I use a lined Moleskine and three pens: pilot g-2, Muji .7 red gel pen and a bic highlighter.
Here’s how I do it: Open up two pages, on the left side I write the date and a list of things to do. I always write coffee first and cross it off with the red pen, as I’m usually sitting down with a cup before I start. This helps me begin with a feeling of accomplishment.
I decide which are the three most important tasks for the day and highlight them. They can be anything, from a meeting with my manufacturer to simply taking a walk outside for an hour. No matter what happens today, I must get those three done. Everything else can be done after or be shuffled to another day. This prevents me from feeling like the day is a failure if I didn’t complete my entire list. The right hand page is reserved for any notes I need to take for the day. You might find that you can highlight 5 items on your list to do, for me I’ve found 3 to be my sweet spot.
2. The internet is basically one huge school with infinite resources. You could spend your time at the library on topics that you’ve been curious about, or in shop class getting schooled in a hands-on craft. Or you can hang around in the back at the self appointed cool kids table in the corners, gossiping about other students in the school. What’s your place in this?
3. Most things that pass for news, news publications and journalism now are mostly useless. Unless the news is local or affects a large part of humanity, it’s better to ignore it.
4. Speaking of which, avoid people that know and talk more about other people’s lives (celebrities or otherwise) than their own.
5. “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
6. Exceptions to the rule means there are no rules.
7. Omission is not lying. And can be just as strong of a statement. This is how your one month stint as a professional coffee-getter turns into an “internship” on your resume. And how “no comment” is one of the worst (or best) things you can respond with.
8. Take a break. If you’re working 15 hours a day, you’re doing something wrong. Learn some shortcuts. Communicate better. Delegate. It’s easier to do so if you hire and work with people that are smarter than you.
10. Frugality can only work so much. Create financial leaps. Freelance work. Negotiate a raise. Seek a higher paying job. Create a side business. It’s like a hot summer day. You can only take so much clothes off before there’s nothing left to work with. An air conditioner changes the game.