“Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.”
Chilling on a Smithsonian research island in Panama. Heaven on earth? Perhaps, but there are hundreds of places like this.
After Memorial Day weekend, many Americans will return to the office and fantasize about taking more time off. If only we could travel the world and experiencing life to its fullest!
What if you could travel the world — and make it a better place — for free?
Swimming with dolphins in New Zealand? Skiing in the Andes? Sumo wrestling and sushi sampling in Japan? Here’s your chance. The first — and possibly last — 4-Hour Workweek Global Challenge.
How would you use 36 extra hours per week?
If you can answer that question in 350 words or less, you could win a roundtrip anywhere in the world, private consulation with me to plan it all, and $1,000 for the cause of your choice.
My goals with this are 1) to get people to take action towards their dreams, and 2) to help people to develop a global consciousness and feel the rewards of contribution.
Grand Prize (one person):
-Roundtrip airfare anywhere in the world, sponsored by the good folks at the BootsnAll Travel Network, who specialize in around-the-world airfare, hostels, travel blogs, and inspiration to get you going on that trip of a lifetime
-Two hours of consultation with me for planning the entire adventure and making it unforgettable… Read More
How does he manage to read and organize tens of thousands of e-mail?
This exclusive 5-minute interview provides some great tips for avoiding e-mail overload, including:
The companies he recommends for e-mail systems
Definitions: are you a “piler” or a “filer”?
How to use reverse spam filtering to save time
The GTD rule he violates in favor of filing
Folder structure: how many does he use?
Why Robert doesn’t store all e-mail
Innovative use of a “Done” folder to prevent rereading
The interview cuts off at 5 minutes because my memory card reached capacity. What are a few of the things we discussed after the camera stopped rolling? See below the video for some great tips that weren’t caught on film.
What did you miss afterwards? Here are a few of the highlights:
1. Keep all Outlook .PST files under 2GB in size to optimize speed and prevent crashes:
Creating a new .PST file is not intuitive. Here’s the menu flow to get it done: Tools –> Options –> Mail Setup –> Data Files –> Add. Robert has three separate .PST files as folders in his left-hand Outlook view, which are essentially “Old”, “Middle/Someday”, and “Hot”. These are in addition to his “Inbox”, which he considers his “working set”.
2. Remove infrequently used .PST files:
Right-click and “close” infrequently used .PST folders and other folders. This does not delete them, thus Google Desktop can still be used to search for these messages. I suggest you double-check this before doing anything resembling deleting/removing.
3. Rename or append frequently-used folders to appear at the top of the list:
This one is from me. Robert has 20+ folders, as do millions of us. Once you identify the most frequently used folders, add “A-…”, “B-…”, “C-…”, etc. as prefixes (in descending order of frequency) on the folder names to reorder the folders alphabetically and bring the most useful to the top. Cut down on mouse travel time and eliminate wasted visual scanning.
4. Responding to fewer e-mail is the holy grail:
Robert told me that, based on his analytics over time, each e-mail he replies to produces between 1.5 and 2 additional e-mail in return. Sending e-mail multiplies the e-mail you receive. Replying to more people more often — the goal of most people — actually creates more work instead of cutting it down.
For more strategies, including template e-mails, that can be used to cut e-mail volume in half and cut frequency to once per day or once per week, see “The Low-Information Diet” and “Interrupting Interruption” in The 4-Hour Workweek.
Uberblogger Robert Scoble is truly one-of-a-kind. For those who don’t know, he became famous as a technical evangelist at Microsoft and quickly became their most outspoken and influential blogger. He now interviews people like Bill Gates, and the worldwide media reports on his every move. One of his most mindboggling skills is information management. He currently reads 622 RSS feeds a day — it used to be 1,400 feeds a day!
How the hell does he do it?
I dropped by the Podtech offices and hung out with Robert to find out. How does he avoid overload and process so much information? In this exclusive 11-minute interview, we answer quite a few burning questions I’ve wanted to ask since first meeting Robert:
Which RSS reader does he use and why?
How does he configure it to save time?
What are simple keyboard shortcuts anyone can use?
How does he find and pick feeds?
How can you catch his eye with your posts?
How does he use RSS feeds for building relationships?
How does he use sites like Techmeme/DIGG vs. niche blogs?
One thing impresses me about Robert more than all of his credentials: he smiles more than almost anyone I know. All the time! There is much to be learned from the Scobleizer. The ending of the interview — Robert’s last line — is also not to be missed.
My apologies for the hyperactive camera work, but the whole thing was quite impromptu, and I’m no Spielberg. Just close your eyes and listen if I make you seasick.
Stay tuned for part II, coming in the next week, which will answer the question: How does Robert Scoble read and organize e-mail? From speeding up Outlook’s performance to reverse spam filtering, it’s all covered. In the meantime, for a solid overview of how I cut e-mail time by about 90%, see my new manifesto at Seth Godin’s ChangeThis.
The problem with people who have no vices is that, generally, you can be sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
Dolfin 88% cacao Belgian dark chocolate — the best in the world and incredibly inexpensive
In life, as in relationships, the small things are the big things. The good life isn’t the result of milestone Lamborghinis and Caribbean trips, but the little adventures and small indulgences we all too often miss along the way.
Some of you already know that Saturday is a “free” day on my diet, and I take this freedom to eat (and drink) whatever I want seriously. I’m not one for the monastic life.
World-class luxuries need not be expensive, and many aren’t. Here are five of my favorites for less than $5, listed in order of preference:
1. Dolfin 88% Pure Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate
Few chocolates can pull off more than 70% cacao (cocoa) without tasting like chalk. I was told that Dolfin 88% was “the best dark chocolate in the world” by the current master of the famous It’s It ice cream empire. He might just be right.
2. Blue Fin 2005 California Chardonnay
I’ve never been a white wine person, but the Rombauer 2005 Chardonnay, tasted at the legendary Brix of Napa, changed all of that. It opened my eyes to a world of buttery, antioxidant-rich goodness. The Blue Fin Chardonnay, at a whopping $3.99, matches most $30-40 whites. Truly amazing.
The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left to be done.
Tao Te Ching
Is it possible to outsource your life to other countries? By now, you know that I believe it is. But is it necessary to outsource overseas? Can you outsource in languages other than English? What is geoarbitrage really about?
These were some of the topics I covered in “Die 4-Stunden Arbeitswoche” (The 4-Hour Workweek) with Patrick Price for his Swiss-German podcast, NetzNews. The first 30 seconds are in Swiss German, a very cool dialect that sounds nothing like Berlin German, and the rest is in English.
For those of you interested in the tech tools I use abroad, or how some case studies have negotiated remote work, there is a short interview with me called “Workin’ 9 to…9:48?” in this month’s issue of Outside magazine, which focuses on dream jobs. It’s a very cool issue guaranteed to get you thinking about escape.
Before you can escape, however, you need to stop crap information from invading your life. It finds us through two channels that we’ll crush today: SPAM (which actually stands for “Sh*t Posing As Mail) and junk postal mail. Here are the quick 30-minute fixes for both:
1. Put yourself on the postal “do not call” list by sending a letter to the following address and asking to be removed from all mass and junk mailings:
DMA Mail Preference Service
Post Office Box 603
Carmel, NY 10512-0643
Big thanks to corporate pranking genius John Hargrave, who introduced me to this through his bible of sticking it to the man, Prank the Monkey, one of the most empowering and hysterical books I’ve ever read.
2. Sign up for SpamArrest. I’ve tried several spam filtering programs, and most have been either too lenient or excessively strict. SpamArrest, which I can use for Outlook without installing it on the server (key for many employees who don’t have administrator rights), used in combination with Gmail, has reduced my spam count to 2-4 message per week.
Keep it simple. Good barriers needn’t be complicated and seldom are. Take 30 minutes to trial the above and treat your brain to something like Discovery Channel instead of penis enlargement spam and credit card offers. Stop sorting and start eliminating.
Free Red Bull book launch party tonight in San Francisco!
For those readers in the bay area, come party with me tonight!
Forget cover charges. From 9-11pm tonight (Friday), get into this exclusive party with a proof of purchase of The 4-Hour Workweek! Jam to one of the hottest superstar DJs in CA, David Carvalho, and The Red Bull Energy Team will be there to fuel you all night long: free Red Bull!
It’ll be a wild evening of drinks and dancing with SF’s finest. Just bring your receipt from a local bookstore or Amazon (or a page from the book) and you’re in!