Last week we started our 2014 planning.
We set dates for various events, both our own and different ones we plan to attend.
We set out vacation slots.
We even booked the date for our 2014 Rock Star Christmas/Holiday Party.
This is the time of year where we both analyze our calendars and re-do any time blocking that hasn't been working.
Nick is especially helpful at pushing me to change my calendar.
Each year as our personal and business goals change and grow the daily habits that got us here are not always the same ones that will get us over the next hump.
But there are a few habits that have worked for us very well over the years and we'll look to continue these in 2014.
Ready for some of our favourites?
Here we go...
Studying history sounds amazingly boring doesn't it? Who wants to sit down with a history book.
I didn't take History in University and anyone who knows either of us may consider it shocking that we're putting this down as one of the habits we owe most of our business, financial and personal successes to.
It was only by studying history that in 2009 we were very confident to turn down our banker's offer to lock in our interest rates on our mortgages for investment properties.
We felt, based on similar financial bubbles from the past, that interest rates were going no where fast.
It's also why we don't jump on things like "Bitcoin" as investments.
It's also why we're less interested in articles bashing things like gold and why we're more interested in the rates of import of physical gold by China.
Studying history gives us perspective.
And that perspective can keep you very calm.
By studying the history of your chosen career niche you obtain a very calming sense of confidence in your decision making.
Whether it's fitness, nutrition, investing, writing ... anything ... someone has gone before you and shared the results.
For example, we use a lot of principles developed and tested in the early 1900's in our marketing for our business.
We just apply them to a different media (the Internet) but the principles don't change.
It's surprising that more people don't study the history of whatever they're doing day-to-day ... there are gems there for the taking.
Never have one source of income.
One source of cash flow.
One source of lead flow.
One mortgage broker.
For us, one of anything is bad.
We don't want a single point of failure in our lives ... anywhere.
And we're not perfect at this. There's been more than one occasion where we've gotten lazy and depended on one person or one thing for much too long.
We've even ignored obvious problems with some professionals we use because it was too time consuming to find new ones.
That's wrong and it's bad and we remind ourselves constantly about this point.
The only danger with this is that you become so focused on "multiple streams of income" that you don't focus on any.
That's not the point ... we find that we're always most successful when we're uber focused on a very specific goal but we want multiple options along the way.
For example, let's take real estate investing. We're always super focused but with one property we want multiple options whenever possible...
Can our little single family home be rent out to a family? Can we straight rent it? Can we rent-to-own it? Can it be turned into a duplex? Can it be rented out to students? Can we tear it down and build a new, bigger, property? Can we advertise online for leads? Offline? Bag signs possible? Where else? Can we profit from it in the short term? Long term? Both?
One of anything = not fun.
Whenever either of us feel stressed out for any periods of time it's usually because our morning routines are messed up.
We both find that waking up early is helpful.
Nick writes a lot first thing in the morning.
I read a lot first thing in the morning.
Nick hits the gym almost every day either right before writing or right after.
I find that if I wake up and check my email my daily productivity is ruined.
I get sucked into some emotionally draining email chain that is a waste of my time and my concentration for the rest of the morning is lost.
So we both do our very best to ignore email in the morning as long as humanly possible. The longer the better.
Some days you can't avoid it but there are MANY days where you just jump onto email out of habit.
And if there are any MUST-DO activities for the day then we absolutely avoid email like the plague.
We force ourselves to sit down and do what we need to get done FIRST and ten return voicemails and emails etc.
Our least productive days are those where we wake up late (anything after 6:00am), jump on email, read the news Headlines online, check voicemails and then attempt to get some productive work done.
Some people complain to us that they can't get up early ... and because we are not them we have no idea if this is true or not.
But there's a solution to this problem.
Create a daily routine where you time block space in your day to NOT check email, voice mail, text messages, Facebook, Amazon.com, TSN.ca or anything else and actually get work done.
So much of our lives are reacting to other peoples problems that if you're not disciplined about this you get very little of your own work done.
Having your morning/daily routine is the #1 way we get stuff done.
And when we're not getting stuff done it's because we broke this rule for a few days in a row ... and it leads to stress, frustration and a decrease in happiness.
To us, there's nothing more satisfying than getting at lease one productive thing done each day. It actually increases your energy levels to tackle the other issues that will undoubtedly show up.
That's it for today ... hope you find some of that useful!
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!!