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
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
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
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)
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
When I’m at the Palo Alto Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings, I often see the usually-well-groomed residents of my affluent town looking very different. Stubble and baseball caps abound. It seems so natural…which is exactly why we should question it. Why don’t we get dressed immediately when we wake up? Why do we wait until … Continue reading Why Wait?
Every personal productivity guru preaches the importance of goal-setting. But of you’re like me, your problem isn’t a lack of goals. It’s a lack of time. I often feel like I have too many goals, all clamoring for my time. Setting all those goals becomes counterproductive. Rather than wasting my time drawing up yet more … Continue reading Time Allocation > Goal Setting
I often think of my email inbox as a tennis game. Each email that comes in is like a tennis ball, which needs to be volleyed back to my rally partner. The temptation is to simply swing the racket and volley the ball back as quickly as possible. But life is not tennis, and volleying … Continue reading Respond Specifically