Archives For Life

I want to talk about hustle. Mainly, I want to talk about the lunacy of hustle.

Hustle is vastly overrated. While getting a lot done is certainly of value, most of us could actually get way more done in way less time and be way less busy. Yet we seem to think that being busy equates to success. It doesn’t!

I know this is certainly true for me. Even though I was equating more hours with more output, in true hustle fashion, it simply wasn’t the case. What I found was I was taking the work that needed to get done and stringing it out over 12, 13, maybe 14 hours.

The Lie of Hustle

I was somehow, someway deriving satisfaction from the length that I worked instead of the actual production that happened within those hours. The difference is significant. And I say that knowing there’s this movement towards the direction of hustle. Being strategic about how you work is the true secret to productivity and success.

While I’m certainly up for working hard, I’m also a strong believer in rest. Without it, there is no focus. Without focus, there is no true productivity. Just the pat-yourself-on-the-back posture of the hustle squad.

Ways to Combat the Hustle

Schedules Over Lists

First and foremost, if it doesn’t get scheduled it doesn’t happen. For the most part, I have ditched to do lists and encourage you to do the same. These lists are counterproductive! They increase our stress, which reduces our productivity.

Most of us have to-do lists that are humanly impossible to finish. If you make lists the same way that 99% of the population does, that list is always growing. There’s never relief in sight because you add 4-5 items for every 1-2 you cross off! Anyone who knows the economics of scaling can see that it is not a scaleable system. It won’t work long term.

With that in mind, I’ve switched to scheduling out everything that is important or needs to get done. Block your schedule off into 15 minute increments and schedule your most important tasks throughout the day. I have found this to be more effective in terms of productivity.

Plus, it forces me to ask the question of what is most important to get done in a given day. Scheduling versus to-do lists will help you prioritize. It’s a pretty drastic system shift but it’s one that keeps your work boundaries in place as much as possible and allows you to work efficiently.

Mandatory Day Off

The second thing is pick a day of rest. Now, for faith-based people (specifically Christians) there’s an age-old discipline called the Sabbath where you take one day per week and you rest. You do not work.

In the Christian tradition that day is dedicated to worship, God, fellowship, community. You don’t have to be religious to use this principle. You simply need to pick one day out of the week where you are not focused on work. Instead, you are focusing on the other activities and relationships that make you a human being.

Basically the only criteria is that on your day off you are doing the things that energize you. Whether it’s going to movies, having coffee with friends, reading, watching Netflix, whatever. As long as it brings you rest, enjoyment, and fulfillment outside of work then it will recharge you and that is the goal.

When you do work 24/7, your mind can never get the mental break it needs to recharge its batteries. The day of a rest is a secret weapon for any entrepreneur or business owner out there. It will feel scary, and it will feel like something is going to break, but I promise you that nothing will be broken. Just try it.

Eliminate the Email App

The third suggestion to combat hustle is to delete email off of your phone. Take that app off! I did this a couple of weeks ago and it has been one of the most important decisions I’ve made in regards to finding a repeatable and scaleable rhythm for work.

I was frantically always looking at my phone and one of the main areas of time suck was the email app. I would just mindlessly open it throughout different points of the day, and even worse, when I was at home relaxing. When you open up your phone and check your email it will put you in a different mindset. If you truly want rest you need to break free from it.

These past two weeks sans-email app have been truly relaxing! When I wake up in the morning, I don’t check email until I get to the office around 9am. It really forces a person to realize that “I’m not as important as I think I am.” To put it in a positive direction: there usually is no problem so big that it can’t wait to be addressed until you want to address it.

Email forces you to address problems on other people’s schedule. When you take a step back and put boundaries around your email you will be able to address problems on your schedule.

Join the Team

I love my job. Chances are if you’re reading this post you love your job. I want to be loving my job for years and decades to come. One of the best ways to ensure that happens is through building a sustainable and scaleable rhythm for work that doesn’t involve being “on” 24/7/365.

Sustain your productivity. Sustain your love for your job. Join Team No Hustle today.

 

Morning routines don’t make great entrepreneurs, but all great entrepreneurs have a morning routine.

This post is going to be quick and direct, but so pivotal. The bottom line is, I wouldn’t be successful without a morning routine.

The importance of a morning routine

The fact is, all successful entrepreneurs have a morning routine. Even if it’s by default or intuitive rather than intentional, the it is there. The goal is to make your routine work for you.

My morning routine

Most days my alarm is set at 5:23. (I don’t like getting up unless it’s at an odd time.) I sneak in meditation time; I like starting my day in quiet. Then it’s the gym, to get the workout done and out of the way. Next, it’s back home for breakfast with the family. I get ready, head to the office where I have 9-11 AM blocked off every day. My meetings start at 11am, rarely before, because I need those 2 hours in the morning to get prepared and set my agenda for the day. That time also includes journaling and anywhere from 15-30 minutes of reading. This drastically improves the rest of my day.

Your Routine

If you don’t have a routine it’s time to start building one. I have a free template for you to help kickstart the process! Download this template to chart your morning routine. Let me know how it goes!

One of the most formidable foes an entrepreneur will face is fatigue. It can sneak up on you, and when it does, it can pull you down for long, long periods of time.

Earlier this week we discussed the importance of building in breaks to our daily, weekly, and monthly routines to keep our rhythm fresh and fatigue-free.

Now we’re going to tackle the practical side: the impact that our lifestyle choices can have on our energy and motivation levels!

Regular Exercise

The importance of getting regular exercise may seem like a no-brainer, but how many of us actually work out regularly? Working out has been one of the lifesavers in my battle against fatigue. It’s become a key non-negotiable. It must happen!

Working out clears mental clutter, gets out aggression, and oxygenates your brain. It also spikes endorphins which, generally speaking, makes you feel better throughout the day.

As goes the body, so goes the mind. Exercise will keep you on point mentally which will lead to overall rejuvenation.

Nutrition

I’m still learning how huge this component is. Up until 2 years ago, I didn’t give much thought at all to what I put in my body.

I’ve always had a pretty mean sweet tooth and would just cram as much junk as I could into my daily diet. And until I turned 30 there were no physical ramifications; my metabolism let me eat what I wanted to.

But as I get older, I know it’s important to eat better not only for metabolic reasons, but it also contributes to my overall energy levels. What you put in is what you get out. The food that you eat will contribute to your energy levels, which has a direct relationship with fatigue.

Cutting down significantly on carbs and sweets and upping my intake of protein, fruits, and veggies has become my regimen. In essence, clean eating! The importance of nutrition cannot be overstated.

Fighting the fatigue with diet can be as simple as having protein (nuts, sunflower seeds) in the afternoon instead of a sugary snack or coffee in the afternoon. Protein will keep those energy levels going instead of something sugary that will make you crash!

Talk It Out

Some of you may scoff at this, but talking about what you are feeling is one of the quickest ways to fight mental fatigue. Truthfully, not talking it through will add the weight of nobody knowing what you are going through. That is a heavy burden to bear.

By having mentors that I can talk to and say “Man, this is what I’m feeling – burnt out, frustrated, like I can’t push – you have been doing this longer, what did you do when you felt like this?” Even if the answer is something like “keep pushing,” it helps me greatly to know that somebody else knows what I am going through and has made it to the other side.

My mentors have been invaluable to me in helping me shape my thinking around fatigue. That there’s this thought that as entrepreneurs we’re supposed to be invincible; we never get sick or tired or frustrated or lonely. The reality is that isn’t true. Having people you can talk to who have experienced it and know the steps you need to take to push through is key to fighting fatigue.

Final Push

The fatigue is almost always mental. Very few of us work in jobs where there is a physical fatigue. Most people in 2015 have a job surrounding a desk and computers – that leads to mental fatigue. It’s pointless to try and push through fatigue; it’s like beating a dead horse.

Your mind is already fatigued – the horse is already dead – there’s no sense in pushing forward. You might actually do further damage if you don’t take time to recharge!

There’s a dangerous notion of “the hustle” and there are certain times and places for you to push. But if you pull a muscle when you’re working out, sometimes you can push through, but sometimes you need to rest and recuperate.

The difference in terms of longevity is to know the difference between discomfort and injury. You can push through discomfort. If you try to push through injury you will only make the situation worse. That is true of our muscles and of our mental capacity.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely battle. I want you in this for the long haul. I need you guys to take care of yourselves so that we can change the world together!