Even though outwardly it appears I haven’t done anything more than post pieces this week, and though I haven’t spent much time on the sites of my friends around the net, this has been my busiest week of work since deciding to focus more on my online income opportunities. Weeks like this are sometimes frustrating because, while I accomplished heaps of tasks, they were all in the background.
I have a horrible method to increase my productivity that you probably won’t find in any David Allen or time management tome. Here it is: I fill up my day with more stuff than I can possibly accomplish, and then cope with the fact that I’m well behind.
Why? I’ve always found that I don’t take systems seriously unless it’s crucial right now. If I can dive into a system or hack immediately, I’m all about it. My best time management skills have come from necessity, not from sitting around during downtime thinking about how I can come up with more time when I already have plenty. Right now, I’m at that point….much of this week I spent creating systems I should have been working on weeks or months ago, but haven’t.
Work Concept: Load and Fire
I find it funny (and incredibly dorky), but throughout my business career I’ve always considered myself to be a pirate. Why? Simple. The world is humming along fine without me every day. If I’m going to make a mark in any situation, I have to insert myself. I can’t wait for good luck, readers, listeners, or advertisers to come my way; I have to manufacture my success by “boarding other people’s ships.” I know it’s pretty dumb, but it works, so I stick with it. My coach says that I’m one of the few people she’s met who’s created a whole slew of work arounds from my ADD. While most people took drugs, I never thought they applied to me.
Of course, my dorky pirate analogy isn’t perfect because I try to “board ships” in a way that won’t make people angry with me…and I’m certainly not going to steal their work…..but I’m going to keep using it for the simple fact that it keeps me motivated when I’m ready to pack it in a little early. Let’s just board one more ship…..
Using this analogy, I’ve come to realize that there are two parts to a successful career: loading the cannons and firing the cannons. Everyone gets excited when you fire your cannons. It’s easy to understand why. When you fire the cannons, you make a lot of noise and create change in the world around you. However, the key to firing the cannons is spending time loading the guns in the first place. If you become excited about the sexy part (firing) and never preparing (loading), you won’t have much long term success.
Weeks like this, when I see plenty of opportunities but I’m busy creating systems, is a week that I have to remind myself that this is “load the cannons” week. We’ll fire a few shots next week when we debut our new podcast, The Short Stack on Friday. There are many more cannons to be fired in the weeks following. I’m really excited about how much value we’ll bring to our little stacking community in the upcoming months.
Let’s Fire Off The Stack!
Okay, enough about “where the hell have I been all week?” and let’s move into my favorite reads:
Joe at Retire by 40 is a guy who, like many bloggers who’ve been around longer than I, has largely ignored this blog. However, he probably has a different reason than just general apathy. Here’s a lesson for new bloggers reading this: One of the first things I published when we started our new blog was a full-on rip of something he wrote. Little did I know at the time how interesting a character Joe really is (and with a cool name to boot) and how his strength as a blogger isn’t in being perfect….it’s that he shares his sometimes imperfect thoughts freely, making it a fun read. Currently he’s moving his portfolio from a fully diversified and rounded investment toward instead a dividend-leaning portfolio. It’s an interesting move, especially when the broader market is outperforming dividend investors. Read: Midyear Dividend Portfolio Checkup.
Poor Holly at ClubThrifty. I feel bad reading her blog because even though you know she loves shopping through homes, I think she really just wants to find a place to live at this point. Check out her latest stumbling block: Saying Goodbye To My Dream House.
I suck at negotiating because I’ve spent so long trying to be an advisor for the person across the table from me that I always want to negotiate their position for them. Only lately, now over five years since I’ve been an advisor, have a been more successful at negotiation. If you want help, I like Done by 40‘s negotiating series. Check out part II: How We Negotiate.
Kyle at The Frugal Farmer writes the best month to buy big ticket items. I need to change his post into a tattoo because I always forget when to buy what, except when the item comes with a handy expiration date! Check out How to Save Money: 10 Items to Always Buy Out of Season.
A big huge congratulations to Alexa at Single Mom’s Money who has pushed up the time frame on her big move toward self employment. She’s now one month away from full time entrepreneurship. Read more about it at Risk, Reward and Taking Action.
Here’s the truth: I sometimes think Mr. PoP at Planting Our Pennies is Bigfoot. We often hear about him, and there are little hints of him in the background, but a sighting? Well, they’re fairly rare. However, he’s out in full plumage (maybe I need to re-think that description) in Understand Your Goals, AKA Car Chargers For Everyone!
Matt at Mom and Dad Money tackles your investment portfolio and, as always, provides sound, well reasoned advice. If you’re wondering how to begin investing, read 5 Simple Questions to Ask Before You Invest In Anything.
Hello, My Name Is…..
Let’s welcome some new blogs I checked out this week:
Fearless Dollar. Welcome to the party! Todd and John, the great minds behind Fearless Men, are back with a great looking new site. Check out a guest post from Catherine at PlungedInDebt called Why Women Need to be Fearless With Their Dollar.
Another new kid (and my kind of site) is Cash-Funny. It’s so difficult to mash up finance and humor (just ask me how many of my jokes are missed on a weekly basis), that it’s a treat to see it done well. Check out Women vs. Men: Bathroom Hygiene. Toilet jokes for the win!
More Thank You’s!
Jake at iHeartBudgets was kind enough to link to our comical post: The New iPhone, Which is Right For You? in his Weekly Wrap Up post on Saturday.
Thank you too to Critical Financial, who also liked our new iPhone humor post. I’m liking this site a ton. Check out the commentary on the Twitter IPO, which is spot on accurate.
Along with a bazillion other people, we were approved for the Carnival for Young Adults at Degrees and Debt. I still really have a hard time liking the entire concept of carnivals. It’s a waste of space all around. (That’s not a commentary on Degrees and Debt, a blog that I really enjoy….they’re just playing the game, too.)
Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! I’m attending a wedding this weekend, running 8 and 10 miles, and editing a random podcast. What are you up to?
Today’s Workout: Easy 5 Miles
Days I’ve Run In A Row: 360
On My iPod: Golden Pony by Army Navy