Best advice I’ve ever received
This is driving me nuts. I was just reading Scott Horne’s blog (which is excellent by the way) and he’s got people sharing the best advice they’ve ever received. This is great because I love advice like sunflowers love sun. The problem is, I know exactly what the best advice I’ve ever received was but I have no idea who gave it to me or in what book I discovered it. I’m going to share it anyway, and my thanks to whomever’s idea it was.
I’d say it doubled my pleasure
This was back in the midst of a long and lazy summer in 1989, right before I began classes at Sonoma State University. The advice was to spend a week with a pad and paper and to log exactly what I did in fifteen-minute increments. So, I’d have things like:
8:00am -8:30am – Read the sports page.
9:00pm – 11pm – Watch a movie on videotape (I am old enough to remember those days)
So, after a week of this I had my very own “system logfile” of sorts. The point was then to go over this and to really scrutinize, as if balancing a checkbook, how that week had been consumed and if I could have spent the time in a more fulfilling way. Because of course, time is a zero-sum game. Each week is a week more in the history books, and a week less in the crystal ball.
Oh boy, was I lazy!
What I found was there was far more room for improvement than I realized. I tracked myself for another week, and found that I was easily able to double my enjoyment by shifting priorities. I thing in specific that I remember changed was that I did a lot less channel surfing and more writing.
Since then, I’ve gone back to the exercise a number of times – as it is easy to lose the “one week” perspective and to let life get a little flabby again. Also, it’s a little trickier now that I have a wife and a kid as priorities get more complicated with three of us to consider. Still I’d say it works wonders and I recommend it to anyone that wants to put themselves through a little mental boot camp.
What was the best advice you ever received? (If you write a post about it make sure that you give props to Scott for thinking to ask this wonderful question.)