Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dry Erase Office

Over the past few months my office has been under construction. That is to say, my team and I are looking for a larger office location that will provide us with greater opportunity to meet the needs of our clients. During this transition I have been working remotely out of my home office. The layout of my home office is great! On one wall there are five white boards. Each white board serves a purpose. One is for weekly goal setting, another for daily planning, another for reminding me of the mission and vision, and another for brainstorming and quick notes. This is where things have to change; I need a larger brainstorming wall. My home office is in need of a make-over! Well…at least one wall needs an upgrade.

I have a large stock pile of dry erase paint that I plan to use to convert one of my office walls into a brainstorming dry erase wall. When it’s finished, I will be able to throw up ideas on the wall. Since I’m involved in research, strategy and innovative solutions, the dry erase wall will be a fantastic tool for developing and conceptualizing ideas. It will satisfy my need to connect the dots, so to speak, between organizational needs and opportunities using abstract thought. Don’t start-ups use this concept?

The dry erase office reminds me of a movie, “A Beautiful Mind” starring Russell Crowe. Which is a bit unsettling. At one point in the movie when the film crew gets a shot of the professors office, the walls are covered in newspapers and miscellaneous clippings that make no sense. I often wonder if that scene was a cover up to make the professor look psychologically questionable… At least my dry erase wall will not have pieces of paper covering the wall, but it will have many abstract thoughts all connected by lines, words and illustrations.

In some sense of reality my dry erase office is an outside representation of my thought process. It surrounds me every day, it provides a road map for strategy and solutions, and it offers an opportunity to capture innovative ideas. I guess the next challenge is to incorporate some kind of technology where my home office is transcribed and duplicated at my soon to be new office. That way, all of my dry erase office wall thoughts can follow me to the other office without having to disrupt the process. Just thinking outside of the “office”…

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

5 a.m. No Alarm

I remember when I was in high school and I had to get up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school. Every morning I would keep hitting the snooze button until 7 a.m. rolled around. Then, at 7:05 a.m. I would jump out of bed and was ready to go in 15 minutes. I lived with my mom and three brothers in the hidden hills of Sonoma County. I was the youngest. In order to make it to the school bus stop I had to run down the side of a hill that would cross the yard of two neighbors. Most of the time I would arrive early to the bus stop, but for some reason it seemed like the bus was always late except on the days that I was late, then the bus was on time and I had to find a ride to school. While back in the days when 7 a.m. required multiple snooze alarms just to get me up and running, nowadays I don’t even need an alarm. Something changed…

I was introduced to The Peoples Network (TPN) in my early 20’s. TPN was an amazing program filled with entrepreneurs, business advisors, motivational speakers, and wealth management experts. It was a resource that I used to learn more about how to increase success and how to embrace life. Unfortunately, when I was in my 20’s I had no idea what I wanted out of life. I knew a job was important, but I never really defined what I wanted from a career. Anyway, TPN is gone and the internet was born. Access to information, experts, and advisors became more readily available and so I continued to listen, read, and get involved in things of developmental interest. YouTube was and still is a great resource for finding motivational speakers and educators. Attending events and organizing events also because a great way to connect with like-minded people.

Today, I follow three basic daily principles:
  1. Read what’s important to my field of study
  2. Meet people who share the same interests
  3. Execute a plan of action to achieve my goals
This may sound simple enough, but it requires consistent action. It also requires me to set high standards and expectations that pull me forward. The daily rituals that I aim to achieve are not just things that I want or need, they are things that I must achieve. It’s a do or die mentality. To remind me of my goals I have a daily schedule written down on a white board in my office. I read my action plan every morning and I mentally check off the list as I complete each task. This practice keeps my self-confidence high, it increases my energy, and it inspires me to do more. I also start my morning early. If you were to ask my friends what time am I get up in the morning they would probably tell you that I’m up before the rest of the world wakes up; it depends on which friends you ask. Essentially, I have been getting up at 5 a.m. for so many years that I no longer need an alarm. I naturally wake up at 5 a.m. Sometimes I’m up at 4 a.m., but that’s just crazy talk.

There is a point to all of this. Success is defined by what we do every day. Small changes that we do everyday will add up to long-term changes. Here’s what my day looks like; at 5 a.m. I start my day listening to Les Brown, Jim Rohn or Napoleon Hill. I open up YouTube and select something new in the area of personal development. While I’m listening to these experts of business, financial investors, etc., I’m stretching, running in place, and putting in the time for an early morning workout. Then, I get my newest member of the family, my Siberian Husky, and take her out for our morning run. When I get back I feed all the animals including the chickens, who aren’t even out of the coup because it’s too early for them. At 6 a.m. I work on my life goals, action plans, action steps, timelines and measurable outcomes for each area that I’m working to improve and achieve. By the time 6:45 a.m. rolls around I’m reviewing the stock market and getting a glimpse of opportunities. Then, at 7 a.m. I start my work day and I execute a plan of action for my employer. By this hour I’m full of energy and ready to take on the days challenges.

My daily routine helps me to expand my perspective and see things from multiple viewpoints. I’m able to identify opportunities, view difficult situations from a positive approach, and I am able to see challenging days as character building days. By the end of the day (3:30 p.m.) I complete my work day and begin family time with my wife and children. I will even take an hour to do some gardening; a little meditation (me time).

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.