I have felt inspired to blog again. It's been a while since I've published and I thought this would be well suited as a public piece instead of an internal reflection.
I've been focused on staying available for what truly matters to me.
In certain phases of my life I have benefitted from being open to many new experiences. These are periods when I'm starting a new business or am learning about a new field. During these phases I soak up knowledge like a sponge – taking meetings, learning from experts and expanding my network.
Once the business is running and I've understood the lay of the land, I have to become more closed to be more available to do what matters most. These phases tend to be longer where presence, focus and compounding are key. Sometimes this level of presence is required to supportive of family and friends too.
The past year has been an open phase for me, as I transitioned from running my music companies Heroic, bitbird and MusicCareers, to angel investing full-time with my syndicate Striking Markets and investment DAO Deus Ex DAO. After a year of exploration, I'm now organically transitioning to a more closed state.
This transition has been accelerated by my newfound interest in software development. I've set a goal to become a full-stack software developer as I've realized it will make me a better technology investor and make me more capable of starting a software business, should I ever want to. The act of coding is great fun to me because of constant need to solve problems. But it has emphasized the need for time to do deep work, as I don't think I could make fast progress learning without being able to dedicate time consistently.
Maybe this post will prompt you to think about what phase you're in--open or closed? Is there anything for which you should do more of one or the other?
A few things have allowed me to be more available. The first is my luxury position of having few obligations I haven't chosen. But there are some tactics my assistant and I employ on a daily basis:
- We keep mornings free since I'm most energized then. This is a time for exercise and deep work.
- Batching meetings in the afternoon. 5 minutes in between each. I try to limit them to 3 per day, spread across the week. Ideally they are batched per subject or context.
- Most importantly: avoiding unnecessary meetings. This requires being explicit with people. Many are habituated or in jobs that require eagerly requesting meetings, while things could be communicated asynchronously in voice or video recording, or text. I avoid meetings without an objective and generally prefer video calls over in-person since travel time is often wasteful.
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