Maandelijks archief: augustus 2019

Day 9: Energy

Some people seem to have energy the moment they wake until they go to bed. Others are tired all day long, watching the clock continuously, hoping that they can go home again soon to watch their favourite TV programme.

I did a course about how to optimize your energy some time back, at SoChicken made by Jelle Hermus. I found his comparison to a rechargable battery and a bucket of water interesting.

The common convention is that we are batteries, that start at 100% and get to 0% as the day progresses. Over time, we need evenings, weekend and holidays to recover. He argued that there are so many leaks these batteries often get broken, especially when there is too much pressure with not enough recharging moments. When these batteries are using their emergency ratio’s consistantly without time to recharge, this often leads to a battery who is not able to recharge well anymore. The same happens with people that get a burn-out. After a burn-out, they need a much longer time to repair their battery again.

The leaks he mentioned were multi-tasking, bad sleep, lots of caffeine, sugar and alcohol, television, social media, constant use of mobile phone, distractions by news and apps, overthinking, procrastination and sad or angry emotions. All of these leaks made the battery lose energy.

However, he also argued that when these leaks would be taken away, preventing energy to leak and thus remain usable, we could become overflowing buckets of water. Instead of starting the day with 100% energy and having 0% at the end of the day, we get energy from specific inputs: sleep, food, sports, relaxing time, travelling, energizing work, interesting conversations etc. If we can prevent the leaks as much as possible, combined with having as much energy inputs as possible, we start to gain more energy instead of lose it, becoming an overflowing bucket of water.

I definitely liked this philosophy behind energy and try to minimize my energy leaks while optimizing my energy inputs as much as possible, with more fulfilling, productive and enjoyable days as the result.

Day 8: Morning Ritual – Productivity

A third benefit of waking earlier to have a morning ritual is to plan your day. By making a plan for the day, visualizing yourself achieving it, you create focus and order.

This can be done by creating a to do list for the day, plan how much time you want to allocate per task (the larger ones), how you will take breaks and how you enjoy your free time.

By better planning and focus you upprade your productivity, and it will eventually be how productive you become, how much income you will earn.

Day 7: Morning Ritual – Gratitude

One of the most powerful realizations in my life has been that you can not be afraid, or sad when you feel grateful. Compared to most people I know, I am generally calm and in control of my emotions and optimistic.

This has an effect on a lot of things, as I am extremely grateful for a lot of things. When something bad happens, I am often the first who looks for things to be grateful for which alters my emotions completely.

By being grateful for what you already have in your life: life itself, health, a house, family, friends, a partner, a pet, a job, financial income etc. at the first moment of the day, this influences the rest of the day and life in general. You make your choices based on your hopes instead of your fears.

Day 6: Morning Ritual – Sports

The idea behind doing exercises in the morning is that you activate your body and metabolism so it will process food more effectively.

The exercises could be anything, personally I like to do push-ups to build my core and as you can do them practically everywhere, I could eventually add or completely replace this with sit-ups. I do 2 sets of 50 push-ups.

You could also make the whole ritual based around sports as you are running, cycling or swimming anyways. At the moment I cucle 2-3 times per week to my work in the Hague which is 22K back and forth. I want to either run or swim the days that I am not cycling.

Day 5: Morning Ritual

One of the most effective areas to transform that will affect the rest of your areas and life is to gain a morning ritual. It will make you healthier, stronger, calmer, more focused, grateful and productive. Furthermore, it gives you the most important resource you can never get back: time.

The morning ritual often consist out of several aspects of which some exercises, gratitute mindset and plan for the day are most common.

Even though I have know the benefit of installing a morning ritural for years, as a natural night owl I find this super difficult to implement. Many nights (full of motivation) I made the decisiion that today was the last time sleeping out. I often used the drastic change method without effect. I have been able to wake up early for several prolonged periods such as two summers ago or my internship in Uganda. At these periods I achieved super-human productivity and felt super fulfilled, disciplined and confident,

That is how I want to be / feel every single day, so I aim for 06:00 to have 1 to 2 spare hours before life starts. Currently I wake up around 7:30 – 08:00 AM.

I am using the kaizen method to wake daily 15 minutes earlier, reaching 06:00 this sunday. After that I will take a month to make it a habit.

The benefits of this changed behaviour will be financial wealth, a Spartan body and mentality, and time/productivity to make my dreams become a reaility such as finishing my book.

Day 4: Personal Transformation

I am interested in becoming the best version of myself, by optimizing my behaviours and routines.

In general, there are two methods to achieve this transformation: Drastic change is the sudden and extreme change from the current state to the desired state, often implemented when one is motivated and enlightened. This is the usual method used in the Western world, romanticised by Hollywood movies. In reality, this is also the most difficult (and least likely to succeed) method.

Repeated and subtle change is called Kaizen in Japan, as an alternative method to the drastic change. Instead of drastic change, a strategy is formed to use a lot small intermediary steps to go from the current state to the desired state. This simple method is more effective, often leading to faster transformation compared to several failed drastic changes with decreased confidence as a result.

Even though the second method is less heroic, it is more effective and simple while it leads to the same result: transformation. In the end it will be the transformation that is visible to outsiders.

While I have been using the drastic change often, with repeated failure as a result, I will shift to the kaizen method.


Day 3

As I will hopefully graduate soon, real life is about to start.

While I have been working on installing daily/weekly routines to bring me to the next level over the past years, this has worked with ups and downs. This year I will make no more excuses and succeed in making myself the person I want to become.

To motivate myself, document my progress and share it with you, I will blog about it every single day. These blogs can be about sports, financial success, self-discipline, control of emotions, vision and more.

One exercise to realize your dreams is to think ahead 90 days. Imagine that you just had your best 90 days of your life, and you are looking back. What happened? What choices did you make? What changed in your life? This exercise helped me to have an amazing internship in Uganda and complete my master thesis to my highest standards. Now it will help me to get the job of my dreams.

Where am I in 90 days?
– I found a full-time and well-paid Africa/NGO job
– I wake up daily 06:00 AM
– I completed the first draft of my book 
– I wrote 90 daily blogs
– I either have my driver license or getting close 
– I am in my best shape ever

Where will you be in 90 days?