I Forgot My Laptop Charger At Home So I Made A Checklist

A walk to the library from my home takes around 30 minutes. It’s 3-5 degrees this November 8th of 2018 and, although not the chilliest of days, it certainly wasn’t the most enjoyable walks in the cold. Walking back soon after also sucked.

Removing Myself From Distractions

I went to the library with the intention of working peacefully and without distractions. The past two days of interruptions have annoyed me, so I made the decision to remove myself out of its reaches. The library is my “other home” for quiet time to do my work. I walked over there while listening to Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin chat about a few lessons they learned during their adventures into their respective businesses. It’s a great podcast. Worth the listen if you’re interested in what Seth Godin has to share.

Oh Shit

I began working once I arrived at the library. It was a productive two hours. Unfortunately, it was only two hours. Near the end of the session, my laptop indicated it had low battery. I reached into my backpack and, to my dismay, realized I forgot my laptop charger at home. Damn it!

… At least I got a good walking session out of this slight inconvenience.

What Went Wrong?

I was rushing to leave my house. While I was packing my bag, I got pulled away to help my father make a taco. I became a little edgey because I had plans to leave for the library, so I must’ve rushed backpacking without double checking if I had anything.

What Can I Do to Avoid Making the Same Mistake Again?

Some time ago, I was reading Atul Gawande’s book called The Checklist Manifesto. He talked about how surgeons and pilots always followed a checklist, and for good reason: important steps might get skip. They may be tedious and easy to forget.

It’s easy for me to forget things (trust me, I have a track history of losing my umbrellas, scarves, and even watches). So I made a checklist on my phone to follow:

This checklist should include everything I need. It also has optional items if I’m working for longer hours (the laptops stand helps combat my slouching posture).

What Now?

Now all I have to do is make sure I pop open my checklist whenever I head out. In other words, I need to make it a habit to check my phone checklists whenever I do something.

I should also make checklists for other things that I do frequently so I don’t forget stuff. For example, my morning and evening routines, workout sessions, and day-to-day work.

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How to Develop a Strong Work Ethic with My 7 Simple Steps

It’s easy to get sidetracked and lose your focus. Developing a better work ethic can help you stay on course. Not only can you get things done, but you can take care of everything else you are responsible for in your own world bubble.

It’s not a great feeling to not live up to your greatest potential. It’s even worse when you are the one holding yourself back. So let’s look at how you can get started developing a strong work ethic.

7 Ways to Improve Work Ethic

The 7 steps below come from my experience. They are the steps I take, and have to remind myself to continue taking for improving my work ethic. I’m not the most hard working kind of guy, but I can at least be smart about myself and make the most out of it.

1. Listen to that inner voice holding you back, and converse with it

Some people have legitimate excuses. Others might not. Whichever side you are on, if you want to move your life forward, then we need to identify the risk adverse voice inside our head. That voice might tell you it’s okay to screw around for another hour. It might also say you’re the victim and it’s the entire world’s fault. Knowing how it sounds, and having a talk with it might help shed light in the darkest parts of your mind; the parts that stay out of sight and whisper for you to avoid thinking about the work and avoid thinking about how you are avoiding things.

Writing in a journal is the easiest way to visually see the discussion going on with your inner voice. Starting a blog I hope can help, too. 🙂

2. Embrace your motto for getting things done

Some people use a “If not now, then never” attitude. Others adopt a “I love this” attitude. Some people find themselves thinking “I never want to go back again”. Whichever motto you find, embracing the right one will help you power through the tough times.

For myself, I prefix all my mini-goals with “I need to …”. I need to publish my two work-in-progress articles today. I need to revise and publish my freelancer’s written work. I need to find a new crypto token trading pair and place at least three buy limit order layers.

3. Develop a sense of taking care of you and your time as if you were someone important

To use your time effectively is to accept you only have so much time. To accept you only have so much time is to understand that your time is crucial to you. It’s easy to believe your time is only worth minimum wage when you have 8 hours each day evident to that. However, if you can find it in you to recognize your time is worth way more than the deceptive “market price” you have been given, then you might be able to treat your time as if it was worth 10x that. Know that time can only be given up, and never taken back.

Morning self-affirmations can help a lot here. I always remind myself how important my time is and how even more important it is to take care of myself like I am someone worth my time.

4. Come up with a plan, no matter how terrible it seems, and correct it as you go

A bad plan is better than no plan. The idea behind having a plan at all, no matter how shitty it seems to you, gives you a sense of guidance. It is the beacon that lights the way. It illuminates all the dark spots in your world. But only if you can sit down and make an honest plan out of your goals. Always remember you can change your plans. No one can stop you from making it work.

If it helps, I like to spend a few minutes writing down in bullet points all the “major events” that happened during my day. For example, waking up at 7 A.M. and starting the day right away, feeling worried about where two of my actively traded crypto pairs are moving, and failing to read for 30 minutes during the evening. I then follow up by highlighting the good with green and terrible with red. This general and methodical review of my day with the color indicating the good and terrible moments provide feedback to what parts of my plans are going well and what needs to be corrected.

5. Start your day strong by creating a morning routine

During this morning routine, you aim to take care of all your essentials for the day. Health is always a priority, so eating right and exercising should be part of your morning routine. I double check the rough plans I make the night before, and add anything new that came to mind or that I may have missed. My plans are tracked on a Trello board set up in a Kanban style (In -> Next action -> In progress -> Pending -> Done).

I’m also trying to include reading and meditating into my plans. These two practices have always helped me see things in new light. Writing in a journal is also important to me for verbally connecting with my present self and offering feedback on what’s on my mind.

6. Create a schedule and practice punctuality

We are creatures of habit. Following a familiar routine supports our emotional and mental well-being in getting things done, no matter the challenge. If you aren’t following a schedule, then it’s time to try. If you have never followed a schedule, I guarantee you will only follow it 20% of the way. That is okay because it is expected. However, give it a few days, then a few weeks, and I guarantee things will start falling into place as if it were magic. Create a schedule. Commit to it. Then practice punctuality. Show up to your work each day, whatever your work is (could be your job or your personal goals). Eat on time. Sleep on time.

Lately, I have been messing this up. I am getting back on track again. Trello’s Cronofy Power-Up help me sync my tasks to my Google Calendar. After things are planned, all I have to do is be strict with following my schedule.

7. Partner up with someone reliable

This has been a biggie for me. I screen share via Skype with a colleague on the same mission as I am. We both occasionally find ourselves challenged by our wandering minds, and keeping each other accountable holds us to our higher standard. Since we are working on the same things (building and growing our affiliate SEO business), we can share valuable insights we would never have considered sharing.

It’s going to take some balls and determination to find someone you can trust. If it helps, I do my best to stay open minded by treating my life as an open book to report and share the good with others. By placing myself in a vulnerable situation, I bank on the good of others to work with me to achieve our goals.

I met my colleague through a mastermind group for building niche sites. I actively asked around and searched for people to work with before landing myself in the mastermind group.

In Summary

  • Have a talk with yourself, and find out why you are holding yourself back. Journaling helps here.
  • Get yourself a working motto to get things done. I use the prefix “I need to do {task}.”
  • Take care of you and your time as if you were someone important. Because you are. Morning self-affirmations help.
  • Come up with a (bad) plan, then adjust as you go. I plan using Kanban scheduling, and bullet-point reflection highlighting the good with green and the bad with red for feedback.
  • Develop a morning routine. Include all your essentials like exercise, reading, meditating, etc. that will take care of you and give you the peace of mind to tackle your day.
  • Practice punctuality by creating schedules. I follow my Trello and Google Calendar with strict intent.
  • Work with someone reliable. I went out of my way to find someone on the same mission as I am to face our work ethic challenges together.

Got A Lot On Your Plate? Slow Down For Just One Darn Second.

It’s pretty easy to get caught up with having too many things to do. Often times, my Trello board is filled to the brim with a million “important tasks”. The truth is, there are only a few things that truly matter, and it’s up to us to figure out what they are.

The Problem of Doing Too Many Things At Once

There are several roadblocks that come with the need to work on so many things at the same time:

  • It can feel overwhelming and drain us
  • We lose out on significant progress that could have been made
  • Our commitments end up being half-assed or unfulfilled

We can imagine that if we were doing a 100 or a 1000 things at a time, our capacity to manage ourselves and go through the pain of switching between tasks can become insufferable. Picture doing this for 10 days straight, or 10 weeks, or 10 months, or 10 years, or a 100 years. If we took your exact situation to the extreme, will you have made progress in the end? Probably. Would you be satisfied during the entire time? You might not be here if you were satisfied.

Why Does This Matter?

If you want to make progress, then we must learn to do the few that matter most. By focusing on one or two things in the long run, we are able to close the gap between where we are today and our eventual success sooner than later.

I get that there are a lot of things we might want to do. I, for example, want to master Mandarin and Spanish, become a celebrity star on a hit sitcom, and become a world-class poker player. But I’m not about to drop my businesses for them quite yet. I know if I want to succeed to the point where I never have to worry about money again, then I must focus solely on my businesses.

What do you know you shouldn’t be doing, but can’t seem to put in the back-burner? What is the right thing for you to do, but can’t seem to spend majority of your time working on it? What should really matter that you should be focusing on at this stage in your life?

Getting Rid of the Mentality of Doing Everything

It goes without saying that trying to achieve everything won’t cut it. We have a finite amount of time each day, and to go 10% on 10 different things is to get nowhere with anything. We should know that in order to truly succeed in something important, we need a lot of time and energy to invest in that one thing.

The idea of maximizing our time is also a false illusion because we will always be constrained by our attention and energy, unless you are Elon Musk. If you have spare time somewhere, then that time can be better spent on your most important goal.

It’s an attractive idea to be able to do more in less time. Who wouldn’t want to? But for those who recognize that they can’t possibly make true progress, or rather the significant amount of progress they can see themselves making had they focused on one thing at a time, being laser focus is of the essence. If we can point ourselves and chase after one goal, and never stop until we get to it, then we might be able to make life-changing strides in shorter periods of time.

Deciding What’s Most Important

I’ve always believed that for someone to find themselves doing too many things is caused by a few reasons:

  • The inability to commit on a single goal
  • Lack of relentlessness for chasing a desire
  • The fear of missing out on everything
  • The fear of failure and success for focusing on one thing
  • Belief that everything is equally important

I’m not sure which is the more influential reason. Maybe it’s all the listed reasons and more. Who knows. One thing is certain: we need to be real honest real quick on why we cannot buckle down and do one thing right first.

On Being Selective

Normally, there are a few goals that are the most important and have the most impact to our lives. Things like improving your health to the max, growing a business into a monstrosity, and progressing in your career are the typical few. So how do we decide on what is the most important?

It’s not to say that you should give up your health to become financially successful or to throw work out the window to live in the mountains in peace. Or maybe that’s what you want to do. You know yourself best. I ain’t judgin’. What I am saying is that there are aspects in your life that should receive more attention than other parts. Browsing social media to see what your friends are up to is not as important as reading a book to learn how to close people better so you can win more clients for your business.

Given where you are in life, what should be your top priority? Where do you ultimately want to achieve in 3, 5, or 10 years down the road? How do you envision your dream lifestyle to be? What might be your second priority? What might be your third?

I’m a fan of J.D. Meier’s hot spot mapping to figure out what you should invest your time and energy on. Spend a few minutes checking out his blog post to see what you might find out. His book and methodology Getting Results the Agile Way is an excellent model that is practical for getting things done everyday.

Practicing Daily

It’s difficult to suddenly uplift our lives, and throw commitments out the window. But if we recognize doing too many things is a problem, then it’s a necessary step to take.

Benjamin Franklin’s axiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true here. Learning to say no, and putting your foot down for the betterment of yourself today and future you is a must-have skill. It will prevent you from the headaches and heartaches that is to come, and free up resources you never knew you had (time being one of them).

Learning to figure out what’s most important is also another habit we must engrain in daily routine. This starts with asking the right questions so we can figure out the right answers. What’s most important to you? What can you do today, in the next hour, or in the next 5 minutes (however much you can bear) that will have the greatest change or make the most significant progress toward your goal?

Minor tidbit: Make sure your short-term goals align with your long-term goals. It’s worth starting with the end in mind, and work out the details backwards.

Final Thoughts

It’s difficult to sustain day-to-day schedule doing many things. After some point, we might feel like we are getting nowhere and our life feels like it is stuck. It might feel like everything has to be done, but the cold hard truth is that there are only a few things that truly matter. Getting rid of the idea that everything is equally important is the first step. Only then, can we start thinking about what is the most important to us and what our priorities should be. Once we have decided what is most important, we can then become selective with our attention and energy, spending our time on tasks that can make the most progress toward our goals. After that, we must learn to practice everyday to engrain the decisiveness we need to get to where we deserve to be sooner than later. This can become uncomfortable, but learning to say no will be the key.

First Crypto Trading Experience

So I’m diving balls deep into trading crypto. One of the first things I’m learning is how to build small accounts.

Account building is the process of trading crypto pairs that are swinging up and down within a consistent price range.

Since I’ve heard there are a ton of account building opportunities out there, I went ahead and joined the Kucoin exchange, attached it to my Coinigy trading platform, and went through four dozen charts.

I found five good ones, picked two to trade, then entered my limit order trades.

My Trading Results

The first trade I panic sold for a -3% loss. This was due to my unfamiliarity with Coinigy suddenly wiping away my open trade history. I saw the prices drop and decided to sell at the next highest point. Little did I know, the coin went up as I was expecting.

Whoops! Better luck next time. Sold too early.

The second trade, however, net me 4% profit. Whew! This trade I decided to leave as is. The chart looked too awesome and wavy, so I had some faith in my trading process.

Aww yea. That’s how I think things should look!

Mind you, it’s still wayyy too early to celebrate. There is a lot more I need to learn as I figure out the pace of trading.

Lessons From Starting My Crypto Journey

These probably make great life lessons, too. Although I’ve only made two trades, I did pick up some very important lessons to keep in mind moving forward:

1. Trust the Process and Wait Patiently

One of the techniques I must use is to layer my buy orders. In the onset of a sudden dip, I can capitalize on the panic sell in order to lower my average price. If I find myself caught in a downward trend, I can always exit closer to breakeven.

I didn’t trust this idea because of Coinigy suddenly glitching, and I panic sold on what I thought was my next best out.

2. Make Use of Alerts

I suck at focusing. Fortunately, Coinigy has a system for setting up notifications for alerting me if there are sudden dips. Instead of tying up my Bitcoins, I can simply set notifications when a coin I’m watching goes into panic mode.

3. Start Small and Start Slow to Feel Things Out

Based on the charts I’ve looked at, I expect my trades to be completed (buy then sold) in 24 to 48 hours. I’m also using small amounts until I ease into this business and get a solid feel for how I should react to trading.

Being now aware of how I feel and behave when I panic sell is important. I’m working with 1h charts, so there is a lot of breathing space available. However, the panic is real and it’s worth making the mistakes early on and with smaller amounts.

At least, when the mistakes are made, we can better live with it.

4. Remain Diligent Regardless

I have experienced two buggy moments with Coinigy. The first was how all my buy limit orders disappeared. I resolved this by cancelling them on the exchange and replacing them through Coinigy. The second is how I would set a buy limit order at 58 satoshi through Coinigy, yet it would register as 57 satoshi instead. The exchange would say 57 satoshi as well. Weird.

When you rely on a third-party platform, there are always inherent risks. In my case, it is trusting that my orders will be placed accordingly.

In the crypto world, once you lose your coins, they’re gone forever. It’s worth understanding what those risks might be, and how you might want to deal with them when the time comes. Beginner traders should be mindful of those risks and think about them ahead of time. This also includes the risk of exchanges getting hacked and losing your coins over there.

5. Enjoy The Trades!

When I was in panic mode to sell, there was a weird moment in time when I kept refreshing the page and kept pondering what I would do. If you follow a process, stick with it, then sit back and relax. If you never dealt with money like this before, then the adrenaline might hit. I’ve lost a lot of money before, but playing with small amounts still rattled me slightly.

Looking back, I would certainly avoid refreshing non-stop. As long as everything is set in place, then it’s simply a waiting game. Do your best not to stress too much when starting out!

As a side note, I know I am bound to make mistakes. I’m only risking money I am willing to lose entirely. You should do the same, and remind yourself exactly what it is: an investment for your learning. Should be cheaper than college!

Final Thoughts – What’s Next

It’s one thing to read about things; it’s another to do it. I’ve had an exciting first experience to share having finally dipped into crypto trading. I was putting this on hold for a week since I decided to look into it. Personally, I’m not a fan of waiting so I’m mildly disappointed. I’m glad to have finally gotten my feet finally wet.

I’m not entirely sure what the next step is. Should I be trading more coins? Increase the amount I use to trade? I know I need more experience. That doesn’t necessarily require more money, but it does require more exposure to the market. Some things I intend to do include:

  • Continue my studies on crypto trading
  • Analyze more charts
  • Consider spreading my bankroll by trading more coins

I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. I only realize now the full potential of the crypto world despite this bear market, so I’m going to do what I can to make the most out of it. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up my other business anytime soon. I can handle both! I swear!

How to Set Goals and Actually Achieve Them

We look at three important pieces to the puzzle:

  • How to set your goals
  • What goals to set, and
  • How to achieve them

How to Set Your Goals

#1. Start with the end in mind

We can do all the good things in life, but if we do everything, then we are nothing. Since we will always spend time working on something, why not work towards something specific?

Pick an end goal, then reverse engineer what needs to be done. That way, everything we do today will always lead towards somewhere that matters.

#2. Break things down to what you need to focus on

We need to think about all the things we have to do in order to get to where we want to be. Think: bite-size pieces.

We can list everything out at a high level, then pick and choose to focus on the essential few items. Our objective to find the highest impact goals that when hit will take great leaps forward to our end goal.

Besides looking at what needs to be done, we should also look at what skills we need to attain or upgrade.

#3. We want to break it down all the way to daily tasks.

If you can’t hit your daily goals, you won’t hit your weekly goals.

If you can’t hit your weekly goals, you won’t hit your monthly goals.

If you can’t hit your monthly goals, you won’t hit your annual goals.

If you won’t hit your annual goals, you won’t hit any goals you set your mind to.

What is it that you have to do today?

#4. The tools for managing everything

I use Trello with a pen and paper. Other useful tools can be Google Calendar, Asana, or some smartphone app.

What Goals to Set

The areas you can pick

J.D. Meier has a good starting point with “hot spots”. There are three main ones we can focus on:

Our health

Without it, we are done. This can be fitness, diet, and mental well-being.

Our finances

We need money to live. This can be career, business, and investments.

Our personal goals

This adds an interesting dimension to our life and can be a passion pursuit. This can be a hobby, relationships, or a skill.

Important notes

Maximum 3-5 goals

Our lives are made of different interconnected pieces which we cannot ignore. Pick a number that makes you feel they are just out of reach but attainable.

We want enough to take care of all the important parts of our life. And we want to avoid becoming directionless with too many goals.

Not all goals are made equal

Life is not a balance game. We cannot go 20% effort and time on 5 different goals because we have different needs today.

Prioritize. Where are you in life? Where do you want to be? Then figure out what is it you have to do to get there.

Feel free to focus most of your resources on one goal. What is that one goal that you can achieve that will have the greatest, positive impact to your life and those around you?

How to Achieve Your Goals

Dan Lok shares four steps to hitting your goals:

  1. Set it
  2. See it
  3. Live it
  4. Share it

.. And ends his video with a great quote:

Live your life as if all your dreams have come true, then you challenge your reality to catch up.

Instagram Firecrackers

What the Hell is an Instagram Firecracker?

I was thinking “knowledge bombs”, but these 1-minute videos aren’t quite explosive enough. What’s smaller than a bomb? A firecracker, I suppose.

During two months of 2018, I aimed to shoot 1-minute video clips for every day documenting what I’ve been up to. You can find my experiment below.

My Instagram Daily Vlogging

June 2018 (25)

May 2018 (28)