A Month of High Productivity – Day 6

I slept late last night because I was preparing food for the week. I didn't set my early alarm, and let myself wake up naturally, I woke up arund 7:45. Skipped my morning workout and went straight into language learning. I completed my workouts later in the day.

The day was ordinary, I did slack off today but completed my readings. I was studying Economic History today, and fortunately it was much more interesting than yesterday's study session.

I'm sleeping late again today because I spent too much time replying to messages social media. Need to get back to schedule tomorrow.

While writing this, I just remembered that I have to write an appreciation post for Thomas Sowell. It's his birthday today, and he's one of my favourite economists. Looks like it's going to be another late night for me.

A Month of High Productivity – Day 5

The day started off fine and remained that way until I had to do my readings. I decided to complete a reading from my Comparative Politics course and found it very hard to complete. It was fairly short, just about 20 pages, but it seemed impossible to complete. I had no desire to read it after the first two pages. It was title "Why Mayoral Elections Don't Work". I figured I'm just not interested in that, and I know for a fact that I don't like politics nearly as much as I do economics. The reason I think I'm even interested in politics is becasue it tells me something about people, and because economics cannot be divorced from politics.

Nonetheless, it took me over 2 hours to do that reading, after which I decided I should just drop any studies for the day. I continued learning languages, and met all my language goals for the day.

I decided to start doing High Intensity Interval Training 2-3 times a week, so in the evening, I went for an HIIT session which was cut short by rain. It still made me tired though, and that showed when at night I didn't want to write the blog. I'm writing about day 5 on day 6.

I went to bed because I was making chocolate. I have cocoa mass in my kitchen, and chocolate is a part of my daily diet. No sugar, only cocoa and stevia.

A Month of High Productivity – Day 4

Day 4 wasn't that productive of course, it's Sunday and I decided to take Sundays off. Early in the day, I was at home and I really didn't want to take an off. I had an itch inside me to start my next reading. That's something new for me. I don't think I have wanted to complete academic readings so much before. I like my subjects, but I think something has now made me like the even more.

I suspect, it was the realisation I had a few days ago that stuying economic development is going to be an important part of my life. I had been thinking more profoundly about what I want to do in life, and the past few months, especially the Corona Lockdown have been instrumental in helping me arrive at this decision.

That feeling faded away, as I left home to take care of some work. That changed my preoccupation and I was thinking only about the task at hand. The environment I was in, shaped my priorities. When I was at home, studies were my primary preoccupation and when I went to my mother's salon, my primary preoccupation was figuring out how to get the business running. It's making losses, and the pandemic has made things even worse. And then, when I drove back home, studies were on my mind again.

With each passing day, I realise how much I am a slave of my surroundings and circumstances. Having a schedule got me on track. I made progress on my goals because a schedule, an external force obligated me to do so. Although I myself made the schedule, the same individual, did not make significant progress without this tool. And I got used to studying at a particular spot. I have set my laptop up in the living room, and even though I have a more powerful desktop in the bedroom, with a larger, more comfortable screen, I find myself in the living-room every day. When I am in front of it, I feel like studying. Similarly when I was in the salon, my business mind was on. I was talking to employees, finding out problems, and figuring out ways to solve that problem.

It's quite interesting, what happened today. I'm going to look more into this. This is certainly something I could manipulate to my advantage.

A Month of High Productivity – Day 3

Day 3 wasn't great, but it wasn't too bad either. That's because I managed to complete my readings for the day, but I also wasted a lot of time. I had to go somewhere tomorrow, and that plan is now cancelled. So, I could afford to postpone some things for the following day.

That's something I have to take care of in the future. I think forcing myself to go through with the tasks for the day, and then dealing with the free time when the moment arrives would be better.

Another thing to take care of, is the time I spend on my phone. I never kept track of how much time I spend on my phone, but I noticed that I had spent about 25 minutes replying to messages this morning. And this was before 8:30, the day had barely begun!
Now obsession with one's phone is not a problem I have, but having noticed how much time I spent on it today, I will be more careful in the future.

I had no language exchanges today, so I spent most of my language time learning new phrases on Glossika. I also watched a 2-3 episodes of Narcos. That helped my Spanish but I'd be fooling myself if I believe it was 3 hours well spent. 3 hours spent actively learning new words and phrases using spaced repetition work much better than passively watching a series.

So these 2 mistakes, I have to take care of. Hopefully, I won't repeat them again.

A Month of High Productivity – Day 2

Today also, I woke up late. I was woken up by a phone call, and maybe that disturbed my sleep. I felt like skipping my workout, and went back to sleep but my conscience could not accept that. I woke up, and worked out. I wasn't satisfied with my workout, but I still did something because if my experiences have taught me something, little progress is better than no progress at all.

Then, I went about with my language learning. I revised some Arabic, and learnt new French phrases. I had two language exchanges today, both in Spanish. One in the morning, and one at night.

Then I read Max Weber's Profession and Vocation of Politics, completed a MOOC on the American Constitution, a lecture on American Burueacracy, and one on Partisanship and American Courts.

I didn't really have much work with my business, so I slacked off. Played some games, listened to music, completed the episode of Narcos I started yesteday (at least got some Spanish practice)

I decided to learn more Spanish in my 1 hour break, as usual, I went on Glossika.com and spent some time learning new sentences.

I thought I had learnt more today, but apparantly I only learnt about half as many new sentences today, as I did yesterday. So I need to pick up some pace.

After that, I worked on my language blog a bit, and spent 45 minutes on my 2nd language exchange.

Things are going pretty well, I'll probably do another book tomorrow, and I definitely have to work better with languages.

A Month of High Productivity - Day 1


The first day has been good. I achieved more than I expected, even managed to slack off a bit late in the afternoon. It wasn't ideal of course, I slept late last night, and I didn't sleep well.
So I woke up late, and had to skimp on my workout. Everything else went according to schedule except my language exchange where my partner didn't show up. So I used Glossika to learn instead.

The three extra hours that I left for myself seem a bit much, maybe I'll need it to relax later, but today, I absolutely didn't need those extra 3 hours. I used that time to start my next reading instead.

The morning started with some chest workouts, and leg stretches.
For my language revision, I revised 200 Arabic sentences, and 100 German sentences on Glossika.com.

The book I read today, was called "Why the French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and Public Space".

Why the French Don't Like Headscarves | Princeton University Press

I didn't read the whole book, because my aim was to learn how culture affects politics, and the decisions of political institutions. I skipped a lot of content because it had a lot of historical facts that were not relevant to my aim.
Since I had more time, I started reading Max Weber's Politics as a Vocation, which I will finish tomorrow.
I finished the day with over 200 new Spanish sentences on Glossika.

I'm having a good feeling about this challenge, let's see how this goes.

A Month of High Productivity - Day 0

Learning From the Past

I've had bouts of productivity this year, however I feel none were as good as the one I had at the end of December. I want to make this a consistent thing, and I from my previous attempts I have realised some mistakes which I think I should work on.

Earmark Time for Contigencies and Unforeseen Events

When I first seriously set goals and attempted to achieve them in the December of 2019, I set goals for the month, divided them by 31 and started working on them. That obviously meant that I would have to work on them every single day , and I didn't mind that but there are always things you don't expect. I had a few of those in December, and that meant that I had to work extra hard on some days which wasn't only difficult, but also counter-productive. I didn't complete my tasks as well as other days, or worse, pushed myself too much that it made doing anything else difficult.

Don't Underestimate the Importance of Consistency

One thing that remained a constant for most of December was consitency. I would set goals every night for the following day, divide the day up in blocks of 3 hours ,and get working. That worked really well for me. In the month of January, I knew I had commitments that would mean breaking this flow, and I thought getting back would be easy. That hasn't been the case, and it's been 6 months, I'm still not on the same level of productivity as before. It's much better than January or February, but not nearly as good. This time, I want to eliminate all sources of distractions that can break my momentum.

Make a Well-Defined Schedule

Till now, I always had to-do lists. I would just try to work in blocks of 3 hours on any of my goals. In the past few weeks, I have been working on my language goals, consistently at a particular hour. Now I would like to say that I have good control over my mind. But having conditioned myself to learn at the same hour every day, has made this like feeling hungry at hours when you normally eat meals. I automatically know what I have to do when I see the hour hand of the clock at the right place. Deducing from that, I know I can be a slave of such temporal conditioning. Therefore, I'm going to make a well-defined schedule. A schedule that says exactly what I have to do, and at what hour.

Set-Up for the Month

With the past mistakes considered, I now have to lay down a plan for the coming month. Currently, I am working on 5 things:

Before I make the schedule, I need to decide how much time to give to each of these 5 things. I plan to sleep 8 hours a day. That leaves me with 16 hours. Academics are a top priority with my exams going on. I have over 20 books to read, and I also need to practie writing essays . So this needs to be given at least about 6 hours a day. Now I am left with 10 hours. I'll spend 2 hours on languages. 2 hours each on my business and my blogs, and an hour on my Health. I am left with 3 hours, which I'll use for breaks, miscellaneous activities, and for whatever I feel like doing.

Now, to appropriate my time. I came up with this schedule:

Saturdays will be my buffer days for contingencies, if I have any during the week, that day's work is done on saturday, and if I don't, I'll just repeat one of the weekdays on Saturday. Sunday, will be a day to think, reflect on the previous week, plan for the week ahead, and do whatever I wish to do.

This starts in about 8 hours from now, let's see how this goes. I'll be posting daily updates about this.