Tag Archives: tim ferriss

Teashop Takeaway Part II

Here’s the second part of my excerpts from the teashop video about “Life Management.” The primary speakers are Leo Babauta and Tim Ferriss.

You can check Friday’s post Teashop Takeaway (by scrolling below this post) for a longer introduction to them.

I’ve read many of their blogs over the years and a couple of their books as well. Neither of these guys was well know even three years ago. As they became successful writers, more people wanted slices of their pies. A pie really doesn’t get much bigger, you just have to cut thinner slices. So I’ve seen their ideas about life management evolve and morph with their circumstances. The foundations remained, but tweaks were made as they scraped the barnacles from the hull.

-Distractions – Simplify your life so you don’t have so many distractions. Try to eliminate as many distractions as you can. Then you need to become comfortable with letting small things go by the way. Let little bad things (say incurring a late fee) happen. Accept the small losses that allow you to focus on the one or two predetermined most important items.

-Time – There’ll always be more requests for your time than the time you have.

-Meetings – Avoid having meetings and conference calls. If you must have them, then set the agenda beforehand along with a start and end time and stick to it. Also, send out an email before the meeting to the participants sharing your goals and everyone can come in prepared.

-Slowness – Don’t fear slowness. Try building slow periods into your schedule. Really work to have dinners with three or more friends at least once a week. Doing this can help you appreciate things in real-time.

-Multiple Interests – Identity diversification is vital so you don’t become too attached to your work or any one thing. Find at least three things you can identify yourself with and try to set goals within each area.

-Deferring – Don’t defer things. Instead do or use things and appreciate them now. Cultivate an awareness of what’s important. By not deferring things, you’ll put yourself into the position of feeling that you’re living well.

-Gratitude – Try to express gratitude for what you think is good in your life. Once a week (or more) jot down three things in your life you’re grateful for. Appreciation is often a casualty of our modern quest for action.

-Introductions – When meeting someone new, try asking them, “What do you do when you aren’t working?” And see where the conversation goes.  It’ll be a more interesting start for you both than the common “What do you do?” This also touches on the identity diversification idea I was just talking about.

The ideas Leo and Tim share in the video cover lots of the broad categories they deal with in their writings. (Tim is actually trying to transition away from only being recognized as a life management writer, to become more associated with tweaking the human body’s performance).

If you want to get the gist of what Leo and Tim are about, you could watch the video and read my excerpts in under two hours saving yourself time and maybe money. I’m not saying to not read their stuff, I do and like it.

Teashop Takeaway

Recently, I watched a video of a panel disscussion that was shot in a San Francisco teashop. It was a public talk about “life management” featuring the shop owner and three guest speakers. Two of the guest speakers were Leo Babauta and Tim Ferriss and they provided the bulk of the interesting ideas.

Both of these guys have very popular blogs, generally addressing how to optimize your life, although each has a different presentation style. Looked at from a high school yearbook voting perspective, Leo would’ve been voted most likely to become a writer; and Tim would’ve been pigeonholed as most likely to succeed. You could imagine one is a tea drinker and the other a coffee drinker.

With success, they’ve risen in prominence and demands on their time have increased forcing them to more tightly focus on what works best to enable them to be productive while living non-harried lives.

Leo recently moved to San Francisco from Guam with his wife and six kids. Tim is a single San Franciscan and self-described as hyperactive in many endeavors with a penchant for traveling. They manage very different lives, plus each has to control their time eaters.

The video is an hour and a half long and most people won’t geek out for that long; so I’ll present what I think are some of their top takeaway ideas for making their lives better.

-Low Info Diet – To confront information overload, Tim deals with info on a “just in time” (only when info directly affects him) basis. This is in contrast to a  “just in case” style (taking in as much info as possible). Most situations covered by  high info consumption rarely arise. He says he “tries to get to the bottom of things, not stay on top of things.” If they miss something that’s important,  it’ll be brought to your attention as it bubbles to the surface in conversation.

– Keeping Up – The need to keep up with everything and everyone is self-created. If the expectation from other people is that you probably won’t get back to them generally they will not harass you unless it’s important.

-Single-tasking – You will have a saner and calmer life if you single-task. Do one thing end to end.

-Prioritizing – On getting things done, they both single-task, concentrating on getting the one, most important thing for that day done before doing anything else on their to-do-list. What is the most important thing to do? Probably the most uncomfortable one. Another test for importance is: if that one thing is the only thing you get done, you’ll feel your day’s still a success.

-Worrying – Worrying is not the same as preparing. The things most people worry about don’t usually even happen.

-Control – Everything is always changing, so try to give up trying to control things and be flexible instead.

-Slowness – Build-in or schedule slowness into your week and have those blocks of time become fixed, with other activities coming second. For example, Tim will not change a hike or dinner date if there are three or more friends getting together. These built-in times also act as a bracket, creating an ending point for the day.

-Big Shots – With success, Tim found he’s been welcomed into rarefied business circles,  there he’s been surprised how most of the hyper-successful individuals are relaxed and casual in most of their life dealings, able to concentrate on “the one most important” task in a day and accomplish it. These people weren’t the frazzled people you might imagine; being overwhelmed doesn’t fix anything, you need to have clear priorities.

-Routines – Develop routines, rituals, and routines to simplify your life. Routines will save your limited decision-making time since you won’t have those routine decisions to make.

-Habits – You’ll need to do something new at least five times before it will set in  as a habit, and stop just being an experiment. People generally respond to a better habit.

-Motivation – Rather than having to depend on discipline, motivation works as a better incentive. If you know your friend is waiting for you to go for a walk, you’re more likely to do it.

-Focus – Focus on your breathing to help you see what’s going on right now since your breathing is a constant and an easy thing to latch onto to bring yourself back to the present.

Lots of good stuff here I think. Too much for one post, so Tuesday I’ll post the second half.  If you like the ideas so far, give the video a look in case I missed some points that might mean more to you.