Time for Deep Work

I just finished reading Cal Newport's Deep Work and I have a new commitment to improvement.

This book, more than anything else I've read, highlighted not only how prone to distraction I am, but also how harmful that is to my personal and professional growth.

For a while now I have felt a little "lost". Nothing major but a feeling that I should be "better" at "stuff". This book explained to me why I felt like this and gave me ways to fix it.

This quote really hit home for me:

...efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don't simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction...

Key components of doing more Deep Work:

  • understand the value, or lack thereof, of your shallow work
  • quit the distractions cold turkey for 30 days to bring their (potentiel lack of) importance to the forefront
  • schedule your entire day in at least 30 min blocks
  • use the new boredom to train yourself to think deeply

I am going to start by:

  • removing Twitter from my iPhone
  • quitting Instagram
  • Reviewing the books I want to read and creating a priority list
  • blocking social media sites on my Mac
  • creating a complete daily schedule, everyday, starting tomorrow. There will be time in my schedule, probably in the evening for 30-60 mins of news review, which is what I use Twitter/RSS mostly for.

It will take some time, probably over a month, to train my brain to not crave those distractions, but I will do this and get more productive.

Come join the conversation!

A New Story

After spending a long time figuring things out and a short time being frustrated, I have started my journey into something new.

It began a year ago when I realized I was not happy at work. I quickly jumped back into the Vancouver start-up scene; however, as I did not really know who I was (or why I was unhappy), my efforts were not very focussed and unsurprisingly not successful.

In the fall I began working with a mentor to figure out a) why I was unhappy and b) what would make me happy and c) what I’m really good at. I went through very comprehensive physchological testing and learned that I enjoy (and am good at):

  • coaching/training
  • people solve problems
  • investigating trends
  • getting people enthusiastic about new solutions

We also figured out that I am more suited for smaller, more agile companies rather than larger, more process-driven ones.

During this time my passions have also become clearer:

  • making sure kids are learning the right things in the right way
  • educating people about the importance of good food and regular excercise so they make it part of their lives

One of the reasons I became frustrated was that I was no longer passionate about what I was doing and who I was helping. If I don’t believe in what I’m doing, I won’t be effective nor will I truly enjoy it. I know that sounds like a cliche, but I didn’t realize how important it was to me. So I have started to find & meet like-minded companies in Vancouver to see how I can help them.

I am very excited.

Come join the conversation!

Being Healthy

We have been making a concerted effort to become healthier in both food and lifestyle and yesterday I realized why more people don’t do it. Because it’s hard. Not only that people and organizations do not think about the bigger picture.

Here are two examples of why it is hard:

  1. Miss Nella has a keen interest in swimming these days, so I have been taking her. Now, we live about 5 blocks from the pool, so I try to walk there. Last night she again wanted to go and in my head, because it was cold and windy and raining, I decided to drive. Then she said, “Can we walk?”. I groaned inwardly, but then realized how foolish that was. She wanted to walk so she could go on my shoulders, which she really enjoys. And why did I want to drive? Because I didn’t want to get wet or cold. What a wuss!

    So we bundled up in sweaters and raincoats and headed to the pool. It is really, really, really hard to change these driving habits. Especially in the winter. So be strong people and live the good life!!!

  2. At the pool, Nella keeps wanting to eat the candy that has fallen out of the candy machines. I don’t let her, of course, but that got me thinking. This facility houses a pool and a gym. Why on earth are there machines dispensing crap like candy and chips? What kind of message are our children receiving? “If you exercise then you can have candy?? That’s crap.

    Needless to say, I have sent a sternly worded message to our local pool mentioning this.

We have to remember that health is AN INVESTMENT and that like all investments, they require careful thought and continual monitoring.

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Stuff we’re selling

We are on a constant quest to declutter and so far we have to sell: Power Station Charger: http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/ele/1589249092.html Wireless Phone Jacks: http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/ele/1589253121.html Cordless Phone: http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rds/ele/1589261303.html Briggs & Riley Laptop bag Canon ZR700 Video Camera: http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rds/ele/1567091606.html

If you are interested, let me know.

Come join the conversation!