Creating content is like building a retaining wall

Creating content is fun. I’m grateful to have a career where I use my mind and virtual pen to express myself. Interesting enough with my journey into podcasting, it’s like building a retaining wall.
Developing the right amount content for a listening audience is akin to writing in the sense that material has to be… written. However, much like this blog, past posts are proving to be a foundation for what this page is all about (basically… my thoughts).
As I’m preparing to put out more episodes of the Friends+Experts podcasts (https://anchor.fm/friendsandexperts), I realize this project is much like the one in my yard. The little retaining wall I stare at from my office window reminds me of the work that most won’t see.
In order to keep the wall steady, I had to work to lay out the sand on the level and meticulously place each brick down. There was a lot of trial and error. Sometimes, the bricks were uneven. I stopped and restarted plenty of times. But once it was done, the rest was relatively easy. It was just a matter of putting each brick into its place.
I was relatively pleased with the first episode. I had a strong guest host and we didn’t get too caught up with our ums and long-paused ands. Most of all, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously although we touched upon some serious matters. However like the retaining wall, most won’t see (hear) it, and that’s okay. The process of doing this is rewarding enough.
It’s satisfying doing something that inspires myself and others. Plus, there’s more to come. Exciting times!

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The 3 Steps to Avoiding Procrastination

Procrastination has many disguises. In my freelancing world, it is very easy to be complacent. Working from home, I often fell into the trap of false accomplishments. Crafting an assignment takes a lot of mental energy. A couple of times in my workday, I’d take five minutes to unwind. Looking around my house, I would see the dirty dishes or the pile of dirty clothes. Sure enough, the plates are shining and the laundry is complete. Lo and behold, five minutes turned into 3 hours and my writing assignment is still in limbo. I had an aura of accomplishment, however, it wasn’t toward the intended target. No bueno!

After experiencing one too days in this situation. I decided to do something about it. I’ve been following these three rules of thumb in my hustling journey, and they worked for me. Hopefully, they will for you too:

1. Write It Down
You hear it in every self-help/motivational program, but it SO TRUE! You have to write down your goals! It’s imperative. For me, it’s the first step in “seeing” as in “seeing it, then being it.” Make your own strategy. It can be a weekly, monthly timeframe. It can be daily, or even hourly if you’re THAT busy. It can be short-term, long-term or both. However you want to track your assignment, you should have your targeted plan in sight.
I have my daily list that I write down after my workday is officially done. The list goes as long as there are things to do for the next day. Afterward, I place that list in a place where I KNOW I’ll see it; on top of my laptop; my bathroom mirror, etc. There’s nothing worse than having a list and forgetting where you put it. It puts a damper on the day before it even starts. Which brings me to my next step…

2. Set The Tone
I’m a true believer of having a good routine. When I wake up, I brush my teeth then get in my workout clothes. I’m either outside running or going head-first into a Beachbody workout. When I’m done, I’m in the zone before I even start my day. It wasn’t always easy to establish that routine. My procrastination would set in as I labored in my mind whether to run or do Insanity30, or maybe P90X, or 21-Day Fix. Before I knew it, it was 8 or 9 a.m., and it was time to get to work. Throughout those days, I’m running to stand still. No bueno!
Nonetheless, your routine is yours. I workout. Maybe you have your coffee, and you’re good to go. Whatever gets you there is the important takeaway. A good start leads to a good finish!

3. Plan Your Distractions
Yes, it’s sounds confusing. Let me explain: For most, there are eight hours in the workday. And let’s be honest, there’s a “windup” time when you get to work, the half-hour/hour for lunch, and a “wind-down” time before you leave the office.  For me and the others I have worked with over my career, that’s the usual game plan. If you are a “get to work” right at the starting bell until the final whistle: God Bless You! For the rest of us, let’s continue.
If you can establish that aforementioned timeframe, then you’re winning. First, you know the root of your weakness, and knowing is half the battle. Second, you can choose to eliminate that distraction altogether (which would be nice), or make plans for it! Yes, you know it’s coming, so welcome it. You welcome that lunch hour, and you respect it. You’re back in your desk within that time. Why don’t you do that for the windup and wind-down time? Give yourself 3-5 minutes of “hey, how was your weekend/day?” moments around the water cooler or wherever you congregate. They tend to add up during the day.
Working by myself, my planned distraction is a call to my wife or friend before or after lunch. For me, it’s a great way to decompress during the workday and places things in proper perspective. Thankfully, I have enough to keep me occupied during the day. If I’m too busy, a text usually does the trick.

These processes have been years in the making for me, and they work like a charm. How do you curb your procrastination? I would love to learn more on how to squash it once and for all. Tweet @ me: @MichaelVFreeze or visit my IG: @mikefreeze

Thanks for listening,

CHEERS!!

 

 


Long time,again

If it weren’t for work

the procrastination

the new child, the visit from family

I would be here

If it weren’t for fear of the truth

the effect it will have

the unknown

I would be here

If it weren’t for that time

when I failed

I lost

miss my chance

I would be here

But here I am

about time!


I’ve done it again

It’s only because of a career change that I’m posting. I now have some free time.

I did it again. Procrastinating.

It’s been more than a year for new post. So much had changed since then. I have a son. He’s three months old. He’s getting big just like me.

Right now, I’m laying on my couch holding my son and laughing at YouTube videos with my wife while watching the Cavs play the Nets.

There’s no place I’d rather be.

I’ll post more. I promise.


Where were you?

200You’ve been gone for a long while. Like almost… two years, dude! So much has happened since LeBron came back (your last post). So what have you been doing? You get a job yet? I mean…  a real job?

I know. You were doing your thing. Just joking. Is working from home all that it’s up to be? I bet it is.

Did you know we got new neighbors? Yeah, a young couple. They are home all the time. They turned that home around. New roof, windows, they even build a wood fence around the back. It looks amazing.

Also, I got me a new gig. Well… it’s not really new. I’ve been at it for a while and I really like it. It’s challenging and fun, and there is never a dull day. That’s good for a change.

So… you haven’t told me yet. Where were you?

We haven’t seen you in so long, we felt like you dropped off the face of the earth. Thank goodness you’re doing well. You look good too. Have you been working out? I’ve been doing some P90X3. It’s helping with only a month into it. My friends hate Tony Horton, but he kicks ass! Fuck what they say. He got me in the best shape of my life. With the 20 extra pounds I gained this year, I’ll need his help again.

You’re here now and the bummer is that I’m traveling again. I have to go across the Northeast for my job. I like traveling but not as much as I used to. I miss being home more frequently than usual. However, I love talking to people. Hell… I love talking.

I got to get going. It was nice seeing you again. And don’t be a stranger. Post more. Explore. Get after it!

But before I go… where were you?

 

 

 


Week Nine Picks: LeBron is back.

Things are crazy right now. I have new opportunities to help me flourish and someone is coming back to Cleveland. There’s a lot of excitement in my home area of Northeastern Oho. It’s said that the most stressful moments come in a new career or situation such as new home or status like marriage or divorce.

The marriage of LeBron James and the city of Cleveland ended in a messy divorce known as “The Decision“. The separation united the city with a hatred hotter than 10,000 burning suns. Literally.  But as with love, separation makes the heart grow fonder. More than four years later, James returns to a forgiving fan base and turns the alley of West 4th Street into Times Square (well… that might have been the ESPN booth).
There’s a lot of promise for the city that’s been lost for last several years. Cleveland’s relevant again and there’s hope. The sports nation looks toward the city to witness the beginning of something special or sports tragedy.
The people have been set up to endure failure for so long. The Browns beat the Steelers one week only to lose to the worst teams in the NFL. The Indians make a playoff run only to lose steam down the stretch.
It’s about time they get a chance to enjoy, at this moment, a chance. A real chance to compete for a championship is upon the fans. A chance to be a part of something special.

So here’s to the new season of hope. Here’s to a new beginning of a championship run for the city of Cleveland. Let the party begin in the streets. But not too late. I have to work in the morning.

WEEK 9

(BYES: ATLANTA, BUFFALO, CHICAGO, DETROIT, GREEN BAY, TENNESSEE)

Last Week: 7-7

Season: 71-47

My winning streak had to end sometime…

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 1:00p p.m.

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 1:00 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT HOUSTON TEXANS — 1:00 p.m.

N.Y. JETS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — 1:00 p.m.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS — 1:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS — 1:00 p.m

ST. LOUIS RAMS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — 4:05 p.m.

DENVER BRONCOS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 4:25 p.m.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — 4:25 p.m.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS * — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT N.Y. GIANTS — 8:30 p.m.


Week Eight Picks: I found success once I stopped worrying

There’s a passage that hangs on my office wall I read everyday after working. It allows me to take stock in the thoughts and accomplishments throughout the day.

Oftentimes you feel the need to sit down and take stock of the things in your life that you need to do better, that you need to improve, that you need to address, and this is not a bad thing.
But, when was the last time that you sat down as earnestly and as enthusiastically and took stock of all the things that you have done RIGHT?
The time you took to help others, the people you supported merely because it was the right thing to do, the right choices you made when no one was watching

There is always room for improvement in areas of your life, but there is nothing magical or superior about only focusing on the negatives, even if it is with an eye toward making them better.
Balance dictates that you look at the totality of your situation, and that includes giving credit where credit is due.
Today, take a moment to examine your life from the vantage point of what you have done right, and embrace the unique and beautiful wonder of YOU!

There are so many things that linger in my mind when decompressing from my work day. An idea pops in my head and teases me to get back on my laptop and turn it into action. I often found myself in that situation when I first started freelancing full time. I thought having this kind of routine would be beneficial of having a career that I could make my own hours and choose my own direction. Sure enough I was right, but it did come at a cost. I found success but soon learned that I sacrificed the free time I wanted to have in the first place. It was just work, work, work. What good is freedom when you’re always locked inside your Word document?

That was the time I stumbled upon that passage. I discovered that my desire for balance was lacking. It was insufficient because I didn’t have the balance of praise and criticism. There was always something to improve on or add to in my assignments. There was always one more person to call. One thought after another. And with my own fluid schedule, I thought I could knock out all of these notions and run my freelancing business smoothly. I was sadly mistaken. The one thing that I despised when working for “the man” turned out to be what I became. I was that boss that wanted more from the employee who was me.

Reading these sentences made me realize the need to have a stop and start button to my daily career hustle or else it would burn me out. Fortunately, it has made a better writer and time manager. Once I started looking at what I accomplished and not dwelling on what I could have done better or missed out on, the opportunities appeared more.  I was less stressed and not so overwhelmed when on assignment. The game came to me instead of me forcing things.

Now, my career has taken a great turn and I owe all to my change in thinking. I was always about my process as a writer and editor, but my mindset has really over the top. I’m thankful for that. I don’t know who the author of these words were but they’ve very helpful in my life. So, here’s hoping they’ll make good use for you.

Is there any passage you read daily gets you going? Comment below.

WEEK 8

(BYES: N.Y. GIANTS, SAN FRANCISCO)

Last Week: 11-3

Season: 64-40

Momentum is building… 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS AT DENVER BRONCOS — 8:25 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26

DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (LONDON) — 9:30 a.m.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS — 1:00 p.m.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS — 1:00 p.m.

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — 1:00 p.m.

ST. LOUIS RAMS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — 1:00 p.m.

CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — 1:00 p.m.

BUFFALO BILLS AT N.Y. JETS — 1:00 p.m.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — 1:00 p.m.

HOUSTON TEXANS AT TENNESSEE TITANS — 1:00 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT ARIZONA CARDINALS — 4:05 p.m.

OAKLAND RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS — 4:25 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS — 4:25 p.m.

GREEN BAY PACKERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS * — 8:30 p.m.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT DALLAS COWBOYS — 8:30 p.m.