My daughter had her first two snow days ever this week as we got what many parts of the world would consider barely a dusting of snow (10cm). We got some time out in the snow as a family, and generally had a good time.

I’ve been talking to the patreon supporters about paying myself first, and this week I did a good job of that. I read and wrote almost every day of the week before I did anything for anyone else.

Are you paying yourself first in the day by getting something you value done before you dive into what everyone else thinks is a priority?

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday I published something that is not a complete review of Things 3. I’ve been using Things 3 as part of my hybrid productivity system for a bit now and very much liking how the mix of the notebook and a digital task manager is going. One thing of note, I rarely make future commitments for myself in Things 3, because it’s so easy to overcommit when you can’t see everything coming up across projects.

Wednesday I talked about the job of a parent. No, it’s not to make your kids like you. My wife and I agree that it’s all about helping them become productive adults.

That’s it, which feels like a light week actually. I do have a few more vlogs coming and may increase their frequency if it all comes together.

Friday Five

1. Kids act like we act

After reading this piece by Austin Kleon, I was reminded of what I wrote recently about cutting device time for my kids.

Putting them both together, if I want my kids to spend less time on devices and bugging me about device time I need to be on my stuff less. They see what I do and judge that as normal so if they’re always asking to be on an iPad or watch TV, what actions have they seen me perform that has made this state of affairs normal to them?

2. Cutting kid device time

In this great article on letting kids be bored here is one highlight.

When not being uberparented, kids today are left to their own devices — their own digital devices, that is. Parents preparing for a long car ride or airplane trip are like Army officers plotting a complicated land maneuver. Which movies to load onto the iPad? Should we start a new family-friendly podcast? Is this an O.K. time to let the kids play Fortnite until their brains melt into the back seat? What did parents in the ’70s do when kids were bored in the way-back? Nothing! They let them breathe in gas fumes. Torture their siblings. And since it wasn’t actually for wearing, play with the broken seatbelt.

We’ve been doing much less device time for kids over the last few months and pretty quick they stopped even asking. They’re happily playing right now and do so more and more without prompting me for stuff to do.

It’s nice and I wonder why I would bring back regular device time at all.

Also, why is it suddenly okay for me to have so much more device time outside of work?

3. You Can’t Buy Time

Great video shared on Signal V. Noise.

Monday I shared what went well and what was bad about my 2018. One of my conclusions is that I’m way to busy, in that I feel rushed so much of the time. This isn’t a good thing.

I say this in the midst of a week where I’m doing calls for a client to help them understand their customers so that we can develop content for them. I look at my week and I have 5 – 8 calls booked in it. In fact, the first week we took calls I really hadn’t blocked out any time for myself and being slow.

I quickly fixed that for the second week and all weeks moving forward but I instantly felt fear at how much was going on when I saw what was on my calendar that first week.

If the statement that “busy is the new stupid” is true, what is your intelligence at right now? Do you have the time needed to think? Would you like it? I’d love to help.

4. Shawn Blanc and Do Not Disturb

Shawn after talking about family dinner and interruptions:

That’s why, for the month of February (at least) during the evening hours between 5:00 until 7:30 pm, both my wife and I are putting our phones in Do Not Disturb and leaving them in another room.

I have DND on all the time except for my wife sending me text messages. That means when I take my phone out of my pocket I don’t get randomly annoyed by things and I have to be intentional when I’m not hanging with the kids.

My iPad has no notifications except for Things and all that can bug me about is my daily shutdown routine.

The freedom you get when you cut random distractions is amazing.

5. I cut 50% of my list once

CJ Chilvers:

The goal of my newsletter is to connect with my readers. It’s a simple, clear goal, but it’s not easy to maintain. Higher open rates on fewer emails are worth vastly more to me than lower open rates on many emails.

Because of this, I periodically unsubscribe large numbers of readers from my newsletter who haven’t opened an issue in a long time. This time it was around 400 people.

I once cut 50% of my list for the same reason. I think I need to make this a yearly practice. Maybe part of organizing my new year so maybe you’ll be unsubscribes in 2020.

2 responses to “Freelance Friday 042 – Feb 15 2019”

  1. PAUL FOOTE Avatar

    “…if I want my kids to spend less time on devices and bugging me about device time I need to be on my stuff less.”

    This is nonsense, Curtis. If you want your kids to be off their devices then tell them to get off. You’re their father, they should obey you. You have good reason to be on your devices – you are earning a living for your family. Send the kids off to play with their Legos and stop over-worrying about setting a good example. I’m sure you are doing just fine.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Yes I do earn a living with my devices, but not by watching Netflix and YouTube videos at the counter when I’m telling them to go play with Lego. Sounds like the “old” do as I say idea. Kids learn so much more from what they observe us doing than from what we tell them to do.

      I certainly don’t think that I’m terrible either, but that I need to be more conscious of my mindless time wasting with a screen.