Ep8 - Break things apart, read later, 2 min rules

📖 Read later on kindle 🧠 101 ways to change the way you think 🎮 Cloud gaming

Hey there, Vinnovate went away for a bit and is now back. How have you been? It’s been a bit crazy at HQ the past few weeks and I had to step away to work out how I can get these emails out regularly and still get the job done. Let’s see how it goes.

In this week’s episode

⏳ Breaking things apart and procrastination
📖 Using Pocket to read later on your Kindle
📚 What I’m reading
✅ Five things


Breaking things apart and procrastination

Do you remember at school when you used to get projects to do over the holidays and the teacher would say, you just need to do an hour a day and it won’t seem too big? I never used to listen to that, but now I am. - Finally, that shitty high school taught me something

My days consist of running my business and sorting client work and working on Vinnovate and my side gigs. Thing is, you need to pay the bills and get the client work sorted but also need to balance working on the side gig. So here are the rules and processes I have been following to keep on top of things:

1.) Break it apart - you see this mentioned in most productivity books, make a big task smaller. Instead of ‘work on the website’ - break it down into ‘fix menu’, ‘correct fonts’, ‘check padding’, etc - The more specific you are and smaller the job is, the more likely it will be done

2.) Those small jobs become your task list - add them to Trello, or Todoist or whatever tasks manager you use - I try to keep it max 10 per day

3.) Zone your calendar - mornings are from client work, afternoons for admin and meetings, last part of the day is for side gigs - there’s a great new mail app for this coming out soon

4.) Use Pomodoros for the small tasks - pretty amazing how these push you into getting things done.

5.) Dedicate time to projects each day. For example, rather than having to write this newsletter the night before publishing, I spend 25 mins a day on each section (like the teacher told me to - using Pomodoros)

6.) Embrace batch processing + deep work when you can. Set aside 4 hours in a non-distracting environment and do 4 hours dedicated to a job. I do at least two of these sessions a week. Read Deep Work for how to do this properly) Batch processing is churning out lots of what you do. For instance, I will create the next 4 episodes of Vinnovate or film a couple of videos in succession.

7.) Outsource. Video editing, SEO, image editing - anything you find monotonous or time-consuming, outsource it. Set up a system with your freelancer using notion or Trello - in short, you want to be able to dump a file and the freelancer knows exactly what to do so there’s no back and forth. (Bit of a learning curve but when it works you save so much time)

8.) Like outsourcing - embrace automation. Use the likes of Zapier to set up processes for the job. I have a form created where I add blog post ideas - the automation then takes that idea as a title, auto-creates a Google doc from a blog post template and then it’s ready for me to open and start writing. Client work - I automate any reports, onboarding and more.

9.) 2 min rule - if you have a pending task can take 2 mins - do it straight away


10.) 5-minute rule - if I find myself procrastinating with something. I tell myself the next task will only take 5 mins… like starting a blog post or starting a presentation: Action = motivation

Just start, trust me


Using Pocket to read later on your kindle

Ever heard of Pocket? If not, it’s a site that allows you to send content to read later. Plus you can read later when you’re offline too on your mobile devices. I use it to save content that I can only get to later, plus I’m able to tag things and keep them sorted. (also a great way to store for content ideas)

It’s great, but I wanted to find out a way I could read these articles on my Kindle when I have downtime or just before I go to sleep. I didn’t want to use my phone due to the blue light so needed a way to get these ‘saved for later’ articles onto my kindle.

Then I found ‘pocket 2 kindle’ - This tool allows you to schedule delivery to your Kindle straight from articles you have saved on pocket. You just need to connect your Pocket account and Kindle account. Once you have that all connected you can set up schedules to deliver to your device. I set it up to send my latest articles each week.

It even creates a table of contents in each pack it sends. So if you have 20 articles from the week, you will have a little book with a table of content of each article you saved.

Now, when I have a reading session on my kindle, the articles I saved, and probably forgot about, are sitting on my kindle ready to be read.


What I’m reading

I came across 101 Essays that will change the way you think thanks to an Amazon recommendation and I love it. It’s one of those books you can come back to and find a chapter on something you are dealing with or thinking about. Granted there are a couple of essays not applicable to me, but that’s the beauty of it, you can dip in and dip out.

A couple of chapter examples:

  • The Psychology of a daily routine

  • Uncomfortable feelings that actually indicate you are on the right path

  • 8 Cognitive biases that are creating the way you experience your life

  • How to detox your mind

The cool thing is when you finish a chapter the next title either tells you ‘read me!!’ or “Skip”.
Really good read and great for reference. Get it here


Five things

💡 Envato key light - I’m starting a YouTube channel soon and wanted to get some good lighting. The Envato keylight plugs into my stream deck so I can quickly switch it on and start filming - great quality too

🎛 Caldigit hub TS3 Plus - I love my Mac but the lack of ports was doing my head in. I have a lot of peripherals I use and was fed up with swapping plugs. Plus a lot of the hubs you can get on amazon are cheap and lose connection. The TS3 Plus is a bit expensive but amazing. I’ve now set it up that only one port is used on my Mac and everything else runs off the hub. Easy to grab the laptop and go

📝 Ugmonk Analog - You’ve probably read my posts on bullet journaling, something that runs my day. I’ve now moved out of my journal and into Ugmonk’s Analog. A great looking stand where you use a card system to plan your day and future days. Check it out on the site. Been using it for about two months now and it really helps. (just make sure you have a routine in using it)

🎮 GeForce Now - Cloud gaming is amazing, rather than buying a kitted out gaming pc which you inevitably have to keep upgrading you subscribe to a cloud service and can use any device (even that shitty HP one work gave you 😉) you want to play any game and they do all the upgrading to the latest gear - you just pay a subscription. From triple-A titles to the simplest independent. While I wait for my Shadow to be activated I signed up for GeForce now - and can play a majority of my games I purchased on steam on any device at full settings.

🛠 Softr (nocode) - Was recommended this a while ago, in summary, it’s an app / web-building tool that plugs into an Airtable database. Just by using data you can drag and drop components to build apps or websites. For instance, I’m thinking of using it to build a course. You add all your course material to Airtable (like excel but way better). Once your database is filled in, go drag and drop a few components and you’re good to go.


Quote of the week

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Goals are good for setting a direction. Systems are best for making progress”
James Clear, Atomic Habits


And that’s a wrap! Thanks for reading. Don’t forget that if you are enjoying this and want to let someone know about it, please share it with them. I love putting this stuff together. See you next time!

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