Start Shitting Faster

How long did it take you to take your morning business today? 15 minutes? That is around 12 minutes too long. Sounds ridiculous,? It quickly starts to make sense once you realize that those 12 minutes could be spent on something meaningful, but you instead chose to sit on a toilet seat.

In my previous post, I discussed the most significant insights from my experience in the past 6 months, and I put the importance of time as the number one lesson I learned. That was not a coincidence.

What Tipped Me Over The Edge

If I heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: the time that we have is the most precious and scarce resource that we possess. Although I understood it intellectually, it never changed my behaviour to be in alignment with that reality. That changed this year.

In February 2023, while in the bath, I realized that I have hairs growing out of my ears. That left me scared shitless. It left a huge impression on me. It dawned upon me that I’m almost 30 years old, with nothing to show up for. Yes – I finished my studies and developed some skills and experience outside my field etc, but I wasn’t anywhere near where I actually wanted to be. All of my dreams, aspirations, and life goals left untouched. I always wanted to do big things, build interesting shit and work on projects that matter to me, explore the world, and live an adventurous life, but I didn’t do any of that. I spent the last 10 years of my life moving like a fucking snail. I had this sensation that I hadn’t progressed at all in the desired direction. What’s more: there was this quiet desperation and dread following me everywhere I went and I simply could not get rid of it.

Unfortunately, most of us grapple with this sense of inner aimlessness and lack of purpose. Some cope with it better than others. Some of us are able to effectively ignore this feeling by perpetually distracting themselves with various forms of entertainment, toys and substances. Some of us mask it by identifying with their favourite sports team, which is how they get a sense of accomplishment for the success of other people. Some of us find false dragons to slay in politics, religion, and conspiracy theories which often gives one a sense of moral high ground and righteousness. That always feels good.

This is the type of shit which I refer to as barking on the moon. The majority of the distractions are external events and entities which we have absolutely zero control and influence over. But still, the majority of us spend their lives completely immersed in these pointless things, giving our time and energy to them. Why? It is a lot easier to point your finger at a random politician, who is the president for a 4-5 year term and blame him for everything wrong in this society. People are eager to change society, the world, and everyone in it, all except one thing: themselves.

Who do you want to be? The dork watching others living life, or the guy who actually lives it himself?

At that time I was also thinking a lot about the cost of living. In January 2023, I hiked Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa. It was all great, but that trip lasted for only a week. Furthermore, my friends and I are going to ascend Aconcagua, the highest point of South America, which is a 3 week expedition. Those two trips, plus a few more expenses like buying furniture etc would basically leave me broke for the whole year. And mind you, I don’t have a car, or any additional expenses. So, I would basically give up an entire year of my youth for two trips and a few other minor basic things. A whole year of my twenties, where I am the strongest, the healthiest, and full of life. Do you see the distinction here? I was not talking in terms of “this costs xyz amount of money,” but rather “this costs me xyz chunk size of my life (from which I have only one).”

Moreover, after doing some simple maths, it became obvious where my life was headed. For the next 25-30 years, I would be doing exactly the same as this current year. I’d be working at a job which I despise so I can live the most mundane life. How the fuck does it make sense to give my life away in order to get a normal apartment, a car, and feed a family? That had put the whole thing into perspective.

I had to fill the Grand Canyon, but all I had was a shovel. I needed at least an excavator.

You would spend a lot of time here, if all you had was a shovel

All of the above mentioned factors caused such pain and anxiety in me that I simply could not ignore it for a second longer. No amount of distractions could hide the obvious truth that was staring me in the face: my time is ticking, and tomorrow I will not be younger than today. It’s only going to get worse. The clock is merciless, and it won’t wait for anyone.

What can we do about it?

Wake The Fuck Up

Did you spend your weekend doing a Netflix marathon binge-watching the newest series? Do you realize that you just gave up on a weekend of your OWN LIFE to watch a fictional world with fictional, made up characters? They don’t even fucking exist. Once I started to look at my life this way, I became hyper-aware of every single minute I wasted in my life. What did I do? I have cut out literally every time-wasting activity out of my life. Chasing women, going out, drinking, entertainment, and hobbies. Everything. All of the above mentioned things are huge time and energy drainers. Every few weeks I went for a coffee with a few good friends. That’s it.

I am not saying that I will never watch a movie again or do some leisure activity. The point is to be aware of those precious 24 hours that I have today, and until I achieve my plans for the next few years, I will absolutely cut out 99% of bullshit out of my life. The mindset of being selfish with my time, and being very picky on who and what I spend it on is what has driven my life to achieve an incredible pace. Everything happens fast, including progress.

Procrastination By Being Busy

This one is dangerous. The obvious distractions are easy to spot, but doing the daily logistics is a very sneaky way that we fool ourselves. Rather than doing the most important (and hard) things, we spend an hour daily doing morning and evening routines. We waste time cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, commuting to work and a bunch of other things. Don’t get me wrong: all those above help us stay functioning adults, but if we are truly honest with ourselves, we will quickly realize that a lot of that shit is not necessary, or at least could be sped up by a big margin.

The deception lies in the fact that all those activities feel rewarding. They give us the sense that we are doing something useful. None of the above will get you further in life.

Here is an example: I used to clean my apartment every weekend for about 1,5 hours, since it was “necessary.” I once  made an experiment and left it untouched for a whole month to see how dirty it would really get. Guess what? It wasn’t as clean as usual, but it wasn’t that bad either. Afterall, all I do is work. I don’t even get the chance to make anything messy. Conclusion: now I save about 5 hours every month, which is around 60 hours yearly. That is 1.5 weeks worth of full time employment.

Here is one more simple example. Previously, it took me around 45-60 minutes to start working after waking up. Nowadays, I begin working just 5 minutes after waking up. How? I  have a rule where I must be out of bed within the first 10 seconds. Furthermore, my whole morning routine consists of making coffee, brushing teeth, and getting dressed. Fast. And by fast I mean a “I’m half an hour late for my flight, I gotta hurry up!” type of fast. By the time the coffee has boiled, I have done everything and I’m at my laptop, opening all the documents. BAM. 5 minutes instead of 45-60. By the end of the year, I will have around 300 hours saved. That is two months worth of full time employment, by simply cutting out all the bullshit, and not being sluggish (even if I sometimes don’t feel like it, because there is nothing that stops me from acting quickly). How crazy is that?

Those were just a few. I wrote down all the things that have to be done, and then found a way to effectively reduce their time, and simply eliminate everything else. I am still genuinely amazed how little maintenance my life needs in reality, compared to earlier. I need approximately 1,5 hours daily for everything. This includes cooking, eating, shitting, showering, cleaning, commuting, shopping and everything in between. I was absolutely ruthless in this process.

Keep Reminding Yourself

The real secret is to not let yourself fall into the old state. I remind myself literally every day of all of the above that I wrote, and I do it with emotion of such intensity, that it simply would not let me slip up. One more thing that was enormously useful to me is a “My Life In Weeks” calendar. This is basically the average 80-year old lifespan visualized as a bunch of small empty boxes. Every Sunday I fill in one box. It is a very powerful reminder of the shortness of life. It is one thing to think “oh, yeah, life is short” and it is a completely different thing to see with your own eyes that you are one row away from being exactly in the middle. Here it is:

This is the first thing I look at when I wake up, and the last thing I look at before falling asleep. As you can imagine, it gets one going

Final Question

Have you ever experienced a single day in your life when you lie down in bed, ready to fall asleep, and can with complete honesty say to yourself: “I have truly used this day. I didn’t waste even 10 minutes.” A few months ago, I had this thought for the first time in my life, and I’m 29 years old. It is crazy that I never experienced a 100% productive day in my life, where I managed to squeeze out every waking moment to the fullest. What is even crazier is that most people haven’t.

If you are one of those, I strongly urge you to do something about it.

Remember the wise words by Jim Rohn:

“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.”

The moment we truly understand how fleeting life is, is the moment we will be compelled to take immediate action.

Next week we’ll dive into how I maintain and fuel this sense of urgency and how I keep myself focused on the goal.

See you next week,

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