I have a pretty significant pressure on my head to produce. I've gotten really good about making creative output a routine but there is still always a significant amount of things that need to be done.
That being said, how do we accomplish all that we want to do with the little time that we have? This podcast addresses time management and how to focus to achieve the results you're looking for.
- Put everything you want to do on paper - Start with a spreadsheet. Using a spreadsheet allows you to use each line to create specific tasks associated with your overall mission. You absolutely must break things down, compartmentalize and focus on the process. If you don't do this you're going to get discouraged by all that you want to do because looking at everything at once will make you feel overwhelmed. I always refer back to people like Elon Musk. How is it that he is able to manage Tesla, Space X, the Boring Company and anything else he has going on while at the same time knowing nearly every part of the rockets Space X sends into space? It's because he undoubtedly has it on paper and knows how to compartmentalize it.
- Develop processes for what you are doing and delegate the tasks - My skillset is really broad, but I know there are people out there that can do the things I need done just as good as me or better. A lot of times they can do them better than me. My job is in being the visionary not always the executor. A general may stand at the front lines with his men, but he is not always going to be in the planes with the pilots. It's impossible to be everywhere at once and do everything yourself. I have been extremely guilty of this in the past and present but I have to continually remind myself that assembling a team is essential to my own success as well as creating opportunities for others.
- Take care of your body and mind - I am probably the last person that should be writing this point because everybody knows I can be a party animal at times. Even if I do decide to get wasted, smoke and drink or whatever, I still ride my bike 14 miles at least 5 times per week and I still eat a largely plant based diet. This allows me to sustain in ways that impresses other people. I even went into the doctor because I was having chest pains and he laughed at me when I explained my routine. I told him I wanted to quit smoking and he exclaimed that it's amazing how great of shape I'm in. That's not an excuse to continue bad behaviors, but the point is that I know when my body is out of whack. Lack of sleep amongst other things contributes to this imbalance that will ultimately affect your creative output.
- Don't spend time with people that are not contributing to your evolution - I am an expert cave dwelling mammal. I do not leave the cave unless there is a benefit to doing so. While I enjoy going to the bar from time to time to get ride of my cabin fever, I do not build strong relationships with the regulars. At the end of the day, if you are going to a bar every night, you have succumbed to an addiction. Addiction to alcohol or addiction to human interaction and validation, whatever. I understand why people do it, but even if I have a problem with alcohol, I can at least drink a 6 pack and bang out 2 or 3 new songs in a night. That's entirely different than exchanging banter with strangers or acquaintances up at the bar. This is why I am highly discriminatory with who I spend my time with. Nobody is entitled to your time, so be careful who you allocate it to. If you have family and children, that's different, they are entitled to your time. Well, they aren't but in good faith I would say they are because if you're absent that's going to cause problems. That's why I have been single for so long. It's because I don't want to build a family I'm not ready to support entirely.
- Know when to chill out and take a break - I call this putting it down for at least three days. When I feel overwhelmed or stir-crazy, I do wild shit like drive my camper 700 miles from my house into the desert for some solace like I did in the You're So Lucky Podcast. This is my waste gate valve relieving pressure so I can shift to a higher gear at a later time. Humans are not designed to grind endlessly. Even racecars and aircraft need downtime to initiate repairs. This is what you're doing when you "take a vacation". Many entrepreneurs say "No Vacations!!" That's true, you shouldn’t take vacations if that means going to a resort to escape your real life and binge drink. That is escapism. I'm talking about taking a break or doing something to deepen your understanding of the world. When I backpacked through Mexico, I was gone for 37 days. (I think it was about 37. Between 35-38 days). It was a lot of days...Anyways, I learned a lot about the world from that experience that has enabled me to deepen my art and my work. It also gave me the perspective I needed to continue on with my life's journey. That's what it means to chill out. Give yourself a break so that you can return to what you were doing invigorated.
- Clear out the distractions - At the very moment of writing this post, I was contacted by a friend I met traveling that says she is coming through Dallas. While I am happy to help, the fact that I made myself accessible on social media now gives people the opportunity to make themselves a distraction for me. It sounds harsh, but it's true. While this situation has nothing to do with that person personally, people are naturally looking for help and distractions in their own lives so they may unconsciously use you as a conduit to doing that. Gals that want to hang out because they are bored and want you to entertain them amongst other things become distractions in your life that do not contribute to your overall mission. It is not your job to keep people entertained unless there is a benefit to you doing so. By all means you should entertain a gal if you have intentions with her or if you want to be with her. By all means hang out with musician friends if they want to rehearse a set that you all can play out in public for money. Beyond that, if you are not using these experiences to either generate income, deepen your understanding of the world, improve as a person or deepen your art, it is a distraction. Everybody knows how I feel about social media and the distracting effects it has on your life and work. The same can be said about Netflix, Hulu and other entertainment platforms that keep your mind occupied with needless experiences that are not serving you a tangible benefit.
- Start Creating - I could say all kinds of deep shit about creation. If you want to use religion as an example, there is a reason why God is called the Creator. He is called the Creator because he used his force to fulfill a mission and a vision. You have this same force within you and regardless of what your religious beliefs are, this force is within every human. The more conscious you are the more you become aware of its power. The bottom line is that Creation is the Creation is the god force speaking through you. It's like God's way of exercising you of the heavy weight that bears on your soul. It's also his way of getting you to fulfill your purpose. You should listen to what this intuitive force says and allow it to guide you. It will put you where you need to be. One of my greatest successes is that I have always listened to this voice. This guiding light or "gut feeling". It is always right and I never fear for my future when I listen to the force.
- Limit your use of drugs and alcohol - In the 14 things a Real Artist does podcast, I describe the contextual use of mind-altering substances. Some drugs and alcohol can in fact open up parts of your mind and soul that allow you to have a different perspective on your current situation. When I say you must limit their use, I mean what I say. Over indulging in things beyond them serving their purpose sets you up for spiritual attack. This is why I have never done and will never do hard drugs. Hard drugs are not from this earth and rarely serve benefits to their users. What they do is open up portals to thoughts, ideas and worlds that you should not be in and when you go there you bring thoughts, ideas, people, and entities back with you that are meant to set you off of your path. In other podcasts and writings I talk about Black Eye Syndrome. This is where someone becomes so intoxicated that their pupils swell and I can see the proverbial devil occupying a majority of their present state. I've been guilty of this. When I binge drink, I may not even remember things that happen after a certain time. I might later see pictures of myself where it appears that I have blackish eyes. This is what I'm talking about. Black Eye Syndrome is a temporary possession. It's basically the Devil temporarily occupying more of your present state than the "Angel". You can learn more about that in my podcast the 14 Things a Real Artist Does. I have lots of thoughts on this but I am going to leave it at that for now.
- Fight the urge to compare yourself to others - I know I am better off than most people. I also know that I am small compared to the giants I look up to. Living in the world of the Fake Guru, Fake Artist and Fake people in general that serve pictures of themselves all over social media does not give an accurate depiction of the actual story. Extremely beautiful women that post their bodies all over social media for likes may have been neglected at children, which leads them to seek constant validation from others. Everybody wants to be famous, but what they really want is love and appreciation. Because they don't get that in their current situations, they look to social media systems to provide that. What this does is create a cyclical downward spiral in which you base your self worth on external forces that are not serving you a benefit. Eventually every pop princess ages, every instagram model will be replaced with a hotter one. Focusing on becoming a master worthy of praise in whatever you aspire to achieve is what attracts sustainable attention that will serve you more benefit that just trying to one-up someone else. I for example know that there are many guitar players that are far superior than myself. I also know that I have many other skills that they don't, like the ability to transcend genres and create my own genre. This is a prime example of what it means to focus on mastery of ones self as opposed to becoming a master at deception or master at being liked by others. Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to agree with you, but you will attract the right people if you focus on who it is that you are and who you want to be.
- Look outside yourself so you can improve inside - This is similar to point #5 about putting it down and taking a break. More of what I'm talking about here is expressing interest in the endeavors of others that interest you. My friend Ben does a podcast called Garagenoise. I special guested on there and found it to be an enriching experience because it allowed me to step into a world other than my own and live there for a short time. If I think something is cool, I will explore it. One time my friend invited me to fly a private jet-training simulator. I always wanted to be a pilot, so this was a welcomed opportunity to step into someone else's world and learn. I have many examples of this. Mexico could also be used as an example. Stepping into a foreign country forces you to find commonality with others and really bridge the gap between who you truly are vs. what people perceive you to be in your existing life. I loved going to Mexico because it made me an outsiders. You can learn more about that in the podcast I did called What I Learned About Life Driving My Camper Through Mexico.
Lastly, performing music or collaborating with other artists is a prime example of going outside yourself. This is one reason I started rapping. I had a friend front me a song that he wanted me to complete a verse on. As a writer and songwriter that was a new thing for me to do, but I tried it out. It opened up a new world to me, which has made me a stronger artist as a result. I wouldn't even say it's getting outside your comfort zone. What this is doing is teaching you how to tap your untapped potential. Through the process of learning how to rap I identified a significant ability to transfer emotions in a way and a voice that could not have been done through other mediums. It's an interesting phenomenon. When I first started singing and playing guitar at the same time the feeling I got was no different. At one time I thought I couldn't sing. Then I applied myself and kept training my voice until I was satisfied with how it sounded. The rest is history. Now I am pleased with the way I sing as well as others. While singing and playing were not a result of me collaborating with other artists, the fact is that collaboration may help you identify other talents that you can expound on.
These are my thoughts on How to Tame the Beast. I might write more later, but that's all I have for now!