Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Changing the world

What actually constitutes as changing the world? There’s got to be some line in the sand, right? I mean, painting your house red is technically changing the world, right? What criteria or measurement do you consider to say you’ve changed the world?

I think to count, you must have affected the lives of a critical mass of people. They don’t need to know they’ve been affected – plenty of people don’t have polio and have never and will never thank Jonas Salk for that.

After 50-100 years, one family of four can lead to be hundreds of people, so wouldn’t that be a critical mass of people?

I think this means that if you can positively affect change for one family and help ensure that the change has lasting effects over the next 50-100 years, you can say you’ve changed the world. Is that too far? I don’t think so. It sounds reasonable.  Read On…

Trim install

After renting a saw and knowing it was only another $5 to keep it for 24 hours instead of 4, we decided to try and getting all the trim done that we could today. This led to a 3-4 hour mad dash to get all the cuts done that we needed. I was really impressed with the saw, I was able to make the precise cuts I couldn’t before with my old saw. 

I didn’t think we could get it all done in a few hours, but once we made a plan, I set out to make it happen. 

It’s looks good and now we’re closer to being ready for Cece’s birthday party.

Holiday week

Today is a work day, but tomorrow isn’t, making this an odd week. Today is Monday, but it definitely does not feel like one with tomorrow being a day off. Many people have today off by choice, however, I do not. Today is a Good day to get stuff done because it will be quiet and there will be no meetings.

Choose How You Feel

Last night, we were up late at a concert about 1 hr away, so we missed out on at least 4 hours of sleep we would normally get. I remember the words from The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and Flip the Gratitude Switch by Kevin Clayson that when you wake up, you set your own mood.

If you wake up after 3 hours of sleep with kids waking you up, you can choose to say to yourself, “that was the perfect amount of sleep and I feel 100% ready to start my day” or you can say “ugh I feel terrible – today is going to be terrible, I should just call in.”

This isn’t new age BS. If you actually say these words to yourself, you manifest a better attitude which affects how you feel. It’s hard to overcome, but it’s effective if you avoid saying the negative and try starting with something positive. Read On…

Process-focused

At work, I try to focus on the big picture, looking at the process by which we accomplish work. Sure, you can ram any given project through, but how sustainable is the process? Is it solid or flimsy? Is it constant or ever-changing? Is it even documented? Do the affected parties even know what it is?

I think an important part of succeeding in any setting is not caring as much about the results, although you should care (your boss will),  but to really focus on how work gets done. Write it down. Talk about it with everyone involved. Does it make sense? Are there unnecessary bottlenecks? Any opportunities to eliminate steps?

Once you do that, you have the chance to scale up your work. You can fly through projects much faster with a solid, consensus-built process.

Lawn Guru

After my great experience with instacart, I wondered if there was a similar service for lawn mowing. I did some googling and found Lawn Guru. They send you a quote by text message by looking at the footprint of your lawn by Google map images.

The price is not unreasonable and I may try it. First, though, I want to get another quote from someone who already mows nearby to see if they are close in price.

Burnout

I read an article yesterday about how burnout is not what you think it is. It’s not overwork with no vacation. In fact, the article stated that a vacation to solve burnout is like taking a painkiller to cure a brain tumor.

Burnout, according to the author, is the result of job-induced depression. – whether you feel ineffective at your job, like it’s not going anywhere or the purpose of your work has been blurred.

Burnout is the opposite of grit. Grit is hunkering down and busting out the work, despite how much you don’t want to. Burnout is checking out because the work seems to have no purpose or goal.

I thought this was interesting because I’ve always thought of it as overwork or being tired, where a vacation or a few days rest would fix the issue. I don’t think people realize the problem runs deeper, it runs inside your perception of your personal work motivation.

What are we supposed to do?

I am about 10 years into my professional life and I am still wondering if there is a such thing as “what we are supposed to do”. The narrative you are told is that you are destined to do something meaningful with your life and you won’t be happy until you figure out what it is. And most people never figure out what it is, slog away at their J-O-B and die unhappy. Read On…

Survival Mode

I can tell that a lot of my good habits and routines fell by the wayside following our move. Our kids aren’t used to sleeping in the new house yet and Cece is especially bad at it, maybe because her teeth are coming in. With a lack of sleep and the stress of moving, I dropped my early morning meditation and running and the 3x per week lifting I was doing. It’s something I can tell I miss a lot.

Now that we have been moved in for a month, I am picking them all back up, starting with waking up early and sitting in silence for some time. It was something I felt guilty about before, like it was a luxury, not a necessity. But I can tell it’s necessary to maintain my focus at work and to keep my energy up too. Sitting in silence in the morning helps to focus my thoughts, eliminate the chatter and be able to be effective as an employee, a parent and a husband all day long.

High Intention, Low Attachment

I know I’ve talked about this before, but it’s important for me to remember. Many of the big things in life, new jobs, new houses, exciting new projects, all come down to someone else’s decision. When we made an offer on the house we missed out on before this one, we couldn’t have done anything differently, but we missed out by 5 minutes. We were bummed, but we ended up with the same house, in the same neighborhood in a better location.  We were sad for awhile, but knew that we couldn’t affect the outcome. Read On…