The world revolves around what and how. Companies revolve around what they do. The first thing you ask an acquaintance is what do you do for a living. You ask a big shot marketer like Seth Godin how do you do it. This blog revolves around it as well - what to do when you get stuck or how to better plan your time.
But people seldom if ever ask why you do something. Kids do that. And it really is a far more important question. So, why does this blog exist?
It exists to help the community around me be more productive. I want the community to be productive and happy so I could be that as well. As the community is more productive it makes me more effective as well - after all, I can’t do many things only by myself. Therefore, the more effective I am the more freedom I have to pursue things that make them happy.
Here’s where you come to play. Follow my advice and I can guarantee that you will be more effective. What you need to find out is the purpose of having more free time from increased productivity.
I want to be a more effective worker and entrepreneur to have more freedom. And more freedom to me means doing things that I love: learning more about marketing, climbing the cliffs, creating inspiring content, jumping out of an airplane and filling my head with seemingly unimportant details on almost anything.
Now tell me why do you want to be more productive?
If you like the question why read Simon Sinek’s book on the subject..Tweet
There are tons of tasks to be completed every day. Regardless whether you use a productivity system or not. Most of the time when you can tick off a number of items, especially the important ones, you will feel very happy. Like you’ve accomplished something today. But there are times in life when inbox zero and an empty today list just aren’t enough.
I was recently in this situation. With the moving to DC, quitting my job and trying to adapt to a new culture I got a bit lost. There was so much to do. I got it all done.
And yet, I felt as I never accomplished anything.
At times like these it seems that I’m in overall chaos with my life. I don’t know what to do or where to go. It’s no surprise, I’ve got no job, no prospects - it’s just me and my blog. This is where I usually wake up and realized something: I’ve been here before.
There’s a simple answer to this problem. You need to set high level goals. The goal can be a dream of yours. Or it can be a skill you want. It can be anything you want, all you need to do is imagine. You can be anything you want and you can have whatever you’d like. But there’s a catch.
You need a plan. A goal without a plan is a dream.
Define yourself a set of goals for a three month period. Or make it six months if you’re conservative. Come up with a few things you really want to be, to have or to do. Take two most important ones and go a bit further with them.
For example, if you want to be a good surfer then set a tangible goal like being able to catch a wave five times in a row. Or if you want to learn Finnish, set the goal to be a five minute conversation with Mikko the neighbor in his native language.
Then you need to go for it. Make the plan. Make it now. Write down the next three steps towards achieving these goals. Make the first step a very important task for your today list.
And sooner than you realize, you’ll be riding the waves with your new Finnish friends. Chaos and disorientation is good. It reminds you of the important things that YOU want.
For more short stories of goodness follow me on Twitter, @raunom.Tweet
It’s now exactly a week from arriving to D.C. On arrival we rented an Outback and headed to Lanham for a pet friendly motel. A day from that the storms began and our inn lost electricity. Way to start our journey in the States. But put everything on the table and finding an apartment was the hardest thing to accomplish as we’ve got no social security number and no credit history.
Back to the beginning though. The wife got a job in the States, D.C. and with a very short notice we had to move here. We had an apartment full of stuff in Finland and a cat. Hundreds of kilos of stuff later we’re almost fully moved and here’s the lesson list for you.
Lesson #1: you’ve got way too much stuff. Get rid of the 80%. Then take a look at what’s remaining and toss another 50%. You just don’t use all that stuff you have and it’s a burden. I’ve got a rule now: if you can’t consume it in a week or use it at least once a month it’s not worth the purchase. There are exceptions such as a winter jacket though. One of them is definitely enough depending on where you live. You will feel relieved and free for a long time for doing this.
Lesson #2: digitalize everything you can. Photos, documents, certificates, receipts, manuals etc and stash one original copy somewhere safe only if required by law such as a military pass. Have all these documents as a local copy on your computer and backed up in a cloud you can access with any computer (such as Dropbox*).
Lesson #3: make a list of the items you use every single day. These are the items that need to be easily accessible while moving or traveling. These are items such as: cell phone + charger, MacBook Air, wallet, passport, deodorant, earphones, toothbrush, Swiss army knife etc. Keep the list up to date so it’s ready when needed.
Lesson #4: whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t forget to exercise and rest. These are the two things that get neglected first. Don’t. They’ll keep you happy and healthy.
Lesson #5: when in a foreign environment do something familiar. This will keep you grounded.
Lesson #6: get insured. This will make sure nothing actually happens to you.
Lesson #7: do as much as you can with the first week’s energy boost. It’ll wear down eventually and things tend to get slower. The more you get done in the beginning the better. You’ll be exhausted anyway so why not make the most of it.
Lesson #8: reward yourself every once in a while. Do something fun, outrageous or expensive. It’ll feel twice as good.
Lesson #9: there will be late nights and early mornings. Deal with it. You will get that rest time in just a second. Do what it takes to get it done and give yourself deadlines. The shorter the better. E.g. get all the furniture sold by the end of the week and dump the rest.
Lesson #10: this is the most important one. Keep eating and keep hydrated. You don’t want to get hungry while moving or traveling. You’ll get some extra fat for all that processed food but you’ll get it off as soon as you return to your regular lifestyle with no extra effort. So eat and enjoy what you eat.
* If you sign up to Dropbox using my link I’ll be getting 500MB more free storage. Thanks. http://db.tt/ugBG99ojTweet
There’s only one way to it really. Start writing. Look around your room, pick a topic and go. At some point when you’re writing you’ll get to a point when you really understand what you want to write about.
I want to get inspired by something. Usually it’s something that I’ve read somewhere else, seen somewhere or somehow acquired from my surroundings. Sometimes I dream something and I’ll get an idea from that. But the best topics are ones that are inspired by others.
But inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes an abstract painting can give an idea. For example, I saw an abstract painting the other day. It made absolutely no sense at all. But I liked it and I liked it so much that I went to look at the painting again the next day. It didn’t inspire me to write but to think of art in totally different terms. And what is writing if not a form of thinking?
What if you already have a topic but still nothing? You really need to start brainstorming. You need to work as the mind does. It’s the same in business and in projects. A lot of times we do it totally upside down. For example in school they instruct you to make the outline first. What a load of crap. Of course you hit a wall because your mind works the other way. This is how you need to do it.
1) Find the purpose, the topic, the target. Play around with it a little bit just to get you going. Try to see the outcome with your mind’s eye.
2) Brainstorm. Write down wild ideas, make lists, throw yourself at it. If you think of nothing then start the other way around: write down a list of things that you definitely won’t be writing about. There, you already have something and your brain started processing.
3) Now start putting your brain farts in some kind of order. Create a basis that you then start elaborating.
4) Go, write, you’ve already done half the job and the fun part can start.
This is the way the brain works. Whenever you go against it you fail and need to start all over again. This is why a lot of projects fail to deliver in time and in budget as well. They start from the bottom up and they’ve already lost the cause.
Don’t play against yourself. Plan well and follow me on Twitter.Tweet