Life Balance

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

When You Can Work Any Time, What Time Should You Work?

For the past decade or so I have been able to more or less work whenever I want. My current schedule has me working from home 3.5 days most weeks, with one day in the warehouse and a half day meeting/collaborating with my partners. In my last post Balancing Out the 24x7x365 Nature of Online Business I talked about the importance of setting boundaries and some of the things we’ve done to make it easier to step away from work so we’re not tethered to… Continue reading

8/27/15

Balancing Out the 24x7x365 Nature of Online Business

We’re the first generation of business owners that are truly doing business every second of every day. The internet has allowed us to be open all the time. It’s a glorious, wonderful thing…mostly. I remember going out to a bar with my business partners early on in our business, maybe 2007 or 2008. In the middle of our evening one of them pulled out his phone and checked our sales for the night. It was exhilarating to see our hard work keep working for us… Continue reading

8/21/15