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Issue #45: Set yourself up for success


James Costa

February 20 · Issue #45 · View online

A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

It can feel like we’re fighting against ourselves at times to be productive. We feel overwhelmed, but keep fighting to do more. We have days where we feel like we’re on fire, and days where we’re crashing and burning. We blame it all on external factors we have no control over because we don’t want to think we have any control over it, and as if doing so would admit some sort of grave failure.
When managing a team we see much of the same: how can one person be so focused on one day, and a complete mess the next? While we can’t see every factor affecting each person we manage, we look at the factors we can affect and associate those things with the needs a team member has to be successful. We adjust our management style for individuals, and make sure people are supported.
But why don’t we do that for ourselves?
We need to take time to understand our own habits and the factors that affect the way we work. Then we need to do something about it. I believe when we understand the factors that lead us to success we’re more apt to say no to things, be rigid about our schedules, and are more proactive. In essence: we’re positioning ourselves for success, and when doing so can have a major impact on our anxiety.
Look at today: I’m sending this email out late because I picked up a last-minute game of ball hockey with my neighbor and was so sore that I couldn’t get myself to wake up from a nap. It’s easy to blame the issue on ball hockey, or that I’m completely out-of-shape: but when you look at little deeper you can get a sense of the habits that can impact success. Could I have written the email before leaving? Did I have to say yes? As we understand these trends we can make better decisions.
I’m most successful when I’m proactive in clearing the way for myself. Sundays I take time to look at the week ahead and get a sense of any glaring issues in my calendar. Each night I look at my next day’s calendar and walk through the day in my head: where / how am I traveling, and what do I need? I’ll often try and figure out how I can move around the least and be most effective, or even give myself more time to do so. This mindset applies to the day-to-day as well: instead of trying to meet with everyone right away, I try and adjust my schedule to have more time to breathe. I thought for a while that people might hate me for taking more time, but I’ve found I’ve had better interactions with people.
Take a moment today to look ahead at tomorrow and ask yourself what you can do to set yourself up for success. Take the time, understand your trends, and stop blaming other people, factors, or the weather: you’ve got this.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or replying to this email to tell me you actually read this, it would mean the world to me.

Think of it like this: We are a Product Experience Team (PXT)
How to Close a Gender Gap: Let Employees Control Their Schedules
Modesty, First Principles and Opportunities for Startups
What Can You Expect from Working at Toggl?
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin
So, I got the AirPods and I’m pretty proud of them. While I’m bummed you can’t adjust the volume on them without the device you’re streaming music from, I love the range of sound and crisp, clear quality I get that (especially with the W2 chip). I do, however, I tend to look like someone with ear expanders.
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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