62: 2018 Yearly Themes


00:00:00   Is it too late to wish you a happy new year?

00:00:02   I don't think it's too late to wish you a happy Cortexmas.

00:00:05   Yeah, I feel like we need to really do that before, because Cortexmas has happened.

00:00:13   If we say it's going to happen now, that's not true, right? Because there will be more soon.

00:00:18   But we've had... we had a lot of Cortexmases in the last year though, let's be real.

00:00:23   There were a lot of them.

00:00:24   Were there? I don't know. It felt like there were so few.

00:00:28   Cortexmas is such a precious time.

00:00:30   And I guess that ties into your 2017 theme.

00:00:34   Was it? No wait, mine was the year of less, right?

00:00:38   You were like year of something or other that no one could work out.

00:00:41   [Ding]

00:00:42   You don't remember my theme for the year? I'm disappointed.

00:00:44   You don't remember my confusing, poorly articulated theme for the year?

00:00:47   I didn't. No, I didn't remember it.

00:00:49   It's written in front of me.

00:00:51   And I still don't know what it meant.

00:00:53   So we are gonna talk about our yearly themes.

00:00:57   but we're gonna talk about last year's.

00:01:00   We're gonna evaluate how we performed

00:01:03   against our yearly themes.

00:01:05   So we kind of established these in episode 44 of Cortex

00:01:10   and spoke about them a little bit more in episode 45.

00:01:12   If you're catching up, it's probably worth listening

00:01:14   to those as well so you can hear us establish our themes.

00:01:18   My theme of 2017 was the Year of Less,

00:01:22   which was your 2016 theme, right?

00:01:24   that was where that debuted, is the year of less.

00:01:28   - Wow, we've done this for three, this is the third year.

00:01:30   Wow.

00:01:31   - The third time that we've done this.

00:01:32   - It's becoming a real tradition.

00:01:34   - Yeah, I think that the 2016 one wasn't as like

00:01:37   set in stone.

00:01:38   - It wasn't as set in stone?

00:01:39   - But it was just like something you mentioned

00:01:41   that that was what you were thinking about in that year.

00:01:44   Right, but then I think it might have been in 2017

00:01:46   where we started to like think about this as a thing.

00:01:49   - That's when we started to lock ourselves in.

00:01:52   - To get like a real tradition going, which is important.

00:01:54   I guess I find traditions to be very important in podcast

00:01:58   People can look forward to it and it's something that is obviously cool on because I had people even in person tell me

00:02:05   When are you doing the 2018 year theme episode? So people like it. Yeah, I've got to say people people do like it

00:02:12   I had a number of people

00:02:14   Mentioned in person to me as well

00:02:15   Like they were thinking about their own

00:02:17   Themes for the year and I've seen a bunch of chatter on the quartet subreddit about what people are going to do for their own

00:02:22   and themes for the year.

00:02:23   So I do say, I think people like it.

00:02:27   And when we started talking about this,

00:02:29   I'll just again reiterate that I really much prefer

00:02:32   the idea of a theme versus a goal.

00:02:35   I still feel the need right now to be able to back out

00:02:38   and say like, you don't necessarily need a theme every year.

00:02:40   It doesn't need to be a tradition.

00:02:41   We don't absolutely have to do this maybe some year

00:02:43   it doesn't make sense to do.

00:02:44   - Right, but that year will just be the year of no theme.

00:02:47   Right, so that's how that works.

00:02:50   - Right, okay, that's how that works.

00:02:51   that the yearly theme stuff was so much better

00:02:54   than resolutions because--

00:02:56   - Yeah, resolutions are dumb.

00:02:57   - What you are doing is creating a basic idea or framework

00:03:01   that you can build many goals and resolutions

00:03:04   in throughout the year.

00:03:05   - Yeah.

00:03:06   - You know, like instead of me saying,

00:03:08   oh, my New Year's resolution is to hire somebody,

00:03:11   it was no, I'm gonna be doing a year of less

00:03:14   and then part of that might be doing this,

00:03:16   but I wanna see how it goes.

00:03:18   So it works way nicer because it's more open-ended.

00:03:21   It's just a phrase as opposed to like a thing

00:03:24   that has an actual like binary yes or no, did I achieve it?

00:03:27   And I think that is a much nicer way

00:03:30   to think about my working life.

00:03:32   So I appreciate that introduction to that idea.

00:03:35   - Yeah, it's way better for the reasons you said.

00:03:37   I also like the idea that you don't feel as bound by it.

00:03:40   Like if someone sets up a theme for the year

00:03:42   and they realize halfway through the year,

00:03:43   it doesn't make sense.

00:03:45   It's not the same thing as like,

00:03:47   oh, I've set the goal that this is the year

00:03:49   I'm gonna be really healthy

00:03:50   and now I'm just a big fat failure, right?

00:03:51   It's a different thing of like,

00:03:54   I want to adjust the theme midstream.

00:03:56   You know, like it's a much better way

00:03:58   to think about things.

00:03:59   - And again, like I'll say that these are like

00:04:01   my personal feelings on it.

00:04:03   So for my company, we have goals and objectives

00:04:06   that we want to hit, right?

00:04:08   Related around hard numbers and percentage increases

00:04:11   of those numbers.

00:04:12   But for myself personally, I don't really like

00:04:15   to set those really, really rigid goals as such.

00:04:19   And I think it works better.

00:04:21   Like a company is made up of a selection of people

00:04:24   and I feel like that the goals,

00:04:26   if you wanna look at like, oh, what will our revenue be like

00:04:29   or how many listeners will we have, right?

00:04:30   There are types of things.

00:04:32   Setting goals and objectives for those makes sense

00:04:34   because it is vital for the existence of the business

00:04:38   that those things remain or grow,

00:04:40   where like for me personally,

00:04:43   it is not vital to my existence as to whether I,

00:04:46   well, maybe I was gonna say whether I go to the gym

00:04:48   three times a week or twice.

00:04:50   Possibly it is, maybe that's a bad example,

00:04:52   but it is not vital to my existence of like,

00:04:55   oh, how many books am I gonna read this year?

00:04:58   Like, I don't live or die on that metric.

00:05:02   - Yeah, I was just starting to laugh

00:05:04   because I was thinking, yeah,

00:05:06   a theme is personal to an individual,

00:05:08   which is also why it wouldn't make sense

00:05:10   for a company to do it.

00:05:11   Like I was thinking if Tim Cook came out one day

00:05:13   and was like, we have a theme for the year for Apple, right?

00:05:16   And like, what's going on with Apple this year?

00:05:18   He's like, "Oh, our theme for the year is beauty."

00:05:20   It'd be like, "Uh-oh, this company's in real trouble."

00:05:24   Because it's also like, it would just,

00:05:26   like what does that mean to people, right?

00:05:27   You'd need to then have all these bullet points.

00:05:30   So it's like, no, no, if you're a company,

00:05:33   you need some goals, right?

00:05:34   You need some metrics.

00:05:36   But for your flourishing as an individual human,

00:05:38   a theme is a much better framework in which to operate.

00:05:41   So tell me, Myke, how did your year of less go?

00:05:45   - So I actually had two yearly themes.

00:05:48   One of them established itself halfway through the year.

00:05:51   - Yeah, see, they're very open to change.

00:05:53   - I did a, I took it and turned it, right?

00:05:56   I innovated on the yearly theme idea.

00:05:58   And we'll get to the second one in a minute.

00:06:00   But the one that I established last year,

00:06:02   the beginning of the year, was the year of less.

00:06:05   Because I had spent a year talking to you

00:06:07   and looking at all of the things that you were doing

00:06:10   and the improvements that you were making

00:06:11   on your working life.

00:06:12   And throughout those conversations,

00:06:14   I decided that there was things that I needed to do for mine.

00:06:18   And one of the big, big things for Year of Less

00:06:21   was to get help, to get some kind of assistance.

00:06:25   And I did, we hired an assistant,

00:06:27   and this person has been excellent for us,

00:06:31   and we're giving more and more and more to them.

00:06:34   And it was a lot of work to get going.

00:06:37   My gosh, my gosh was it a lot of work to get going

00:06:39   with the interview process, and then after all of that,

00:06:43   you've got to help train someone, right?

00:06:45   You can't just be like, "Oh, here you go, do your job."

00:06:47   - Can you remind me, when in the year did that happen?

00:06:51   When were you doing interviews?

00:06:53   - At the very beginning of the year.

00:06:54   I think it was maybe February or March

00:06:57   or something like that.

00:06:58   - Okay, so it was very early in the year.

00:06:59   I just wasn't sure.

00:07:00   - It was very early, yeah.

00:07:02   I mean, just going through,

00:07:06   I don't know if I spoke about it at the time,

00:07:07   but I'm happy to say it now.

00:07:08   I think we've got like 150 applications for the job.

00:07:13   and we took 10 people to interview.

00:07:17   Now we thought, oh 10 people's fine, that's 10 hours

00:07:19   and we did it in one week.

00:07:21   It was like, it was a lot of work

00:07:25   to go through all of that information

00:07:26   and 150 is a lot when, it kind of gets a little mind numbing

00:07:31   because so many people write the same stuff, right?

00:07:33   Like I mean that's, the way that, it's funny,

00:07:37   you kind of think, and I know I've been in this position,

00:07:40   you think that there is a specific way

00:07:42   in which you should apply for a job, right?

00:07:44   The things that you write and things that you say.

00:07:46   But the problem with that is you then just blend in

00:07:49   like to everybody else.

00:07:52   Like going through some of these applications,

00:07:55   I kind of was unable to tell where one person ended

00:07:58   and the next person began by the end of it.

00:08:00   - Yeah, yeah.

00:08:01   - And then, but you've also got the opposite problem.

00:08:03   If you try and stick out too much,

00:08:05   you maybe take a bit of a risk.

00:08:07   It is a tricky thing to apply for a job.

00:08:09   - It's a delicate balance, yeah,

00:08:11   because if you stick out too much, now you're the weirdo.

00:08:14   And it's like, oh, okay.

00:08:16   This is the application that sticks out way too much.

00:08:19   - There are certain types of jobs where it's easier.

00:08:21   Like with yours, people were able to provide you

00:08:24   with a piece of work, right?

00:08:26   And so there is like an entertainment quality value

00:08:30   which makes somebody stick out, I guess.

00:08:32   But for me, it was just like, write me a cover letter.

00:08:35   Like that was what I wanted to see.

00:08:37   And it's always just text.

00:08:39   I mean, and so yeah, it felt like it was blending in a little bit, but I don't know.

00:08:43   Maybe it's just because I don't like to read that I didn't enjoy it.

00:08:45   Who knows?

00:08:46   No, but it's, it is, it's going to be the case that when you,

00:08:49   when you start talking about 150 people applying to a thing, uh,

00:08:54   this is, this is where, again,

00:08:57   like people then start falling into categories. Like you're mentally,

00:09:01   you can't deal with 150 people in your brain.

00:09:04   And so you start like binning people into groups and that,

00:09:07   And that's where it's like, oh, the day,

00:09:09   like I have a lot of sympathy for everybody

00:09:10   applying to any kind of job,

00:09:13   because that's part of what the trouble is,

00:09:16   is like trying to indicate to the person

00:09:19   who's reading the applications,

00:09:20   what kind of person you are,

00:09:24   and like that you can do the job,

00:09:26   and like how do you signal that

00:09:28   when your only tool is a resume?

00:09:31   It's incredibly difficult.

00:09:33   And the issue is if you as the hiring manager

00:09:38   want to get this done in a timely fashion,

00:09:42   there is nothing you can do

00:09:45   than to just disregard some people, right?

00:09:47   - Oh yeah. - Like you've re-

00:09:48   And it's a shame and I wish it kind of wasn't like this

00:09:51   and you could, in theory, if you had a month

00:09:55   to make your decision going through the resumes,

00:09:57   then you could read everyone and consider them all.

00:10:00   But if you are trying to fill a position,

00:10:02   which typically whenever you're trying to fill a position,

00:10:05   speed is always good, right?

00:10:07   - Yeah, that's right.

00:10:08   - There is just an unfortunate part of it

00:10:10   in that you have to disregard some applications.

00:10:13   I mean, I hired when I was working at the bank,

00:10:16   I used to hire as well, it was part of what I did.

00:10:19   It was the same thing there as well.

00:10:20   It's like some people you're just like,

00:10:22   I can read this and feel like I have a good sense

00:10:25   of the type of person you are

00:10:26   and you're not the type of person I want for this job.

00:10:28   And it's like, but have I really looked at it in detail?

00:10:31   Unfortunately not, but there's kind of nothing

00:10:34   you can do about it.

00:10:35   So sympathies to anybody applying for jobs.

00:10:38   It is horrible.

00:10:40   But anyway. - It really is.

00:10:42   - The interesting thing, I probably could have

00:10:44   predicted this, but it's good to know that

00:10:46   whilst it is great to have to do less work of my own,

00:10:50   right, so I have somebody who's able to take work

00:10:53   away from me and do it for me,

00:10:54   that's actually not the value.

00:10:57   The value is less aggravation.

00:10:59   I find myself being less annoyed at work

00:11:04   because there's this thing I have to do.

00:11:07   I am able to move around some of the tasks

00:11:09   that are less enjoyable or just things

00:11:12   that I've done too many times.

00:11:14   There were some weekly tasks, which I've been doing

00:11:17   for three years every single week,

00:11:20   and it was like a spreadsheet-based task.

00:11:21   And it's like, well, I get no joy out of this anymore.

00:11:23   I used to enjoy it, but I don't like it anymore.

00:11:26   And I could sit down to do it on a Sunday evening

00:11:29   or Monday morning, and it was like,

00:11:31   "Oh, here we go again," right?

00:11:32   And being able to pass that stuff away,

00:11:35   I have way less tasks that I have roll my eyes at now,

00:11:39   and that has been a wonderful result of my yearly theme.

00:11:44   Basically, it's like a year of less,

00:11:49   comma, work/annoyance, and that's been great.

00:11:53   - Right, right.

00:11:54   - The other thing that I did as part of my year of less

00:11:57   was

00:12:17   but it hasn't, again, that was what I expected would be the case, right? Like, oh, it would

00:12:23   tell me the things I'm spending too much time in and then I would stop doing so many of

00:12:28   those things, right? That was my initial thought. That was my hypothesis. In the same way that

00:12:32   like hiring an assistant means I will do less work. But the result has actually been time

00:12:40   Time tracking has helped me highlight how much work I actually do and those numbers

00:12:47   make me feel psychologically better because anybody that runs their own business especially,

00:12:54   but anybody that is very invested in the work that they do can get into a situation where

00:13:01   it's on your mind all the time.

00:13:04   So you feel like you're working 24 hours a day.

00:13:08   So to be able to look at graphs and charts

00:13:11   and say like, oh, on Monday,

00:13:13   I actually only worked for five hours, not 23.

00:13:17   There is like a psychological benefit in that for me

00:13:21   where I don't feel like I'm as busy anymore

00:13:25   because I actually have some stuff that I can point to.

00:13:27   - Yeah, I think the phrase you used earlier in the year

00:13:32   talking about this was that you can talk back to your mind.

00:13:36   And I think that's a great phrase because it's,

00:13:40   when your brain thinks that you've been way busier

00:13:44   than you actually are, it's busy releasing all

00:13:49   of the stress hormones and worries that are related to that.

00:13:52   And it's a way to try to calibrate your brain to say,

00:13:56   I guess we're busy, but it's not what you think it is,

00:14:01   So you can chill out, we don't need to be at 11 on the anxiety meter of all the stuff that needs to get done.

00:14:07   We can take it back to a much more reasonable level.

00:14:10   And here's a spreadsheet that you can look at which proves this to you.

00:14:14   So I think that's a really good point about the time tracking.

00:14:18   The service that we both use, Toggle, they have pretty good reports.

00:14:23   And when the year ticked over,

00:14:27   our mutual friend Federico Fattici,

00:14:29   he tweeted, he's like, he tweeted his graph, right,

00:14:32   like his pie chart to show like how his work was split up.

00:14:34   I was like, oh, that's a good idea.

00:14:35   So I looked at mine.

00:14:36   And I, again, always find interesting things.

00:14:39   50% of my working time in 2017 was spent editing podcasts,

00:14:44   whilst 25% was recording.

00:14:47   This is not a surprise to me,

00:14:49   because I, some projects don't take twice the amount

00:14:53   time they take to record but some take four or five times right depending on

00:14:56   what the show is and what I'm doing and when I I mean I kind of shared this

00:15:02   online as well so it was very interesting and I had a few people

00:15:04   reach out to me offering their editing services right and it was like it is

00:15:11   interesting that that is what people take from it they see that and they're

00:15:14   like oh you must want to do less of it but I don't really like that's not what

00:15:19   that means. It's like, okay, I see it's 50% of my time, but I consider that time valuable.

00:15:26   And there have been projects in 2017 that I have handed over to somebody else. Actually,

00:15:31   I'm just about to hand over another show to be edited by somebody else, which is great

00:15:36   because it's probably one that, well, I know this person can do it very well and there's

00:15:41   no need for me to continue doing it anymore specifically. So it's fine, right? I can hand

00:15:46   that won over, but I'm not dying to do that for any of the projects that I'm currently

00:15:51   doing because we work with some very talented editors. We have a few people that we work

00:15:56   with at Real AFM who we give these projects to. So I know there are people that can do

00:15:59   it, but I don't feel like I need to or want to. Like, I think people look at some of,

00:16:04   they look at podcast editing or they look at some task and they're like, "Oh, that's

00:16:08   just like monkey work, right? You don't want to do that." But I make podcasts, that's my

00:16:14   job. Like that's what I do. And part of that is the editing of them. So it's like, would someone's

00:16:20   like, oh, you do 25% of your time is spent hosting a show. You should give, I should do that for you.

00:16:26   Right? Like I can take some of that time away for you. And it's like, well, no. Right? It's,

00:16:31   but it's the same thing to me. And I think you would agree, right? You could hand over the

00:16:35   editing of all of your shows, but you choose not to. It's something you can get help along the way,

00:16:40   but you still want to be involved in it.

00:16:42   Yeah, and what you ideally want, having brought on the assistant,

00:16:49   is to see that in the pie chart of your working life,

00:16:53   that a larger percentage of it is being made of what are the core value-producing activities that you engage in.

00:17:04   And the editing is an example of something that...

00:17:07   It's like invisible work, right?

00:17:11   When a show is well edited, people are not aware of it.

00:17:15   And so people can easily think of something like that as,

00:17:19   "Oh, you can just have somebody else do that?"

00:17:23   But for some of the shows that you work on,

00:17:25   like the voice of the show

00:17:29   or the particular way that things come out

00:17:31   is really dependent on exactly the edit.

00:17:36   I have to say, I am a little bit surprised

00:17:38   at the ratio of your editing time versus recording time.

00:17:41   - I was surprised about it, I was.

00:17:43   But like I see it and I'm like, okay, right?

00:17:46   Like it was a surprise to me,

00:17:48   but it's like, if that's what it takes,

00:17:50   that's what it takes.

00:17:51   I mean, okay, I'll also say like,

00:17:53   podcast editing also includes all of the posting

00:17:56   and all that sort of stuff.

00:17:57   So we can add a little bit more time on every time, right?

00:18:00   right? Like, you know, it might add like 15 minutes on every single time.

00:18:04   Okay, that makes more sense though actually than that ratio.

00:18:09   It includes everything that happens from the moment I open Logic to the moment that the show

00:18:15   is posted, right? Like it includes all of that stuff. I had like a show posting thing for a

00:18:20   while but it just seemed silly to me because it was just stop one timer, start another timer,

00:18:25   because by and large I post a show immediately after it's finished editing, typically, right?

00:18:32   Like I don't have many shows so that's not the case so I kind of just leave that one thing.

00:18:36   I mean the ratio I actually was kind of happy with that it's like I start with preparation,

00:18:42   double the amount of preparation is into recording, and then double the amount of recording

00:18:49   is into editing. I was like okay like that's interesting, that's kind of how it breaks down

00:18:55   for me. So yeah, I feel like it all kind of works out.

00:18:58   Yeah, I was just pulling up my own report because I was curious to see. And of course,

00:19:04   this is not entirely fair, but I was looking at with Cortex, like what is the ratio of

00:19:08   preparation and editing versus recording time. And mine is a lot closer to 50/50, but that's

00:19:14   because I'm able to farm out most of the work of producing Cortex to you, Myke. But I was

00:19:20   just kind of curious to see what it is. That for me, the ratio on this show is a lot closer

00:19:24   to 50/50 for how much time is recording versus how much time is involved in absolutely everything

00:19:30   else.

00:19:31   CB; Yeah and I guess it's worth mentioning that a vast percentage of my podcast recording

00:19:35   time is Cortex.

00:19:37   SH; That's right. I wasn't going to ask but I figured that this is, I know that this is

00:19:42   the bulk of the work in terms of any particular show, how much time do you spend editing,

00:19:48   and I know that I place a heavy editing burden on you Myke and I apologize for that.

00:19:52   - There is no, I've said this many times,

00:19:54   there's no apology needed.

00:19:55   Like I am happy to do it because the show,

00:19:59   it all works out, right?

00:20:00   Like the time that I put into it,

00:20:02   the compensation works great, like it's fine.

00:20:04   Like I'm happy to, like if the show,

00:20:07   if this show had like 500 people that listen to it,

00:20:10   I wouldn't do this, right?

00:20:12   But it all works out at the end of the day.

00:20:14   So like, I'm fine with it, right?

00:20:16   Like it all works out.

00:20:18   - But it says the other thing,

00:20:19   like looking back on the year for you,

00:20:22   of trying time tracking. Like you said, with this show, you feel like the amount of time

00:20:28   you spend on it and the reward you get from it is comparable. Do you feel like now with

00:20:32   a year's worth of data that tracks well across all of your projects, do you feel that your

00:20:36   projects get the amount of time that they deserve or do you feel like there's stuff

00:20:42   that's over or underserved?

00:20:45   I think by and large I am happy with the balance of my stuff.

00:20:53   Especially because I've seen some of those things go down to some of, again so I'm going

00:20:58   to put a link to this image in the show notes so people can see it.

00:21:01   And I'll give a bit of color around a couple of things.

00:21:03   So you can see some of these things are self-explanatory, right?

00:21:06   Editing, recording, show preparation, sponsor booking.

00:21:09   That is like when we have a sponsor and we're inputting all of their information and dealing

00:21:13   with contracts and stuff like that and also contacting new people, it's all of that kind

00:21:17   of stuff.

00:21:18   Sponsor aftercare, that's just a phrase that I made up.

00:21:22   That just means like answering questions and working on things that people need, right?

00:21:28   So like our sponsors might need certain things.

00:21:31   That decreased significantly for me as the year went on because this was a lot of stuff

00:21:36   that we handed over to my assistant is the aftercare stuff.

00:21:40   So like dealing with people's queries and questions and stuff like that.

00:21:43   The one that I was really surprised about was how highly the MacStories project was.

00:21:48   I was just looking at this. The fact that MacStories even registers as a thing for the whole year is hilarious to me.

00:21:54   That was the production of the audiobook that I put together. It was a significant portion of my year.

00:22:00   So that was a big surprise. It taught me some things to think about for the future, if I'm ever going to do that kind of thing again.

00:22:06   because it also went higher then. So, Relay FM general is typically whenever me and Steven

00:22:11   have calls about the company, I did less of that in time, in the entire year, than working

00:22:21   on the audiobook. So that was fun. That was a fun thing to see. But the overall balance

00:22:26   of this list, I have no immediate need to change any of it. I am happy with it. I did

00:22:35   look by the way and um cortex accounts for 10% of the overall editing time which i okay so 10

00:22:43   10 of that 50 yeah 10 of the of the 50 so it was about it was about 70 to 80 hours

00:22:50   right now that's interesting because i mean our show is effectively

00:22:55   one every three to four weeks pretty much on average no no it's way more frequent than that

00:23:01   - No, it's not. - You're exaggerating now.

00:23:03   - No, no, it's about three,

00:23:03   'cause it used to be every two weeks,

00:23:04   most of the year it's been one every month, like at 2017.

00:23:08   So we're about three weeks, I would say, is fine.

00:23:11   But every other show I do, by and large, is weekly.

00:23:14   I have a couple of fortnightly shows.

00:23:17   So 10% of that overall thing is significant, right?

00:23:20   There is some significance there.

00:23:21   So we're getting really into the weeds now,

00:23:24   but time tracking was very good

00:23:26   because now I am able to value my doing nothing time

00:23:31   significantly more.

00:23:32   I don't feel like when I'm doing nothing,

00:23:37   when I'm playing Stardew Valley,

00:23:40   I am not like, oh, I'm not working, I'm not working,

00:23:44   I've not done enough today,

00:23:45   I don't worry about that stuff anymore

00:23:47   because I have a much greater sense

00:23:49   for how long it takes me to take care of my work.

00:23:52   And it turns out it's not 15 hours a day.

00:23:56   It's more like six or seven, right?

00:23:59   That's typically my work amount in during a day,

00:24:02   but it's spread throughout the day, right?

00:24:04   So it feels like the workday begins at eight

00:24:07   and ends at two,

00:24:08   because my work happens at chunks throughout the day.

00:24:11   But once I got a better handle on how my time was spent,

00:24:15   which I did this year,

00:24:16   I was able to value everything more than before.

00:24:20   So that has been a great goal for me,

00:24:23   a great thing to achieve.

00:24:24   - Yeah, I think that is,

00:24:25   I mean, this sort of jumping ahead a little bit,

00:24:28   This does tie into some of my own thoughts for the previous year, but yeah.

00:24:32   Being able to...

00:24:34   Being able to turn a bunch of that doing nothing time mentally from...

00:24:42   from like a guilty pleasure into "No, I'm just doing this and it's fine"

00:24:48   is a big psychological advantage.

00:24:51   And it is difficult for everybody, but it is also especially difficult if you're self-employed.

00:24:56   Like this is a thing that I just when I talk to people who are self-employed is a constant refrain that it can be

00:25:02   that you have so much that is under your control, but it can be very difficult to

00:25:07   enjoy your free time because there is this endless list of things that could in theory be done.

00:25:13   So it's it's really great to hear that that the time tracking is helping you feel like you have evidence to show your brain that you've

00:25:20   done stuff, you have a good estimate of how long things

00:25:24   Take you and then that that makes your doing nothing or relaxing time

00:25:29   More able to be valued in in the moment. So that that sounds like a really great improvement and

00:25:34   Another thing that I was even surprised to discover so I have no idea

00:25:40   I don't know if anybody cares enough to pay attention to this kind of thing

00:25:43   Mm-hmm, but I I would say this is probably a surprise for anybody that does pay attention including myself

00:25:50   For the first time in maybe my entire podcasting career

00:25:54   2017

00:25:56   was the first time that I have not launched a new show that I have been a part of I

00:26:01   Find I find this totally shocking. I couldn't believe it. I found it out by accident

00:26:06   Because I was for some other purposes. I was looking at all of the shows that we've launched in 2017

00:26:14   And I realized I'm not on any of them

00:26:19   Yeah, when you mentioned this to me, I feel like it blew my mind. I was like, oh surely you're wrong

00:26:24   Surely you're wrong, but I'm not wrong. This is the first time ever and I was like wow

00:26:30   This is a big surprise to me. How do you feel about that?

00:26:33   What it tells me is that I internalized

00:26:36   the year theme

00:26:38   Mm-hmm. I have had ideas that I've just not done

00:26:41   Because that's adding more right a new show is adding more and I mean I had some projects that I've

00:26:49   I'd been working on in 2017 that I killed at the last minute

00:26:53   because I came to realize how much work they would have taken

00:26:57   and I didn't believe that the value would be there

00:27:00   ultimately either creatively or financially.

00:27:02   So I decided not to go through with them.

00:27:05   And this isn't a thing,

00:27:06   so when we talk about my next yearly theme,

00:27:08   it is building on what I learned

00:27:11   and how I think to go forward from it.

00:27:13   But this was a big surprise to me

00:27:14   because I really do believe that this is the first time

00:27:18   in seven years that I have not launched a new show

00:27:22   in an entire Canada year period.

00:27:25   So I think that that tells me that the Year of Less theme

00:27:30   was a significant success

00:27:35   because I internalized something

00:27:39   and basically stopped myself from this habit

00:27:44   that I have built up over the last seven years

00:27:47   of every time I have an idea, I just do it.

00:27:50   (laughing)

00:27:53   So I was pretty proud, I was pretty happy to see that.

00:27:56   It may sound like a strange thing to do,

00:27:58   but I feel like I am so congratulatory towards you on that,

00:28:03   because it is really hard not to just go

00:28:08   with all of the new projects.

00:28:10   And especially when you have the power

00:28:13   to make those projects happen.

00:28:15   - Nobody can stop me, right?

00:28:17   - Yeah, no, exactly.

00:28:18   It's like nobody can stop you,

00:28:20   which is the best and the worst part of it, right?

00:28:23   Like you wanna do a new project,

00:28:24   like there's nobody to stop you.

00:28:25   And it's always like the new project

00:28:29   is always more exciting than the current project, right?

00:28:32   It's always like, ooh, this new project, so exciting.

00:28:35   It's turning my head.

00:28:36   It's like, well, you know,

00:28:37   but it takes a lot of recognition and ability

00:28:43   to not pursue all of those things.

00:28:46   So yeah, whenever it was, you told me a couple weeks ago

00:28:48   that you hadn't done a new show in 2017

00:28:51   and I just found it mind blowing.

00:28:53   But I really do think it's great.

00:28:56   And I would also suspect that this is partly a better ability

00:29:01   on your part after having done this for many years

00:29:06   to have a sense of what a potentially good payoff

00:29:10   for a project is or isn't.

00:29:12   Like when you're newer, it makes more sense to just like try a bunch of stuff and see what sticks on the wall.

00:29:20   But, you know, now that you are an established podcast person, you have an established podcast network,

00:29:27   and you now have a better sense of the value of your time, it makes less sense to go off on a whole bunch of new projects.

00:29:35   Like they can be damaging in a way.

00:29:37   And you also probably have a better internal mental compass about what are the valuable

00:29:43   directions to go in.

00:29:45   And not everything that occurs to you that seems like a great idea one week is a good

00:29:51   way to go the following week.

00:29:52   Yeah, like I've made a conscious effort that if I have an idea and begin on it, I don't

00:29:59   launch it quickly.

00:30:01   Like I spend, I have, I mean we've had shows that we even have artwork for that will never

00:30:07   be used.

00:30:08   Now I've seen some of that artwork.

00:30:09   You've seen some of it.

00:30:10   It's very nice.

00:30:11   It's wonderful.

00:30:12   It's actually one of my favorites ever but no one's ever going to see it.

00:30:14   Don't ask, you won't see it.

00:30:16   Sorry.

00:30:17   Maybe I'll use it for something one day and if I ever use it then I'll tell you that

00:30:21   that's what it, that it was for the secret project.

00:30:23   But it was just, I kind of let it just stay a little bit and decided that no, I don't

00:30:30   this is the right thing for me to do. So I've had a few things like that this year and I

00:30:36   think it's been of great benefit. And as I say, it ties into my 2018 theme, which we'll

00:30:41   talk about in a bit because I still have, I had a lot of things, I had a lot of stuff

00:30:44   to say this time. Halfway through 2017, I started my second yearly theme, which will

00:30:52   run until June of this year, which is the year of positivity/optimism. I refer to both

00:30:59   things I can never remember which one it is but we'll call it the year of

00:31:02   optimism. Right and it follows the Apple calendar year. It follows the Apple

00:31:06   calendar year so WWDC to WWDC. So much of my life is focused around talking about

00:31:12   technology with a significant focus on Apple anybody that listens to this show

00:31:17   knows that and 2015 to 2016 to 2017 there was a decline in overall

00:31:25   excitedness amongst people that care about Apple products. There was a lot more frustration

00:31:30   than there ever had been. And this really culminated in the beginning of 2017. It was

00:31:35   just a bad time. There were no new products. Everyone was happy. No matter what you liked,

00:31:40   there was nothing for you.

00:31:41   Yeah. I still think of this period of time in my mind as the Apple Valley of Darkness

00:31:46   that we were wandering through.

00:31:47   It was a dark time. If you cared about this stuff, it was a dark time because everything

00:31:51   that happened was not good. And then WWDC 2017 was like the apology year and everybody

00:31:59   got something. It was Tim Cook turned into Oprah and everyone got something, right? There

00:32:05   was something under everybody's seat and we all got the thing that we wanted. So I decided

00:32:11   to make a concerted effort, which I'm still working on, that I would try and be more positive

00:32:15   and optimistic when talking about technology because that's what I enjoy. I actually don't

00:32:22   like being mad about it. I like to enjoy it. That's why I talk about it. It's not fun.

00:32:28   So I've been focusing on that. And of course you slip every now and then, but the overall

00:32:32   feeling is that it's going to be cool and we're going to enjoy it and it's going to

00:32:35   be great. So I'm happier to talk about this stuff on shows now because I'm generally more

00:32:41   happy about it. So that was my theme. So my theme for 2017 and I'm very happy with them.

00:32:46   Yeah, I feel like the year of positivity, at least from my subjective experience, was

00:32:53   good timing and also sort of like good for your mental health because yeah, it's like

00:32:59   I also listen to a bunch of these shows, like the same shows that you listen to where it's

00:33:03   like everybody's wandering through this valley of darkness together and it's like yeah, it

00:33:08   is terrible but at a certain point you just get tired of listening to everybody talk about

00:33:12   how stuff is terrible. Even when like I too am there in the valley of darkness like talking

00:33:17   about how things suck as well right like we're all here together. But this is one of these

00:33:23   things where like for mental health sometimes you have to take a little bit of a like a

00:33:27   reevaluation and say like yeah stuff sucks but I'm gonna try to force through a thing

00:33:34   And happiness is one of those funny topics where you can make things better through playing

00:33:44   tricks on yourself and in some ways deciding that you're going to have a more positive

00:33:49   outlook on stuff.

00:33:51   You can make that start to occur.

00:33:54   And I think it also happened to be great timing and a good time to start it with the 2017

00:33:59   WWDC.

00:34:00   But yeah, I'm very glad that we're past that part.

00:34:03   And I have to say, as a listener to your shows, I was always glad when you were doing the

00:34:10   year of positivity.

00:34:11   And I feel like there were a few moments where it really came through.

00:34:14   They're like, "Oh, there's Myke being positive about stuff.

00:34:16   I can hear him doing it."

00:34:18   And as a listener, I was appreciative.

00:34:20   Saying it's like a mental health thing is a really good point, because it was.

00:34:25   I was just finding myself just being sad about the thing that I liked and then having to

00:34:29   talk about it like three times a week every week.

00:34:32   And it was just like, this isn't good for my overall feeling.

00:34:36   So I decided to make a change to it and to try and see the lighter side of things.

00:34:41   It's still a battle because I have a lot of opinions and sometimes my opinions aren't

00:34:46   always that things are good.

00:34:48   But ultimately, I've been very happy.

00:34:51   I mean, this came out a couple of weeks ago when I was talking about my general content

00:34:57   in technology, which you decided to be a rain cloud over, but we don't have to worry about

00:35:01   things like that.

00:35:02   My general feeling about technology right now is that I'm very happy with my technology

00:35:09   right now, and I feel like I'm still on the righteous path of the multi-pad lifestyle,

00:35:15   even though some people decided to leave it.

00:35:17   So anyway, let's talk about your incredibly confusing 2017 theme.

00:35:21   The year of betrayal!

00:35:23   It was cool, I think.

00:35:24   BRIAN: You can't let other people's happiness get in the way of your happiness, Myke.

00:35:27   - Yeah, sure, that's what that is.

00:35:29   Today's episode of Cortex is brought to you in part

00:35:33   by our friends at Hover.

00:35:35   Building your online identity has never been more important

00:35:38   and Hover will help you find the domain

00:35:40   that shows the world exactly what you are passionate about.

00:35:43   When it comes to thinking about new projects,

00:35:46   there is never a better time than the beginning of the year.

00:35:49   And any new project comes with it a new website

00:35:53   and that website needs a wicked cool domain name

00:35:56   and that is why I have used Hover for so long for this stuff.

00:36:00   Any project that pops into my head, I will go there and just get the domain for it.

00:36:05   Like, what do you have to lose, even if you just stick on to it

00:36:08   for one year of a yearly theme? Right?

00:36:10   At least you've got it.

00:36:11   If the name is there, you've got it. It's locked down.

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00:36:26   They have their hover connect feature that allows you to connect your domain to any website builder with just a few simple clicks

00:36:32   They do personalized email that you can match your domain. That's a super professional thing, by the way

00:36:37   You know grabbing a domain name of your own and setting up an email address

00:36:40   Rather than using Gmail or something that looks real good

00:36:43   And and that's a great reason to get a domain that I think most people don't really think of very much

00:36:47   And of course who is privacy is free

00:36:50   So bad guys don't get your information

00:36:52   If you want to show the world what you're passionate about and set yourself up for your year

00:36:57   Hover is there to help make that first step head to hover.com/cortex right now

00:37:03   And you'll get 10% of your first purchase and show your support for the show

00:37:07   Our thanks to hover for their continued support of cortex and relay FM

00:37:10   Looking back on my my past year

00:37:13   It had a confusing start with a terrible name

00:37:17   Which so I originally was calling it the year of new and then a listener to the show having having heard me try to wander through

00:37:23   a bad description of what I was up to

00:37:25   Redubbed it the year of

00:37:27   Redirection which I like much better because you weren't actually doing anything new so the funny thing is in retro

00:37:34   I was I was going through this morning getting ready for the show

00:37:36   and I was going through all of my records from the year and like looking stuff over and

00:37:40   It's funny to me because actually calling it the year of new slash

00:37:44   is actually perfect because there were like a bazillion new things this year.

00:37:49   It just so happens that this stuff isn't really public facing to people.

00:37:54   But Year of New/Redirection actually ended up being just a perfect name for the year.

00:37:59   But while I was going through the year, I was thinking of it as the Year of Redirection and

00:38:05   what this meant for me was

00:38:11   trying to think more deliberately about how I am spending my time,

00:38:17   like what things maybe have too much time, where are some areas where I should spend

00:38:22   more time in a different way than I currently was.

00:38:28   And part of this was that going into 2017, I feel like I was dealing with a little bit of burnout,

00:38:36   so I was trying to think about how can I

00:38:40   arrange my working life in a different way, or how can I do a bunch of things in a different way

00:38:44   in that upcoming year. There is a little bit of a funny thing talking about this year because I realized that

00:38:51   this again is one of these funny moments where I feel like I'm coming up against this this

00:38:57   this edge of like being a private person who makes his living in a very public way.

00:39:02   And also there was just a bunch of stuff that happened business-wise that doesn't make sense really to talk about in a public way.

00:39:09   So it's funny because it's like I had all of this stuff happen and I redirected a bunch of my energy and time on various projects

00:39:17   But so I am gonna have to talk about this in like kind of a high-level way

00:39:21   But I'm aware of that because there's a bunch of places where it's like I just I just don't either want to or it doesn't make

00:39:26   Sense really to go into the details. The laser shark business is booming. Myke, don't tell people about the laser sharks.

00:39:33   The volcano layer extraction company is just,

00:39:36   it's working excellently.

00:39:38   - You joke, but you're closer than you think.

00:39:40   - Oh God.

00:39:43   I'm still convinced that you are trying

00:39:45   to build an office building.

00:39:46   I am convinced of this.

00:39:48   Absolutely 100%, I believe that you are trying

00:39:52   to build an office complex, but this is the story.

00:39:54   This is the thought though.

00:39:56   - I'd love to do it, but I've got to finish

00:39:58   my clothing assembly line first, right?

00:40:00   Like there's only so much of me I can do at once.

00:40:02   There's only so many industries and factories you can build upon.

00:40:05   Yeah, it's totally true.

00:40:08   But yeah, so there's a bunch of stuff which is not obvious to people, but like, one of the things that people who pay very close attention to the numbers would notice is like a thing that I decided to do, which you were sort of referencing earlier, is I very intentionally at the beginning of 2017 decided to crank down

00:40:31   my podcast output just a little bit.

00:40:34   So if someone is going through like,

00:40:36   how many episodes were published each month,

00:40:38   you were joking about there being more Cortexmuses,

00:40:41   but there totally were.

00:40:42   And that was a very intentional decision on my part.

00:40:47   - And this was something that we discussed

00:40:49   and we worked out a good plan for the year.

00:40:51   And I think we were, but I was very happy with the output

00:40:55   of the last year's shows as well.

00:40:57   And yeah, it was less, but I don't,

00:40:59   but I actually think it was a positive impact

00:41:02   on the show overall.

00:41:04   Yeah, and I have to say, you were great to work with

00:41:07   during this time because it is this,

00:41:10   one person is saying, "I want to pull back 15%

00:41:15   over the course of the year."

00:41:17   And it's like, "Well, it's a partnership.

00:41:19   We work on this thing together."

00:41:20   But you were great with this.

00:41:22   And so that was one of the big things

00:41:24   with the year of "Redirection" for me,

00:41:27   was this was one area where I thought,

00:41:29   The podcasts are great. They're a great way for me to spend my time.

00:41:33   But I was also aware of like, man, I had this little bit of a feeling of burnout that it's like,

00:41:39   every week there is a show to do,

00:41:42   and I need to have a few more times in the year where it's like,

00:41:47   "Okay, I have one or two weeks in a row where there's no podcasts."

00:41:51   And I think this is the case of being like,

00:41:57   Being an introverted person, I always do find that the podcasts are quite mentally draining in this very particular way,

00:42:06   and I just needed some little bit more time to, like, recoup from that.

00:42:11   That was a case where Year of Redirection was great.

00:42:14   Like, just pulling back a little bit, like I said, about 15%, was fantastic,

00:42:21   and it's one of these cases where it's like, "Okay, I'm taking a small hit business-wise,

00:42:27   but I'm getting a massive improvement psychologically.

00:42:31   I feel much better about this.

00:42:33   And I also think it made the shows

00:42:35   genuinely better as well to have more breaks.

00:42:38   - I would say from my perspective,

00:42:41   less shows meant that I could prepare better

00:42:44   for all of them.

00:42:46   So the things that we were talking about and themes,

00:42:50   I was happier with our 2017 output than our 2016 output

00:42:54   because I have more time to come up with ideas.

00:42:56   And it is worth noting that this year will probably be pretty similar.

00:43:00   Sometimes there's one, sometimes there's two.

00:43:01   And that's kind of just how we're going to be going forward,

00:43:05   because it fits into both of our schedules really nicely.

00:43:08   Because in case you'd never guessed, we travel quite a lot.

00:43:12   And sometimes it can be a nightmare for us to align our travel schedules.

00:43:16   Like that is an example of a thing where in one way, it sounds like an easy thing to say,

00:43:23   like, oh, I'm just going to pull back a little bit.

00:43:25   But I did this across like all of my various business endeavors was trying to pull back like 15% across the board and everything

00:43:32   I'm involved with like in everything that I do

00:43:34   and that ended up being like a whole

00:43:36   year-long project and it was like a very carefully managed thing and trying to like

00:43:41   balance a whole bunch of inputs and outputs like that that was a really big deal

00:43:46   but I feel like it was a huge success and a big win on my part and

00:43:50   there were a number of times in the year where

00:43:54   having that like extra 15% of time

00:43:57   really did allow me to

00:44:00   redirect efforts and energy into other things that came up or things that ended up being new endeavors of one kind or another.

00:44:07   So it was

00:44:09   it was really great for me, and I'm so glad I did it, but I remember at the beginning of

00:44:14   2017 like I was looking back through my initial planning notes and it's like, man,

00:44:19   I was really worried that it was gonna make 2017 just a total disaster.

00:44:23   that little bit of a pullback, but it didn't. It was really a great decision.

00:44:28   A disaster in what way?

00:44:30   Like, I've never had things on regular schedules, obviously,

00:44:36   but I feel like there's got to be some kind of minimum threshold below which you go

00:44:41   that it starts turning bad.

00:44:43   Like, and I was worried, like, maybe I'm closer to whatever that minimum threshold is

00:44:48   than I thought, and going like 15% less will bring me below that threshold.

00:44:53   But it turned out that's not the case.

00:44:55   So it's like everything keeps growing and like we said, the show is actually doing better than they were before.

00:45:01   So I was just worried like how close am I to the edge of too infrequent?

00:45:06   And maybe I'm way closer to that edge than I think.

00:45:10   But so no, it worked out great.

00:45:14   And like I said, for me personally, it was really great and it was really important during a couple of times in the year in particular.

00:45:19   So that is like one of the most public-facing ways that people can see something is different in the year of redirection.

00:45:27   But you brought up travel, Myke, and this is where I feel like the year of new is a thing.

00:45:35   Because this past 2017, the amount of travel that I did exploded.

00:45:43   It just exploded in this totally unexpected way and

00:45:50   I feel like here's the best way I can-- because I was looking at like how much time I've spent in airports this year

00:45:56   which is like phenomenal amount of time

00:45:58   But the thing that really hit home, which just happened yesterday, was

00:46:05   At the beginning of the year, I sort of knew that I was going to be doing a bunch more traveling

00:46:10   I had a vague idea that this was a thing that was going to happen in the year and

00:46:13   I was talking to a friend of mine about it and

00:46:16   He convinced me to sign up for one of the airline reward programs

00:46:21   I was like, I don't know if I should like who cares I can't just do one point. It's wild to me

00:46:26   I can't believe you are on one. Well, I just thought it was dumb right and and friend and also like

00:46:31   For most of my life the amount of traveling that I did was very little

00:46:37   And it wouldn't really have mattered

00:46:40   But so I signed up at the beginning of the year and you know when you sign up so I signed up with British Airways

00:46:45   And it's like they send you a card and they're like welcome to the peasant class of rewards, right?

00:46:49   You get nothing except this card which now says that you're in our you're at the bottom of our caste system

00:46:55   And I'm like, whatever

00:46:57   so

00:46:58   Yesterday I literally got a golden envelope in the mail. Right? The golden envelope is a great thing to get

00:47:06   from British Airways that I opened up and had like tissue paper and and this fancy thick paper and like

00:47:14   They're like welcome to the golden god class of travel

00:47:18   So I I have been on virgin for the last couple of years and I've gone through that. Mm-hmm that whole thing

00:47:27   But I had to take a few flights with BA this year because virgin didn't serve some places. So I lost my gold status

00:47:35   By like just that hair. I lost it

00:47:38   So I'm now switching over to BA because I've done BA's before that their progression through their system

00:47:44   Is much better like you get more for less with them

00:47:48   So yeah, I I'm going through that right now and probably by the end of the year

00:47:54   I might get to gold because I have a lot of travel on BA this year including like all of my honeymoon stuff

00:48:01   So I think we're gonna be good

00:48:04   Yeah, but it's like I have to say that when I got that golden envelope

00:48:07   It was a real mixed feelings moment. It was like oh god. This is a physical manifestation of

00:48:13   The subjective feeling like I feel like I've traveled a lot this year as I know here is manifest

00:48:19   Proof that the amount of travel I have done has just exploded

00:48:22   Like I counted up like even just just in the summer. I think in the space of six weeks

00:48:29   I stepped on ten planes, like it was some crazy number. Like the whole summer of travel was was especially

00:48:35   explosive and then this year was was on top of that and this feels like a really new and very

00:48:42   different thing in my life and it was also the case that had I not cut back on some other work stuff

00:48:50   that would - the combination of increased business travel plus

00:48:55   maintaining the previous year's schedule, that really would have been a disaster.

00:48:58   Because we certainly ran into enough times this year of just trying to coordinate both of our schedules that it was really hard,

00:49:04   or we were really running up against some very narrow windows of time.

00:49:08   We live in the same town, but I think we have seen each other more this year overseas.

00:49:14   Oh, yeah. Yeah, without a doubt. That is the case.

00:49:17   It's been an interesting experience.

00:49:24   and I also feel like I've traveled so much I have become a very fundamentally different person with travel.

00:49:32   I'm now the kind of person who doesn't have a lot of stress cutting it real close getting to an airport.

00:49:39   I don't think I'm ever gonna get there.

00:49:41   I never thought I would be there either, but I have become that guy.

00:49:45   My thing is now, I don't think about the fact that I'm gonna be getting on a plane very much before I do it.

00:49:53   Right? Like I know that like before I started traveling a bunch of times every year like

00:49:57   Thinking that I'm about to get on a plane to go to America or whatever was like a big thing. That was in my mind

00:50:03   For a bit, right, but now it's kind of just like I'll pack but I'm not really thinking about it

00:50:10   I packed the day before and then I just wake up and go to the airport

00:50:12   Like it's like going to this is such a terrible thing to say I guess but it's like going to get a train now

00:50:18   Because I fly so much right and and the reason we both do this is

00:50:23   Basically everybody that we work with by and large lives in America. So there's so many

00:50:27   Businessy things that occur which require us to be on the other side of the ocean

00:50:33   So that I do it so many times now that it's it's like any kind of former transport

00:50:39   Which is a way healthier way to consider air travel

00:50:44   Because you don't fret about it

00:50:46   I always found myself fretting about it because there are so many things about the process

00:50:51   That are meant to make you fret about it and I'm now happy that I don't need to do that. Yeah, I agree

00:50:57   There's a lot of travel fretting that is gone

00:51:00   Part of that is being part of a members rewards program

00:51:03   which has which has advantages like for me a huge psychological advantage is being able to

00:51:08   pick a seat

00:51:11   further and further ahead in time.

00:51:13   So it's like I know I really do not want to be

00:51:15   penned in in a window seat on an airplane if I can possibly avoid it.

00:51:19   And so like getting an aisle seat is extraordinarily psychologically important to me when I'm flying.

00:51:24   And so being able to like book and get that way in advance makes a big difference.

00:51:28   But yeah, also just like the pure familiarity with travel has has definitely decreased the amount of fretting.

00:51:36   And has made some things possible,

00:51:39   which would have been a huge, a huge deal, like an inconceivably large deal otherwise.

00:51:45   I'll just briefly relay a story that I feel like encompasses the entirety of my travel year.

00:51:53   But I had traveled so much this year that come December I had decided there's going to be no more travel.

00:51:59   I cannot do any more flights. It's too much. It's all too disruptive.

00:52:03   I don't want to do it.

00:52:04   And it's like, that's one of the reasons why I was really interested in going to PodCon,

00:52:08   but I was like, I can't get on one more plane because I've just flown too much this year.

00:52:14   And it's a long one. It takes a long time to get to Seattle, turns out.

00:52:18   Yeah, it takes a long time to get to Seattle, but I was thinking like,

00:52:21   "Oh, but I can stay on Grey Master time, it'll all be fine."

00:52:24   I was trying to scheme it out, but the rational part of my brain said like,

00:52:29   "Too many flights, dude. You just can't do this.

00:52:32   decide that there is a travel veto on December, no more traveling.

00:52:37   And I decided it and I thought, okay, that's great.

00:52:40   And then, for reasons that I can't go into the details,

00:52:45   we'll just say that this is one of the many problems of being a self-employed dual citizen

00:52:50   where one of those citizenships is America.

00:52:52   America makes it real difficult for self-employed people living abroad.

00:52:56   But it turned out, I found out on Christmas Eve

00:53:00   that I needed to go to America to sign a document before the end of the year.

00:53:05   And so I ended up at the very last minute between Christmas and New Year's

00:53:11   buying a plane ticket to go to America for 36 hours

00:53:16   to return and fly back before New Year's.

00:53:19   And while that was an enormous pain in the ass,

00:53:26   there was a part of me which because I had done so much travel, I was like,

00:53:29   "You know what? I can just deal with this."

00:53:31   Right? It's not...

00:53:32   It was not something I wanted to do,

00:53:36   but had I not done a ton of flying otherwise,

00:53:39   that would have been an incredible psychological problem.

00:53:43   But I just had this feeling of resignation of like,

00:53:47   "I guess I'm going to America for 36 hours

00:53:49   to sign a single piece of paper

00:53:51   that before the end of the calendar year."

00:53:53   Like, "Okay, here I go."

00:53:56   - Yeah, that really summed up a difference in you.

00:53:58   Like, and I noticed it because we were chatting

00:54:00   over Christmas and I knew I was seeing you

00:54:03   over the New Year's period and you told me

00:54:05   that you were getting on a plane

00:54:07   and I was like, that's a different man.

00:54:09   (laughing)

00:54:10   - Yeah, exactly.

00:54:11   - He's changed, he's changed.

00:54:13   - Yeah, what I loved about that though

00:54:14   is even when I checked in, the gate agent

00:54:16   looked at my ticket and she's like,

00:54:18   you're going to America for 36 hours?

00:54:20   And I'm like, yes, that's correct, man.

00:54:22   - Don't judge me.

00:54:24   You don't know my struggles.

00:54:25   (laughing)

00:54:28   It was totally nuts, but I felt like that was the perfect encapsulation.

00:54:32   I decided there's no more travel, and of course at the 11th hour something else comes up,

00:54:37   which is like, "This is mandatory travel, you have no option about it."

00:54:40   Like, "Okay, guess it's gonna happen."

00:54:42   So I feel like looking back on my past year,

00:54:46   the amount of travel, the amount of new locations,

00:54:50   like, that is a huge difference in what was occurring over the previous year.

00:54:55   The other major thing though, which was related to my year of new and year of redirection was

00:55:01   while you were doing time tracking for the first time last year, I was deciding to try to time

00:55:07   track everything in my life for the previous year. And I have to say, I feel like that was also

00:55:15   a really great thing to do, and I've really appreciated this...

00:55:23   I don't know, I don't even know how to phrase it, but I feel like there is...

00:55:26   I don't know how to say this in a way that's not going to sound to people like it's a bad thing,

00:55:31   because I mean it in a very good way.

00:55:34   But I feel like having done this for a long period of time,

00:55:39   of trying to keep track of not just working hours,

00:55:43   but also like leisure time, or socializing time, or any kind of time,

00:55:50   I really have like a mental clock in my head

00:55:54   that is running and

00:55:58   that will sound bad to people, but what I mean by it is I feel like it's established a real kind of

00:56:06   in the moment presence in a lot of the things that I do.

00:56:12   So, like,

00:56:14   again, so the worst way that people would think about it is like,

00:56:18   Like if I'm socializing with someone, I do keep track of my socializing time, but it's

00:56:22   not like I'm there on my watch and it's like, "Oh God, how much time am I spending with

00:56:26   this person?"

00:56:27   - Bleep, bloop, 10 personality points allocated.

00:56:31   - Yeah.

00:56:34   It's much more this feeling of like, I have decided to spend time with this person and

00:56:40   I'm going to be as mentally here in the moment as I possibly can be.

00:56:45   And I feel like this is a mental improvement that has been booted up in my brain by trying

00:56:54   to always have a timer running in the background so that I'm just time tracking my entire life.

00:56:59   So I feel like it has made me much more present focused than would otherwise be the case.

00:57:09   So I would not recommend that everybody do this thing that I have done.

00:57:14   I really think it is on the edge of crazy to try to time track an entire life, but I

00:57:19   have found it really good and it has been a worthwhile thing to do after having already

00:57:27   been for years familiar with the idea of doing just time tracking around more specific activities.

00:57:34   Yeah, I think I have an example of this too, because I do ultimately think that what you

00:57:39   do is way more than I would want to do, but once you get into time tracking as a concept

00:57:44   that exists in your life, you're able to apply it to some different things. So as is always

00:57:50   with human beings, I am trying to make a more concerted effort of taking care of my health.

00:57:57   And right now that is meaning to exercise more. Now I'll give you a fact about Myke

00:58:02   Myke Hurley hates exercise.

00:58:05   I have tried so many different things.

00:58:09   I have never ever enjoyed physical activity.

00:58:11   I didn't enjoy PE in school.

00:58:14   I just don't.

00:58:15   For whatever reason, I'm not good at any of it

00:58:17   and I don't like it.

00:58:18   It's just how I am.

00:58:19   I do not get a good feeling from going to the gym

00:58:24   no matter what I do.

00:58:25   I just don't.

00:58:25   I know that this is something that people get

00:58:27   and whatever and endorphins and blah, blah, blah.

00:58:30   I never get a good feeling out of it.

00:58:33   - Yeah, (beep) those people, that's my feeling.

00:58:34   - Yeah, exactly.

00:58:36   The only type of activity that I enjoy is swimming.

00:58:39   I like to swim.

00:58:41   I'm pretty decent at it, I enjoy it.

00:58:44   And it's, I believe to be a pretty good workout.

00:58:48   Now, the problem that I have is that

00:58:50   where I live there are not a lot of places I can swim.

00:58:55   So I have to travel somewhere to go to a pool

00:58:59   and travel back and the problem that I was seeing was I believed that it was taking too

00:59:04   much time for me to complete this activity and that it was eating into my days too significantly.

00:59:12   So I decided to time track it. I was like, let's find out shall I? I've had this feeling

00:59:19   a bunch before so let's find out. I was right, it was taking too much time so I have optimized

00:59:26   some of the travel to and from the place that I'm going to.

00:59:30   So I've tried to find ways to cut down the travel time

00:59:33   and to build it into days differently,

00:59:35   but I got the answer that I needed

00:59:37   from actually doing some real time tracking

00:59:40   to see how many hours this thing was taking.

00:59:43   I was finding that it was taking me three hours

00:59:47   to do 45 minutes of swimming.

00:59:48   Well, that's not good, is it?

00:59:51   That's not efficient, so I've found ways

00:59:54   cut that down by like a third. So it's like okay so let me try and see how I can build this in.

01:00:00   So yeah that's just like an example of when you get into the time tracking mindset you can use

01:00:06   real data to prove theories or disprove theories and then action upon them. That's what the benefit

01:00:13   for me is of seriously time tracking but I am not of the inclination to do what you do yet.

01:00:21   Like I don't want to track the time that I spend playing Nintendo. Like I don't I don't need to see that right like I'm good

01:00:28   I'm good. Let's just assume that all of the time that isn't work time is spent playing Nintendo and then we're good

01:00:35   Yeah, but see this this is why I like doing the whole lifetime tracking because I

01:00:43   Think that we when we get to what our themes for the next year are I'll talk a little bit about more

01:00:49   But it does then...

01:00:51   If you're trying to do the whole life tracking, there is data in like the missing data.

01:00:56   And that's an interesting thing to look at is to say like, "Oh, when, you know, I'm awake 16 hours a day and

01:01:02   like, but how many hours did I actually get in the day?" And then that missing piece becomes an interesting piece of data.

01:01:10   Like, "Where did that time go?" Or

01:01:12   "Why is it that during this week or this month I was clearly way worse at time tracking than other times?"

01:01:18   So I like having that because I feel like there is this sense of information in the negative space of the time tracking

01:01:28   if you're trying to be really complete in what's occurring.

01:01:32   We can talk more about that later, but I guess I'll just say that the year of new and the year of redirection was sort of

01:01:39   vague, much more vague than the year of less was for me, which had this really precise meaning.

01:01:45   But I still feel like a lot of what I was trying to do, I did.

01:01:52   I feel much better about my work-life balance.

01:01:55   There were some things last year that made me think about how I spend family time and wanting to try to increase that.

01:02:03   And that is definitely a thing that I accomplished.

01:02:06   There were a bunch of new things that I did, new experiences, some new business ventures.

01:02:12   There was a bunch of new stuff that was great because I had been able to redirect how I

01:02:20   spent some of my time into those new things.

01:02:22   Yeah, that's the balance.

01:02:24   It wasn't that you were necessarily seeking out these new things, but by redirecting your

01:02:29   time, new things could come to you.

01:02:34   It's kind of like that is the way I think that it ended up balancing out because I don't

01:02:39   know if you necessarily set out the year to be like, "I need some new business ventures!"

01:02:43   I don't know if necessarily that was what you were thinking.

01:02:46   Like when you open up space, things become available. So I feel like that was really

01:02:53   good. I guess in some ways I feel like I had much more of the advantages and fewer of the

01:02:59   disadvantages of being a self-employed person during the year of Redirection. Like I think

01:03:04   that's that's

01:03:06   Largely what happened like I did some analysis

01:03:09   I did like a like an 80/20 analysis of

01:03:12   Where where are the pain points in my life and where are the benefit points in my life and realized that was a little bit

01:03:18   off and worked to

01:03:20   Reduce the things that were causing pain and increase the number of things which were causing enjoyment

01:03:24   so I feel like that that's the summation of like your of redirection ended up being the year that I was able to

01:03:32   benefit more from being a self-employed person than I had in previous years.

01:03:36   Yeah, because you could do whatever you wanted, right?

01:03:39   There was more of that feeling of like, I can pick and choose and do the things that I want to do

01:03:44   without the feeling of like, I am bound into the things that I must do.

01:03:48   There was kind of a little bit more flexibility in there.

01:03:51   Yeah, I mean, I always think this, that there's a...

01:03:55   It's a thing I see with a lot of people and it's very natural for it to happen, but it's like...

01:04:02   I don't know how to phrase it, but there's this way that being successfully self-employed

01:04:09   you can end up just building yourself a golden cage.

01:04:13   And I feel like in 2016 I came a little close to that edge or closer to that edge than I

01:04:20   really want to be and that's a thing that I'm always very conscious of and then like

01:04:24   2017 was riding that ship a little better.

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01:06:06   So I have two themes for 2018 starting out, which is also being coupled with my

01:06:13   third theme, which is running into a June. Yeah, so you're gonna have three overlapping themes. That's what's gonna happen? Okay. Yeah

01:06:20   Yeah, well, okay, so it will make sense when you hear them. So so one of the themes of my year

01:06:24   Is the year of adulting I am gonna become a serious adult this year is

01:06:30   It's time to get serious because this year I turn 30 years old and I'm getting married

01:06:38   It's pretty serious. Yeah, I feel like these are pretty serious big adult things that will occur

01:06:45   So that's I know that's just gonna be a prevailing thing in in my life this year

01:06:49   year. I don't believe there are any significant actions to it, but they are just guiding a

01:06:56   lot of things that are happening. So especially my wedding, it is guiding a lot of activity

01:07:02   and focus this year in a way that I am going to take my foot off the gas a little bit more

01:07:10   with some work stuff this year because I have a very serious, big event going on. So that's

01:07:16   That's kind of a thought.

01:07:17   And really, I don't think that it will...

01:07:20   No one will see it, right?

01:07:21   It's kind of in a way less than what you did.

01:07:24   I'm not gonna pull back on a bunch of stuff, but it's just informing some things that I'm

01:07:29   gonna be doing and kind of how I'm gonna be approaching some projects that are existing

01:07:34   and new because I'm gonna be having this huge thing going on in my life this year, which

01:07:40   I'm very excited about.

01:07:43   But it's obviously gonna make an impact on me.

01:07:45   Which is a great thing about being self-employed

01:07:49   is that I'm able to make those decisions, right?

01:07:51   And it was like when I was buying the house

01:07:56   and I remember saying on the show about like,

01:07:58   it's like a job of its own and I don't know how people,

01:08:03   I just don't know how people do it, including me,

01:08:05   I don't know how I did it.

01:08:06   And it's a similar thing, like getting married,

01:08:10   it's like a job of its own.

01:08:13   And that's why there is an entire industry of wedding planners that exist, because it

01:08:18   is like a big, huge project to manage.

01:08:21   Yeah, it's a giant logistical challenge on many levels.

01:08:25   Yeah, probably the biggest logistical thing that I will ever be involved with.

01:08:30   So yeah, that's informing a lot.

01:08:32   So that's one thing, but there's less kind of actions from that.

01:08:36   And okay, so this might sound in contrast to the previous thing that I just spoke about,

01:08:43   let me try and explain 2018 will also be for me the year of branching out so I

01:08:50   have some things that I want to do I have some new things that I want to try

01:08:55   and I want to see if it's something that I'm able to do so like one of those

01:09:02   things is more live shows I love doing live shows and but they are there they're

01:09:10   real bear to a range and we did more in 2017 than we've done in 2016 and I want to continue

01:09:16   that. I don't have any handle on what that's going to be. I have no plan. We have no plan,

01:09:23   like significant plan right now, but we want to do more of them, right? So we want to hopefully

01:09:30   do one at WWDC this year, which we didn't do last year. So, you know, no plans, but

01:09:34   it's just hopes. And so that is a big thing because doing, anytime you add another live

01:09:40   show into the Canada like it's a it's a big logistical challenge and I am very

01:09:44   lucky in that I have Steven to manage that stuff. Steven is very good at

01:09:47   putting together live shows, my co-founder at Relay Event. It's something that he has

01:09:51   developed in his skill set but for me if I'm if I'm involved in hosting them that

01:09:57   is huge for me. So like before I do any type of live show I go into an almost

01:10:02   catatonic state. I can't talk to anybody and I really get kind of like focused on it in

01:10:11   a very significant way. Like for like an hour before I'm like sick. I don't even know what

01:10:19   it is. I don't know if it's nerves. I don't know where it comes from. I don't know if

01:10:23   it's stage fright. I don't know what it is because as soon as we start I'm great, fine.

01:10:27   I can do it.

01:10:28   But I feel like I always need to prepare more.

01:10:33   And so I kind of get into this zone for a while.

01:10:36   So there's always a lot to do,

01:10:38   but it's something that I get great pleasure from

01:10:40   when we do them.

01:10:41   I love doing it.

01:10:43   So we want to try and do more of that.

01:10:45   And then trying new ideas is probably

01:10:49   the bigger thing for me.

01:10:50   And I've made hints to this in the past

01:10:53   that there is an idea in my brain,

01:10:55   which is, it is a podcast idea.

01:10:57   I don't know if it's ever going to happen

01:11:01   because it's so different to anything else that I have done.

01:11:05   But I have been stewing on this idea for about six months

01:11:10   and it won't go away.

01:11:12   It keeps coming back.

01:11:13   - It's a good sign.

01:11:14   - Yeah, that's what, so that's that, okay,

01:11:17   so that's one of the big things, right?

01:11:20   2016 Myke would have already launched this project.

01:11:23   - Right.

01:11:24   But 2017 Myke learned to wait

01:11:27   So I'm still sitting on it

01:11:30   but it's something that I really want to do and I

01:11:34   saw Hamilton last week in London

01:11:38   and it's only made it worse because

01:11:41   Hamilton was created by one person and it is this

01:11:45   incredible

01:11:48   Incredible thing which I urge anyone to go and see if you can because it's probably the greatest single piece of media

01:11:55   I've ever consumed it is a tour de force. I can't believe it. I

01:11:59   Was just gonna say here like I haven't seen Hamilton

01:12:03   I was aware whatever was like last year when I first came out that I started hearing everybody in the world talk about and overhype

01:12:09   this thing

01:12:11   And I got like sick of hearing people talk about Hamilton and I was like, ah, this is ridiculous. Whatever

01:12:17   Like, this is just like a fad.

01:12:19   But then I felt like my mind was changed because I, uh, last year I watched Moana and I was like,

01:12:26   "Man, the music in this was just amazing. I just made this, this was so fantastic. Like,

01:12:30   this music is great." And I thought like, "This is one of the best movie watching experiences

01:12:34   I've had in a really long time." And I did a thing which I never do, which is like,

01:12:38   "Who made this movie?" And I looked up and it's like, "Oh, turns out that the guy who made

01:12:43   Hamilton did all the music for this and I was like, "Ah, okay, maybe this Hamilton thing is worth seeing."

01:12:51   Great, Hamilton is in London. It's gonna be here forever. Please try and get tickets to it. And I

01:12:57   advise anyone to do what I did because I think this is great. Don't listen to the music beforehand.

01:13:02   Experience it. Who would do that? Who would do that? So many people. Because honestly, you can

01:13:07   and it's fine and you can get it, but see it.

01:13:10   So obviously I am no delusion of grandeur here.

01:13:14   I don't think I can create something

01:13:16   that is of the scale of Hamilton.

01:13:19   - No, see that's what I'm hearing.

01:13:20   Myke's gonna make, right?

01:13:21   - Hamilton two.

01:13:23   - Myke's working on Jefferson right now.

01:13:25   - Yeah, that's what I'm doing.

01:13:26   But it was just, because what I wanna do is a big project,

01:13:31   is a huge project.

01:13:32   It's something that I don't know

01:13:33   if I have the skills or capabilities to do,

01:13:36   But seeing something created by one individual is very inspiring to me because it's like,

01:13:44   well, it shows that people are able to do these types of things.

01:13:48   So maybe I can make something that's okay.

01:13:52   So it's only basically what is happening to me is I have this idea and everything is inspiring

01:14:00   me.

01:14:01   Right?

01:14:02   So many things that I'm seeing are like pushing me to be like, see, you can do this stuff.

01:14:07   People can do this stuff. Maybe you can. So it's only feeding the flame. And yeah,

01:14:13   people could probably guess what I have going on in my mind if they pay attention to the clues.

01:14:18   If you guess it, you're probably right. But it's a project that I don't know if I had the

01:14:24   capability to do. But 2018, I will make the decision. By the end of this year,

01:14:30   I'll have either done it or I'm never gonna do it. I'm setting that for myself. It's like

01:14:35   You can't keep doing this forever. If you want to try and make a go of this thing. You've got to do it this year

01:14:42   So we'll see that's that's so my bigger theme this year is branching out trying some new big projects

01:14:49   But also being mindful of not just trying anything and everything that comes to my mind like I learned in 2017

01:14:56   Well, I look forward to seeing your enormous project at some point.

01:14:59   Or not seeing it.

01:15:00   Hamilton 2 coming to Broadway.

01:15:02   [Laughter]

01:15:04   Yeah, but I think that what you just said there is also a great point about deciding that you're going to do this thing or you're going to have to let it go.

01:15:15   Because otherwise you can't just keep having it in the back of your mind for forever.

01:15:19   And I think that's an interesting point to have with that.

01:15:24   So yeah, I wish you all the best of luck with that, Myke.

01:15:29   Thank you.

01:15:30   I hope it turns out well.

01:15:32   And all the live shows you're going to arrange.

01:15:34   That we're going to do, right?

01:15:36   How many live shows do you want to commit to? Ten?

01:15:38   Zero. Zero.

01:15:40   I'm committing to zero right now, Myke.

01:15:42   The Cortex World Tour.

01:15:44   Cortex World Tour.

01:15:46   How many dates do you have? Zero.

01:15:50   So what's your theme for 2018?

01:15:53   Okay, so we need a little bit of a run-up to this because

01:15:58   when I was recapping my year, it's mostly talking about how it was great. Like, year of redirection, very happy, things worked out well.

01:16:06   But there's an alternative name that I could have given that year, looking in retrospect.

01:16:13   And I think I could have called 2017, standing now at the beginning of 2018,

01:16:20   the year of chaos.

01:16:23   Because while I had cut back-

01:16:26   That would have been a really bad name to give it proactively.

01:16:29   Yeah, no, obviously.

01:16:31   Proactively, that's not the name to give the thing, but retroactively.

01:16:36   I think I'm going to always think of 2017 as like this year of chaos.

01:16:40   Because this year was just a year where I felt like

01:16:47   I never had any real consistent schedule for any significant length of time.

01:16:52   I feel like things were just all over the place and

01:16:56   Again, I do like to try to verify this kind of stuff

01:17:00   So when I was like reviewing all the documentation I had from the previous year the data

01:17:04   Totally bears this out that that last year was a year

01:17:09   That was just all over the place in every metric I can think of

01:17:13   and

01:17:15   So like one of the things I was mentioning before about the negative space and time tracking

01:17:19   I was looking over the year and I could see, like I wanted to see how well did I do with this time tracking?

01:17:24   And my mental framework is that on any particular day I should have 12 hours.

01:17:31   Like 12 hours is the bare minimum of competency.

01:17:35   14 hours is good and like 16 hours is the theoretical maximum of how much time I would be tracking in a day.

01:17:42   And the median day for the whole year was like 13 and a half hours, which I was pretty happy with.

01:17:48   But if you break it down by months, some months, I'm tracking

01:17:53   15 and a half hours a day, like I'm doing great. And a couple of months, particularly in the summer and in April,

01:18:00   I've got like six hours a day, right? Like total disaster across the board in terms of the time tracking.

01:18:07   And it's like, yeah, I remember those months. I remember I decided like, the hell with this,

01:18:11   I can't possibly do it at all.

01:18:12   So I just have like a string of zero days in a row because I'm like, I can't, I can't

01:18:16   psychologically deal with this today. I've just got too much.

01:18:18   And I looked at things like

01:18:22   records of exercise and like records of health and it's like

01:18:27   crazy lines all over the place of like how frequently frequent were you exercising? It's like crazy or like

01:18:34   like things with like other health stuff like diet stuff. It's like, okay. It's like, okay great

01:18:40   I have this stretch of time where everything is perfect. I was really focusing on and then it just goes to total disaster later

01:18:46   And I think a huge portion of that was just, I am not a person who was used to the travel,

01:18:54   so it's like I can see that it's like the calm pond of my life is totally destroyed with ripples and waves

01:19:02   every time a rock of an airplane is thrown into it.

01:19:04   And it's like this really takes things out of place.

01:19:08   But even on top of that, I can just see again from the records,

01:19:13   was really bad last year about things like weekly reviews and trying to stay on top of

01:19:19   stuff. I think it wasn't helped by my sort of abandoning task managers for a while as

01:19:26   well, which went into this theme of like a year of chaos.

01:19:29   Yeah, I still honestly still can't get my head around that. Like, I don't feel like

01:19:34   I was ever satisfied with the reasoning in which you were doing it. Like, it just never

01:19:39   clicked for me. I feel like that that was a mistake that you made in the year.

01:19:44   Well, I think I needed to pull back from some of that stuff. That was a little bit

01:19:49   of like, redirection. Like I'm going to just like let this kind of go. But so what

01:19:56   I feel like with last year, it had this experience where high level things

01:20:03   were really great. It was a really successful year. But on like the low

01:20:07   level it was totally this this like year of chaos so my theme for the upcoming

01:20:13   year is the year of order that there is going to be order in 2018 oh yeah yes

01:20:22   chaos to order so good yeah you've you've had a brainwave when you came up

01:20:29   with that one I like it it's been itching it's been under my skin for you

01:20:34   you know, maybe since mid-December I started thinking about this,

01:20:37   because as we were coming up to our year themes, I was like,

01:20:39   "I don't really have a year theme, like I'm just wishy-washy, like whatever."

01:20:42   And as I started to think about it, I was like, "This is what it is.

01:20:46   It's the year of order, it's 2018."

01:20:48   Um, and I've sort of started on this in some ways,

01:20:53   but there's like a sentence in my mind,

01:20:57   which I feel like is this guiding sentence for the year,

01:21:01   which is, like, the work isn't the work, the system is the work.

01:21:07   And so I feel like I've set up a bunch of stuff already to try to help with.

01:21:12   Like, okay, in the morning, like, you get up and the first thing that you do is the writing.

01:21:18   And like, it doesn't matter how much you write or if it's good at all,

01:21:22   because the system is the work, the work isn't the work.

01:21:25   Like, one of my real focuses this year is

01:21:29   I'm still expecting that there's going to be a lot of travel, like I can already see my calendar has a bunch of dates already in the future, like, oh god, here we go.

01:21:37   But I think there can be a real difference when I'm going into the year expecting and acknowledging, like, there is going to be travel, there are going to be disruptions,

01:21:49   but I cannot allow them to be as disruptive as they were last year.

01:21:54   like last year I was really caught off guard by a lot of that kind of stuff. So for me, one of the

01:22:00   things is like re-establishing a very clear schedule and sequence of habits to follow. Like that is one

01:22:10   of the big things for me in the year and it's really interesting because I'm coming back to you

01:22:18   off the end of a... of a...

01:22:20   Gragation, off...

01:22:22   in... the snowy wastelands,

01:22:25   meditating on this idea of the Year of Order.

01:22:28   - You're on a leadership retreat. - My wife literally has started to call these things that I do.

01:22:32   She's like, "You're going on corporate retreats for one?

01:22:34   - Like, that's what you're doing?" - Yeah.

01:22:36   And it's like, "Yes, that is 100% the case."

01:22:39   Set up a little table, name plaques, and then you move around the table,

01:22:42   depending on what you need to be talking about, you know?

01:22:45   Yeah, we do, I mean there's brainstorming on whiteboards of like where's the company gonna go for the next year

01:22:51   How do you build the human pyramid?

01:22:53   That's an excellent question

01:22:55   Wouldn't you like to know?

01:22:57   [laughter]

01:23:01   But so, here's the thing that was interesting to do

01:23:05   I had actually set up as part of the year of Redirection

01:23:10   I had set up in advance this period of time at the beginning of 2018 to be like this dedicated

01:23:16   Grey Incorporated company retreat and

01:23:19   Because it was really useful last year and like I want to do this again next year

01:23:23   But I was really aware that

01:23:25   When I do these trips normally I can very quickly get into like a great schedule and I had a freaking

01:23:33   brutal time this year

01:23:36   forcing my brain back into this regular schedule, and it was just like, "Ah, I can see, like, I'm just not

01:23:43   used to this because my year has been so chaotic

01:23:46   that my brain is like, fucking the idea that we've gotta, we've gotta bust out the order again."

01:23:53   And it was just, it was an interesting experience to have, like, it's taking me a lot of time to force this change, and

01:24:00   it reminded me of

01:24:02   back, back when I was adulting and

01:24:05   And when I did my teacher training program and realized, like, this is the first thing I've ever come up against in my life

01:24:12   where I can't just slack my way through, and I actually need to figure out, like, how to organize myself to be able to get things done.

01:24:20   And I remember that was a really difficult mental time of, like, "Man, I'm so used to just sliding on through life,

01:24:26   but suddenly I can't do that now, and I have to, like, become a different person in order to succeed in this endeavor."

01:24:31   So being on my corporate retreat, I was just aware of like, man, this is real evidence that the past year has been a very chaotic year

01:24:39   because this thing which is normally not a lot of effort for me to do, to like click back into a regular schedule, is actually quite hard for me to do.

01:24:47   Like even things like waking up at a consistent time in the morning, like just brutal.

01:24:52   But it's evidence that like, when I look at my health data, like my sleep schedule is all over the place for the past year.

01:24:57   So that's a big part of it, is this idea that it is the routine, like the routine is the work,

01:25:04   the work isn't the work, and I'm really going to be focusing on that a lot.

01:25:09   That's one of the really big things.

01:25:11   There is a little sub part of the Year of Order, which I haven't quite figured out precisely what this is yet,

01:25:21   but it comes out of the time tracking which is this idea of like a war on

01:25:27   unintentionally

01:25:29   so

01:25:31   one of the things with time tracking that I actually mentioned in those early episodes is I

01:25:35   Do try to keep track of what I think of is like

01:25:39   Unintentional time where I'm doing something, but it's not really like on purpose

01:25:45   I'm not being intentional about the thing that I'm doing and

01:25:48   so I

01:25:50   I have this idea that like part of the year on order there's like a sub front

01:25:54   Which is the war on unintentionality and so that that can be things like

01:25:58   For example social media like spending less time on social media or the time that I spend on social media is more

01:26:06   Intentional rather than unintentional

01:26:10   So that's that's a thing like looking over my time tracking data is I find the amount of

01:26:17   intentionality time registered in the last year. It's like, it's too much. I don't like it and

01:26:22   I feel like I want a much higher percentage of the time in my life to be

01:26:27   intentional versus

01:26:30   unintentional. So that's that's another like part of this idea, but that part is much

01:26:35   less well formed than just the idea of like

01:26:39   2018 is the year of order. I'm gonna bring order to the world.

01:26:43   So jealous of your name.

01:26:45   You really went from just like atrocious name to excellent name, right?

01:26:52   2017 was just bad name and 2018 is real good name.

01:26:56   But it has to be because I really think I could not survive another year of redirection.

01:27:03   Like I think I would just I would just lose it if I had another unstructured year.

01:27:08   Like the redirection year was like just a course correction change.

01:27:11   You can't do that every year forever. Like that's not how that works, right?

01:27:16   Restructuring things takes some time and you do it once and then you do it again in like five years time

01:27:22   Like it would be pointless to do what you did last year every year because you'd never get anything done

01:27:29   Constantly changing your business but not actually producing anything. It's not really a benefit to that

01:27:35   Yeah, so anyway, there we go. Year of order 2018. Oh, man

01:27:41   And I just, as you said that, I just got a push notification in Todoist that just says

01:27:47   to work on big project idea.

01:27:48   Calling to you Myke.

01:27:51   I want to thank FreshBooks for their support of this show.

01:27:54   Please take it upon yourself, if you are a freelancer, to sign up for FreshBooks.

01:28:00   Now is the time.

01:28:01   I'm going to mention it again.

01:28:02   It's New Year's time.

01:28:03   It's time to make some changes.

01:28:05   Make this your yearly theme to get your finances in order and one of the ways to do that in

01:28:11   is to sign up for FreshBooks. We have been using them for our invoices since day one

01:28:16   of Relay FM and it has drastically reduced the amount of time, aggravation and hassle

01:28:21   it takes for me to get my job done. FreshBooks can save up to 192 hours for freelancers with

01:28:27   their cloud accounting software because it's so easy to use. You get notifications that

01:28:32   tell you what you need to be focused on. You can automate late payment email reminders

01:28:36   so you don't have to spend time chasing people. You can even see when somebody's looked at

01:28:40   your invoice. It's more than just invoices, you can set up projects with your clients

01:28:51   and share documents. You can also have all of your expenses run through. It's a full

01:28:56   system. If you're not using Freshbooks yet, now is the time to try it because they are

01:29:01   offering an unrestricted 30 day free trial for Cortex listeners with no credit card required.

01:29:06   Just go to freshbooks.com/cortex and when it tells you how did you hear about them,

01:29:13   say that you heard about them from this very show.

01:29:16   Our thanks to FreshBooks for their continued support of the Cortex Podcast and Relay FM.

01:29:21   So I asked from the Cortex Twitter account @_CortexFM if you're interested in following

01:29:27   the account for some Ask Cortex questions related to yearly themes.

01:29:32   We have answered throughout the course of this conversation a lot of them. There were

01:29:37   actually quite a few surprising amount of people that wanted to know about time tracking.

01:29:41   So there you go. You've got it, right? Those of you who care about time tracking, you've

01:29:44   definitely got that conversation this time. But there were a couple that I wanted to ask

01:29:49   you and for us to think about. Tony asked, "How do your themes inform your use of devices

01:29:56   and/or your favorite apps?" Now, I could say for me, one of the big projects

01:30:02   that I'm trying to work on requires a lot more planning than usually a show that I would

01:30:07   do requires. It needs more writing to it, it needs more thought, it needs more outlining.

01:30:12   So I'm more heavily using notes than I would typically. I will be using Bear more for longer

01:30:19   pieces of writing. And I'm thinking about using something like an app like MindNode,

01:30:25   which is like a mind mapping application to try and plan out some big things, some big

01:30:31   overarching ideas and to try and get my thoughts more compiled. So I think that because of

01:30:37   the way that me and you work, the themes always inform the app choices because this is how

01:30:43   we get our work done is with these apps. So it does change. I mean, I guess for you, year

01:30:48   of order will mean finally getting your project management in check.

01:30:53   Yeah, we can talk about that on another show, but yes.

01:30:55   [Laughter]

01:30:57   I'll say that there's, um...

01:30:59   Two years ago, one of the things that I did, which I need to do again for a variety of reasons,

01:31:06   is I actually-- I sat down with

01:31:08   GoodNotes, my favorite handwriting app, and I was just writing out what all of the devices

01:31:14   were in my life. Like, okay, which iPads and computers do I have? Like, where are they? Like, what's--

01:31:19   Here's-- I have a phone. I have a watch.

01:31:22   And I just sat down with that list for a long time and sort of thought very intentionally about what are each of these devices for.

01:31:31   And so I think this is a thing that people don't really do, like they just sort of happen to let devices do whatever.

01:31:39   But I'm a big fan of artificial restrictions around devices.

01:31:45   And I'm definitely intending to again sit down and really think through

01:31:52   what is the minimum viable use for the various devices in my life.

01:31:57   I'm not interested in devices that can do absolutely everything all the time.

01:32:01   I'm interested in being really intentional about what they can do.

01:32:05   When I was doing it two years ago, part of what I was thinking about is

01:32:09   what notifications can be seen where.

01:32:13   and what devices do I have access to at different times in the day

01:32:17   and so therefore what kinds of things do I want to be able to do on them

01:32:21   and then setting up the devices as much as is possible

01:32:24   so that those actions are the only things that are possible to do on those devices

01:32:30   so I feel like the year theme fits into that

01:32:34   because it's the idea of what do you want these devices to do for you in your life

01:32:39   And with the Year of Order, I definitely have a bunch of restructuring to do with all of the devices in my life.

01:32:46   And Jonathan asks, "What tools or mechanisms do you use to keep track of your yearly themes?

01:32:50   Do you review your progress frequently?"

01:32:53   Do you do anything like this?

01:32:55   There are things, like I have a bunch of questions that I kind of work through.

01:32:58   And yeah, one of the questions is, it's not exactly a question, but it's like a, it's a note at the top of the document that like this is the year of whatever.

01:33:06   and that's a thing that just exists to keep it more present in my mind as the year is going along.

01:33:11   But what about you?

01:33:12   I don't think I have a necessary structure, because the first time I did it was last year,

01:33:16   and the thing that I was doing, which was time tracking, in and of itself is a review which is constant.

01:33:22   So it wasn't really like I had to sit down and... I don't do the reviews the way that you do.

01:33:27   That's not a thing that I do.

01:33:28   Especially as well, a lot of my work is kind of,

01:33:33   it's self-structured in that way.

01:33:36   - That's true, yeah.

01:33:37   - I am very focused on quarter to quarter

01:33:39   because that's how my business operates.

01:33:42   So I don't really have to sit down

01:33:44   and do a performance review of myself

01:33:47   because I can see it on a spreadsheet

01:33:50   how the business is doing and course correct where needed.

01:33:55   I mean, maybe if I want to continue doing my year

01:33:58   of branching out, it might require more reviews

01:34:01   because these are things which are bigger than numbers.

01:34:05   These are different things.

01:34:06   Like last year, I could still really look at numbers more,

01:34:10   and those numbers were in and of themselves

01:34:12   just easy to see how it was going.

01:34:15   But my branching out stuff, it's a lot more fluffy

01:34:18   than last year's goals, right?

01:34:20   So it may require some progress reviews.

01:34:23   I haven't worked that out yet, but it's probably something I should think about.

01:34:27   And Jeff asked, what is some advice you would give to someone looking to get their theme in place?

01:34:32   Oh, number one advice. Don't try to do it quickly.

01:34:37   Yeah.

01:34:37   Like don't listen to this show and think, I have an idea for a theme

01:34:42   and my theme for the year is going to be this.

01:34:44   Like, I think what has happened in all of these cases is it's been a kind of slow build.

01:34:51   this idea of like, "hmm, I think I need a theme for the year"

01:34:55   or like, "what is my theme for the year going to be?"

01:34:57   and

01:34:58   it's useful to have that as something that's on the back burner

01:35:05   and not something that you just instantly decide

01:35:08   because if you feel like you go into this state where

01:35:10   you're thinking about what the theme should be

01:35:13   I feel like that helps you be more observant

01:35:16   in your own life about what needs to happen

01:35:18   like, and that's definitely what happened to me this year

01:35:20   where coming out of the year of chaos I thought like, "Oh, my chaotic life doesn't need a year theme."

01:35:26   But simply being aware like, "Oh, I'm going to talk to Myke about it at the end of January,"

01:35:30   started booting up a little process where I noticed and thought much more about

01:35:35   how my life was going and the things that I wanted to change in my life.

01:35:38   So without a doubt, don't be hasty with your year themes, right?

01:35:43   Like, let it simmer for a while.

01:35:45   Like the idea of yearly themes came to me when you started talking about the year of less

01:35:50   I didn't have a theme that year

01:35:51   I have a theme the next year because we spent the entire year talking about themes

01:35:57   So it like was embedding in my mind. So honestly I would say

01:36:00   Try it if you think that yearly themes are good then aim to have one in 2019

01:36:06   But spend this next year with that in mind and you know, maybe you could do what I did

01:36:11   did maybe in June come up with a six month themes like a theme for the rest of your year

01:36:16   but if something isn't jumping out to you immediately like of course that's what it

01:36:20   is like it's the clouds have parted and the idea has come to your mind then just spend

01:36:25   some time rolling around this idea in your brain that you want to have a yearly theme

01:36:30   listen to us talking about our themes as we progress throughout the year and stuff like

01:36:33   that and then work out what yours could be just through kind of like osmosis of having

01:36:37   this thinking don't push it.

01:36:41   Or I might suggest if you want to get started a little sooner, it might be perfectly fine

01:36:47   to do like how I review my life in terms of like seasons, like thinking about things more

01:36:52   intentionally every season.

01:36:54   Quarterly.

01:36:55   Maybe start smaller.

01:36:56   As it tends to be called gray quarterly, remember.

01:36:57   Like this is how everybody else in the world works.

01:36:58   No, I like seasons, right?

01:36:59   No, I like it.

01:37:00   I know this how you like it.

01:37:01   It's much better.

01:37:02   It's much more romantic, Myke, to call it a season.

01:37:06   Of course it is.

01:37:07   But is that what we, is that how we think of our work now?

01:37:09   Romance.

01:37:10   I appreciate the vague boundaries of seasons.

01:37:13   I don't like the precision of the quarter.

01:37:15   I like the vague boundary of the season.

01:37:17   So I think also maybe breaking it down

01:37:21   into smaller chunks like that might be helpful

01:37:23   for just starting out a little bit.

01:37:26   But yeah, I think that the not starting urgently

01:37:29   is the main thing.

01:37:30   - Yeah, until next time.

01:37:31   - Until next time, good luck with your year themes.