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Three years ago I made a gargantuan shift — the shift from a reactive morning to a proactive one.

I’d spent over a decade lodged in a pattern of staying up hours past when I was tired so I could crawl into bed so exhausted I didn’t have to face my anxiety. I’d scroll eBay for things I was never going to buy until my eyes couldn’t focus, then stumble my way to the bedroom and pass out.

In the morning, I’d snooze my alarms until the absolute last minute then jump out of bed, heart racing, and make a…


When our fears come true we become free from the hold they have over us.

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I finally laced the back wheel for my motorcycle project. I’d laced the front wheel a few months back, right after I moved into the apartment across from the park.

It was the easiest wheel I’d ever laced, being as I’m used to lacing bicycle wheels where there’s a bit more complexity to the spoke layering pattern. On a motorcycle wheel, everything is drilled at a specific angle and there’s no complicated interweaving of spokes, so it’s pretty straight forward.

I was afraid to do…


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I was six years into my engineering career, and itching badly for a new challenge. I wanted to light other people up with the work I did, not just make cool CAD. And I longed for more connection and impact in my work, to share my skills and strengths with others so they could benefit.

Working in consulting gave me a lot of that, but it was always with people who were a few degrees separated and never with the people I sat next to. I wanted to lead, not just be an individual contributor.

But I was missing some…


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When we have a so-called “hard” task on our list, we often make it worse by labeling it that way. We think to ourselves “that’s really gonna suck, I don’t want to do it.” And usually it does end up being unpleasant. But not because it’s inherently unpleasant. It’s unpleasant because we made it seem that way in the way we framed it. Glass half empty, ya know?

There are no such things as “hard” tasks. Only big ones, small ones, familiar ones, and unfamiliar ones.

A big task might take us a long time. An unfamiliar task might take…


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To be really successful and fulfilled as entrepreneurs, living in the present moment needs to be our default state. Entering a flow state, where we get our best work done, emerges from presence. Our best ideas occur when we’re totally present and engaged. Ironically, even our most powerful plans for the future come to us when we’re solidly anchored in the present.

Ruminating on past experiences has typically been the biggest obstacle to presence for me. Sometimes I’ll flip into future imagining mode, which also pulls me out of the moment. …


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These days, by the time you’re ready to upgrade to a new phone, your old phone has limited or no monetary value left. (I mean unless you’re an Apple fanboy/fangirl who upgrades every year).

What if there was a way to prevent your old smartphone from becoming e-waste, while simultaneously boosting your happiness and focus, getting better sleep, and becoming more productive?

Okay, first, I’d like to recommend you get your old phone out now, and plug it in to charge.

When you’re done, you’re going to have a fantastically powerful tool that will touch on multiple aspects of your…


Photo by Valdemaras D. from Pexels

It’s not about knowing when to stop. We all know when, most of us just don’t. We rationalize ourselves past our limits from a place of unconscious anxiety, and then we’re frustrated when we burn out.

But what if being burned out is actually how we check to see if we’re doing it right….? And if we’re not burned out we think something is wrong. The check statement returns false and an exception is thrown, a top level interrupt is triggered! Must do something to create burnout, else failure is imminent!


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I may not work as an engineer anymore, but I still consider myself an engineer in the domain of life. I still rely heavily on systems and processes to make my life easier. If I’m going to do something more than once, I come up with a system for how to make it great every time. And once that system is in place and running smoothly, I’ll tweak it and upgrade it as I go to make it even better.

Weekly and daily planning are great examples of recurring events that can be chores or optimized awesome sessions, depending on…


Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

I walked past a dumpster chute on my walk to the office today with a sign taped to it that said “please break down your boxes.” I think we should tape signs to our laptops that say “please break down your work.”

The pull to check email a hundred times a day, or organize your desk for the fourth time, or add the fillets to your model before you’re even ready to do a draft analysis, is a pull to feel like you’re making progress. And progress is our greatest motivator. …


Photo by Ju Ostroushko on Unsplash

Here is my call to you today: Automate. Automate. Automate.

Here’s the catch, you’re only going to use analog technology, like safety pins and file cabinets.

Huh?

One of the best ways to get more productive is to make things happen automatically. I’m not talking about using a computer to do your job. If a computer can do your job, time to learn a new skill. We’ll all need to do this multiple times in our lives anyway, but no need to accelerate it. …

Maximum Rosencrantz

I help busy engineers create careers and businesses they love. Find me at coachmaximum.com

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