I’m 5 days in to running the upgrade to my personal operating system. A couple of highlights so far.

Day Planning

Historically, I haven’t been one to plan out my day except around what’s already on the calendar. With now roughly 2 hours of additional items that I want to get done within a given day it’s presented me with something I’ve learned to embrace: constraints.

I tend to start work early and I want to be done with my work day by 4 PM. Accordingly, if I’m going to get done the things I want done, I found myself naturally incentivized to look ahead at the day and figure out when and where I’d need to make it happen – this week, I saw it more like a puzzle. I didn’t find myself trying to find motivation to get things done – I have a system, I’m just operating in it, and using creativity to find ways to solve the day’s puzzle.

Sparking Creativity

I find it delightful to figure out a way to do more than two things at the same time. Reading a spiritual book, for instance, counts for me as both input and investing in my spirituality. Discussing finances while taking a walk covers the exercise and finance categories.

I enjoy exercising creativity and working within the constraints of an operating system I designed has sparked multiple creative solutions this week.

As an aside, I realize that I’ve been designing systems since I was a young boy. I’d create “point systems” for my brothers and I to motivate us to keep our rooms clean and punish us if we didn’t (my mother, in her wisdom and to my frustration, didn’t approve of the negative incentives I’d designed). I like to think that my systems are kinder now, rooted in quite a bit more life experience.

More Input and Output

I’ve read more non-fiction this week than I have in awhile. I’ve come to love fiction. I recently read the entire Harry Potter series for the first time and found it inspiring and well worth the investment. Non-fiction, though, stretches and stimulates different parts of my brain and it’s been a delight to feel those parts exercised this week.

I’ve also written more than I have in a long time. I wrote the start of a Q3 strategy for Guildenberg, process documentation for a product I’ve been advising, and progress on a buyer’s guide for Pigeon. I also wrote two new blog posts, tonight’s included – all of which is more than I would have written by default.

I’m most interested in the long-term, though. Processes and systems work for me, the key is designing them to be sustainable, which means making them flexible.

I only did 10 minutes of exercise today and that’s OK. I already got my target 5 out of 7 done for the week and I still plan to get another 25 minutes in tomorrow anyway.

It’s been a good week of progress.