27 Things I Compulsively Do That May Or May Not Have Any Impact On Zirtual’s Success (But I like To Tell Myself They Do)

by | October 9, 2014

I’ve always been a big reader and early on when starting Zirtual I spent hundreds of hours reading biographies and profiles of successful people—from musicians to entrepreneurs. One of my favorite parts were whenever they would say “here are the 7 things I do that make me/my business succeed”. I would always scribble them down and try them out myself; mistakenly assuming that following a crazy diet would make me as admired as Tim Ferriss or that reading all the books Senior Buffett read at my age would give me the financial insights of the Oracle himself.

Spoiler alert, that doesn’t work. 5 years later I realize that a lot of people are successful in spite of what they do—not because of it—and it’s pretty impossible to tell the difference between what hurts them, helps them, and what has zero effect entirely.

So here is my list, broken down into the above categories—enjoy!

Positive things I do:

  1. Write everything down in a notebook and “process” my notes using the GTD technique once every 2-3 days.
  2. Get to inbox zero at least once a day
  3. Close the loop (e.g. keep copious documentation of things that are “open” communication wise in Asana, Gmail and my notebook and follow up religiously if they don’t get done)
  4. Eat healthy 90% of the time
  5. Block off the first hour of my day for no-email/calls, just working in peace on whatever is the n.1 priority at that moment (hands down the most productive part of my day)
  6. Read 3-4 books a month, digest all my news through Stitcher during commutes
  7. Take multiple breaks during the day where I close down all screens and spend time wandering the city or reading
  8. Refuse to read gossip magazines, garbage in/garbage out
  9. Am generally, generous
  10. Ask for a lot of advice for Zirtual, but always weigh it to make sure it applies to the situation (lots of smart people can give you really, really bad advice)
  11. Do a lot of self-work (e.g. see a therapist, engage an executive coach, I believe to be a good leader you must have a firm grasp on your own psyche both weaknesses & strengths)

Neutral things I do:

  1. Adore pigeons
  2. Feed pigeons, even when others ask me to stop
  3. Talk about pigeons at length… to the chagrin of my friends, family and coworkers
  4. Eat “meh” (e.g. a bagel) 5% of the time
  5. Get my hair blown out once a week because I can’t stand washing it myself and I get to work at the same time, win/win.
  6. Outsource most of my household chores (e.g. cleaning via Homejoy/Handybook, laundry via Washio, food via Amazon Fresh)
  7. Have absolutely zero FOMO, if I am sick of an event/party/outing—I simply leave.

Negative things I do:

  1. Wake up in the middle of the night at 3am with anxiety and overanalyze everything that happened the previous day
  2. Drink whiskey as a stress reducer instead of doing yoga
  3. Judge books by their covers
    1. and I mean real books, not people, but I judge them too…
  4. Eat “bad” (e.g. hot pockets) 5% of the time
  5. Am overly critical and expect perfection out of those around me, without exuding it myself
  6. Often misspell words in company-wide emails, though I will tear someone’s head off if they do the same thing… which is both embarrassing, and confusing for those who read them.
  7. Too often take people for granted
  8. Too often take out my anger/stress on those around me
  9. Dislike most dentists