What I learned from Living on a schedule. New experiment: Eat lunch, skip dinner.

Each week I’ll run an experiment and post the results here. My goals are to try new things, get to know myself, and live a smarter and more satisfying life.

Results of Week 1 (1/3/2016 to 1/9/2016): Live on a schedule.

Hypothesis #1: Adding structure to my life will make it feel fuller and more satisfying.

Correct.

  • Scheduling reminds me that time is finite, and the choices I make are connected. My life does feel fuller, because it’s literally full. Woke up a little early? I can linger at the gym. Got lost in a good book? Okay, that means I’ll sleep less and feel tired tomorrow. Seeing these connections seems valuable whether I act on them or not.
  • Scheduling unlocks creativity within constraints. Knowing I had free time from 8:30 to 10:30 every night made me plan for and look forward to it.
  • I own my time. But without scheduled interruptions, momentum owns me. I love to work and can continue with stopping — until it’s 1AM and the kitchen is a mess because I fed myself in a fugue state. Scheduling post-work activities breaks the trance and keeps me present.

Hypothesis #2: Making time for a few things I do sporadically will teach me which of them I love enough to do regularly.

Correct.

  • I love working out, writing, having projects/free time, and getting 7 hours of sleep. These are things I will aim to do every day.
  • I don’t really care about sitting down for meals, playing guitar, or leisure reading. These are all out of my schedule.
  • I spent most of my free time connecting with friends and/or dancing. I guess these are things I need!

What else I learned

  • Well-rested is the new not-hungover. Waking up this week felt confusingly delightful, like a sober weekend morning in college. Sleeping well fuels everything else I want to do.
  • Less variability in my schedule means more peace. Debating between options means I haven’t prioritized what I value.
  • Unscheduled interruptions are a time killer. I bought noise-cancelling headphones and unsubscribed from all mailing lists. The world is full of inputs when I want them. Right now making outputs feels good.

What’s next

Week 2 (1/10/2016 to 1/16/2016): Eat lunch, skip dinner.
Hypothesis #1: Eating lunch every day will make me happier and more effective.
Hypothesis #2: Skipping dinner and eating raw foods only after 4PM will improve my health.
Hypothesis #3: Being hungry at night will improve my mental clarity.

Schedule for this week, with my wife and son back home (woo!):
6:30AM: Wake up
7:30 AM: Gym
8:30 AM: Work 1
12 to 1PM: Lunch
1 to to 6PM: Work 2
6:30 PM Playtime and bedtime with Boone

8 PM House pickup

8:15 Time with Anna

9 PM Writing
10 PM Projects or free time
11 PM In bed
11:30PM: Asleep

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