When you make something that matters, it will be polarizing. There will be some people who don’t like it. But there will be others who love it. It’s not easy to make something and put it out there. But when you do, look around: are there people you find awesome, and are they happy to be around your work …. then you are on the right track. You’re serving the right people doing something worthwhile.
Some fun ideas from Gretchen Rubin to make space, have fun, and look around.
What happens when you have the right goals, and you believe your action plan is dialed in… but your schedule and routines are all out of whack?
How do you solve the problem of: cannot successfully implement the action plan?
You start small. You pick one critical action that is part of your strategy. And you do that one action. Then, repeat. It sounds overly simple, but most functional things are.
I’ve had 3 different conversations with 3 different folks in the past 24 hours about how much they are loving Ulysses. It’s such a great app — I still do nearly all my writing in it. If you’ve got a writing / idea project in the works and you’re feeling scattered, you should definitely check out Ulysses and let me show you exactly how to use it.
If you spent 5 minutes every day doing pushups, would your arms get stronger?
What if you did that every day for a year? You would become a pushup machine! You’d be totally unintimidated to do pushups anytime, anywhere.
On the bus and your friend dares you to do a pushup — you’ve got this. At the office and you lose a bet to a co-worker — show them who’s boss and bust out your pushups.
Let’s suppose that in your life, there was a situation every day where you’d need to do some pushups. Wouldn’t it make your life so much easier if you were regularly practicing pushups so that when the time came, you’d be able to crush those pushups and show everyone your awesomeness?
Well, the same goes for ideas.
The benefits of having a functional idea muscle means you can be an idea machine.
Do you run a business? Are you a mom or a dad? Do you write? Do you design things? Do you make stuff? Do you have a challenge or a problem in your life that you’re trying to fix?
Each of your roles in life can benefit from your ability to come up with ideas. And, when you get good at coming up with ideas, it builds confidence and makes problems far less intimidating.
One simple way to build your idea muscle is to spend 5-10 minutes writing down ideas. Just writing and getting things out of your head. You don’t even have to DO anything with those ideas. The act of writing them is enough to un-clutter your mind and build your idea muscle at the same time.
I once read that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. Giving yourself permission to stink will make it easier to begin. And starting is often one of the biggest hurdles of all. A crappy first draft of an email newsletter is far better than no draft at all.
Seth Godin wrote that “the only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now.”
I recently got my copy of Todd Henry’s brand new book and I am very happy about it. If you do any sort of creative work, product development, — or just have autonomy in your job — this is a book of daily ideas and motivation to keep you focused on the joy of your craft.
This is a great interview with some fantastic photos from Joe about his new book, Lay of the Land. I got a copy of the book when it first came out, and I devoured it. I had no idea it was going to be part memoir and I absolutely loved the story that Joe shared — I read through it in one day.
If you are a business owner or CEO, the current state of your business is a result of the decisions you have made up to this point… the goals you have set… the things to which you have said yes and no. If you don’t like the hours you work, the cycles of your revenue, the clients you serve…. start making new decisions.
Side note: if you’re a small business owner and you’re interested in the new training, email email@example.com to let me know and I’ll be sure to let you know when we open up enrollment for the next pilot group (around the end of October).
Love this quote from Adam Grant on procrastination: “Many people procrastinate because they’re waiting for their motivation to rise. They forget that getting started is what leads their motivation to rise. Passion is not a prerequisite for progress. It’s often the result of progress.”
You can’t spend your time doing work that matters if you don’t know what matters in the first place. Or, in the words of Peter Drucker: ”There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
We often charge our phones at one of the side counters in the kitchen. And a few years ago I swapped the standard-issue wall outlet for this one that has a couple USB-C ports. And it’s been fantastic. It offers a 30W charge — so it’s powerful enough for fast-charging on our iPhones and it can easily charge our iPads and even my MacBook Air.
I was just recently reminded of a time when my friend Dan Mall shared about how he replaced the phrase “I don’t have time” with “it’s not a priority”.
He wrote: “Recently, I’ve tried to stop saying, “I don’t have time.” It insinuates that I’m a helpless victim to the all-powerful stream of hours that mightily passes me by. It’s easy to adopt an “Oh well” attitude to what you’re giving up. It authorizes my apathy. Instead, I’ve replaced it with the phrase, “That’s not a priority.” Suddenly, I’ve taken control of my own decisions. I’ve taken responsibility for what I do and don’t do. I’ve added clarity, condemnation, and encouragement, all in 4 short words.”
For me, especially as a business owner, things changed significantly for me when I realized that I alone was in charge of how I spend my time. I have to be the one to decide for myself what the most important use of my time is, and I have no excuses if my schedule feels out of control.
I think it was Greg McKeown who I first heard suggest the following:
Have a minimum amount of time set aside for the good, the deep, and the essential things.
Have a maximum amount of time set aside for those things which are shallow and not essential.