Allocating resources, personal goals, black and white, perfect daily planner

Hey! Welcome to Work Less issue 43.

I've made a few updates to High Perfomer OS this week:

  • A main dashboard that features your key results progress
  • Daily habit tracker with a scoring system
  • Additional view in the weekly journal to track weekly habits and routines
June 2023 HPOS updates

I'll record new tutorials for them and ship the updates by the end of this week.

Allocating resources

Here's a famous quote by Tony Robbins:

Where focus goes, energy flows.

The book How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen echoes that in a different way. Some highlights from the book:

How you allocate your own resources can make your life turn out to be exactly as you hope or very different from what you intend.

Intending to build a satisfying personal life alongside their professional life, making choices specifically to provide a better life for their family, they (high performers) unwittingly overlook their spouse and children. Investing time and energy in these relationships doesn’t offer them that same immediate sense of achievement that a fast-track career does. You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. Your spouse is still there when you get home every night. And kids find new ways to misbehave all the time. It’s really not until twenty years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “We raised good kids.”

A strategy—whether in companies or in life—is created through hundreds of everyday decisions about how you spend your time, energy, and money. With every moment of your time, every decision about how you spend your energy and your money, you are making a statement about what really matters to you.

Your career priorities—the motivators that will make you happy at work—are simply one part of a broader set of priorities in your life, priorities that include your family, your friends, your faith, your health, and so on.

You have to make sure that you allocate your resources in a way that is consistent with your priorities. You have to make sure that your own measures of success are aligned with your most important concern. And you have to make sure that you’re thinking about all these in the right time frame—overcome the natural tendency to focus on the short term at the expense of the long term.

Personal goals

Most people don't care about your personal goals. There are no KPIs or incentives (for another person) around whether or not you:

  • Lose weight, get healthy, and stay fit
  • Start your own business that makes a profit
  • Build great relationships with your friends and family

That's why you need to prioritize them first. No one is there to keep you accountable—you have to.

Black and white

Here's a simple hack to protect your most important resource: Attention.

Color is a powerful trigger for emotions and behaviors. Bright, colorful foods are more attractive than dull-looking dishes. The same goes for our mobile devices.

To limit phone usage before bed, remove the colors. Instead of the colorful app icons, images, and videos, everything on my phone is in black and white after 9 PM. To do this on an iPhone:

  1. Go to Setting > Accessibility.
  2. Select Display & Text Size under the Vision section.
  3. Tap Color Filters, switch on Color Filters, and select Greyscale.
iPhone set Color Filters

Living in black and white for the entire day is unpleasant. To schedule when your phone should be in Greyscale and when it should not, go to Shortcuts > Automation.

Create a new personal automation with a trigger of Time of Day and set an action to turn color filters on. Repeat the steps to automatically turn color filters off in the morning (or any time you prefer).

The perfect daily planner

A todo list is great. But it's easy to add too many tasks to a day—only to beat yourself up when you can't finish all of them (which is impossible). A calendar is good for time-blocking. But it's not flexible when priorities change in the middle of the day.

For the longest time, I've been searching for a daily planner that combines task management and calendar time-blocking.

Until I found Sunsama. It's the best of both worlds and the perfect solution to plan and manage your days. It's so good that I decided to promote it as an affiliate.

Sunsama also comes with features that encourage better work communication and work-life balance:

  • Daily shutdown and reflection
  • Weekly objectives and outcomes
  • Integrations with tools like Notion, Jira, Slack, and more

Try Sunsama today (14-day free trial)

P.S. Sunsama's daily planning pairs very well with Notion project management. I'm still playing with the integration and will share more later.

P.P.S. To sweeten the deal, one person will get access to HPOS for free (by signing up for Sunsama by the end of June).

More recommended reads

Get my email delivered to your inbox once in a while

Three to five things I learned—that will help you work less, earn more, and live a better life. (Also get notified of new posts and masterclasses)

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

👆 Join 3,100+ leaders, creatives, and knowledge workers today.

Dean is a strong voice in the self-mastery space. His newsletter consistently delivers insightful ideas on how to become a better version of yourself and is the only newsletter that I always read.

Sebastian Kade

Head of product and engineering