Humans are not machines, and we don’t all want the same things. But we do want to do something purposeful, to use the time we have to the best of our ability—and we also long to discover our authentic selves.If our lives consist of a series of choices, how do highly effective real people make them? Here’s a short list of characteristics for your consideration. First and foremost, they know what’s important to them. I’ve been saying for a while that the greatest productivity hack is to love what you do. It is much, much easier to be both productive and satisfied when you spend most of your time on something you find meaningful. I often go back to this principle as a compass point. It really does no good at all to become efficient at the wrong things. On balance, it’s actually negative because the more efficient you become, the more likely it is that you’ll continue on the wrong path. Therefore, it’s better to fail quickly at the wrong things, so you can discover the right ones. Read More
When I’m not jet lagged from flying around the world, I have a clear routine that I follow as much as possible. This routine allows me to stay relatively sane while also working as much as possible on things I believe in.
I love living on the west coast, but working on Pacific time can be a challenge. Even when I get up early, I’m three hours behind the other side of the country. My 6am is their 9am—most people have been awake and starting their days for a while. Their idea of an early call is extremely early for me.
When I have a book out, I do my best to accommodate anyone else’s schedule. Drive time radio for a major show on the east coast? That usually means even if I’m in the later portion of the show, I’ll be calling in at 5am or earlier. It’s okay; I do what needs to be done.Read More
Today I made a small donation to a cause that inspired me. It wasn't really because of the holiday, it didn’t cost me much, and I won’t miss the money. Yet, I still felt good after I pushed the button that finalized the commitment.
Notice how selfish this sounds: It felt good to give! I was the one with the benefit.
But this is how it works. The more you give, the better you feel.
Give it a try.Read More
Seems obvious, right? We wouldn’t expect that driving past the gym will make us any healthier.
But when it comes to money, those of us who are self-employed tend to spend a lot of time on activities that do nothing to help the bottom line, either directly or indirectly.
I don’t just mean “administrative work,” because some administrative work has to be done even if it’s not particularly exciting. You still need to do customer service, update outdated info, and so on.
No, I mean the tendency we have to log-in just to see something. I’ll just check one more time... says the addict.
So here’s an idea: the next time you feel like checking website stats or bank account numbers, hold off a moment. First, do something that matters. Do something that will actually increase or improve whatever metrics you’re tracking. Then, go ahead and check them—because that’s human nature. But make yourself work for it first. Make yourself earn it.Read More
From William Gibson’s about page: “I do have an email address, yes, but, no, I won’t give it to you. I am one and you are many, and even if you are, say, twenty-seven in grand global total, that’s still too many. Because I need to have a life and waste time and write. I…Read More
Wondering what to write about? Someone once told me, “Start with the last thing you learned—then share that.” They actually gave me this advice in reference to a talk I was terrified to give. I’d love to tell you I took that lesson to heart, thought of something great, and went on to give a…Read More
Time after time I remind myself of this truth. When it’s raining… when I’m tired… when I’m stressed or busy. Plenty of times, I just don’t want to do it! I want to stay where I am and keep working, or have a drink, or take a nap. But then, more often than not, I…Read More
Anyone feeling overwhelmed? It happens. The worst thing about feeling overwhelmed is the anxiety. The second worst thing is not knowing what to do next. You can resolve both symptoms through a simple exercise. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure what action to take, the very best thing you can do is to go…Read More
A while back I was emailing with Julien, and one of his questions reminded me of a story I like to tell… “A lot of people probably relate to the idea of leaving behind their responsibilities and heading out to a new life, but they’re not in the situation where they just say “screw it”…Read More
The sun came out over Portland on Saturday morning in what felt like the first time in weeks. It was a beautiful fall day, and I decided to ride my bike to lunch. Except for one problem: when I walked into the garage, my bike wasn’t there. Dolt! Where had I last left it? I…Read More
Most important: to write a good book, you need a good idea. No one wants to read a book without an idea, no matter how well written it may be. Always start with something to say.
But let's look at the practical aspect—how do you actually write a book?
It turns out it's not that difficult. You basically work with the time-and-money concept, where you break down exactly what you need to accomplish the desired goal. How much is required?Read More
I don't claim to be an expert, but I've been writing 1,000 words a day almost every day for the past 120 weeks. That's the most important tip of all—to be a writer, start writing. You'll figure out a lot of things along the way.
But for all of you overachievers out there, here are some other ideas that may help.Read More