THE HIGHEST VALUE ACTIVITIES IN LIFE
HARVESTING THE GOLDEN EGGS AND ENABLING THE GOLDEN GOOSE
Page in editing and refining process. Usable now, however.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY TIME?
What you should do with each unit of time is invest it in producing the most
"life value" that is possible.
To do that, you need to determine what it is that produces the most value per hour.
I've listed, generically, in the middle of this piece, the highest value activities in life.
Review those items on that list and write out what produces the most value per hour for you. You can list them by category, but in each case, you should put a "priority value" on them. Sure, the priority value will require an estimation (guesstimate) of the relative value, but despite its not being totally precise it will still be a relatively good indication.
TWO TYPES OF VALUE IN ACTIVITIES
Be aware, however, that value is produced directly, more in the moment even though it could have lasting effects, and that value can be produced "indirectly" (or not immediately) through doing that which makes one become more able to produce a direct value in the future.
1. What produces the "value" directly.
2. What enables and promotes being able to produce and experience the value.
The latter is of "derivative value" - it is valuable because it results ultimately in causing value by causing a greater value to be produced in the future. Because it enables a directly traceable value, it is clear that it, itself, has value - and we can often determine (or reasonably guestimate) the amount of value.
For instance, if I learn how to sleep better and that produces one more hour during the day where I am highly productive, I am "enabled" to cause more value. I might, for instance, produce 100 units of value in the hour whereas otherwise I would produce 10 units. My time learning to sleep better (and implementing the trainnig etc.) would have a payoff of 90 extra units each day times the number of days that it occurs.
The "enabling" activity can actually be more valuable per hour than experiencing the value itself. For instance, 5 value units from an activity that is a direct experience, such as the pleasure of socializing, could be less valuable per hour than doing an activity that takes 100 times as much time but yields an increase of 2% per day in the ability to have more value units from direct experiences worth an average of 5 units apiece, multiplied over 14,000 days (about 40 years). Though it took 100 times as much time, it yielded over time 1400 extra units, or 14 units per hour!
THE "ALWAYS" SEQUENCE
The most important thing to do is to find the end product we want to produce, as all the others depend on what that is! (Duh!) But few of us really do that or even identify its direct causers in a definitive way.
Have determined the end product, this is how its production occurs, in this causal order:
Learning → Effective → Direct → Value → Happiness
(How, why, Action(s) Causers Payoff
Of course, the "action" is the "activity" we are choosing. (Transducers, or "enablers", are defined below.
WHAT MIGHT I "PERFECT"?
Ordinarily, trying to be perfect something has a poor extra "marginal" return that isn't worth it.
But if something is to be repeatedly used for a benefit over and over, the return multiplies by how many times it is repeated.
While just implementing the Sleep Checklist items will provide a quick and high payoff, but I'd recommend you go on afterwards to even perfect this process even more, implementing the sleep checklist more completely and/or learning more. Each small improvement is repeated over 40 years (14,600 days). Perfecting "sleep" may only yield a 10% better day, but the multiplication factor causes the total benefit to be far greater than the 40 hours, let's say, of additional "perfecting" time. Say a day now has a value of 100 units. If you add 10 value units per day times 14,600 days = 146,000 value units or the equivalent of another 1460 days worth of value produced in your life.
Concentrated learning time in squeezing out the extra return becomes, with the multiple returns, the "gift that keeps on giving.
Marginal return for repeaters is substantially higher than for non-repeaters or infrequent repeaters. Earning money every day is a repeater
Improving anything that improves one's ability to do the enablers well, to produce the transducers:
These are easily and directly traceable.
Sleep - sufficient to be alert, think well, have body functioning well
Exercise - Feel better, sleep better, function better
Nutrition, food quality
Energy management - Keep up energy a great portion of the day
Responding sooner than later (to adjust) "symptom responses" so that you can return to the homeostasis "sweet spot" range - Directly responding to "signals" by taking immediate, appropriate action at the moment... can correct/offset headaches, tired feelings, shallow breathing, anxiety
Productivity and time management - huge repeater!
Habits, brain rewiring
Develop these habits in this order:
Philosophical foundation (screens out 1,000's of thoughts a day)
Intellectual or mundane seeming
Systematize your days and the parts of your days so that they go more smoothly.
Systemize filling yourself up, establishing strength and commitment for the day.
Planning one's time
Balanced day - fill enough short term needs to feel good about day, and enough long
Install ongoing systems that make life easier and better..
Better decision making
Better problem solving...
The latter two are the essential keys to a good life - learn and "perfect" them. (How many hours of learning do you think they are worth?!!!!
But I want my payoff right now! Well, then you'll kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Your choice... an omelette right now or lots of omelettes in the future.
One irony here is that the net positives from improving something that will benefit the long term is that it also improves the immediate future - and the payoffs become in total much higher than what was given up (time and effort and what we could use then for)!
The term transducer means a substance or device that converts input energy of one form into output energy of another. But I will broaden the definition to that which makes the process of having a good experience better and which is also experienced positively, so that it has some value in itself beyond what it enables. Because these "transducers" enable a better value payoff, whatever one does to improve the transducers is a higher value payoff activity.
Sufficient sleep is a "facilitator", which helps create the transducer of alertness, energy, and my body functioning well which then has me performing well and able to learn and use skills so that I experience the valuable feeling of physically feeling good, feeling competent in running my life, and, as a side effect, feeling that life is good and liking myself.
The reverse of this is to push yourself or to stay awake too late and have fluctuating bed and wake up times so that you are feeling sleep deprived, trying to recover all day, with attention waxing and waning, being relatively unproductive so that you are not feeling well physically, not being very competent or productive resulting in feeling that life is not so good, but hardly being able to wait for relief in the evening by various means and not feeling so good about yourself.
NOW, MAKE A CHOICE...FOR LIFE
The purpose of all of this is to have you be able to choose what is next that will give you the most value units for your time (called "Life Productivity").
I hope you make the very best decision.
And then proceed in the process.
The moral of the story:
"Value the longer term value producers! Especially if they are repeatable and reusable many times over."
An excerpt that may add perspective: From
Note that what you do now indicates what you actually value in real life and/or it indicates that you have not yet learned "how something works". [An undesired result indicates that you do not yet know what is sufficient, by definition. This is much misunderstood and results in all sorts of inappropriate criticism. You simply have not yet arrived at "sufficient knowing".] You may actually value "anxiety relief" or "getting approval to confirm your worth" (often in terms of having to please others and/or avoid displeasing others) more than your stated top value of adding to the happiness of your spouse. By acting on this, you lose the value you could get from the relationship and have it become of negative value in terms of how you feel about yourself, how your spouse feels about you, how happy your spouse isn't, and how he/she treats you (causing a negative feeling for you) in a vicious cycle/spiral that you should defuse(!). (Note that this is based of "effectiveness" and not at all based on the erroneous concept of fault. See No Fault.)
A contributing cause also could be "poor time management", so an activity that should be of high value would be learning and greatly improving your time management. Emotional confusion could be a contributor, so your valuable activity would be to implement such items as strategies that reduce "confusion causing" anxiety in a healthy, effective way. (Note that anxiety, which is "expressed fear", will mobilize the fight/flight response, which will shut down many of the other body functions and reduce the ability for your higher brain to think well, often compounding the problem!)
We also can have values that are "misvalued". We may think that contributing to others is our salvation in heaven, so earthly things take a backseat to that. Or we may think that it is sinful to be selfish (a very crude, unthought-out belief), so we need to learn more about that misconceived belief or lack of perspective in placing relative value on conflicting beliefs and/or in assigning relative value - and then implement self care that will enable one to serve others better, rather than taking away from the net contribution we can make (i.e. we can "have our cake and eat it too" in a sense, but what we are doing is actually "expanding the pie" so it is bigger and there is more to go around - which is a key result of good productivity skills!!!!)
Of course, many of us know of and think we understand the wisdom provided by the stewards/stewardesses in an airplane "put on your own air mask first and then your child's" - but then they fail to do what is analogous in their own lives. They don't take care of themselves, which causes themselves to suffer but also causes them to be less able (as they don't have enough "oxygen") to serve others. They are doing the opposite of productivity wisdom!!!!
I bring in the above "views" as different ways to look at value and selecting activities of high value.