5 Years Ago Today

I’m not a big fan of the new ‘memories’ function of Facebook.  For me, rehashing your old memories and putting them back up onto your wall on Facebook is nothing more than grandstanding.  At least that’s what I thought until this morning.

5 years ago today

I took this photo to remember the morning ritual that I endured when I lived in Japan.  Work all night, leave to jog at 4am, return by 6am, quick shower, make espresso and dinner / breakfast.  It didn’t always work out that way – more often than not I would say screw it and climb into bed.  Or exhaustion would take over and I’d fall asleep where I was sitting.  Then I would ‘have’ to walk to the 7-11 down the street and get a snack.

I find myself now doing a weird routine again – up at 4am, workout at 10am, meetings in the afternoon and evening.  I find that I can get a lot of work done before most people are awake and that these are my most productive hours of the day.

Ahhh Japan, I’m looking forward to seeing you in a new light soon.  😉

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3 Yard Gains

For the first time in years, I threw the football around with my brother.  It was deflated to the point where you could barely grip it to throw a good spiral and it felt like a Dominatrix’s whip when you caught it.  I almost said no.  I didn’t have the proper shoes and my pants had been falling down all day.  I said nothing, got up and went outside.   Needless to say we had fun.

I’ve been doing the same three actions every morning for the past few weeks – say nothing, get up and go outside.  It’s enabled me to get up in the morning and get the work done that has to be done.  I enjoy doing it however at the end of the day I find that I’m starved for human contact and have a tendency to ramble on about what’s happened in the past 24 hours in extreme detail.  Turns out very few people care about the daily 3 yard gain that I strive for on a daily basis.

How to lose weight in four easy steps, aka how to enact change, is well worth the read.   I saw it when I was reading Mark Suster’s treatise on unicorns (tech startup companies valued at over $1 billion).   It turns out that there are some things that you can’t edit down to one or two things.  Some stories have to be told in their entirety.  And a few are worth memorizing.

This week I plan to burn up the phone and make a few new friends.  I also want to fix a web site and get a few brave people to test it out.  Hopefully one or two of them can break it, expose the flaws and then I can fix it.   Any volunteers?

 

 

 

Morning Rituals

It’s been a week and I’ve found a new routine.  It’s not perfect, but you gotta start somewhere.

4:30 am alarm.
Get up and go sit on the couch for a few minutes wondering aloud why am I here. (I may have fallen asleep for 5-10 minutes a few times)
Stand, walk to coffee maker and brew coffee.  This generally takes two tries for both the standing up and the brewing of coffee.
Bathroom, change into workout clothes, turn on computer.
Read / write / plan for 20-40 minutes.
Workout or first task on the list.

I found that the first day was the easiest, although on the second day I was awake at 3:40am due to an email (phone was silenced at night after that).  I made the mistake of waking up early and putting in a long day (not home until 11:30pm and not asleep until 1am) on Thursday.  As well, the bedroom door and latch needed some grease, and socks are a must for early morning walking around to keep the noise down.

Tweaks for this week:

Clothes set out the night before bed with socks.
Get up, brew coffee, bathroom, drink a glass of water- skip the couch.
Meditate for 5 minutes – sitting, eyes closed, focus on a thought and let mind wander, consciously bringing my attention back to the single thought.  If I go over five minutes, that’s ok.
Write for 20 minutes while sipping delicious coffee.
Workout – Monday (long jog), Tuesday (yoga), Wednesday (lift), Thursday (yoga), Friday (whatever)
If I fail at something, go discover some new music and post on Facebook with a reminder note on the failing topic.
Tasks for the week posted in project management software – all I have to do is complete the tasks and check it off the list.
Scripts have been written as well to cut down on time wondering to myself ‘what should I say?’.

I should also note, that if an email comes in from Asia, I respond to it immediately regardless of what I’m doing in the early morning (that is if I’m awake). This past week I’ve been able to respond to fifteen requests within two minutes and had a few comments about speedy replies despite the time difference.

I’m also going to stop worrying about being a ‘bad dog’.  I’ve found that my drive comes from being constantly dissatisfied along a consistent theme.  There are many variations of the theme, but it’s always there.

Ok, enough of this, time to get started.

Rating Of Perceived Effort

I found this off of a Huffington Post article on fitness and decided that it may be a good philosophy to test out for a few weeks.   It’s been a while since I read an article and said “YESH!” out loud.  Rating of perceived effort is used in a workout to avoid over training the body or overworking a particular muscle group.   The emphasis is placed on showing up, doing the minimal amount of effort and if you “feel” like doing more, then do it.  If not, no problem, keep doing the minimum.

I’m all about breaking a big task down into smaller chunks, so here’s my breakdown to try out for the next few weeks.

Part 1 – Showing Up

Personally, I need to have specific instructions set into my calendar about who, what, where and when.  Most of the times, the why portion is self-evident, otherwise I won’t bother to book the meeting.

If I have a meeting for The Learning Studio, then I know who I’m meeting with (generally the title of the calendar entry – Scot and Oprah meeting), what we are discussing is in the description part, location of said meeting (google hangout, skype, Cafe Dineen, etc), and specific times (start and end time, as well as reminders).

Here’s what I’ve been doing for workouts:
Title – Workout
Time – 30 to 60 minutes, with a reminder two hours beforehand
Where – blank location
What – blank description
Why – isn’t it self-evident?

So that’s gotta change; get more specific for non-work related tasks.

Part 2a – Initial Action Item

I’ve got my calendar item – in this case a slow long jog – and now I need my initial action item.  In this case, it’s run for ten minutes then evaluate to see which path I should take.  I’m guilty of spending too much time planning out a task (such as calling someone new) to discover the gritty details about what has to be done and sometimes run out of time to get the task done.

So I’m only going to think about and note the initial action item (which is generally the hardest part of the task iteself) then dive into the initial action item.

Part 2b – Tracking Progress

In business, I’m all about tracking specific metrics to ensure that I’m still on the right path and

Maybe the metric that I’ve been using (weight) is the wrong one.  This will require a little bit more research online and looking inside myself to find something that I would enjoy tracking and is relatively easy to find.

Part 3 – Acknowledging Success

I’ll admit that I don’t do this enough.  It’s not that a big celebration is needed, but confiding in a few people that I’ve overcome an obstacle or reached a milestone is needed.  Everyone needs a pat on the back, a few words of encouragement and to hear those sweet words – “I believe in you”.

Summary

I’ve noticed that some of the most successful people in my life, only focus on the task at hand with minimal planning for the future.  Now this doesn’t mean that they didn’t plan, it just means that I never saw them do it on a daily or weekly basis.  Planning was something that was done at the start of a business, at the end of the fiscal year, and at a gathering or convention with your peers.  A decision to do something was generally motivated by personal reason more than a business reason (emotion over logic) and a decision to change things up was thought about over a period of months instead of hours or days.   And without another word, I’m off to do my slow jog. (Sept 14, 2015 – 5:32am)

Tech & Babies

I’ve been deep reading deep into all things tech this week.  From new sci-fi books (Seveneves by Neil Stephenson and the Culture series by Iain Banks) to new Kickstarter campaigns to meeting new startup founders and listening to their pitches for funding.

Here are a few things that I found interesting this week:

I’m also actively looking for medical / health / wellness publications that are online and produce good content that is relevant to any health professional.  Any ideas?  It’s proving a lot harder then I thought it would be to find an online publication that puts out good content that is of interest to their audience.

It’s cold brew coffee time!  If you’ve never done it, get a big mason jar, add five scoops of ground coffee or espresso beans, shake it up, then put it in the fridge over night.  Strain it in the morning and enjoy.

Now to drive down the Gardiner to The Beach and experience the joy that is driving in Toronto.  Plus experience the joy of my first baby shower!

female-driver-freaking-out

A Book On Bath Tubs

I’m writing a short story about bath tubs.

This is similar to the type of story that I wrote when I was in Grade 6 when I wrote about Alex Corpse – a fun loving, scythe wielding psychopath who ran around town lopping people’s heads off and keeping them in a big reinforced garbage bag.  I managed to keep that story going with various chapters about walking to school, going to the mall and fun at the beach.  Thinking back, I’m glad that my teacher at the time had the wherewithal to realize that writing then was merely a creative outlet for expression of pre-teen angst and not a sign of things to come.

I’ve been busy focusing so hard on one task that I’ve let a lot of other things have gone to the way side.  I eschewed a balanced lifestyle and now I yearn for just a little more balance away from work towards other things.  Maybe not a balanced lifestyle but something different.

This week I will be pitching people (entrepreneurs) on giving me a chance to break things that they hold closest to them (their company, new product / service idea, current marketing and finance plans) then finding new ways for them to conduct business and document everything for them.  This way they can continue the new process, analyze the details and tinker with it, or abandon it completely and look longingly at a pretty binder on their bookshelf.  Do you know someone who can benefit from an abundance of new revenue for their struggling business?

I’m not sure how many days are left (I don’t want to experience that many blank lines in a spreadsheet today) but I do know that I’ve been moving at the right pace in the right direction.  I think I’d like to spend an extended period of time up in Dawson City in the middle of winter this year.

cast-iron-bathtubs

Update On Goober (and alleged crooks)

A quick update on Goober – the cat that was rescued up in Minden.  It’s a he!  He’s not a kitten (8-10 years old) and he was full of worms!  I’m happy to say that he no longer has worms and that he has a home!  And a new name – Henry!

Deep down inside, he will always be Goober to me.

The cat named Henry formerly known as Goober.
The cat named Henry formerly known as Goober with a new collar and bell.

And now onto the alleged crooks and criminal element.  Earlier this year I was renting office space from a man who was charged by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) with defrauding investors of more than $30 million through a sub-prime auto loan fund and his associated companies.  The latest developments have been posted at the OSC web site (link to E.I. proceedings) and it’s interesting to note that a lot of background information on the case can be found online with a Google search on the names of the companies and people involved, since the fund and companies were forced into receivership by a secured creditor.  Hours and hours of fun reading!

Since that fateful day when I received an email from a client asking if I was aware of who I was sharing office space with, I’ve made a conscious decision to move away from earning an income off of other people’s business’ and to focus on my own.  This is one of the reasons that I launched The Learning Studio (a small reason).

I’m not sure what the future will bring, but I do know that I want to be doing something that will make a positive impact on the world and the people living on it.

Keep looking forward and put one foot in front of the other.

There are 644 days to go.

Exploits, thoughts and travels of Scot

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