Mostly I agree with the idea of doing the difficult thing first to get it out of the way, but I think that it actually shows the value of having a framework to the day that is rigid but not overly specific.
For instance 6:30 am to 9am is education / learning time, 9am to 5pm is at my desk working, and 5pm to 9pm is family time.
No matter what you do you can’t get away from things like a sever going down at 3am and needing to be dealt with right now, but by having a high level framework of work types to time it allows for a processing of the day.
Is education the hardest part of my day, no, but it means that rather then getting to the end of my day and kicking myself for not slotting it in, I can be happy in know that it was done. The flip side of that knowing that after 5 is family time, it helps me not just work into the evening and ignore my wife.
Loved hearing the news on your upcoming transition to video courses, @MacSparky – seems like a really smart, next step in your business. Excited to see where it goes!
Thank you @mikeschmitz for the journal workflow. I tried several kinds of journaling and it never stuck - basically because I am too lazy to write several paragraphs every day. This workflow could make the difference.
I agree - another way to say it would be to do the most important thing first. So if education is the most important part of your day, eat that frog first. The principle is the same though - you’ve got more in the tank at the beginning of the day, so prioritize your efforts if you want to be satisfied with your output
This was my favorite Free Agents episode so far, but I have not been a long-term listener of Free Agents (I maybe caught 5-6 of the 49 episodes with Jason Snell, who is great!). Still, this episode was very revealing and somewhat “intimate.” After the “frog” portion (which was typical good stuff), David’s pivot portion and the Imposter Syndrome portion seemed to bring a new level to the podcast. I felt David’s thrill and uncertainty about his new approach to his business. He did a great job explaining his thought process in arriving at his pivot, and I found myself wanting to applaud his conclusion and his resolve. Good luck, David! (Here’s my money for your next product!) The “Imposter Syndrome” stuff always strikes home for me, like so many of us, but I thought that both David and Mike really owned it and provided very personal insights in their own struggle with it. My second career as a patent attorney started out with that strong imposter rising up every day, multiple times a day. “I can never be as clever, thoughtful, detailed-oriented, and persuasive as that partner, or that senior attorney. I’m doomed.” The single most important realization in my career was that, with me, What-you-see-is-what-you-get. I will NEVER be like those other folks - I can only be me. So, very quickly I started to visually pummelling that imposter back into the ground (silly, I know) and being true to myself, my colleagues, and my clients. I started bringing ME to my writing, to my phone calls, and to my meetings. If the colleague/client liked it, then great! If not, then we are all better off with a different lawyer. Naturally, I am always trying to improve my skills and interactions, but I’m trying to find those things that work for me, not for anyone else. It’s very freeing! The imposter still rises from time to time, but much less frequently, and I can punch him back to Hell quickly in most cases. We are all Free Agents to some extent, and this podcast can really speak to all of us, for all of us.
Thanks for the kind words, in turn, I LOVED this post! Authenticity is SO important. It’s scary to say “this is who I am, take it or leave it” but it’s critical if you want to produce excellent work. The Imposter wills “you’re not good enough,” “you need to do it like ___ if you want to be successful,” but the truth is you’ll never be able to do it like (fill in the name of the person you look up to), and that’s OK! Strive for excellence in your chosen field, get better every day, and become So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Cal Newport book).
Every time I have done a project where I’ve felt that there wasn’t alignment with my values (who I am) I have regretted it. Thanks for the reminder to be yourself, and the encouragement to all of us to simply be the best version of ourselves. As you said, “we are all Free Agents to some extent.”
Listening to this episode I realized that I am eating a frog every day. It’s not really job or side hustle related though; first thing I do every morning after I get up is to exercise (though with the shape I used to be in before I started this habit, it probably has a bigger effect on my future than anything job related that I could do with that time).
That is absolutely a form of eating your frog! By taking care of yourself physically, you have more energy for everything else you do. A solid morning routine is the biggest personal improvement you can make IMHO.
I have to give a big +1 to the Herman Miller Embody. I got one earlier this year and it has been excellent!
If folks are looking for one of these or a similar high end chair, I’d recommend finding a local retailer. They often have loaners that you can try out (I was able to use the Embody and a Steelcase Gesture for about a week each and the trial definitely changed my buying decision).
The other advantage is that at least with Herman Miller the local retailer has access to all sorts of discount programs that can substantially reduce the price (even lowering it below what you can get it for online). The most applicable for Free Agents is probably the small business discount, but I was able to get a discount for “Engineering Professionals” (a bit of a stretch in my case, but hey, I’ll take it).