But then I had my first kid. And then another. And then another.
And the best I could do was get up at 7am. And even then I was bleary eyed and grumpy.
I’ve only been able to get back into that pattern for brief periods of time. (That sweet spot when all the kids are not sick and none of them walk into our room in the middle of the night).
But I think I might have just cracked the recipe.
Even with 1 sick kid who wakes us up a few times every night this week, my eyes have popped open at 5.00am or 5.30am and I’m feeling good! I’ve been able to start reading business books again with consistency.
It’s been 6 mornings in a row now.
Want to know how I’ve been able to add an extra hour to every morning?
Here are my notes on “Less Doing, More Living: Make Everything in Life Easier” by Ari Meisel.
I thought I knew a lot about productivity and efficiency, so I haven’t picked up books like this lately.
I’m glad I did though, because even a few tips can make a big difference on your time management and impact.
The biggest lesson for me about this book was about email.
I’ve felt guilty about how addicted I am to email, but this book gave me tips about how I continue to use my email inbox as my to-do list, but with some cunning twists on how to improve the timing of what appears in there.
My notes on “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to drive your career and create a remarkable future” by Seth Godin
The law of the Mechanical Turk
The law: “Any project, if broken down into sufficiently small, predictable parts, can be accomplished for awfully close to free.”
Eg Jimmy Wales led the tiny team at Wikipedia that destroyed the greatest reference book of all time. And almost all of them worked for free.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica was started in 1770 and is maintained by a staff of more than a hundred full-time editors. Over the last 250 years, it has probably cost more than a hundred million dollars to build and edit.
Wikipedia, on the other hand, is many times bigger, far more popular, and significantly more up-to-date, and it was built for almost free. No single person could have done this. No team of a thousand, in fact. But by breaking the development or articles into millions of one-sentence or one-paragraph projects, Wikipedia too advantage of the law of the Mechanical Turk. Instead of relying on a handful of well-paid people calling themselves professionals. Wikipedia thrives by using the loosely coordinated work of millions of knowledgeable people, each happy to contribute a tiny slice of the whole.
The internet has turned white-collar work into something akin to building a pyramid in Egypt. No one could build the entire thing, but anyone can haul one brick into place.
My Notes on “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More With Less” by Richard Koch:
Conventional wisdom is not to put all your eggs in one basket. 80/20 wisdom is to choose a basket carefully, load all your eggs into it, and then watch it like a hawk.
Celebrate exceptional productivity, rather than raise average efforts
Look for the short cut, rather than run the full course
Be selective, not exhaustive
Strive for excellence in few things, rather than good performance in many
Delegate or outsource as much as possible in our daily lives and be encouraged rather than penalised by tax systems to do this (use specialists to the maximum instead of doing the work ourselves)
Only do the thing we are best at doing and enjoy most
In every important sphere, work out where 20% of effort can lead to 80% of returns
Creative systems operate away from equilibrium. Cause and effect, input and output, operate in a non-linear way. You do not usually get back what you put in; you may sometimes get very much less and sometimes get very mush more.
If you can identify where your firm is getting back more than it is putting in, you can up the stakes and make a killing. Similarly, if you can work out where your firm is getting back much less than it is investing, you can cut your losses.
Different is better when it is more effective or more fun. If everyone is defining a problem or solving it one way and the results are sub-par, this is the time to ask, What if I did the opposite. Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work.
Most cold calls don’t get to the intended person for one reason: gatekeepers. Make all your calls from 8-8.30am and 6-6.30pm for a total of one hour to avoid secretaries and book twice as many meetings as senior sales executives who call from 9-5. Twice the results in 1/8 of the time. Continue reading “The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris”