Fall 2020 Bullet Journals

5 Minute Entries Documenting Life

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December 2020

Tuesday, [[December 8th, 2020]]  14:09

0- Brain Dump

Been really enjoying writing my newsletter and doing podcast interviews! Really excited for the semester to wrap up!

Need to CI (continuous improvement) my productivity systems and overall life organization! I've accumulated a lot of obligations and projects and need to do some housekeeping: delegation, elimination, prioritization, & systematization. This will reduce overall stress.

"It's all icing" - the majority of things I worry about on the day-to-day are good problems to have. Diseases of abundance, you could call them. I am grateful to stress about these things because it means the basics and fundamentals are taken care of. I have food, home, community, family, friends, etc. Everything I'm worrying myself about (optimal productivity, growing my projects) are signs that I have the basics in place. This is an important point to frequently stop and realize. Look up at the stars. Your problems are small in the scheme of the universe.

1- Gratitude & Things That Make Me Happy

  • Coconut Oil Coffee, Carrots, Baked Salmon
  • Time with family for the holidays, sunshine (as opposed to rainy days), warm weather, my dogs
  • 2 Monitor Set up, having back-up phone chargers instead of phone charger scarcity, countless really great friends
  • study music that makes locks me into the rhythm

2- Today's Powerlist (118 day streak)

  1. Just finished 75HARD Phase 2, so working on outlining new habit goals and fitness plans
  2. 4 pomodoro studying for cs 570 exam & some research for cs 551 project deliverable
  3. podcast publish (audio, video, website), email guest media kit, promote on socials, work through intern applications, check in on aura projects
  4. do the fitness thing i decide i need to do from pt 1
  5. finish Expert Secrets, read a chapter of ready player 2, do this journal

3- 80/20 Questions

80/20 good-> What's been bringing me the greatest amounts of joy, satisfaction?

  • Any content creation: Writing, podcasting (research included)
  • Fitness. Any and all things stretching, lifting, balancing, running
  • Cooking: any and all things eggs
  • Reading: any and all things books

80/20 bad-> What's been causing stress, frustration, or anxiety?

  • School. Any and all things studying, finals related.
  • Social Media, notifications, analytics any and all things engineered to be addictive or that feed my compulsive checking demons
  • Uncertainty: any and all things unclear or unplanned

November 2020

Did majority of the journals on paper

The digital journals ended up here: https://louisshulman.substack.com/

October 2020

Wednesday, [[October 21st, 2020]]  07:08

0- Brain Dump

Journaling (esp on paper) really helps my clarity of thought. We all have extremely repetitive thoughts if left alone and I find journaling to help augment my thinking by offloading many redundant thoughts, worries, and goals to paper.

Focusing questions are also big time important and I should start making them a bigger component of my daily rituals. I'll write (& ask) some in #3 of today's. They also assist with reframing situations and providing a path to more clarity.

1- Gratitude

  • Had a really great weekend in Birmingham/Atlanta/Canton/Cahutta Springs GA - hung with friends and their families, ate great food, and ran a marathon
  • The Dot Com Secrets Kindle Edition is updated and is organized much better than the original I read a few months back
  • Spotify lets me sort podcasts from start -> finish which is nice for listening to a show from the beginning
  • iOs 14 finally lets me get junk off my home screen and this has lead to a great digital simplification
  • I free-styled a recipe last night and it came out extremely tasty.
  • I was able to write about a topic that really interested me for my CS301 paper which was a nice change of pace from dreading an assignment.

2- Today's Powerlist (70 day streak)

Win the day. Move the needle. Today I decided there needed to be 6 things.

  1. Record podcast interview with Jeff (&Kyle)
  2. Gymnastics Bodies front splits video (do it)
  3. 10 Tweets, send 10 LinkedIn invites to other student podcast hosts
  4. Emails: follow up on TP, invite 5 past guests to newsletter, follow up with trying to get Andy Frisella on the pod, send dad a generic top of funnel (boomer linktree) so he can pass on my stuff to some potential listeners
  5. 3 Focus Mate Sessions (I started a 100 focus mate in ~50 day challenge)
  6. Hit the following morning routine steps (no snooze, journal, do my flash card review, make bed, drink 64 oz water before any caffeine, write down goals on paper)

3- Some Good Questions

What are some bad habits I should stop?

  • Not having planned distractions/ entertainment for downtime. This leads to wasting the time I'm bored such as long car rides.
  • Not eating a calorie surplus most days. (I will never see gains until I fix this again)

What's been the 80/20 for my happiness lately? What 20% of inputs have caused 80% of the good outcomes?

  • Frequent facetime chats with family and hometown friends
  • Running, Handstands, Gymnastics
  • Cooking
  • Actually putting effort into having a dating life
  • Frisbee with friends (casual toss)
  • The podcast process (getting people on the show and interviewing them)
  • Junto group (masterminding)
  • Inbound validation (DM's from people who want to be on the podcast or more generally just have words of encouragement)

What's been the 80/20 for my frustration lately? What 20% of inputs have caused 80% of the frustrating outcomes?

  • Compulsive checking of social media and email
  • Sending fire 🔥 tweets that don't get any love
  • Compulsive checking of analytics dashboards (pod downloads, email open rates, pod site Google analytics, YouTube views)
  • Running out of time at the end of the day and wanting to do a few more things
  • My calves are so tight and are bottlenecking other areas of athletic progress

Saturday, [[October 3rd, 2020]]  22:11

0- Brain Dump

I only have a few days left of LiveHard Phase 1 (The 75Hard part 2). It's been exhausting and probably too much. The cold showers and daily dedicated visualization have been great though. I'm definitely doing too much right now but I'm not sure where I can trim the fat. Dropping a class really helped though.

1- Gratitude

Stopping and practicing gratitude is an easy way to change your perspective for the better on a daily basis. Take a moment and appreciate the good. There's probably more than you think. Don't take anything for granted.

At a really basic level

  • I woke up today.
  • I had all the food and water I needed today.

Some random things

  • Nuun tablets make water a bit more fun.
  • My dinner tasted so so good. My non-stick pans have remained non-stick.
  • Brain.fm really does help me focus quickly.
  • I Facetimed my parents.

A few more

  • I've been able to read a lot of really good books these past few weeks
  • Really cool people have been sharing their ideas and time with me on the podcast
  • I have leftover Alabama student card money that's covered my chipotle tab for the semester

2- Today's Powerlist (52 day streak) and Phase 1 day 26/30

  1. Send the one-pager email to my Dad
  2. Minimum of 25 minutes effort working on podcast outline for Monday's conversation with Eric about the Naval Ravikant Almanac.
  3. Sufficient work on my CS 551 HW to not be freaking out going into tomorrow.
  4. spend 5-10 minutes doing this journal entry
  5. 10 minutes reading (Traction), 10 minutes of visualization, and take notes on my reading
  6. 5 minute cold shower and progress picture
  7. Gallon of water, no alcohol, follow my diet and no cheat meals
  8. Two 45-minute workouts, 1 of them outside

3- Some Ideas I Thought About Today

  • Lifelong continuous learning is a crucial skill/habit/way of life
  • Master the art of learning hard things quickly
  • Spending years focusing on developing compounding positive habits will level up your output more than you can believe
  • If you don't find a way to make money in your sleep you'll work until you die
  • Disproportionate rewards accrue to those who master the fundamentals of their field (a good starting point is fully understanding the foundational text)
  • Don't feel pressured to have original ideas. There is value in sharing other ideas or combining concepts in new and unique ways.
  • Don't be afraid to accept a simple solution or explanation. Not everything needs to be complicated. What if it was easy?

September 2020

Sunday, [[September 20th, 2020]]  11:36

0- Brain Dump

Ran 18 miles yesterday. My knees feel surprisingly okay today.

Really stressing about a computer security project. My C skills are just really not where they should be.

Very excited to be finished with school.

Recorded a podcast with Brandon Zhang yesterday. That was a great time. I'm really excited to publish it soon.

I need a digital world reset. I'm on too many social tools and too many newsletters. I need a system to reduce the amount of shallow activities and make sure I'm spending the majority of my time on high-impact deep activities like writing, exercise, reading, learning, and real world social interactions.

1- Gratitude

  1. Amazon. Prime Delivery. I don't hate Jeff Bezos. I'm grateful for 2 day delivery of anything I could have ever wanted and I think it's okay that he's rewarded for making that reality possible.
  2. Sound sleep. I am really good at sleeping, but I know that many people aren't. This is a luxury and I'm grateful for it.
  3. Voices of reason ie Cal Newport. If it wasn't for people like Tim and Cal that are willing to share their often controversial view points, my assumptions and way of life would hardly ever be challenged and I'd be worse off for it.

2- Power List (Day 39 and Phase 1 - Day 11)

  1. 2-45 min workouts, 1 outside
  2. 5 min cold shower and progress pics
  3. read 10 minutes, annotate, do 10 mins of visualization
  4. no alcohol, drink a gallon of water, follow my diet, no cheat meals
  5. CS 528 project- substantial progress (enough to go to bed not stressing about it)
  6. inbox 0, this journal entry
  7. help angelo w/ zoom, do laundry
  8. 10-15 minute productivity system reset (todoist, calendar, roam)

3- Answers to a few good ?s

  • Where did I get distracted yesterday?

checking email and twitter more than once daily

  • Where did I waste time yesterday?

in the morning, not having a clear scheduled running time with elijah. meant i was waiting for him to wake up. would've avoided this by coordinating the day before.

  • What are some things I could be doing better?

recurring deep work intervals instead of ad hoc

  • What are some things I'm doing that I don't need to be doing?

twitter, instagram, Facebook

  • What are some things I'm not doing that I need to be doing?

recurring deep work intervals

getting ahead in classes (finishing assignments early)

Friday, [[September 11th, 2020]]  07:25

0- Brain Dump

Been living my best life. Started 75HARD phase 1 this week. Have been having fun for my outdoor workouts. Played frisbee and caught up with some friends. Threw the lacrosse ball with my roommate last night for the first time since we moved in. We've had the sticks in the closet for over 2 years so it's nice to have actually used them. Also had a "potluck" on my balcony with another friend. We made spring rolls. Been putting a lot of thought into copywriting past few weeks. It's really interesting to me. Writing with a specific purpose to get the reader to take a specific action. Sales using the written word. Writing an email to get someone to say yes to an interview. Writing a headline to get someone to read the article. Crafting a strong first sentence to get someone to read the article. ETC. It's a cool game that I'm enjoying studying and practicing. Been listening to a lot of Andy Frisella (big surprise). I really like his mindset and approach. Would recommend some older MFCEO episodes. Maybe this one.

1- Gratitude

  • We have it pretty great in this country. There are some very very "basic things" to be grateful for. Reliable access to clean drinking water, fast internet, basic safety (most the time in most places), freedom of speech. Not a perfect society but pretty good.
  • Waking up early and having a quiet distraction free environment for a few hours. Really nice.
  • Foam rolling & stretching. Feels good to feel good.

2- Power List (day 30 in a row, that's a lot of winning :) )(Now its 8 things bc part of Phase 1 is increasing the power list to 8)

  1. 2 Pomodoro work on CS 301 Essay on Voter Databases
  2. Watch CS 570 video on Dynamic Programming (Longest Common Subsequence)
  3. (If not cancelled) HubSpot onboarding call & go to "Shabbat to go" at Chabad. Get some shmoozing in.
  4. Cowork w/ partner on CS 551 (data science) news presentation & HW #1 (measures of similarity)
  5. 10 pages of reading and annotating The Third Door (DONE), this journal entry, morning affirmations, 10 mins guided visualization (part of 75Hard phase 1)
  6. Cold shower (5 mins, part of phase 1), take progress picture (also part of phase 1)
  7. Gymnastics Bodies workout, 45 minute outdoor workout
  8. Gallon of water, no alcohol, follow diet, no cheat meals

just focus on winning the day

3- Good self-improvement & self-awareness journal questions

  • Where did I get distracted yesterday?

tinder, twitter, LinkedIn

  • Where did I waste time yesterday?

see above

  • What are some things I could be doing better?

resting my shins

  • What are some things I'm doing that I don't need to be doing?

stressing about what I'm gonna do 8 months from now

  • What are some things I'm not doing that I need to be doing?

collecting emails for this website and the podcast

4- Stop Counting Other People's Money

August 2020

Monday, [[August 31st, 2020]]  07:13

0- Brain Dump

Had a really nice weekend. Excited and energized going into week 3 of the semester. August was a pretty good month overall. Made great flexibility improvements, had at least 19 really productive days (I consider that a win), made some life-improving purchases, caught up with a lot of friends I hadn't seen all summer, had some great conversations with new podcast guests, read some good books. Really fortunate and grateful.

They say happiness comes when you wouldn't want to trade places with anybody. I don't want to trade places with anybody, I like where I am.

1- Gratitude

  • Bought a Bodum pour over. Really really nice. Very pleasant way to wake up.
  • Foam ear plugs. Maybe NC headphones weren't the answer.
  • My podcast boom, totally necessary at this point. Such a fun & mechanically gratifying piece of hardware.
  • Tried ground bison yesterday and stir fried with onions, garlic, spinach, and mushrooms. Absolutely smacked (that's lingo for was really good).
  • FaceTimed my cousin and saw his dorm at PSU, called my uncle and caught up for a bit
  • Got a pedicure to be proactive against running induced ingrown toenails. No reason I can't enjoy my prehab.

2- Power List (Day 19 in a row :) )

  1. Gymnastics bodies workout
  2. Attend zoom classes, record a podcast, attend phone calls (aka make all my appointments)
  3. 5 Pomodoro sessions of focused effort on schoolwork (3 down, 2 to go)
  4. 18:6 TRF (time restricted feeding), Inbox 0 @end of day, send update to AREF stakeholder
  5. read + annotate 10 pages of The One Thing, do this journal entry

3- Thoughts in the making

  • The best athletes in the world stretch their assess off. Why don't you?
  • The best performers in the world have coaches. Why don't you?
  • Reportedly, people that write down their goals (clearly stated) are close to 40% more likely to achieve them. People with accountability partners and send a progress report to their partner on a regular basis see a ~70% increase in their probability of success. (paraphrasing from The One Thing).

Thursday, [[August 27th, 2020]]  14:28

1- Gratitude

  • Walking to fresh market, grabbing coffee, walking home.
  • Got a boom for my podcast mic. Definitely unnecessary at this point, but I feel fancy.
  • Mounted my computer monitors which is a game changer. My workspace is 10x'd.
  • The amazon basics brand. Overall, a big fan.
  • Having the time to read. It's nice.
  • Making big improvements with my flexibility which is opening up a lot of possibilities for my training.

2- Power List (day 15 in a row)

  1. Gymnastics Bodies workout (done)
  2. 25 pages annotating notes for The One Thing, this journal entry (done)
  3. write for 2 pomodoro sessions minimum (working on a 75HARD summary blog post) (done)
  4. read ch 1 of computer security textbook
  5. podcast pre interview chats and inbox 0 at end of day (done)

3- Question & Reminders - What's my one thing right now?

  • Main goal this semester: good enough grades to graduate Summa Cum Laude.
  • Most important thing to do that: read the textbooks. Do the exercises. Be honest with myself about the depth of my understanding. Fill holes as they appear.
  • Until my ONE Thing is done--everything else is a distraction.

Sunday, [[August 23rd, 2020]]  11:09

1- Gratitude

  • Being able to afford & access any book I want. This used to not be a thing.
  • The train by my apartment used to wake me up but I've learned to sleep through it.
  • Documentaries. Needed something to do yesterday to stay awake during an afternoon slump. Watched Playing With FIRE. Helped me avoid napping & throwing off my sleep schedule.

2- Power List

  1. Gymnastics Bodies handstands (7/8 of the steps, not at the advanced level yet)
  2. Upload & Edit Tuesday's Podcast for YouTube
  3. 10 pages annotating notes for The One Thing, this journal entry
  4. write for 2 pomodoro sessions minimum (working on a 75HARD summary blog post)(done)
  5. work on business formation (either till its done or 1 hour of effort if its harder than I thought)

3- Good Questions

  • What opportunities are unique to this very moment?
  • What will I look back on & wish I started sooner?
  • What was the best and worst moment of the past week?

Saturday, [[August 22nd, 2020]]  08:01

0- Brain dump

Good first "week" of classes. Will be challenging but doable. "Treat each class as an intellectual challenge to conquer" from Cal Newport's How to Win at College. Mindset is everything. Surprised that nobody watched class with the webcams on. Really strange actually.

1- Gratitude

  • Got this new kettle. Pretty excited about it. The Gooseneck makes things look really fancy.
  • Had chipotle maybe 4 times this week. A bit excessive but really good.
  • No COVID right now. (As of last time I was tested & haven't knowingly been exposed).

2- Power List

  1. Gymnastics Bodies middle splits videos
  2. Go to the two butcher shops in town and see how the prices compare to target/aldi
  3. This entry and make some quick notes on Playing with FIRE
  4. Four mile run
  5. Email/message FIRE author and invite on the podcast

3- What could I be doing better?

  • Fewer goals, greater commitment
  • More specificity on plans for achieving near term goals
  • Asking some previous podcast guests for possible leads for new interviewees

Wednesday, [[August 19th, 2020]]  05:58

0- Brain dump

First day of fall semester. Pretty excited for everything I have going on between friends that live here, actual content of my courses (data science, computer security, databases). Will see how things go with 90% of my material being taught over zoom. Shouldn't really change much.

1- Gratitude

  • Dinner last night was beyond tasty. Baked salmon, roasted broccoli and cinnamon sweet potatoes. Taught the 'recipe' to my roommates. Gonna be a staple fall-back meal this year.
  • Being capable of learning. Making progress over time (at anything) is really encouraging, mental, physical, etc
  • Grateful I did debate in HS, that opened a lot of doors and taught me a surprising amount of useful skills
  • Had a fun follow up call with our most recent podcast guest. Really fun to reconnect with people a month or so after conducting the interview. Podcasting is a great way to make friends.
  • Had a really productive 'coaching' call with a successful podcaster that The Edge set up for us. He gave encouraging feedback which meant a lot because of his background.

2- Today's Power List

  • Gymnastics Bodies stretching video (the splits are coming!)
  • Attendance @ all zoom lectures
  • Email/ DM Matt D'Avella a podcast invitation (shooters shoot)
  • Send follow ups based on yesterday's calls
  • Do this journal entry

3- Things I Want To Keep Top Of Mind (synonym: reminders)

  • Adventures only happen to the adventurous, actively seek out fun
  • Cold outreach via DMs is very approachable. Set up a short call with people that interest you or might be able to help answer your own questions.
  • Simple framework for success from next week's podcast guest: 1- set ambitious long term goals. 2- don't quit at trying to achieve them (what I need to do is get more specific and clear about mine, but I like the framework)

Monday, [[August 17th, 2020]]  07:59

1- Gratitude

  • Got chipotle two days in a row. As good both times.
  • Slept with ear plugs for the first time in a while--put me on a new level
  • Loaded my Yeti with ice before going to bed and had cold water on my nightstand when I woke up. New standard of luxury right there.

2- Today's Power List

  1. GymnasticsBodies (done)
  2. Finish Reading How to Win at College & Do This Journal (almost done)
  3. 25 mins work on transcripts
  4. 25 mins work on business research
  5. Publish interview with Scrubby on YouTube

3- Lessons & Reminders

  • Continue focusing on producing > consuming
  • Learn in public: we learn by teaching, summarizing what you learn *might* help someone and will *definitely* help you
  • The right time is always right now

Sunday, [[August 16th, 2020]]  10:00

1- Gratitude

  • Had a really fun night hanging out with my roommates who just got back in town.
  • Two sided tape. Super convenient invention.
  • Wifi at the co-working space is really fast on weekends.
  • We had a broken ping pong table and hacked it with an Axe before throwing it away. That was fun.

2- Today's Power List

  1. Gymnastics bodies, thrive nutrition, IF (12-8pm eating window)
  2. Edit and publish Wes Kao interview for YouTube
  3. This journal entry and 25 pages reading/ annotating (How To Win at College)
  4. Edit 75Hard podcast audio
  5. Spend additional 25 minutes exploring options for transcribing podcasts. (drop a line if you have good suggestions)

3- Some Reminders

  • Stretching is huge. It makes every athletic pursuit easier.
  • Sometimes, middle of the road goals are more competitive than ambitious goals. I've heard this described (by Tim Ferriss) as "its lonely at the top"
  • Rereading is so key. Spend more time rereading books that you are still working on fully implementing instead of finding new ways to complicate your life.
Published on Aug 16, 2020

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