Reflections on The 4-Hour Workweek: The Cost of Your Goals and Dreams

Katie Corbett holds the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek"

By Katie Corbett

 

Since I owe a lot of my success—and future planning—to the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, I have decided to revisit the book each quarter in 2021. Here are my thoughts as we end quarter three. I hope this inspires you to pick up a book that helps you live your dreams. Enjoy!

 

Work Not According to Your Feelings

Katie Corbett holds the book "One Month to Live"

By Katie Corbett

 

Feelings can be helpful. They can tell us when we are in danger, when we are in love, or when we feel passionate about a business idea. They can also encourage us to procrastinate, form unhealthy habits, or lash out at those we care about. I try not to let my feelings get in the way of my work, and I think this is a key element of my success thus far.

 

When I read, “One Month to Live,” by Chris Shook, I was going through a lot of change. I wanted to improve and become my best self. At that time, it meant experimenting with new hairstyles. Here are some questions to consider as you decide how you are going to act based on your dreams and goals, rather than letting your progress be dictated by your feelings.

 

  • What would you do if your body only had 30 days left?
  • If you don’t act, what will you regret?
  • How could you improve yourself?
  • What has been on your list for a while that you have not taken the time to accomplish?
  • What excuses are you ready to part with?
  • When you look back on this month, what do you want to say you have done?
  • What do you wish you had taken the time to do sooner?
  • What habit would you like to form?
  • What habit would you like to break?
  • What change would you like to see inside yourself?

 

Think about your most compelling answer. Do you want to work out more, lose weight, drink more water? Is there something else you’d like to achieve in the next month? Determine the first step and take that step today.

 

I’d love to learn what you’re hoping to achieve. Let me know in the comments, and share this post with a friend who could use some encouragement to go after their dreams.

 

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Kick Someday Syndrome, Once and For All

Katie Corbett holds the book "One Month to Live"

By Katie Corbett

 

Procrastination can be tempting. It can be easy to sit back and do nothing rather than do what the best version of yourself wants to be doing. Unfortunately, procrastination won’t get you any closer to achieving your dreams, and it can hold you back for years.

 

I read “One Month to Live,” by Chris Shook, at a time when I was leaving a relationship and had a lot of career options to consider. I was feeling nervous, disappointed and hopeful, all at once. It would have been easy to wallow in my emotions. In the book, I read about kicking Someday Syndrome and decided to embrace what I needed to do. Here are some of the benefits I noticed of doing things today; not someday.

 

  • I felt more accomplished.
  • I checked a lot off my to-do list.
  • I didn’t feel lazy or like I was wasting time.
  • I could focus on the future, rather than the past.
  • Taking action was refreshing.
  • I didn’t have time to wallow in unhelpful emotions.
  • I was accomplishing my dreams and improving my life in spite of negative and uncertain circumstances.
  • I could relax at the end of the day knowing I had gotten a lot done.
  • Although I was unemployed at the time, I felt productive.
  • I stopped relying on excuses and found it was faster to take action.

 

If you are looking to beat procrastination and kick Someday Syndrome into the past, I recommend doing the first thing you need to do to get started. That could be as easy as turning on the computer, cleaning off your dresser, or making a list and a plan to tackle one thing at a time.

 

What projects are you motivated to begin? Leave a comment and let me know. Cheers to you and your success!

 

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How My Tendency Supports Me in Business and Following my Dreams

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

As you might imagine, I find being an Upholder to be helpful in business. I would also argue that the knowledge that I’m an Upholder is more helpful than the tendency itself. I’ll explain what I mean by this below.

 

I read “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, as I was beginning to build my business. These are some ways in which the knowledge about my tendency has helped me:

 

  • I try to prioritize the things I need to get done, since it can be easy to see all tasks as equally important.
  • I now have the confidence to know that things will get done eventually, even if it is not as soon as I might like.
  • I have learned to rely on metrics to decide what to continue doing, since it can be easy for me to continue doing something that doesn’t have the largest return on investment, simply because I have made it a habit.
  • I have learned to appreciate others who follow through, especially since I now realize how rare that is.
  • I have learned that having a more Type A personality means it is vital to take time away from work to relax and have fun.

 

If you would like to discover how your tendency can support you in business, and discover how it can help you achieve your dreams, I encourage you to read Gretchen Rubin’s book and take her test. It will only take a few minutes to realize the ways in which you make the world a better place.

 

What is your tendency? Are you an Upholder like me, or are you an Obligor, Questioner, or Rebel? Leave your answer in the comments.

 

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How My Tendency Helps Me Relate to Others

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

We do not live or work in a vacuum. Even if you are a researcher in Antarctica or work in some other remote location, I would imagine you have to interact with others. Insights about personality can help you understand yourself and how you relate to those around you.

 

I learned of my Upholder tendency in the book, “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin. This knowledge helped me work with others more smoothly. It also helped me be more understanding and appreciate the unique gifts each of us has to offer.

 

I learned first and foremost that being an Upholder is rare. Few have this tendency to be able to fulfill both the expectations they set for themselves, as well as those expectations others set for them. This knowledge gave me a lot more patience when working with others, especially if they didn’t always follow through. Here’s an example of when this patience paid off.

 

I love book clubs. I can always get myself to finish the book before the discussion, even if it means I spend the entire day reading the book. I used to get annoyed when other members of the club would not have completed the book before coming to discuss it. Since learning of my Upholder tendency, I have become more patient with others and celebrate their presence at the meeting, as opposed to being irritated that they didn’t read the book.

 

I encourage you to learn more about your tendency and consider how you relate to others. It might help you become more patient and understanding, and it will probably help your projects go more smoothly.

 

Have any stories about how discovering your personality type helped you collaborate with others? Leave a comment and share it with me.

 

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What My Tendency Taught Me About Myself

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett

 

One of my favorite aspects of personality tests is their ability to teach us about ourselves. I have found great strength in knowing myself, and learning what I bring to the world when I’m being authentically me. I’m always interested in taking more personality tests, because each test provides different insights and perspectives into who we are as humans.

 

In the book, “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, I took her test to learn my tendency. It turns out I’m an Upholder. This means I follow through on expectations I set for myself, as well as those set for me by others. This knowledge deepened what I know about myself in various ways. I learned that:

 

  • I want to do what others expect of me, and also to do what I expect of myself.
  • Since I respond to both inner and outer expectations and view them as equally important, it is critical not to overwhelm myself with too many expectations.
  • It is easier for me to form habits, and setting schedules and to-do lists for myself is satisfying.
  • Since inner and outer expectations can sometimes clash or interfere with one another, I have learned to give myself grace when this happens.
  • I have learned that since I have this characteristic of setting and following expectations, I might be more readily suited to taking on leadership roles.

 

If you would like to learn more about yourself, I recommend this book. You might be an Upholder, or you might have the personality of one of the other three tendencies. Grab the book, take the quiz, and start the discovery process about yourself.

 

Did you learn something that surprised you through a personality test? Do you have a favorite personality test? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Manage Your Energy and Attention Rather Than Solely Managing Time

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Productivity Project."

By Katie Corbett

 

When people say they want to become more productive, they start by trying to manage their time. While this can be a good thing to do, I have found it helpful to instead think about two additional resources: energy and attention.

 

I first read about the ideas of managing energy and attention in “The Productivity Project” by Chris Bailey. He points out that energy and attention, like time, are not infinite. They are also unique to you, while everyone has the same amount of time in a day. Here is what I learned by paying attention to my energy and attention levels.

 

  • By tracking my energy, I could see patterns in fluctuation.
  • By taking regular breaks, I could stretch out the amount of time that my energy was focused.
  • By focusing on energy rather than time, I noticed that I was prioritizing tasks based on what my energy levels were like rather than how long I thought the task would take. As a result, I got things done a lot faster since I tried to do them when I had the most energy.
  • I learned that there are two different types of energy: creative and strategic. I rely on these different types depending on what task I plan to do.
  • By writing down my energy levels throughout the day, I learned that I’m strategic in the morning and creative in the afternoon. This has helped me manage the different types of tasks I need to do throughout the day, since some rely on strategic energy and others need my powers of creativity.
  • I can tell when my energy is waning so I now have a cut-off point at the end of the day. This helps me realize that I can relax and that I would not be productive if I continued working.

 

I encourage you to track your energy and attention levels throughout the day. Make note of when you feel the most energetic, and of what kind of energy it is. I strongly suggest tracking for at least a week, and abstaining from caffeine and other substances that could skew the results.

 

What do you notice about yourself and your work as you record your energy levels? Did you find anything that surprised you? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Looking for a Productivity Boost? Get in Touch with Your Future Self

By Katie Corbett

 

Procrastination. It is something each of us has considered at some point in our lives. It can be especially tempting if we are feeling anxiety or discomfort about a task ahead.

 

I used to procrastinate a lot more, until I read “The Productivity Project,” by Chris Bailey. The book suggests thinking about how your future self would feel if you failed to act now.

 

I once had a lot to get done to prepare for a meeting. I wanted to take the morning to relax and prepare that afternoon. I pictured my future self heading to the meeting the next day. If I didn’t get my preparations done that afternoon, I knew I would need to rush the next morning to finish all that I had to do. I pictured my future self scrambling to prep, and thought about how stressed I would be if I didn’t act now. I then considered how relaxed I would be if I did all that I needed to do in the present instead of wasting time procrastinating. As a result, I ended up working on the tasks I needed to complete before the afternoon rolled around, and they didn’t take me as long to do as I had thought. I had the chance to relax later that day, and I went into my meeting the next morning feeling prepared and confident.

 

Whenever I feel like procrastinating, I think about what I would be doing in the future, and how I’ll feel in the future if I don’t do something that I could handle in the present. Here are some questions to help with motivation as you picture your future self.

 

  • What will your future self need to do if you fail to act now?
  • How do you suspect your future self will feel about that?
  • Do you think your future self will wish that you had gotten the tasks done sooner?
  • How will your future self feel if you do everything you need to do now?
  • Will your future self be proud of your present self if you act now?

 

These are just a few questions to get you thinking. I hope they help you accomplish all that you wish to do without giving into the temptation to procrastinate.

 

I’d love to hear what you are working on and what projects you want to start soon. Have you found a hack to beat procrastination? Feel free to drop me a comment.

 

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