Productivity

How These 23 Key Principles Helped Me Overcome My Challenges and Made Me Unstoppable

The definitive guide to building lasting momentum

It’s Wednesday morning, 5:00am.

I’m pumped to start working. I did not hit the snooze button, and had no intention to.

For the past few days, I’ve felt it. I felt something was changing. Something positive was building up inside my mind.

The reason I hadn’t written much on that topic in the past few months is not because it was an untrue statement, on the contrary, it’s extremely powerful!

But I had lost it and couldn’t get it back.

 

Wanna know if you’ve ever felt it — True Momentum?

Have you seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper? To a smaller degree, that’s how True Momentum feels.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to reach it. In Bradley’s case, he “cheated” with NZT. I’m talking about legit stuff here. Building it yourself. Doing everything you can to build it up.

Before we get into the guide on how to build it for yourself, here’s how I would define True Momentum in practical terms:

True Momentum is when you’re so invested in something that going in the opposite direction has become very difficult. Moving forward happens more easily and at a better pace.

It’s like pushing a boulder down a hill. At first, it goes slowly, but as it goes down the slope, it goes faster and faster, to a point where stopping it becomes much harder. It’s near-unstoppable.

Now that I’ve got True Momentum for the third time, it made me want to revisit the topic. I want to give you a definitive guide on how to build it yourself.

I wasn’t completely right in my first story on the subject back in January. I couldn’t see at the time. But now that I had lost it badly and regained it, I have a better idea of how it works to get it, and I’ll give you as many hands-on tips I can.

In this story, I’ll put other linked stories in-line, but please read the whole story first, then you can revisit the ones that interest you most. It’s better to keep the flow of reading.

Suggested Stories For After:

True Momentum Really Makes You Unstoppable
It’s Sunday. I told myself I wouldn’t do anything today. I didn’t put an alarm the night before. I “wanted” to sleep…medium.com

Poco A Poco — How To Build Lasting Momentum
Writing wisdom says to not give the answer in the headline. Well, I just did.medium.com

 

23 Key Principles For Building True Momentum

I’ll start by saying that doing everything on that list is near-impossible. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to building True Momentum, it’s a combination of many of the following things, and what works for one person may not for another.

So here’s how I would plan this if I were you:

  1. Read the suggestions below and note those you think you can implement easily, or already have.

  2. Try to implement them for 1 month straight.

  3. At the end of the month, take note of what worked and what didn’t.

  4. Read this guide again, start from 1.

It’s an iterative process, like most things in life. You won’t get it right the first time.

You’ll know it once you’ve reached True Momentum.

The list below is not in any particular order, pick and choose from there.

And take note of this very important thing:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

You have to keep doing the things on this list to have lasting True Momentum. I lost it twice. I’ll lose it again. It’s inevitable. But I’ll do everything I can to keep it as long as I can!

 

1. Keep or Make Good Habits, Drop The Bad Ones

This is the starting point, and most likely the most important one. Habits are strong. We’re creatures of habits. Good or bad. Keep the good ones. Make new, better ones. Drop the negative or ineffective ones.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

A Morning Routine Really Does Set You Up For Success — Here’s A 6 Step Process To Create One
It’s 6am on a Tuesday morning. It’s been two weeks since I’ve lost my hard-earned momentum.medium.com

Habits Are Indeed Powerful, Don’t Fall Behind On The Good Ones
6 Tips For Keeping Your Good Habitsmedium.com

 

2. Reading Uplifting Content Before Going To Bed

Don’t let yourself go to bed in a bad mood, or by filling your brain with “crap”. I understand that you need to decompress before going to bed. I completely get that.

But what you do before bed affects how you wake up, and the state of mind you’re going to be in for the first part of the day.

My top recommendation here is to read biographies or self-help books. I find them so uplifting. It’s always nice to hear that even the inspiring people in our lives are just as imperfect as we are, sometimes even more so.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

In Need Of Motivation? Try These Simple Tried And True Productivity Tips
Think about this simple idea: Productivity leads to wins. Wins lead to momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable. Being…medium.com

You Are, Or Will Become What you Read
This morning I woke up to a really nice message from a reader of this story I wrote: Stop Being What You Can, Start…medium.com

 

3. Listen To Uplifting Music, Podcasts And People

It might seem strange, but my most productive days seem to be when I’m dancing to music on my chair. Great music puts me in flow state. I feel like I can do anything!

In terms of podcasts, nothing gets me more than the Tim Ferriss Show.

For people, I like to listen to people smarter than I around myself. Or TED talks.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

You Are, Or Will Become What You Listen To
What do you listen to?theascent.pub

 

4. Keep Inspiring Quotes Near You

Quotes are insanely powerful. One thing I had realized early on when I started writing was that things people highlighted most in my stories were the quotes I put in them.

And I get it. People far smarter than me have said far smarter things I have.

Reading at least one good quote a day puts you in the right mood. Keep it on your fridge/desk. Let it be in your face as frequently as possible.

The one I kept the longest the last time I had True Momentum was this one:

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Markus Aurelius

Suggested Website

https://addicted2success.com/category/quotes/

Suggested Reading

Stories:

41 Short And Powerful Quotes To Make You Feel Unstoppable
Let these strong quotes inspire you; motivate you to be what you want to be; motivate you to dare act, change, and…medium.com

 

5. Work Out, Even If Just A Little

The best months of my life was when I was doing physical activity. I was feeling great in my body.

I’ve always been a skinny guy, but when I’m working out and seeing even small gains in muscles, I feel incredible.

Whatever your goals are health-wise, be active, measure every little gain, and keep going.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

The Ultimate Daily Excuse-Free 20 Minute Workout Routine
I’m not fit. I’m busy. I’m working 15 hours per day, from 4am to 7pm. I’m a nomad, I don’t stay in the same place for…medium.com

Let’s All Learn This Lesson From Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold’s story is an amazing one. If you haven’t read his biography: “Total Recall: My Unbelievable True Life Story”…medium.com

 

6. Have Monthly Goals And Track Them

New Year resolutions suck. They’re near-impossible to achieve.

Monthly goals, on the other hand, are excellent. Committing to goals for a month is doable, and leads to building great habits. It’s great to experiment and see what works for you, and what doesn’t.

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy
April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!medium.com

What Do You Want To Be Most Proud Of In The Next 3 Months?
A few days ago, I wrote about a question I was asked by a friend I hadn’t seen in four months: What are you most proud…medium.com

 

7. Make A Clear Task List

I work on at least 4 projects on a daily basis. A lot of people would say this is insane and counter-productive, and they would be mostly right.

I’ve been disorganized and lost many times. I was using simple To Do lists and had a really hard time tracking my progress on the various projects.

A few weeks ago, I started using TeamWeek and my productivity sky-rocketed!

My task list on TeamWeek

My task list on TeamWeek

TeamWeek is basically a Gantt chart. The colours are different project. You can see a lot of tasks in there. But you’re missing about half of them…

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

Tried and True: 7 tips on staying motivated and productive
I’ve been working on Soul Reaper on and off for more than 2 years. It’s a lot of time working on the same project…medium.com

 

8. Aim Freaking High

Always make your lists bigger than you can chew. We, as humans, like comfort. If we allow ourselves to be comfortable, we end up doing close to nothing.

Make your lists big. But make sure the tasks are small and achievable. I have about 15–20 things to do every day. Most are 10 minute tasks.

If I aim to accomplish 10 tasks. I will. And I will be “satisfied”. Now if I aim to accomplish 20 tasks and complete 15–18 of them, I’ll be pumped. I won’t see time go by and the dopamine rush I’ll get rush for accomplishing so much will strongly contribute to building that True Momentum up.

Suggested Website

www.dannyforest.com

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Embrace The Word “Impossible”
One of my favourite word in this world is the word Impossible.medium.com

Fuel On Crazy Goals
Yesterday, a co-worker asked me how I was able to consistently wake up at 5:45am every day. It’s then that I realized…medium.com

Can You Handle the Obsession Needed to Reach Your Most Insane Goals?
We all have big goals, whether they be short term or long term. Goals that, even in our wildest dreams, would seem…medium.com

 

9. Prepare Your Next Day The Night Before

What I’m proposing you here is to simply make a list of things you want to accomplish for the next day a few hours before bed, and then review it shortly before “calling it a night”.

Don’t make it too complex. Just a simple list. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. I usually come up with a list of anywhere between 10–20 things to do.

Here’s what happens when you prepare your next day the night before:

While you sleep, your subconscious is “working on” things you “fed it” before going to bed. When you feed it with things you want to accomplish for the next day, it will “prepare” you for them.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

This 5-Minute Habit Will Make You More Productive And Build Your Momentum
What do you do one or two hours before you go to bed?medium.com

 

10. Write For Yourself

Writing has been a powerful medium for me to express myself. I never knew I had so much to say, let alone inspire people along the way.

I did it for myself, really.

Yet putting all my thoughts in writing has been a phenomenal way to free my mind and think clearly, ultimately leading to some momentum.

Suggested Website

https://findingtom.com/, by Tom Kuegler

Suggested Reading

Stories:

How To Be A Remarkable Writer
You Can’t Be Remarkable By Following The Herdmedium.com

Should You Write One Story A Day? Here’s What I Learned From The Last Two Months
I really didn’t want to write yet another post about “writing a story a day”. Many people have done that before me.medium.com

 

11. Delegate To People You Trust

This is WAY underrated! I thought people who delegated were lazy. I didn’t get the 4-Hour Workweek the first time I read it.

There was a guy I worked with who was so proud of letting others do the work for him. Turns out he was secretly a genius.

There are so many things I was doing that could easily be done by someone either more qualified, or with more time doing simpler things.

Since I hired my assistant in February, I was able to focus on the things I’m good at, and have increased my productivity up to 10x.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

How To Accomplish Your Goals 10x Faster And Better
If it wasn’t for the people helping me, I certainly wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have.medium.com

 

12. Have A Semi-Strict Routine

My wife hates my daily schedule/routine. It’s pretty obsessive indeed. But damn it works. The more I stick to it, the more productive I am.

I tweak it every month. Here’s what it looks like for this month:

may.png

As you can see, most items in the list are not *that* detailed. I don’t say what I’ll be working on, what my workout is, what I’ll be eating, etc — that changes every day.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy
April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!medium.com

 

13. Don’t Stop When It Hurts

How do you build muscles? You continue when it starts hurting.

And you know what? That’s how you grow in anything in life. No pain no gain.

If you stop when it’s hard, you just wasted valuable energy and will NOT build momentum. Recognize when you’re in a dip, and then get out of it!

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

When You Think You Are An Impostor, You Are On The Right Track
Have you ever felt like you shouldn’t be doing something because you felt under-qualified, yet circumstances made it so…medium.com

It’s Your Fault If You “Fail”, And How To Grow From That
The other day I read the follow quote:medium.com

 

14. Surround Yourself With Motivated People

Here’s one of my favourite quote of all times:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

This is so true.

I seek mentors. I seek positive people. I seek people who get stuff done.

I can only work from co-working spaces, mostly because of that. This, along with delegating, are the main cause for intense productivity.

Suggested co-working spaces

Suggested Reading

Stories:

You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:medium.com

Are You Even Mentor-able?
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” — Buddhamedium.com

 

15. Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time

Walking to work is one of the most “meditative” things you can do. Going in, you can prepare for what’s to come. Going out, you can disconnect from work.

When back home, analyze how you spend your time. We all waste time on “useless” things. And I’m not saying to not watch TV or play video games, but realize that there’s a time when you need it, and a time when it’s a waste.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Want To Be More Productive? Start This Simple Daily Habit
I walk fast. Really fast.medium.com

Analyze How You Spend Your Time, And You will Realize There Is Plenty Of Free Time
Last night I saw one of my brothers for the first time in 6 months. It was really nice catching up with him.medium.com

 

16. Constantly Learn New Things

That’s probably what I’ve written the most about, and what contributed the most to the changes in my life.

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

Everything I’m doing today — my “successes”, my “failures” — it’s all because I had decided I wanted to consciously learn 3 new skills every month back in September 2017.

Suggested Website

www.dannyforest.com

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

How To Learn 108 New Skills In The Next 3 Years
The moment I read and understood the following quote is the moment I knew I had to turn my life around and become a…medium.com

Learn More Skills, For Your Future’s Sake!
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Masterymedium.com

Improve Everything In Your Life by Learning 3 New Skills Every Month
As I frequently write about, I learn 3 new skills every month. It’s a “calculated” approach that helps improve…medium.com

 

17. Learn To Power Nap

Power napping is a skill, and it’s hard to master. I’ve mastered it over the years, and it’s been a key ingredient to my productivity.

We can’t be alert 100% of the time during the day. When my energy levels are low, I power nap. Once. Twice. Three times a day! Who cares.

15 minutes after power napping, I’m back in peak state and accomplish so much more than if I didn’t nap.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Quick Tip On How To Stay Awake During The Day When Waking Up Really Early
How I wake up at 4:30am and still manage to be productive until 7pm.medium.com

Pro Tips For Power Napping Like A King
I power nap almost every day. And I swear I’m no lazy bastard.medium.com

 

18. Learn To Meditate and Journal

I knew meditation would be hard when I decided to start doing it. But what I didn’t realize was that it’s a skill and it needs practice. I quickly learned that I had the wrong expectations, and that held me back. Meditation is not about “not thinking”, it’s about being aware.

When I started journaling, I had the preconception that it was a dumb idea and that I wouldn’t have anything to say. I could not have been more wrong. On my first journaling session, I wrote for 3 hours without even noticing.

It’s a powerful tool that frees up your mind and aligns your goals together. You become more aware and focused.

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Books:

 

19. Take A Well-Deserved Vacation

It’s hard to brake when your pedal is all the way back. But you know what, sometimes that’s exactly when you need to brake.

You can’t function at peak state when you’re constantly under pressure.

Dare take vacations, you need them!

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Work Hard, Brake Hard
When I left Canada 7 months ago, I went to a co-working/co-living space in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My goal was to focus on…medium.com

Resting Really Is A Crucial Part Of Your Success — Embrace It
“I regularly take a vacation from all my productive activities.”medium.com

 

20. Don’t Be Alone

I’m an introvert. I like solitude. I’m so drained whenever I’m surrounded by people.

But I need to have people around me once in a while, to share my stories, my experiences, my “successes”, my “failures”, etc. Everyone does.

Everyone needs to be uplifted, and you can’t (easily) do it alone.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

We All Need Someone Who Truly Understands Us
I don’t live a conventional life by any means.medium.com

How Many Meaningful Relationships Do You Have, And Why Does It Matter?
A meaningful relationship is one that’s open and honest in a way that lets people be straight with each othermedium.com

You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:medium.com

 

21. Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work

Meeting new people and doing things outside of work is very important both for your sanity and for making important connections.

I voluntarily go out to seek and talk to people that are now helping with some of my projects. And of course, I help in return!

You gotta have things outside of work. You can’t be all work and no play. Work hard, play hard. Cliché I know, but it’s true.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

It’s All About Who You Meet
Plus, 4 Tested Tips On Meeting More Interesting Peoplemedium.com

You Are, Or Will Become, your Environment
A lot of the inspiration comes from my own experience living in completely different areas of the world in the last few…medium.com

Do Talk To Strangers And Get Inspired By Their Stories
Yesterday I was walking down the streets of Montreal with my wife in search of an independent coffee shop so we could…medium.com

 

22. Do Good, Be Grateful

I don’t know of anyone who has True Momentum and are not doing good. Doing good is so rewarding and gives you such a high.

And when someone does good to you, be grateful. Gratefulness is almost as powerful as doing good yourself.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

I Helped Someone, And I Liked It
How Being Selfish Is Not The Waymedium.com

Become Happier By Recognizing And Thanking People Who Inspire You
How many people around you inspire you?medium.com

Be Aware Of All The Greatness Around You
When’s the last time you stopped and looked around?medium.com

 

23. Celebrate The Small Wins

If you’re like most of us, you don’t get many big wins in a month. It’s hard to keep our motivation when we don’t win frequently. It’s not by accident that people, including myself, rush to video games — you are constantly being rewarded. That’s also why we’re trying to gamify everything now.

So I say to you, every time a small event happens where it could be considered a “win”, acknowledge it. Take note of it. Have a “success” journal. Here’s an example of things I saved yesterday:

1_NcDRnhcR69VR4KmCBfWkNw.png

That’s it! These are not big wins, but they totally uplifted me, and is the main reason I’m writing on this topic today!

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

Celebrate The Small Wins, Reach For The Big Wins
Constantly Winning Is The Best Boost You Can Getmedium.com

 

Conclusion

Here’s what I suggest you do:

Bookmark this, and refer to it regularly.

Here’s a quick recap of ideas to build True Momentum (makes for a good list on your fridge!):

 

  • Keep or Make Good Habits, Drop The Bad Ones

  • Reading Uplifting Content Before Going To Bed

  • Listen To Uplifting Music, Podcasts And People

  • Keep Inspiring Quotes Near You

  • Work Out, Even If Just A Little

  • Have Monthly Goals And Track Them

  • Make A Clear Task List

  • Aim Freaking High

  • Prepare Your Next Day The Night Before

  • Write For Yourself

  • Delegate To People You Trust

  • Have A Semi-Strict Routine

  • Don’t Stop When It Hurts

  • Surround Yourself With Motivated People

  • Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time

  • Constantly Learn New Things

  • Learn To Power Nap

  • Learn To Meditate and Journal

  • Take A Well-Deserved Vacation

  • Don’t Be Alone

  • Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work

  • Do Good, Be Grateful

  • Celebrate The Small Wins

 

Be consistent in working towards your goals. Don’t skip. Do. Even when you don’t want to. Every small gain builds your momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable!

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :) Follow me for more similar stories!

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/how-these-23-key-principles-helped-me-overcome-my-challenges-and-made-me-unstoppable-e68a2a9eb6e1

3 Alternatives to 10x Your Productivity Almost Instantly

Photo by  Raw Pixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Raw Pixel on Unsplash

Using a Simple, Yet Scientifically Proven Method

Are you like I was and would LOVE to work on side projects or start a business on the side while still working at your current job?

We all know that is a smarter decision than downright quitting. Trust me, I’ve been there.

You come back from work completely exhausted and can’t conjure the energy to make it happen.

I was like that too. And believe it or not, there are millions of people like us too.

Imagine all the wasted potential.

You could be working on your dream project and make an impact in this world, if only you could find it in you to just start, build some momentum and keep at it.

And it’s so freaking hard. Again, I know, I’ve been there.

But things changed when I changed this aspect of my life:

I became ACCOUNTABLE for the things I’m doing.

In the short span of six months, I was able to accomplish the following:

  • I learned 18 new skills, including fiction and non-fiction writing, drawing, NGO photography, storytelling, public speaking, day-to-day Spanish conversations, learning to learn, eComm management, and more;

  • I got involved in more than 7 projects, most of which I’ve started;

  • I met prolific writers and other personalities;

  • I gained 7kg of muscles;

  • I wrote and published 2 books;

  • I released a video game;

  • I opened up the world’s first and only story-driven online store;

  • I diversified my revenue sources, getting paid for 4+ different projects;

  • I got published by top Medium publications like The Startup;

  • I contributed to Entrepreneur Magazine, Thought Catalog, and Thrive Global;

  • I became a top writer in 15 categories on Medium;

  • and more!

Feeling inspired?

What Does Being Accountable Mean?

In its simplest form, it means you owe “something” to “someone”.

The most powerful “something” are:

  1. Money; and

  2. Results.

The most powerful “someone” are:

  1. People you love; and

  2. People you care about.

Think about your previous attempts at starting something. A side project for example.

  • Why did you (want to) do it?

  • Who did you do it for?

  • Was it necessary?

  • What/who forced you to do it?

  • What were the resources associated with doing it (money, people, etc)?

A powerful method to push you to action is what’s called the SUNK COST.

Think of any membership really. An easy example is a gym membership.

  • If you have a gym in your house or building, how frequently do you actually use it?

  • Now, if you spent money on your gym membership, are you going more frequently?

Very likely, right?

Back in January, I was in Málaga, Spain, and looked up the most expensive gym. I couldn’t really afford it. If I went there, it meant I had to cut other places I didn’t really want to.

But I decided to go there anyway. Getting up and going there was easy. I “sacrificed much” to have access to that gym. I HAD TO go, otherwise, I would have wasted precious money and time. After it became a habit to go, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Not working out had actually become harder than working out.

This is KEY: Not doing had become harder than doing!

THAT is the power of being accountable!

 

3 Ways to Become Accountable

1. Involve a Friend in Your Weekly Planning and Reflection

Average Effectiveness Rating: 2-3x

This is probably the cheapest and easiest option but is the least effective in my opinion.

Here’s how it works:

You find a partner/friend to participate with you. Every week, you meet and exchange on:

  • Your goals for the week;

  • What was — and was not — accomplished towards these goals;

  • How you can do better next week;

  • What your goals are for the next week; and

  • How you will accomplish these goals.

This method is less effective because there’s only one other person involved, and therefore you both have to be accountable to even have the meeting.

In day to day craziness, it’s easy to forget to do it or set it aside because of other “priorities”.

If you fail to achieve your goals, you make a fool of yourself to one person only, usually someone who won’t make you feel bad for it anyway.

2. Make Your Goals and Progress Public

Average Effectiveness Rating: 5x+

This is how it all started for me. I did not do it intentionally, but I did it nonetheless.

At the co-working space I was working from in Málaga, everyone knew my goals every month. They were displayed on my screen at all times, I’d talk about them with people, and they’d ask questions about the progress.

But also, I had started writing on Medium back in January. To make my stories more relatable, I often wrote about my goals and how I accomplished them.

By having everything public, I don’t want to look like a fool that’s all talk and no game. I had to show results. Since I was the top #5 writer in Inspiration for a bit, I also had to make sure that my achievements were indeed inspiring.

I strongly encourage you to try this method.

3. Join an Accountability Program

Average Effectiveness Rating: 10x+

An accountability program is a system that puts incentives for you to do things. Some try the gamification approach, some try punishment, some try community, some try the coaching approach, etc.

There’s no right or wrong here. It depends on your personality.

If you’re driven by gratification, the gamification approach may work for you. Some programs give you rewards in the form of digital currencies or goods, discount coupons, or more. You receive them when you accomplish a goal you set for yourself.

If you’re driven by fear of losing something, the punishment method may work for you. Some programs implement it by having you set a goal and putting a “bet” that you’ll accomplish your goal in time. If you don’t, the money is taken from your account and put somewhere else. Basically, it costs you money to not accomplish your goal.

If you’re driven by social recognition, the community method may work for you. Basically, it’s a paid membership to a group where people report weekly goals and activities for every member to see.

The coaching approach is the next level. It’s more similar to the friend/partner approach from above, but is paid and more importantly, gives the person expert feedback, tips and truly pushes the person. Think of it almost like a mentor-mentee relationship.

 

Conclusion

Not all accountability methods yield the same results, but one thing is for sure:

Being accountable for what you do does dramatically increase your productivity and motivation.

I’d suggest trying all three methods from above to see what works best for you. I included my personal effectiveness ratings above based on my own experience, but I think it’s important to try for yourself.

The important part is that you can start being accountable NOW, at no cost, and with minimal effort. I can’t promise you the results I’ve had for myself, because we’re all different, but I can promise you it will help your productivity and motivation.

So think about this now:

  • Who can I be accountable with?

  • Can I make my goals public?

  • Do I want to join a program?

  • Which program is right for me?

I’m hoping this reflection will bring clarity to you will push you to try to become accountable for what you’re doing.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping, and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/3-alternatives-to-10x-your-productivity-almost-instantly-c507ca6c4c53

5 Steps To Fight Procrastination Off

Photo of a  WeWork  opening in Bangalore by  Danny Forest

Photo of a WeWork opening in Bangalore by Danny Forest

Follow This Simple Formula For A Better Future

How often do you procrastinate doing things?

Sometimes even the things we want to do, we can’t find the energy to actually do them.

I’d say this is a normal human behaviour. We are not programmed to do things out of our comfort zone.

Our inaction towards our goals is a major factor in us not attaining “success”, however you define the word.

But why do we not execute on the things we want to do?

After all, most of the time, we have a “clear” path to “success”. We know that to reach goal ‘x’, we must do action ‘y’. Yet we don’t do action ‘y’.

The problem is we don’t really know goal ‘x’ and action ‘y’. I mean, we don’t know their details. We don’t go deep enough.

To become a bodybuilder, we must workout at the gym.

Everyone knows that.

I would procrastinate like hell if that was my plan to become a bodybuilder!

 

The Six-Word Formula For Success

“Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker

Think things through, then follow through. Eddie Rickenbacker said it right.

When I first read that, I didn’t immediately get it. I mean, it’s obvious isn’t it?

But here’s the key in my opinion, and experience:

Think things through

Go freaking deep in your thinking.

  1. Research every detail on how to reach your goal. Break everything down to the fundamentals.

  2. Craft a solid plan of actionable items to reach your goal. Be precise with quantities and quality. Set a timeline. Make the deadlines hard, but achievable.

  3. Execute consistently. Don’t skip a day. Measure your increments towards your goal. Every actionable item you tick is success towards your goal.

  4. Adjust your plan as you go. It won’t be perfect on first try. Keep researching as you go.

  5. Rinse and repeat.

By having a solid plan of action, you can’t help but follow through. I write a lot about gaining momentum.

We procrastinate because a task seems too hard to achieve. It requires too much energy.

With carefully planned bite-sized actionable items, you are constantly winning.

Each task is so small and achievable that thinking-of-not-doing-it is almost harder than actually doing it.

And by having a timeline, you never want to push anything further. It’s a dreadful domino effect.

I set weekly and monthly goals personally. I never want to carry a goal over to the next month, because that means next month I’ll either have way too much on my plate, or I’ll have to drop other goals I may have.

Teamweek has been my personal tool of choice for the past 2–3 months now. Check it out!

 

Conclusion

It bears repeating:

“There’s a six-word formula for success: Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker

Craft a solid plan, and following through will instantly become easier. The doing is often times the easy part once you have a clear direction of where you’re going.

The more you follow through, the easier it gets. You build momentum and become unstoppable.

Think. Research. Break every down. Plan. Execute, execute, execute. Rinse and Repeat.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, clapping and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/5-steps-to-fight-procrastination-off-eadd03581059

23 Key Principles For Building True Momentum And Becoming Unstoppable

Lessons Learned From Reaching It 3 Times Now

Me atop a mountain in Mostar, Bosnia, shortly before building True Momentum for the first time

Me atop a mountain in Mostar, Bosnia, shortly before building True Momentum for the first time

It’s Wednesday morning, 5:45am.

I’m pumped to start working. I did not hit the snooze button, and had no intention to.

For the past few days, I’ve felt it.

I felt something was changing.

Something positive was building up inside my mind.

And then in MR. Molly Maguire’s story from your yesterday, he mentioned me with a quote I said back in January, when I was right in the middle of the biggest momentum I had ever had:

“True Momentum makes you unstoppable”

The reason I hadn’t written much on that topic in the past few months is not because it was an untrue statement, on the contrary, it’s extremely powerful!

But I had lost it and couldn’t get it back.

 

Wanna know if you’ve ever felt it — True Momentum?

Have you seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper? To a smaller degree, that’s how True Momentum feels.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s far from being easy to reach it. In Bradley’s case, he “cheated” with NZT. I’m talking about legit stuff here. Building it yourself. Doing everything you can to build it up.

MR. Molly Maguire mentioned he built it, and now he’s got a strong momentum. By chatting with him briefly, I could tell he’s feeling it.

Before we get into the guide on how to build it for yourself, here’s how I would define True Momentum in practical terms:

 

True Momentum is when you’re so invested in something that going in the opposite direction has become very difficult. Moving forward happens more easily and at a better pace.

It’s like pushing a boulder down a hill. At first, it goes slowly, but as it goes down the slope, it goes faster and faster, to a point where stopping it becomes much harder. It’s near-unstoppable.

 

Now that I’ve got True Momentum for the third time, it made me want to revisit the topic. I want to give you a definitive guide on how to build it yourself.

I wasn’t completely right in my first story on the subject back in January. I couldn’t see at the time. But now that I had lost it badly and regained it, I have a better idea of how it works to get it, and I’ll give you as many hands-on tips I can.

In this story, I’ll put other linked stories in-line, but please read the whole story first, then you can revisit the ones that interest you most. It’s better to keep the flow of reading.

Suggested Stories For After:

 

True Momentum Really Makes You Unstoppable
It’s Sunday. I told myself I wouldn’t do anything today. I didn’t put an alarm the night before. I “wanted” to sleep…medium.com

Poco A Poco — How To Build Lasting Momentum
Writing wisdom says to not give the answer in the headline. Well, I just did.medium.com

 

23 Key Principles For Building True Momentum

I’ll start by saying that doing everything on that list is near-impossible. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to building True Momentum, it’s a combination of many of the following things, and what works for one person may not for another.

So here’s how I would plan this if I were you:

  1. Read the suggestions below and note those you think you can implement easily, or already have.

  2. Try to implement them for 1 month straight.

  3. At the end of the month, take note of what worked and what didn’t.

  4. Read this guide again, start from 1.

You see? It’s an iterative process, like most things in life. You won’t get it right the first time.

You’ll know it once you’ve reached True Momentum. MR. Molly Maguire did have to ask me if he had reached it. He just knew. It’s a strong feeling, and it feels great. And I want you to feel it too.

The list below is not in any particular order, pick and choose from there.

And take note of the very important thing:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

You have to keep doing the things on this list to have lasting True Momentum. I lost it twice. I’ll lose it again. It’s inevitable. But I’ll do everything I can to keep it as long as I can!

 

1. Keep or Make Good Habits, Drop The Bad Ones

This is the starting point, and most likely the most important one. Habits are strong. We’re creatures of habits. Good or bad. Keep the good ones. Make new, better ones. Drop the negative or ineffective ones.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

A Morning Routine Really Does Set You Up For Success — Here’s A 6 Step Process To Create One
It’s 6am on a Tuesday morning. It’s been two weeks since I’ve lost my hard-earned momentum.medium.com

Habits Are Indeed Powerful, Don’t Fall Behind On The Good Ones
6 Tips For Keeping Your Good Habitsmedium.com

 

2. Read Uplifting Content Before Going To Bed

Don’t let yourself go to bed in a bad mood, or by filling your brain with “crap”. I understand that you need to decompress before going to bed. I completely get that.

But what you do before bed affects how you wake up, and the state of mind you’re going to be in for the first part of the day.

My top recommendation here is to read biographies or self-help books. I find them so uplifting. It’s always nice to hear that even the inspiring people in our lives are just as imperfect as we are, sometimes even more so.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

In Need Of Motivation? Try These Simple Tried And True Productivity Tips
Think about this simple idea: Productivity leads to wins. Wins lead to momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable. Being…medium.com

You Are, Or Will Become What you Read
This morning I woke up to a really nice message from a reader of this story I wrote: Stop Being What You Can, Start…medium.com

 

3. Listen To Uplifting Music, Podcasts And People

It might seem strange, but my most productive days seem to be when I’m dancing to music on my chair. Great music puts me in flow state. I feel like I can do anything!

In terms of podcasts, nothing gets me more than the Tim Ferriss Show.

For people, I like to listen to people smarter than I around myself. Or TED talks.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

You Are, Or Will Become What You Listen To
What do you listen to?theascent.pub

 

4. Keep Inspiring Quotes Near You

Quotes are insanely powerful. One thing I had realized early on when I started writing was that things people highlighted most in my stories were the quotes I put in them.

And I get it. People far smarter than me have said far smarter things than I have.

Reading at least one good quote a day puts you in the right mood. Keep it on your fridge/desk. Let it be in your face as frequently as possible.

The one I kept the longest the last time I had True Momentum was this one:

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Markus Aurelius

Suggested Website

https://addicted2success.com/category/quotes/

Suggested Reading

Stories:

41 Short And Powerful Quotes To Make You Feel Unstoppable
Let these strong quotes inspire you; motivate you to be what you want to be; motivate you to dare act, change, and…medium.com

 

5. Work Out, Even If Just A Little

The best months of my life was when I was doing physical activity. I was feeling great in my body.

I’ve always been a skinny guy, but when I’m working out and seeing even small gains in muscles, I feel incredible.

Whatever your goals are health-wise, be active, measure every little gain, and keep going.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

The Ultimate Daily Excuse-Free 20 Minute Workout Routine
I’m not fit. I’m busy. I’m working 15 hours per day, from 4am to 7pm. I’m a nomad, I don’t stay in the same place for…medium.com

Let’s All Learn This Lesson From Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold’s story is an amazing one. If you haven’t read his biography: “Total Recall: My Unbelievable True Life Story”…medium.com

 

6. Have Monthly Goals And Track Them

New Year resolutions suck. They’re near-impossible to achieve.

Monthly goals, on the other hand, are excellent. Committing to goals for a month is doable, and leads to building great habits. It’s great to experiment and see what works for you, and what doesn’t.

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy
April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!medium.com

What Do You Want To Be Most Proud Of In The Next 3 Months?
A few days ago, I wrote about a question I was asked by a friend I hadn’t seen in four months: What are you most proud…medium.com

 

7. Make A Clear Task List

I work on at least 4 projects on a daily basis. A lot of people would say this is insane and counter-productive, and they would be mostly right.

I’ve been disorganized and lost many times. I was using simple To Do lists and had a really hard time tracking my progress on the various projects.

A few weeks ago, I started using TeamWeek and my productivity sky-rocketed!

My task list on TeamWeek

My task list on TeamWeek

TeamWeek is basically a Gantt chart. The colours are different project. You can see a lot of tasks in there. But you’re missing about half of them…

Suggested Tools

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

Tried and True: 7 tips on staying motivated and productive
I’ve been working on Soul Reaper on and off for more than 2 years. It’s a lot of time working on the same project…medium.com

 

8. Aim Freaking High

Always make your lists bigger than you can chew. We, as humans, like comfort. If we allow ourselves to be comfortable, we end up doing close to nothing.

Make your lists big. But make sure the tasks are small and achievable. I have about 15–20 things to do every day. Most are 10 minute tasks.

If I aim to accomplish 10 tasks. I will. And I will be “satisfied”. Now if I aim to accomplish 20 tasks and complete 15–18 of them, I’ll be pumped. I won’t see time go by and the dopamine rush I’ll get rush for accomplishing so much will strongly contribute to building that True Momentum up.

Suggested Website

www.dannyforest.com

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Embrace The Word “Impossible”
One of my favourite word in this world is the word Impossible.medium.com

Fuel On Crazy Goals
Yesterday, a co-worker asked me how I was able to consistently wake up at 5:45am every day. It’s then that I realized…medium.com

Can You Handle the Obsession Needed to Reach Your Most Insane Goals?
We all have big goals, whether they be short term or long term. Goals that, even in our wildest dreams, would seem…medium.com

 

9. Prepare Your Next Day The Night Before

What I’m proposing you here is to simply make a list of things you want to accomplish for the next day a few hours before bed, and then review it shortly before “calling it a night”.

Don’t make it too complex. Just a simple list. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. I usually come up with a list of anywhere between 10–20 things to do.

Here’s what happens when you prepare your next day the night before:

While you sleep, your subconscious is “working on” things you “fed it” before going to bed. When you feed it with things you want to accomplish for the next day, it will “prepare” you for them.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

This 5-Minute Habit Will Make You More Productive And Build Your Momentum
What do you do one or two hours before you go to bed?medium.com

 

10. Write For Yourself

Writing has been a powerful medium for me to express myself. I never knew I had so much to say, let alone inspire people along the way.

I did it for myself, really.

Yet putting all my thoughts in writing has been a phenomenal way to free my mind and think clearly, ultimately leading to some momentum.

Suggested Website

https://findingtom.com/, by Tom Kuegler

Suggested Reading

Stories:

How To Be A Remarkable Writer
You Can’t Be Remarkable By Following The Herdmedium.com

Should You Write One Story A Day? Here’s What I Learned From The Last Two Months
I really didn’t want to write yet another post about “writing a story a day”. Many people have done that before me.medium.com

 

11. Delegate To People You Trust

This is WAY underrated! I thought people who delegated were lazy. I didn’t get the 4-Hour Workweek the first time I read it.

There was a guy I worked with who was so proud of letting others do the work for him. Turns out he was secretly a genius.

There are so many things I was doing that could easily be done by someone either more qualified, or with more time doing simpler things.

Since I hired my assistant in February, I was able to focus on the things I’m good at, and have increased my productivity up to 10x.

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

How To Accomplish Your Goals 10x Faster And Better
If it wasn’t for the people helping me, I certainly wouldn’t have accomplished all that I have.medium.com

 

12. Have A Semi-Strict Routine

My wife hates my daily schedule/routine. It’s pretty obsessive indeed. But damn it works. The more I stick to it, the more productive I am.

I tweak it every month. Here’s what it looks like for this month:

As you can see, most items in the list are not *that* detailed. I don’t say what I’ll be working on, what my workout is, what I’ll be eating, etc — that changes every day.   Suggested Reading   Stories:    Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy   April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it! medium.com     13. Don’t Stop When It Hurts  How do you build muscles? You continue when it starts hurting.  And you know what? That’s how you grow in anything in life. No pain no gain.  If you stop when it’s hard, you just wasted valuable energy and will NOT build momentum. Recognize when you’re in a dip, and then get out of it!   Suggested Reading   Books:   The Dip , but Seth Godin  Stories:    When You Think You Are An Impostor, You Are On The Right Track   Have you ever felt like you shouldn’t be doing something because you felt under-qualified, yet circumstances made it so… medium.com     It’s Your Fault If You “Fail”, And How To Grow From That   The other day I read the follow quote: medium.com     14. Surround Yourself With Motivated People  Here’s one of my favourite quote of all times:  “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn  This is so true.  I seek mentors. I seek positive people. I seek people who get stuff done.  I can only work from co-working spaces, mostly because of that. This, along with delegating, are the main cause for intense productivity.   Suggested co-working spaces    The Living Room , by Ben Kolp   AngkorHUB , by  Jeff Laflamme ,  AngkorHUB    ProjectSpaces , by  Jeffrey Howard    WeWork , by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey   Suggested Reading   Stories:    You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room   Let’s start with a little reflexion here: medium.com     Are You Even Mentor-able?   “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” — Buddha medium.com     14. Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time  Walking to work is one of the most “meditative” things you can do. Going in, you can prepare for what’s to come. Going out, you can disconnect from work.  When back home, analyze how you spend your time. We all waste time on “useless” things. And I’m not saying to not watch TV or play video games, but realize that there’s a time when you need it, and a time when it’s a waste.   Suggested Reading   Stories:    Want To Be More Productive? Start This Simple Daily Habit   I walk fast. Really fast. medium.com     Analyze How You Spend Your Time, And You will Realize There Is Plenty Of Free Time   Last night I saw one of my brothers for the first time in 6 months. It was really nice catching up with him. medium.com     Constantly Learn New Things  That’s probably what I’ve written the most about, and what contributed the most to the changes in my life.  “The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery  Everything I’m doing today — my “successes”, my “failures” — it’s all because I had decided I wanted to consciously learn 3 new skills every month back in September 2017.   Suggested Website    www.dannyforest.com    Suggested Reading   Books:   Unlimited Memory , by Grandmaster Kevin Horsley   How We Learn , by Benedict Carey  Stories:    How To Learn 108 New Skills In The Next 3 Years   The moment I read and understood the following quote is the moment I knew I had to turn my life around and become a… medium.com     Learn More Skills, For Your Future’s Sake!   “The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery medium.com     Improve Everything In Your Life by Learning 3 New Skills Every Month   As I frequently write about, I learn 3 new skills every month. It’s a “calculated” approach that helps improve… medium.com     15. Learn To Power Nap  Power napping is a skill, and it’s hard to master. I’ve mastered it over the years, and it’s been a key ingredient to my productivity.  We can’t be alert 100% of the time during the day. When my energy levels are low, I power nap. Once. Twice. Three times a day! Who cares.  15 minutes after power napping, I’m back in peak state and accomplish so much more than if I didn’t nap.   Suggested Reading   Stories:    Quick Tip On How To Stay Awake During The Day When Waking Up Really Early   How I wake up at 4:30am and still manage to be productive until 7pm. medium.com     Pro Tips For Power Napping Like A King   I power nap almost every day. And I swear I’m no lazy bastard. medium.com     16. Learn To Meditate and Journal  I knew meditation would be hard when I decided to start doing it. But what I didn’t realize was that it’s a skill and it needs practice. I quickly learned that I had the wrong expectations, and that held me back. Meditation is not about “not thinking”, it’s about being aware.  When I started journaling, I had the preconception that it was a dumb idea and that I wouldn’t have anything to say. I could not have been more wrong. On my first journaling session, I wrote for 3 hours without even noticing.  It’s a powerful tool that frees up your mind and aligns your goals together. You become more aware and focused.   Suggested Tools    Headspace    Benjamin P. Hardy ’s  Journaling Course    Suggested Reading   Books:  Willpower Doesn’t Work, by  Benjamin P. Hardy     17. Take A Well-Deserved Vacation  It’s hard to brake when your pedal is all the way back. But you know what, sometimes that’s exactly when you need to brake.  You can’t function at peak state when you’re constantly under pressure.  Dare take vacations, you need them!   Suggested Reading   Stories:    Work Hard, Brake Hard   When I left Canada 7 months ago, I went to a co-working/co-living space in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My goal was to focus on… medium.com     Resting Really Is A Crucial Part Of Your Success — Embrace It   “I regularly take a vacation from all my productive activities.” medium.com     18. Don’t Be Alone  I’m an introvert. I like solitude. I’m so drained whenever I’m surrounded by people.  But I need to have people around me once in a while, to share my stories, my experiences, my “successes”, my “failures”, etc. Everyone does.  Everyone needs to be uplifted, and you can’t (easily) do it alone.   Suggested Reading   Stories:    We All Need Someone Who Truly Understands Us   I don’t live a conventional life by any means. medium.com     How Many Meaningful Relationships Do You Have, And Why Does It Matter?   A meaningful relationship is one that’s open and honest in a way that lets people be straight with each other medium.com     You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room   Let’s start with a little reflexion here: medium.com     19. Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work  Meeting new people and doing things outside of work is very important both for your sanity and for making important connections.  I voluntarily go out to seek and talk to people that are now helping with some of my projects. And of course, I help in return!  You gotta have things outside of work. You can’t be all work and no play. Work hard, play hard. Cliché I know, but it’s true.   Suggested Reading   Stories:    It’s All About Who You Meet   Plus, 4 Tested Tips On Meeting More Interesting People medium.com     You Are, Or Will Become, your Environment   A lot of the inspiration comes from my own experience living in completely different areas of the world in the last few… medium.com     Do Talk To Strangers And Get Inspired By Their Stories   Yesterday I was walking down the streets of Montreal with my wife in search of an independent coffee shop so we could… medium.com     20. Do Good, Be Grateful  I don’t know of anyone who has True Momentum and are not doing good. Doing good is so rewarding and gives you such a high.  And when someone does good to you, be grateful. Gratefulness is almost as powerful as doing good yourself.   Suggested Reading   Stories:    I Helped Someone, And I Liked It   How Being Selfish Is Not The Way medium.com     Become Happier By Recognizing And Thanking People Who Inspire You   How many people around you inspire you? medium.com     Be Aware Of All The Greatness Around You   When’s the last time you stopped and looked around? medium.com     21. Celebrate The Small Wins  If you’re like most of us, you don’t get many big wins in a month. It’s hard to keep our motivation when we don’t win frequently. It’s not by accident that people, including myself, rush to video games — you are constantly being rewarded. That’s also why we’re trying to gamify everything now.  So I say to you, every time a small event happens where it could be considered a “win”, acknowledge it. Take note of it. Have a “success” journal. Here’s an example of things I saved yesterday:

As you can see, most items in the list are not *that* detailed. I don’t say what I’ll be working on, what my workout is, what I’ll be eating, etc — that changes every day.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy
April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!medium.com

13. Don’t Stop When It Hurts

How do you build muscles? You continue when it starts hurting.

And you know what? That’s how you grow in anything in life. No pain no gain.

If you stop when it’s hard, you just wasted valuable energy and will NOT build momentum. Recognize when you’re in a dip, and then get out of it!

Suggested Reading

Books:

The Dip, but Seth Godin

Stories:

When You Think You Are An Impostor, You Are On The Right Track
Have you ever felt like you shouldn’t be doing something because you felt under-qualified, yet circumstances made it so…medium.com

It’s Your Fault If You “Fail”, And How To Grow From That
The other day I read the follow quote:medium.com

14. Surround Yourself With Motivated People

Here’s one of my favourite quote of all times:

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” — Jim Rohn

This is so true.

I seek mentors. I seek positive people. I seek people who get stuff done.

I can only work from co-working spaces, mostly because of that. This, along with delegating, are the main cause for intense productivity.

Suggested co-working spaces

The Living Room, by Ben Kolp

AngkorHUB, by Jeff Laflamme, AngkorHUB

ProjectSpaces, by Jeffrey Howard

WeWork, by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey

Suggested Reading

Stories:

You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:medium.com

Are You Even Mentor-able?
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” — Buddhamedium.com

14. Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time

Walking to work is one of the most “meditative” things you can do. Going in, you can prepare for what’s to come. Going out, you can disconnect from work.

When back home, analyze how you spend your time. We all waste time on “useless” things. And I’m not saying to not watch TV or play video games, but realize that there’s a time when you need it, and a time when it’s a waste.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Want To Be More Productive? Start This Simple Daily Habit
I walk fast. Really fast.medium.com

Analyze How You Spend Your Time, And You will Realize There Is Plenty Of Free Time
Last night I saw one of my brothers for the first time in 6 months. It was really nice catching up with him.medium.com

Constantly Learn New Things

That’s probably what I’ve written the most about, and what contributed the most to the changes in my life.

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

Everything I’m doing today — my “successes”, my “failures” — it’s all because I had decided I wanted to consciously learn 3 new skills every month back in September 2017.

Suggested Website

www.dannyforest.com

Suggested Reading

Books:

Unlimited Memory, by Grandmaster Kevin Horsley

How We Learn, by Benedict Carey

Stories:

How To Learn 108 New Skills In The Next 3 Years
The moment I read and understood the following quote is the moment I knew I had to turn my life around and become a…medium.com

Learn More Skills, For Your Future’s Sake!
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Masterymedium.com

Improve Everything In Your Life by Learning 3 New Skills Every Month
As I frequently write about, I learn 3 new skills every month. It’s a “calculated” approach that helps improve…medium.com

15. Learn To Power Nap

Power napping is a skill, and it’s hard to master. I’ve mastered it over the years, and it’s been a key ingredient to my productivity.

We can’t be alert 100% of the time during the day. When my energy levels are low, I power nap. Once. Twice. Three times a day! Who cares.

15 minutes after power napping, I’m back in peak state and accomplish so much more than if I didn’t nap.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Quick Tip On How To Stay Awake During The Day When Waking Up Really Early
How I wake up at 4:30am and still manage to be productive until 7pm.medium.com

Pro Tips For Power Napping Like A King
I power nap almost every day. And I swear I’m no lazy bastard.medium.com

16. Learn To Meditate and Journal

I knew meditation would be hard when I decided to start doing it. But what I didn’t realize was that it’s a skill and it needs practice. I quickly learned that I had the wrong expectations, and that held me back. Meditation is not about “not thinking”, it’s about being aware.

When I started journaling, I had the preconception that it was a dumb idea and that I wouldn’t have anything to say. I could not have been more wrong. On my first journaling session, I wrote for 3 hours without even noticing.

It’s a powerful tool that frees up your mind and aligns your goals together. You become more aware and focused.

Suggested Tools

Headspace

Benjamin P. Hardy’s Journaling Course

Suggested Reading

Books:

Willpower Doesn’t Work, by Benjamin P. Hardy

17. Take A Well-Deserved Vacation

It’s hard to brake when your pedal is all the way back. But you know what, sometimes that’s exactly when you need to brake.

You can’t function at peak state when you’re constantly under pressure.

Dare take vacations, you need them!

Suggested Reading

Stories:

Work Hard, Brake Hard
When I left Canada 7 months ago, I went to a co-working/co-living space in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My goal was to focus on…medium.com

Resting Really Is A Crucial Part Of Your Success — Embrace It
“I regularly take a vacation from all my productive activities.”medium.com

18. Don’t Be Alone

I’m an introvert. I like solitude. I’m so drained whenever I’m surrounded by people.

But I need to have people around me once in a while, to share my stories, my experiences, my “successes”, my “failures”, etc. Everyone does.

Everyone needs to be uplifted, and you can’t (easily) do it alone.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

We All Need Someone Who Truly Understands Us
I don’t live a conventional life by any means.medium.com

How Many Meaningful Relationships Do You Have, And Why Does It Matter?
A meaningful relationship is one that’s open and honest in a way that lets people be straight with each othermedium.com

You Want To Achieve More? Be In The Right Room
Let’s start with a little reflexion here:medium.com

19. Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work

Meeting new people and doing things outside of work is very important both for your sanity and for making important connections.

I voluntarily go out to seek and talk to people that are now helping with some of my projects. And of course, I help in return!

You gotta have things outside of work. You can’t be all work and no play. Work hard, play hard. Cliché I know, but it’s true.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

It’s All About Who You Meet
Plus, 4 Tested Tips On Meeting More Interesting Peoplemedium.com

You Are, Or Will Become, your Environment
A lot of the inspiration comes from my own experience living in completely different areas of the world in the last few…medium.com

Do Talk To Strangers And Get Inspired By Their Stories
Yesterday I was walking down the streets of Montreal with my wife in search of an independent coffee shop so we could…medium.com

20. Do Good, Be Grateful

I don’t know of anyone who has True Momentum and are not doing good. Doing good is so rewarding and gives you such a high.

And when someone does good to you, be grateful. Gratefulness is almost as powerful as doing good yourself.

Suggested Reading

Stories:

I Helped Someone, And I Liked It
How Being Selfish Is Not The Waymedium.com

Become Happier By Recognizing And Thanking People Who Inspire You
How many people around you inspire you?medium.com

Be Aware Of All The Greatness Around You
When’s the last time you stopped and looked around?medium.com

21. Celebrate The Small Wins

If you’re like most of us, you don’t get many big wins in a month. It’s hard to keep our motivation when we don’t win frequently. It’s not by accident that people, including myself, rush to video games — you are constantly being rewarded. That’s also why we’re trying to gamify everything now.

So I say to you, every time a small event happens where it could be considered a “win”, acknowledge it. Take note of it. Have a “success” journal. Here’s an example of things I saved yesterday:

Quote from  MR. Molly Maguire

That’s it! These are not big wins, but they totally uplifted me, and is the main reason I’m writing on this topic today!

Suggested Reading

Books:

Stories:

Celebrate The Small Wins, Reach For The Big Wins
Constantly Winning Is The Best Boost You Can Getmedium.com

 

Conclusion

That is by far the longest, but the most insightful article I have written yet! I certainly don’t expect you that have read all that in one go.

Here’s what I suggest you do:

Bookmark this, and refer to it regularly.

Here’s a quick recap of ideas to build True Momentum (makes for a good list on your fridge!):

 

  • Keep or Make Good Habits, Drop The Bad Ones

  • Reading Uplifting Content Before Going To Bed

  • Listen To Uplifting Music, Podcasts And People

  • Keep Inspiring Quotes Near You

  • Work Out, Even If Just A Little

  • Have Monthly Goals And Track Them

  • Make A Clear Task List

  • Aim Freaking High

  • Prepare Your Next Day The Night Before

  • Write For Yourself

  • Delegate To People You Trust

  • Have A Semi-Strict Routine

  • Don’t Stop When It Hurts

  • Surround Yourself With Motivated People

  • Walk To Work, and Limit Wasted Time

  • Constantly Learn New Things

  • Learn To Power Nap

  • Learn To Meditate and Journal

  • Take A Well-Deserved Vacation

  • Don’t Be Alone

  • Meet New People, Attend Events, Do Things Outside Of Work

  • Do Good, Be Grateful

  • Celebrate The Small Wins

 

Be consistent in working towards your goals. Don’t skip. Do. Even when you don’t want to. Every small gain builds your momentum. Momentum makes you unstoppable!

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :) Follow me for more similar stories!

First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/the-definitive-guide-to-building-true-momentum-and-becoming-unstoppable-cb1f18611e6f

How To Learn 108 New Skills In The Next 3 Years

Photo by  @matthewkane  on  Unsplash

(I apologize in advance for the length of this article. Please bookmark to read later if you don’t have time to read it now. Trust me it’s worth it!)

For the sake of this article, we’ll define the word “Skill” as such: “the ability to do something well”. “Well”, doesn’t necessarily mean professionally.

The moment I read and understood the following quote is the moment I knew I had to turn my life around and become a more skilled individual:

“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.” ― Robert Greene, Mastery

Now imagine the scenario where you learn more than 100 skills in just 3 years.

  • How much more “successful” do you think you could be?

  • How many ways can you combine those in creative ways?

There are too many variables to do the accurate math on that, and frankly, that’s beyond the scope of this article, but there are way more than 100,000 possibilities!

A lot of times we can’t see how two or more skills may come together until we have acquired the knowledge.

And then one day you wake up and realize that by using a multitude of skills you’ve acquired over the years, you come up with a brilliant idea that could change your future forever.

I briefly talked about that in How Fabricated Luck Can Turn You Into A World-Class Performer — And How To Fabricate It Yourself

As an example, my book, 31 Stories To Motivate And Inspire You To Work Harder And Build Momentum, is coming out tomorrow.

Just 3 months ago, I didn’t really know how to write good stories. Writing was just one of the skills I wanted to learn over the course of the month of January.

During that month only, I:

  • got published by The Startup (after 5 days in fact!);

  • became a top writer in 7 categories on Medium.com;

  • learned to build mass and gained 5kg of pure muscles (and lost 2% body fat);

  • started a fitness group that grew from 2 people to 13 in just a few days;

  • became way more proficient at day-to-day Spanish conversations;

  • made a new partner for a side-business I was working on; and

  • built my personal brand website.

Next month, I’ll learn how to do Social Media Marketing (with emphasis on Facebook), learn how to speak/write basic Tagalog and learn how to grow muscle mass in the legs for someone with chicken legs.

I will also release Soul Reaper: Unreap Commander, the paperback version of my book, launch my Viking store, read more books, attend toastmasters and game development events, and grow my networks.

So how can I learn that many skills so quickly and accomplish more?

Simple. In theory at least:

I learn 3 new skills every month.

Let my story above inspire you to try this approach.

Keep reading to learn how I choose the skills, when and how to practice them, why this approach works so well and some of the criticism I’ve received concerning this approach.

How I Choose My Skills

First off, I choose 3 skills that use completely different sections of the brain. I’m certainly no brain expert, but here are a few categories of skills that I’m almost 100% sure use different parts of the brain:

  • Logic/Science (Programming, Math, Physics, etc.)

  • Creative (Art, Music, Writing, Design, Movies, etc.)

  • Languages

  • Health (Nutrition, Body-building, Sports)

  • Speech (public speaking, speed, tone, etc.)

The first month I tried Logic, Creative and Languages, more specifically: Categorization using Machine Learning, Drawing using Photoshop and Past and Future tenses in Spanish.

Be Specific and Realistic

As you can see, these are very specific subsets of skills.

You have to be realistic you know!

What if I chose Programming, Drawing and Spanish? This is way too broad! Where do I start? What is it really? How the heck can I learn all that in one month! How do you track progress on that?

Being realistic and specific will help you focus and stay motivated, and ultimately help you stay consistent in your practice.

For additional information on this:

When And How To Practice Them

Practice each skill 30 minutes per day

Thirty minutes for each skill is achievable. If it’s unreasonable for you, just reduce to 1–2 skills instead.

Sometimes I do 2 skills in a month, sometimes I do 4, but I do 3 on average.

And is 30 minutes each day enough to learn a skill? I say yes.

Remember our definition at the top: “the ability to do something well”.

In 15 hours (30 minutes X 30 days), you can learn A LOT.

Have a schedule

Be extreme in telling your brain that you HAVE TO do it or something bad will happen.

This is made easier if you do it consistently at the same time every day. I practice on weekends also. I don’t want to break the momentum.

Learning new skills requires energy, much more than doing things you know.

For that reason, I do them when I’ve got the highest amount of energy. For me, that’s 30 minutes each skill, starting at 4:30am every morning.

Passive Learning

Most skills can be practiced passively. That is, without you actually “spending” time practicing them.

During your day, you spend a lot of time doing passive things: Commuting to work, basic cooking, doing the dishing, health hygiene, etc. I bet for most people, that’s at least one hour of their day.

Use this time to learn passively. Most skills have good theoretical knowledge required. It’s not hard to find good articles online, podcasts and videos to teach you the theory required to learn a skill. Just put your headphones on and learn while doing those passive activities. Learn the jargon, the techniques, etc.

Of course, don’t spend all your time on theory! I spend at least 75% of my time on practice over the course of a month.

Why This Approach Works

Learning 3 new skills every month completely changed my life for the better. I’m a much better person than I was 7 months ago. And trust me, it’s not as hard as you think it is. In fact, most of us do learn 3 new skills every month without knowing it. Being aware of it makes all the difference.

For additional information on this:

All Skills Are Useful

I will start by saying there are (almost) no useless skills.

Everything I aim to learn has a purpose. The first skills I chose were: classifying documents using Machine Learning, Drawing using Photoshop and Learning The Past and Future Tenses In Spanish.

In one of the current startups I’m working on right now requires my acquired ML skills.

When working on my game, I can now draw decent enough sketches/drafts for my artists to understand my vision.

I moved to Spain 2 months after learning the past and future tenses. I had no idea I would go to Spain at the time.

I use and improve these skills pretty much every day now. The progress has become organic.

Because I Build Stronger Connections

I work in co-working spaces. I work with people from all over the globe with different backgrounds. As such, it’s not always easy to have deep conversations if you have nothing in common.

By learning so many skills, there’s a much higher chance that I’m going to find something that unites me with another person.

I’ve connected with people I would never connect with normally, and these connections ended up being some of my strongest connections.

Because I Discover Hidden Talents Or Passions

I didn’t aim to write. I didn’t aim to take photos.

Yet I’m now getting paid to do both.

If I didn’t try them as new skills, I would never have known that 1. I’d be good enough at them, and 2. I’d really grow to like them.

Because The More You Know, The Faster You Learn

And for me, that is the best reason: learning constantly, at a faster pace.

There’s (almost) nothing I enjoy more in life than learning. It’s such a great feeling when you reach a level of mastery you never knew you could reach before.

“The person who can learn from everything will beat out the person who judges harshly who and what to learn from.” — James Altucher

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Criticism Towards This Approach

I Don’t Have That Much Time!

Yes, you do.

In Analyze How You Spend Your Time, And You will Realize There Is Plenty Of Free Time, I talk about strategies to help you figure out where you can get more time.

One of the realizations I made for myself a few years ago is that I can’t do anything productive after work. I’m too drained mentally. Because of that, I had decided that I’d wake up earlier to work on side projects. It worked great.

Today, I wake up between 4am and 5am depending on the month and the schedule I make for it. I’m productive from 4am to 7pm.

Sounds difficult, right?

Here are key lessons I learned to make waking up early easier:

  1. Wake up at the end of a REM cycle. Experiment to see what it is for you, because it’s different for everyone. For me, it’s about 90 minutes. So I usually sleep between 10pm and 4am, which is 6 hours, or 4 full cycles.

  2. Take power naps (10–15 minutes rest) during the day. 6 hours is not enough. I take one power nap in the morning and one in the afternoon. Again, this takes practice. It’s hard to pull off initially. More tips in Pro Tips For Power Napping Like A King.

You Never Master Anything

This is not entirely true.

On the moment, it’s true that I just become good at the skill, without reaching for mastery.

But what’s the point in mastering something you don’t yet know is going to be useful for you?

The key here is that as the months go by, I practice complementary skills and eventually become great at it. Skills are a series of sub-skills. I learn sub-skills every month that add to a whole.

For example, I learn different aspects of a language over the course of a few months, and eventually I “master” it.

So even though the next month’s skills may be completely unrelated to the previous month, it doesn’t mean it will never be connected to a skill I’ve previously learned.

Eventually, the skills that matter will reach mastery.

Conclusion

Phew, that was longer than I intended it to be!

Hopefully, you’ve learned something from it and it will inspire you to become more skilled. It had an incredible impact on my life and I hope it will do the same for you.

For that reason, I’ve been thinking about creating a free program to help you plan & monitor your progress on your skills every month.

It is not yet live, but please sign up for my newsletter on dannyforest.com to know when it’s ready. Reach out to me if you want to be involved in the project, I value everyone’s input!

So, 108 skills in 3 years is definitely attainable. Of course, it requires dedication, and good planning and execution.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/how-to-learn-108-new-skills-in-the-next-3-years-ded0d46fda55

Make Next Month Your Most Productive Month Ever Using This 3 Steps Strategy

Photo by  @brookelark  on  Unsplash

Photo by @brookelark on Unsplash

April is just around the corner. I’m personally really excited for it!

Are you?

I like beginnings of new months. It’s like a chance to start anew. To try and accomplish more than the month before. To become a better person for yourself and those around.

In the first week alone, I’m releasing my new bookmy game and opening up my online store.

How could I not be excited for that! I could stop there and it would already be a productive month.

But I won’t!

Using the strategy below, I’ll make April one of the most productive month of my life.

And you can do the same!

The Strategy

One quote summarizes the strategy pretty well:

“Think things through, then follow through.” — Eddie Rickenbacker

Here’s the strategy in greater detail:

Step 1: Review The Previous Month’s Accomplishments

  • How did you do last month?

  • What did you accomplish towards your goals?

Most people don’t reflect on past accomplishments or “failures”, yet it’s through understanding these experiences that we learn and grow. It’s an important thing to do to become more productive: realize where you’re productive and where you’re not.

  1. List your accomplishments and “failures”. Go down to the details.

  2. Qualify and quantify them. Was it a great accomplishment? Was it an epic failure? Giving them a rating of your choosing in numeric value. 0–10 works fine for me.

  3. Write down how you can improve on each of them. Write down what went right and what went wrong.

Take your time doing it too. There’s no point rushing this. If it takes 4 hours to do it, it will be worth it in the end, trust me.

Step 2: List All Your Goals For The Month A Few Days Before It Starts

Just 30 minutes ago I went to a quiet room and started thinking about all the goals I wanted to accomplish for April. As usual, I went a little crazy, but as I always say: “Aim freaking high!”. I tend to accomplish about 80% of the goals I set out to do. If I didn’t aim so high, I would accomplish much less.

Here’s my unedited list of goals for April (I’ll add more details in other pages of my journal in the next few days):

My list of goals for April. Don’t mind the chips stains and the terrible writing…

My list of goals for April. Don’t mind the chips stains and the terrible writing…

  • Any of these goals sound crazy to you?

  • Any sound too easy?

  • Do you have similar goals?

  • What are your goals?

Ideally, you would be a little more precise than that. This is just a draft. I’ll add the juicy details later, but it’s a good first pass.

In the list, I usually include the 3 new skills I want to learn, things I want to release, ways I’ll make money (and how much), events I want to attend, things I want to continue or start doing and more.

Again, like the step above, don’t rush this. I usually spend 4–8 hours planning my next month. The details take time.

Usually, for every point on my goal list, there are between 3–10 sub-points. Go into as much detail as you can, it will make it easier for you to track your progress.

Step 3: Track Your Progress Regularly During The Month

It’s simple. Review the progress on your goals on a weekly basis. Set aside 1 or 2 hours on your last work-day of the week to go through your list again.

This is similar to the first step of the process, but on a more present moment. Check the things you’ve done. Analyze their “success”, and course-correct — that is the main reason to track your progress weekly.

If you don’t track your progress regularly, you will side-track from your goals.

Inevitably.

Sometimes we feel we’re too busy to take a step back, but trust me, it’s more productive to do so and make a better plan of action for the week to come.

Conclusion

  • Do you follow a similar strategy to make your months productive?

  • Do you think you could make this work for yourself?

  • Do you have a better strategy? If so, what’s your strategy? Why is it better?

Feel free to share your answer(s) in the comments section. I respond to them!

Think things through, then follow through. Six words. Remember them.

Review your previous month, plan for the next and track your progress regularly. It’s a simple strategy anyone can do, and it will make you that much more productive.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/make-next-month-your-most-productive-month-ever-using-this-3-steps-strategy-7b10fc04a72f

Running A Company Remotely Is Possible But Not Easy — Here Are Some Tips To Make It Easier

Photo by  @headwayio  on  Unsplash

Photo by @headwayio on Unsplash

If you have tried it before, you know there are many obstacles to making remote work “feasible”: timezone differences, communication issues, spotty wifi, lack of proper schedule, environment distractions and more.

I have been running Power Level Studios “remotely” since it started having collaborators over a year ago. I say remotely in double-quotes because initially, it was all remote within the same city. Everyone worked from their own homes in Toronto.

Then in June of last year, I left Toronto to work from other places around the world, making me completely remote.

During that time, I grew the company from 4 people to 8.

As far as I know, we have not had any problems with me being away and still “running the show”.

So let’s address some of the problems associated with running a company remotely:

Communication Issues

This is likely the biggest issue of them all.

It’s already hard to have an effective communication system in place when everyone works from the same office, so of course it even harder when you can’t have face to face conversations.

At Power Level Studios, we have a simple but efficient system that has worked really well for us.

Have Everyone Remote

I have worked remotely for a company where pretty much everyone worked from the same office.

I was left out frequently. And it’s not that I wasn’t an important part of the team, it’s just that when everyone else is there, sometimes you just forget the “exception”.

And that sucked. I know I could have been way more productive if I felt like I was really part of the team.

By having everyone remote, everyone is on the same page. There aren’t many different ways to communicate. Everyone uses the same tool.

One of the previous companies I worked for removed their office and started working remotely. That didn’t stop them from making and releasing the successful Halcyon 6 game.

In Power Level Studio’s case, we’re releasing Soul Reaper: Unreap Commander on April 3rd. The game was built from December 2017 to March 2018.

Limit The Need To Communicate Verbally

We never communicate verbally at Power Level Studios. I don’t remember the last time it happened.

In fact, we rarely communicate at all. It’s all about our streamlined process.

We use the Kanban approach.

We have a series of steps a task needs to go through. When the person working on the task is done with the step, they move the card to the next step, where the next person in charge of the task will automatically be notified. In review steps, if it passes, the card moves forward, if it fails, it goes backward, where the person responsible for the work will automatically be notified.

It’s all about the automation and having a clear indicator of who needs to do what when.

Be Fully Transparent

With the Kanban approach mentioned above, we have different boards depending on the type of work. We have boards for Art, Design, Admin, Programming, etc.

Every board is public to everyone at the company.

I’ve got nothing to hide.

Everyone can see what I’m working on at any point. That is very important. People working with me need to know that I’m not just barking orders from the beach working on my sun-tan.

Trust Your Team

I rarely make decisions. I’m not sure if that throws my team off or not, but that’s my management style. I like to have everyone’s input on aspects I trust them on. I would not ask an artists’ opinion on programming, but I will definitely ask them about monster and loot design.

Everyone can submit their design ideas and we collaborate on it. I rarely get the ideas all by myself. We vote on design ideas, names of monsters, etc.

If my artist tells me A is better than B, I rarely argue. They’re the expert.

By trusting everyone, I know they trust and respect me more in return. They know we’re working towards the same goals.

Environment Issues

Spotty wifi, distractions, hard to follow schedule, loneliness — we’ve all been there. How do we overcome those things?

It’s all about making your environment productive and removing anything that goes against it.

Removing Distractions

I hate working from home. I’m way too distracted. I have games, books, and no one to judge me if I’m not working.

When I was working from home in Toronto, I would put console cables places where it would be so much work for me to get that I wouldn’t do the effort to get it.

In my apartment in Toronto, we didn’t even buy furniture, except for a mattress and the desk to work from. The place really was only good for working and sleeping.

Whatever it is you find distracts you while you work, change your environment so that it’s harder to distract yourself as opposed to doing your productive activities.

If your distraction is in your physical location, hide stuff, or better yet, make someone else hide it.

If your distraction is on your computer, use software that blocks access to apps and websites during certain hours. Have someone you trust lock the schedule behind a password so you can’t easily disable it.

Finding Good Wifi

Depending on where you are in the world, wifi can be an issue. Especially public wifi.

I’ll give you my favourite trick straight up: co-working spaces.

I’ve never been to a co-working space (yet) that doesn’t have usable wifi. I’ve seen anywhere from 10 mbps (slow but usable) to 1,000mbps (very fast).

Check using speedtest.net.

Never trust your Airbnb host or hostels to tell you their wifi is fast. It rarely is. Below 5mbps for me is hardly usable. In some countries, they call that fast. My 4G/LTE is 3x faster than that.

Fighting Loneliness

Building on the co-working space idea from above, having other hard-working people around you is extremely motivating.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m 10x more productive when I work from a co-working space.

It’s always nice to meet other people who work on their own crazy ideas. Entrepreneurs care so much about what they do that it’s contagious. You want to work harder and share your ideas with the others around.

You build great personal and professional relationships just from being there. I even made myself a business partner by working at The Living Room in Spain.

Keeping A Schedule

This is key to build momentum. I’ve written about this extensively in the past.

By working remotely, it’s hard to stick to a schedule because you don’t have office hours.

But to be honest, I don’t like office hours. Not everyone works great from 9–5. In fact, I don’t think anyone at Power Level Studios work from 9–5.

I start my day at 4am, but start my actual work at 9am. I take two naps during the day, usually around 8:30am and 2:30pm. I’m always super tired in the afternoon. I don’t work well unless I do a power nap. I try to reply to my messages only between 1:30 and 2:30, after lunch. I then finish work around 7pm.

I’m much better at sticking to this schedule when I’m at the co-working space. I know no one is monitoring me, but I need to feel like someone could judge me for not following my schedule.

Conclusion

Running a company remotely is possible but not easy.

I’ve been doing it long enough now and have found strategies that work for my video game company, but I know could work for other types of businesses.

Having everyone remote and limiting the need to communicate makes project management more efficient. Be transparent and trust your team. Apply these principles and communication will not be an issue.

Remove distractions, find good wifi, fight loneliness and keep a schedule.

Make your environment work for you.

You can do this!

Let me know what you tried that worked or didn’t work for you in the comments below.

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/running-a-company-remotely-is-possible-but-not-easy-here-are-some-tips-to-make-it-easier-7bfa6e16a105

How To Accomplish Your Goals 10x Faster And Better

Photo by  @linhnguyen  on  Unsplash

Photo by @linhnguyen on Unsplash

Last night I was chatting with my business partner from Bad Parrot.

I was telling him I’m releasing my book March 30th, my game on April 3rd and my store on April 6th.

That made me realize the last few weeks were not as unproductive as I thought they were.

I normally consider myself a very productive person. I often read and write about it.

I’m a big fan of Zdravko Cvijetic’s Zero To Skill productivity cheat sheet. It’s the perfect way to start being productive yourself. Just following that, you should dramatically improve your productivity.

Once you’ve mastered that, there’s only so much you can do yourself. Once your 24 hours are “well spent”, you can’t get more.

But there’s a way to still accomplish more, and it all boils down to a single word:

Delegation

My book was written by me, but it was put together by my incredibly useful assistant, Elaizah. This allows me to focus on what I’m good at: writing.

Its promotion will be handled by my networks, some Facebook ads crafted by a Fiverr export. And a special thanks to Zdravko CvijeticTom Kuegler and Jordan Gross for sharing in their network.

My game is a collaboration of 8 people. For the launch for April 3rd, I hired a company’s services and they handle pretty much everything so I can focus on what I’m good at: designing and programming.

My store’s products were all found by Elaizah. She’s filling the store with the products this week. They way, I can focus on what I’m good at: designing the look of the store.

For Bad Parrot, I’m currently in talks with a talented local developer from Bangalore to collaborate with me on the frontend of the application, so I can focus on what I’m good at: the backend.

Saying that I’m accomplishing my goals 10x faster and better through delegating is no exaggeration. If it wasn’t for the people helping me, I certainly wouldn’t have accomplished all of the above. So thank you guys!

In fact, for every new collaborator, that number goes up. You accomplish more with 100 collaborators than you do with 10.

In a subsequent post, I’ll give more details on how I find people to help me and give some key tips on how to successfully delegate.

In the meantime, here’s a quick “formula” to know what you should delegate:

  • Create a list of things you want to accomplish.

  • List the tasks you’re doing for each goal.

  • Rank each task on how good you are at doing it.

  • As much as you can, delegate any tasks you think you’re a 7 (out of 10) or below.

And remember folks, it’s a collaboration. A win-win situation. Make sure your collaborator gets something out of it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be money.

So start thinking about delegation if you want to dramatically improve your productivity.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here:  https://medium.com/swlh/how-to-accomplish-your-goals-10x-faster-and-better-f6a368eda01a

Top Tips On How To Be Pumped About Going Back To Work After A Vacation

When’s the last time you were pumped to get back to work after a vacation?

Most of the times, you’re either too comfortable to want to go back, or you exhausted yourself by cramming too much into a small vacation.

I’m just back from a small 4 days vacation in Mumbai, and let me tell you: I was pumped to get back to my productive activities!

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my vacation, because I really did. But like everyone, I know how much it sucks to get back to work after being unproductive for a few days, weeks or months.

But I turned that over. I set myself up for wanting to come back without sacrificing quality time in a city I didn’t know.

Here are a few tips that worked for me to be pumped about going back to work after a vacation:

Tip #1: Disconnect From Work And Technology

This was, in part, my topic for yesterday’s story.

This is obviously not that easy, but if you can pull it off, it will help you want to get back to work. Truly disconnecting means not doing anything work-related.

No email checking, no calls, no social media. Nothing.

Don’t bring your work laptop. If it’s the same as your personal one, don’t turn it on unless it’s for researching things to do or book flights and accommodation.

Shut that phone off. Use it for the essentials only, like Google Maps and Translate.

Relax, get back to your hobbies. It’s your time, do things you want to do that doesn’t work towards your productive activities.

Tip #2: Plan Your Return On Your Last Day Off

This is critical.

Don’t go back to work not knowing what to expect. It’s the same principle as planning your day the night before. You’ll have clarity on what you need to do and you’ll be pumped to clear off that checklist the day of.

Be precise in your planning, and break your tasks in the smallest possible chunks.

I had 18 items to do just yesterday, most of which took between 10 and 30 minutes to do.

Everything was realistic.

Try not to schedule your hardest tasks on the day of your return. Or maybe not even in the first week. Give yourself a chance to be back.

I was pumped to accomplish the tasks on my list.

Now, I realize not everyone is in the same situation as me and have limited control over their work task, but if that’s your case, make sure to ask your superior what tasks they’re thinking of assigning you and try to negotiate with them.

Most bosses would be happy to help you get back to it.

Tip #3: Be Positive About It

“I hate Mondays” — Garfield

That’s the attitude you don’t want to have.

Do not tell yourself that coming back will suck. Even if you know it might. Think about the positive aspects of your work. Think about the things you like about your work.

  • Is it your colleagues?

  • Is it the work itself?

  • Is it the learning?

  • Is it the free snacks or lunches?

  • Is it the salary, or the benefits?

Whatever it is, capitalize on it.

If you struggle to find anything positive, well, maybe it’s worth considering other options? There are almost always other options.

Tip #4: Be Grateful

Some people don’t have the luxury of taking a vacation.

Too often, we take it for granted.

Be thankful for being granted vacation. Be thankful that your work made your vacation possible.

Some people can’t afford it. Both in terms of money and time.

When you stop taking your vacation time for granted, you start appreciating what made this vacation possible in the end: your work.

I traveled around the world for a year without working. I was in vacation mode for a year. It’s not as nice as it sounds.

Work gives you purpose. Be thankful for the opportunity to do something productive.

Tip #5: Exhaust Yourself, Just Enough

We’re creatures of comfort. It’s against our nature to do things out of our comfort zone.

When you take a vacation that’s too relaxing, you become too comfortable. It’s hard to break out of it and want to go back to doing productive things.

You definitely should relax on vacation, but make sure to spend some energy too. Spend energy on things you like to do. On things out of your comfort zone. Learn new things. Meet new people. Eat new foods. Let your imagination run wild.

But don’t overdo it!

Have you ever gotten back from vacation more exhausted than you were before?

Yeah, I’m sure you have. And you know it sucks.

Plan your most relaxing activities for the end of your vacation. That way you’ll have spent energy in the beginning, and won’t have time to get too comfortable before going back.

Tip #6: Change Your Mindset About Work

Everyone talks about work-life balance.

I reject that mindset. Work and life go together. There’s no balance.

Work is life. Take this definition of work for example:

“activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result”

We all want to achieve results. The moment you start seeing work as a way to get things done and not about a paycheque, you’ll start to understand that work gives a meaning to life.

When you believe that you’re doing things that work towards your goals, you’ll stop thinking of work as a chore, but as a way to achieve your greatest ambitions in life.

Coming back to “work” then becomes coming back to achieving your goals.

And that is enticing and will get you pumped.

Conclusion

Going on vacation is great, no questions there. But coming back from it is not always easy.

Make sure to truly disconnect, be positive and grateful, exhaust yourself enough, change your mindset about work and plan your return before coming up.

That will pump you to be back to your productive activities.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/top-tips-on-how-to-be-pumped-about-going-back-to-work-after-a-vacation-5e8aab3d25d0

Resting Really Is A Crucial Part Of Your Success — Embrace It

Photo by  @heftiba  on  Unsplash

Photo by @heftiba on Unsplash

“I regularly take a vacation from all my productive activities.”

This sentence alone probably brings a lot of questions in your mind:

  • Maybe Danny doesn’t like his work?

  • Maybe Danny just can’t handle the pressure?

  • Maybe Danny is just a slacker?

  • Something else?

The truth is, I love what I do. Everything I do.

I’ve been coping surprisingly good with pressure considering the number of things I do all at once, like running Power Level Studioswriting on Mediumwriting a book, working on two other startups, starting a podcast, etc.

And because of the above, you know I’m no slacker. On the opposite, I work so hard that to maintain a peak state of mind, resting is a necessity.

It’s like when you work out, the most productive thing you can do for gains is to rest in between to let the body recover.

Losing Momentum

Last month when I came back to Canada to do some paperwork and visit friends and family, I had lost my momentum. Seeing new groups of people every day and rushing to get paperwork done completely drained me mentally.

I had lost the hard-earned momentum I had built from the last 3 months in Spain.

I didn’t have to energy to wake up at my regular hour. I even skipped working out two or three days in the past 30 days. That was the thing I swore not to skip.

I hardly made any progress on Soul Reaper.

I stopped writing every day on Medium.

I fell behind on all my activities.

I’m sure this kind of lost momentum happened to you as well at some point.

In fact, even though I’m a highly self-disciplined and productive guy, I’d say to happens to me regularly.

It’s normal. Our high-stress environments are not meant to be lived at high pace every day, 365 days a year.

Because of that loss of peak state, I decided to rest for a few days when I arrived in Mumbai 4 days ago.

Resting

Sometimes, you just gotta rest.

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” — Mark Black

It’s not the first time I write about this subject, but it’s so true that I had to write about it again.

This morning is the day I returned to being productive again. I woke up at around 4am, my usual time. Part of it is jetlag (I landed in India 4 days ago), part of it is my wife being restless next to me, but the main part is: I’m excited to start my productive activities again.

Do you ever feel like that coming back from vacation?

I certainly did this morning. I also felt that way the last three or four vacations I’ve taken.

The biggest factor in my excitement to be productive again comes from having rested.

I’m talking about truly resting. A real vacation. A break from everything. No technology, unless necessary (like Maps or Translate).

I did not touch my computer at all until yesterday.

I forced myself not to think about work. I try to empower my team to be self-sufficient, so it’s easier to disconnect. I trust them.

And I think this is an important part of disconnecting. Prepare your colleagues before you go and trust in them. If you can do that, you’ll be able to free your mind.

During my vacation, I slept, napped, did light sightseeing, played video games, read, meditated and journaled.

Restoring Momentum

Obviously, I’ve just started my productive activities again an hour ago, so it’s a bit pretentious of me to even mention “momentum” at this point.

But I’ve been through that cycle multiple times now, and it worked every time.

The thing is, if you have truly rested during your vacation, you’ll have an incredible amount of energy you’ll need to spend.

Use this energy.

Get back to your most productive habits.

Listen to your body and mind. Don’t overdo it.

Little by little, and with perfect consistency, your momentum will be back. Just not right away.

And that’s normal. It takes me 2–3 weeks to reach my peak state.

Once you’ve earned your hard-earned momentum back, you’re on your path to “success” again.

Conclusion

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t perform at your peak performance, it’s time you start thinking about resting.

You don’t need to go away or even take a few weeks off. A few days is usually enough to “recharge your batteries”, provided you really do switch off during your break. No technology, no work, nothing.

Relax, get back to your hobbies. It’s your time, do things you want to do that doesn’t work towards your productive activities.

When you’re rested, get back to your productive habits and be consistent with them.

So next time you feel overwhelmed, dare take a break and rest and rebuild your momentum.

You can do this!

Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)

First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/resting-really-is-a-crucial-part-of-your-success-embrace-it-a6e0a0ae121