Getting Things Done

April 7, 2013

If You’re Busy You’re Doing It Wrong

violin focusA friend of mine just sent me this short article that explains why some people are great violin players and why other people are only average violin players.  I highly recommend you read it.

The secret is the great violin players set aside concentrated, focused 2-hour blocks of time to practice twice each day.  The average violin players do not.

Working with great focus on a difficult subject for only 3-4 hours a day separates the great from the average.  Then the rest of the day the great violin players can relax and stop thinking about playing.  In other words, “If you’re busy you’re doing it wrong.”

This is a big challenge for me.

I have a couple talks coming up this week.  I gotta double down and focus on them.  Planning, writing and practicing a talk is consuming and hard work.  I’ll start with 1.5 hours in the morning, 1.5 hours in the afternoon of focused work.  I won’t check email or do other, smaller tasks during that time.  Let’s see how this works out!

March 10, 2013

Instantly Increase Your Productivity by 40%

my to-do list

My “To-Do” List from 25 February. Note I didn’t check off “Product Document!”  I probably should break that item down into smaller tasks.

I found an incredible way to increase your productivity, instantly.

It’s called “making a list.”

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February 26, 2013

Peter Thiel and Extreme Focus

Peter ThielLast year I wrote about the power of focus and not doing things.  Doing fewer things delivers better results at the few things you do.

I thought that was pretty good.  Then I read about Peter Thiel’s philosophy of extreme focus. Continue reading →

February 3, 2013

Manage Your Time Like Money

Manage Time Like Money“Manage your time like money.”

A Roman philosopher named Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote that 2,000 years ago.

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January 2, 2013

You Gotta Hustle to Win

You Gotta Hustlehus·tle  \ˈhə-səl\
Verb: To sell or promote energetically and aggressively.
Noun: Busy movement and activity.

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October 8, 2012

Focus On The Winning Idea — Kill All The Others

Focus On The Winning Idea -- Kill All The Others

Focus Winning IdeaIn the last post I wrote about The Reality Principle — how success depends on seeing and accepting reality for what it is, then making decisions based on reality instead of your own wishful thinking.   If you do not see reality clearly, reality automatically will work against you and bring pain.

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October 1, 2012

The Shin Line – Charts Speak Louder Than Numbers

Last week I wrote about how measuring things regularly focuses attention and leads to action and improvement.  Today I want to share another vital point about measuring things: The way you display your measurement data has a huge impact on the value of that data.  Charts speak louder than numbers.

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September 27, 2012

Weigh Yourself Every Day For Business Success

I like to eat.  I like to drink beer.

But I don’t want to get fat.  That’s why I weigh myself every day.

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June 24, 2012

Federico Folcia – Avoid These Top Startup Mistakes

“You have to force yourself to launch. That’s the most important, getting that out of the way as soon as possible.”

– Federico Folcia, Founder and CEO of

I met Federico at an Echelon startup event in Saigon in April.  His presentation about startup mistakes to avoid was outstanding.  He spoke from the heart as an entrepreneur who has made painful mistakes and learned from them.  I spoke with him after his presentation and we hit it off.  Federico is a super friendly and passionate guy.

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May 13, 2012


“I like to counsel that the best teams are often defined by what they choose not to do.”

– Mark Suster, Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist

Sitting in a cafe on Friday morning I was approached by an earnest young man.  He had seen me at an event speaking about focus.  He wanted to know if I still believed that focus was a necessary component of success.

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