Schedule the important things

Do you have a time blocked in your calendar for reading technical books? Do you have time blocked in your calendar for journaling and reflection? If not, that might be the first step to take to ensure consistent dedication to the two highest ROI activities.


Reading should occupy most of the free time. Reading is how we get to the next level of success in life. New ideas are all we need to get to a better understanding of reality. The better our mental models are the better decisions we can make. There is this idea about local and global maximum, which essentially means we can feel like we reached the top of a mountain, but, that would be a local maximum, there is a higher peak somewhere nearby. Reading can help us get from the local maximum to a global maximum by giving us ideas on what is out there, and in fact, if there is a higher peak.

This is obvious when we see people who climbed the corporate ladder, only to realize it was the wrong ladder to climb. That is precisely why reading books is the best investment of our time, it can help us save decades of our lives, just by realizing that there is a global maximum that we should pursue.


Journaling should occupy the remaining of the free time. What went well? What did not go well? Journaling can be a nice place to ask questions. It could be also a place to just get a sense of what is happening right now. Just asking yourself “How am I doing?” can bring a lot of self-reflection and conflict resolution. What are my top priorities for the day? Questions like that could steer a person in the right direction. There is something strange about putting thoughts onto paper as if we can see what we are thinking about for the first time. That is how I feel at least…


Strength training is how we stay healthy and the primary way to manage stress. The best thing about exercise is that it does not take a lot of time. It can be a couple of minutes per day. Even for cardio, we can do a 10-minute session of HIT (high-intensity training) to get the same benefits of hours of regular cardio. So scheduling 5 – 10 minutes of exercise multiple times per week can be huge given consistency and a couple of years. Things add up, even if it’s just 5 – 10 minutes per session.

The idea is simple, schedule the important things!

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