Life Balance

Fatherhood & Running a Business

Over the winter I became a dad for the first time. It has, to put it mildly, been a challenge to balance running the business with fatherhood and the rest of life. I’ve been intending to write a post about this for a while. I don’t have any “answers” per se, but I do have a bunch of thoughts that I decide to group together and share… As someone who values sleep and correlates performance to sleep, it has been difficult to get enough rest… Continue reading

8/15/17

“Trading” Your 20’s For Your 30’s

David Heinemeier Hansson recently wrote a post about trickle-down workaholism in startups that got me thinking. I don’t have many career regrets, but if I do have one it’s that I spent most of my twenties working with the mentality that I was overworking myself now so that I wouldn’t have to overwork myself later. I thought I could “trade” my twenties for a more enjoyable thirties (and forties and fifties and so on). I worked 7 days a week, typically very long and very… Continue reading

6/27/17

Eliminating Clutter Revisited

Between our warehouse renovation and some recent construction at my house, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning out and reorganizing. In doing so I remembered my eliminating clutter flow chart from 2008. It’s as relevant now as it was then so I thought it was worth resurfacing:

3/14/17

Vacations vs. Trips

This is sort of an addendum to my Hacking Vacation Time post from the fall. I like to categorize my travel as either a vacation or a trip. Let me explain. The goal of a vacation is to relax. I don’t over-schedule my time. I like to be doing things each day, but at a relaxed pace. A perfectly acceptable day might be getting up late, eating breakfast, lying on the beach, and then grabbing a nice dinner. On my travel days I don’t want… Continue reading

1/31/17

My #1 Productivity & Life Balance Improvement From 2016

It’s rare that I make a productivity change that I would call life changing, but there’s one quick and simple change that I made last year that I think meets that criteria. When I stop to think about it, I marvel at its effectiveness. About a year ago I wrote about how I set up Gmail label notifications on Android as a means to disconnect. Essentially, anytime there’s an urgent work issue that needs my attention I receive a notification on my phone. Most of… Continue reading

1/17/17

Hacking Vacation Time

One of the big themes in The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is the concept of mini-retirements: taking extended vacations as a means to recharge as opposed to delaying gratification until the magical age of 65. While I think delaying rest, relaxation, and travel until retirement is a sucker’s game, I’ve never been all that interested in the type of mini-retirements that Tim proposes. In theory it sounds great, especially if you’re young, single, and can work remotely, or if you’re between jobs. But for… Continue reading

9/20/16

Improving My Index Card Method: The Field Notes 56 Week Planner

Running a business in today’s world requires a special type of focus. It’s so easy to get distracted. If you’re not careful, every day can be an endless stream of interruptions from your friends, family, and co-workers manifesting themselves in every format imaginable: phone calls, text messages, emails, app notifications, and good old in-person distractions. One simple routine that I started almost a decade ago has been my most effective tool for keeping focused and on task without feeling overwhelmed (well, most of the time)…. Continue reading

5/25/16

Taking My Standing Desk To The Next Level With A VariDesk, New Monitors, A Mogo Seat, & More

In 2010 I started experimenting with a standing desk setup after learning how bad sitting all day is. By 2011 I was working at a standing desk full time. I wrote a 1-year follow-up but I haven’t posted about it much since. I’m still standing, but over the past few months I overhauled my office to better fit the way I’m working in 2016. The Problem With My Old Setup In short, my main issue has been the same problem that I mentioned in my… Continue reading

3/22/16

Using Gmail Label Notifications on Android to Disconnect

Last year I wrote about Freedom via Gmail on Android: On nights and weekends when I consider myself “off of work”, I used to occasionally check emails on my computer, which typically involves going into my office, booting up my computer, turning on my monitors, etc. Now I just open up an app on my phone to check to see if anything is important. If there is, I snag my Chromebook or my laptop and take care of it. If there’s not, which is usually… Continue reading

1/27/16

Pushing Towards a More Relaxed Cyber Week

Each year we get better and better with our Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday promotions, a week I like to refer to as Cyber Week. This year we ran some amazing deals, probably the biggest sales we’ve ever run. And each year we’ve seen sales growth during Cyber Week, which has been very rewarding. At the same time, we’ve become better and better and scheduling and running promos so we didn’t necessarily feel like we were scrambling around to make it all come together…. Continue reading

12/9/15