Entrepreneur, traveler and surfer shares his advice on how to plan your life with the Wunderlist App and the importance of keeping a diary.
Felix Demin —
Many people ask how I can live from Bali, operate several business projects in different countries and continue to travel the World (54 countries so far). They ask how in one month I can manage 39 training sessions (surfing, exercise etc), 25 meditations, take 25 English language classes, read 14 books, introduce two new habits, study 110 self-development articles & videos, develop a new skill, have ample time for my relationships and still lead a fulfilled, happy life.
It's my belief that valuable knowledge should be shared. I think it's important and necessary. So today, I would like to give you the most precious of my learnings. I wrote this article so you can learn & implement a system that has proven very successful in my life. The person who can understand and apply this knowledge moves closer to becoming the best version of himself.
What I am about to share is the result of years worth of experimentation with many different systems and ideas. I have refined and developed this into a system that serves me well. I hope it serves you too.
Book design is the art of incorporating the content, style, format, design, and sequence of the various components of a book into a coherent whole. In the words of Jan Tschichold, book design, "methods and rules upon which it is impossible to improve, have been developed over centuries. To produce perfect books, these rules have to be brought back to life and applied."
Visual aids are often used to help audiences of informative and persuasive speeches understand the topic being presented. Visual aids can play a large role in how the audience understands and takes in information that is presented.
The more I learned, the more I began to realize my life's mission. Once I found my mission, I realized what I needed to do in order to achieve it: To outline a vector of development for 50 years. I broke the ultimate goal into smaller ones: for the year, months, weeks and days.
  • Spiritual development

  • Business, Entrepreneurship

  • Creation

  • Personal development

  • Financial and other resources

  • Skills

  • Sport

  • Environment

  • Family

  • Women

  • Health and Longevity

I identified areas of life that are important to me and where I strive to evolve constantly:
I am a supporter of sustainable development.
In each of these areas I've highlighted the big goals for the year then broken them down into smaller goals. It's important that these goals can be easily measured. As I measure, I can analyze & understand, then alter my performance accordingly. I understand that I cannot accurately predict every result, hence why I measure everything. This means that 'Time' becomes my main resource.

There are 365 days in one year which is 8760 hours. No more, no less. Therefore, I need to allocate this time wisely in accordance with my goals for the year.
Here is an example of my goals & objectives in "Sports".
For the year 2016:
Surfing = 400 hours.
360 + 40 hours, 15 training sessions per month for 2 hours each + 40 hours of training.
2. Objectives:
  • Surf for pleasure. To achieve the sensation of flight and unbridled happiness.

  • Become the Surfing Champion of Russia

  • Make the Russian Olympic team and compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

  • Improve skills

Measurable indicators:
Technology and progress:
By decision of my coach.
Hire a videographer to shoot from the shore. Keep a video diary of my progress.
Learn from professional coaches.
Presentation at the Championship Surf Jam in 2016.
Gather an understanding of my skill level relative to other Russian surfers and adjust the development plan.
September 30th.
This is how I journal after each training session:
Kata, Uluwatu, 14 waves, at full tide, 4-7 feet, not particularly high quality and small waves. Consciously something is not working out, riding for pleasure.
If I didn't make my surfing session, I still journal my non engagement and indicate the reason why
To the left you can see the "Goals" folder grouped by month.To the right is a list of targets and goals for January 2016.

At the end of each month I calculate the total amount of time I have invested into each goal. I understand that I won't 100% meet all these time requirements. I generally meet 75 - 90% of the allocated times which is a flexibility I'm comfortable with. Sometimes I'm traveling, other times I simply don't want to do anything. I don't force the issue because it's important that the system remain fun otherwise it won't work.

If we look at my month of January above, I missed 21 of the 744 hours which is clearly outlined in my monthly report. With this information I can monitor my performance, see where I've fallen behind, then pay more attention in the future.

Journaling my entire month takes about six hours. This careful planning and analysis saves me a wealth of time. I spend much less energy thinking about what needs to be done and I am able to easily increase efficiency. What gets measured, gets managed. This is the Law of Management which I learned through Business and personal effectiveness.
Here is a view of my goals by month in the Wunderlist App:
Folder "Objectives"
Let's look at a plan for one of my days:
Folder "Inbox"
This is a folder generally made up of new challenges, or those made on my phone and I'm yet to move them to a specific folder.
Folder "The priority for today (a key task)"
I put a priority task for the day. Every time I try to answer the question: "Does this task bring me closer to achieving my goal for the year or not?"
Folder "Cargo 21"
This is where I put problems in my business.
Folder "Personal development"
Everything associated with self-development falls under this folder.
There are cyclic tasks that I try to do every day. They revolve around Business, Meditation, Exercise, English lessons and Surfing.

Here is an example of how I put the tasks for "Learn English language"

I use Lingualeo which I highly recommend. It's an interactive language tool which helps you learn English. In it I can see all my analytics. The interface is easy to understand, has a lot of content and simply looks incredible.
Here is how my time on learning English in February was spent:
New words made via the website - 2 650. To learn new words - 300.
Vocabulary - 8746 words.
Watch Online - 41 hours.
TED - 40 rolls (40 + 2 in Russian).
Read at least one book:
Eliezer Yudkowsky. New book: A Girl Corrupted by the Internet is the Summoned Hero? (4 hours 20 minutes).
View the video of what would normally look: at least 8 hours in English.
Movies and TV shows:
The Revenant - 2 hours 30 minutes;
Elementary (season 4, episodes 10-12) - 120 minutes;
Titanic - 90 minutes; 90 minutes have not yet seen;
Deadpool - 1 hour 50 minutes;
Zootopia - 1 hour 45 minutes;
Gods of Egypt - 2:00 7 minutes;
Walking Dead (season 6, episode 11) - 40 minutes.
Total: 12 hours 22 minutes.
Speaking practice with foreigners: 21 hours 30 minutes.
University of California, San Diego. Course Learning
"How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools to Help You Master Tough Subjects" (3 hours 10 minutes).
82 hours and 22 minutes.
Total this month:
This is where I also include the "one-off" tasks I complete. This includes articles, surveys, TED talks, useful YouTube-channels and other materials related to self-development.

In Google Chrome, there is a convenient extension for Wunderlist which allows you to quickly create a task. Web pages are saved to your desired folder with the name and a link to it. This becomes handy for saving all the valuable articles and materials I've consumed then documenting the time I've spent on them per month.

On average, I spend about 10 minutes journaling in my daily diary. At the end of the month I open the completed tasks in the "Personal development" folder and I can see what I've completed, which refreshes my memory of everything helpful to me during the month.
Folder "Skills"
I've compiled a list of skills I'd like to have learned by the end of the year. I've allocated time for them monthly. I also have older skills that I'd like to keep sharp so I've implemented cyclical tasks to repeat once a month.

For example: I spend at least 120 hours on Business Development. At the end of the month I analyze what gives the greatest ROI (Return on Investment). I'll consider what ideas I implemented, the results that came from them, what I can remove from the routine and what training was most effective.
Each day I write a report in this format:
At the end of the month I am getting the result in time for different types of tasks. Analyzing what is done and what is not, corrective action plans and elements to the next month.
1 hour. Phoned with Michael on the automation of calculations.
1 hour. He began to read the book on scripts from skriptologa, which recommended Azimov, thinking and writing tasks.
There are three formats tasks:
turnover - repetitive tasks that I strive to minimize.
new and useful tasks that are associated with the development of the company, the launch of new projects, development and creation of something new.
About - training.
This includes articles, training & books on business. I always try to learn something new and useful, that I can apply immediately in business and in life.
Folder "Habits"
Each month I choose 2-3 healthy habits I can implement. I write notes on how the process is going. If it isn't working, then I write down the reasons why.

Every month I check the full list of already acquired habits and their compliance. If I cannot keep these habits, I then analyze myself & my notes and make a decision on what to do.
Folder "Relations"
This folder contains all the important people to me. It contains those people whom I communicate with, regardless of where I am. Those people who will remain close to me.

In the "new people" - I note a description of the key points of our meetings, ideas, places, people, where we first met and what we talked about.

"It is not regular" - a meeting with people who were not included in the list under a separate name.

I write this all down to understand the development of my relationships.
I write diaries for my own awareness so I can track how I've changed over the years. Through my diary I can preserve the precious moments of my life. It teaches me how to formulate thoughts in writing which becomes useful for many reasons.
I write every day, but in different diaries in different ways. Now I have about 9 diaries for specific purposes:
Personal diary.

Diary of gratitude.

Diary of relations.
Happiness Diary.

Truth Diary.

Health Diary.
Diary of surfer.

Diary of mindfulness and meditation.

Training diary.
Through my diaries I was able to analyze the past few years and I've not found a single day where I was depressed or in a bad mood. I believe my diaries and dedication to growth is a formula for a happy life. Following these habits, I manage to remain at peace & happy.

For me, it's important that live in the moment. What I do gives me incredible pleasure. I can clearly see each day as I evolve, and everyday I'm getting closer to my main mission in life - all this makes me genuinely happy.

Life - It's like a boat floating on the river. Of course, you'll follow it, but you can use the oars, a map and compass steer the boat to where you want to go. Or you can just go with the flow and see where you end up on the river of life.

If this article helps you, then feel free to write and let me know in Facebook ( or Instagram ( I'd love to that this has helped you on your journey through life. If you have some interesting developments, you see flaws or have ideas on improving this system then please let me know so I can share them on.
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Felix Demin
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Felix Demin
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