5-Bullet Monday #52 (04/01/2021)

written by Dan Silvestre

Happy Monday!

And happy 2021!

That fateful year has finally come to an end. Time to turn to a new chapter in the book that is life. ??

Haven’t planned 2021 yet?

Well, you’re in for a treat because I recently launched my system to set and achieve your goals this year. You can get Win Your Year by clicking here.

The beginning of January is the perfect time to plan the year ahead. And that’s exactly what you can learn (and copy) with Win Your Year.

I’ll show you:

  • How to review your year. Because you accomplished more than you think you did. This step is essential and will fill you with gratitude
  • How to design your year. So you start living your life by design rather than by default
  • How to set actionable goals for the upcoming year. So you can really smash 2021
  • How to bring your attention back to your goals every single week. So they survive past the first few weeks of the year

Win Your Year has 5 simple steps and 10 actionable exercises.

Could you do this by yourself?


But it’s much easier to follow a guidebook that has been proven to work.

Win Your Year is the result of hundreds of hours of research and trial and error. I’ve spent YEARS optimizing my goal-setting process. I know what works and what doesn’t.

And for just $10 (or $37 if you get the guidebook), you can copy this simple 5-step process to plan your 2021.

80% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions each year.

With Win Your Year, you become one of the 20%. ?

This week I published:

The Art of Thinking In Systems: Summary and Notes
A book that introduces a new way of thinking called “system thinking”. Systems are physical and abstract things that react in relation to one another. With system thinking, you can analyze things around you with the sole purpose of improving yourself. The negative point is that it falls short of diving deeper into the topic of system thinking.

And in case you missed it, here are the top 5 videos of 2020:

  1. The Scientific Way to Build Good Habits in 4 Easy Steps (Atomic Habits by James Clear)
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport: Summary and Key Lessons
  3. How to Make Change Easier and Effective – Switch by Chip and Dan Heath: Summary and Key Lessons
  4. How to Design Your Life to Focus on the Most Important Things (Essentialism by Greg McKeown)
  5. How to Effectively Manage Your Time and Get More Done: 7 Useful Techniques

—> Subscribe to the channel to get an update when I publish a new video

Right, on to the Medley ?

Here is your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Monday,” a list of what I’m pondering and exploring.

What pondering—
From time to time, I do a simple exercise of tracking every single minute of my working week. It’s such a simple yet powerful exercise (and that’s the reason it’s one of the lessons in Zero to Done).

Every time I’m surprised at the results.

When you really put data (read: numbers) into your time, it’s easy to see how productive you are (or not). And most of the time, what you think is true turns out to be far from reality.

For example:

How many hours of focussed work do you think you achieve, on average, per day?

If you’re guessing 8, you’re probably way off. 6? 4?

Well, most people can average 2-3 hours. And that’s people with almost extreme boundaries on their time. If you work in an office, that number is closer to 1-2 hours.

I tracked my “productivity” when working on Win Your Year as a simple test. Over a period of 4 days, I simply wrote down what I did and for how long.

Now, lots of insight from this exercise. Here’s one (the most surprising, at least to me):

Every day, I only had 2 blocks of focussed work that were 60 min or more (record: 93 min).

This means that most of my time was fragment throughout the day. So now I have something actionable I can try to optimize based on data:

If most of my blocks are less than 60 min, I need to master the “start-stop” motion of work.

In other words: how can I start working faster when I’m at my desk?

If I can cut that start period, I’ll achieve a lot more.

Obviously, there were a lot more discoveries. That is one example. But it serves to prove the power of this exercise.

Go ahead, try it for a week.

For one week, write down what you’re doing every 15 or 30 min interval. You can do this in a simple spreadsheet or writing it down in a notebook.

Look at your results on Friday.

And reply to this email with your Eureka moments. The insights that you discovered by implying looking at how you spend your time. ?

What I’m setting up—
In the last few weeks, I’ve been moving my entire work stack to Notion. I wanted to have a central location for everything: publishing calendar, articles, ideas, courses, etc.

And of all the solutions available, I decided this one was the easiest.

This means I now use all 3 major note-taking apps—Evernote, Roam, and Notion. But each tool serves a specific function (something I wrote about in this tweet):

  • Evernote is for filling
  • Roam is for creating
  • Notion is for collaborating

So when I have a specific type of work, I have a specific tool. No confusion. No mixing areas.

Same idea as Seth Godin’s 2-device solution (but applied to tools):

“We’re often using precisely the same device to do our work as we are to distract ourselves from our work.

Only use your computer for work. Real work. (…) Have a second device (…) (for) anything that doesn’t directly create valued output.“

What I’m sharing—
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article: 100 Tips For A Better Life.

My favorite passages:

  • Things you use for a significant fraction of your life (bed: 1/3rd, office-chair: 1/4th) are worth investing in.
  • Keep your desk and workspace bare. Treat every object as an imposition upon your attention, because it is. A workspace is not a place for storing things. It is a place for accomplishing things.
  • Explaining problems is good. Often in the process of laying out a problem, a solution will present itself.

What I’m reading—
Lots of reading this week.

First, I read “Who Not How” by Dan Sullivan. This book came at a perfect time for me. It talks about how to surround yourself with the right people to help you achieve your goals and ideas.

When we want to do something, we tend to ask: “How can I do this?” But when you have a team, a better question to ask is “Who can do this for me?”

I also started “Sprint” by Jake Knapp (one of the authors of “Make Time”). Sprint covers a unique five-day process for solving tough problems.

Great book for small companies and Product Managers at big companies. You can use this process to solve critical questions in one week.

What great books have you finished recently? Reply and let me know.

What I’m building—
Want to level up your productivity game? The Productivity Vault has more than 300+ proven productivity tips. These are all the productivity hacks I’ve spent years collecting and testing.

The tips are divided into categories. Learn how to stop procrastinating, better manage your time, develop laser-focus, level up your email game, and a whole lot more.

You can do this research yourself. Do what I did and spend 2 years reading every piece of info I could find on productivity.

Or you can copy and use ALL of the same productivity tips I’ve used to get results faster and easier than trying to read and find them yourself. I’ve already done the research so you don’t have to. 

All you do is read my collection of the best productivity hacks, then apply what you’ve read.In a MINUTE, you can use and benefit from each performance-boosting hack. Everything that works with simple step-by-step instructions on how to apply to your work and life.

Get immediate access by clicking here.

Please give me feedback on Twitter. Which bullet above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Please let me know.

Just send a tweet to @dansilvestrecom and put #5BulletMonday at the end so I can find it.

If you’re enjoying 5-Bullet, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up.

I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you’re enjoying it.

If you want to support the 5-Bullet Monday newsletter and my other writing, there are many ways you can do that here.

And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way. I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week 😉


P.s. don’t forget to get Win Your Year so you can achieve your goals in 2021 ?

Thanks for reading!

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