Ben’s Bulletin Issue #8

Diets don’t work when the only reason you need to stop them is that you missed a day. Diets work when you remain consistent despite this one day of inconsistency.

This concept applies to anything including my writing habits. The short break from writing my newsletter becomes only then relevant if it becomes consistent in itself.

So ask yourself this: where are you inconsistent at work or in life where all it took was one day of not performing the task to throw away the whole plan?


Living as if your life were infinite is the opposite of taking the long view: It’s terribly shortsighted. Die With Zero by Bill Perkins

The Practice: Execution, Productivity & Doing

When I didn’t have kids, it was simple: plan it. Then deliver it.

With kids, it’s a bit more complicated. The long uninterrupted hours for deep work that I can take at my discretion are long gone.

So, here’s how I make time:

  1. Getting up early and working when kids are asleep. Benefits include:
    • Uninterrupted time for focused work
    • Doing the most important first; your work.
  2. Be ready to jot down ideas and notes any time of the day. My best ideas come away from the desk. Have your app or pen and paper ready.
  3. Use filler times. For example, waiting in the queue, commuting, bathroom breaks, etc for quick learning opportunities. For me, this includes podcasts on the way to work, books on my Kindle app whilst waiting or learning Chinese on a bathroom break.

The Theory: Strategy, Planning & Learning

It starts with learning but it doesn’t end there.

Reading a book, attending a course, or listening to a podcast can only be the start. The actual application of what we learned is required to embed the new concepts into our conscious and subconscious.

When I read a book, I highlight important sections. More importantly, I have my to-do list ready for noting any actions that can be applied immediately or later.

For example, when I learned that batching emails in 2-3 sessions a day is better than responding as they come in, I took immediate action to add 2 email sessions to my calendar.

The opposite is true for me also: if I don’t note the action, I realise 2-3 paragraphs later that I’ve forgotten what actionable advice I just read. I will have read the book but I won’t have learned anything.

Keep reading but more importantly: keep taking action.

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