Sunday, August 25, 2013

The First Mile

I ran my first mile yesterday after minor knee surgery 3 weeks ago.   Did it at a slowish pace (8 1/2 minutes).  It was awesome.   I have been cycling, walking and doing some elliptical but nothing beats a good run for adrenaline rush and getting my heart rate up.

I am going to discipline myself to only a mile per day this week, then 2 next then 3 after that.  I know myself and know I tend to overdo things.

Net of it is knee surgery was a great success.


I like to be productive so I analyze it to try to figure out how to be more productive.  I have come up with the following 5 Rules of Productivity

1 - I am most productive early in the day.  So it makes sense for me to go to bed at a reasonable hour.  It also makes sense for me to do the high productive things first and leave the lower priority maintenance stuff.

2 - Planning.  I find I am more productive if I set out the night before what I want to accomplish.  So planning, for me, is a productivity tool.

3 - Eliminate distractions.  For me, distractions include things like a messy work area.  Mess just calls "do me, do me" and often keeps me from the important.

4 - Prioritized list.  I am more productive when I have a list of what needs doing.  This allows me to highlight the most important ones and work on them first.  Getting something on the list can also keep it off my mind until it is time to do things.

5 - Health.  I am most productive when I am healthy.  So sleeping well, eating right and exercise are productivity tools.  I am eating well with the garden still producing well - green beans, egg plant, tomatoes (bad crop this year but still enough for eating - just not enough to dry, freeze or can), basil and chives.  I am exercising well.

Have a productive day.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The One Thing

 I read an awesome book - "The One Thing - The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. (yes that is the way the authors list their name - perhaps I should speak to my partners at Canrock and see if they would mind if we did that on the Canrock website.)

So the gist of the book is very simple.  Focus wins.

Of course I have a problem with focus.  I tend to juggle lots of balls.  But then I started to think - perhaps part of it for me is definition.  EG - perhaps I do focus a lot on business even though that means doing a lot of things on different companies.

He talks about the well known myth of multitasking.

He also had a chapter on the Disciplined Life (the message is it is not discipline that you need - it is good habits).

He has a chapter on the 4 thieves of productivity.  I agree with 3 of them:

1 - Inability to say "no".  (I really try but often still say yes in times of weakness)

2 - Fear of Chaos. (this is the one I am not sure I agree with.  Order really helps productivity.  I greatly dislike not being able to find something. Being organized helps me focus on the important.  Of course I liked that this was one of the thieves though since it made me feel a bit better about some of the things in my life that feel disorganized.  I do agree that over organized or over cleaned compulsiveness would not help productivity.)

3 - Poor Health Habits

4 - Environment Doesn't support your goals.  (We all know how important environment is.  In this chapter he speaks of "choose your friends and who you spend time with")

It really is a great book.  Lots of research that support the conclusions.


And a plug for one of the companies I have invested in - Well.caThey sell most drugstore type products online.  Never tried Enter code "NewCoupon4UTryUsOut" in the coupon box at checkout and save $10 off your first order of $40 or more!


And more on the Blackberry 10 from my friend - Jim Courtney who is a true techie nerd (said only with the greatest of respect).  He wrote a BB10 report card that is worth reading.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Power of Habit - The Myth of Self Discipline

 I love early mornings.  I get so much done.  There are so many high payoff things I like to do in the morning that for years, I would push myself to wake up earlier and earlier.

I have read a lot about how self discipline is limited.  One great study had subject memorize a 2 digit number or a 7 digit number then they were asked if they wanted chocolate cake or a piece of fruit.  The ones with the more difficult task chose the cake much more than the healthier choice.  The moral seems to be the more people use their mind, the less it can be used for other things.

When the mind is not sharp (as in tired from use), it reverts to the habit or the norm. 

Again, a great study of 1,112 parole board hearings in Israel.  The judges have a grueling pace of solid hearings.  cases heard in the morning and after breaks have a 65 percent chance of being released.  Those heard late in the day, drop to close to zero.  The judges norm and comfort is to not grant release.

One habit I have is "do the worst thing first thing".  And I also create multiple first things - eg first thing when I get up, first thing when I hit the office and first thing after lunch.  This knocks off three tough things per day.  What I had not considered about that habit is it might just be the freshness of my mind that makes the habit so effective.

People often comment that I have high self discipline.  But I do not (especially with some things).  What I have is good habits.

I have long talked about the power of success habits.   Things we repeat daily make who we are.  If properly planned, they make us successful.

Part of this is also the power of compounding that I talked about in my TED talk.  Add even 10 calories per day or walk an extra .1 mile determines who adds 1 pound per year or sheds 1 pound per year. 

Work on habits to be successful.  Work on habits to appear to have self discipline.

 And my knee is almost better.  I can walk now.  Seriously on the mend and will be perfect in a few weeks.

2 things I am loving these days.  Gmail tabs.  I really thought I was efficient in deleting spam and doing the most important emails first but tabs makes it easier.  I can scan the whole promotions and social tabs in 10 seconds and delete.  It really works well and saves me time.

I am also loving my Blackberry Q10.  Lightning fast surfing.  Gps that works well.  It is not yet perfect.  Voice commands hardly work (in that it cannot recognize what I say).  And it is not entirely intuitive yet.  Now this one solves itself with use but no device should need someone to look up something to know how to do something.

But of course really loving.  My grand kids.  Victoria at 4 months.