Do something every day towards your three big priorities

Focus, focus, focus. Focus is the key to startup success.  You have fewer resources than established companies.  Your only path to success is to focus those limited resources in a tightly-defined problem space, so that your concentrated effort burns the hapless ant of success. Easier said than done, right?  I have a very simple system … Continue reading Do something every day towards your three big priorities

Stop lying to yourself

When I was a kid, I studied the violin. (I know, quite a shocker for a Chinese-American kid growing up in the 1980s) My violin teacher made me keep a practice log.  I was supposed to practice for 30 minutes per day.  For each 30 minutes I practiced, I got a token which let me … Continue reading Stop lying to yourself

The Power of Saw Sharpening

When you’re an entrepreneur, there’s never enough time for everything.  One common response is to set up a to-do list, with the highest priority items at the top.  The problem is that this always prioritizes the urgent and important (what Stephen Covey labeled “Quadrant 1”), leaving important but not urgent items to languish. Covey called … Continue reading The Power of Saw Sharpening

When in doubt, try something

Like millions of people, I recently read the New York Times article about the 7-minute workout: http://nyti.ms/18IjmzB This workout, which originally appeared in the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal, consists of 12 simple exercises which, when performed at a high intensity for short periods with even shorter rest periods, provide a comprehensive whole-body workout. … Continue reading When in doubt, try something

Productivity Hack: Do 1st Whatever You’re Most Likely To Forget

Most entrepreneurs get accused of having a short attention span.  There’s something about the willingness to pursue new ideas that seems to go hand in hand with a restless mind.  The result is that follow-through can be a big issue for entrepreneurs. I’ve adopted a simple hack to address this issue: Do first whatever you’re … Continue reading Productivity Hack: Do 1st Whatever You’re Most Likely To Forget

Forget long hours, work intense hours (H/T @rahimthedream @awesomeculture)

When I younger, I prided myself on my tireless work ethic. When I was in high school, I worked like a maniac to set a meaningless record for earning extra credit in my English classes.  Trust me, I was already going to get an A+; all that extra credit was purely for ego purposes. When … Continue reading Forget long hours, work intense hours (H/T @rahimthedream @awesomeculture)

My 20-minute secret to being insanely productive

I’m known for cramming a lot into my day. Here’s a day in the life blog post from 2009 which describes a moderately busy day. If anything, I’m busier now than I was then! But fortunately, I’ve been able to compensate with a simple system that makes me more productive. At the beginning of the … Continue reading My 20-minute secret to being insanely productive

The Best Time of Day For 10 Key Activities

When it comes to doing cognitive work most adults perform best in the late morning. Most people are more easily distracted from noon to 4 p.m. Alertness tends to slump after eating a meal. Sleepiness also tends to peak around 2 p.m., making that a good time for a nap. For most adults, problems that … Continue reading The Best Time of Day For 10 Key Activities