Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Using Words

My son can now walk around and ask for specific things from us and we can understand him. He woke up this morning and asked me to wash his pacifier, and then asked me for water. Both requests were easy to understand and he was pleased with the result. He then got into my bed and said “Dad, sit”. I told him I had to go to work and he said “Dad, bus stop”, since I take the bus to work.

I can’t express the joy I find in seeing him learn about communicating and to actually make his way in the world. It’s so interesting and gratifying – it must be ingrained in our DNA to take pleasure in seeing our kids learn and thrive.

We drive by the YMCA, on the side we don’t normally enter and he says “swimming” because that’s what we do there on Tuesday nights. It’s amazing.

Removed from the News Cycle

I think I need to be further removed from the news. The news as it transpires is almost never relevant until you look at it from the lens of 1 or 2 weeks afterward, at least. The problem is that it’s too entertaining. The current administration doesn’t know what they’re doing and it’s good theater.

I hoped we’d be past this after the longest election cycle ever was over, but here we are. I doubt this will go away anytime soon, but I really don’t think I should pay this close of attention because it saps my time and energy. And for what benefit? Purely entertainment and outrage aimed at nothing in particular.

I am going to abstain from the news for awhile to seeĀ if that reduces any of the brain clutter.

Multiple Quotes

Getting quotes for painting our new house and also to move our stuff has not been fun. But if you want to save money, it is essential. The different levels of pricing for moving our stuff is crazy. Anywhere from $100 per hour to $290, depending on the company, the day and the number of people involved.

Painting is another area where we got multiple quotes and didn’t expect to see such a wide variety, but we did. It is a pain to arrange to walk a company around and make sure they get the scope right, especially 3-4 times over, but in the end, it gives you the power to make the decision based on many factors. Read On…

Repeated Accomplishment

I find that work is more satisfying when you can complete a task. Open ended assignments are tough to understand and need to be broken up into defined steps. 

The way to do this is through a backlog, work in progress and completed list. You work on things from your backlog, one at a time until they are complete. It’s so simple. Read On…

Spend the Money

It took me years to finish all of the baseboard trim in our house, with the shoe molding. I’m perfectly capable of doing it and it looks great now that it’s done. But I spent a couple dozen brain cells over it and it wasn’t worth it. I should’ve spent the money and hired it done.

It took me awhile at first because Jess didn’t live with me at the time, so there was no constant pressure to complete it. Then, once we got married and she started to add it to my list, I would do a few pieces every night. There were a few key problems.

  1. I was hand-nailing, which with skinny trim nails, is very precarious. They can bend and give way before seating securely into the wall. This drove me crazy, until I was gifted an air compressor and nail-gun as I was about 95% complete.
  2. The walls and floor are nowhere near straight, level or plumb. Now I should have known most (all) houses are like this, but I didn’t. I was frustrated when a perfectly cut piece lined up with my other piece well, but left a large gap at the floor or along the wall, all because of the nature of the walls and floors. This drove me crazy.

Read On…


I have been getting up early for over a year, and just recently added running a mile (or more) to my daily morning routine. It’s fantastic and I highly recommend it. But I usually take my phone along and thumb through youtube, email or twitter while I run.

Ever since I left my phone in the snow on a snowmobile ride, my phone has been reluctant to charge adequately overnight, so sometimes I wake up to a dead phone. My fitbit does the job of silent alarm, so I’m grateful for that. Read On…

Consistent Daily Actions

For losing weight, for increasing income, for learning any skill or achieving anything you want to accomplish, consistent daily action is the key. 

I have noticed that if I stick to something consistently, follow-up with it, and not let it out of my sight, so much good can happen. I’ve lost over 70 lb, gotten jobs I wanted, gotten clients I wanted, learned to play the violin, trumpet and euphonium, improved my strength through weight lifting, and built up my writing portfolio. All this with daily practice, constant and consistent.

It doesn’t stop on weekends. It’s daily. It’s better in the morning because you’re fresher and you can set that time aside easier. If you have trouble establishing a daily morning routine, read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.

Baby Steps

I have this task at work that is taking me a long time to complete and I’m finally making progress on it. The big mind shifts that I’ve made recently are:

1. Only try and work on one piece at a time. If I look at the entire picture, it’s too stressful and I get discouraged and stop.

2. Stop relying on others to do any significant amount of work for me. Let them know what you need specifically, but don’t expect anyone to hand me the answers.

3. After I have had some success, it’s very motivating to review progress, especially visually.

Keep chugging along with a high intention, low attachment mindset.

My Running Habit

I’ve successfully ran at least 1 mile for the past 8 days. I even moved the habit into the morning to account for busy evenings. It’s a great starting point to my day, gets the blood moving and removes a lot of the “dontwantto” from my head. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to keep it up.

I have noticed that the running has gotten easier. I have to run a bit longer and a bit faster to get the same huffing and puffing exhaustion from running. Of course, only a mile isn’t very far and 6.0 mph isn’t very fast, but I had to start somewhere. Read On…

Ship It

Seth Godin has been a major influence in my life. One of the things that sticks with me from one of his books is the idea of “shipping”, that it’s a skill that must be practiced and honed.

Shipping means to get something out there, to get off dead-center and put something on paper. Anything. Once it’s on paper, what’s the minimum viable product you can live with. Get to that point. Is it ready or close enough? Can we revise and tweak later? Okay, ship it.

Shipping is the art of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, combined with the art of taking action. If you get good at shipping, you can dominate any area of your life.

For some people, the problem is taking action. They would much rather sit and research an issue to death instead of taking action. When you research, you are safe. You can’t fail if you are still “preparing”. Once you ship, you are vulnerable to critique. Read On…