CurEight: Surfing is Hard

April 6, 2015

Seth Godin on surfing:

Surfing, the conceptual kind, is more essential than ever, it’s not optional.

And the hardest part of surfing, by far, is paddling out, not surfing in.

Carrying the board, getting back into the water, paddling through the waves, waiting for the next set…it’s exhausting, and surfers spend far more time doing this than they do on the other part.

Having the guts to surf is what change demands. And finding the stamina to paddle back out is a key part of surfing.

He’s right. Everything I’ve learned about surfing I learned from my Dad and finally getting to ride that wave after 10 minutes of paddling and waiting is pure elation.

It is easy to forget how unbelievably good the payoff can be when the journey to get there is incredibly difficult and drawn-out.

  1. The hard part about surfing (Seth Godin)
  2. Your Internet Habits Create Your Reality (zen habits) – Are you satisfied with your internet reality? I know I’m not. Right off the bat I can think of a few habits I can (and need) get rid of.
  3. Slack (Instant Messaging Platform) – We just launched this to all 50+ members of our team at The Bailey Group after months of testing and research. I’m excited to see how this fundamentally changes the way we all communicate as a team.
  4. CARROT Weather – Talking Forecast Robot (iOS App – $2.99 for a limited time) – My weather app just told me, in addition to tonight’s weather, that “I sure hope there aren’t any crazed serial killers out tonight.” I’ve never had more fun checking the weather.
  5. Product Hunt – Product Hunt surfaces the best new products, every day. It’s my guilty pleasure at the end of the day before I hit the sack.
  6. SimpliSafe – Amy and I have been on-the-hunt for a security system for our new house, but we didn’t want to get stuck in contract or pay $50 per month for monitoring. We found this solution based on a recommendation from one of my best buds. The entire system cost us less than $350 bucks and the monitoring is only $15 per month, with no contract! I’ll let you know within the next few months how it works out for us.
  7. Apple Watch: Guided Tour Videos – Oh boy. I know I said a few weeks ago I wasn’t sold on the Apple Watch. I might be giving in this week when it goes on sale on Friday.
  8. The Amazon Dash Button – Did you see this?! It’s a button with a product on it that you push when you’re ready for Amazon to send you more of whatever that product is. This is either going to be genius or a huge waste of time on Amazon’s part.

CurEight is a weekly blog series where, every Monday, I share my 8 favorite discoveries (links, books, apps, quotes, productivity methods, and on and on) from the past week.

If you found any of these resources helpful don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of this post. That way you’ll get each edition of CurEight delivered straight to your inbox every Saturday morning.

My Miracle Morning Agenda

April 3, 2015

A few weeks ago I was introduced to Hal Elrod and his book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM), through one of the many podcasts I listen to.

It is safe to say that the concepts Hal shares in his book have changed my life.

Before I discovered my Miracle Morning routine, this was what my mornings looked like:

7:00 AM: Wake up
7:05 AM: Make coffee
7:10 AM: Check my email
7:15 AM: Play around on the internet
7:45 AM: Get ready for work

Looking back, I can’t believe I wasted so many mornings doing things that brought no value to my life.

It is so important to start each day with some type of purpose.

never imagined I’d be able to willingly get myself up out of bed before 6 AM every morning and achieve this much, all before 7:30 AM. There are some things I’ve always wanted to do (like meditate and write in a journal), but never felt like I had the time for them; hence, those are the things that I focus on in my Miracle Morning agenda.

Here are what my mornings look like now:

5:45 AM: Wake up
5:50 AM: Make Coffee (most mornings it is Bulletproof)
6:00 AM: Meditate using Calm app on my iPhone
6:15 AM: Write in my Five Minute Journal using Day One on my Mac
6:20 AM: Read my daily bible verse
6:25 AM: Pray to God
6:30 AM: Read a book or catch up on stored articles in Pocket
6:45 AM: Write on my blog or brainstorm future ideas
7:00 AM: Learn new skills on Treehouse
7:20 AM: Optimize social media posts for the day using Buffer
7:30 AM: Get ready for work

I now start each day feeling more focusedhappier, connected to God, and accomplished than I ever have before.

CurEight: I’m Having a Son

March 30, 2015

My wife wrote a beautiful letter to our unborn son on her blog, The Funky Fork, over the weekend:

I can’t wait to watch your dad love you. Read to you, rock you and teach you everything there is to know about technology and the Jaguars and video games. He’s really excited to meet you! You should have seen his face light up every time he talked about his SON yesterday! You’re really gonna love him, too- he’s the best!

I can’t wait for August to be here.

Now, on to CurEight:

  1. 20 Week (Half-way) Update … Dear Bailey Bean (The Funky Fork) – Naturally, this is #1 on my list for the week.
  2. Facebook Messenger will soon let you chat with stores (Engadget) – Marketers and business owners take note.
  3. Tesla Model S – Your next vehicle will most likely be electric and you will have Tesla to thank for that. They are pushing the entire car industry forward. I had the pleasure of getting to test drive a friend’s Tesla Model S over the weekend and I can’t stop thinking about it.
  4. Here’s how much Steve Jobs used to obsess over presentations (Business Insider) – “Apple’s blockbuster presentations were no happy accident. Jobs used to obsess over them for months beforehand.”
  5. iCloud Photo Library – For years I’ve stressed about finding the perfect solution to access and store the thousands of photos I’ve taken over my lifetime. Well, I think I just found it. Wait until the new Photos app releases with 10.10.3 Yosemite; that’s when you will finally see the true power and flexibility of iCloud Photo Library.
  6. Create a Separate Chrome User Account to Reduce Distractions (Lifehacker) – I use this feature all the time at my job. It is invaluable for accessing services where you have to login with a different username than your personal one. For ex: We use Buffer at The Bailey Group to schedule and share social media content. So, that means I have two accounts with Buffer: a personal and work account. Using this feature built into Chrome, I can stay logged in to both of them at the same time instead of having to constantly switch back and forth.
  7. CrashPlan Cloud Backup – I just had to re-download 25GBs of my personal photo library that was backed-up to CrashPlan because of a stupid mistake I made moving them from Lightroom to the new Apple Photos app. Turns out I left out all of the metadata from the photos I exported from Lightroom, so when I imported them to the Photos app they uploaded in one large chunk instead of being sorted by date.
  8. 5 alternative ways to manage your time (Crew Blog) – I’m always on the hunt for ways to better manage my time. I love the idea of scheduling tasks based on energy level as opposed to focusing on how much time something will take to complete. If you’re about to take on a huge project at 4PM when you typically have exhausted your allotted “focus” energy for the day, then that is a waste of your time. It is better to take care of the smaller, bite sized projects like phone calls and emails.

CurEight is a weekly blog series where, every Monday, I share my 8 favorite discoveries (links, books, apps, quotes, productivity methods, and on and on) from the past week.

If you found any of these resources helpful don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of this post. That way you’ll get each edition of CurEight delivered straight to your inbox every Saturday morning.

Fear of Failure

March 25, 2015

Leo Babauta at Zen Habits:

The Model T was created after Henry Ford and his partner shipped a very imperfect Model A automobile, and had their mechanics gather real-world information about problems with the car. And then they made it better, one problem at a time.

They only gathered this information by shipping the car.

You’ll only gather the real-world information you need to make the habit stick (exercise, diet, meditation, reading, creating, non-procrastinating, yoga, etc.) by actually doing the habit.

My procrastination habit is vicious.

I find that, most of the time, much of what I’m afraid of (not knowing where to start, feeling unprepared, and the fear of failure) disappear once I actually start working on something.

And that fear of failure is a funny thing.

The fear of failure keeps me from producing things that matter, yet inherently I’ve failed because I never produced anything at all.

Risk is involved in everything that we do.

Everyone fails at one time or another.

Whether we fail by doing or fail by not doing is our choice to make.

CurEight: The One Where a Calendar App Makes Me Giddy

March 23, 2015

You heard me right.

The thing that has me most excited this week is the release of the new version of my favorite calendar app.

What my Fantastical looks like.

  1. Fantastical 2 (iOS / OS X app) – Just two days away now from the release of Fantastical 2 for the Mac. No matter the price, this will be a no-brainer of a purchase. I use it just about more than any other app on my machine.
  2. Facebook Introduces Free Friend-To-Friend Payments Through Messages (TechCrunch) – Smart move by Facebook to include build this feature into Messages. I’m excited for this to take off among mainstream consumers. There are great apps that do the same thing (like Venmo for example), however I think trust has been the ultimate barrier to entry for most people. Almost made me chuckle using the word trust and Facebook in the same sentence.
  3. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (Amazon) – David Allen completely re-worked his book on GTD. This is what many consider to be the bible of productivity. My copy will be here tomorrow.
  4. Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli (Amazon) – I read Walter Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs and loved it, even though many thought it was a watered down version of Steve’s life. Early reviews say this book will blow Isaacson’s book out of the water.
  5. Pocket (App iOS / Web) – A little shout out to the app that I use to collect these stories and resources each week. I use the Premium version which saves hard copies of each thing that I add so that I can access them without internet access. Sweet!
  6. Apple TV revamp coming in June with Siri and App Store (Engadget) – This is the update to the Apple TV we’ve all been waiting for.
  7. IFTTT Recipe: Lifehacker Dealhacker Posts sent to Email (IFTTT) – This is how I find out about all of the best deals in tech, household goods, movies, gift cards, and anything else you think you might think you’ll eventually want. Be careful though: You can spend a lot of money very quickly by following this.
  8. The Five Minute Journal – As a recovering perfectionist, I have the tendency to focus on all the things I don’t do well enough in life. In order to combat my brain’s onslaught of negativity, I’ve been using this methodology every morning and evening to help me focus on the good things that happen to me each day instead of the bad. I’ll write more about The Five Minute Journal in a later post, but do yourself a favor (especially if you’re a perfectionist like me) and check this one out.

CurEight is a weekly blog series where, every Monday, I share my 8 favorite discoveries (links, books, apps, quotes, productivity methods, and on and on) from the past week

If you found any of these resources helpful don’t forget to subscribe at the bottom of this post. That way you’ll get each edition of CurEight delivered straight to your inbox every Saturday morning.