Hello, hello - happy new year!
A reader who is serving in the Navy right now asked for some more detail on how I do my time tracking. Happy to oblige, I made two screencasts. These are based on "Detailed Analysis of my Current Time/Habit/Life Tracking" -
"How Sebastian Marshall does time tracking" (14:13)
"Time tracking - starting recommendations (video 2 in the series)" (8:27)
The post I referred to in the second video is is "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking" which is still quite relevant.
Questions, comments, and feedback are always welcome - hope these are helpful! Feel free to shoot an email my way if you have specific questions about implementing your own systems. Cheers!
Ever post a reply for that?
Also.. your video is a bit too big for the new site.. the first video overlaps the right.
Hi Seb, i too am doing this kind of life tracking but i am not able to do it consistently, a week or max 10 days n then i leave it for weeks...also i dont feel the same energy, for the task that i marked as 'To Do Tommorrow',as i felt when i wrote it! It happens esp on my off days.Its not that i m not disciplined or lack willpower but still.. i read tons of self help books but the motivation doesn't last long.. what shall i do
Also what do u think is the real purpose of our life, i want to live a life like no one ever(just diff, simple and worth a life) but i feel like one among the herd! Same things!
why am i born?
The video's are awesome - thanks for posting it! Have you thought about doing more video posts / podcasts? Going off my experience so far:
Like Andy said, I do the Yes / No thing too. One thing I do differently - I write the Yes in green, and the No in red (I've set up a daily template with a Yes / No in their respective colors so its easy to copy and paste). It allows me to see at a glance how successful I was. And I'm sure there's something in psychology about using colors and visual cues, but I haven't looked it up.
It's interesting that you track how much time you spend doing each task - how do you track procrastination (good or bad)? I tend to take 5-10 minute (okay, maybe longer when I'm on Hacker News) breaks every 30-60 minutes, even if I'm being productive, but that's just how I work.
Another thing I'm starting next week - writing 750 words as soon as I wake up to clear my head. Will update on how it goes. I've found having a morning 'warm-up' and night 'cool down' routine works really well, although I'm still struggling shutting off my brain and going to sleep on time. Going to try reading fiction before I fall asleep to see if that helps.
Oh - and for tracking food, I've been taking photos of everything I eat, and got a few friends in on it. Makes it a fun competition and really easy to do!
Cheers on the post Sebastian!
Sebastian, I respect your candor and earnestness, and thanks for posting this. I have to admit I found myself laughing out loud with your mentions of “maintenance.” I think I thought it was funny because I didn’t really know what it meant, at least until you explained it at the 9 min mark.
One thing you might want to think about is getting your quant data into a format that will make it easier to do post hoc analysis. So, e.g., instead of saying “yes” to taking fish oil pills, write 1 for “yes” and 0 for “no.” That way you can calc a quick percentage of the # of days you get it done.
Sebastian, I respect your candor and earnestness, and thanks for posting this. I have to admit I found myself laughing out loud with your mentions of "maintenance." I think I thought it was funny because I didn't really know what it meant, at least until you explained it at the 9 min mark.
One thing you might want to think about is getting your quant data into a format that will make it easier to do post hoc analysis. So, e.g., instead of saying "yes" to taking fish oil pills, write 1 for "yes" and 0 for "no." That way you can calc a quick percentage of the # of days you get it done.
The videos are fantastic, thank you so much for sharing. Up until now instead of tracking I was adding another thing to track to my tracking template each day rather than tracking...ironic I know.
I guess seeing your list makes me want to be a better person. Upon further thinking about it, it'd be like stepping on the court with Michael Jordan and trying to hit 3 point shots (and track 20 variables) all day long to fit in. I needed to step back and realize it's alright to do a couple easy layups (track 2-5 things) first and build that confidence/habit.
Again, thank you for providing such a great resource,
Let's start with some quick hitting, practical points for you, in case you're in a hurry -
1. I think sugar takes a while to quit for most people, and some preparation.
2. Start slowly learning foods you like and trying new healthy foods to find a mix you like. When you go to the store, try one new healthy food to see if it suits you each time.
3. You're going to need to replace all the sugary and junk food you eat. Quitting isn't enough - you need something else to take its place.
4. Consider tracking your energy levels throughout the day for a few weeks and what you eat. It takes a bit of effort, but it's massively worthwhile effort. You'll learn what you respond to and have a massively higher quality of life.
As a follow up to my post on habits in 2013, I wanted to touch on some improvements that I have made to the system.
Previously I was tracking just one habit per month, making sure that it was likely to be a keystone habit - one that, if implemented, has a "cascade" effect on other parts of your life. Regular exercise is a great example of this, because you'll usually have more energy to devote to other aspects of your life and will achieve more things throughout your day.
I've upped the ante and am starting to think not only of single habit formation, but tracking many different habits throughout the day and using perfection as an ideal, not the desired result.
Because willpower is finite, there are simply going to be some days where my willpower gets tapped by business or personal life and some habits fall by the wayside for the day. The idea is to track a multitude of habits - some small, some large - over long periods of time and work on the meta-structure of your day and the order of the actions you take throughout the day.
Here's an idea of what it looks like: