Managing You

 “No man is free who is not a master of himself.”

– Henry David Thoreau

This month is all about answering one question: when do you do your best work?

Only 60% of new businesses last more than one year, 20% more than 5 years, and 4% more than 10 years.  I know these statistics won’t stop you from starting your biz – they’ve never stopped irrationally optimistic entrepreneurs.  But the odds are stacked against us.  We better do something we love (so we keep at it), something we’re good at (so we add the most value), and do that something extremely effectively (to rise above competitors with more resources). And we better partner with people and companies that bring complimentary skill sets.

Many of you entrepreneurs know how difficult it is to stay disciplined, energized and effective without official work hours (i.e. 9 to 5). Ironically, freedom comes with a price: work never ends.  How can we perform at our peak capacities without burning out?

What I’ve tried to do this month is to distill the best of productivity thinking into 5 principles:

Work on your habits

Build on your strengths and interests

Manage your energy and attention

Managing Energy, NOT Time, is the Key to High Performance

The 4 Dimensions of Energy: Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual

Riding Oscillation: How to Build Stress and Recovery into your Work Schedule

Achieving Flow

Do first things first

Get organized

These 5 principles pop up again and again in the productivity literature.  They also reflect my opinion based on trial and error as an entrepreneur.  Everyone has a different working style.  The key is to track and experiment with when you do your best work and when you’re the most effective.

Reading List:

Peter Drucker, The Effective Executive *
Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People *
Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek *
Dr. James Loehr, The Power of Full Engagement *
Josh Kaufman, The Personal MBA *
David Allen, Getting it Done *
Leo Babuta, Zen to Done *
Neil Fiore, The Now Habit *
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience *
Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What  Motivates Us *
Dan and Chip Heath, Switch
Steve Pavlina, Personal Development for Smart People *
Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework *

* indicates Ebook is available through UpStartist MBA shared book folder

Web:

Merlin Mann, Inbox Zero (video)
Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (video)
Paul Graham, Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule (article)