by David Andrew Wiebe | May 23, 2023 | Productivity
A couple of years ago, I was asked what my daily routine was like.
And things have changed quite a bit since January 2021! Sometimes I can’t keep track of all the amazing things in my life that happen in a week let alone three years.
So, it feels as good a time as any to offer an update on how I’m spending my time. Let’s get to it!
8:40 AM: Meditation
This is more an ideal than reality right now, but meditation is in my schedule first thing in the morning. Some days I keep to it, most days I don’t. More likely I’m at 7-Eleven buying an energy drink.
9:00 AM – 11:45 AM: Writing & Content Work
Not much has changed here.
I do have the occasional call or meeting during these hours, but certainly not on a Monday.
As much as possible, I use these hours for focused work, usually client work.
11:45 AM: Workout
I keep to this routine three to four times per week.
Two days are dedicated to cardio/full body, two days are dedicated to weightlifting/strength training.
12:15 PM: Committed Colleague Call
I check in with my Committed Colleague four to five times per week, sometimes for 15 minutes, but it often goes longer.
We share breakdowns and breakthroughs, what we’re out to accomplish that day, and create a possibility for the day.
12:30 – 1:30 PM: Lunch
There’s some extra margin built into my schedule as my call with my Committed Colleague may go long. If the call is short, I can shower and get lunch during this time. Otherwise, just lunch.
1:30 – 5:30 PM: Writing & Content Work
I will usually wrap up client assignments during this time block, and begin working on my next blog post, podcast episode, book, presentation, or course.
5:30 PM: Meeting
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I have a half hour meeting beginning at 5:30 PM.
There typically aren’t any meetings on Monday, Thursday, or Friday during this time, but I may have a coaching call.
I also have a monthly meeting on Monday from 4:45 to 6:00 PM.
6:00 PM: Supper
A big man has got to eat, you know! 😉
6:30 PM – 9 PM: Writing, Meeting, or Training Session
On Monday, it’s typical that I’ll still be writing during these hours.
On Tuesday, I’m usually training program participants.
On a Wednesday, I have a team meeting.
On a Thursday, I’ll be writing.
Twice per month on Fridays, I have meetings lasting from 7:00 to 9:45 PM. Most other Fridays I have a one-hour meeting from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, so on those occasions, outside of meeting time, I’m also writing.
I get to relax for the most part! I’ve earned it.
Nowadays, I often go for drives, walk along the beach, find something to eat, maybe smoke the occasional cigar…
I’m looking at adding fishing into the equation.
Did I ever expect to be writing, coaching, training, and spending as much time as I am in calls and meetings as I am today?
But writing and communication are my access to all wealth.
Coaching and training are my access to fulfillment.
Calls and meetings are my access to community and connection.
Everything one could hope for or want is in my life. It’s abundant. And I’m grateful.
by David Andrew Wiebe | May 20, 2023 | Productivity
If you’re going to develop any skill as an independent artist, entrepreneur, creative, or anything, make it problem-solving.
Problem-solving isn’t taught in school. The only place I ever received any training in it was in network marketing (and it was worth it).
Why does it matter?
Well, the difference problem-solving skills can make for you, your life, and your career is nearly incalculable.
Things always come up in life. Flat tires. Unexpected bills. Relationships going sideways. Breakdowns of various shades and colors.
Most of us, at best, have thought of one or two ways of solving a problem, and if we were honest with ourselves, we’d see that the few solutions we’ve devised aren’t very effective.
For the most part, we should reserve the word “problem” for our competition, and stick to “challenges” for ourselves, but for the intents and purposes of this post, we’ll let “problem” stand.
Anyway, can you see how having one or two poorly crafted solutions to any problem is a position of compromise?
For instance, if you’re one unexpected bill away from declaring bankruptcy, you’re in a much direr situation than you even realize.
At the risk of triggering you, I need to point out that spending no time thinking about all possible solutions is intellectual laziness.
The reason it’s intellectual laziness is that it’s an indication you haven’t spent much time practicing realistic thinking in your thinking, reflection, and journaling time. That is, of course, if you’re spending any time thinking, reflecting, or journaling at all.
It’s good to adopt a positive mindset. After all, positive thinking improves your overall performance.
But if you’re not also looking at everything that could possibly go wrong with your plans, you’re being unreasonably sanguine about life and the situations it can present you with.
I’ve had flat tires (naturally), fridges and furnaces break down, people ghost me for seemingly innocuous reasons, and much, much more. It’s surprising the disruption and headaches these seemingly simple “problems” can cause in life.
But suffering is always optional. Because there’s something you can do about the situation.
Several years ago, I remember having a car window that went off the track. I knew that I could bring my car to a mechanic. But a little bit of research quickly revealed that the repair could be costly. The car was already 10 years old. I didn’t think the repair was going to be worth the cost. So, I bought a roll of duct tape and taped the window shut.
My business coach, at the time, said to me “That’s super entrepreneurial.”
This turned out to be the ideal solution because, as I recall, three out of four windows eventually all went off track. Then, the car engine took a turn for the worse and the poor Volkswagen broke down completely.
I’m not advocating doing what I did, taping car windows, especially given that authorities might not always look your way with a forgiving eye.
But I could have wasted a ton of money maintaining and repairing a car that was clearly on its last legs. Instead, I chose to handle the challenges with simplicity and ease, putting out a fire and moving on with my priorities.
To summarize, unfortunately, I must use a phrase that’s both a cliché and a rather ambiguous expression – think outside the box.
In every problem or challenge, look for every opportunity for resolution, not just one. It sounds intellectually exhausting, but to the contrary, I have found identifying and implementing unconventional solutions exhilarating.
The alternative is submitting to the “at the first sign of things going wrong, rob a bank” mentality glorified by films like Fun with Dick and Jane, and to me, that’s intellectual laziness of the tallest order. Not to mention, there’s a very good chance such an act would land you in jail.
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by David Andrew Wiebe | May 19, 2023 | Productivity
- My life revolves around deadlines.
- A deadline is you giving your word to have a task or project completed by a specific date and time.
- Deadlines put commitments into existence.
- Without deadlines, I would not be as productive as I am.
- Deadlines force me to think in terms of how I can complete a task in the time allotted for it.
- Deadlines are motivating, regardless of how they feel to you – positive or negative.
- Deadlines create structure.
- Deadlines encourage innovation.
- If you dilly-dally with your job or client work, you will never get around to the work that matters to you.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Apr 27, 2023 | Productivity
Once we feel like we’ve got something figured out, we like to make it a habit. The first time we figure it out, the reward mechanism in our brains triggers a dopamine hit. Sure, the sensation might diminish with time. But it reinforces “good” behavior. Plus, it’s easier to stick with the familiar than to challenge the status quo.
The trouble is that it’s far too easy to get comfortable doing the same things day in and day out without questioning it or looking for other, more efficient ways. You stop looking.
This Sunday, as I was planning for my week, I felt the need to adjust. I saw my life becoming more chaotic, with a higher volume of client work. But I was convinced there was a way to meet the challenge head-on.
I returned to the basics of prioritizing – the parable of the rocks, pebbles, sand, and water. And I put paying projects first. Variable projects second. Growing businesses third.
It’s only Thursday night, and I submit to you that prioritizing made all the difference. The big rocks are largely out of the way. It’s mostly pebbles, sand, and water left.
But it would not have been possible without a willingness to adjust.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Apr 24, 2023 | Productivity
The trip is not official until you buy the ticket.
You can hold an intention for the trip. You can speculate on what it will be like when you get there. You can share with others that you will be going on a trip.
But until you’ve bought the ticket, there’s no commitment. No need to overcome obstacles, conflicts, or worries. No need to plan for when you’re away.
Even when starting with the end in mind, most people default to behaviors that don’t fulfill the outcome they’ve set out to accomplish. They stall, make excuses, and make themselves look busy. But they won’t buy the ticket.
I’m sure the metaphor isn’t lost on you.
If you’re going to launch a business in 90 days, buy the domain name.
If you’re going to enter a competition in seven months, register your attendance.
If you’re going to host an event in a year, book the venue.
Commit to the outcome. Buy the ticket. It will be easy to align your actions with the outcome when you’ve bought the ticket.
by David Andrew Wiebe | Apr 19, 2023 | Productivity
Inevitably, this is what’s getting in the way of you being more prolific, publishing, and shipping – perfectionism.
Honestly, even though I blog daily and create a tremendous amount of content every week, I still have my filters.
“This is for later.”
“I will come back to this when I have time.”
“I can’t put this out there as is.”
But you can’t think like that if you want to be prolific.
It is worth building toward a masterpiece. I’m not negating editing, polishing, and perfecting your work. But if it’s not something you’re working on daily, can you honestly say it’s a priority for you? Will you ever be getting around to it again? Goals shape the present, not the future.
Some things are meant to be published. Now. There is no later.
Turn the perfectionism filter off. See how it changes the way you think about your work. See if it changes the frequency and velocity at which you publish.