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Day 34-35: Optimize for years before optimizing for hours.

This is a huge one.

A brilliant concept from Jeremiah.

So when thinking about saving time, energy, any kind of resource really, optimize for the biggest unit before fussing over the smallest units.

Trying to study more effectively to get more out of your hours is cool. It is not even nearly as important as studying the right subject.

Moving extremely slowly in the right direction is more beneficial than moving very fast in the wrong direction.

Not that efficiency is not important. On the scale of priority, it goes after deciding what you are doing.

In business, deciding on your idea is extremely important before you start working effectively and fast and hard on it. Because even if you are putting in all the hours, work, and dedication into a tangential activity, it is a direct waste. If you choose a "bad" idea, you are giving up months of work and time.

For example, a discussion we had today exemplifies this more.

I listened to a podcast by an angel investor Naval (extremely cool guy sharing his "wealthy" mindsets for free at He talked about how he approximated the value of his time to be arbitrarily at 5k per hour. This is done to give you a numerical and emotional understanding of how valuable your time is.

Jeremiah responded with something like: "It is more about your high-energy hours rather than any hour of the day. So your time in itself is not worth that much. It is those high-impact times of the day."

So arbitrarily deciding that an hour of your time is worth a heck ton of money is not in itself a good first step. The optimization should first happen on the level of years, then semesters for some of us, then months, weeks, days, and then hours. Seeing an hour of your time being really valuable comes as the next step after seeing how valuable are months of your time.

If there is a pesky subscription sucking out a $100 every month from your bank account, there is no point in trying to save by not getting yourself chewing gum.

There is no point in trying to become effective, doing a bunch of Pomodoros and stuff, if you are currently in the wrong place pursuing a thing that is not the best fit for you.

Trying to establish a nice relationship with a guy/girl that is not right for you is a waste. Finding a person who will work better for you is more important.

What are some big takes from this?

A clear judgment ability will give you a chance to see what is actually producing a big impact on your actions or what detracts you a lot. After that, you should be spending more time on the higher-impact actions, even if it doesn't feel nice.

Every morning I have a template document asking me "Stop and Think. What are the high-impact actions you need to pursue today to get closer to the goal?". Taking these five minutes to define my direction at the beginning of the day doesn't feel nice. I want to jump into things and start marking off checkboxes. But defining the direction and prioritizing actions is so much more important. This needs to be done every day until it becomes a habit.

Let's go with more examples.

Personal examples because I can't think of others.

The reason I decided to not take my classes "seriously" last semester is that I needed to optimize for months before I do anything else. I needed to free up my time to give myself the freedom to have clear judgment and space to explore. The decision itself is very debatable but it demonstrates this concept. Instead of thinking about how to carve out an hour a day for personal development, I first gave myself a couple of months of time.

Another one.

Let's say a college student has an old and slow laptop. It takes them 10 minutes to start it and everything takes forever to load. Instead of actively and solely pursuing the idea of "How can I get a new laptop?"(and win hours of time and energy every week), they try to delete files, reorganize their apps, and a bunch of other small actions that do not actually produce a big impact. Getting a new laptop is the number one priority.

I will be getting back to this concept with more examples because of how important it is. This is very high-stakes. We are talking years and decades of people's times completely and irreversibly wasted.

One thing I realized that natural inclination is going to be optimizing for hours and minutes. Those are easy actions and they make you feel nice. Cleaning my desk, reorganizing things, sticking with things/books/courses just because I already started is way easier than trying to abstract from your own self to see the bigger picture. So getting that big picture requires your actual desire to see things clearly and realistically which will then give you the right motivation to seek that truth.



P.S. I have gotten some amazing critical responses from you guys. They are so so great and invaluable. I will actually be including them (with consent) into the newsletter to broaden the perspective on that certain topic. Keep them coming. Your comment is benefiting not just you and me but everyone is this growing community. 👌

P.S.S. Been busy these days but no excuses. Getting back to the daily schedule today.

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