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August 1, 2013, 6:00 am

Do You Have to Be Busy Every Single Second?

by: MD    Category: Miscellaneous

“I’m on summer vacation!”

That’s what I told my friends the other day. Then I went back to throwing the frisbee around with some new friends in the park. I love the summer.

Last summer, I don’t think I took much time to throw a frisbee around or to appreciate anything.

I used to have to fill up every single second of my day with something to do. I realized that I was just dying to be busy. I always had to be doing something. I couldn’t just relax. I had to be on my laptop doing some sort of work.

I drove my last two girlfriends (two years each) crazy when we dated. I always had to be doing something (work-related).

I’ve come to notice that this is a curse. The curse of being busy.

Do you always have to be busy?

Are you someone that always has to be doing something? Do you actually stop to chat with a friend when you pass them by?

Lifehacker wrote this article that suggests, being busy always is a sign of procrastination.

When I first read The 4-Hour Workweek, I figured out that there was a huge difference between being busy and actually getting things done. But I barely improved. The curse had hit me and there was no letting go. Back to being busy!

The curse of being busy.

We live in an era that’s all about productivity and efficiency. You have to schedule in an appointment with your brother via Facebook. Everything has to be efficient. Going for a coffee with a friend just isn’t efficient enough. It takes up too much time. You guys should be working on something instead of hanging out.

I really feel that it’s a curse.

When you’re always striving to be busy, you miss out on the following:

  • Good time with friends.
  • Reflection.
  • Life.
  • Family.
  • Staying in shape.
  • Cooking (you’re too busy to cook).
I’m sure there’s tons more that I missed out on.

How do you cure the need for staying busy?

Is there a cure? I believe that there actually is. The three following tips have really helped me out with filing this need of always wanting to be busy.

You get important things done.

I have the following posted on my wall:

“Are you inventing things to do to avoid doing the important?”

Whenever I’m wasting time on YouTube or pretending to be productive, I look at this. Why sit in front of the computer pretending to be busy when you could actually try something like crazy, like, maybe go for a bike ride?

The classic 80/20 analysis is key here. What activities will generate the most revenue for you? What can you cut out?

Most of us can cut out email and lots of other pointless stuff that we force ourselves to do.

If you get the important things done first, you won’t feel the need to always be busy. Sitting in front of your laptop for 8 hours doing nothing isn’t more productive than one hour of solid writing where you’re totally in the zone.

The main takeaway here is: plan one important thing that you want to do for that day. Do it. Don’t worry about minor things. Try not to create small jobs just to fill out a day.

Oh, and please don’t include laundry or cleaning. These are things that you’re supposed to do! You need clean pants and a clean room.

Appreciate the fun times.

Stop feeling guilty over having fun! It’s not against the law. The busy police won’t come after you if you go for a bike ride or throw a frisbee around. They won’t hand you out a fine for smiling. It’s okay to soak in the sun and enjoy a good time.

Hang around positive people.

When your friends are all negative, you won’t even feel like hanging out with them. You won’t even feel good about yourself. I suggest that you rid yourself of all toxic people.

When you associate with a vibrant group of friends, you’ll always feel good and never regret meeting up with them.

[Final note: today is the first day of August. Let’s make this last month of August count!]

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” — John Lennon

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June 19, 2013, 5:00 am

A Run Through Hell & Back

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous

 

 

Have you ever pushed yourself past your limits? It feels like running through hell

 

This Saturday, I did something that was completely beyond my limits; both psychologically and physically. We drove our children to my sister-in-law’s house and we left for the night. No… I’m not talking about having my children babysat… what I did after that was way more demanding!

 

A Visit Through Hell…

 

I was just starting and I thought “What in the Seven Hells(yup, Im currently watching Game of Thrones 😉.

 

The adrenaline, the blood rushing through my veins, my heart drumming harder than an old school tune by Metallica. All this was real… a little bit too much for me at first. I pushed so hard that I visited a part of me that I didn’t even know was there.

 

At first, it felt like hell. How can I run 7km more after rushing so much for the first 2? I felt pain; I even crushed my knees on a rock and kept running, bleeding. On Saturday night; we ran a 9km trail. As you might already know, I started running on my treadmill at the beginning of the year. My objective is to run 10 miles (not km) per week. To date, I’m 13 miles in advance to my cumulative objective. Each Wednesday evening, my wife and I go for a 10km run. I find it relatively easy. This is why I never thought a 9km would be that hard. But the word “trail” added to the run makes it crazy hard.

 

It was a run through hell as my heart wanted to jump out of my chest, I fell on a huge rock and there was blood running down my leg, but at the end of the race, I. felt the most amazing feeling ever: I did it! I was proud, satisfied and completely energized. I had given so much during the race that it was like both my mind and body were completely clean. I felt very good about myself. I went through hell and finished in heaven!

 

What Does a Trail Run Looks Like?

 

I could try to describe it, but I think this video does it best:

 

I didn’t make it to any championship, just a “regular” trail run, but for my first run ever, it was quite a feat! When I registered to the run, I thought it was simply running through the woods. I didn’t expect running through mud holes bigger than my pool! Hahaha!

 

Running Gear – Anybody Can Do It!

 

What I like about running is that you don’t need much to participate in this sport. For this run, all I needed was a good pair of shoes (that I’m ready to get rid of since I ran for an hour through mud, water and rocks!), my iPod and good headphones (I use Monster Headphones since they stick in my ears in all condition).

 

So there are really no excuses for not running; I saw teenagers and boomers doing this race. I watched skinny, well built and beer bellies running on that day. Funny enough, there were more women than men doing that race!

 

Major Mistakes in my Run

 

It was my first run ever and I made two major mistakes. The first one was to run like a wild dog at first and pass by as many runners as possible at first. It’s a very bad mistake since you concentrate on rushing your body in the very first minute of a run that will last about an hour. I didn’t control my heart rate and had to slow down after 2km because I was losing my breath. I was happy to never have walked throughout the whole race, but I know I burned a lot of energy for nothing at the beginning.

 

The second mistake I made was to rush through mud holes instead of waiting in line to cross these obstacles. Most runners slow down and almost walk on the side to avoid losing their shoes in mud pits. Since runners were slowing down, I thought it was a good opportunity to gain a few positions. Here again, I burned a lot of energy going directly into the obstacles instead of recovering by going on the sides of the path. I had plenty of time to run faster in the rest of the trail that I could have saved my energy instead of bursting every 3 minutes.

 

What I Truly Learned About Myself

 

I’ve been working out for the past 5 years now and I can tell that I’m not super fit, but I’m in good shape. However, I have never been a runner. I only started this year as I truly wanted to lose weight. Registering for a run was another step in my learning curve.

 

I’m very proud of myself as I pushed my body beyond any limits I would normally fix for me. And this is an interesting revelation: we are the only ones to put limits on ourselves. After 2km, I really thought I would never be able to run the whole race. I was convinced I will have to stop and start walking for a while to recover. But because I was in a race and because I’m too proud to quit, I controlled my breathing throughout the rest of the run and ended-up sprinting for the last 2km.

 

I can now affirm that limits don’t exist. They are made up in our minds and they determine where our conscious tells us to go. But you can always do more. I’ve learned that even someone that is a go getter like me puts limits and slow down its own potential. I was surprised to see that I wasn’t going “all-in” at first and that I could go for more.

 

I guess it’s just a matter of taking the leap to make it happen. I now look forward to the next run!

 

Readers, when was the last time you pushed your limits? How does it feel?

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May 6, 2013, 5:00 am

What Truly Matters

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous

 

 

I’m leaving both the personal finance and making money online worlds this morning for something that matters a whole lot more…

habs vs sens

 

The Habs are in the playoffs!!!

 

Huh… right. It’s not where I wanted to go but you know I’m a diehard CH fan 😉 and we are better off not talking about yesterday’s game anyway… argh!

 

More seriously, I wanted to relate a quick story that happened to me last week. I with met some old work colleagues of mine while I was in Montreal. One of them lost someone very close just two months ago. She was telling me that it had changed her perception of things…

 

Why Do You Have To Work So Hard?

 

I wake up in the morning at 5am. Chow down a quick breakfast and hop on the treadmill. 1 hour later, I run into the shower before heading out to work. Before starting my day, I’m under the pressure to write one or two articles for my blogs. Then, I run the whole day and try to do as many things as I can and hopefully close a deal so I can increase my bonus. Once back home, we eat, play with kids, do the bath routine, put the kids for sleep and… watch hockey ;-).

When I spoke with that colleague of mine, she was asking herself why the hell she runs all over the place to make sure everything was done properly. Accordingly, aligned with what society expects, losing someone definitely puts things into perspective.

 

So what’s the point of working so hard? To be free one day. What if the “one day” doesn’t happen fast enough? What happen if you leave everything else behind while you are desperately trying to reach this freedom?

 

I Learned That Lesson a While Ago

 

When I did my MBA back in 2008-09, things weren’t always rosy with my wife. We just had our second child and she was working full time while I was barely home long enough just to sleep a few hours. Between my online company, new day job and MBA studies, it was impossible to have time for family. This hurt us big time back then.

 

I was set to become a VP by the age of 30 and heading to financial freedom before the age of 40. My wife quit her job, I started to work four days a week in a job that I love and started to take care of my kids. We made these changes in our lives to both take care of ourselves. We started to take care of what truly matters.

 

Today, It’s Different

 

I’m still working hard and still have a crazy schedule. And this is nothing compared to what is going to happen this summer when I’ll coach my oldest son at soccer twice a week between a golf tournament and a happy hour for work.

 

But the difference is that each week, I take a moment to stop and not do anything related to work. I take a moment to enjoy life with my wife, play with my kids and relax. I guess this is probably where you can draw the line before going on a burnout!

 

There are some people putting their career first. They always have a good reason for this:

 

That’s the way it is in my working field

My boss will have my head if I don’t finish this

I need a good bonus to buy this or that (or pay off this or that)

In a few years, I’ll get a promotion and it will all be worth it

I’m in my prime; it’s the right time to climb the ladder

I’m not a lazy ass, I’m here to work

I love my job

Etc.

 

If you are part of this kind of people I don’t blame you, I don’t even judge you. After all, I was part of your gang not so long ago. But I can tell you one thing; one day you will wake up and the train you were running after will left the station without you. Don’t let this happen to you.

 

Today, take a moment. You don’t have to take the day off. Just take a few minutes and make a call to someone you love and tell him/her. Send a quick note from your so beloved smartphone. Plan a cool activity with your kids or with friends over the next weekend. Do something for people that truly matters to you… because they might be not be there when you will become available.

 

Have you ever felt that you are running for nothing? What have you done to change this in your life?

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December 24, 2012, 8:36 am

Best of The Financial Blogger For The Holidays

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous

 

 

WOOHOO! This Monday is not like the other Mondays… we are Xmas Eve!

 

I won’t be writing for the next week since you will probably celebrating with your family and I’ll do the same on my side. But you also might want to relax and read some good articles from time to time. This is why I thought of putting together The Financial Blogger for 2012.

 

Most Visited

 

#1 Single Income Household, The Best Kept Secret For Happiness

 

#2 Should You Even Save Money In Your 20’s?

 

#3 5 Years To Become a Millionaire

 

#4 From 30K To 176K in 8 Years, The Chronology of My Income

 

#5 If You’re Willing to Spend Thousands of Dollars on College, Then…

 

Most Commented

 

#1 Do You Go All In?

 

#2 Investing Sucks, Blogging Rules

 

#3 250K – 35 hours, Are You Day Dreaming?

 

#4 Is Buying a Site a Good Investment?

 

#5 I’m Quitting on Paying Off Debts

Special Mention

 

#1 Can You Survive Google?

 

#2 Site Valuation What People Are Saying And What They Keep Secret

 

#3 3 Killer Ways That Work To Build Your Online Empire

 

#4 Is There a Right Way To Share Your Income?

 

#5 12 Real Actions for a Real Money Making Blog

 

I wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year with high yield and dividend growth 😉

 

I’ll be coming back on December 31st with the review of my personal financial goals and will start the year with the launch of the Best 2013 Dividend Stocks on January 1st!

 

Best,

 

Mike

 

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October 7, 2012, 5:33 pm

Carnival of Financial Planning Super Late Edition!

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous

oooops! sorry for the confusion! here’s the Carnival of Financial Planning!

 

BUDGETING AND ECONOMICS
Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Identify Your Money Motivations – Understanding what you want from your money, and from your life, will help you make the changes in behavior that really matter to your finances, and that can actually help you improve your quality of life.

James Petzke @ This Is Common Cents writes The Common Cents of the Latte Factor – The Latte Factor is an important thing for many people to take a look at in their lives.

SBB @ Simple Budget Blog writes Common Budgeting Mistakes – Find out the common budgeting mistakes and how to avoid them to keep your budget in control.

Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes How to Have a Green Christmas – Your Christmas holidays don’t need to suffer at the expense of being green. There are numerous ways you can reduce your impact and still enjoy the season.

CAREER AND INCOME
Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes Explore All of Your Options Prior to Attending College – I have seen this first hand as an educator and I have developed a hypocrisy that is ill-fitted for my career path. I, no longer feel that a college education is the most logical step post-high school.

JP @ My Family Finances writes Yes. Parents Should Open a 529 Plan for Their Children – The simple fact is that if college costs continue to grow at current rates, you’d have trouble saving too much money. Don’t let the magical final number get in your way of starting a 529 Plan.

DEBT AND CREDIT
John @ Married (with Debt) writes Threats to Debt Freedom – The biggest threat to debt freedom is…going back in debt, and that’s one of my biggest worries now that we are debt free (minus the house). I don’t plan on going out and borrowing any money in the near future, but I guess that’s the idea.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes Finding The Best Credit Card Rewards – There are a lot of places that claim to know the best credit card for rewards, but the truth is that the best rewards for credit cards are truly up to the individual who uses them. The reason is that each person values things differently.

TTMK @ Tie the Money Knot writes Ten Tips to Avoid Debt in Your Life – Some people are comfortable with lots of debt, or oblivious to its hazards. Not me, and I want to share with you 10 tips to avoid bringing debt into your life.

INVESTING AND SAVING
Mr. Money @ Smart on Money writes Best Ways for Young Workers to Save for Retirement – Albert Einstein once described the principle of compound interest as one of the most powerful forces in the world. While he may have been exaggerating, there is some truth to that statement.

Dave @ Excess Return @ Excess Return writes Finding a Dependable Financial Advisor – Even the savviest of investment managers cannot singularly select and track stocks in different asset classes, and have experienced teams helping them with data collection and analysis. So an individual investor will likely not succeed at this new diversified market-neutral investing paradigm without help.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes How Much Does That Tooth Cost? – My son is now at the age when the baby teeth start falling out. I forgot how exciting this event is for kids.

Div Guy @ The Dividend Guy Blog writes Dividend Growth eBook – This is the most inexpensive and helpful guide on building a solid dividend portfolio. You’ll make your money back in minutes!

Super Saver @ My Wealth Builder writes My Simple Test for Financial Presenters – While the presenter uses the seminar as opportunity establish personal contact, I use the seminar as an opportunity to evaluate the financial advisor and the products. Here is what I look for from a seminar presenter.

Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes Lifestyle Inflation – What To Consider Before Telling Yourself Yes – Thinking about upgrading your gadgets? Ask yourself these 5 questions before you take the plunge.

Corey @ 20s Finances writes Actual Cost of an iPhone 5 – The iPhone 5 has hit the markets and is ready for consumers. Have you calculated how much it will cost you to own the iPhone 5?

Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes Investing in Egypt’s future – With Europe and the USA facing huge economic challenges and barely registering any meaningful growth, investors around the world are looking more and more at alternative markets in which to place their capital.

CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes 5 Reasons why Passive Income is too Good to be True – Are you thinking about focusing on passive income? While it is possible, don't ignore these warnings about passive income.

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Prepaid Cards – The Perfect Gift? – Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone? Whether it is for Christmas or for their birthday, you have many options. A few years ago, you were left with very few options. It was either a specific item that you made or purchased OR cash. That was it. Only a couple options.

Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy writes The Saving Conundrum. Are Savers Financial Losers? – Well are Savers also financial LOSERS? Read more to find out, perhaps you’ll be surprised!

krantcents @ KrantCents writes Plan for the Unexpected! – What do you do when the unexpected happens? Things happen and you cannot do much about it. You cannot plan for every expense, but you can plan for the unexpected! You can set aside savings for the unexpected as an emergency fund. Things happen such as illness or your car breaks down.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Closing Costs for a New Home – Here is Your Arm and Leg… – We are closing on our new house in a couple of weeks. Here are our closing costs and what we will have left in our emergency fund.

Kanwal @ Simply Investing writes Which Company Has Increased Their Dividend Over 1000%? – In late 2002 this stock was selling for about $15 to $18 a share, and the dividend was $0.19 per share. Remember a dividend is a cash payment made to all share holders. So if you bought 500 shares in this company back in 2002 for $15 each, you would receive $95 (500 shares x $0.19) in dividends just for owning those shares.

PPlan @ Provident Plan writes Does God Want You to Drive a Hybrid? – Hybrid cars are becoming increasingly more affordable and popular. Find out why you should consider buying one.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Reading the Signs in the Current Bond Market – Investors are currently facing difficult choices: lower their expectations and/or take more risk. Is this the solution?

A Blinkin @ Funancials writes How Can I Bet Against the Stock Market? – How to bet against the stock market with put options, shorting stock and inverse ETFs.

Ray @ Squirrelers writes How Often Should You Check Stock Prices and Monitor Your Portfolio? – There are many people who just can’t stop checking stock prices every day. The thing is, is it really a good idea for the average, everyday investor to be doing this?

RISK MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE
Jason @ Work Save Live writes What Does Life Insurance Cover? 4 Ways to Help Your Legacy – Today’s post will be a little different as I’m going to integrate video for the first time ever here on WSL! So, before you skip down to today’s post, please take 1 minute and watch the video below: What Does Life Insurance Cover?

REAL ESTATE AND PROPERTY
Paul Vachon @ The Frugal Toad writes How to Save for a Home Down Payment – If you are planning to buy a home, you know it takes a lot of money. However, it takes a lot of planning as well. Here are some things to consider when saving money for a home, and what you need to do to get your finances in order so that you can afford a home.

Eddie @ Finance Fox writes Saving Money on Home Renovations – Increase the value of your home or just want to make your house more livable until the housing market bounces back, home renovations are the way to go

Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes Closing On Your First Home: What to Expect at the Closing Table – Today we will talk about Closing on Your First Home: What to Expect at the Closing of your first home? Well it is such a huge investment and you might be wondering who would be represent at the Closing Table.

TRL @ The Retired Landlord writes Traits of a Profitable Rental Property – Find out what makes a successful rental property more profitable than others. Knowing these three traits can make a huge difference.

Ashley @ Money Talks Coaching writes Too Hard To Save? – On the way home from the bloggers conference I sat in the middle row between two guys.

Jamie @ Financial Footsteps writes Should you rent a furnished apartment? – Moving your stuff isn’t easy. Are furnished apartments a better solution?

RETIREMENT AND TAXATION
Jon the Saver @ Free Money Wisdom writes Protection for your Money – Protection of money is not exactly a hot topic these days. Heck, most people don't even save their money! Use some fundamentals to ensure that your money stays safe.

Todd @ Financial Mentor writes The Essential Wealth Building Principle Revealed By Roth IRA Conversions (It’s Not What You Think!) – Explains a unique and important wealth building principle using Roth IRA conversions as an example. Learn how you can accelerate your wealth plans…

Rich @ Growing Money Smart writes 401K Fight Club Rule #1 – Always Take The Free Money Offered By Your Employer’s 401(k) Company Match! – There is a pile of 401k match money sitting on a table with a sign that says ‘Take me, free money’… So why aren’t you???

 

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