Daily Ratings

A daily ritual that sets up a fulfilling life

Daily Ratings

This is a profound idea with profound applications.

Basically, you’re going to collect daily data that’s unique to you, and use it to maximize the likelihood of living a fulfilling life.

This idea comes from Jim Collins. He has authored six books that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. He coached Jeff Bezos in the early days of Amazon.

Enough said.

At the end of each and every day, he records three data points, all relating to his life-quality on that particular day. When he has enough data, he analyzes the results to find patterns.

What did he learn by doing this?

Well, he learned that the three drivers of fulfillment in his life were:

  1. More simplicity
  2. More time spent in flow state doing deep work
  3. More time spent with loved ones

Not cars, money, houses, vacations, or fancy job titles.

To learn your drivers, use a simple daily spreadsheet with three columns:

  1. How many hours spent doing creative work
  2. A quality score for the day (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2)
  3. A note of what happened that day

Where the quality score is +2 for a great day, +1 for a good day, 0 for a ‘meh’ day, -1 for a net negative day and -2 for a bad day.

Keep the spreadsheet on your phone in Google Sheets. This way, you’ll have the data in the cloud, accessible anywhere. If you’re obsessed with Excel you can always export it. The point is to give yourself the best opportunity to capture your data live, the day it happens, not three days later. This won’t work. You’ve got to capture the data live.

Make sure that you set a daily evening reminder to log the data.

You can then sort the spreadsheet and look over long periods of time. Reflect on the +2 and -2 days. Look for patterns. When patterns emerge you can do more of the things that cause a +2 day and fewer of the things that cause a -2 day.

The descriptions are like a one-sentence journal of the work you’ve done, the day you’ve had, and any other milestones that determined the day’s quality.

When Jim Collins analyzed his data over decades, he uncovered what makes a better day. Now Collins makes sure he works 1,000 creative hours in every 365 day block, no matter if he’s sick or busy. He had noticed it was a massive driver of his ratings. You can do the same.

Simple? Yes. Game changing? Absolutely.

The Takeaway

To constantly get better, keep simple data on yourself. Rate your days and make observations, when you have enough records, so some simple analysis of what makes you happy.

This is free and it can revolutionize how you spend your day and live your life.

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Credit: Jim Collins