Jan Kubr

Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Focus on incremental improvements

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 at 12:30

There will be no breakthrough that will suddenly fulfil your goal for you. There are only many small steps that take you closer to completion. And no one will walk that path for you. Focus on incremental improvements; don’t forget about your end goal, but learn to improve the status quo gradually. Don’t skip steps.

A book read: The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

In Uncategorized on March 22, 2008 at 15:10

This might be a game changer for you. It opened my eyes to a few things I hadn’t been really realizing. And no, it’s not related to working four hours a week (although Tim has some good tips on how to boost your productivity).

Design your lifestyle now

The traditional career path is “study and work hard ~40 years, save a lot of money, and then retire and start enjoying your life.” The obvious problem with this is the money you saved might not be worth all that much after such a long time. Another obvious one is that you can die before you have the chance to retire. I realized this before reading this book and thought the solution to the first problem is to save really a lot of money or generate passive sources of income. And to the second one – well retire early enough. Which means working even harder.

Tim surprised me with another problem there is with this: How are you going to be able to “enjoy your life” if the only thing you did last 40 years was working 10-12 hours a day? What are you going to do? Note that it will be impossible for you to sit and be idle. If the the number one thing on your mind for the last 40 years suddenly disappears, what then? What will you use all this money for?

Tim quotes a friend of his who says that if he works 80-hour weeks for nine years, he would be making $3-10 million a year. When the author asked him what the hell he would do with the money, he said he would take a long trip to Thailand. You guess the problem; you don’t need three million to spend a few months in Thailand. And another problem: what would you do after the trip? Work like crazy other nine years?

So the biggest takeaway for me from the book is: Don’t postpone your real life. Don’t say, “I’ll only work here for a few years, save money, and then I’ll be enjoying life” unless you define what “enjoying life” means for you. Because without the definition you might very well be postponing the enjoyment forever. Try to define what your ideal lifestyle would be and think about how to make it happen. Now, not in a few years. You’ll probably realize that what you want is much less expensive than you thought.

Don’t be afraid to design your lifestyle exactly as you want it instead of what is common. Identify what the worst possible scenario is if your plan doesn’t turn out well. Often it is much less problematic than you think at first. For example if you decide to quit your job to start something else; having to find a new job is really the worst case scenario. No big deal.

Concepts and tips

Interesting is also the concept of relative income. It is great that you earn double the money of your friend, but if you need to work twice as many hours, you are equal on your hourly rate. And the friend has more spare time..

Mini-retirement. I want to do this: Work hard for a few months and then take a month off.

Oh and regarding the four hours. The book gives you some tips on how to spend only four hours a week on generating enough income that will support your other activities. (Note that the author doesn’t suggest you to work four hours a week and do nothing the rest of the time. The four hours should earn you enough money to enable you not to worry about your finances and can concentrate on what your passion is. Which might be again defined as “work” – starting a company for example.) These include:

  • Apply the 80/20 rule. Especially if you are an entrepreneur, it is likely that you spend 80% of your time on generating 20% of your income. Eliminate those 80%.
  • Have shorter deadlines on tasks and iterate. The more time you reserve for a task, the more time you’ll spend on it.
  • Delegate or outsource everything you can. Give your employees or colleagues more responsibility, don’t be a bottleneck.
  • Automate.
  • Don’t waste time in meetings and by answering emails.
  • Eliminate interruptions and multitasking.
  • Don’t work on unnecessary things just to have an excuse to put an important task off.
  • Don’t be busy, be effective.
  • Don’t work just to be doing something. Get the most important things done and save time for your passions.

What you must have on your resume

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2008 at 20:17

“You should do this because it is good for your resume,” they say. “You should work for at least two years at your first job.” Why? Because it is will look good on your resume. Why? The readers of it will think you’re a stable person. Or something, I forgot the reason they said. But it didn’t start with, “It is better for YOU because..”

I say fuck that. Do everything to improve your skills, to become better in whatever you want to be best at. If it means changing a job every three months because all the companies you’ve been employed at are lame in what your passion is, so be it.

Your resume is just a side product.