One of the most important things for your entire life is choosing what projects you work on.
If you choose your projects right, life will be very satisfying, full of achievements, every year will be a little easier and better than the last one.
If you choose your projects wrong, you'll get stagnation, be forced to re-start from scratch when things fail or get abandoned, and otherwise have a rather frustrating life.
And yet, it's rather hard for most people to choose what to work on. There's potentially... well, infinite things.
I'd like to recommend a guideline to you: only do 10-year projects or short projects, and almost nothing in between. Since switching to this view of the world, life's gotten immensely easier and better for me, I've been able to have a lot more successes, and deliver a lot more value to the world.
Trying to figure out the best gift for that top performer in your life that doesn't need anything?
How about a one-way ticket to peak productivity in January?
You can now buy an entry into the Ultraworking Pentathlon for a friend or loved one:
Boom! It's 2017. Oh my goodness, 2016 was the best year of my life by far. Knock on wood, everything is working. It's working marvelously, even.
One of my very few regrets is that I'm doing less ad hoc writing. I published 52 essays at The Strategic Review in 2016, the first half of which got edited into the book Progression; the second half will be in the upcoming Machina (rough guess on ETA: February).
TSR roughly doubled in size, all through word of mouth. (Thank you.) But I didn't blog as much as I used to, and I used to have a lot of fun doing this.
I've also learned a lot about making things happen in the last year, that I think might be useful to you. I'm going to be blogging a little more in 2017.
So without further ado, here's two things that have been huge for me.
Hello old friends,
It's my favorite month: March. I like the name of the month, the concept of the month, and I love that spring is here.
We've got a few big things at Ultraworking coming.
The first is that Pentathlon III is up --
Hello old friends,
Machina is free for 72 hours at Amazon.com
I do most of my writing these days at The Strategic Review, where a free long-form essay with actionable insights from history comes out every Thursday.
I get asked frequently why I don't post them online -- and the answer is, I'm interested in reaching people who very much want to read them, but not interested in reaching the general blogosphere.
If you haven't joined the third Ultraworking Pentathlon, it's starting this Saturday -- so jump on now if you'd like to get 16 days of peak performance + permanent lessons and levelups in your productivity and workflow.
Details are all here:
Always honored and thrilled to work with you, regards,
Alright, today is an exciting announcement -- applications for GiveGetWin Summer Camp III at UChicago are now open.
Summer Camp will be 10 June 2017 to 25 June 2017 at the University of Chicago's Polsky Exchange. It's all-day, everyday for that time -- intense amount of skills training in entrepreneurship and leadership.
Past attendees have gone on to start their own companies with very high success rates (see the success stories tab on the website), as well as get jobs at established companies like Facebook and a number of fast-growth startups.
Russell Silver, from GGWSC'15, wrote of his experience:
You know how this works by now, eh?
Pragma is up on Amazon.
It's free for 72 hours, and will be $7.77 after that -- still a very good value, I think.
If you have any deep-thinking friends who don't read The Strategic Review, by all means feel free to point them to Pragma so they can get a copy -- they'll thank you.
Reviews are highly appreciated. Thanks and I hope you enjoy, learn, and benefit a lot.
I ate precisely 2150 calories yesterday: 65 grams of fat, 199 grams of protein, 192 grams of carbohydrates. Breakfast was two servings of oatmeal with protein powder, lunch was chicken and cheese, dinner was salmon and Ukrainian pancakes.
All of this went in a spreadsheet, along with the times of each meal. At the end of the week, I'll sum and average the numbers of everything I ate this week, and I'll look to ensure calories were 2640 or a little lower. The macronutrients I don't worry as much about, as long as protein is high -- I actually target 222 grams of protein per day -- and fat isn't too low.
Now, I'll be the first to confess: this is actually really, really, really boring.
Upon reading the title, On the Conflict Between Excellence and Will, I imagine some readers might think there was some sort of typo or mistake. After all, a conflict between excellent and will? Isn’t will required for excellence? Doesn’t will create excellence?
So, this is pretty cool.
At Ultraworking, we developed a "Work Cycles Generator" to automatically create fresh templates of our work cycles spreadsheets -- a little useful if you're doing Cycles solo, incredibly useful if you're doing Cycles with friends.
Well, Gordon Yoon was a participant on Ultraworking Pentathlon IV, and he started using Work Cycles for coding work at Google. He said, "I'm getting tons of mileage out of the Work Cycles on the daily! Using work cycles at work, for coding… it's been awesome. It's such a powerful tool."
Gordon then coded up automatic graphing into a new cycles template that displays how your energy and morale changes throughout a work session.
Gordon was very kind to share his template, and it's really cool and useful. If you click this link, you can get a copy of Gordon's energy/morale-graphing version of the spreadsheet. Instead of entering high/medium/low as before, you enter how you're feeling on both of those from 1-100, and on the second tab, you'll get a graph of how your energy and morale change over a work session.