The majority are visible in the office.
The majority could do their daily work faster.
The majority allow themselves to get interrupted.
The majority are complicit in making meetings longer than they need to be.
The majority are afraid of trying something new.
The majority are unhealthy.
The majority complain about their situation rather than changing it.
The majority watch hours and hours of TV.
The majority have never started their own project.
The majority have regrets.
Pause and reflect.
Even my mom, retired, gets distracted by her phone like a teenager. Stops a sentence mid flow, looks at a notification, answers an email. Focus!
Distractions are your fault. Phone rings, Skype pings, Email bings. Turn notifications off.
Then do the difficult, proactive work you came here to do.
Yesterday I happened upon a creative live video to do with personal finance for freelancers. The video has good advice but the thought struck me that it is amazing how many people are bad at this. Even salaried employees on six figure incomes live pay-check to pay-check. Robert Kiyosaki is right, it really is the mind-set that makes a person poor or rich.
We have some friends of friends who bought a house and over-extended themselves on the mortgage. Once they moved in, they found out that the property had lots wrong with it so took out loans to fix the problems. Nothing too wrong there, it wasn’t their fault, right? They also took out loans to buy new cars. Then had IVF and became pregnant. Then, instead of buying a stroller that fits in their car, they are taking more debt to buy a bigger car so that they can fit the stroller that they want in the car. Madness!
Surely no matter how much money they have, they will waste it. This is why it is so important to decide what you are going to do with your money, no matter how much or little you have. You need a rich person’s mind-set before you get rich, otherwise you will be sure to lose it.
The same is true for time. If you do not know what you would do with more time, then you are sure to squander it when you get it. If you decide what you would do with more time before you get, then guess what? You can do most of what you want already.
When you're young you think you are invincible. Until things that "happen to other people" start happening to you, I don't think you ever realise bad things can happen to you.
The longer you live, the more likely it is that something that “happens to others” happens to you.
A natural disaster, a car crash, cancer. Bad things will happen.
I don't want to leave it to chance whether I can deal with these things or not. I work on my thinking constantly.
And the best remedies for prevention and cure of hardships have stood the test of time. Through stoicism, meditation, gratitude, exercise and healthy eating.
You need no more, apart from time to aid the healing.
It turns out I am pretty happy at my day job. Who knew? I hate the engagement survey every year. It somehow works the opposite and makes me think of all the bad things about the company.
How refreshing, then, to stumble across this survey to prompt you to think ahead of March 31st – “International quit your crappy job day.” Not only is it much faster than a usual corporate engagement survey, but it focusses on the real things that make a difference in employees lives, such as trust and friendships in the office.
I think this mirrors how my day-job company has turned itself around over the past few years. Being grateful of where you are and past achievements, but also knowing that there is still so far to improve.
This has been the thought process that has helped me the most in my personal development. And why I am pursuing my side project whilst still working full time. I enjoy both.
You need to decide if work is really holding you back from what you want to do or if it is just an excuse.
There are two ways to find out: quit or start anyway.
Pocket is the go to app to keep my inbox workflow working. If it takes more than 2 mins to deal with, it goes it pocket to read later. Just forward on the email.
See something on the internet that you want to read later, just click the browser plugin. Easy. Like your own newspaper.
Many famous people have found teachings in the private notes of Marcus Aurelius. Although written long ago, the problems are the same. Like Letters From A Stoic by Seneca, I find Meditations best when consumed little by little daily.
If I get promoted because of the time I am seen to be spending in the office, then I don't want to get promoted. I want to get promoted on merit, on the results and value that I am adding to the company.
And I can get better results and add more value if I am NOT in the office. If I have a clear constraint each day. If I know when the end of work is. What time I am leaving the office. What time am I walking out of a never ending meeting. What time I am allowing myself to do each task.
"The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. There will be a wide margin for relaxation to his day. He is only earnest to secure the kernels of time, and does not exaggerate the value of the husk." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Also think about why you want to be promoted. If it is to provide for your family so you can get them material things, then, past a certain level, understand that they won't care. You can be with them now and that is all they need. Take lower pay, they will not care how much you earn if you are not around.
Even if you are working more to get promoted think about why you are working that much for someone else. If you took the time that you are working extra how much more could you earn if you started your own thing?
Should everyone do a side hustle? If you are complaining, and Gary Vee says this best, then stop watching Netflix and get to work on something to make some more money. If you love your job and love watching Netflix, then carry on.
I started side hustle in mind to show that you don't have to work as hard as Gary Vee. He does it because he loves it and wants to get enough money to buy the NY Jets. I worry that some people are sat there thinking ‘wow this is too much work, I can't do that’. Which is why I wanted to design a really simple tool to take away excuses. With 1 hour a day you can start anything your mind can conceive. You need to realise “I don’t have time” is an excuse, not a reason.
“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree” ~ Jim Rohn
When you are younger, you assume everyone grown up knows more than you. The world is the way your parents tell you it is and cannot be changed.
At some point, you realise that your parents do not know everything. But I don't think it's until you have kids of your own that you realise how much they must have made up on the spot that you took for gospel at the time.
The same happens when you first start your working life. Depending on where you work it may take more or less time to figure it out. But again, at some point the realisation clicks, that just because someone is above you on an organisation chart, that bears no resemblance of their better ability in any area than you.
Gary Vaynerchuk says that self-esteem is the best thing his parents gave him. And I believe that the realisation made famous by Steve Jobs above is key.
Give your kids, your employees, your followers that gift. Then see what we can build together.
I recently happened upon an article by the Guardian on why time management is ruining our lives. The sad thing about it is that it assumes that the point of saving time is futile. Futile because it assumes the only reason humans would want to save time is to get more done off their to-do list, which in modern times is never ending. That the to-do list is never ending is exactly the right point to make, but I believe the article draws the wrong conclusion.
Once you have more on your list at work than you can possibly do, it is either crushing or completely freeing. If there is literally no possible way to get everything done, then you have to prioritise. Are you going to be reactive, proactive, do things others want, or look after what's important to you? These are the questions that are left out.
How sad to assume that humans have no purpose other than to do tasks. That the simple recording of tasks makes them more robotic. As Kevin Rose says, “productivity is for robots,” and of course he is right too.
When I worked in one corporate job, I had the crushing, trapped feelings for months. Right up until I didn't. But it wasn't the work or the task list that changed. it was my mind-set. When I truly internalised that I could not get everything done I could start acting accordingly. I left the office no later 4.30p.m. every day, I didn't work weekends and got more done in the office and at home.
If you can’t get everything done, then why are you sat in a meeting with no agenda and never produces any actions? If you can’t get everything done then why are you reading your emails all day. You already have enough to do anyway. If something is truly urgent, you will find out some other way. If you can’t get everything done and someone will be upset whatever you choose to do, then why wouldn’t you choose to do the thing that will benefit you most?
But the whole point of any "time management" tactic, is to make time for priorities not busy work. The Guardian assumes that being more productive leads to doing more. But I have found the exact opposite to be true. Being more productive should lead to doing less. Less of the things you don't want to do and more of the things you do want to do.
The most important decision to make about productivity is when are you going to stop working? When are you leaving the office? When are you shutting down, going off the grid?
There are a million time-management tactics (and a lot of them are good). But the crux of the Guardians article is that if you have not figured out what you want to do with your life, then getting more time to do it in is obviously not the answer until you know what "it" is.
Figure out what you would already do if money was no object. And not the first thing you think of. Yeah you want to go to Vegas and get shit faced. Yes, you want to live on a tropical island but for how long, you'll get bored. Then what? That is the real answer and it may surprise you. My guess is that it will likely be philanthropic and/or you can start doing some form of it with no more money than you have now.
If you then use time management techniques to even spare an hour a day you can do a lot. Visit sick kids in hospital. Start a side project (where you will have more money to give charitably). Spend more time with loved ones.
If you don't know how to find out what you want here are 3 shortcuts:
1. Love life. If you have not found the partner of your dreams yet then start here: The Art Of Charm and Matthew Hussy
2. Wealth: Tony Robbins, Money: Master the Game, A self-help book disguised as money management. You need to know about both, so read it all and do everything it says. I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
3. Health: James Clear blog. The Wild Diet, Abel James. 4 Hour Body, Tim Ferriss