My writing course states to kick off your article with drama - is that headline dramatic enough? I am only writing this blog right now because I am procrastinating and this one has been bubbling away and it is ready to write.
Lots of people commend me for “doing it all” it is nice but not real, I get lots of shit done, but I am just a person just like you and I don’t have any super powers but I do have some major hacks that literally let me do twice as much in half the time.
My life is hectic, I have a new baby and a big person and if he says he is hungry one more time my head my explode. I travel a lot, for work and for the kids appointments - I will be on the road tonight to take them BOTH to Sydney.
In startup land you soon learn to let go of what is “ideal” nothing is ideal and I guess it is a military thing to “adapt and overcome” as well as work with military style discipline (except for today) I read a lot, I read business books, personal development and finance stuff (give me a fist pump if you have a splurge account) I mediate, I consume podcasts as much as coffee and I do have some bad TV obsessions (hello SBS Food)
Every year I plan and schedule and do things on a year, month “season” (or quarterly) - week and day by day basis and I have big tasks - working “ON” and little tasks - the day to day grind. I am sure you do all that too!
Things are always changing for me and I am always looking at ways to make improvements and long before Marie Kondo went viral - I too read the book and de-cluttered and have been de-cluttering ever since but the one book that has had the biggest impact on me would be Emma Isaacs “Winging It” my fave read of 2018!
There’s something in this book that blew my mind and it is so random you are going to be like “huh” Emma talks about scissors, like a few sets over the house - coz who has time to look for a pair of scissors OMG THIS IS ME! So I adopted this to lots of things in my life and it is game changing!
I kinda double everything or have 2 sets of everything - that makes no sense, let me explain.
At home - we have upstairs and downstairs 2 bathrooms but we only use one - but I have a thing of everything in both - this helps me super mum and isn’t very “art of tidying” but mix that with putting everything away - OMG anyway that’s boring and you are probably thinking so what …
READ: YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET TWO SETS OF EVERYTHING FOR YOUR HOUSE, BUT THIS IS KINDA A METAPHOR FOR ME, I HAVE 2 SETS OF WORKSPACE oops caps lock! 2 types of work I do - in and on or on and in - I try, no I must spend more time working ON the biz than in it!
Any who - here’s some hack
TRAVEL I have two sets of toiletries, my travel toiletries and my stuff at home, so when I hit the road (every week) I don’t have to pack all my stuff, coz my travel stuff is already packed, coz it is never unpacked and it has all my things in it.
DISCIPLINE I have days in the month that certain tasks must be done - doesn’t matter if it is Monday or Sunday. As a founder you must practice military type discipline and have an overview on all the things. I work with discipline, set prioritise and do hours of uninterrupted deep work. I work a mix of “on” the business and “in” the business everyday - this is an art I have mastered over the years.
HEALTH and WELL BEING I remember distinctly - it was in the Low Tox Life podcast by Alexx Stuart where she talks about us eating, like eating while driving, having lunch at your desk - when did the world get to this? There was also an epic post by Gabriel about this too - which was a nice reminder, it has been coming up a lot, eating well (and not while driving or working) and I can thank Ariana Huffington years ago when I was burnt out - after reading Thrive my key takeaway was making sleep and plenty of it (even napping) a priority my head space was back on track.
Work Space I sit at my desk and work on my lappy - I write and plan in a different space and even though I can - I don’t do anything from my phone, I don’t have any notifications on, on my phone and I have all my emails - on my second screen. I do emails really early in the morning or really late at night and schedule them all - I obviously look at them during the day but I have alerts and sounds set up for different people and things so I don’t miss anything that is important. I only have 25 unread emails in my inbox and clear it everyday. Working on a phone - isn’t a “workspace” this took me years to realise!
Deep work - depending on what you do, you need structure, boundaries and a routine and then you need to spend some time on the “stuff” checking emails, social media etc. etc. then you need to do some deep work - from an hour to a few a day of uninterrupted deep work will be a game changer - how do you do this, do the stuff, close the emails and socials, set a task and complete it start to finish - this takes practice to do - maybe try using the promodo technique to start, this is 21 minutes by a timer - so say you have 21 minutes to check emails for the morning or social or BOTH and put that timer on, you will be surprised
The 4am start. I retired from my 4am starts, but they where awesome, I used to do them every Thursday a 4am start to do all the things that needed to be caught up on and once they are done you are free to not only get ahead but stay ahead (this is a big deal) I might do a wil Saturday night these days only if I feel the flow and creative juices going to sit down and do something
The secret - If you have so much on and don’t know what to do or where to start, just start. All of the above is about ACTION ^^ again by being conscious of your time, I bet you spend more time “thinking off all the things” and it would probably take you less time to “do them”
The secret 2.0 - Rest - we are working like crazy (well I’m not) but I have been there working to many hours, 7 days a week, it will catch up with you and if you have to much to do you can stop and rest, you need to stop and rest. Magic happens when you rest, time slows down and the space will give you clarity so when you go back in, you will be in a great frame of mind to tackle what is ahead.
Team - We have a tiny team we not only outsource but we explore and develop relationships with suppliers, tradies, people, places and this makes the dream work. We have a small army of the best of the best from designers, accountants, lawyers, printers - I could go on and on.
Notifications - TURN THEM ALL OFF! On your computer, on your phone, you don’t need to know all this stuff all the time and if you do set up an alert or something coz everytime you are distracted, that is time you are never getting back and it isn’t about working harder than everyone else, it is about being smarter!
Do more in half the time - if you adopt some of these practices, I guarantee you will be able to do more in half the time!
The Challenge! I challenge you to do pick at least 3 things in the listicle for you to adopt and try out over the next few weeks, you can’t do it all - or maybe you can but I know there’s a few things in there you can do right now (notifications-no eating at your desk OR while driving and 8 hours sleep) so theres 3 to kick off with and cherry pick what you need right now and get yourself a few sets of scissors for around the house or any other random household item you always seem to be searching for, then grab that book and get those people in your house to start putting things away!
OK enough time wasted by me - I’m feeling rad and ready to dive back into my “real” work
ps - get used to the challenge people when our startup labs go live there will be lots of FUN challenges for you to do! So in true double up style, heres a link to our email list on our facey page - sign up to BOTH!
pps - promise last thing, if you have read this far but haven’t read THIS - click NOW!