For almost a year now, I’ve been doing a weekly phone call with my accountability partner and friend that I met at a local entrepreneur meetup. I can’t stress how awesome it is going to events and meeting like-minded individuals.
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On last week’s phone call, my buddy was telling me how he was struggling with perfectionism.
He told me that he had a hard time letting things be released into the world if they aren’t up to his high standards. He asked me what I thought about it and how I handled that.
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I shared advice that I continue to hear over and over across various podcasts and books and that I truly resonate with…
And that advice is literally the title of this episode. I told him that DONE is better than perfect.
The perfect book that was never released has 0 sold copies.
I told him a few tips and tricks that I follow such as time blocking and setting deadlines. At the end of the day, you have to do the best you can in an allotted amount of time and then be done with it.
After our call, I searched for a YouTube video on this topic to find a message that put together all the words that I kind of thought of but couldn’t piece together eloquently enough on our call.
I found a great video from Thomas Frank. I actually just followed him recently after hearing him on Pat Flynn’s podcast, Smart Passive Income (which is a great show by the way if you’re looking for another podcast to start listening to).
Thomas has over 1.3m subscribers on YouTube and the video I’m referring to is called How to overcome perfectionism (and the anxiety it causes).
In the video, Thomas mentions that he’s always struggled with perfectionism and trying to get every little detail just right.
Over the years, he’s gotten better at this because to put out tons of content consistently, you have to get over the fact that you are not going to be perfect.
He mentions that there are two types of perfectionism: adaptive and maladaptive.
Adaptive perfectionists are motivated by high standards, which is a good thing. They are not hyper critical about their work in the invest a lot of time and effort into various projects.
Maladaptive is, on the other hand, not so great. Maladaptive perfectionists feel constant pressure to achieve unrealistic results. They often feel anxiety and depression because they’re holding themselves to standards that they can’t often reach.
The biggest pain point mentioned that resonated with me the most was that constant tweaking causes you to take too long to finish and move on.
I understand the struggle of not wanting to start something because it seems overwhelming. I used to be that person. But I’ve gotten better with doing things fast, implementing quickly and releasing an imperfect version 1.
There’s always room to tweak and iterate.
Here’s a few tips Thomas shared in that video:
Embrace imperfection. No one is perfect.
Get started and let your work become a mess.
Work with a deadline.
Focus on getting a little better each time. Skill and knowledge come through countless iterations.
Don’t compare yourself against others. Compare you vs you. An example he mentions is that you can’t compare your first YouTube video to someone else’s 500th. It’s simply not a fair comparison.
After the phone call, my friend thanked me for my advice and for sending over the video as it was totally relatable.
Just a few days later, he came across an idea in a training he attended and shared it with me. He had implemented it that day and told me how amazing it was.
The idea is to act as if you have different subjects and classes throughout the day. Take a “school” approach when scheduling your day.
Start and end new tasks on the hour and move from one to the next. On his first day of trying this he told me: “I feel I’ve been super productive and my mind has been fresh all day.”
I’m a huge fan of time blocking but I never thought of it from this angle, which really does help to organize in your day where you stay interested and engaged in your work.
It’s easy to get stuck in the flow and grind of one subject, but if we don’t set deadlines, we may be using our time inefficiently.
Imagine if you give yourself the entire day to write the perfect blog post. If you do this, you’ll find a way to take up most of the day, if not the entire day, drafting the perfect post.
The funny thing is, if you give yourself just one hour to do the same blog post, you’ll get a pretty good finish product that is concise and to the point.
Heck, maybe it’ll be even better than the one you gave yourself all day to write.
The beauty of setting deadlines is that you must stay focused and concise. Once you finish that task, you can spend the rest of your day doing other activities that are also important instead of just spinning your wheels trying to come up with the perfect headline for 2 hours.
For any of you listening who struggle with perfectionism or the inability to think or act quickly, really take this advice to heart.
Take a school schedule approach and see how much more you are able to accomplish in a day.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar
Here is the Thomas Frank video I referred to in today’s post with some great tips to solve perfectionism:
Whew, what a ride! 2018 is quickly winding down and 2019 is right around the corner. How was your 2018? Did it go according to plan? Did you exceed your goals? Did you fall a bit short?
Hopefully you at least HAD some set goals. If not, you’re going to want to set goals in 2019 to get the most out of yourself and be able to track and measure your progress. Goals are your road map… if you don’t set any, you’ll wander around aimlessly through life.
I have 2 freebies for you that are going to take your year and goals to the NEXT LEVEL. I think these are the best free tools to track your 2019 goals out there. Okay… I’m a little biased since I made them and have used them myself. But they are free, so no complaining allowed!
I’ve tried various things out there: planners, apps, sticky notes, you name it. But I decided to finally create something that I wanted to use and that I could take everywhere easily (by having the tools saved on Google Drive).
When you access the files, first make sure to click on FILE and then MAKE A COPY to save them in your personal Google Drive.
Simply drop your email in the form below to get the tools emailed to you completely for free. These tools have truly transformed my life and help me stay focused on fewer, mission critical tasks. Note that it may take a few minutes for you to receive the email, and please be sure to check your spam folder in case it somehow ends up there.
As Brendon Burchard mentions in his book High Performance Habits, “I can’t tell you how many high performers lose their perch at the top because of the inevitable distraction that comes from unfocused efforts.”
This GoalTracker file is something my accountability partner and I first created back in March 2018. We started to track our goals and keep each other accountable. There’s a sheet for you to put in your goals, and then another for your accountability partner if you choose to have one (I highly recommend finding someone to hold you to your goals!).
There’s even space to comment on each others’ goals so you can push each other or ask clarifying questions.
Here’s the steps on how to use the file:
Step 1: Access the 2019 GoalTracker file and MAKE A COPY to save to your personal Google Drive.
Step 2: Go to the “annual goals” tab and fill in your section (at the top). There’s space at the bottom for an accountability partner if you want to have one.
Your annual goals will automatically populate at the top of the first sheet (Named Chris’ goals in the template).
Step 3: Now you simply fill in your weekly and daily goals every single week.
Step 4: Select “win” or “Loss” next to your goals every day at the end of the day and week. Be honest. A win means you did it or took action on it. A loss means you didn’t.
If you get 3 wins in a day, you win the day. If you win 4 days out of the 7, you win the week.
Remember that success comes from consistency over time. The more days you win, the better, but as long as you are winning more often than not, you’ll make progress.
Step 5: As the week progress, highlight all the rows from the previous week, right click, and then click “hide.” This way you can start up at the current week every time you open the file, but you can still unhide rows to review past progress if you want to.
2019 Daily Task Log
This task log is something I just created this month and started to use. It really breaks down your overall goals so that you can see how you’re doing and if you are on track or if you need to pick up the pace.
Here’s my recommended steps to use this tool:
Step 1: Access the Daily Task Log and MAKE A COPY to save to your personal Google Drive.
Step 2: Insert categories in row 8 for each goal. A few examples I used include: Self-improvement, Real Estate Deals Completed, Savings, and Income.
Step 3: Enter in specific activities in row 9. A few examples I used are: Morning routine, real estate deals completed, and number of times I have exercised a month.
Step 4: Insert a numbered goal in row 10. Make it something you can track!
“Get swole” or “lose weight” are not good goals. Make it something like “10” to represent the pounds of muscle you want to add in a year or the amount of fat you want to trim.
Step 5: Update unit of measure for the goal in row 11.
For example, my goal is to work out 20 times a month. When it comes to travel, I want to do 2 international trips per year
Step 6: There are formulas in rows 12 through 16, so you can leave those as is.
The formulas will calculate what you are tracking to hit per month and year and if you are planning to hit the goal or if need to pick up the pace.
Step 7: If you need additional columns, just copy existing ones and paste to the end of the table so that all the formulas and layout stays the same.
Step 8: Check out the sample tab to see a few examples filled in for inspiration and to see the formulas in action.
So, what do you think about these tools? Let me know in the comments section below.
Any feedback or suggestions for improvement is welcome. These are the best tools I’ve used so far, but I am always open to improving and iterating further.
To be honest, we kind of fell off and stopped using it for awhile. A few months later, we agreed to revamp the file and get back on it. We even do weekly Accountability Calls every Sunday night now to check in, see what we went well, what we can improve going forward, and catch up. I really recommend you find yourself an Accountability Partner to make sure you do the things you set out to do.
Before I dive into all the details, I wanted to invite you to subscribe to my mailing list if you’d like to be the first to receive any cool content I come across or major updates in my journey that I’d like to share with you.
I really hate spam and unsubscribe from nearly every email list myself, so I’ll be sure to only share a few nuggets of gold that are 100% value and no BS.
Alright, let’s get back to the GoalTracker tool!
How to use GoalTracker 2.0
Download the file
Access and download GoalTracker 2.0 here. It’s in a Google Sheet, so you can save one to your own account or download one to use on your computer directly. I recommend keeping it on Google Sheets so you can use it across platforms (I switch from my phone, to my iPad, and my computer throughout the day to make sure I keep it updated and stay on track with my goals).
Fill in the “Annual Goals” tab
Fill in your huge goals. It doesn’t necessarily have to be annual. Just be sure to fill in a target completion date so you know what you’re aiming for.
Fill in your weekly and daily goals in the first tab
The tab is currently named “Chris’ Goals,” but I encourage you to rename it in your version with your name and make it your own.
Select “win” or “loss” on the dropdowns next to each goal.
There are some formulas in there where points will automatically be calculated. If you win 3+ daily goals out of the 5, you “win the day.” If you win 4+ days of the week, you “win the week.” Obviously, the more days you win, the faster you’ll get to your goals. But I don’t expect you to be going 24/7/365.
You can chill every now and then, go on that vacation, and take a breather.The point is to be consistent and knock out your goals more days than you sit back and relax.
Consider getting an Accountability Partner to hold you accountable.
You’ll notice a tab called “Accountability Partner Goals.” I really recommend you find someone who is driven and motivated to succeed. Find someone who can hold you accountable and make sure you are knocking out your goals. At the same time, you can hold them accountable to their goals.
I have a weekly call every Sunday night with my buddy. We talk about what went well, what could have gone better, and we give each other advice and insight as we both have different backgrounds and experience. This allows us to level up so much more quickly and to get good ideas to try the following week.
Let me know what you think!
If you have feedback to improve this file or any comments, please let me know by posting below. Thanks for checking this out and remember to set huge goals that scare you! Take 30 minutes to complete this file, brainstorm big goals, and find an Accountability Partner. Then just spend a few minutes a day updating your daily goals and planning your day. Let’s get to work!
In my unending search to seek productivity increases, I stumbled across something called the Pomodoro Technique. I tried this yesterday for the first time and found it to be very helpful in eliminating distractions and focusing 100% on the task at hand.
What it is
This technique was created by Francesco Cirillo. As he says on his website, “For many people, time is an enemy. We race against the clock to finish assignments and meet deadlines. The Pomodoro Technique teaches you to work with time, instead of struggling against it.”
If you’re wondering what the heck a pomodoro is, it is an interval of time in regards to this technique. According to handy dandy Wikipedia, that is the plural in English of the Italian word pomodoro (tomato), named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.
You don’t necessarily need a tomato shaped timer for this exercise. Your phone timer or a web-based timer should work just fine.
How it works
1. Choose a task you’d like to get done
It can be big or small, something you need to do now or even that you’ve been putting off for awhile now. It must be something that deserves your complete focus and attention.
2. Set the Pomodoro for 25 minutes
Set a timer for 25 minutes. Make a promise to yourself to stay focused for the full 25 minutes on the task at hand.
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
Immerse yourself in the task for the next 25 minutes. If you realize you have something else you need to do, write it down on a paper and come back to it later.
4. When the Pomodoro rings, put a checkmark on a paper
Nice work! You’ve successfully focused for 25 minutes on the task at hand without interruption.
5. Take a short break
Take a quick break. Feel free to do non-related work to just wind down and prepare for the next session.
6. Take a longer break after every 4 pomodoros
Once you’ve completed four pomodoros, you can take a longer break (20-30 minutes is good).
Take a longer break after four pomodoros. This allows your brain to assimilate new information and rest before the next round.
You can modify this exercise slightly to better fit your needs. Perhaps you want to work for 40 minutes and then reward yourself with 10 minute breaks. The most important thing is that you try to minimize distractions when focusing on a certain task. I intend to keep my phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode where a call will only go through to my phone if I get a call from the same number twice within a few minutes. Usually, people call once and leave a voicemail or send a text. If it’s an emergency, chances are they might call a few times in a row in which case I will answer to see what the issue is.
Let me know what you think and if you’ve tried this before or anything similar. I’m always eager and willing to learn new techniques to continue to refine my productivity. Happy pomodoro-ing!
Last weekend, I created this GoalTracker template for my new friend Samir and I to track our goals and hold each other accountable. As you might recall in my last post, I met Samir at a Secret Entourage meetup in Houston, Texas. We then met up in Dallas when I was at a conference a few days later for dinner. I joked about it being like a great first date – we were on the same page in so many areas and found that we share many similar interests.
One thing we had in common was that we tend to get distracted by a million things and ideas daily. So we decided to be “Accountability Buddies” and hold each other accountable to some major goals we have on our own projects. For that reason, I created this file so that my goals as well as Samir’s are visible on the same page. This allows us to have some friendly competition in addition to competing with ourselves in general.
You can download the template for yourself here to track your own goals. I recommend saving a copy to your own Google Drive or even just downloading to desktop if you always work from there. The benefit of Google Drive is being able to access and edit the sheet from various platforms. If you think it will help, I highly recommend finding an Accountability Buddy as well.
To give credit where credit is due, I adopted and slightly modified an idea I heard off Andy Frisella’s podcast, The MFCEO Project. Andy talked about The Power List, where you basically write down 5 tasks you need to get done in a day. If you get them all done, you get a “W” or a Win for the day. If not, you get an “L” or a Loss for the day. You don’t have to necessarily buy his actual planner, and he states that in his podcast. You can simply write it down on paper if you like. Like I mentioned before, I just took it a step further just by making it digital so that I can work on it from my laptop, iPad, or phone.
The way my formula is set up right now, you’re defaulted to a “Loss” until you get at least 4 days of “Wins.” I think this triggers the competitive side further since nobody likes to lose. The thinking is that to avoid a loss, you’ll do what you have to in order to get that win.
How to Use GoalTracker 1.0
Using the GoalTracker template is rather self-explanatory, but since I do have a few formulas in there, I wanted to specify exactly how I recommend using it.
1. Enter in your larger, weekly goals (cells C6:C8).
2. Enter in your smaller, daily goals to hit the weekly goals (cells C12 and down).
3. At the end of each day, select “Win” or “Loss” from the dropdowns in Column D accordingly. Be honest! You either did it, or you didn’t.
4. Add any comments in Column F next to daily or weekly goals.
GoalTracker Formula Explanation
If you select “Win” next to a daily goal, you will see a “1” appear to the right. If you get 3 “Wins” in a day (and basically accomplish your daily goals), you get 1 point for the day (cells E11, E15, etc.).
If you get 4 or more days that are complete “Wins,” you win the week (cell D3 shows a “Win” in the below example).
So… what do you think?
I hope you like the GoalTracker and find it useful in managing your daily and weekly tasks. I personally have used whiteboards, sticky notes, and reminders on my phone to jot down all sorts of thoughts. However, I’m constantly distracted and find that I still take on too many tasks at once. Simplicity is key. For this reason, I’m sticking to 3’s: 3 major weekly goals, and 3 daily goals. Not 5, not 10, but 3.
Please comment below or send me a message letting me know what you think. I’d love to know any suggestions for improvement you may have or how this is helping you get organized to crush your goals.