Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

What's a Quality Life?

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I feel good. Especially since I’ve started the habit of asking guiding questions when I’m not sure what I should be doing next. I am accomplishing more important tasks while removing unimportant things from my infinitely long todo-list. There is quantifiable progress in my projects and a harder to measure but more important increase in my general state of contentment.

Things are good, but they’re not good enough.

The choices we make, why and how.

I recently read How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, a very short read from Arnold Bennett, that tersely discusses how much we can benefit through deliberate living. We must question our actions, what causes them and the decisions we make, for the effect is against time. We have a limited amount of time to live. I want to make the most of it. This isn’t about more work or even productivity; it’s about enjoying and benefiting from my time. It’s quality.

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been very fixated on the notion of quality. I keep asking What is quality? In August I wrote about what matters most to me. I re-read that list almost every week, and I know why it’s important. Unfortunately I don’t know how to prioritize my days.

I recently had a friend visit who is very active. My physical health took a positive tick upwards, playing in canyons and riding bikes around the desert, finishing with a 5K. Through the 3 days, my family balance was off; I missed my family and they missed me. The balance in the best of times is precarious.

Managing the important but not urgent.

I recently released a new feature on the Daily Practice which is a defensive mechanism against being out of balance. The idea is that some daily activities are worth more, they contribute to the important points. As I write every day, it improves my knowledge. When I go for a walk with my family I enhance my relationships and health.

I got this idea from Andrew Tarvin, and so far I’m enjoying the extra little incentive to my practice.

The important task at hand is to change my daily goals to be more inline with what’s important to me. This is a deliberate choice, by listing things to work on I choose what to work on. I choose what quality means, and that decision gives me a why. With the goals I track I now have a how. So far it’s working.

Since the Quality Day feature is so early on in its development, it probably isn’t for everybody and also requires a TDP Plus subscription. I’m still exploring the feature myself, and would love to hear any suggestions to improve it.