This was the year I really learned what it means to work hard.
I mean with real intensity.
I’ve always put the hours in – and then some. But, at the same time, I’ve always dabbled at work. I’ve put hours in without putting much more than that in.
All my life – all of it – I have coasted. I have done the minimum effort, and tried to make up by spending more time in it. It’s easy to spot the places in business where coasting is allowed, where it doesn’t take much to shine. Real Estate. Some sales jobs. A lot of my life’s effort was bent on chasing the dream of not doing much work .
This is why Rich Dad, Poor Dad sells a ton of books. We’re meant to believe that we’re just missing some easy trick. Riches elude us because we just need a few “tweaks” or “hacks”. You know, our bellyfat can be removed with one weird tip. Searching for a fake hack is easier than doing real work.
We try to optimize our systems with GTD instead of becoming the right person or doing the right things.
The difference this year – for me – wasn’t the hours – they were fewer than last year (when I made about half the money and built nothing of lasting value). The difference was the intensity.
I’m not yet a success, and I’m not going to pursue any type of personal brand. But what I did learn is this – and if it helps you, Godspeed.
- Talk way, way less. To your wife, to your friends. Make your kids shut up. It’s good for both of you. Talking includes IM and and the rest of it. Spend the time…
- Reading books is huge- it makes you better by getting you outside of yourself. 60 minutes a day is a minimum for a busy day. You have the time. 60 minutes a day is a hard book every 2 weeks. Alternate fiction and nonfiction. To much of either is a drag, and most nonfiction stinks.
- Understand that doing it differently is way hard. There’s a roadmap to mediocrity if that’s what you want.
- STOP the self congratulations. Don’t allow it. It’ll wreck ya.
- Distractions steal your time. Time is your life. Skype, RSS, blogging. Look into RescueTime and figure out how you spend your screen-time
- Reduce the number of tools: Some are redundant and others are distractions.
- Your natural work rhythm is important. Learn it, when you have energy. Do your best work then. (For me, it’s about an hour after I wake up and then I get energy around 9pm.)
- Remove indignation from your life.
- People are Jerks: Generally speaking. You have to work with them. That means that you have to lubricate things and anticipate what people will be thinking or doing.
- Eliminate: people that steal your soul, act patronizing.
- You need a place to get your thoughts into. Evernote and MacJournal are mine. (Hint: with evernote trunk running in the background, you can hit CMD-CTRL-N and have a note window pop up for later)
- Needing Approbation will kill you slowly and painfully. You won’t get a victory lap.
- Indulging your wicked tongue: never helps you. That nasty remark, whate
- Cultivate: gratitude for your position. Reading this blog means that you’re profoundly lucky.
- Cultivate: benign indifference towards most people’s opinions.
- Don’t spend time managing complex GTD systems. You need to have a place for todo lists and that’s about it.
- Prepare in advance for repetitive tasks.
- Connect Daily with people you admire.
- Have a bad-ass dream and work to achieve it.
This is the best I can do. It’s what I learned this year. Next year, I hope to learn more.