Rituals, methods, strategies


On Episode 205 of Joe Polish’s “I Love Marketing” podcast he did an interview with myself and three other entrepreneurs on a plane ride from St. Louis, MO to Manchester, NH. This is the forth in a series of stories where I will dive a little deeper into the answers I gave to the questions Joe asked. His forth question to the group was, “Out of all the things that you have done that have allowed you to be focused, be successful, manage your time, say no, I’d love to hear one or two rituals, methods, or strategies that you use that allow you to be effective. For me, I go to a public library, I have 11,000 square foot building I own, beautiful office, I can get more done in a library in an hour than if I was to spend half day or all at at my office simply to focus. So when I when I want to focus I create a focus environment. I also meditate every day, I do TM. Transcendental mediation, that helps. I exercise every day. Those things actually help me become more productive, but every one has their thing that they do so I would love to hear some things that you do that other people listening to this can learn from, and say, ‘ah, that’s a good idea!’”

Before getting into my own answer I suggested to Jeff Peoples to use Evernote instead of sending emails to yourself (in fact, that is indeed what I am literally using at the moment to help put thoughts together to create these Medium stories!!) It has the ability to go cross platform be it Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS. All of the data is synced via your Evernote account so there is little setup. You can add text, attachments, web clippings, and more. Share notebooks with others. As much as I use it I am also sure I have only scratched the surface of its capabilities. Okay, enough with my rambling, if you are not using it — download it and start today before reading any farther.

For my answer to this question I focused on the theme of NET time — meaning No Extra Time. Time is the one item that is priceless to me and I am willing to spend a lot of effort and funds making “more” of it, or probably better said, out of it. The empowering question to always ask yourself is, “What else can I accomplish during those things that I am going to be doing anyway?” Below are top three things for me. Ask yourself what they are for you. I know one thing for Joe was doing this interview during his ‘dead’ time on a plane ride!


The very first opportunity that comes to mind is driving time. When I am in the car I am listening to audiobooks. As long as the ride is longer than 15 or 20 minutes I am deep into whatever is up in the listening queue. If something comes up that I want to highlight, or otherwise read more closely, I pause it, take an audio note on the phone and continue on. As part of my audiobook ritual I do my best to switch between education and entertainment. In other words, a novel by Stephen King now, and The Millionaire Next Door later, and so on. I get a wonderful experience to go through these journeys which I am not going to have the time to sit down and read the physical book be it on Kindle or paper, at home or wherever. I do not add up all of the hours I am able to cover in a year but I never had to worry about having credits leftover in whatever Audible plan I am subscribing to! If it was not for having uninterested (no, I didn’t say interesting ☺) passengers at times in the car I would dump my Sirius radio subscription and never miss one-second of it.


I have the privilege of having my home be my primary office for work. Linked to this lack of commute is also having a small fitness room at home as well. One day I was looking at this small little room, with a tiny little TV, that I was desperately trying to spend more time in, and I am saying to myself, “What the hell am I doing here?” I want to spend more time getting in better physical shape, why don’t I take this room and change it so it has the biggest flat screen TV, the best sound system, etc. Sure I want to be in that room for health reasons but let me use that time to get other things done as well. So now I get the opportunity to be in better physical shape while taking in series television — be it Breaking Bad, or whatever. Yes, now I can binge watch shows and run a marathon! Being in the film business with Bron Studios this turns out to be a really good idea for business as well. ☺


Another NET ritual I use has to do with my magazine subscriptions. When they come in the mail, or in electronic form, I just let them pile up. They continue to pile up until I fly somewhere, for when I do those magazines become my flight time. Unlike the car, where I take audio notes if something interests me, on the plane you will see me ripping out articles to either archive as references, forward on to others, or otherwise followup on when back on the ground.

(Originally posted on Medium)