My Ideal Schedule

Naturally I think a lot about efficiency, productivity and work-life-balance. What I consider to be ideal regarding these issues changes all the time. It also depends on my current living situation and level of social activity.
From my experience with other players, very few have actual schedules that they follow strictly. Some will have an idea of what they want to achieve on a daily basis and then follow that idea loosely, whereas others will intentionally try not to follow any sort of schedule whatsoever.
I am somewhere in-between the first case of a strict scheduler and somebody who loosely trys to follow a schedule.
I am fully capable of following a strict schedule, almost to a fault. I actually think I have harmed myself in the past by being too strict. This manifested itself as passing up on unique social interactions, living an unhealthy lifestyle, a decrease in my earnings or simply not allowing myself enough time to create distance between whatever it was I was working on at the time and myself so that I could potentialy detect where I was maybe spending too much time on things that didn’t matter or were potentially harmful. I think this came from a place of trying to brute-force results and in doing so also try to shortcut my way to success, which I now think is a flawed approach as it is neither fulfilling nor necessarily productive. By this I don’t mean that you shouldn’t work hard on whatever it is you are trying to achieve, but as the Germans would say, you shouldn’t try to get something done by slamming your head through a wall.
That being said, it is important to me that my schedule allows me enough time to reflect on my work and also on my life so that I can maintain a sort of mental flexibility and agility to reevaluate whatever it is I am doing as time goes on and also to be alert enough to seize new opportunities as they arise, should I wish to do so.
I would like to say this is the most important concept in scheduling to me, but health has to come first. I think being mentally and physically healthy should lay the foundation for all we do, with an emphasis on mental health first.
Mental health is a complex issue and I’m probably not the most qualified person to give out strong recommendations on the issue, but I think being mentally healthy is a continuous process of self-development and self-improvement and does not lend itself to simple solutions, but rather must be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Physical health however is much more simpler and easier to create structured guidelines for. Essentially to what extent you want to maintain your physical health depends on the individual, but I think at the very minimum one should do some form of cardiovascular excercise (such as walking for thirty minutes every day), make sure that one drinks enough water, eats healthy food (on average) and sleeps enough. It really doesn’t get more complicated than that, but I think once you start doing less than that or less than some equivalent of that, you start to get into physically unhealthy territory.
Something I’ve been contemplating doing for some time, which relates to mental health, is meditation. I have tried it in the past for several days, but ended up only remembering to do it on and off, so wasn’t able to see any potential long-term benefits. I think that in this ADD day and age, daily 20-minute meditation sessions could be very beneficial for piece of mind and also focus of mind.

Young Bobby Fischer

I believe that in the past people were much more likely to engage in activities that involved meditation-like states, such as fishing or walking by the country side. Today it is like we are always jacked-in and bombarded with information and doing less is considered something to be avoided, a waste of time, but I think the potential upside on well-being could be fairly large.
So all this being said, here is what I currently think my ideal schedule should look like:
  • Go for a 30-minute walk
  • Meditate for 20 minutes
  • Study poker and or related topics
  • Eat healthy food
  • Play poker
  • Socialize
  • Relax and read up on topic of interest (mainly in form of books that are either non-fiction or fiction)
  • Healthy amount of sleep
This isn’t meant to be considered a strict time schedule which is why I omitted times when certain events happen. It should be seen more as what I think an ideal schedule/daily routine would look like for me. If I could do these things on every working day, I know I would be a very healthy and balanced person. I currently also take every 4th day off. I like to do this so that I ensure that a) I don’t burn out and b) I make sure I have time for eventualities and exploring other areas of interest (such as writing this blog right now). I will also usually engage in some sort of sports activity where I can work around my knee injury. Right now this is doing various kettlebell and body weight excercises in form of circuit training, but I hope to be able to include some surfing in the near future.
Daniell
Film recommendation:

Le Fableux Destin d’Amelie film poster

This film came out in 2001 and I’ve been meaning to watch it for some time now. I’m really glad I eventually got round to watching it. It’s definetly a different experience to your average Hollywood movie (which I think is what the majority of us are accustomed to), but in any case a worthwhile one.
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Portugal

I will be flying out to Portugal on the 16th of April to look for an apartment in Lisbon. I had actually planned to make this move last year, but was unable to complete it due to complications at Uni and travelling elsewhere in the Summer, plus I also had a lot of catching up to do with my poker game so I had some more immediate issues to tend to.
Right now I’m making preparations regarding my move. These include figuring out where to stay initially when I’m looking for a place to stay, but also stuff like learning some basic Portuguese. I’ve also been trying to look at appartments while still in the Channel Islands, but seems that I won’t get much feedback from landlords/real estate agents that way. Most people I’ve spoken to have also confirmed this suspicion of mine that you actually need to be in Portugal to get anything done in that regard.
2+2 has been very helpful in obtaining intel on where to live, what to avoid etc. I think this thread: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/92/travel/ask-me-about-portugal-1025113/ is a good place to start for anybody interested in finding out more about Portugal from a poker player’s perspective. I’ve also been told googling “expat forums Portugal” can get you some good forum resources.

Initially I was looking to stay in Oeiras, which is in the south of Lisbon and by the beach. Here is a map of Lisbon and it’s districts:

distrito-de-lisboa-mapa
The reason I chose this area is because I read on Wikipedia that this is where Portugal’s main tech hub is. I am very interested in technology and startup business, as I follow this in my spare time, so it was a natural chocie for me, especially since it is also near the beach.
I am however not so sure anymore as some people chimed in over on 2+2 that they do not find Oeiras ideal to live due to it’s locatin and would recommend something more central in Lisbon such as Bica or Chiado (which I belive are areas in the Lisbon district of Lisbon that are very centrally located).
I guess at the end of the day I really just have to get to the areas I’ve been looking at and walk around/sit in some cafes and see how I feel about them.
Poker has been very interesting/exciting lately. I’m still really enjoying PLO and learning about the game, but also now, more than ever, learning about poker. I guess now that I have more sophistication in my way of looking at and thinking about the game, the more interesting it is getting and the more what I learn becomes applicable to other fields outside of poker which is a nice side effect. I definetly think that the way I switched from NLHE to PLO was crazy from a financial standpoint, but definetly very +ev from a happiness standpoint. I simply wasn’t enjoying poker at the time and as I’m sure many will agree, buying happiness isn’t easy, especially not with the sums I was dealing with.
This will be all for now, still have a lot of preparing to do. I’m really a little worried about the language though I’m sure I will be able to communicate with a lot of people in central Lisbon in English should it be necessary. I’ve been studying Michel Thomas audio CDs (Total Portuguese), which I think is a great way of learning how to communicate verbally in a very short period of time, but it would also be nice to have some written language skills, which I know may not be able to be acquired so quickly, though I guess it may not be as much of an issue, because usually when writing emails and similar you have a lot of resources at your desposal and more time.
Daniell
Bonus: Just saw this movie recently: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1772925/?ref_=sr_1 definetly recommend to anybody who is a fan of sushi.