Josh on February 14th, 2006

by Josh

So a couple of weeks ago I posed the question asking when (or if) you showered. The response was absolutely stellar with over 130 responses. So huge thanks for that.

Here are the results:
54% of you shower in the morning
24% of you shower in both the morning and evening
22% of you shower only in the evening

Now for my answer.

I shower twice a day. I shower at night immediately before I go to bed and in the morning soon after I wake up. Why? It ultimately goes back to getting a good nights rest.

I didn’t start showering in the evening until I wrote the first post about this, but I’ve been doing it since then and can’t believe I hadn’t started sooner.

It perviously took me 30 minutes to an hour to go to sleep every single night for as long as I can remember. Since showering at night, I’m out of it within a matter of minutes.

Like others who shower at night, I find it helps totally relax me. I turn the water on as hot as I can bear it and just stand there for about 10 minutes. I’ll then do a fairly quick bathe and from there go directly to bed. It usually helps to get your hair as dry as you can with a towel, but a little dampness will help you feel refreshed when you lie down.

So my suggestion? Shower at night right before you go to bed and shower again when you wake up. Try if for atleast one week. If you don’t get to sleep faster and sleep better…you can kick me in the shins.

admin on February 7th, 2006

by Jeffrey W. Cox

It is hard, but it is possible to be close to 100% effective in all areas of your life. Being 100% (let’s call it 95% — no one is perfect, so they say) effective can be done by focusing on one area at a time – usually by concentrating on one “project” at a time. In addition, you do it by only concentrating on one task at a time on each project. Finally, the whole time you have to work hard at staying motivated – a challenge in itself.

h3. It Is Hard

In today’s world of fast personal computers, stable operating systems, and fast information delivery (Blogs, The Web, E-mails, IM), people feel like and are forced to attempt to multi-task just like those fast personal computers. Last year, Bill Gates wrote the following in his Executive E-Mail column:

A recent study showed that 56 percent of workers are overwhelmed by multiple simultaneous projects and interrupted too often; one-third say that multi-tasking and distractions are keeping them from stepping back to process and reflect on the work they’re doing. In the United Kingdom, it’s estimated that stress accounts for nearly one-third of absenteeism and sick leave.

That stress factor shows that multitasking like that is not how our brains work, or should be asked to work. (Side note: I am not a psychology major, nor have I studied such. This is strictly a personal opinion I am expressing.)

h3. But It Can Be Done

Awhile back, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine. He said “It is so <insert your own expletive here> hard to be 100%effective in all areas of my life at once. It is easy to get one or two areas working well at any given time, but not ALL at the same time.” I reminded him that one of our favorite motivational speakers, Joel Weldon, coaches us to “just keep improving everyday.” Also, I was about to write “Do you want us to rip your proverbial engine open and install a cam to make all the cylinders fire in 100% perfect timing?” when I realized that maybe that is the “improving” we can work on – getting our “timing” right. You do not have to be 100% perfect in all areas of your life at that one particular moment. You just need to focus on, as David Allen says, the "next action," or in other words the very next step, and only the next step, you can take on the project. Then, when that next action is completed, fire “cylinder number 2” and move on to the next action (or switch to another project if it has a higher priority).  Using this focused mentality will let you stay 100% (well, again, let’s say 95%) effective in all areas of your life, but, it takes motivation.

h3. Staying Motivated

You have to stay motivated to be effective. It is hard; we all know that. Sometimes all of your work is overwhelming. Sometimes it is all just very boring. However, you have to just suck it up and stay on track. One way to do this is to remind yourself why you are staying motivated.
Tom Peters provided a good example of this in his blog awhile back:

This may be day 45 and mile 76,000 for me, but for the Client it is D-Day for an Important Event (often their year’s #1 event, for God’s sake); hence my exhaustion and accompanying short temper must be thrust aside … and downright cheeriness and spirited engagement must become the invariant orders of the day. Besides, such cheeriness, even if feigned, cheers me up first and foremost!

Another quote I personally use is one from Will Smith in the movie Hitch“Wake up every day, as if it was on purpose!” Saying this to myself after clicking “Ok” to the alarm from my Palm usually is the difference between getting up and snoozing five more times!

h3. “You Can Do It!”

Like that goofy guy on the Geico Car Insurance commercials says, “You can do it!!” (Who is that guy anyway?) It is hard, but, effectiveness is achievable – even though it feels out of reach as you pop open that To Do list and stare at an average of 150 items. It just takes constant work and some self-motivation. In the end, however, the feeling of being that effective is oh so worth it.

h3. About Jeffrey W. Cox

Jeffrey Cox is an entrepreneur who lives in Phoenix Arizona, his adopted home state. He has been a recognized and successful IT consultant for over 20 years. Last year, he made a shift to focus on his passion, personal productivity and organization, by starting Foresight. Foresight is a company with a mission to help people get their To Do lists done by being more successful with their lists, projects and goals. You can sign up today for his insightful newsletter as well as stay informed about Foresight’s forth-coming product launch – an add-in for Microsoft Outlook that will truly let you focus on getting the right things done.

Jeffrey can be contacted at [email protected] and blogs at

Start your own business. Incorporation services. Nevada, Florida, Texas or any U.S. State.

Josh on February 1st, 2006

by Josh

This post is me gathering some info for a future post…a survey, if you will.

Basically what I’d like to know is if you shower in the evening, before you go to bed, or in the morning before you go to work…and why.

I’ll refrain from what I do and why until the next post.

Josh on January 22nd, 2006

by Josh

A little bit of background to bring you up to speed on where I’m at in life. Back in July I graduated from college. The same month I married the woman of my dreams. That same month as well we moved across the country from Mississippi to Colorado. We both were extremely fortunate to have parents who went above and beyond to make sure we were provided for which ultimately meant we started our new life together without a dime of debt…college, cars, etc were all paid for. And to clarify that, they didn’t serve us everything on a silver platter. We both have held jobs everyday of our life since we were 16 and paid for all of our possessions. They just worked hard to help pay for a quality education and essentials like transportation….something we plan on doing our best to offer our kids as well.

We currently live in a two bedroom apartment but, as with most people, would love to get into a house as soon as possible…mainly because paying rent feels like money going into a deep dark pit of nothing. But what we’ve really started debating lately is the idea of saving for a house over quality of life. We’re certainly not of the mindset that material things make life better…but in a way they do.

Do we save now for a house or buy the night stand so we aren’t using a plastic crate? Do we go out to eat tonight or cook at home? Do we get a fish tank or just do without?

Obviously these are all pretty superficial things. But to some extent they aren’t. All these little things bring some sort of indirect joy to life. Having a level surface to put a lamp and a clock at night, enjoying a fun night out and a tasty meal at a restaurant, and adding a few little swimming creatures to the room all just bring something to the table that getting in a house sooner than later just don’t seem to be able to do.

I have many friends who are of the camp that we should save every penny we can to get a house, a new car, a __________. But I’m a firm believer that expensive things aren’t necessarily what to strive for in the short run…sure it’s a necessity to save money and we will eventually get that house…but what I believe is that, in the long run, life we’ll seem much more enjoyable if I lighten up a bit with my money and chose to live a bit more spontaneous and care free.

There’s obviously no right or wrong opinion here. What are your thoughts?

admin on January 18th, 2006

by Keith

Hey y’all. This is the first in a series of quick business tips based on my lessons learned starting a small business.

To kick things off I thought I’d go with something I’m seeing as being more and more important — being easy to work with. It’s not a big surprise actually, in the past when I was asked to interview people I almost always went for personality before skill and experience. Someone who meshes well with others is hugely important. After all, you’ll probably be spending lots of time with that person.

I’m seeing this being a huge factor in the success of my own small business and I’m trying really hard to mold myself into someone that people really enjoy working with. In order to do that I’m:

* Making sure I’m flexible as possible. One of the reasons why I went into business for myself was to have more flexibility with my time, the least I can do is pass that flexibility along.
* A good communicator. In many ways this means over-communicating. I find that it really helps to make sure my clients know what’s going on at all times.
* Available. With some exceptions (I like to keep work and life separate as possible) I want to be able to be reached easily.
* Positive. A positive attitude is key.
* Not defensive or pushy. I really try to communicate in a positive way at all times, with everyone I work with. This can be a real challenge and I find that the closer I am with someone (my coworkers) for example the harder I am with them. But, hey, I’m a work in progress.
* Honest. I feel it’s important to be transparent and as up-front as possible.
* Fun. Humor goes a long way, and even if people don’t share my funny-bone, a lighthearted attitude can be felt by everyone around me.

As you can see, I feel that communication is a big part of being easy to work with. I want people who work with me to feel like they can talk to me about whatever they need to. Being open and responsive, available and flexible is very important. It’s an ongoing process but one that I feel just about anyone could benefit from.

Josh on January 16th, 2006

by Josh

Running a large number of sites I frequently get quite a bit of email that all have similar answers. Things like “Do you offer international shipping?” or “How can I submit an article?”…those sorts of things. All of these sorts of questions I have to spend time answering…time that could be spent much better doing other things.

Enter MailTemplate. Mactank’s MailTemplate lets you create predefined replies and new email messages that help you streamline common messages.

It’s only available for Mail and Entourage on Mac OS X and is worth every penny of the $14.95. Give it a try.

Josh on January 10th, 2006

by Josh

For practically all my life I’ve had trouble going to sleep. I’m not an insomniac…I just think a lot. I’ll lie in bed thinking about what I want to do tomorrow or what I should have done today or how much I love eating cold pizza or how absurdly messy my desk is….you get the idea. And when I say I have trouble going to sleep…I’m not talking 20 or 30 minutes…I’m talking 2 or 3 hours. Because what will happen is after about 45 minutes to an hour of trying to go to sleep, I start thinking about how I’m not asleep but I should be…and thus the cycle begins.

Now, I may be a bit of an extreme case here, but I know for a fact that there are others out there who have trouble going to sleep. So, I’ve pieced together various bits of advice I’ve received over the past few months that have not only helps me get to sleep faster, but helps me get a better nights sleep.

  1. Don’t watch TV or even so much as look at a computer screen atleast 30 minutes before you lie down. The light from both a television as well as a computer monitor mimic the same intensity of light as sunlight. This fools your body and brain into thinking it’s nowhere near time for sleep.
  2. Drink milk. Milk has an amino acid in it called Tryptophan that increase the levels of serotonin and/or melatonin in the brain which slow down brain activity. It’s science folks.
  3. Go to bed when you are tired. Different strokes for different folks here. Just because your wife goes to bed at 9PM doesn’t mean you are ready. You might only require seven and half hours of sleep while she might require ten. If you aren’t tired, do something low-key until you are, like read a book, play solitaire (NOT on your computer), or play with some legos.
  4. Reserve the bed for bed things (ie sleep and sex). I for one don’t strictly follow this rule as I’ll read some before I go to sleep, but for some people this is a must.
  5. Meditate. No, don’t cross your legs and hum, but focus on relaxing…if that makes sense. Take deep, long breaths. Tense each muscle one at a time from head to toe. Focusing on doing this takes your mind off of other things and you’ll be in lala land in no time.
  6. Excercise during the day. I emphasize during the day. Excercising at night just gets everything going instead of shutting down for sleep. But excercising during the day tires the muscles out and makes for a solid nights sleep.

These are the majority of the things I have either tried or actually do routinely. What are some things that have worked for you?