I recently started a new role at a games studio. This has meant I’ve had to get to grips with some strategies and systems for being focused and effective at work again.
The good news is that I’ve accumulated them over the last twenty years, so they are coming back to me quickly. But, I’ve also noticed some new ways to think about things. I wanted to get them all out of my head, in case others find them useful.
I put a lot of effort into curating my social media feeds, to discover great content. By great, I mean things that might spark an idea, and have potential to have a big impact on my life.
Below are five things I’ve read, listened to, or watched recently – that I think are really special:
1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono. He owns a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearance, it holds the prestigious three-star Michelin Guide rating.
I put a lot of effort into curating my social media feeds, so I can discover great content. By great, I mean things that might spark an idea, and have the potential to have a big impact on my life. Below are five things I’ve read, listened to, or watched recently that I think are really special:
Waking early and making good use of the early hours is the biggest life hack there is — no exception. It’s a competitive advantage that almost feels like you’re cheating. You’re getting stuff done whilst most other people are sleeping like babies!
But, it can be hard to find one you like doing and will stick to (these are linked).
In my experience, there are three things that are at the root of not sticking to a morning routine:
I’ve settled on a solid process for solving big problems in my life and I want to share it.
The first step to solving a big problem in your life is to take full responsibility for it. What does that mean? To start with, you need to commit to fully understanding the problem yourself – whatever it takes.
Goddamn double unders. They are a bitch to learn. I’ve spent the last couple of months working on them. Most of the time
I could only get 2 or 3 reps (repetitions) before the rope hit my leg. I sometimes got up to 10 – but it was a fluke occurrence. I couldn’t repeat it consistently. And then I’m back to 2 or 3 reps again. It was frustrating.
I try and live a stripped back, simple life. I say try, because it’s not always easy – particularly when you have kids. Sometimes I lose my way and then have to pull back a little.
Life seems to have a way of pushing you towards accumulating stuff and commitments by default. It’s easier to buy stuff, than it is to resist compulsions to buy. It’s easier to agree to commitments, than it is to say no.
If you don’t consciously fight against these things, they build up. And then you end up with too much stuff, and too many things to do. Life gets overwhelming.
I was reminded this morning how powerful and important it is to block out time to plan the week ahead.
Over the last 5 weeks, I’ve fallen out of my weekly planning habit. I spent three weeks in Cyprus, so it wasn’t needed. It’s funny how going to the beach, swimming, eating and drinking beer seem to flow with each other nicely 😉
The following two weeks were unusual for me. I had a lot of days where I was looking after my daughter Fearne. I also had a bunch of other social commitments. I decided it wasn’t worth planning those two weeks out. Better to see the two weeks out and then get back to normal.
You know a wise man once said nothin’ at all – Drake
Most of what I write about usually comes to me in one of two ways.
Sometimes I randomly start thinking about a topic. I then start to notice a bunch of related things that enforce or help shape my thinking on it. And then I write it up (which also helps further shape my thinking on it).
However sometimes it works the other way. I notice a bunch of related things over time and I start to think about it more. I gradually realise the importance of it and develop a view on it. And then I write it up.
I’ve been through a major shift in how I plan my days and get things done over the last few years.
I used to think a good day was getting as many things done as possible. I felt productive as I ploughed through my lists. But now I realise, I was actually just busy. I could get lots of things done, but my impact was inconsistent.
A better way of putting it is, I didn’t get the return on investment for the amount of time I put in, or the number of things I completed. Continue reading »