Archives For Best Practices

Is WritingDead?

 

Is writing dead?

It seems like a viable question when you consider the amount internet usage that is attributed to video. In addition, much more business is being discussed via text messaging which is often abbreviated, truncated and cryptic if you aren’t up on the latest vernacular!

Personally, I love the art of writing. I didn’t say I was an expert but I do love the pursuit. Ensuring that proper pronunciation and spelling are in place and technically accurate is a skill. I fear it is a skill that will diminish over time when/if we become reliant on the fast and furious pace of video and shortened messages.

Fear Filled Facts:

  • By end of 2017, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic (KPCB).
  • 4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it (Animoto).
  • YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of all people on the internet (YouTube).

No Fear of Change

Please do not mistake my message for a fear of change. I love being an early adopter to technology and utilize different mediums to communicate personal and corporate messaging. So, frankly maybe its just a little bit of nostalgia or an opining for the traditional that is the source of this blog, but certainly not the fear of change.

 

Practically Speaking (or Writing)

Cursive quoteWriting has a tremendous value to the person who is a student and takes the time to put pen to paper. And yes, I do actually like pen and paper as I sit and type on my MacBook ProūüėČ

Writing helps the author:

 

  • Organize thoughts
  • Become a better speaker and communicator
  • Get published and recognized as an authority or subject matter expert
  • Organized thoughts and presentations helps in becoming a better sales person, trainer or educator
  • It just feels good (Personal Opinion)

 

Regardless of how the internet traffic and corporate communication plays out the choice is yours! My encouragement would be to start writing! Sharing your thoughts and best ideas whether its via journaling, blogging or letters to someone you love will make for a great and lasting legacy for future generations.

Thank you for following my writings and longings at The Life You Can Afford to Live. Please also follow the diminutive writings which occur at Twitter and Facebook. However, if you just have to watch check out My YouTube Channel:)

 

For The Record!!! I haven’t lost my mind but I have lost my car; on purpose! It‚Äôs no secret that my Jackie and I have made a semi-radical shift by moving into Midtown Atlanta from the suburbs of Johns Creek. Some of the unintended consequences of a downsized super urban lifestyle may surprise you.

For example, the subject of this article, ditching my vehicle. An audacious move by most native Atlantan standards….. well at least for my suburban Atlantan friends. Atlanta is quite a car town; frankly a status symbol by which most cast some level of judgment upon you and your status in society.

 

Uber for productivity no name

 

For in-towners or as we say ITP (for Non-Atlantans, that means ‚ÄúInside The Perimeter‚ÄĚ which encompasses the city) not having a vehicle to maintain and pay to park is quite normal. This new Midtown lifestyle has made me want to follow suit. So, after a few weeks of experimenting I have completely made the shift to being ‚Äúcar-less‚ÄĚ. Below are some of the details about my move into this new era of a Mass-Transit/Uber combination and increased productivity.

Utilizing Mass Transit in Atlanta means using MARTA , our light rail system that operates within the Metro Area only. A train station conveniently located just behind our building means being able to hop on a train and avoid traffic all the way to the perimeter of the city or slightly beyond. From there, I simply request an Uber or Lyft service to carry me through the remainder of my journeys. Have you tried Uber? Give it a try for Free by using my Invite Code: n9sns

This combination allows someone else to do the driving and navigating while I safely return calls, e-mails, texts, social media messages and more. Not to mention the absolutely freeing feeling of being unencumbered.

 

Allowing someone else to drive has literally doubled my productivity!

Time

Utilizing the travel time to enhance the service to our Drive Planning Members or Team Members is extremely valuable. Likely an hour or more is gained each day on the days that I travel to our offices located in Sandy Springs or Johns Creek; both in the northern parts of Atlanta. These tasks being completed during travel time allows me new freedom at the end of each day in not having to do them once I’ve arrived at home.

Cost

Living in town has presented itself with some additional expenses that OTP (Outside The Perimeter) friends do not have to endure. One small cost is simply Parking your vehicle. In my case, that meant $50 per month at home plus each time you go somewhere.

In addition, there is the actual cost of ownership of a vehicle. Fortunately, I did not have a car note, but there are still gasoline, maintenance and insurance costs that are always present. For me…. Not anymore.

Stress

Road Rage or any kind of rage quite frankly has never been my thing. I tend to operate at a pretty stress free level. I know who my creator is and that he loves me, I have a great wife and family; generally feeling grateful for most things. Therefore, I wasn’t a stressful driver. Moving into Midtown and opening an office here meant that I didn’t drive near as much anymore (only a couple days per week) but when I did it was usually a time where I still wanted to be productive. You can read about my drive time in a recent article, Making the Most of Traffic. Even with a stress free nature and making the most of the time it has felt good to turn the driving over to someone else.
I will conclude by saying, I will miss the occasional rush of accelerating through an open winding road, the great suspension and handling of my Infiniti G35x! The lifestyle of walking to my new Drive Planning – Midtown office, increased pace and productivity has improved me as a person. So, for now I‚Äôll stick with this new ‚Äúcar-less‚ÄĚ commuter role until it’s time for another change. Thankfully, I‚Äôve learned that change almost always means growth and that we certainly always need growth.

 

What are your thoughts? Could you go “car-less”? Connect with me for a conversation on Facebook, twitter¬†or¬†LinkedIn.

 

Stay Tuned for more information on my upcoming book for Financial Professionals. Advisor’s Edge: The Sharp Edge of The Skilled Advisor – How to create the financial practice you’ve always desired.

Automation Header

 

A key element to living a successful life is reducing the stress that you experience. If you have been a Drive Planning Member for long you will recognize the theme of automation. This continues to weigh on my mind as something that we need to continually emphasize.

 

automation

[aw-tuhmey-shuh n]

noun

  1. the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
  2. a mechanical device, operated electronically, that functions automatically, without continuous input from an operator.
  3. act or process of automating.
  4. the state of being automated.

 

In other words, we want to remove our own ability to sabotage ourselves from the things that we most want in life. As part of living intentionally; we can pre-determine our outcomes simply by establishing systems around the actions which we know are best for us. I have discussed this topic at The Life You Can Afford to Live in a previous post Scheduling Your Success.

Most often our own ability to sabotage our success is through poor planning. Our own laziness or simply a lack of preparedness undermines us achieving what we really desire. So, with that in mind, I want to encourage you to automate as many facets of your life as possible. This post will explore a few ideas; there are certainly others. Let us know about some of your own suggestions or personal wins in this area on our social media channels; Facebook and twitter.

Below are some of the ways that I recommend automating your life so that you do more, waste less and live a more meaningful life.

Giving

Giving is a very personal decision. One that sometimes requires us to be prayerful or at minimum thoughtful. It’s for that reason that for years I have spoken negatively of automated giving. Today’s busyness has made me change my tune regarding this matter. Deciding to give isn’t less spiritual or obedient if its planned in advance. So, I say go ahead and establish automated drafts towards the church or charity of your choosing. This will ensure that a ballgame or any unexpected event doesn’t de-rail your plan for giving.

 

Saving

Most of our members do a great job in this area. We have consistently taught to establish a Wealth Coordination Account (WCA) as the initial recipient for all savings. If this isn’t something that you have completed; Let’s make it happen!

 Click to Tweet This:  Money without a purpose will never find its intended destination.

The WCA is the first place to direct a minimum of 15% of your income. This simple automation sets you up for years of success. It ensures that your own fleeting desires do not inadvertently interfere with your Hopes and Dreams.

We will now be encouraging you to create a more detailed savings plan to include future expenses;

Including:

  • Vacations
  • Classes
  • Personal Growth Areas
  • Holidays
  • Date Nights

This is all designed around creating a plan for spending. Living the life that you desire, not a reactionary life.

If you need direction in this area, please contact your Drive Planning Consultant to provide you step by step guidance.

 

Living

Most of our members are well established in the first two areas of Giving and Saving. This is where I believe that we can really transform our time and overall quality of life. Jackie and I have spent a lot of time and consideration in this area; automating our daily life. As two very career minded professionals involved in numerous charitable organizations, time is of the essence. I want to share with you a few things that…. Well, mostly she has taught me!

Health

Create automation around your health products, doctor visits and even how you schedule prevention techniques. Here are a few to consider:

Utilize Amazon Prime, Instacart or any delivery service to routinely deliver your vitamins, personal toiletries, air filters or the food necessary to be healthy (more to come about that). Place these things on your calendar as to do’s and automate them to arrive without wasted time at the store. Ex:  Look ahead and determine when you will be traveling for business or pleasure and schedule taking Airborne 5 days in advance of your trip. This simple planned technique will virtually ensure that you do not get sick while traveling and ultimately diminish your impact or lifestyle. Ex: Schedule air filters to arrive every three months (the suggested time to change them). Ex: Schedule toilet paper to arrive periodically (Something you should never run out of) Ex: Have Dollar Shave Club deliver razors at the predetermined time.

 

Food

Every parent knows the dread of the 5:30pm or 6pm hour. That dreaded question, ‚ÄúWhat‚Äôs for dinner?‚ÄĚ We have found that Blue Apron is our preferred way of automating this area of our life. Each week or at the frequency of your choosing you can have every meal (every ingredient to prepare such meal) delivered to your doorstep. It costs slightly less than $10 per meal and there is no wasted time or ingredients. Most importantly the meals are brilliant! Dishes we wouldn‚Äôt ordinarily create on our own. Here are a few examples: Cumin-Crusted Pork, Tangelo & Honey Glazed Salmon, Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf and even the best hamburger I‚Äôve ever eaten. This level of automation means you are always prepared for that dreaded question and you avoid costly and unhealthy restaurant meals.

 

Fitness

This may be a stretch because it isn’t true automation. However, I’d say that any effort towards pre=planning is a step in the right direction.

Plan your events for the year. Go ahead and pre-pay, pre-register for fitness classes, races etc for the entire year. Having already committed to them and paid will reduce/eliminate the wiggling out of them that often happens. Having them planned will also motivate you between events to keep training as you approach event time. Most events will also send you a recommended training schedule to be fully prepared. It’s like having a personal trainer!

 

Personal Time

Schedule and begin establishing a plan for paying for these nights out, vacations etc. in advance. Easily accomplished when put into the personal spending plan. One where the money is systematically/automatically transferred months in advance of the intended time. Beyond paying for these ahead of time and avoiding debt you will also find that the quality of your overall experiences will improve. Most of the improvement is due to the advanced planning/intentionality allowing you time to focus on your spouse or significant others Love Language.

 

These are just a few ideas that we have implemented to create an automated approach towards our life. We have found that typically this keeps us focused on the BIG Picture and less bogged down in the details. Allow me to encourage you to look for additional ways to automate areas of your life that will help you to lead the life you desire and do it with less stress. Maybe you won’t establish all of these at once but over time with an intentional approach towards automation you will begin to see that you are doing more, wasting less and creating a more meaningful life.

As you uncover ideas that work well, share them with us on Facebook or twitter.