What’s Important vs. Keeping Busy

Important isn't the same as busy

I woke up early, poured a cup of coffee, and sat down to take on the day. It was time take my orders. I opened up Nozbe, where I keep my task lists for all of my projects. Each project has a fairly extensive list, from simple tasks like fixing a typo on a blog post, to extensive tasks like building a new product page for one of my websites.

To mitigate a wasted morning, I spent fifteen minutes last night selecting the next tasks in each project, and “starring” them in Nozbe so they will appear in the “next actions” list.

I sip my coffee and review my orders on the next actions list, which total 10 today.

What Are You Waiting For?

There are some very important things I want out of my life and I’ve been asking myself the question lately: “What am I waiting for?”

Don't wait, jump.

It’s hard to put a clear finger on it. I want to make sure I’ve got a good foothold on the next move before I let go of the ledge. But the deeper I dig, I’m beginning to wonder if I’m just rationalizing my fear to reach out and grab my dream life.

How To Step Toward Your Goals

Goals and objectives are often used in the same context, but I find it useful to separate them. A goal is a specific outcome I want to achieve; an objective is a defined step towards achieving that goal.

Step toward your goals

The purpose of objectives is to break a goal into manageable parts. Smaller goals are easier to manage and may only have a single set of objectives. Larger goals may need to be broken down into layers of objectives.

Get Fit In 3 Days A Week

I started a 6-day exercise routine last year but couldn’t keep it up. Even though each routine was very short, life continued to throw obstacles in the way. This post is an outline of the new exercise routine I’m using to get fit in only 3 days a week.

Exercise and get fit

There is value in daily exercise. Once I’m able to free up more time, I intend to go back to my daily program. But at this season in my life, daily exercise isn’t working.

If You Can’t Beat Obstacles, Join Them

My team is at the end of a busy project. My normal workday is 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, but as we approach a hard deadline, I am often putting in extra hours to keep the pace. This extra time at work eats into other priorities. I have tried to get life on my schedule, but for now this just is what it is.

If you can't beat obstacles, join them.

My perfect week is being challenged by the sun as well. To keep on track with building the bridge to my dream life (i.e., this blog), I have been getting up at 4:30 am every weekday to have a couple hours to write. The only problem with this plan is the long summer days in the Pacific Northwest. I might be able to manage this schedule in winter, but when it stays light outside until 10:00 pm, forget about it.

Use Evernote To Learn A Language

Last year Olga and I spent two weeks in Ukraine to celebrate our marriage. I was able to meet her wonderful family and friends and she was even happier to see many people, including her dad, that she hadn’t seen in nine years. The only problem was the language barrier. I returned committed to learning Ukrainian by our next visit.

My reason to learn a language

My wonderful family (Olga’s parents) during our visit to Ukraine.

After nearly a year, I haven’t made much progress. There are plenty of good reasons, but ultimately I just haven’t stayed committed. Working on my Ukrainian is on my goals list for this year (though it’s not a good goal—see my post on writing good goals). I have been failing to move this goal forward, so I’m working on a new strategy.

7 Reasons To Start a Blog

When I first started blogging, I had no idea how much it would help in my relentless quest for self-improvement. In little time, it helped me gain clarity on what I want out of life. Blogging has proved enough benefit that I am finally a believer. I think everyone should have a blog.

Start a blog.Share your wisdom.

To start a blog, you don’t need to be a writer, you don’t need be computer savvy, and you don’t even need to know what you want to say. In fact, most people who blog are none of the above.

Self-Made Financial Independence

All my life I’ve dreamed about the day I achieve financial independence. When I have enough money to survive for the rest of my life. When I can quit my job and take off around the world. When my life flips a switch from from things I have to do to things I want to do.

What would you do if you could retire

In Wailea on the island of Maui looking out into the Pacific Ocean.

But what if that dream could come much sooner? I’m not talking about winning the lotto, or striking it rich. There is another way to the life of financial independence if you reframe the objective.

5 Characteristics of a Good Goal

Last week I outlined my seven priorities, the big picture for my life. With those priorities in mind, I am constantly setting goals. If the priority is the vision, the goal is the direction.

Are you setting the direction of your

Goals are specific outcomes I want to achieve. I have long-term goals like, “Live and work in another country by 2030.” I also have short-term goals like, “Publish a free resource guide for my blog by the end of 2014.”

Recipe for a Successful Work Day

When I near the end a busy work day, I usually have unfinished business. There are tasks I haven’t completed, e-mails I haven’t responded to, and an uncertainty hanging over my head. After all this work today, how much progress have my team and I made towards our key deliverables?

Recipe for successful work day

Instead of powering through to the end like I used to do, I finally adopted a strategy that clears my head, lets me leave work at work so I can shift my focus to other priorities, and leaves me ready to effectively take on tomorrow.