Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson



Friday, December 6, 2019

Next on the Reading List: Indistractable



Next on the Reading List: Indistractable. The book just arrived from Amazon the other day and I can not wait to start this one. Click the above Amazon link to learn more.

The author, Nir Eyal,was recently interviewed on the Art of Manliness podcast on my way home, and order the book as soon as I got home.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Be Cautious of the Self Proclaimed Leader

Unfortunately, "leader" has become a workplace buzzword.

We have all seen the infographics comparing the characteristics of a boss to a leader, or management to leadership. They are meant to show there is a distinct difference between someone in a managerial role that has true leadership traits, and some who is simply in a position of power based solely on education, experience, and/or seniority.

However instead of inspiring people in positions of authority with marginal leadership capabilities to strive for self improvement. This trend of rebranding managers as leaders is simply that too often. Just rebranding. The same poor management, just call leadership by the poor managers.

Seems many think if they simply call themselves leaders enough it will be true. It won't. Bad bosses will remain bad bosses, regardless to what they decide to call themselves.

Be cautious of the self-described leader. Too often they are a mediocre manager at best that has a shelve full of business books they've only skimmed through enough to pick up that "leader" is what the successful people call themselves. Only they are not actually doing what makes a true leader a leader. Once again there are no shortcuts on the path.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Learn to say no, so you can do more by doing less

It's a problem I have. I have a difficult time telling people "no" when they asked me to participate in a project, or for my help. Part of the reason is I don't want to seem uninterested in their project or selfish with my time. Also, chances are if they're asking to participate, it's something I'm good at, familiar with, and or enjoy.

I know I am far from the only one with this problem. It is at least partially why so many of us struggle to find the time to get all things we want to do, done. We are simply over loaded.

We need to remember that it's okay to say no, and we all need to say it more often.

It's can be hard to not offer others your help. But when your help takes away from the tasks and projects you are responsible for completing, you suffer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Start a Morning Routine

For a long time I've been reading and hearing how a solid morning routine can have a positive impact on your productivity. It always made sense to me, but I never took the time to implement one.

I was always the type of person to lay in bed until the last possible minute and end up rushing out the door with my hair still wet from the shower and the last bite of my breakfast still in my mouth.

Over the years I have became more of a morning person. But I still did not embrace a deliberate morning routine.

About a year ago that changed. On a whim, I decided to give it try.

  • Rise out of bed at or before a set time.
  • Stretch and exercise for a few minutes.
  • Read.
  • Plan my day.
Right away I saw results. I was more organized and focused. I got more done in the morning, whether at work on the weekends. I noticed I was getting more out of my most precious and nonrenewable resource: my time.

Over the last year or so, my morning routine has been refined and improved to better meet my needs. My only regret is that I didn't start focusing on this years ago. 

But I guess self improvement is like planting trees. The best time to start is twenty years ago, the next best time is right now.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Take Control of the Work Week Before It Starts


One of my Sunday routines is to create the new weekly spread for my bullet journal to plan out my work week. I list out my scheduled meetings that I know of at this time. I list out my goals for the week and tasks that need to be completed, and I tentatively block off time for those tasks.

Of course I need to make updates throughout the week. Sometime within the first hour or two of Monday morning. But I still have a plan. I still have control.

I have been starting out the same basic weekly spread on Sundays for over a year and a half now. I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that this practice has been a major boost to my productivity and has helped me manage my time much more efficiently than in the past. Having my goals, tasks, and priorities laid out in an organized manner makes all the difference in the world.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Professional Lessons From History



Currently I am reading a well written and researched biography of man who played an important role in our Nation's war for independence. A man I never heard of until recently.

Fortunately I have some free time over this Thanksgiving holiday, for I have found this book difficult to put down. Baron de Steuben was a very interesting man who had a major impact on our newly formed army.

Besides being an entertaining biography piece, this book highlights some good examples of leadership skills (and things not to do) from the key subjects of this book; Baron de Steuben, General Washington, General Charles Lee, and others.

Click the below Amazon link for more info on this book. If you like American history, this may be a must read for you.



Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Don't Fail Twice in a Row

The self improvement book I am currently reading is Atomic Habits by Jame Clear. I’ve heard James on several different podcast before and found him to be a very intriguing guest. So it really was just a matter of time before I would read his book. While I’m only two thirds of the way through as I write this, I would (and have) recommend giving this book a read.

One key item that I took away and have already started to implement into my daily life is the strategy of “don’t fail twice in a row.” Often many of us are doing well with a new goal or habit, only to miss up once then quit. We get into the routine of going to the gym everyday. Then we miss one day, and never return. We go a few weeks eating healthy but forget to bring our lunch to work, then it’s back to getting something from the drive thru.

So many times we are making improvements to our lives and we hit one bump that sets us back into our old ways. Self doubt is quick to take advantage of a minor setback.

This has been the biggest issue with me sticking to a written budget. I end a month by sitting down and writing a budget for the next month. I take the time to note all my planned reoccurring expenses. I look through my calendar to make sure no quarterly or seasonal bills sneak up on me. I start the month with a solid plan and the confidence of knowing I will be telling my money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.

For a month or two I stick to my budget and track my spending diligently. Then sometime mid month I slack off a day or two recording my spending. Then self doubt walks in, I throw up my arms and say “oh well, maybe I’ll try again next month to stick to a budget.” Does that sound familiar?

For me, that’s where the “never fail twice in a row” philosophy comes into play. Earlier this month the above scenario happened to my budget. Last weekend I lost a pocket full of receipts and didn’t keep track of the cash in my wallet. My first thought was “oh well, guess I’ll try to stick to a budget again next month.” But then I decided to try the alternative I’ve learned from the Atomic Habits book.

The next day I went back to tracking my spending. Yes, my end of month numbers of my written budget may be off. But I kept reinforcing the habit of tracking my expenses. Which is more important at this point than the accuracy of my written budget vs. my checking account. I can reconcile the bottom line when I start next month’s budget. What I gained is a few more weeks of consistency with being better at keeping my budget.

Don’t fail twice in a row! Remember this the next time you sleep in, or miss the gym, or don’t go for that run. One miss won’t stop you for reaching your goals as long as you don’t miss again right away.

Click on Image for Amazon Link

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Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please share this on social media, or directly with anyone you think would enjoy it.
Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more On The Path content.

Sioux Scout
If you're into backpacking, hiking, hammocks, bush craft and other related things, I have a YouTube channel dedicated to that. Please check it out: https://youtu.be/IzIfJNC9RCo

Thursday, March 14, 2019

My Professional Bullet Journal's Weekly Spread Part 1


For the six months or so, I've been using a weekly spread in my work bullet journal. It's been refined several times to fit my personal needs through trial and error.

The format of this weekly spread has pretty much stayed unchanged for months now, so I thought I'd share it. It might work for you as well as it works for me. Or, it may give you some ideas to make some that works better for you.

Amazon Links to the Bullet Journal items I use and have mentioned:

Bullet Journals
Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll https://amzn.to/2ELmLU9
Official Bullet Journal by Leuchttrum 1917 https://amzn.to/2SG0o5W
Dot Grid Notebook by Leuchttrum 1917 https://amzn.to/2C2umvE
Rhodia Goalbook Dot Grid Notebook by Rhodia https://amzn.to/2ELk8BB

Fountain Pens
Pilot Metropolitan Fine Nib https://amzn.to/2EIwnyG
Pilot Metropolitan Medium Nib https://amzn.to/2Uq16pC
TWSBY Diamond 580 Extra Fine Nib https://amzn.to/2Tba0Lk

Fountain Pen Ink
Noodler's Walnut https://amzn.to/2XDo1QH
Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun, Rigor of Winter, Cool Gray https://amzn.to/2EIFgIO

Monday, March 11, 2019

Why I Have Two Bullet Journals

In late summer 2018, I started keeping a Bullet Journal and I wish I started keeping one sooner. While I've been a note taker pretty much my whole life, I've never really have been an originated note taker.

Discovering this simple method of journaling has changed that for me. Keeping a Bullet Journal has make noticeable improvements in all aspects of my daily life. That is not an overstatement. Many coworkers have commented on it and have ask me about the notebook I carry with me everywhere and how it works.

With my example, I now have a few coworkers trying the method out. Even a few Team Leaders have talked to me about it and how they want to get their teams using the method or something similar. That may be a good idea by the Team Leaders, but this is different something that won't do you much good, unless you truly want to try it. Kind of like making your spouse go on the same diet your excited about. If the excitement isn't shared, all involved will soon be unhappy.

I won't bother reinventing the Bullet Journal wheel by explaining it here. Below is the YouTube video by the inventor of the Bullet Journal Method, Ryder Carroll that got me started. Check it out and it should all make some sense.


After about a month of keeping a Bullet Journal, I knew it was a habit I was going to keep. I also came to the conclusion that, for me anyways, it would make more sense to keep two separate Bullet Journals. One for my day job, and one for everything else.

Now using the Bullet Journal method in it's purest form, one really should keep one journal. The whole point of it, is to have everything collected and organized in one place. One simple notebook to keep your shit together. So, have two Bullet Journals inherently has some drawbacks.

The main drawback of having two Bullet Journals is, well, having two Bullet Journals.Two notebooks to carry around, and maintain. Has fate would have it, when you think of something to jot down or need to look up, odds are the notebook you need may not be the one by your side.

No doubt individual results may vary on this topic. But for me, the advantages are more than enough to counter the hassles of maintaining two journals. 

1) A defined separation between my personal and professional life.

The boundaries between our personal and professional lives are very blurred in today's world. Some of us are answering work emails & text messages at night, while taking care of family schedules through out the work day. It can be difficult to keep boundaries between your two lives. Keeping two separate Bullet Journals can help. 

When you flip through your personal Bullet Journal, you mind isn't flooded with all your meeting notes, pending tasks, and appointment schedule for work. When you flip through your professional Bullet Journal, your not distracted by your grocery list or you kid's upcoming soccer game schedule.

2) Keeping reference information archives where they will be needed.

One my favorite parts of keeping a Bullet Journal, is that over time you can build a fantastic reference library of idea, meeting notes, lists of things that went good or bad, etc. I keep my filled professional Bullet Journals in a desk drawer at work. More than once I've gone to an old journal to look up some notes on a project or some general ideas that were discussed in a meeting months ago. If I kept everything in one Bullet Journal, I would have to wait until I got home that night to look up the information.

3) Having a separate profession Bullet Journal will help keep your personal life personal.

Besides keeping a defined separation between your personal and professional lives when you flip through your Bullet Journal looking for information; having two separate journals helps keep your privacy. 

When you flip through your Bullet Journal in a meeting to find some project notes, you may not want others in the conference room see your fertility tracker spread; or that your taking next Tuesday afternoon off for a job interview and not for your kid's dentist appointment like you told your boss.

4) A professional Bullet Journal can keep the work moving when your not in the office.

Keeping a well organized Bullet Journal up to date with open tasks, detailed meeting notes, etc. can help others on your team stay on top of your workload when your out of the office. Before I go on a vacation, I go over notes, tasks, etc. related to each project I'm working on with my project team members, along with my boss. I leave the Bullet Journal on my desk for their reference. This actually works.


So those are the reasons why I keep two Bullet Journals. The idea may not be for everyone, but it does work for me.

Links

For more on the Bullet Journal Method, I can't recommend reading Ryder Carroll's book enough!
- Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll https://amzn.to/2ELmLU9 

The notebooks I use for Bullet Journals

Official Bullet Journal by Leuchttrum 1917 https://amzn.to/2SG0o5W
Dot Grid Notebook by Leuchttrum 1917 https://amzn.to/2C2umvE
Rhodia Goalbook Dot Grid Notebook by Rhodia https://amzn.to/2ELk8BB

The fountain pens I use with my Bullet Journals

Pilot Metropolitan Fine Nib https://amzn.to/2EIwnyG
Pilot Metropolitan Medium Nib https://amzn.to/2Uq16pC
TWSBY Diamond 580 Extra Fine Nib https://amzn.to/2Tba0Lk

The fountain pen inks I use with my Bullet Journals

Noodler's Walnut https://amzn.to/2XDo1QH
Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun, Rigor of Winter, Cool Gray https://amzn.to/2EIFgIO

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Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please share this on social media, or directly with anyone you think would enjoy it.

Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more On The Path content.

If you're into backpacking, hiking, hammocks, bush craft and other related things, I have a YouTube channel dedicated to that. Please check it out: https://youtu.be/IzIfJNC9RCo

Monday, March 4, 2019

I Think Pot Should Be Legal, Just Not Legalized By Our Government

Another quick YouTube video on a current hot topic.

Link to the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/54sEtklgfqI

To summarize my ramblings:

  • I don't use pot
  • I wouldn't use pot if it was legal
  • I don't care if anyone else uses pot (legally or illegally)
  • Yes, I think its a "gateway" drug, just like alcohol is a "gateway" drug
  • I still think it should be legal, just like alcohol is legal
  • I think it is an unneeded burden on justice system (cops, prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, jails, probation case workers, etc have more important things to take care of)
  • I don't want our current State or Federal Governments to legalize it, simply because they'll screw it up
If you agree with me or not, please feel free to comment below. 

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Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please share this on social media, or directly with anyone you think would enjoy it.
Follow me on Instagram and YouTube for more On The Path content.

Sioux Scout

If you're into backpacking, hiking, hammocks, bush craft and other related things, I have a YouTube channel dedicated to that. Please check it out: https://youtu.be/IzIfJNC9RCo