How would you spend your last 24 hours?
This is a thought experiment worth doing for the following reasons:
- It helps you gear towards what projects you’d rather be doing for a living
- It helps you filter out the people you’d rather spend time with
- It helps you do more of the activities that give you the most joy
- In essence, it helps you filter out things that aren’t worth your time and only leaving the stuff that does.
For example, of all the things you do in your free time, which gives you the most joy?
Let’s make a list and see. Here’s mine.
Activity (Average level of joy out of 10)
Exploring new places (8)
Watching movies (8)
Reading books (7)
Listening to podcasts (7)
Reading blog posts (6)
(do this too for the tasks you do at work)
Knowing how I enjoyed these seven past times, it gives me a clear picture on which activities I should rather do if I’m pressed for time, or simply which activity gives me more delight.
Why is Planning Your Last Day & Rating Your Joy Important?
A lot of the times, we find ourselves overworked and tired… but we still have work to do (be it work from the office, a freelance project, or pushing yourself to build your business at night).
When this happens long enough and we don’t have time to ourselves, we start to despise our work lives, feeling as though it’s robbing us of our time for leisure.
Being hyper-aware of what we enjoy during our downtime helps us recharge faster & more energized to tackle our work.
A Simpler Method
A good heuristic you can use:
“Can you recall the activity you just did as significant / fun?”
Significant means something important, like spending time with family, my fiancée, working out, moving me closer to my life goals like becoming an author / building my online business.
Fun means, well… fun. No-stakes stress of any kind.
So for me, although I find reading blogs to be a “productive” past time, if it doesn’t move to towards my life goals / fun, it would cut it out where possible.
The same thing I found with social media. I think we all can agree we don’t recall anything on browsing social media that moved the needle for us. Posting statuses and photos are pretty mindless to me so I decided to stop it.
I used to browse Twitter a lot and follow smart people, but then I realized “I’ve read a lot already, let me stick to books since authors spend months & years writing a book, and tweeters spend a day to write a tweetstorm tops.
Engineering your time spent on activities can make a huge difference in your life in the long run.
Like the old cliché, everyone has 24 hours and some accomplish more things than others… so what gives?
I would add another dimension to it – everyone has 24 hours and some accomplish more things & have more fun than others… so what gives?