I’m fascinated by other people’s daily routines. What they do, when they do it, why they do it – what they’re not doing that they wish they were doing – all of it. 

Part of it comes from the general curiosity of being human and part of it comes from being an entrepreneur and an athlete, which are the two areas of my life where I’m most interested in efficiency, optimization, and creating peak experiences. And, since there are thousands and thousands of other entrepreneurs and athletes out there, why not learn from what they’re doing? At least, that’s what I tell myself.

And, listen, learning from other people can sometimes be the absolute best way to get to the next level. Why slog through everything entirely on your own when there are other people who have been there, done that and can help you shortcut your way past a lot of the bullshit. (I’m all about eliminating the bullshit.)

But, just like with everything else, you hit a tipping point where studying what others are doing goes from helpful to harmful. You go from learning to worrying (am I doing enough? what would X person do? who can I mimic to get what I want?), and you stop trusting yourself, which is the one thing that truly makes you you.

Here’s an example:

When I first started working for myself, I was obsessed with the way other solo-entrepreneurs scheduled their workday. I hungrily read everything I could get my hands on about productivity and time management, and I went on a frenzy of trying one strategy after another in hopes of building my “perfect” daily schedule. 

One of the tips I saw again and again was not to check email first thing in the morning – especially not on your phone while you were still in bed, which was something I did every morning. 

“Okay,” I thought. “I’ll just stop doing that.”

But it was hard. I’d do it for a few days, and then the feeling of deprivation and restricting myself from doing what I thought I wanted to do make me feel rebellious, and the phone would wind up back on my bedside table at night and back in my hand as soon as I woke up the next morning. 

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