idea why yet (lol). I kept waking up and could just feel something was off internally. Like my body was used to getting up and I noticed slight changes in the light out my window. It looked brighter than usual. I figured something was up so I got up and walked to my espresso machine like I do every morning. My phone was on and displaying an alarm but it wasn't vibrating or making any sounds. No idea why yet. So my morning had a later start (around 7AM). I expect it will take a few days to curve this into an earlier time again. On weekends, early morning is prime and sometimes the only time for heightened creative output. So this morning wasn't that productive.

I'm making decent progress this afternoon though, moving through my 'dailies' in a present state. I'm on track for a decent cut off tonight. Hope I don't screw it up! :)

It's 10:13PM. Had a good and short call with @lucas tonight to review some of the work we did in November. There was a lot of progress! I talked to him about adjusting our calls, no more evening calls so I can tighten up my routine around sleep. I'll start chatting with him very early in the morning but there will be no set time until I can really lock in these routine adjustments. I'll text him very early in the morning (he's 13 hours ahead of me in Indonesia), and if it makes sense we will chat and if it doesn't we won't. We will keep this kind of set up until there's some organic stability in my morning routine.

Oh yeah, the definite highlight today was increasing the length of my meditation session. That's something I want to build on consistently but just like everything else right now I need to figure out the right (new) order of journals and a lot of other little things.

It's 10:18PM and I'm about to cut it. My mind is zooming after an inspiring phone call. One of the things that has been super interesting (maybe obvious) is that 'sleep quality' is a limiter of 'state quality'. Each 'state' I enter in through my routine will ultimately be limited by how well I slept and how much sleep I got. I could have Exercise in my Daily or Design in my Daily but the quality of those states are very low without enough sleep. So different routines require different types of sleep. It's just crazy how important sleep is in this mix. It's like fuel for creativity.

It's 11:22PM. So very late again, I'm in a bit of a negative cycle with later times but I made some progress today in other ways:

I started using a 25 min timer throughout the day to trigger and track units of concentration. I set the timer and then try to do one thing at a time and nothing else. If that thing is finished I move on to another 'one thing' and nothing else.

One of the reasons I have been going to bed later is a new call time with @lucas which is in the evening. We usually have a lot to discuss and it takes a bit of time to get through. A change we are planning on making next week is splitting that call into two calls to reduce the length of the evening one. So one call in the morning to review notes direct notes on FL and one call in the evening for more open-ended discussion. Might be interesting.

A terrible night with sleeping again, but I'm going to start curving things back into higher outputs states slowly. It's currently 10:55PM, again way late for me based on the types of states I want to hit. It'll take a few days to cut this back into shape. Good night.

Rough night sleeping last night because I wasn't feeling well (I'm recovering a bunch now), but I should be good in a few hours and definitely by tomorrow. My routine started much later today but I'm steadily moving through it now. Sometimes I find breaks or shifts like this can be useful because they make you appreciate things that you did not appreciate before. They show you the parts of you life you take for granted. And sometimes they also unexpectedly give you space to think and reflect.

I've integrated my meditation cushion into my morning environment now so I'll experiment with sitting on the floor on a cushion in the mornings after I make my espresso. It will be interesting to see how this will affect the mechanics of my posture and breathing during meditation. It's cool that slowly my environment is adjusting around my routines and values.

Still in the 10:30PM~ range right now in terms of down time which is going to limit when I can wake up. The two big element of progress today were reduced lag time between every one off my journals and getting big chunks of daily done very early in the day.

Consistently going to bed a bit later. In the 10:30pm~ range right now. I was thinking about why and most of it has to do with needing a heightened commitment to push my routine and practice to the next level. I think I am very committed right now, but in a lot of ways this entire process feels like an exploration into how much I can commit. The weekends consistently throw my routine for a loop, so it's just something I'll need to work out.

How do you heighten your commitment when it is already high?

I got up today around 6:30AM so overall my wake up time has been slipping, mostly because of later down times. Starting my day with meditation has been great, but there's nothing new to say right now. I just need to sleep earlier to improve this journal.

The quality of every 'state' I'm in through the day is dependent on sleep. The more I journal here, the more I am becoming aware of changes in the quality of 'states' depending on how much sleep I get. With more sleep I notice improvements in exercise, mental clarity, creativity, energy, every dimension of life basically.

I got up today at 6AM. My sleep time has been a bit later lately. But overall the quality of sleep and my 'up' times have improved immensely. There's less variability in them than there ever was before. I find sleeping before 10PM provides me with the highest chance of hitting heightened flow states the next day. The less sleep I have the more prone I am to making bad compromises and decisions through the day.

I made a note yesterday about how 'automatic' things felt. The alarm goes off and I am quickly out of bed which is new for me. I experienced something similar today. My alarm went off at 6AM, I automatically got up and walked to my espresso machine to turn it off and then began making an espresso. While making it I glanced at the time and couldn't believe it. It was still 6AM. That means that I had gotten out of bed, turned off my alarm and was mid way through an espresso in under a minute. This kind of optimization is really interesting and I'm getting more curious about what happens if I continue down this path.

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I logged my up time around 5:35AM today. My alarm went off at 5:30AM. A kind of cool thing was how automatic everything was. As someone who has always worked very late into the night I can't explain how crazy this is for me. Years of just grinding at night. It kind of surprised me. The alarm went off, I just instantly got up walked to the espresso machine (where I keep my phone) turned off the alarm and started making espresso. As soon as I take the first sip it kicks off my routine. That feeling of being 'in flow' or 'in the pocket' is everything to me now. Not thinking. Not worrying. Just creating for people I care about and just seeing what happens.

I wrote in an earlier entry that I was feeling tired in the afternoon~ the past couple of days. I decide to run some experiments to see what happens. I switched the order of some things in my daily moving, Yoga and Exercise earlier in the day. So now after I drink espresso, I meditate, then I do yoga then I exercise. I noticed a huge shift in how I feel and how much energy I have today. I think this might be the vibe. We'll see.

Thanks for everything

I slept much later than I wanted to last night around 11:30PM. I was on track for a really good down time but I got into an important discussion that needed the space and time. I don't like cutting into my 8 hours of sleep, so I got up today around 8AM. I felt very foggy in the morning and throughout the day until I worked out. I find if I sleep at past a certain time, there's a limit to the types of cognitive states I can achieve the next day even if I sleep for enough hours. Perhaps the only countering effect is exercise. A thought is if I feel foggy in the morning, it probably makes sense to adjust my routine to start with exercise instead of anything else. If meditation helps you put your mind in order then exercise helps you burn off excess energies.

I have a lot on my mind right now in terms of some experiments I want to run with FL. When I get open loops like this it can be hard for me to focus on something until these loops are resolved. The current loop is just how to handle FL Guided, which sometimes feels like it makes sense and other time feels like it is off. I made a bunch of progress thinking through it today so I feel a bit better about it. Almost ready to run an experiment to see what happens.

My routine is both on and off right now. There are days with lots of good output (like yesterday) and today where my routine is a bit slower and my mind is a bit foggier. I'm not sure the exact adjustments to make yet. I've been having a difficult time connecting with any specific location n my house to work. My ideal situation is having an external and transportable structure that I can work from, but that's not in the cards yet. Perhaps it's worth making some work space improvements and seeing how that changes things.

I got up today around 7:32AM which is definitely sleeping in for me (lol). I've been letting myself sleep in a bit more to see how it affects the way I am feeling but in general my sleep definitely feels a bit all over the place right now and I can't exactly figure out why. It seems like I am getting to bed within a narrow band of time frames. Usually between 9PM and 10:30PM. I could tighten that up a lot but in general since starting this journal, my sleep time has been less variable than it has ever been.

The other thing I have been noticing is that around 1:30PM I feel tired and usually want to sleep. Yesterday and today I took a short nap around that time and then woke up feeling more refreshed. I'm not sure why I feel tired at that time but there's a lot of variables to play with to try and figure it out. It's kind of crazy to think about. There's so many different factors in determining how I feel or what happens in my body. Like could it have been something I ate? My caffeine intake? The way I slept? An adjustment in my work out time from the morning to the afternoon? A switch in what I'm doing during my work out program?

It's just interesting how many different variables and dimensions there are in a day. I have no idea how to use my body or my mind and I'm just trying to figure it out through this kind of experimentation. It's crazy to me that this isn't taught or something in a more formalized way.

I got up today around 5:15AM, made an espresso and then jumped on a call with @lucas for 5:30AM. This was first day with this new schedule. Overall I was really off today in terms of flow states. I found it difficult was difficult to get into any kind of groove. I think this has to do with a bunch of fluctuations in my routine lately. My sleep times have been more variable over the past few days along with wake up times. I'm also finding it difficult to create the optimal space to work at home. I have thoughts on an ideal environment for flow states but I can't make it happen just yet.

The other thing that triggers me out of flow lately is just any hiccups related to video rendering and exporting. My MacBook Pro is starting to drag a bit when I'm working through video assets right now and I don't like when certain tools slow me down in any way like that. It's just something I'll need to work through.

I'll see if I can make some changes tomorrow to lean back into things.

I got up today around 6:30AM and I had a bit of time to get some writing done before hanging with my family. I've been talking to some friends about this journal and about waking up early in general and I think in 'some' ways, the time that you wake up is kind of a quality indicator of your routine. For example, I would say the quality of my routine is about 5:15AM~ since I seem to be getting up between 5AM-5:30AM. Waking up at 4AM consistently is not as simple as just saying willing yourself to do it but there's a whole bunch of smart decisions you need to make throughout the day and you need to design your schedule, relationships, environment and tools to kind of eat into that time to get up earlier. And yeah for me anyways it's not enough to just be up at a certain time but then it's about how I feel during creative sessions and how easy it is to hit flow states. And then how I feel throughout the rest of the day and then how easy it is to transition into other disciplines.

Starting tomorrow my routine will require a bunch of redesigning. I'm planning on taking my daily call with @lucas at 5AM to make it easier for his schedule in Indonesia. It might be a thing where I take it at 5:30AM to start and then work up from there. To pull this off I'll need to re-order a bunch of things and it eats into my deep work time but it's worth it to have that available stuff to synchronize and share insights. It also incentivizes me to try and pull my wake up time closer to 4AM because then I can get some deep work in before I chat with him.

The hardest part about pulling that time into 4AM is essentially going to bed around 8PM. Having everything done by then and not lagging / procrastinating at key moments of the day can be difficult to remember but let's see how it goes.

Got up at 6:05AM today which is 1 min later than I got up yesterday (lol). It's the weekend today and Toronto areas are shutting down again due to increased COVID numbers so I had to take care of a bunch of things before everything closes again. This meant I had to shift a bunch of things around today. It ultimately meant less time for everything and now a tight timeline getting through my dailies but all good!

Got up at 6:04AM today. I let myself sleep in a bit longer to catch up on missed sleep from the past few days. My schedule opened up a bit today so I know I'd have some additional time to make things up as the day went on but I'm still feeling the hit from it mainly because of the 'states' I go through as my day goes on. In the morning it's the best time for me to be in the 'state' of deep work. As the day goes on my mind naturally drifts into combination based thinking. I read a lot of different things, write a lot and talk to Futureland's users as a way of generating new ideas and insights about whatever I am working on. I'm not sure if these states always existed or if I'm becoming this way to repeating things a specific way. It seems like I'm in good shape for a strong down time tonight. Hopefully the additional sleep and later up time, resets me back into higher morning output.

Just storing another note so I don't forget. Something that might be useful for the first Chapter of my day is having a clear sense of the journals in my daily that must be done before the end of that chapter. Having a sense of that will give me a way to measure the quality of the first chapter each day.

internetvin - Early rising

Up

I got up today at 5:30AM and felt a bit more rested due to an earlier but still late down time. I'm going to try and get to bed as early as I can tonight so a brief entry.

A note I think is worth storing is that I am starting to call the 'chunks' of a day, 'Chapters'. Each day is broken into Chapters with specific themes. The idea is to get good at each Chapter before moving on to the next one. So the first chapter of my day is 4AM. The focus of it is designing my life in a way where I start very early, make an espresso, meditate and get into extended hours of deep work until the next chapter. We're very far from Chapter 2, but I'm enjoying thinking about it his way.

I went to bed later last night than I usually do and ultimately woke up later too. I got less sleep than I usually do. That sleep schedule matched what I was doing before I started this journal. I couldn't believe the difference this morning. So much more tired, so much less focus. It's just shocking actually and I can't believe that's what I was doing to my body for years. It's crazy how important sleep is and if I want to to consistently hit flow states, I just don't see that happening without enough sleep.

1

I got up today at 5:30AM~, which is becoming a standard time for me. I find that it's much easier to wake up now. Sometimes my eyes just open and then shortly after the alarm goes off. I'm curious what will happen in terms of the experience of waking up and falling asleep if I keep experimenting with this on a long time scale.

Stuff that seems to be working right now:

- Put my phone by my espresso machine
- When the alarm goes off I get up to turn it off now I am standing at my espresso machine
- I make espresso + 200mg L-Theanine, I find this increases my focus level in the morning
- I meditate
- Then I get into deep work starting at the top of my Daily and working my day down. I keep Futureland / Design work always at the top.

I think something that might be an improvement is after meditation, taking a brief moment to look at my Daily, think about my day and then assign time slots for a pre-determined number of pomodoros on each journal which gives me a better sense of how I am working through Daily from a time perspective. It has a similar effect to working through my Daily from top to bottom but I can kind of see it as the day progresses.

It's an interesting thing to think about in terms of potential improvements to Daily. If it's something we should integrate with the calendar in some way. I'm not sure yet but I'll run some experiments to see if adding this mechanic makes an improvement on my output and if I get into flow states faster.

I got up around 5AM today. My alarm goes off and I have to walk to my espresso machine to turn it off. Once I'm standing at my espresso machine, I just start making espresso and the routine just kicks in from there. I had a longer meditation session this morning and it was useful because I really need it. I find if days go by where I kind of rush my meditation sessions, it adds over time into mental knots that I need to work through. If I don't work through this stuff, I make lower quality decisions and find it more difficult to connect to the present moment. I'm usually keen to dive right into work when I wake up in the morning, so starting with meditation instead is difficult for me but it's the right thing to do. I'll try it again tomorrow.

I mentioned this already but the next organic step in really taking my morning sessions to the next level is finding a way to work from a different space. This is easy pre-covid because I can just have office space or whatever but right now I'm working from home. Perhaps early next year this will change if I can make some adjustments to my workspace. Whenever it happens, I think it will have a huge effect on my overall creative output. :)

I got up much later than usual today, around 8:30PM. A product of being in a new environment for the weekend. I'm hanging at my parent's place. So no morning session, but I have been able to get away for a bit to get through some writing for the last couple of hours. I'll need to be more prepared when I go into new environments to find a way to still protect this creative session in the morning. It will take a bit of time since I'm still working it out in my own environment (which is more optimized).

The other thing that I have been thinking about a bunch, which is a consistent theme across most of my journals right now is how do I entirely isolate all chance of interruptions during the first 4 hour chunk of my day. I wonder about working from a different space (not home) in the mornings, but this will be tough without some $. I think my creative output would be far higher if I could make this happen though. It definitely seems like the natural next step of this experiment. I definitely do not like working from home. The ideal situation would be some kind of small studio set up walking distance from where I live. I would love to get there super early in the morning and then spend a few hours going through all of my work knowing there is absolutely no chance of being interrupted in any way. A closed door and a place entirely designed to perform my creative work of making software, films, music, writing, whatever.

That's the dream lol. I'll keep at it.

I got up today around 5:30AM again today, which is cool that an earlier time is becoming a consistent one for me. I was on super limited time this morning (Saturday morning) because I needed to leave my place pretty early to go and see my parents. On weekends, it becomes more important to be up early and know exactly what I want to make of the time I have because it's usually the only creative time I have on those days. Tomorrow I'll get up as early as I can and finish Futureland's weekly newsletter.

I got up today around 5:30am. Both last night and the night before I went to bed later than I wanted too and forced myself to wake up with 7 hours of sleep instead of 8 hours. So I'll need to get to bed earlier tonight. It is currently 8:48pm. A little thing, was that my coffee beans weren't ground correctly so the Espresso I made this morning was a circus (lol). Otherwise, putting my phone beside my espresso machine is working really well. It's a little thing that I am super proud of. It's something that is entirely born out of practicing a routine over and over again. I turn off my alarm, and I am standing in front of the espresso machine. I make the espresso and that kicks in the rest of the routine. It's getting there.

The part that I still suck at is making time to figure out what I should do during the morning session the night before so I don't need to think about it in the morning. But maybe this synthesis will help tomorrow morning. Overall I'm moving in a positive direction on this. I used to be terrible at waking up early and just with sleep in general. And now if I wake up at 6am it means I slept in. It's just another thing that demonstrates the power of bringing your attention back to something that you want to transform and just seeing what happens. There's so much coming out of this that I could have never conceived even a few weeks ago. Trying to optimize for 4 hour chunks before moving on to the next one. The type of preparation the night before that leads to a heightened chance of flow state in the morning. Seeing how procrastination does and does not show up in the early hours of the day. It's super fascinating man. There's a lot of work to do here, but I'm happy with where this is going. I'm starting to have consistent time for myself and my work each morning. And since it seems no one else will get up this early, for a few moments it feels like the world is entirely mine to explore.

I got up around 5:30am today. Putting my phone beside my espresso machine is a good idea lol. It's kind of a weird thing to say but it gets me into my routine about 20mins faster than if I don't do it. If I put my phone somewhere close to where I sleep, when the alarm goes off I will turn off the alarm and then kind of lay in bed for some time looking at the messages that came through while I was sleeping. Sometimes I'll reply to some of them - a waste of time. The cool thing about putting my phone beside the espresso machine is when I get to my phone to turn off the alarm I don't want to walk all the way back to where I'm sleeping. I'll just make the espresso and once that happens the routine kicks in.

The thing that I still totally suck at is getting good at the entire first 4 hour chunk of the day. I'm not good making the most of it yet by any means. There's a bunch of reasons why but something that I think could be really useful is writing down the things I want to focus on the night before the next morning's design session. This way I don't have to review or think as much about what to do I can just wake up make espresso, meditate and then start designing whatever I already decided I would design. It's going to take some more time to dial those kinds of things in. For now I'm pretty proud of where I charge my phone lol

Trying out this little hack, plugging in my phone and setting the alarm right beside the Espresso machine so I need to get out of bed and go to the espresso machine to turn it off lol

1

I got up around 6:15AM today so design time was limited. The later start time was mostly a result of going to bed later, which was a result of catching up on some work before bed. I need to get better at having an earlier cut off time with all of my journals and that's what I will be focusing on today. Right now I am trying to focus entirely on getting the first 4 hour chunk of my day correct. There's a long way to go still but I'm doing the best I can each day. It might be worth thinking about which journals I should be adding to during that 4 hour chunk and which journals can be done with the time I have in the rest of the day.

I currently have 17 journals on Futureland that I update almost every day. I use FL in private a lot. Perhaps the journals I should focus on in the first 4 hour chunk of the day are Meditation, anything Futureland/Design related and anything writing related. And other journals like exercise, water, yoga, finance can be worked at variable times as the day goes on.

I'll re-order everything now based on that.

It's 9:56pm and I need to get to bed. Some notes are I need to be more strict with my design time and cut off time. I can kind of let design time linger and keep working on stuff all day. I want a hard cut off so I can transition to other activities. I kind of keep open problem sets in my head and work through them as the day goes on and then other stuff I want to work on ends up getting done later in the day and that way of working ends up pushing my down time later. good night!

I got up around 5:30am and I cut my total sleep by an hour to make that happen, which I don't like to do. I also caught a bit of a cold today so I've been steadily working through things to make sure I have an early down time tonight.

Other notes. I have worked out that it probably makes sense to start my day with meditation instead of just jumping right into creative work. This is mostly because everything I do is an expression of my internal state and starting the day with meditation allows me to have higher impulse control and a higher acceptance of reality and the process. The challenge is figuring out where to slot the rest of the stuff in my day. There's a lot running through my mind these days. I'm reading a lot about systems thinking right now and studying interface design a lot as well. I have a growing desire to kind of pair down and focus my routine right now and I haven't figure out how to do that yet. An idea I had was bringing down the total length of how I define my day to see if I could get that right first before just assuming I could optimally manage the entire day. For example, what if I only tried to get 4am-8am right first before I move on to say 8am-12pm. Getting a 4 hour chunk sorted out before moving to another 4 hour chunk.

It's 9:48pm, I spent most of my time today helping family move a lot of wood (lol). No creative session this morning but I had some time to write a few notes down about various systems in my life and how they are interrelated. The foundation of everything I do is sleep, meditation, healthy eating and exercise. Everything else is an extension of that. So when systems fail or I fall behind, those 4 things should always be the priority and everything should build up from there. It's interesting though because until recently my life never really worked this way. And in many cases it still does not work this way now. It's often these 4 things that are sacrificed for something else. Sleep is put off, meditation is put off, my eating slips up and I rush my exercises. I would normally get a session in on interface design before bed to maintain my streak, but tonight I'm going to try something new and let that slip to get to sleep earlier.

It’s 11:12pm tonight and I didn’t get a morning creative session in today. My down time last night was too late to make it happen. I don’t want to compromise on getting enough sleep so I always try to start wake up 8 hours from my sleep time. I want to get to progressively earlier starts in a sustainable way. I spent most of the day with family today so pomodoros were limited but I found pockets of time to think through things. I’ll need to be more strict with my down time on weekends so I don’t damage my routine too much before the weekdays pick up again. Good night!

1

Running really behind schedule tonight which will throw my routine off for the tomorrow morning. It’s 12:10am! I’ll need to find a way to make up for this later. Today was a slower day for me, while still being productive. I was up around 6am and got 3~ pomodoros in. I had to run some errands today that required a lot of driving so that cut into the amount of time I had available today. It also didn’t help that I started at 6am instead of earlier which means I lost out on a few pomodoros.

Tomorrow’s Saturday and on the weekend the early morning is usually the only time I can get stuff done so I’ll need to see how things go tomorrow. It might be a low pomodoro count and then I make up for it in an early session on Sunday.

It's 9:41pm and I'm running behind schedule so this will be a quick entry. I clocked in 7 pomodoros today, which is about the same number that I clocked in yesterday. There's moments where I am writing in my notebook and working through things in a focused state and I do not count it. Still 6 pomodoros is a good approximation of how much deep work I got into today. A thin that is difficult to remember is that each hour is 2 pomodoros. It's easy to think that it's just an hour or it's just a half an hour but it all cuts into that total pomodoro count for the day. A way to think about this is perhaps trying to work through a number of pomodoros before wrapping for the day.

Other improvements are having my phone in a different room while meditating, and then instead of looking at my phone after meditation, making written notes instead. I think in general it makes sense to not have my phone around while I am working, I deleted 'messages' off of my Mac today so it's something that I am less distracted by.

Alright, good night!

I woke up at 5:03AM today. And it's 8:44pm~ right now. The big improvement today was making Pomodoros the primary focus of my day. In a way my pomodoro count gives me a kind of proxy into the quality of my deep work for that day and overall. Keeping pomodoros in mind also helps understand the trade off of taking a meeting or doing something else (anything that takes an hour is 2 pomodoros).

Some areas for improvement are I have been feeling a bit tired today. I have not been consistent enough with the routine yet to really have heightened energy levels through out the day. So I was more distracted during meditation and much more sluggish during yoga and my work out. A lot of that has to do with the time I'm sleeping. I mentioned this in an earlier entry but I notice a big difference between sleeping at 8pm and sleeping at 9:30pm.

I think I banged out about 5 pomodoros today and I think I could have recorded an extra 1-2. For example I don't have a pomodoro running right now but I am definitely working in a hyper focus state trying to finish anything I have left before bed. So let's chalk it up to 6. I wonder about how I might get to 10 pomodoros. It'll be interesting to take this seriously over a month or something (if I can) and get a sense of where I level out and drop off. I love journals that share process and learning from them but I also love these simple log based journals, like Water. The ones where you try to make entries in them at a high frequency. It's really interesting to see what you learn about yourself, your life and the activity.

<3

internetvin - Early rising

Up

I got up around 5:30AM today. I went to bed a bit later last night around 9:40PM, so my start time was later. I was a bit thrown off with the later start, I felt more distracted in the morning worrying that I'd be interrupted soon so it was difficult to commit to the flow state. Around 4:30AM I feel more confident that I won't be interrupted for a long time. It's easier for me to get right into the work without thinking about anything else.

At night, it feels like time moves so fast. I experience a huge difference between sleeping at 8:30PM and 9:30PM and it's so easy to let it slip and then your sleep time just gets later and later. 9:30PM can very quickly become 9:45PM or 10PM.

An improvement today was the order of my yoga and exercise. I completed it around lunch and that was better than doing it in the evening. I think I'll try and do it earlier tomorrow. But it seems like the optimal thing to do after the morning's creative session. Normally if I get a good creative session done in the morning, I need to kind of relax for a bit before beginning again. Yoga and Exercise provides space to walk away and do something different before returning to the work. I moved slow through the afternoon reading and thinking, which is my ideal. I have been more intently reading Buckminster Fuller's Critical Path trying to understand the book in its entirety which is difficult. There's a lot of elements I do not understand and need to study.

Up at 4:26am today, finally some momentum to build off of today. There's a bunch of important little decisions to make about how I start my day. Things like should I meditate or exercise before getting into creative work? I haven't consistently had a 4am~ start time to build on those kinds of nuances yet. I normally do meditate before I get into creative work if there's enough time though. But thinking about these little things is a major waste of cognitive space. It's much better to be in a state where you have worked out all of these details and decided how you feel about when they should be done and then you can just move through the routine and focus using your mind for higher order problem sets.

Even other little things like every morning I make myself an expresso and drink it with 200mg of L-Theanine. But afterwards it probably makes sense to drink a glass of water. It's something I still think about vs. doing automatically. So I'll drink the espresso while walking to my desk and then I'll start writing. Then I'll think, "I should probably drink a glass of water" and then I walk back to the kitchen to get a glass of water. It's funny to think about but little things like this drive me crazy. I see it all as things in the way of just doing the creative work.

It’s 7:10pm on Sunday night. Today should be one of the earliest times I get to bed since starting this experiment. I just finished preparing everything for tomorrow morning:

- grinded coffee in advance
- took some melatonin
- prepared my work station for the morning
- set an alarm for 4:30am
- plugged in phone (alarm)

Slowly building back up, water intake rising again. If I can cut into an earlier down time, today is an improvement. It’s interesting waking up early isn’t a thing I do, but rather something that happens as a byproduct of a whole bunch of other things going right in my routine.

Wrapping up. Slowly making small moves back into the routine. I had good few texts with @lucas. Some interesting insights. The more dialed you get with your routine, the harder you’ll fall when it drops off because of the flow states you achieve when hitting routines at optimal points. You can still maintain high output but it’s tough to stay in ‘super flow’ if you will, cause there’s always some quirk that can knock you out of it. So gotta build back up and enjoy it while it lasts. Good night.

This personal situation I was going through to help a friend is over now and that opens up time and mental space to get back into my routine. I took today slow just processing the past week and a bit. Every something takes me away from my routine, my family and my creative work it makes me appreciate it so much more. I find I always return to it with more energy and conviction. It’ll take me a few days to build the routine back up. But we’ll start tomorrow. Good night :)

Giving myself time to unwind from the crazy week I’ve had. It looks like it’s all coming to an end and I can focus on my own life again. I’ll be going to bed soon and diving back into my regular routine.

This morning was interesting. Yesterday’s down time was good but of course my phone was not correctly plugged in so it died while I was sleeping and no alarm went off. lol

It’s 10:57pm right now so my wake up time will need to be later…

It’s 9:37pm. I’m almost ready to wrap, which is an improvement. My friend is dealing with a mental health crisis right now and I’m a key person in helping out. It’s forced me to rejig a lot of things in my routine slips causing an overall decrease in quality.

At first I was processing higher degrees of stress so I was moving slower through the day. My mind would daze in and out of the moment. There’s calls with doctors, nurses and my friend which take hours. There’s an emotional toll to this and cognitively switching into to another task is hard. So to kind of protect myself against stress I’ve increased the amount of time I meditate, do yoga and work out. I get a full and complete session in on each of those activities right now and I’ve had to turn down the volume on everything else until things stabilize. I use Daily as a kind of EQ for my life. All of my key behaviours filter through it. So as things change in my life I adjust my Daily. It’s completely transformed my life.

Another kind of cool realization (to me) is that any time stress or chaos increases I always default to the same solution and I think that’s a good sign. Wake up earlier. Working out how to consistently get that undisturbed time in the morning makes me more adaptable and present for the rest of the day. Since waking up early is ultimately dependent and a product of my routine there’s always going to be things I need to shift and adjust as life changes. It’s a practice.

Anyways. Going to bed. <3

2

The ultimate benefit of an experimental approach is that it reveals truths. What I’m learning now is that the hard part about adjusting your life to start very early in the morning is that it forces to adjust many things about who you are. Addictions and habits that keep you up later have to be eliminated. Relationships that depend on connecting at a certain time, need to change. It forces you to define what is important and what is less important. I like to think I am very dedicated to my craft but waking up earlier requires a heightened degree of sacrifice. But basically it seems if I want to make this change I have to be more committed than I am now.

I ended up getting to sleep later last night so I ended up waking up later and had no time for a morning creative session. I find there's a drop off with these morning creative sessions on the weekend. I break away from my routine a bunch on the weekends (still doing everything in my routine but at different times than on weekdays) and it throws everything off, which makes it hard to find that time in the morning. It's already 10:53pm so I'll need to figure out what I'm going to do for tomorrow.

I got up today around 6:30am. I was supposed to be in bed by 10pm but I ended up actually getting in bed at 11pm after every thing was done. Working out and doing yoga earlier in the day seems to be a really good adjustment to my routine. On tighter days it's something that I do not need to rush in the evening. I was still able to get some uninterrupted deep work in this morning but the wake up time is definitely not ideal. Today I am seeing family so it'll be interesting how I disconnect from that to try and get to bed early. I'm getting there slowly. The major milestone right now is that I almost always have time to myself for deep work in the morning. It's just a matter of how much time.

Today is Friday and usually on the weekends, it's tough for me to find time for deep work. So it'll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. If I can wake up early, it makes weekends really interesting days. I get to spend time with my family, while still making progress on other things I care about.

I got up today around 5:40AM and I got about 2 hours of work in. I made some improvements to my day today by switching the time slot that I do yoga and work out to around 8:00AM. It's a good transitional point in the day. I normally do yoga and work out in the evenings. I'm slowly trying to find ways to get the kinks out of my routine to get to sleep earlier. I should be sleeping by 10:00pm~. My alarm will be set for 5:30am tomorrow which means I'm under 8 hours of sleep again. So I definitely need to try some new things to figure this out.

I’m tired lol. I woke up around 5:30am and tried to get right into work after making some espresso. There’s a lot going on in my life right now so this uninterrupted morning time is super important but then at the same time with a lot going on my sleep times get a bit later. It’s 10:07pm right now and I’m going to sleep. 8 hours from now is 6:07am but that’s not enough creative time. So I’ll set my alarm for 5am but that cuts into total sleep. It seems really simple but there’s actually a lot of moving parts. You have to adjust other habits (and addictions) to bring that sleep time in closer to 9pm in a lasting way. And then there’s your mind state and how calm you are when you get in bed. I guess a kind of weird side note is I’ve actually been sleeping on the floor on a rug (lol). It’s not that I don’t have comfortable bed but I’ll explain in another entry. :) good night!

1

Today was the first day since I started this experiment that I did not wake up early enough to have some time to myself. A combination of getting a little less sleep each night and recent increased responsibility in my family life put a bit of a kink in my routine. There was an overall quality dip in the routine yesterday eventually leading me to start later this morning. I'm getting through key things right now to try and put myself in a good place to have a solid creative session in the morning tomorrow :)

I got up around 5:40am today and I was able to get a few hours of work in before the interruptions began. I'm learning that 4am serves as an ideal to strive for but what this is really about is waking up before anyone else in my house to start each day with uninterrupted creative work. Today I had to deal with personal emergency. One of those days where you have to drop everything. So I'm up later now, just making my way through each of the things I do on a daily basis. That time in the morning that I had to myself turned even an absurd day like today, into one that still had creative output. Good night everyone, thanks for everything <3

1

It's 9:10pm on Sunday night. I went to bed a bit later last night (hung out with my parents yesterday), so I got up at 6am. I ended up catching a bunch of time to myself and I got a lot done. It was great! :)

One of the cool things about getting my deep work sessions done early in the morning is it allows me to be more present in every part of my life. If I don't spend a certain part of each day making things, I start to lose my mind. Without a few hours of uninterrupted creative work I end up constantly trying to work through things while I am in situations where I SHOULD NOT be working through things (lol). I will keep leaving the moment to make stuff or solve puzzles in my mind.

When I get all that creative work out of me early on, it makes room for everything else in my life. That's why I love it. I'll keep at it.

I went to bed a bit later last night so my start time was 5am. It's important to remember that this is going to be a process because there's definitely more roughly days ahead on this experiment. It's already 9:48pm so tomorrow's wake up time will be a bit later as well, but that's fine as long as there's still progress. This is the first weekend since I started this experiment and I'm hanging with my family today/tonight. A difficult thing is disconnecting from hanging out with them to go to sleep, but this is important to me. It forces me to make sure the time I do have with them is high quality. Still very early in this experiment.

The only other note for now is I'm surprised that one of the first things I need to figure out is not just getting to bed early but falling asleep quickly once I am in bed.

I got up today around 4:40am and I got a solid 3~ hours of undisturbed work in before anyone was up. One thing is that, getting to bed early is great but the time you fall asleep depends on the activity level of your mind. Winding your mind and body down for bed is something that takes practice. It might not be as bad today because I'm super tired, maybe I'll just fall asleep tonight.

Alright, I set up my workspace for tomorrow morning (I need to work through a bunch of stuff with it but I'll do that later). I pre-grinded my coffee beans for morning espresso so I don't wake anyone up (lol). I'll take it with 200mg of L-Theanine as usual when I wake up. I'll do some quick push ups then read to wind down and go to bed. It's 8:20pm so later than I want but this is definitely going to be a PROCESS…

A few early notes

- I will need to be sleeping by 8pm
- To see lasting changes it will probably take 4 weeks (or more) of daily high quality effort
- I might need to limit myself to one coffee a day, there might be some flex here but it's not worth experimenting with for 4 weeks in case
- my workspace will need to be set up and ready for the next day's work each night
- it might be worth experimenting with starting my day by immediately working out instead of diving right into creative work

The purpose of this journal is to document the adjustment of my life routine to start at 4am instead of later. In my day to day life, the early morning hours provide the best possible time window for me to get into deep work. There's no distractions and it's absolutely quiet. I've always believed if I could figure out how to do this, it would have a huge positive impact on my creative work and on all of my relationships. I've tried many different experiments, but I've never been able to figure it out. I think the big difference with this attempt is that I am super clear that this is the one and only thing I need to be focusing on in my life right now.

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internetvin
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