Momentum: The Magic Potion

Finding a little momentum goes a long way.

This fact is especially when you’re sharpening up your focus to get sh*t done.  The approach isn’t new or complicated, but it is important.

Check your list.

If you don’t have one, write one down.  Depending on your level of motivation and focus as you begin, I suggest writing everything down.  The more items, the more focus you’ll have.

Consider the priorities you’ve got in front of you. Consider the time it will take to complete the various tasks on the list.  Don’t get overwhelmed by the list, be empowered by your effort to get it all down in front of you.  Once you’ve got a good representation of what needs to be done, it’s time to get after Number One.

My personal approach is to target a couple quick hits, items I can accomplish pretty quickly, to get some positive energy going in the right direction.  As you line out items on your list, you can feel the sense of accomplishment. Your focus will increase, your resolve to continue down the path will strengthen, you’ll be one your way forward.

So make that list and get after it.

The momentum you create will make the difference in your effort.  It will make it GOOD.

New Company? Write Again

It’s been 51 days since I started the new day gig, and it’s been a hoot, I gotta say. It’s
been such a hoot that my writing has taken a back-seat to the New Job Wave I’ve been riding, the ramp-up period, the climb up the learning curve.

But I still strive to write just a bit and frequently.

Following two of my favorite bloggers/doers-of-good, Seth Godin and Fred Wilson, I want to write every day, ideally.  So today I’m getting back to it and writing like Fred often does: he writes about “work”, his observations, what he learns, insights he comes across.

I’m feeling pretty damn lucky to be at this new company. So far so good.

What’s good about it?  It’s got nice people, it’s in an interesting industry, it has a cool company culture and vib, I feel energized about the work and opportunity, and there’s a ton of learning about systems and processes. I love it. I mean LOVE IT.

Want an example of “cool [invaluable!] company culture”?  Check out our QUALITY POLICY:

“Our company is committed to providing high quality products that meet customer expectations and comply with regulations. We will achieve these goals by adhering to and maintaining an effective quality management system designed to ensure product quality, reliability, performance, safety, and continual improvement.”

I’ve always enjoyed and believed it best working in a company (or any organization) that focuses on quality.

Why? Quality means more GOOD. I like that.  Oh yea, and the company?  Pac Bio.  Check ’em out here.

On Maneuvers

lightfightersmanueverfogofwar.jpg

Often it’s important to circle back to things you’ve walked away from to have another look.  You get fresh, valuable insights from this practice.  Here’s the latest example I’ve come across.

I was 75% along the way to joining the US Navy out of high school.  I was going to use an NROTC scholarship to pay for college.  I wanted to be a Marine.

Ultimately I made the decision not to proceed along the military path.  Over the many years since that time, I’ve come across lessons time and again that stem from military practices and history.  I’ve taken to heart a lot of those lessons.

The concept of “maneuver warfare” came up most recently that has me thinking about the parallels to how we approach our lives, getting things done, being busy, juggling personal affairs, work, and family.  Some basic principles stand out.  Applied regularly (daily) you’ll find these five tips quite helpful.  At least I have.

[Note:  These are my paraphrases, not necessarily direct quotes.]

  1. Be ready for the unexpected.
  2. Be able to adapt your plan while keeping focused on the same goal(s).
  3. Don’t just give orders.  Empower your squad.
  4. Take calculated risks with the knowledge you and your team can recover if necessary.
  5. Maintain a Positive Attitude and Esprit De Corp.

I boiled these five “hacks” down from  Jocko Willink’s fast-growing, fast-moving, often insightful podcast.  He focused on H. John Poole  during one early podcast, a veteran of Vietnam who studied, wrote, and trained thousands of soldiers on small unit tactics.

Funny where you can find lessons if you’re open.  In the daily maneuvers through your life, remembering that might be the most important thing of all.