Piles of Books

Books, Books, and more Books

I have been spending a lot of my spare time lately reading listening to books.   So far this year I have completed 24 books (listened to 22, read 2).  I won’t list out all of the books as it probably wouldn’t be all that interesting but if you are curious you can check it out here.  I have found that listening to books is a good way to pass the time while working on various house projects (e.g., Painting the House).

Also, I stumbled upon the author David Baldacci who has some really good books out there.  The topics of his books topics are around espinoge, war zones, traitors and good guys on a mission to contain/eliminate the problems of the people who don’t have the United States interests at heart.  If you are interested in those types Spy/Dectective books I would really encourage you checking out the many books he has written (http://davidbaldacci.com/).  My favorite series so far is The Camel Club.

So what is next for my book reading?  I might take a little break from listening to books and go back to actually reading a couple books that have been in the queue (partially because there isn’t an audio book for them).   What books are you reading  or any suggestions you have of good books I should check out?  Leave it in the comments section.

Another reason, I might slow my reading/listening to books down is I have been thinking of picking up a couple new projects in the near future.  I have a couple of ideas but need to put some more thoughts around what I hope to accomplish and then reach out for some advice.



Who is Busy?

This week has been busy.  The company I work for has a 3/31 year end and seeing how I am a Finance guy there is a lot of stuff happening and trying to get done before that date.  The nice thing is that my company has every other Friday off and this is one of them.  I decided to take this morning to step away from work stuff and slow down.

While I was having my coffee this morning and reading news I ran across an article from earlier this week by Hanna Rosin titled  “Your not as busy as you say you are.”

“The answer to feeling oppressively busy, is to stop telling yourself that you’re oppressively busy, because the truth is that we are all much less busy than we think we are.” – John Robinson

The article referenced a previous article that I had red by Tim Kreider titled “The Busy Trap” which I stumbled on a while back after reading an article that Brad Feld wrote called “Have You Fallen Into The Busy Trap?”  Check all of them out if you have time as each are very interesting but in the end the message is the same that everyone seems to be creating their own sense of busyness.

With two kids (ages 2 and almost 5), both my wife and I working full-time, we are busy.  However, it is true that some things we bring on ourselves and they really shouldn’t be considered the busy part of your life.  Work is busy because it is work and I don’t want to focus on that too much but you are probably working at the job you are for a variety of reasons.  Outside of work the things you do (e.g., volunteering, social gatherings, kids activities) you shouldn’t have the mindset that all of that is making your life too busy.  In fact what you choose to do on the weekends and at nights are optional.

For my wife and I, we understand it is good to have kids involved in things but we don’t want extra activities taking up our kids lives or ours.  So we have allowed them to each sign up for one activity which could either be at nights or on the weekends.  We feel this is important as we don’t want them to be so involved in outside activities that they miss just being a child.  The same thing is true for being an adult, you don’t want to miss out on spending quality time with your family, friends, significant other or maybe having a couple of hours to yourself.  You need to make sure you are not so busy with scheduled events and activities that you can’t just slow down and enjoy the present.

There is some families we know who have their kids in every activity possible which is good for them.  However, I don’t feel bad for them if they tell me they are so busy with work and the kids that they can’t do anything else.  If the parents are saying that how do you think the kids feel?  I mean they are never at their house to play with any of their own toys or just do interesting kids stuff.  I remember as a kid having lots of down time to do whatever I wanted and that was even being in lots of activities as well.

Tim Kreider said it best at the end of his article which I have modified to portray my own thoughts.

“I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with friends, another long talk with my wife April, read one more story to my children, and have one last family gathering.  Life is too short to be busy.”

Now with that said I just called up my brother and am going to meet him for lunch.

Stop Procrastinating…!!!! Using the ‘Seinfeld Strategy’

If it’s a deadline, email, phone call, blogging, or working out everyone has something they procrastinate about and always say, “I wish I could do better.”  So, what is the “Seinfeld Strategy” and how does it work you are probably wondering.  The advice that Jerry Seinfeld gave to Brad Issac (LifeHacker), who wanted to be a better comic, was simple, “Write everyday and don’t break the chain.”

More specifically this is what Seinfeld told him to do:

Image Credit: Thomas Hawk

 “Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. Then get a big red magic marker.  For each day that you complete your task of writing, put a big red X over that day.

Then after a few days you’ll have a chain.  Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day.  You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

I actually read an article published by James Clear from The Huffington Post six months ago which referenced the same story and had his own take on the matter.  I remember telling myself I needed to get back to writing as it has been an area I would like to improve on in my older/wiser years.  Well, fast forward six months and I saw the same article written again by James Clear but for Entrepreneur.   That reminded me that I had this blog post started from back then and I never did complete it or follow the advice at that time.

However, this time when I read the article I was reflecting on how I have been using the “Seinfeld Strategy” by writing more and more each week (I finally started in January).  Not everything I write gets the publish button pushed, but nevertheless there is writing being done so that I don’t break the chain.”


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