“No man is free who is not a master of himself.”
– Henry David Thoreau
When do you do your best work?
Only 60% of new businesses last more than one year, 20% more than 5 years, and 4% more than 10 years. I know these statistics won’t stop you from starting your biz – they’ve never stopped irrationally optimistic entrepreneurs. But the odds are stacked against us. We better do something we love (so we keep at it), something we’re good at (so we add the most value), and do that something extremely effectively (to rise above competitors with more resources). And we better partner with people and companies that bring complimentary skill sets.
Many of you entrepreneurs know how difficult it is to stay disciplined, energized and effective without official work hours (i.e. 9 to 5). Ironically, freedom comes with a price: work never ends. How can we perform at our peak capacities without burning out?
What I’ve tried to do this month is to distill the best of productivity thinking into 5 principles:
Build on your strengths and interests
Manage your energy and attention
Managing Energy, NOT Time, is the Key to High Performance
The 4 Dimensions of Energy: Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual
Riding Oscillation: How to Build Stress and Recovery into your Work Schedule
These 5 principles pop up again and again in the productivity literature. They also reflect my opinion based on trial and error as an entrepreneur. Everyone has a different working style. The key is to track and experiment with when you do your best work and when you’re the most effective.
Lots of white guys @@
Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive
Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek
Dr. James Loehr, The Power of Full Engagement
Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA
David Allen, Getting it Done
Leo Babuta, Zen to Done
Neil Fiore, The Now Habit
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Dan and Chip Heath, Switch
Steve Pavlina, Personal Development for Smart People
Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework
Merlin Mann, Inbox Zero (video)
Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (video)
Paul Graham, Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule (article)