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Pure Execution Challenge

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
Pure Execution Challenge
This thread was inspired by this thread and this thread.

Execution is king
The ability to execute is the main deciding factor when growing a business or making progress of any kind.
A poor idea with excelent execution makes a lot of money, but an excelent idea with poor execution does not.

Not that you don't need to plan, research, read and learn - YOU DO NEED those things - it's just that they are not and should not be the metrics by which you measure your progress. They're merely prerequisites to the actions that you need to take for the business to actually move forward. Once you're clear on what you want to do, the only planning, researching, reading or learning you NEED should come from a direct necessity of the next actions that you want to take.


How to beat procrastination
But here's the thing: we procrastinate, we get off track and we pursue mindless distractions all the time.
Kicking ourselves doesn't work.
Logic doesn't work.
Pep talks and motivational videos don't work.
Examining beliefs and solving internal conflicts help, but alone don't work.
Routine and structure helps, but alone doesn't work.
Coffee helps, but alone doesn't work.

Enter positive reinforcement training.
In tune with the empirical reality of winning, with positive reinforcement training your focus is on the rewards (dopamine hits) instead of avoiding mistakes (kicking yourself). This is important because if you focus on avoiding, resisting or postponing mistakes, you're amplifying failure and failure itself is the main event. But if you focus on execution it doesn't matter how much you've failed because each hour of execution takes you closer and closer to your goals and progress is the main event.


HOW TO PLAY:

- The standard unit of progress is 1 hour of pure execution, to the exclusion of planning, researching, learning, reading, maintenance, etc (at the moment, 4 hours of pure execution takes me about 14 hours).
- Set a stopwatch (in your smartphone for example) and only allow it to count the time when you're executing and stop it when you're not.
- Get a TAGulator, pull a bead down, click the clicker and make a conscious effort to notice the enjoyment and pleasure of having accomplished whatever you've accomplished in that 1 hour of pure execution.
- Update your post with the progress you've done and rewards you've earned
- No changing or switching the rules


If you want to participate, post below.
 
Last edited:

Bertram

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 25, 2015
478
632
274
Arizona and Maine
Pure Execution Challenge
This thread was inspired by this thread and this thread.

Execution is king
The ability to execute is the main deciding factor when growing a business or making progress of any kind.
A poor idea with excelent execution makes a lot of money, but an excelent idea with poor execution does not.

Not that you don't need to plan, research, read and learn - YOU DO NEED those things - it's just that they are not and should not be the metrics by which you measure your progress. They're merely prerequisites to the actions that you need to take for the business to actually move forward. Once you're clear on what you want to do, the only planning, researching, reading or learning you NEED should come from a direct necessity of the next actions that you want to take.


How to beat procrastination
But here's the thing: we procrastinate, we get off track and we pursue mindless distractions all the time.
Kicking ourselves doesn't work.
Logic doesn't work.
Pep talks and motivational videos don't work.
Examining beliefs and solving internal conflicts help, but alone don't work.
Routine and structure helps, but alone doesn't work.
Coffee helps, but alone doesn't work.

Enter positive reinforcement training.
In tune with the empirical reality of winning, with positive reinforcement training your focus is on the rewards (dopamine hits) instead of avoiding mistakes (kicking yourself). This is important because if you focus on avoiding, resisting or postponing mistakes, you're amplifying failure and failure itself is the main event. But if you focus on rewards it doesn't matter how much you've failed and each step takes you closer and closer to your reward (like in a game) and the rewards for meaningful work are the main events.


HOW TO PLAY:

- The standard unit of progress is 1 hour of pure execution, to the exclusion of planning, researching, learning, reading, maintenance, etc (at the moment, 4 hours of pure execution takes me about 14 hours). FORWARD BUSINESS MOVING ACTION ONLY
- Set a stopwatch (in your smartphone for example) and only allow your stopwatch to count the time when you're executing and stop it when you're not
- Get a TAGulator, pull a bead down and click the clicker for each progress unit (1 hour of execution) you do
- The challenge is to earn all prizes at least once
- You can only reward yourself using money you've earned directly from the progress you've made in this challenge. If you haven't earned any money yet, save your progress points for later
- The rewards start small and easy and get more challenging and bigger as we work on our ability to execute
- Update your post with the rewards you've earned
- No changing or switching the rules


PRIZES:

:rat: Little Mouse Point

You've executed for 1 hour in a single day. You've earned 15 minutes of rest/fun time.
Use this wisely. If you want to watch a movie or play a game at the end of the day, make sure you have enough :rat: Little Mouse Points.

:cake: Indulgence Point
You've executed for 3 hours in a single day and you can stand proud! You've earned an indulgence (ice cream, chocolate, popcorn, etc).
Use this wisely. Sometimes you need to indulge, but it's bad for your health. Consider accumulating and trading 5 of them for 1x :cool: Boss Point.
Also make sure you have at least one for when it's needed.


:cool: Boss Point (you can trade 5x :cake: Indulgence Points for 1x :cool: Boss Point, but you can't trade back)
You've executed for 5 hours in a single day like a boss! You've earned a meal at a restaurant!
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

:bolt: It's getting hot!
You've executed for 8 hours in a single day and you're getting hot! You've earned an afternoon's outing with friends!
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

:fire: You're on fire baby!
You've executed for 10 hours in a single day and you're on fire baby! You've earned 1 hour of video-game time!
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

☄ Meteoric rise!
Wow, you did ten, 5 hour execution days straight and earned 10x :cool: Boss Points in a row! You've earned the right to buy a PREMIUM personal purchase! This can be a gadget, clothing, perfume, shoes or some other personal thing that you deeply enjoy.
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

:palm: Earned my rest!
Wow, you did thirty, 5 hour execution days straight and earned 30x :cool: Boss Points in a row! You've earned 1 day of vacation time!
Accumulate these for a 1 week's vacation. Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

⭐ All-star!
You did thirty, 8 hour execution days straight and earned 30x :bolt: It's getting hot in a row! You're a freaking all-star! You've earned the right to buy a PREMIUM appliance for the house! This can be a vacuum cleaning robot, a cocking robot, an awesome TV, a cool bed, an awesome sofa, a top of the line air conditioner or anything else you want.
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

:bullseye: Medal of Honor
Wow, you did thirty, 10 hour execution days straight and earned 30x :fire: You're on fire baby in a row! You've earned the right to gift yourself with a wild adventure, Walter Mitty style (hike to a volcano, skydive, go to the Great Barrier Reef, visit Machu Picchu, go on a cruise boat, etc)
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

:races: Intergalactic Spaceboat Beast
You did a hundred, 8 hour execution days straight and earned 10x ⭐ All-stars in a row! You've earned the right to buy an Intergalactic Spaceboat Beast! Also known as a Tesla (or any other car you'd like)!
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.

:fist: Execution Champion
You did three hundred, 10 hour execution days straight and earned 10x :bullseye: Medals of Honor in a row! You've earned the right to buy a PREMIUM house, appartment or mansion, Tony Stark style!
Remember this needs to be paid with money earned directly from this challenge. If you haven't made any money yet, save these rewards for later.


If you want to participate, post below. I start tomorrow!
I 'liked' your enthusiasm and playfulness. Dopamine reward system does not improve focus, however. Focus and habit building are two entirely independent neural circuits. Dopa circuits are numerous and distinct.
If you mean to improve focus and also get work done, break tasks down into smallest units possible. Five minutes is not too brief. The completion of the task will be pleasant enough to repeat. Don't add a reward on top of that, especially consumption. You're trying to develop and notice enjoyment of accomplishment.
If you want to build discipline and change habits however, the approach is to build self-awareness, for example with meditation or environmental engagement, wellbeing, etc.

Don't aim to overwork. Why is that your goal? It has nothing to do with accomplishment or efficiency!

The most productive people, the ones who do outstanding work, actually need
periods of deep rest, 14 hours of sleep and 3 hours to get the engines running every 8-10 days. Then they go for 16 hour days. And Nobel prize research is accomplished. Or selling a golf course. It's the same peak thrill!

But that being the case, if your work really means something to you, I hope you focus on enjoying what it is you do. I like your reminder not to take things too seriously and plan in pleasure. Have a great week.
 
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OP
OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
I 'liked' your enthusiasm and playfulness. Dopamine reward system does not improve focus, however. Focus and habit building are two entirely independent neural circuits. Dopa circuits are numerous and distinct.
If you mean to improve focus and also get work done, break tasks down into smallest units possible. Five minutes is not too brief. The completion of the task will be pleasant enough to repeat. Don't add a reward on top of that, especially consumption. You're trying to develop and notice enjoyment of accomplishment.
If you want to build discipline and change habits however, the approach is to build self-awareness, for example with meditation or environmental engagement, wellbeing, etc.

Don't aim to overwork. Why is that your goal? It has nothing to do with accomplishment or efficiency!

The most productive people, the ones who do outstanding work, actually need
periods of deep rest, 14 hours of sleep and 3 hours to get the engines running every 8-10 days. Then they go for 16 hour days. And Nobel prize research is accomplished. Or selling a golf course. It's the same peak thrill!

But that being the case, if your work really means something to you, I hope you focus on enjoying what it is you do. I like your reminder not to take things too seriously and plan in pleasure. Have a great week.
I agree that meditation and the resulting self-awareness are key to notice the pleasure that comes from completing a meaningful task. The point of the challenge, however, is not to overwork, but to make a clear mental distinction between execution and everything else (planning, researching, reading, learning, etc). I've fell into this trap over and over and I feel it's time for a challenge to help me make that distinction clear.

With that said, my aim for 10 hours of execution a day isn't applicable only to business. I guess I hinted at it but didn't make that clear enough. Working out for 1 hour counts as execution towards your health, for example. But researching nearby gyms and packing your bag does not. That's the distinction that I think is relevant and a lot of people miss. Ten hours of pure execution a day seems like a healthy goal, even if on the upper bound of productivity.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!

P.S. I added a trigger to pay attention to the enjoyment and pleasure of accomplishment for each 1 hour of pure execution.
 
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jukido

New Contributor
Sep 13, 2019
5
4
11
If you want to build discipline and change habits however, the approach is to build self-awareness, for example with meditation or environmental engagement, wellbeing, etc.
Can you expand on this?

I recently found my habits/discipline/impulse control get "easier" if I spent a part of the day reflecting/observing my thoughts/impulses e.g. doing chores in silence vs listening to podcasts. Not really sure why ... maybe brain got some training in focusing internally vs externally? So then is better able to notice impulses?
 
OP
OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
Pure Execution Challenge, Day 1 (2019-09-17) - 3h of pure execution.
Uploaded 25 videos and recorded 36 new ones for my YouTube Channel. I'm 25,4% through with the first of 6 courses I'm creating. Funny enough, even though it gave me great pleasure to think about the challenge prizes, I do not care about them. The self-awareness of the enjoyment and pleasure of having made this much progress on my goals is reward enough.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 2 (2019-09-18) - I recorded one video and didn’t upload any more.
Started reading Indistractable and played games and watched series all day. I think staying at home is starting to get to me (I had knee surgery so now I need to stay home and rest my leg). I miss my workouts... Tomorrow I’m going on a small walk even if I have to do it with crutches.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 3 (2019-09-19) - I executed for 1h. Recorded 16 new videos for my YouTube Channel.
Today I realized that all the tasks I had left to do in my organizer where self-care tasks. This was a wake-up call. So today I decided to take good care of myself and do all those self-care tasks. I went for a nice walk, did a few self-care related chores and worked for 1h, went to buy healthy groceries and gone to see a movie with a friend. I'm keeping my eye on the ball and I'm ready for tomorrow.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 4 (2019-09-20) - I executed for 1h33m. Recorded and uploaded 21 new videos to my YouTube Channel. Also began writing a script that detects, configures and uploads new videos automatically.
Today was a good day.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 5 (2019-09-21) - I executed for 1h. I'm almost finished with a script that automatically detects and uploads new videos to my YouTube channel.
This 1h of pure execution took me almost 6 hours to achieve. This means I don't know enough about JS and Node. Besides JavaScript, I'm explicitly adding the creation of Node and NPM courses to my plan.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 6 (2019-09-22) - Rest day.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 7 (2019-09-23) - 2h20m of pure execution. Completed the script that automatically detects new recordings and uploads the videos to my YouTube channel. Recorded 13 new videos and uploaded 29 to my YouTube channel.
Also figured out that Google implements a "10.000 quota units" limitation on their YouTube Data API, which means I can only upload around 5 videos per day using my automated script. Submitted a form to Google requesting an increase to 100.000 quota units per day so that I can upload around 40 videos per day and do some other operations with the API.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 8 (2019-09-24) - 1h48m of pure execution. Recorded and uploaded 20 new videos to my YouTube Channel. Also gave tutoring for 2h.
I feel I'm getting evermore aware that execution is king and I'm feeling very eager to increase my knowledge to the point where I don't need to intersperse it with research/learning. I've also realized that the starting and stopping of my stopwatch to only count execution is in tune with the experience of flow, i.e. you're only able to enter flow when you're mastery is high enough that you don't need to stop for research/learning.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 9 (2019-09-25) - 1h48m of pure execution. Recorded and uploaded 25 new videos to my YouTube channel.
Today I decided to track my time, so I downloaded the MultiTimer app to my iPhone and created 7 timers and tracked a total of 15h30min. Here's the breakdown:
Maintenance: 4h11m
Waiting: 15m
Workout & Meditation: 37m
Planning, Researching, Learning and Reading: 2h18m
Pure Execution: 1h48m
Tutoring: 5h19m
Fun, Series, Gaming: 1h1m
Insights:
1. Maintenance is clearly where I spend most of my time. I'm going to pay attention to try and see where I could cut time from maintenance tasks.
2. I could completely cut waiting if Google allowed me to have a higher YouTube Data API quota so that I don't need to wait for the videos to upload because my script can do everything automtically. I've filled out a form and I'm waiting for Google's feecback.
3. Usually my workouts go for about 1h (I don't workout, just meditate now because I had knee surgery), so this time will increase in the future.
4. Because the courses I'm creating serve the purpose of also upgrading my skills, it's normal that I have to spend so much time researching. It's part of the path.
5. I felt that only pausing after 1h of pure execution (that takes almost 2h) was too hard. I need to use the pomodoro technique and pause every 30min or so. I'm doing that tomorrow.
6. I've tutored for 5h19m, but only got paid for 2h. It's ok thought, it's a really good client and I don't mind.
7. I could stop watching series after I'm done eating and save 1h+.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 10 (2019-09-26) - 4h01m of pure execution. I've recorded and uploaded 17 new videos to my YouTube channel and finished the script that automatically detects and uploads new recordings to my channel.
Also made a huge improvement to my productivity: applied the pomodoro technique in 30 min intervals with 5 min breaks, during which I do most of the maintenance tasks like bathroom breaks, handling clothing (washing, drying, storing), cleaning and other little chores, instead of doing them first thing in the morning or at a specific time of day. I found I could put in a lot more pure execution time this way.
 
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OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
Can you expand on this?

I recently found my habits/discipline/impulse control get "easier" if I spent a part of the day reflecting/observing my thoughts/impulses e.g. doing chores in silence vs listening to podcasts. Not really sure why ... maybe brain got some training in focusing internally vs externally? So then is better able to notice impulses?
Yes, that's actually great feedback. I used to do a 10 minute guided meditation for more than a year and now I added another 10 minutes of unguided meditation in the middle of work just to pay attention to my mood and general state. This increase self-awareness makes you less likely to be distracted and you can focus for longer periods of time.
 

Bertram

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Oct 25, 2015
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Can you expand on this?

I recently found my habits/discipline/impulse control get "easier" if I spent a part of the day reflecting/observing my thoughts/impulses e.g. doing chores in silence vs listening to podcasts. Not really sure why ... maybe brain got some training in focusing internally vs externally? So then is better able to notice impulses?
Yes but it's you, not the Braino, that receives and applies training.

I enthusiastically recommend the book "Indistractible" by Nir Eyal for anyone interested in learnining to control and create their internal and external triggers for traction or distraction.
 

reedracer

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
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I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Jun 2, 2019
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Kansas City
Yes but it's you, not the Braino, that receives and applies training.

I enthusiastically recommend the book "Indistractible" by Nir Eyal for anyone interested in learnining to control and create their internal and external triggers for traction or distraction.
I was looking at Indistractable just this week. You read it already?
 

Bertram

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Oct 25, 2015
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I was looking at Indistractable just this week. You read it already?
Yes. The audible is great too. The author has online resources such as exercises and tests as well.
I started a thread on the forum to work through the book section by section and will post the link for you when it's done.
 
OP
OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
Realized prizes don't matter and the satisfaction of having made this much progress is more than enough motivation, so I'm removing the prizes part of the challenge.
 
OP
OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
Pure Execution Challenge, Day 1 (2019-09-17) - 3h of pure execution.
Uploaded 25 videos and recorded 36 new ones for my YouTube Channel. I'm 25,4% through with the first of 6 courses I'm creating. Funny enough, even though it gave me great pleasure to think about the challenge prizes, I do not care about them. The self-awareness of the enjoyment and pleasure of having made this much progress on my goals is reward enough.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 2 (2019-09-18) - I recorded one video and didn’t upload any more.
Started reading Indistractable and played games and watched series all day. I think staying at home is starting to get to me (I had knee surgery so now I need to stay home and rest my leg). I miss my workouts... Tomorrow I’m going on a small walk even if I have to do it with crutches.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 3 (2019-09-19) - I executed for 1h. Recorded 16 new videos for my YouTube Channel.
Today I realized that all the tasks I had left to do in my organizer where self-care tasks. This was a wake-up call. So today I decided to take good care of myself and do all those self-care tasks. I went for a nice walk, did a few self-care related chores and worked for 1h, went to buy healthy groceries and gone to see a movie with a friend. I'm keeping my eye on the ball and I'm ready for tomorrow.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 4 (2019-09-20) - I executed for 1h33m. Recorded and uploaded 21 new videos to my YouTube Channel. Also began writing a script that detects, configures and uploads new videos automatically.
Today was a good day.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 5 (2019-09-21) - I executed for 1h. I'm almost finished with a script that automatically detects and uploads new videos to my YouTube channel.
This 1h of pure execution took me almost 6 hours to achieve. This means I don't know enough about JS and Node. Besides JavaScript, I'm explicitly adding the creation of Node and NPM courses to my plan.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 6 (2019-09-22) - Rest day.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 7 (2019-09-23) - 2h20m of pure execution. Completed the script that automatically detects new recordings and uploads the videos to my YouTube channel. Recorded 13 new videos and uploaded 29 to my YouTube channel.
Also figured out that Google implements a "10.000 quota units" limitation on their YouTube Data API, which means I can only upload around 5 videos per day using my automated script. Submitted a form to Google requesting an increase to 100.000 quota units per day so that I can upload around 40 videos per day and do some other operations with the API.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 8 (2019-09-24) - 1h48m of pure execution. Recorded and uploaded 20 new videos to my YouTube Channel. Also gave tutoring for 2h.
I feel I'm getting evermore aware that execution is king and I'm feeling very eager to increase my knowledge to the point where I don't need to intersperse it with research/learning. I've also realized that the starting and stopping of my stopwatch to only count execution is in tune with the experience of flow, i.e. you're only able to enter flow when you're mastery is high enough that you don't need to stop for research/learning.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 9 (2019-09-25) - 1h48m of pure execution. Recorded and uploaded 25 new videos to my YouTube channel.
Today I decided to track my time, so I downloaded the MultiTimer app to my iPhone and created 7 timers and tracked a total of 15h30min. Here's the breakdown:
Maintenance: 4h11m
Waiting: 15m
Workout & Meditation: 37m
Planning, Researching, Learning and Reading: 2h18m
Pure Execution: 1h48m
Tutoring: 5h19m
Fun, Series, Gaming: 1h1m
Insights:
1. Maintenance is clearly where I spend most of my time. I'm going to pay attention to try and see where I could cut time from maintenance tasks.
2. I could completely cut waiting if Google allowed me to have a higher YouTube Data API quota so that I don't need to wait for the videos to upload because my script can do everything automtically. I've filled out a form and I'm waiting for Google's feecback.
3. Usually my workouts go for about 1h (I don't workout, just meditate now because I had knee surgery), so this time will increase in the future.
4. Because the courses I'm creating serve the purpose of also upgrading my skills, it's normal that I have to spend so much time researching. It's part of the path.
5. I felt that only pausing after 1h of pure execution (that takes almost 2h) was too hard. I need to use the pomodoro technique and pause every 30min or so. I'm doing that tomorrow.
6. I've tutored for 5h19m, but only got paid for 2h. It's ok thought, it's a really good client and I don't mind.
7. I could stop watching series after I'm done eating and save 1h+.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 10 (2019-09-26) - 4h01m of pure execution. I've recorded and uploaded 17 new videos to my YouTube channel and finished the script that automatically detects and uploads new recordings to my channel.
Also made a huge improvement to my productivity: applied the pomodoro technique in 30 min intervals with 5 min breaks, during which I do most of the maintenance tasks like bathroom breaks, handling clothing (washing, drying, storing), cleaning and other little chores, instead of doing them first thing in the morning or at a specific time of day. I found I could put in a lot more pure execution time this way.
I can't edit my previous post, so I'm continuing here.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 11 (2019-09-27) - Went to the hospital to change my knee surgery bandage and it was such a sunny and awesome day I decided to walk around the beach, relax and reflect.
I was reflecting on how to improve a few things that where bothering me: a. sometimes it gets boring to do the same video course (working on VS Code now) for too many days in a row, b. how to get to world class mastery faster and c. I can't yet figure out why some days it's so hard for me to focus.
a. I decided to start planning the next courses. Even though JS is not the very next one, it's the one I'm most excited about. The course is so huge I felt overwhelmed and even though overwhelmness is a much stronger feeling than boredom, I'm aware that it's a better problem to solve.
b. I found that contrary to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, it takes much less than 10k hours to get to world class mastery if I use 3 ingredients:
1. A feedback loop (particularly with other people on the same path)
2. Deliberately practice each sub-skill that makes the overall skill
3. Teach it to others so that you increase your retention rate to 90%
c. I found another, more powerful introspective technique: Folding. Focusing by Eugene Gendlin is good, but Folding by Mark Lippman is like Focusing on steroids. I'm going to give this technique a try to find out why some days it's hard to focus.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 12 (2019-09-28) - Today I felt really down and I couldn't immediately figure out why.
I used the Focusing technique by Eugene Gendlin and figured I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious due to the enourmous amount of work ahead of me and how slowly the results seem to be coming in. Ok, now I could pinpoint exactly what I was feeling and why. The next step was to figure out a solution, so I did two things: I remembered success is usually exponencial and plotted my growth metrics on an chart with an exponential trendline. It turns out that, at this rate, it will take me another 32 days to achieve profitability. So I'm almost half way there. The other thing I did was paying attention and making sure I was being self-caring and self-encouraging.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 13 (2019-09-29) - Today my emotional profile was on the negative side (like yesterday), but remembering to take care of myself carried me through 44min of pure execution for a total of 15 recorded and uploaded videos to my YouTube channel.
The hardest part was starting the first video. After that I started to pick up momentum and just felt like going, but I actually have a dinner today, so I've stopped and I'm going out. I'm very happy with the fact that I was feeling like crap and that taking action to self-care made me feel much happier, fulfilled and productive. Today was a win!

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 14 (2019-09-30) - 1h11m of pure execution. I recorded and uploaded 14 videos to my YouTube channel. I was faced with some bugs in the VS Code settings I was analysing and recording videos about, so I could only record 14 videos. Now that I understand the bugs, I think I'll be able to record more videos tomorrow. Before I explicitly recognized why I recorded so few videos today, I felt like I wasn't being productive enough - it's paramount that I learn to be mindful throughout the day because this feeling of unproductiveness was detrimental to my performance and totally unnecessary.

Pure Execution Challenge, Day 15 (2019-10-01) - Results at the end of the day.
I feel like I've hit this plateau of 1h (maximum of 4h) of focused work (pure execution time + research time), so I was reflecting and deep diving into my mental models of productivity and I've realized that porn, games and sugar increase my baseline level of dopamine making me insensible to the pleasure of meaningful work (and a miriad of other benefits, particularly related to social relationships). According to a checkup from the BrainBuddy app, my dopamine baseline is 70% above my optimal productive and healthy level. So I'll add "quit fapping to porn and quit games" to the challenge.
 
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Genius01

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Dec 18, 2017
134
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Nigeria
Interesting. Keep it up.
I'll probably join in this week.

EDIT:
What the heck is a TAGulator?
I googled it and what I saw didn't make much sense to me, both from the text results and video results.
 
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OP
OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
52
77
115
Interesting. Keep it up.
I'll probably join in this week.

EDIT:
What the heck is a TAGulator?
I googled it and what I saw didn't make much sense to me, both from the text results and video results.
Hey @Genius01 ! Welcome to the challenge! A TAGulator is just a physical counter, usually with beads. Here's mine:
27723
I've built it with a string, 10 beads and 1 clicker at the end. It's strung on a tripod where I also hold my phone where I leave the MultiTimer app opened to track my time, particularly pure execution time (I couldn't show you my phone on the tripod because I used it to photograph).

The purpose of the TAGulator, explained in this thread, is to train your brain to associate meaningful work with pleasure. Every time I hit 30min of pure execution I pull a bead down, click the clicker and celebrate (this is just a vigorous "YES!", putting my arms up in a victorious V pose or something similar). When I hit 10 beads, I do something really nice for myself and give myself full permission to enjoy it with zero guilt. This could be something as simple as eating chocolate chip cookies, watching a movie or hanging out with my friends for a full day during the weekend - whatever I feel like doing.
 

Bertram

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Hey @Genius01 ! Welcome to the challenge! A TAGulator is just a physical counter, usually with beads. Here's mine:
View attachment 27723
I've built it with a string, 10 beads and 1 clicker at the end. It's strung on a tripod where I also hold my phone where I leave the MultiTimer app opened to track my time, particularly pure execution time (I couldn't show you my phone on the tripod because I used it to photograph).

The purpose of the TAGulator, explained in this thread, is to train your brain to associate meaningful work with pleasure. Every time I hit 30min of pure execution I pull a bead down, click the clicker and celebrate (this is just a vigorous "YES!", putting my arms up in a victorious V pose or something similar). When I hit 10 beads, I do something really nice for myself and give myself full permission to enjoy it with zero guilt. This could be something as simple as eating chocolate chip cookies, watching a movie or hanging out with my friends for a full day during the weekend - whatever I feel like doing.
This is a beautiful device! Notice that Braino doesn't need the food reward or reward system, however. Try it. Looking forward to You Time or Relationship Time is pleasant but does not relate physiologically to what you've accomplished here.
 
Last edited:

Bertram

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I agree that meditation and the resulting self-awareness are key to notice the pleasure that comes from completing a meaningful task. The point of the challenge, however, is not to overwork, but to make a clear mental distinction between execution and everything else (planning, researching, reading, learning, etc). I've fell into this trap over and over and I feel it's time for a challenge to help me make that distinction clear.

With that said, my aim for 10 hours of execution a day isn't applicable only to business. I guess I hinted at it but didn't make that clear enough. Working out for 1 hour counts as execution towards your health, for example. But researching nearby gyms and packing your bag does not. That's the distinction that I think is relevant and a lot of people miss. Ten hours of pure execution a day seems like a healthy goal, even if on the upper bound of productivity.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!

P.S. I added a trigger to pay attention to the enjoyment and pleasure of accomplishment for each 1 hour of pure execution.
This is wisdom. Thanks so much.
I will counter that you're additionally created a very valuable tool, simmilar to what I emply when slogging through a massive and tedious content revision.
Your tool is a sensory feedback loop.
Old Braino is often not content with abstract, disembodied work. It needs background stimulation. Notice hands and feet wiggling, the desire to sip something, squeeze a rubber ball, tip back the chair, feel a breeze from a fan, the so-called "calming" effect of classical music (Western, Indian, Southeast Asian, Latin, fast or slow beats all work, but language content is a distraction).
Enriching yourself with a little sensory exercise offsets distraction. This is exactly what you're doing, in addition to creating a system in which you take note that work is pleasurable. It's a really good system.

I create simple sensory feedback loops for my sloggy, massive tasks several ways. I print hard copies and use a pen or pencil. I use colored tabs on each page to ID the revision required: move or cut text, content add or rewrite, copy edits, check citation. I don't stop and attend to the fact that these differently colored or located at top, middle or bottom of page edge but the sensory engagement is grounding.
A similar tool to ours is available for kiddos who are very highly distractible so that they can remain seated while doing cognitive tasks. It's a plastic seat cushion, slanted at 15 degrees and textured with upraised dots to provide lots of sensory stimulation through the gluteus muscles. People also try using a large exercise ball instead of a chair.
Your technique encourage a nice work rhythm between disembodied, abstract concentration and pausing a moment to return to your surroundings.
So I think there are two distinct benefits to this practice.
 
OP
OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
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This is wisdom. Thanks so much.
I will counter that you're additionally created a very valuable tool, simmilar to what I emply when slogging through a massive and tedious content revision.
Your tool is a sensory feedback loop.
Old Braino is often not content with abstract, disembodied work. It needs background stimulation. Notice hands and feet wiggling, the desire to sip something, squeeze a rubber ball, tip back the chair, feel a breeze from a fan, the so-called "calming" effect of classical music (Western, Indian, Southeast Asian, Latin, fast or slow beats all work, but language content is a distraction).
Enriching yourself with a little sensory exercise offsets distraction. This is exactly what you're doing, in addition to creating a system in which you take note that work is pleasurable. It's a really good system.

I create simple sensory feedback loops for my sloggy, massive tasks several ways. I print hard copies and use a pen or pencil. I use colored tabs on each page to ID the revision required: move or cut text, content add or rewrite, copy edits, check citation. I don't stop and attend to the fact that these differently colored or located at top, middle or bottom of page edge but the sensory engagement is grounding.
A similar tool to ours is available for kiddos who are very highly distractible so that they can remain seated while doing cognitive tasks. It's a plastic seat cushion, slanted at 15 degrees and textured with upraised dots to provide lots of sensory stimulation through the gluteus muscles. People also try using a large exercise ball instead of a chair.
Your technique encourage a nice work rhythm between disembodied, abstract concentration and pausing a moment to return to your surroundings.
So I think there are two distinct benefits to this practice.
Yes, I agree. The timer makes sure you become aware of your progress every 30min (and pause for a few seconds to 5 min). The TAGulator gives you physical feedback on your progress. It has been working pretty great for me until now.
 

Genius01

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Dec 18, 2017
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Hey @Genius01 ! Welcome to the challenge! A TAGulator is just a physical counter, usually with beads. Here's mine:
View attachment 27723
I've built it with a string, 10 beads and 1 clicker at the end. It's strung on a tripod where I also hold my phone where I leave the MultiTimer app opened to track my time, particularly pure execution time (I couldn't show you my phone on the tripod because I used it to photograph).

The purpose of the TAGulator, explained in this thread, is to train your brain to associate meaningful work with pleasure. Every time I hit 30min of pure execution I pull a bead down, click the clicker and celebrate (this is just a vigorous "YES!", putting my arms up in a victorious V pose or something similar). When I hit 10 beads, I do something really nice for myself and give myself full permission to enjoy it with zero guilt. This could be something as simple as eating chocolate chip cookies, watching a movie or hanging out with my friends for a full day during the weekend - whatever I feel like doing.
Thanks, makes a lot more sense now after going through that thread you mentioned.
 

jukido

New Contributor
Sep 13, 2019
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According to a checkup from the BrainBuddy app, my dopamine baseline is 70% above my optimal productive and healthy level.
First time I hear of this app; looks promising. Any idea if one exists that isn't centered on porn? My go-to soothing habits are sweets, youtube videos, video games, and Facebook.
 
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OP
André Casal

André Casal

Contributor
Jun 1, 2018
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First time I hear of this app; looks promising. Any idea if one exists that isn't centered on porn? My go-to soothing habits are sweets, youtube videos, video games, and Facebook.
Yeah, there's one called Fabulous. I have it installed, but I haven't used it yet. It's a paid app though.
 

reedracer

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I use fabulous. Brainbuddy was a good trainer for it as I would have been lost in Fabulous without knowing what I wanted. BB is $13 / Month, Fab is $40/year. I think there is room for more of these apps.
 

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