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The “One Thing” I’m Doing That Will Make A Big Difference

Eric in Bali - profile pictureI’ve started a process that’s changing my entire attitude about life and work. Day by day, this powerful catalyst will allow me to transform myself and the way I approach everything I do.

10 days ago I consciously started two new daily habits. I’ve been consistent and motivated, and taken care of these two things every day, even when I didn’t feel like it.

I’ve committed myself to 30 days, then if things have gone well, another 30, so that they truly become habits. Once I’ve instilled them as habits, I know it will get MUCH easier.

What are these two magic things? These are two little hinges that will swing the door of my life and work. I’ll tell you about them in a little while, but first, it’s important to know the back story.

FOCUSING ON “THE ONE THING” AT A TIME

The-One-Thing-bookAs an independent entrepreneur, I continually struggle with focus and always have more tasks on my To Do list than I can possibly accomplish. On my plate are things I know I should do, or want to do, or have promised to do.

Day by day, I chip away at whatever is in front of me, but all too often, I find that at 5 pm, I still haven’t done “the thing” that I told myself was important to do that day. I had answered everyone’s emails, taken care of lots of little things, but not focused or prioritized well.

I realized that I needed help with this core issue, and discovered two very inspiring and practical books that I highly recommend:

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months – by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

The-12-Week-Year-bookThey both deal with focus and prioritizing what’s important by setting specific goals in line with your long-term vision and mission.

I created a 12 Week Plan that lays out what I’m setting out to accomplish in that time frame, broken up into weekly task lists and targets. To have success with this system, it’s important to start each day by reviewing the planning document, seeing where things stand, and deciding what to focus on and when.

I’ve never been very good at planning my days or my long term goals. When I have a specific project, such as launching the Masters of ArchiCAD Summit, there is urgency and I make sure the most important things get done. However when it’s more long term, my efforts are sporadic and vulnerable to getting sidetracked with the many small but seemingly urgent tasks that each day brings up. And I’m often jumping from task to task, or multi-tasking, rather than focusing on one thing and getting it done.

My usual solution when I realize that I haven’t taken care of things that need to get done that day is to go back to my desk in the evening and work until midnight or 2 am, whatever it takes. Of course, this is not healthy, and impacts my family and my enjoyment of life, as well as my health.

And since I am always a bit tired from the long day before, with a never-ending task list, my only exercise has been my 15 minute walk to Peet’s Coffee each morning (where I work for an hour or two on my laptop) and walking the dog with my wife a few times a week.

MY MAGIC BULLET

  1. When I get to Peet’s Coffee and settle down with my Latté and my laptop, instead of starting by going through my email, I’m reviewing my Weekly Plan and setting out my priorities for the day. Even though I may not get everything done, I’m making sure that first thing in the day I’m getting in touch with my “most important” goals and tasks, so I can make effective choices.
  2. After going through emails and doing some writing or other creative work at the café, I go home and do a workout (for the first time in years). I’m using the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout app on my iPhone, which guides me through a series of exercises. They’re scientifically designed to alternate muscle groups with 30 second intervals of vigorous or isometric exercises, getting the maximum out of a short workout (you can do longer sessions, up to 20 minutes, with this app).

Johnson-and-Johnson-7-Minute-Workout-appThe daily planning process will lead me to making more effective choices of how to focus my time throughout the day, and ultimately, getting traction on the most important things in my work and life.

The daily workout sessions will give me more strength and fitness, as well as more energy to enjoy life and work even more effectively. This is an investment in my body and my life that will pay many types of dividends.

In the book The One Thing, the authors point out that trying to be extremely disciplined with everything in life is awfully hard, and that “will power” to follow through usually falters and gets used up while pushing through challenging tasks. They recommend choosing and developing productive habits, instilling each one by doing it consistently over a period of two months. Once it becomes a habit, it takes virtually no will power to do it, so you reap the rewards without expending as much effort.

I feel really excited as I create these two specific habits, since they will definitely help make everything else in my life flow more easily. I’ll share my progress with you from time to time, and look forward to sharing the journey with you if you choose to try something like this yourself.

I’d love to read your thoughts. Can you relate to my feeling of having too many tasks on an endless To Do list? Have you ever tried anything like this? Please click here to post a comment…

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My 60th Birthday Celebration – Three Gifts for You

Eric Bobrow, ArchiCAD GuruIn honor of my big 6-0 (which is TODAY), I’m offering you three special gifts:

1) Hangout with me in a one-time-only event April 28 as I share some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the past 60 years.

In this exclusive, behind-the-scenes online session I’ll reveal for the first time the 7 top strategies that form the touchstones of my success in business and in personal life.

2) Get a great deal on any of my products in my big 60th birthday sale.

If you’ve been thinking of investing in yourself, now is a great time to do it.

3) At the end of this post I share personal thoughts on turning 60.

Two life-changing events coincide and make this day especially poignant.

(1) SPECIAL 60TH CELEBRATION HANGOUT APRIL 28

On April 28 at 12 Noon PDT you are invited to hangout online with me in a unique 60 minute event celebrating my 60 years on the planet.

I’ll share some of my personal story, then reveal for the first time the 7 key success strategies that I’ve figured out over the past 25 years running my own business.

These are my touchstones – the things I think about working day to day as well as creating long-term strategic plans. They help me in business and in personal life.

My close friend and business partner Enoch Sears (host of the Business of Architecture podcast) will guide me and make sure that we share a really special hour together.

On this private session I’ll reveal:

  • The two simple strategies used by Richard Branson and Bill Gates to build billion-dollar companies (and how you can apply them to be more profitable without doing more work)
  • The one tactic that can flip the way potential clients view your services (and draw them to you with irresistible psychological forces)
  • How get more work done in less time (while growing your business and working more on the things you enjoy)

This call is invite-only. Just one of these ideas could be a game-changer for you.

This high-leverage information and direct business coaching comes from decades of experience. There will be gems that provide a tremendous amount of value to everyone who attends.

I’d like to make sure that everyone can afford to join me, so I’m making it available at 3 price levels:

NOTE: All levels give you equal access to the event.
The difference is in the size of your birthday gift!

If you’ve received great value from my teaching, feel free to thank me and help me celebrate with a higher level ticket purchase.

This session will NOT be made available publicly. The only way to hangout with me and learn my 7 key strategies is to buy a ticket. If you can’t attend live on April 28, you’ll get access to the recording.

I look forward to sharing this special occasion with you.

(2) BIG 60TH BIRTHDAY SALE

If you’ve been thinking about buying any of my products…

  • ArchiCAD training to help you get the most out of this powerful software…
  • MasterTemplate to maximize your productivity on ArchiCAD projects…
  • Marketing training to help you grow your design business…

My 60th Birthday Celebration Sale is a great time to invest in yourself!

For the next week, grab this opportunity to celebrate my 60th and get a fantastic deal on any of my products.

I’m going to make this as easy as possible for you to take advantage of this special opportunity. For every one of these products, you’ll have a full 60 days to pay with no interest (pay 1/3 down, 1/3 in 30 days, 1/3 in 60 days).

BEST PRACTICES COURSE

The most comprehensive training resource for ArchiCAD
Includes basics (QuickStart Course), intermediate and advanced video lessons PLUS membership in my ArchiCAD Coaching Program (get my help when you have an ArchiCAD question)

  • ONLY $600 (save $97)
  • BONUS 6 extra months of ArchiCAD Coaching (get 12 months of coaching instead of 6 months)
  • SUPER BONUS – get 60 minutes personal coaching with me ONE ON ONE!

Click here to grab the Best Practices Course plus all these bonuses at a GREAT price

QUICKSTART COURSE

The basics of ArchiCAD in 13 hours of video
Get up to speed quickly, with Best Practices principles to ensure you are starting off in the best possible manner

MASTERTEMPLATE

The Office Standard for ArchiCAD
Reduce your project startup time, cut production time, get higher quality output with the office template used by over 1,000 firms around the world

INTERNET MARKETING FOR ARCHITECTS COURSE 2014

Learn how you can improve your website and online presence to bring in more clients and projects
Revised and expanded for 2014 with all the latest information you NEED to know

(3) PERSONAL NOTES ON TURNING 60

I’m coming into this celebration with joy and sadness.

A few days ago, my wife’s father passed away after a long illness. We spent the past week with her family in El Paso Texas. It was bittersweet, as it brought the family closer together as we shared our loss and remembered.

One of the moments I savored was a morning in which my wife and son lay down quietly together, breathing and feeling each other’s hearts beating. It might have been only a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.

I’m going to take the next few days off, enjoying time with my family in nature, away from the computer and the phone as much as I can.

Catch you later!

Eric

 

The Evolution of ArchiCAD

On Tuesday December 3rd we broadcast my conversation with a few ArchiCAD experts (Jared Banks of Shoegnome and the BIM Engine Blog, Apollo Spiliotis of ArchiCAD Monkey, as well as architects Andrew Passacantando and Jack Suben) in a free Google Hangout on Air. We had a lot of fun talking about how ArchiCAD has changed over the years, and speculating about what’s coming up in the future.

You can watch this discussion on my YouTube channel, or right here:

 

This is a follow-up to our popular broadcast in September “ArchiCAD 17 – A Game Changer”. We’re enjoying these gatherings so much that we’re planning to meet every 2 or 3 months. Have any ideas or suggestions for what we might focus on next time? Drop us a line, or post a comment.

I feel this is a great way to build the community of ArchiCAD users from around the world, a virtual user group of sorts. In fact, I’ve set up a website for the ArchiCAD User Group Online, and will add more resources to it over time. If you have any ideas for how to make this website interesting, fun and useful, please email me or post a comment or suggestion below.

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