Time blocking is only useful if you cut distractions

I love time blocking. Dedicating 3 hours in the morning to reading and writing then the afternoon for working with clients changed my business.

It can change your business as well if you’re productive during your time blocks. If you’re focused.

Simply saying that 0600 – 0900 is for your big work is one thing. The hard part is doing the work in that time without distraction.

Kick out the distractions and focus. If you’re not focused, you’re only fooling yourself with your productive time blocks. You’re fooling yourself into thinking that you’re being productive, but your bank account will reflect the reality.

What is your bank account saying about how effective you are?

My rules for being focused are:

  1. No phone where I can use it easily
  2. Block social media
  3. Clear plan and goal for what I’ll be doing with my focused time
  4. Clear routine to get focused
  5. Headphones to cut out any random distractions

Focus time isn’t easy when you get started. If you’re anything like I was, your brain is trained to be distracted because of your phone and social media. A single hour was hard at first, now three hours feels like it goes by so fast.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you need help getting focused, book a FREE strategy session and we’ll get a plan in place.

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Asking ‘what else can I do’ is a terrible question

Jocelyn K. Glei asks a great question in one of her articles. The question is: “What else.”

The reason this question is great is that it’s not the question you should be asking yourself. Asking ‘what else’ all the time is how we get to 9 hour days 6 days a week.

It’s how we get to checking our email on the weekend and evenings.

It’s how we pull out our phone’s in a moment of boredom in the grocery line.

It’s us always looking at what’s going on around us and asking “What else is happening”.

Stop asking what else and as she says at the end of the article:

  1. Create reasonable task lists
  2. Put white-space on your calendar
  3. Create a don’t do list (this is the best list you can create for your life and work)

Stop asking ‘what else’.

Have an awesome day

Curtis

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Don’t fall into the lie of more hours

Certainly there are seasons in life that require focused time and commitment. And we should never discourage working hard on things that matter. Unfortunately, however, most of us have become busy over all the wrong things And we have allowed false assumptions to drive our schedules. – The More of Less

Seasons, yes.

Most of you agree with the idea of a season of hard work and a season of rest. Then what happens is a season of hard work, followed by a season of harder work.

You never get back to rest. Your kids don’t really get to hang out with you. You’re not dating your spouse.

Despite all this hard work, your business really isn’t growing like you want.

So…time for more hours.

That’s a lie. More time will not mean more money. It will not mean more clients.

Only effective action that’s planned out will do that.

Stop substituting more time for effective, useful time.

What is the one thing you can do today that will bring in more clients? The one thing that will make all other client prospecting irrelevant?

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you’re ready to be more effective with your business, let’s talk about where you’re struggling.

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Attention and Your Phone

I have little to say today but you need to read this article about your attention and your phone.

Your job is to do awesome work for your clients.

Your job is to be a good friend or parent.

99.99% of the time your phone is in the way of that.

Read it now!

If you want to go deeper then get Deep Work and The Shallows. I’ve read them both a few times and they are awesome.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you’re ready to start getting serious with your time, book a FREE strategy session.

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Scrooge

When I think of Ebenezer Scrooge, I always think of the Disney version. Likely because we read it to the kids for weeks on end at least once a year.

What makes the story excellent in the redemption that Scrooge has. Yes, his life could have been much better if he had made a change earlier, but the reformation is still awesome.

Scrooge didn’t have to change though. He made a decision to take action on the dreams he had. He decided to get presents for the family and go see his nephew. He decided to make Bob his partner going forward.

If he had just felt bad and taken no action the end would be entirely different.

The fact that you get free advice here and elsewhere doesn’t mean you’re going to have a life that’s closer to your ideal. It just means you read some words.

If you want to head in a new direction, what is the one thing you can do today to start?

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you’re looking for a kick in that ass to take action, join me for a free strategy session.

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Rest is Something You HAVE TO Prioritize

Rest is not something that the world gives us. It’s never been a gift. It’s never been something you do when you’ve finished everything else. If you want rest, you have to take it. You have to resist the lure of busyness, make time for rest, take it seriously, and protect it from a world that is intent on stealing it. – Rest

I build rest into every day. I start at 6 am and work till 9 am. Then I take from 9 am – noon off.

I run. I ride my bike. I hang out with the kids and play.

I don’t look at screens, even to read.

I just take a break.

Then I dive back in at noon and work till 3 pm

In those 6 hours a day, I usually get five and a half hours of productive work done.

My second 3-hour block can be as focused as my first one because I took a break. None of this crap like regular jobs where I spend 8 hours in an office and turn out 4 hours of real work.

How do you break up the day to make sure you’re 100% all day?

Have an awesome day

Curtis

PS: I know you need some structure in your day to make it work. I actually just wrote a new FREE guide you can download to stop struggling all the time. It’s called Stop The Struggle and you can get it by subscribing to the email list

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Do Your Tools Serve You?

The problem is not the technology itself, it’s how we choose to use the technology. Is it serving us or are we serving it? – In The Future, Our Attention Will Be Sold

Does your phone serve you? I know most of you are going to try and pass off a ‘yes’.

Really, when you’re with your kids at the park and you just have to reach into your pocket to check your phone. I guess if you can say ‘yes’ still, you’re better at lying to yourself than I am.

I wasn’t always so good with my phone, and at least once a week my 6-year-old still asks me what I’m doing with my phone.

Stop lying to yourself. It’s highly unlikely that your phone serves you. It’s highly likely that you serve it, and Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. Their whole job is to try and get and hold your attention.

Remember, these are the rules for your device:

  1. The phone doesn’t come into the bedroom
  2. The phone doesn’t sit on your desk
  3. Only 1 battery charge on a regular day
  4. Don’t take your phone into the bathroom. Bathroom trips take 1000% longer if you have a phone/device with you
  5. Give your kids permission to take your phone away and put it in your ‘charging’ spot
  6. Your phone lives in it’s charging spot at home
  7. Use Do Not Disturb mode and have a short, very short, list of people that get through. I have a list of 1 person, my wife.
  8. Leave your phone in the car when you visit with friends.
  9. Phone’s don’t come out at dinner out. Better yet trade phones with your spouse. The babysitter can still call but the phone you have is useless outside of being a camera.

If you’re regularly executing on this list, then you’re likely able to say ‘yes’, your phone does serve you.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you’re ready to stop working crazy hours with little to show, let’s talk about your day and get it on track.

photo credit: clement127 cc

A Better Life With SWAP

I love getting out in the mountains and I listen to lots of podcast around running/mountain stuff.

I was just listening to a great episode of The Ginger Runner with David and Megan Roche.

In it they talked about their SWAP philosophy. That stands for Some Work All Play.

Your work should have an element of fun in it. If it’s not fun, then it’s time to change what you do, how you do it, or just quit entirely.

Life is way to short to sit at some job you hate doing things you couldn’t care less about for clients you don’t even like.

So stop it.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you’re ready to get your business on track, let’s have a long talk about where you want to be and what it’s going to take to get there.

photo credit: clement127 cc

The Quality of Your Life Is NOT Dependent on The Quality of Your Productivity

I’ll say that again. The quality of your life is not reduced by the quality of your productivity. – You Don’t Have to Be Prolific to Accomplish Your Blogging Dreams

Funny I highlight this as I email you daily and post them to my blog daily. I’m nothing if not prolific. In fact this year I’ve published around 120k words. Last year I published around 130k words.

I’m clearly on pace to blow far past 130k words.

So, why do I bring this up?

It’s to highlight that you don’t have to keep up with the rat race. Just because you see someone release 12 plugins for WordPress this year, doesn’t mean that you need to do the same thing.

Just because I write daily, doesn’t mean that you have to.

What you need to do is connect with your ideal client daily.

Here is a slightly modified set of questions I answer every Friday to gauge my week.

1: Connect. Who did I connect with this week? (Phone, in person)

Yes on the phone or in person. 27 emails to potential clients don’t count. Who did you actually talk to? Prospect or colleague is fine.

2: Invite. Who did I invite into a discovery call?

This is where you’re connecting with their problems and digging into them so you can understand what they value?

3: Create: How many people took you up on some discovery?

I think that’s obvious.

4: Propose: How much money did you propose in projects this week?

If you propose more, you’ll land more. At a certain point, it’s a numbers game. If you land 20% of what you propose (and I think you can do better if you’re positioned right) and need to earn $8k/month that means you need to propose $40k a month. That’s $10k a week on average.

Find someone that will expect an email from you every week with those questions answered. Then work hard to hit those targets every week.

Once you start taking some action, things will improve.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you need someone to help you get your business back on track, let’s talk about what you’re struggling with.

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I’ve Acted WAAAY Too Successful

I acted waaay to successful and it cost me a client. A good client that I loved working with. One that I had followed for years prior to working with them.

One I hoped would notice me one day.

See, I acted way to successful and let the project drop way behind schedule. I took a bunch of time off. I took short days and hung out with my kids.

Hanging out with your kids is something you should be doing. In fact, most of you are likely working waaay too much and sacrificing your family in the name of some far off day when you’ll be ‘successful’. But we’ll talk more about that another time.

In the process of acting so successful, I turned what was a great client to a bad client. At least a client that won’t want to work with me ever again. They won’t be a good reference.

Remember that you need to get the work done. Sure work a schedule and stick to it, but don’t jeopardize a career that’s starting to gain serious traction for a few extra days off.

Plan vacation and take it. Put the phone away, just don’t get too loose. It’s going to take a few years longer than you think to get the traction you want. If you kill it like I did, then you’re back to square 2 from square 6.

Have an awesome day!

Curtis

PS: If you need some ass kicking to stay focused and get work done, make sure you get on the email list to get a daily dose in your inbox.

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