I enjoy: Being productive.
I also enjoy: Hanging out with friends.
What if I COMBINED those two?? GENIUS!
Fortunately I currently own a rave company, so that often isn’t hard.
Just recently we scouted out a spot in Austin to have a little nighttime picnic (always one of my favorite thing to do), and I happened to have an LED Frisbee in my trunk. It was a product sample I’d been meaning to take videos and pictures of.
It’s fun to have fun AND be productive at the same time! Click on any of those pictures and they take you to the HoR product page….these pictures help sell more Frisbee’s, and we had fun doing it.
I did however find out the limitations of an LED Frisbee…apparently they CANNOT get run over by a truck and survive in one piece. I was overly aggressive in a throw, and it went in the street. A few moments later traffic started driving over it, and one lucky truck hit it.
With the exception of a partially-broken side….the thing still worked!
However, tossing a fast-spinning disc with sharp plastic edges isn’t always safe…so I decided it was the end for this Ole’ Yeller.
Like any male under 30 who’s about to throw something away, I thought it be MORE fun to first COMPLETELY DESTROY it…then throw it away!
Let me tell ya….that was one tough Frisbee.
I was reading a book from the library like I so often do, and I came across this interesting thing:
C.A.R.V.E.R. …it’s a way the military (or in this book, the Navy SEAL’s) use to determine which target is the MOST important.
Immediately I was intrigued because this could so easily relate to everyday situations not-cool-as-blowing-up-a-power-plant on enemy territory.
In the past I’ve wrote down challenges and goals I have for a month, and try to indicate which is most important. The biggest problem is I pull those numbers out of my ass. There’s no QUANTITATIVE number assigned to those issues to see which one is most important.
This method seemed to help with that.
A little while ago I wrote about putting my monthly goals on my iPhone….that was a pretty good idea that has worked well so far….but I think taking that up a notch and labeling them by importance would be even better. To do this I’d simply run them through the Carver Matrix. I did a sample run to see how it would work:
P.S. The book is called Unleash The Warrior Within….it was decent material with some good stuff tossed in.
The sheer power of consistency.
It’s blatantly obvious being consistent in something is powerful, but I never really HAVE been consistent at anything. Look at my blogging habits for example. Right now I’m blogging everyday, but there have been MONTHS in between posts at times. Inconsistency.
Even through school I would have strong periods of doing well in all my classes…followed by a total fall-behind. Inconsistency.
So when I did the Six Pack Experiment and used MyBodyTutor I had to answer everyday to Adam (whom I didn’t want to disappoint), and also to NevBlog readers (whom I also didn’t want to disappoint). I also had a solid end goal in mind (getting a six pack) which I didn’t want to miss. TRIPLE accountability definitely helped me stay on track.
Adam probably used the word “Consistency” more than any other during that experiment…and how true it was.
As Earl Nightingale put it:
Plan out what you want to do for the day. Accomplish it, and that will be a successful day.
Have 5 or 7 successful days in a row, and you’ve had a successful week.
Do this 4 times and you’ve had a successful month.
Imagine a bricklayer building a wall. He starts with laying a single brick. He may be able to lay 200 bricks in a day. Everyday he continues laying the bricks, and after a while an immense building can be made. However it all happened with single bricks, day after day, week after week of diligent work.
It’s such a simple concept I truly don’t think I’ve ever applied till this Six Pack Experiment! Imagine…I’m 27 years old and never ONCE have been consistent for over 3 months in anything. Definitely a late bloomer.
However lately I’ve been keeping the consistency up. I learned that after about 120 days of MyBodyTutor the eating habits I developed stuck around. I’ve done 30 day experiments before in consistency, but it seems it takes me 4X longer to learn than most people to learn.
The crazy thing is, when I’ve applied consistency to something and its done very well….I wasn’t even working that hard! Usually I would just do a moderate amount of work each day towards the goal, and if I do that little work EVERY DAY it usually ends in a BIG RESULT.
SO I can either be inconsistent and garner decent results with periods of laziness followed by working very hard.
Just be moderately productive EVERY DAY and garner BIG results.
I choose the 2nd.
Somewhere in my adventures in reading random books at the library I came across this little trick:
Getting into a hypnotic-like, Alpha state of mind.
The steps were:
It seemed like a pretty easy process and was worth a try…just for fun.
I gave it a try the next morning, and the damndest thing happened….IT WORKED!!
After an almost excruciatingly long count down from 100, I realized that (and yes, this sounds a little weird), that I was kind of having a conversation with myself…in my head. It was like I could ask a question to myself and get a very quick, non-censored answer instantly from my subconscious.
Wow…that sounds like I’m on drugs!
I do it every once-in-a-while, and it’s actually been a pretty useful tool for helping me sort out my day before I officially wake up. I can also “ask myself” a question about a problem I’ve been having, and the mind generally spits out the answer you already know is right…but might not want to admit.
I 100% accredit this notion to Earl Nightingale. I heard this on his Direct Line series of tapes. If you don’t know who Earl Nightingale is, do yourself a favor and AT LEAST do a YouTube search on him.
He tells a story (and I’m paraphrasing here):
During the Great Depression, there was an over abundance of people going around to businesses “asking for jobs.” They’d literally go up to a place of business and ask if they had an positions available. No one was hiring.
Well I had a friend, who during the most severe economic crisis in American history, got a great job and prospered.
Why did HE get a job while MILLIONS could not?
The millions who could not find employment remind me of the story of the man who told the stove, “Give me heat, THEN I’ll add wood.”
My friend took the opposite approach:
First, he sat down and decided what type of work would be agreeable to him. Something that at least moderately interested him.
Next, he learned ALL HE COULD about that business. He devoured books from the library on the subject, took notes, read articles, asked question to people already in the business, read trade magazines and EVERYTHING HE COULD FIND about his prospective job.
Next, he made a list of the places he wanted to work, and he did something VERY DIFFERENT from the millions of others:
He went to the business and asked to speak to the manager/owner and said, “I believe I know quite a few ways I can improve your business very quickly….and quite significantly” Right away the managers were interested and he got hired almost immediately!
You see, businesses ALWAYS have a position available for someone who can increase their profits or add tremendous value. They DON’T always have positions for someone just looking for a handout.
By simply doing a few weeks of research, my friend was FAR ahead of millions of potential job applicants.
This reminds me of a A LOT of people right now….they’re simply looking for jobs. However if they simply took some time and effort to learn more about a particular industry, they could easily see how to add TONS of value.
Harvard MBA applying for a job? WHO CARES.
What can you do for me? That’s what matters.
Even for my own business HouseOfRave, I’m not hiring. However if someone came up to me and said, “For $5,000 I can almost guarantee your profit will go up by $10,000/month…”
…do you think I’d say no?
I write this for two reasons:
1.) I am starting that 6-pack experiment in April and have begun preparing for it by eating ultra-clean and ultra-lean. Pretty much all day I’m eating 100% raw foods only…that’s not the plan for the whole month, but it’s been my diet for the last week. It’s not hard as I expected (because I’ve been eating well for a few months now), but keeping this up for a full month and resisting the urge to pig out at social events gets HARD.
However for the month of April I want to see a dramatic change in the way my stomach looks…and for that I need to be calorie deficient for weeks at a time. I can easily keep my current physique with the way I’m eating now, but my diet must be extra-ordinarily good to see those extraordinary results.
2.) As you know I own a business called House Of Rave which is all online. Over the last year I made a lot of small tweaks which cut down on the number of customer support inquires and time spent getting orders out. At a bare minimum I need to spend less than 30 minutes every weekday administering the site…the rest runs on it’s own. That alone can pay all my bills and still save money.
Pretty cool eh! 30 minutes of work per day!
Well…I also like the business to GROW….so to maintain AND grow the site takes about 2 hours per day (mainly spent adding product photo/video reviews).
I will admit…over these first few months of 2010 those small required amounts of time have spoiled me. I’ve stopped updating the site as much as I should. The 1st quarter is never a FANTASTIC time for a business like mine (which sells party supplies) and is also enduring a bad economy, but I think I’ve been slipping quite a bit on my responsibilities to it.
Extraordinary effort doesn’t necessarily mean long hours (although that certainly helps)….because with this business a very consistent tweaking of small things every day can make a HUGE impact. I’ve proved this many times, including one time I documented 30 small changes I made with very clear results (aka MO MONEY)!
I think what I’ll do in April is one day blog about a small HoR change, then the next day document the diet and steps I’ve taken to get a ripped-ass six pack.
Find merchant supplies and POS terminals at Moneris Solutions.
I stopped making monthly goals a while ago because I rarely followed up on them. They always get stuck on a sheet of paper somewhere which I promptly forget about on day 2 of the month.
Now every time I look at my phone, guess what I see? Monthly goals staring me in the face waiting to be completed!
A year ago made a post called “Evolution of The Daily To-Do List” and added on the 2009 formatting of my to-do list.
Here’s the section of update, although reading the original post is better to read. This update covers a simple trick I use to massively improve my productivity.
The 2008 formatting was very successful and I still use it till this day, however there was one problem: With so much work to do everyday, I’d get overwhelmed and scatter-brained about the work. Almost immediately I’d see tasks which I avoided doing or wanted to put off. This lead to many incomplete to-do lists, and postponing work till the next day, then next etc….
So one day I took a sheet of paper and covered the whole to-do list. I inched the paper down to reveal ONE task. I completed it. Then I inched down to reveal the next. Completed it.
Having a singular goal to work on helped imensely!
Towards the end of that day I inched down only to reveal I had completed every single task I assigned the day before! It was a great feeling to get through all the work in such a quick and easy manner. Since then I’ve been using this little trick to help me complete to-do lists, and it’s still working great.
Here’s a quick video documenting how I structure, complete and save my to-do lists:
At the end of every day I put each to-do list into a binder for future reference.
After doing this for several months, it’s nice to go back and look through them. If one month I didn’t progress much, I can clearly see why by looking at these daily performance reviews. I make notes of good days, bad days, workout regimens, interesting happenings etc.