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Rocket Emoji

🚀

This is chapter three for Chris Paul. I’ve been following this guy his entire career, so there’s no question how excited I am about this upcoming season. I’ve had all summer to think about this new situation with the Rockets, and the more I think about it, and the more I watch the team play together, the more fascinated I am by what’s coming.

The storyline about the Rockets since the Paul trade is that both Paul and Harden need the ball in their hands to succeed, but there’s only one ball. That undermines the leadership of Paul, and discounts the years that Harden played next to Westbrook and Durant. It also doesn’t account for Mike D’Antoni’s innovative mindset when it comes to offense. (I also like that with all that offense, the entire mindset during the preseason was about defense.)

After watching what the Rockets did last year, and then watching how Paul blended in with that style during the preseason, it has me anxious for Tuesday night, when the season kicks off. I watched a team who always had a superstar point guard on the floor: it was more like watching a wrestling match with the two powerhouses, as they tagged each other in and out, while also sharing the court and playing off-ball for each other. It was only a small portion-size to observe, and it means absolutely nothing in the preseason, but it was still interesting to watch those dynamics in action. It seemed like whoever else was on the court next to Paul and Harden was a knockdown shooter, and threes were raining from all sides of the court.

As far the rotations, for the first time in Paul’s NBA career, I didn’t see a team with a traditional starting lineup and a second unit. Instead, I constantly saw guys rotating in and out of the lineup. Because the roster has so many players that can play a variety of positions, there was never the traditional point guard for point guard, center for center type of subs. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

Tuesday night, the opening night for the NBA regular season, they’ll be playing the Warriors. Will these rotations matter? Will Paul teaming up with Harden and company turn out to be a smart move? I think so (shooters everywhere, and a scorer like Harden, that can takeover a game by himself, who was a few votes away from winning MVP last year). Paul had nothing to lose by going here. All upsides.

And when this season is said and done, it’s the final year on Paul’s contract (same for LeBron and Wade), so whatever happens doesn’t remove the options for Paul going forward. Consider it a trial year, to stay or go, and Tuesday is the beginning of just that.


Getting Things Done (a lot of things)

I want to talk to you about being productive. The tools I use matter to me (I use OmniFocus), but they’re just tools, and you can implement these same methods with whatever tools you have in front of you. It’s about taking all the little things, as well as the big things, and turning it into daily actions. (This method comes from David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done.)

1. Brain Dump

It all starts here. With an inbox. A place where I have the freedom to throw all the good and bad ideas into a bucket, and not worry about what it all means. The brain dump is something I do throughout day when an idea arrives. I don’t worry about what to do with it, I just throw it into the inbox. Knowing that I have safe place to get everything off of my mind, until a later time, helps my mind stay free and ready for life, as well as new ideas.

2. Projects

Every idea and task added to my inbox most likely has an end-goal, meaning what does finished look like for this item? What are the handful of next-actions needed? Over the years, I’ve learned that thinking through projects is often as important as completing the task itself. It creates clarity.

An example project would be:

Clean out closet:

  • Get bags
  • Go through clothes
  • Go through other items
  • What to donate?
  • What to throw away?
  • Anyone I know want this?
  • Put bags in garbage
  • Put bags in car
  • Bring to friend
  • Bring to Goodwill

Each one of these items move the project forward, until having that one last item that completes the entire project. It’s important to write out even the smallest next-action, because each next-action has a different context.

3. Context

Every next-action has a context. A context is not the task, but the location or item needed to complete the task. What this ultimately means is, you may have tasks in a variety of projects that require calling someone, and instead of bouncing around, attempting to complete a dozen task inside of one project, you would simply focus on the Calls” context, moving several projects forward quickly. When getting in your car, you would move projects forward by focusing solely on the items that have the context Errand. The momentum of already being on the road, or already making calls, helps keep things mindless and easy to finish.

4. Review

The review is a weekly (or as often as you can or need to) meeting with yourself, as you go through each item and project, making sure they all have an end-goal, and you know what finished looks like. More often than not, finished doesn’t look the same as it did a week ago. Life happens, and it’s important to constantly know what you’re working towards. This entire system falls apart if you don’t set time aside to look over what you’ve added, make sure your inbox is empty, make sure nothing slipped through the cracks of this system, and to realign your mind with the tasks at hand.


Rinse and repeat. This isn’t something you do once. I’ve been practicing GTD for almost a decade now. Enjoy the process, and even if you never perfect it, it has to be better than doing nothing. Even when I’m struggling, I know that my attempts mean more than wishful thinking.

I hope this helps get some of your projects started, and ultimately free your mind for new things.


What I Have Is Enough

I recently bought flowers for my apartment. I never thought I’d say that. Three little succulent plants, sitting on my window seal. It was only a few months ago when I moved into this small apartment, and since arriving, I’ve been very intentional about making this place minimal with character. The size, layout, style, and even location, represent me more than any place I’ve ever lived.

I’ve been enjoying my new morning routine: wake up at 5, turn on Hillsong Radio (Pandora), get dressed, and then go for a run through the city. I then get home, shower, and walk to the local cafe to eat breakfast and drink coffee with a friend. Afterwards, I walk home in silence, enjoying the ambience of the morning. This is my time to be thankful for the big and small things in my life. Waking up early, instead of getting more sleep, allows me to be proactive with the start of my day. Watching the sunrise, getting a good exercise and breakfast, and completing all of this before 8am, has changed my perspective on how beautiful life can consistently be.

It’s been almost a year now since I went part-time at my job, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Now, I work four days straight, and then I’m off Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of every week. Because of this, my quality of life has increased, and my energy towards more projects have significantly gone up. I feel like I finally have the proper balance for working, creating, personal life, and family time. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. I’m thankful that I have the right amount of time to be a better employee, writer, friend, son, and brother. This is definitely the best version of myself.