This is a work in progress but putting it out there for those in my network interested in the various aggregated tips and hacks to get the most out of each day.

I am sure the final version will be a lot more comprehensive, backed up with lots of footnote references and (if I can get around to it, a form based daily practice template generator where you can put in your preferences and get out a daily practice cheat sheet exactly tailored to you).

There is a lot more stuff like this on the way so please subscribe and I’ll keep you posted.

Intro:

I have compiled a workable aggregation of various techniques, philosophies and “hacks” from the various sources I have come across. Workable in that I am using it and refining it as I go along.

The goal is to combine areas researched and compiled into (hopefully) some sort of orderly and workable balance. Longevity, The Right Mindset, Creativity, Optimum states of Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Well-being, Productivity and Impact across all areas of life – personally, partner and family, business-wise, socially and globally.

Over the time researching and figuring this stuff out for myself some really interesting subjects came up. I have done a few notes on each of those first; then I’ll give you the whole daily routine to use to plan your own.

Although a long, long way from perfect, hopefully, the below will assist and inspire a much better daily practice.

Here are the books and people that inspired a lot of this (these all open in new windows and are not affiliate links so go right ahead and click them open for later reading)

James Altucher – Choose yourself guide to wealth; Peter H Diamandis & Steven Kotler – Bold: How to Go Big; Dave Asprey – Bulletproof Exec; Robb Wolf – The Paleo Solution; Hal Elrod – The Miracle Morning; Both http://focusatwill.com and http://brain.fm; Tim Ferris – 4 hour body (and 4 hour work week); The Body by science teamhttp://rippedbody.jp, http://www.leangains.com, http://stronglifts.com, Noah St. John – The Book of Afformations

I’m sorry, I expect I have missed off loads of books and resources here – as I build the reference footnote sections I will add to these. If you see something that came from your materials let me know and I’ll make sure to add you to the above list.

All traits as a “muscle”:

This is something I have hypothesised out of all the reading I have done recently. James Altucher describes working your “idea muscle” just like a normal muscle. It will get bigger and stronger unless you stop and then it atrophies (this is called Idea Machine in the daily practice – this is also James’s term which I have borrowed/stolen – thanks you James)

This makes good sense physically and it makes sense mentally too. Do various exercises (brain training) to keep smart is nothing new, but pushing yourself to generate ideas is relatively new and unique.

I wondered if it could be applied further into other personality traits. For example, for me I wanted to improve my consistency in keeping up with the routines I set for myself, my general productivity and focus, being more kind and giving and being more positive.

This brought about a combination of ideas that I could boil down to a daily practice checklist to improve these and other areas of life in a systematic, applicable manner.

The more you get in of the daily practice the better you will perform. A secret to consistency is not to beat yourself up too much for failing but to be systematic in creating an environment and personal culture that will fail less and less. If distractions creep in, figure a way to get them to creep out again by reflecting each day on your daily practice performance and tweaking your priorities to do better tomorrow.

A State of Flow:

This is basically copied straight from their slideshare on it: http://www.slideshare.net/StevenKotler/17-flow-triggers

Intense Focus: Just work on one thing at a time. Put up the no disturb sign, utilise headphones and turn off phone and email notifications

Clear Goals: Have your battle plan targets laid out and finalised, schedule times specifically to do certain vital targets.

Rapid Feedback: Take regular, short breaks that include a few seconds of reflection on the past 20-30 minute actions sprint, tweak things to get the most out of your next sprint.

Challenge Yourself: Boring, repetitive tasks should not be done in scheduled action times (or at all if you can manage it). You need to be doing things that challenge you mentally, creatively, confidence-wise, and even physically as much as possible in your action sprints. You have to remain somewhat aware that you are doing what you are doing as you are doing it to keep up the pace.

High Stakes: Create high stakes for yourself even when the actions are relatively low stake. Create rewards and penalties and enforce them. E.G. If you get 100% of your targets completed today you get to watch the latest episode of your favourite show, if not you have to wait until the weekend or if you finish a project by the end of the week you have Saturday evening off to have a few drinks, if not you work on that project Saturday night.

Create a rich environment: Bring novelty, unpredictability and complexity into your actions sprints. This means big and bold outreach, say yes to all the difficult projects, sign up for things that scare you, demand high standards of yourself for end products, don’t choose the quiet life or set the bar low to avoid disappointment.

Deep Embodiment: This means being aware of our senses. This is best done with physical exercise, no intake of dulling foods and drinks, intelligent use of caffeine and other supplements and getting good sleep. Then you just need to practice being aware of all senses – whether that is physical, mental acuity, and how you are feeling emotionally and spiritually.

Getting into flow in a group setting:

  • Concentration: Same deal, get everyone focused on what is being done right now
  • Clear Goals: Delineate what is being achieved by the team and individually
  • Live, Real Communication: The floor has to be open for all and everyone has to listen and think before responding
  • Make the stakes high: As above
  • Make the team important and vital: They have to feel fully in control of what is being produced as a team
  • Always go for it: All interactions should add to and amplify the team’s goals and generate momentum and togetherness – keep it going, don’t get into disagreeing or knocking down ideas
  • Maintain Creativity: Linking new ideas together and bringing those ideas to the world.
  • Choose Team members that are familiar with thought processes and experience as well as skill level and willingness to participate equally.

Diet:

Intermittent fasting means to eat within about an 8 hour period each day and to have about 16 hours of not eating. Interestingly, it has been found that having only fat (avoiding protein and carbs) during the 16 hours of fasting keeps the body in a state of fasting in terms of the healing and the improvement of mental acuity whilst reinforcing the body taking its more stable and natural fat-burning metabolism (rather than a carbohydrate-burning metabolism). The fat-burning metabolism brings about a less fluctuating blood sugar level which makes for strong mental clarity, productivity and willpower.

Some food types have “anti-nutrients”. These are substances that interfere with the bodies day to day absorption of nutrients – nutrients are the components in our food that we use to grow and survive. So anti-nutrients are the components in our food that cause us to diminish and die.

As with most things there is a gradient scale of whether or not a given substance is a nutrient or an anti-nutrient.

In our modern diet, grains have the biggest concentration of anti-nutrients (the trendy one is Gluten right now), these grains die if eaten (unlike other foods that can rely on being digested to pass on seed such as blueberries) so, just like an animal evolves to defend itself, so do grains. Minimising grains and refined and processed foods in your diet is probably the single biggest health choice a person can do.

Other examples of things that contain anti-nutrients include most medications, pesticides in crops, antibiotics in meat and eggs, chemical preservatives and most things added to processed foods.

People have different levels of intolerance to anti-nutrients. But grains, legumes and dairy all have anti-nutrients in them. So minimising intake of these three food types is a fantastic way to free up energy your body uses to fight anti-nutrients so you can have that energy to focus on your goals.
Hydration is an important aspect of maintaining mental clarity. Top nutritionists have suggested whatever pure water intake that creates 5 clear urinations per day (some supplements below have a diuretic effect so you may drink more than you did anyway). For me that means at least 6 big glasses of water every day and two big hot drinks of coffee or green tea.

With grains, legumes, non-organic and refined and processed foods pretty much eliminated and dairy minimised this leaves you with non-processed grass fed meat, wild fish, omega 3 enriched eggs, grass fed butter, and organic vegetables, fruits and nuts. That’s full-on Paleo guys!

A couple of pointers, longevity all seems to stem back to a few basic ideas: a predominantly vegetable and leafy greens based diet; water as the main beverage; keeping overall calorie intake low,  moving into a fat burning metabolic state; getting sufficient rest, exercising regularly.

To simplify this I am saying have a big plate of food at each mealtime (for intermittent fasting means lunch and dinner), pile on the veggies (again to keep it simple I suggest a big salad for one of the meals and a big plate of steamed veggies for the other meal) and then have sufficient protein given your goals

Weekly:

Taking a day off from protein whilst loading on calories (think nuts, sweet potatoes and fat days) is recommended. This should also be your rest day. You can actually run at a 300-450 calorie deficit 6 days of the week for 3 weeks on 1 week off or 6 weeks on 2 weeks off until down to a healthy percentage body-fat if required. If body fat is not an issue but muscle mass is increase protein consumption and hit bigger weights with fewer reps in the gym.

Good Sleep:

My son is a little over a year old now and it was only once he was born that I realised just how great good sleep is to your quality of life! The most important aspect is to get the right amount of sleep. Then a few lifestyle choices and Diet, Exercise and Supplementation done well will all assist with improving sleep quality.

Here are some things to try:

  • Don’t eat 3 hours before going to bed
  • Don’t use screens an hour before going to bed
  • Go to bed as early as possible
  • Drink a good glass of water before you go to bed
  • Try out natural calm and see if it helps
  • Read a book before turning the light out.
  • Try to make the room as quiet and dark as possible
  • If you have exercised hard, had a particularly stressful day, been dieting, or get broken sleep try to get extra sleep in that night.
  • Test out 90 minute increments – so say it takes 20 mins to get off to sleep, set your alarm for 7 hours 50 mins (5 x 90 minutes plus 20 mins).
  • Experiment and get it right for you.

Exercise:

1 day of no exercise is recommended so the body can rest.

3 days with 20-40 minutes of weight lifting compound exercises – here is an example link http://stronglifts.com/5×5/ – once strong / muscled enough you can move to the 12 minute a week body by science workout with machines or free weights http://www.menshealth.co.uk/building-muscle/fast/12-minute-muscle and http://www.danielseidel.com/notes/2012/08/the-big-five-workout-program/

3 days 20+ minutes moving about playing a sport or light cardio with changes in intensity

Vibrating plates help keep water retention to a minimum and speed up recovery, just 5 minutes a day 6 days a week.

Not bad for 3 hours of your time each week!

Supplementation:

Without getting into why these specific supplements I’ll leave you to google that stuff.

Slightly prior and slightly after weighted exercise – 10g branched chain amino acids combined with caffeine – it feeds your muscles for a workout.

The rest is daily recommendations – (obviously the usual disclaimers apply here, don’t listen to me, get proper advice, etc.)

Caffeine: assists with a clear mind and increased metabolism whilst providing the (when into a fat-burning metabolims) body with high quality fat for energy and not affecting the positive aspects of the intermittent fast.

Grass fed butter, coconut oil and fresh good coffee (1-2 per day)
Green tea if you can cope with the caffeine, otherwise occasionally swap around with the coffee

(I am still doing a lot of testing with regards to a great cup of coffee so there will be much more details in another post early in 2016).

The rest:

5g Pure Creatine Monohydrate
5,000-10,000 IU of D3, High end vitamin K2 vitamin, 1g vitamin C, 250mg B complex and a decent daily mineral supplement
A teaspoon on Manuka honey has strong immunity benefits
Some fermented food for good bacteria (provided you do not prove to be intolerant)
A natural calm magnesium drink beofre bed – follow the instructions to get to an ideal daily amount (basically done on quality of bowel movements)

Example Routines (this needs to be generated for yourself based on your current set up).

Routine Typical days (if you just have the one or two meetings or calls then just fit them in – if a particularly busy day or day off just maintain consistency on the morning and night time routines.)

Life happens so the main thing is to re-plan the day if there is a change – e.g. you didn’t get up early enough, do the morning routine still when you can and your non-negotiables. Then change around your action time accordingly, if you had a particularly poor daily practice day make sure you really do the end of day routine perfectly as this is always in your control no matter what happened in the day. Keep it realistic. If you have a 9-5 you’re not going to be able to put in 12 hours of daily practice outside of it, but go for 6-8.

(Hopefully 5am) Time check:

1 HOUR MORNING ROUTINE

Getting Started (5 mins):
  • Up early?:
  • Brush teeth:
  • Drink 16 ounces (or more) of water:
Journal Part 1 – Mindset (15 mins):
  • Think, be grateful and forgiving, think big and positive along any area that immediately comes to mind. If you are a meditator then this is a good time.
  • Put something on in the background that helps you relax and focus (I use Brain FM Relaxed Focus 30 mins)
  • Journal musings, get anything in your head out of it:
  • Check over and tweak major goals (longer term 6 month and 12 month goals, plus anything bigger): Review and make main affirmations (recommended to include points on global impact, no negative people, helping people you love, not explaining, and always being honest) keep a viewpoint of putting your goal there and then “pulling” it towards you in the now rather than always putting your goal into the future.:
Journal Part 2 – State of Things (no more than 10 mins):

(write whatever comes to mind, as much as you want or leave sections blank, move fast)

  • Aspirations:
  • Improvements and Transformations:
  • Fears and facing them:
  • Beliefs:
  • Action Notes:
  • State of things – how things are – good and bad and what needs doing:
  • Creativity:
  • Network:
  • Final Morning Routing Words and Notes:
Journal Part 3 – Focus (10 mins):
  • Today’s Themes:
  • Visualise the day going exactly as I want it:
  • Thoughts on gratitude today:
  • What would make today great:
  • Affirmations, try afformations (e.g. Why I am a millionaire? Or other questions that could be asked if the affirmation was true “Where shall I make a 7 figure investment this month?” This is opposed to a statement “I am a millionaire”) It is good to include at least one that is specific and real for the day and month rather than just longer term goals, I have seen a small increase in productivity after applying this:
  • Why NOW:
  • Make (cheap) bulletproof coffee (strong freshly ground and roasted coffee either French press or Filter blended with coconut oil and grass fed butter):
Battle Plan Targets (20 mins)  – what you are getting done today in alignment with your longer term goals and purposes:
  • Review weekly, monthly and 6 month targets:
  • What needs to get done in the non-negotiable writing and working time?
  • Go over agenda for the day.
  • Add any other targets that would be great if they got done today.

(Hopefully 6am) Time Check:

NON-NEGOTIABLES (ACTION PERIOD 0)

(whatever vital actions to keep up with obligations, ensure income and make progress on your goals)

3 Hour Non-negotiables Sprint (take at least one break):
  • Idea Machine (this should be a constant point of the day, any time an idea comes to mind get it down in the journal, with at least one focused session where you “bleed” those ideas out for 20-30 minutes or more if needed. Think of it like really working out your idea muscle.)
  • Put something on in the background that helps you focus (I do Brain FM Intense Focus 30 mins x 2)
  • Non-negotiable actions: obligations, key income generating work, anything urgent and important.
    • e.g. Writing / planning
    • e.g. Income generating/saving/vital work actions
  • Drink 16 ounces of water
  • Make more coffee or move to good quality green tea:

(Hopefully 9am) Time Check:

ACTION PERIOD 1

(Ideally, it should be up to you what you do in your time – for many people with 9-5’s this means action for your employer. Make sure it is ACTION – meaning you are in control, pushing forward on whatever you are doing whether work, family, education or entertainment based). Fix this up depending on your commitments.

Two and a Half Hour Action Sprint (breaks are changes in action) – examples:
  • Quick Coordination for the day with people at the start of “work time”.
  • Have fun
  • Check all correspondence and act accordingly.
  • Do any meetings, calls, etc.
  • Any other personal, business, family, social commitments
  • Idea Machine
  • Planning
  • Writing

LUNCH AND EXERCISE

(schedule this when you can if lunch time is not realistic or slim this down if you cannot squeeze 90 minutes out opf your lunch break)

(Hopefully 11.30am) Time Check:

  • If Weight Exercises, 10g BCAAs plus caffeine in 16 ounces of water, half before and half after.
  • Exercise: 30-40mins 5×5 compound exercises 3 days per week, 3 days per week 20 mins sports/interval movements. 1 day off.
  • Shower (end with 60 second cold shower)
  • End Intermittent Fast with Medium sized lunch, lots of protein and good quality fat, salad, low carb, some fermented food. (low protein on exercise day off) – no grains, no legumes, low dairy, nothing processed, no refined sugars.
  • Take supplements – 5-10k IU of D3; high concentration of K2; 5g Creatine Monohydrate; 1g Vitamin C; 250mg B Complex; and a daily Mineral Supplement.
  • Drink 16 ounces of water (if not already had it with BCAAs)
  • Take a break, do some puzzles, do a bit of surfing, check over today’s progress and (if needed) re-plan out the rest of the day:
  • Idea Machine

(Hopefully 1pm) Time Check:

ACTION PERIOD 2

(if you get up late swap 3 hours of this for non-negotiables time)

Four Hour Action Sprint (breaks are changes in action):
  • Have fun
  • Check all correspondence and act accordingly
  • Do any meetings, calls etc.
  • Any other personal, business, family, social commitments
  • Idea Machine
  • Planning
  • Writing
  • Drink 16 ounces of water:

(Hopefully 5pm) Time Check:

DINNER

  • Dinner, lots of veggies, high protein, some complex carbs (sweet potato, squash, pumpkin) and some simple carbs (some fruit and dark chocolate) – salmon at least 3 times per week, garlic and onions at most meals – no grains, no legumes, very low dairy, nothing processed, no refined sugars.
  • Teaspoon of Manuka Honey

(Hopefully 6pm) Time Check:

ACTION PERIOD 3

Free Time can include (anywhere for half an hour to two hours): (examples)

  • Have fun
  • Check all correspondence and act accordingly
  • Do any prior arranged meetings, calls etc.
  • Any other personal, business, family, social commitments
  • Idea Machine
  • Planning
  • Writing
  • Further Education
  • Relaxation (for me that includes Brain FM relaxation 30 minutes)

(1 hour 30 mins before sleep – hopefully somewhere between 6.30-8pm) Time Check:

NIGHT TIME ROUTINE

Journal Part 4 – Ending the Day (30 minutes):
  • Figure out for tomorrow including Battle Plan for the day (bulk of the 30 mins)
  • At least 3 amazing things that happened today:
  • Reflections and questions to yourself – answers:
  • How could I have made today even better?:
  • Idea Machine
  • Any final thoughts to wrap up before ending the day’s screen time (leave an hour without screens before sleep):
Bed Time Routine:
  • Shower and Brush Teeth
  • Go To Bed
  • Read (take notes of any ideas that come out of this)
  • 20 minute ice pack on trapezius
  • Natural Calm Magnesium drink
  • Drink 16 ounces of water
  • Sleep

(Hopefully somewhere between 8-9.30pm) Time Check:

  • 7.5-9 hours sleep (towards 9 if broken sleep or exercise included weights the day before, if there has been a recent change of time zone, recent change of diet, or if running on a calorific deficit for fat loss or longevity.

Note on calorific deficit: 6 days 300-450 calorie deficit, refeed on non-protein, non-exercise day of 600 calories more than other days – 3 weeks on 1 week off, or 6 weeks on 2 weeks off). Expect 1.5-2lbs of fat loss per week on this regime.

In Summary:

We all have the same 24 hours. This daily practice is about getting much more done in waking hours and becoming consistent over time. An hour a day of consistency over 55 days is worth so much more than a couple of day’s marathon that leads to burn out. Getting sufficient sleep makes all of this possible.

It is unrealistic to keep to this schedule every day from now on and you should not expect that of yourself. The way forward is to get in as much as possible as often as possible and do your non-negotiables, start of day and end of day routines as consistently as possible.