The Voluntary Life: December 2014

27 December 2014

187 How To Read More Than 50 Books A Year: Discussion With Hannah Braime

This week's show is a discussion with my lovely wife Hannah Braime about how to read more than 50 books per year (Hannah reads over 100 per year!). Hannah is a life coach and the host of the website Becoming Who You Are. In the episode we talk about why reading matters and share all the hacks we know for getting more reading done.

Show Notes:



21 December 2014

186 Natural Project Planning

As an entrepreneur, I wanted to learn more about the project planning because I needed to delegate and collaborate with others. I now see project planning as integral to getting things done in all areas of life. This episode is my own take on an approach called the natural planning model. These are the three minimal steps I use in planning every project:
  • Naming the outcome
  • Identifying the next action
  • Reviewing each project regularly
If I am stuck on a project, the more detailed planning I do includes:
  • Mindmaps
  • Creating a project documentation template in Evernote
  • Writing down more details about the purpose and mission to clarify this for myself
  • Journaling and brainstorming
  • Identifying project components and milestones
  • Scheduling and programming tasks in a task management app (I use Omnifocus)
Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 186 (20 mins)


12 December 2014

185 How To Set Meaningful Goals For The Year Ahead

For many years I wanted to set meaningful goals for the year ahead, but struggled with the process. I never knew quite where to start and I often felt like I was just making goals up, without any real emotional connection to them. Consequently, I wasn't really committed to my goals and I found the whole process of making annual goals frustrating. I often gave up and didn't bother with the whole thing.

Over time, I've developed a method of setting annual goals as part of my overall productivity systems.  Now that I have a method, I find setting and meeting goals much easier and, best of all, the goal-setting process has many other benefits, regardless of whether I meet a goal. In this episode I explain my method of goal setting. Here is a very short overview of the steps:

  1. Divide up your life into all your Areas Of Responsibility. I have 15 of them with names like Finances, Health, Relationship, Friends, Writing, Podcasting etc.
  2. Make a page for each Area Of Responsibility. I use Evernote, but use whatever works for you.
  3. On each AOR page, work out what this aspect of your life means to you. I do this using Mindmaps, unstructured journalling, and some structured writing (details are in the podcast).
  4. Add a section to each AOR page where you write down all your specific aims: what you want to change, implement, improve, or enhance about this aspect of your life.  For inspiration, review your vision board for each AOR (If you don't know about vision boards see episode 101 on How To Dream Big).
  5. Put all your list of aims together and read through to get an overview of everything you want from all aspects of your life.
  6. From your list, choose 4 or 5 Big Hairy Audacious Goals for the year ahead—whatever you feel most emotionally committed to.
  7. I also choose some Less Hairy goals for the year ahead too.
  8. Set yourself a reminder to review your list of goals regularly throughout the year (at least quarterly).
  9. Tick off the goals as you reach them. Celebrate reaching your goals. Be supportive to yourself- if you only got to 70% of an original goal at year-end, celebrate the 70% win too.
  10. Rinse and repeat at the end of the year.
Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 185 (17 minutes)



7 December 2014

184 Becoming An Entrepreneur: Introduction

This week's episode is an excerpt from the audiobook edition of Becoming an Entrepreneur. If you would like to review the audiobook, get in touch and I will be happy to send you a code to download a review copy from Audible.

If you prefer reading, you can get the ebook and paperback editions on Amazon. The paperback edition is the perfect christmas gift to encourage your friends to become entrepreneurs!

Show Notes:
Listen to Episode 184