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5 Things You Can Do While Social Distancing

5 Things to do while Social Distancing Thumb Web

Being told to stay put is hard. We are used to being able to go where we want when we want. With the recent Covid-19 pandemic in full swing, the best practice we have is to keep our distance from others. You don’t really notice just how social you are until you can’t go be social.

Whether you are working from home or not, chances are you will have some extra time on your hands that you would have filled with extracurricular activities. Our kids’ sports have been called off, for now, we can’t go to church, and they won’t even let more than a few people in the grocery store at a time. It’s crazy.

Many will fill their time binge-watching shows or doing whatever they can to make the time pass. I suggest you use it to grow. In this video, I discuss 5 Things You Can Do While Social Distancing to keep sane.

Listen instead. Check out the Jerad Hill Show Podcast: https://jerad.show

Resources:
Audible: https://jerad.link/audible
Hoopla: https://jerad.link/hoopla
Skillshare: https://jerad.link/skillshare
Notion: https://jerad.link/notion
My Notion Templates: https://jerad.link/notiontemplates

My hope is that you use this time to grow and position yourself for success. This will pass but the world will likely look a bit different. Some companies may go virtual which means working from home is a new lifestyle for many. People may decide to start homeschooling their kids after getting a taste of what it’s like.

I am very interested to see what changes happen in society as a result of Coronavirus.

Let me know what you are doing to pass the time. Have any tips? Share them with me in the comments section.

Personal Development

I’m In A Notion Slump!

I'm in a Notion Slump - How I'm Using Notion to be more Self-Aware

If your year has gone like mine, it started out pretty fantastic with an almost unlimited amount of motivation. It’s a new decade and a perfect time to hit the ground running. Now that we are well into the year, some of that excitement has worn off and I have recently found myself in a bit of a slump.

If you have been following me online for the last several months, you have seen me talk a lot about how I am using Notion to organize and structure my life. I have built tools within Notion that have helped me keep productive and on task. Less has slipped through the cracks and it has been easier for me to achieve my goals.

After hurting my back last month, I got in a slump and my routine suffered. After my back was better, it was still hard to get back into a routine, but this time I have something I haven’t had in the past. Data!

I have been using Notion for my Daily Log for quite a while now and due to the way I have it set up, I can see trends in my life. Looking at these trends makes it easier for me to stay in touch with myself and be more self-aware. This has helped me so much.

In the past, I would journal or Daily Log in Evernote, but there was no easy way for me to visualize how things had been going for me. If I had been frustrated multiple times in a week over something, I didn’t have a way to visualize that. The frustration had to reach a boiling point before I could really notice it had become a problem.

So even though I have not used Notion as much as I would have liked to and some of what I built in Notion got a bit stale, my Daily Log really helped me recognize what was going on and that knowledge allowed me to course-correct much sooner. For that, I am thankful.

Check out my recent video on how I was in a Notion Slump and actually used Notion to get out of it. Pretty meta, I know.

Check out my templates for Notion and Evernote

Much is going on in our world right now. I hope that you are able to use it to think and grow. Though we are all experiencing major setbacks, my prayer is that we come out of this stronger and more resilient than before.

Stay safe and healthy!

Family Parenting Personal Development

Covid-19 Social Distancing Family Daily Schedule

We’re sure living in interesting times aren’t we? I can’t count the amount of movies I have watched where crazy things have happened like this but I never could have imagined living through one. It would be easy to simply wait this thing out, but I don’t want to look at this as wasted time. I believe we are given this time to do something with it and that is what I intend to do. Many people are sharing about what they are doing with their families and themselves during this time, so I thought I would share what we are doing in my home.

I work from home, so this is going to be a test for me. I am used to having three of my kids in school at least half of the day and my wife usually stays pretty social which gives me quiet mornings at home for work. On days when there was all day activity at home, I would work from a coffee shop. Those options are not available for my wife or myself now. We all have to be at home.

This will be good for me and my family. When we travelled full time for two months last year, we had to get used to being in close quarters as we were sharing a travel trailer between the six of us. It will take a few days for us to adjust, but I know it will be good for us as a family to have this extra time together. I believe it will help each of us learn to better appreciate each other and the things each of us have to do in a day.

I’m writing all of this out for a few reasons. The first is to force myself to think through it all. It is important to process everything and to make plans. Without that, I am only hoping for the best. That is not a strategy.

The second is to share what we are doing in this unique situation. Not only is this situation totally different for us but it’s different for many others who’s kids are home from school and find themselves now working from home. It can be quite chaotic and different in so many ways for most.

The third is to set public intentions. Sometimes we have to declare something publicly in order to stick to it. I did this earlier this year on my YouTube channel with my goals for 2020. I intend to use this time well both for myself and for my family.

Our Daily Family Schedule

My kids will be out of school for at least the next three weeks. My wife and I decided it is important that our kids have a schedule for the day. When at school, there is a schedule they have that they can count on. Each day they know what to expect and I want that to continue while we are at home. Most of you with kids know that a schedule is important. It helps keep things sane.

Our kids will still have school requirements during two of the three weeks they are home. One of the weeks is spring break. We will have a modified schedule for that week, but still plan to have a schedule for it.

Our daily schedule will look like this:

Though we have a schedule we intent to stick to daily, we understand that sometimes things need to be adjusted or changed as needed. This schedule is to guide us and to give our kids structure. Given the opportunity, we will try to change it up from time to time to keep things from getting boring.

My Day/Work Schedule

Working from home has already become more challenging for me lately. I started the year off pretty strong until I injured my back. That got me out of a routine and I have struggled to get back into one. A good routine for me starts with a solid morning workout which I am going to have to try to do from home for now.

My goal is to try and work out each morning. That means going for a walk or run, riding my bike, lifting the few weights I have at home, and doing some body weight workouts. With that accomplishment each morning, the stage will be set for the rest of my day.

I plan to front load my day with my work. I want to get all essential work completed early so I can be available to assist my wife if needed later in the day. My kids are not going to get the normal social interactions they get during the day so I want to be available in the afternoons to engage with them.

We had just started baseball and softball practice, which was postponed for now. When that is allowed to start back up, I want to have been practicing at home.

Being Prepared

We have not gone crazy with our household preparedness. I went to the store today to get a few extra things but we had done our normal grocery shopping just a few days ago.

We will naturally consume more as all of us are home all day. Being that we are at home, we don’t need gallons of disinfectant or an over abundance of toilet paper. We just need what we would normally consumer plus a little extra. That is it. Everybody else needs what they need as well. It is not responsible to hoard.

The best thing that my wife and I can do as parents to our children is to maintain a sense of normality and structure for them. They are kids and should not have to deal with all of the anxieties that we have to deal with as adults. We can use situations like this to show our kids that their parents can lead in a time of crisis and we can use that time to grow closer as a family. It won’t be easy, but it is what my family needs right now. It took us less that 15 minutes to come up with a daily schedule and that will relieve a lot of stress and anxiety starting first thing tomorrow morning.

Be a Leader

I encourage you to be a leader to those who rely on you. My wife and I called all of the parents and grandparents in our family today to check on them and to see if there is anything we can do for them. They are more at risk than we are and because of that, we can help. It doesn’t matter if there are disagreements or frustrations within your family. Those things get put aside because they are not important during times like this.

Our church has also set that standard. If people who are more at risk need something, the rest of us can step up and help. That is what a healthy and productive society is supposed to do and my hope is that we hear amazing stories of how people are stepping up to help those around them for years to come. This is not a time to search for a monetary edge or to better position ourselves for success but to band together with those who are close to us and be there for each other.

This is scary and there is a lot of uncertainty. I have had a few large jobs cancel on me this past week and that will put a financial strain on things for a while, but there are people who are less fortunate, who have less control than I do. There are businesses that won’t survive this because they can’t afford to be closed for a few days let alone weeks. The best thing we can do is to be there for each other and to let those in our circle know that we are there for them.

Grow

This afternoon I told my wife and kids that it would be cool if we could use this extra time to learn something new. There is so much information online that is free or near free to consume. Most of it does not take that much time to watch. You can learn something you had no experience with during these next few weeks. Your kids can learn something they have never experienced in the next few weeks. We can use this time to grow. Here are a few ideas:

YouTube: You can search for just about anything on YouTube and learn how to do it. There are tutorials from a multitude of people on YouTube and all of those videos are free. Just search for “thing you want to learn tutorial” and you will find many who have taken the time to teach their methods in video form.

SkillShare: This is a website with structured courses on a wide variety of topics. SkillShare offers a two-month free trial. My oldest son and I started watching a course on Illustration on the iPad using an app called ProCreate, as he has shown an interest in making his own comics. Get 2-Months of SkillShare Free

Disclaimer: The SkillShare link is an affiliate link that gets you the two months free. You don’t have to pay for anything to get the free trial and you can cancel it at any time. If you do decide to stay subscribed, SkillShare provides me with a small commission. Use the free trial to learn some new skills.

My Courses: I have a few online courses on Photography and using WordPress to build and maintain websites. Almost all of my courses are free and I invite you to check them out if you have ever wanted to get to know your camera better or how to create a website. Visit LearnwithJerad.Com to see my courses. One of my goals is to update and expand my catalog of online education as I believe self-education is the way of the future for many.

Closing Thoughts

I encourage you to make the most of this time. It very much feels like a set back but it is what you make of it. Use this time to learn and grow. Also use this time to grow closer to those who mean the most to you.

We are all learning just how reliant we are on others just to exist in times like this. Some have jobs they can not do and others will lose their jobs over this situation due to businesses closing or being unable to operate. The best thing you can do is to use this time to set yourself up to be less susceptible to situations like this in the future. Use this time to grow and add to your skill set so that you are more in control of your life.

If there is anything I can do to help you, please reach out. Please stay safe and healthy. Be blessed my friends.

Newsletter Personal Development

Building a 2020 Vision

Building A 2020 Vision - Sunday Dispatch - Jerad Hill

Hey Friend 👋, the year is almost over, and that has me thinking about next year. Are you a new year resolution maker, or are you a bit more pessimistic like I am? In the past, I would scoff at new year resolutions because I not only knew that most people don’t stick to them but that I also had a pretty lousy track record myself.

I’m not sure if it’s the coming new decade, me turning forty next month, a bit of both, or just a coincidence, but I have been searching myself a lot this year looking to optimize various aspects of my life. A few months ago, this idea of creating a 2020 Vision for next year that will launch me into the next decade started to take form. 2020 will be the year of perfect vision. I want to encourage you to take this journey with me.

To dive deeper into this metaphor, you have to learn to focus on something before it becomes clear.

Even if we are not sure we can pull it off, we have to have a vision, somewhere to aim our focus. I have recently started running, and I find that if I choose a point and focus on it, each step is more consistent, and my body stays in line.

How To Create a 2020 Vision

I hesitate to give any advice because I am in the thick of it myself, but I want to share what I am doing right now to improve my focus. I have some ambitious goals for next year, and I plan to execute them while sharing the process along the way. I learn best by experience. If I can do something myself, or follow someone as they do it, I learn. Reading about what someone did years ago when the landscape was different does less for me. Are you the same?

YouTube Analytics for State of Tech – Last 28-Days

This image displays the projected revenue from the past 30-days of State of Tech, my mobile technology YouTube channel. In August, just a few months ago, it was $1,450.00 US. That is massive growth in the last few months, and I achieved it by focusing on creating new videos. In the first half of this year, I occasionally released new videos and did not have a plan in place. Now I do. It will take a lot of work to keep this momentum going as there was a significant boost in traffic from holiday shoppers after Black Friday, but I have a plan.

As I run towards my goals going into 2020, I don’t want to do it alone. Running is more fun with friends, so I want you to come along if you desire more focus as I do. I started a Facebook Group, and I would love for you to join me at no cost. This group is free to join. I will share some of what I am doing publically on social media, but I want to create a tribe of people who plan to make 2020 their best year yet. Click here to join the group.

YouTube Analytics for State of Tech – August 2019

📺 New Videos This Week

Here are a few of my latest videos. I had a goal to release some new camera-related videos as the Christmas shopping season was ramping up. My tech-related videos on State of Tech were performing great and it had been almost a month since I had released any videos on Ditch Auto.

Nikon Z6 – 6 Months Later
Canon 90D vs Nikon 500D Comparison – Which Is Better?

From My Resonance Log

Ideas, quotes, and thoughts that are “resonating” with me make it to my new Resonance Log in Notion. Here are a few from the past week:

What’s the one thing I can do this morning that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary. ~Gary Keller “The One Thing

“If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started ‘being creative,’ well, I’d be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are. You’re ready. Start making stuff.” ~Austin Kleon “Steal Like an Artist

“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running. And a system can be successful in many different forms, not just the one you first envision.” ~James Clear “Atomic Habits

Now

🇺🇸 Writing From: Home Office
💪🏼 Current Challenges: 20,000 Steps/Day for 30-days (Day 21 – Friend me on Fitbit)
📱 App of the Week: Instapaper (I use this to save things I find on the web to read later)
🎧 Listening: Tim Ferriss Show #401 Gary Keller
📖 Reading: How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease – View on Amazon | Get Free on Audible.Com
🍿 Watching: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Prime Video
➡️ More now

Next

I have a lot to accomplish in the next week. It’s the last week before my kids start their Christmas break from school. I want to dedicate as much of my time to them as possible

Have any questions for me?

Let’s talk about it in the Facebook group. Click here to join me. Of course, you can always hit reply, and email me.

Thank You!

Thank you 🙏 for your support.

Want to fuel the next Sunday Dispatch? Buy me a coffee.

Disclosure: My content occasionally contains affiliate links and I earn a small referral commission for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps fund the costs to support the newsletter, and I’m grateful for you!

Newsletter Personal Development

20,000 Steps Kinda Hurts & Other Challenges

Hey friend 👋🏼, how was your week? It was a busy one for me. Yesterday, I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my family, and it was filled with food and relaxing. I have been on this challenge to put 20,000 steps (approx. 10 miles) on my legs every day. It’s been hard work, so I was thankful that the gym was open on Thanksgiving morning so I could get most of the work done early. I post my daily step count on my Instagram Story. While jogging on the treadmill, I started thinking about the things I was thankful for. I know it sounds kind of weird, like something your Mom would force you to do, but I was feeling very gracious for where my life is right now. Things are not perfect, but they are pretty great. I think sometimes we need to remember just how good things are even when they might seem like they are not.

There are a few topics that will likely be common in my emails. The first is on building alternative sources of income. Besides my digital marketing agency, I produce YouTube videos, write reviews, and teach online. I am very close to having replaced my income with revenue from these efforts. I would love to share more about how I was able to do that.

The second topic is on productivity and life optimization. I used to like the term lifestyle design, but for me, it’s more about life optimization. Life optimization means doing the work it takes to make your current life better rather than always chasing something in hopes that it will bring happiness. There is happiness right here. It just takes work.

Before we jump into the topics and interesting things I have to share, I wanted to let you know that over 350 people have downloaded my Daily Log template in the last week. That’s pretty awesome. I plan to make a video about how I use it this week; I will share that with you in the next email. Of course, you can always subscribe to my personal YouTube channel so you get notified when it goes live.

Lastly, today is Black Friday. I am not sure if that is a common thing or not, but are you buying something for yourself on Black Friday? I always put away a few dollars in case something I want but wouldn’t pay full price goes on sale. This year I held back and didn’t purchase anything personal on Black Friday. I do make business purchases on Black Friday because, for some reason, companies that sell business services give deals as well. I’ll list my Black Friday Purchases below. Reply to this email and let me know what you are buying today.

Be Challenged Now

It’s almost the end of the year, so you are probably starting to think about those things you want to either start or stop doing at the beginning of the year. Wanting to start right away, I started challenging myself in a few ways already. In the last email, I shared my progress with you, and I will continue to update you at the bottom of each email so if I start slipping, you can call me out 😜

The hardest part about sticking to something for me has been staying motivated. I have found that the simple act of tracking it each day has been motivating enough. If I do something for five days in a row, I don’t want to have to start over at day one again, so I keep going. I have been testing a few habit tracking apps and also added a section to my Daily Log to track my progress as well.

Here are the three Apps I have been testing out. I will make a video about them soon, but to be honest, I prefer to track this in my Daily Log even though these apps are also on my Apple Watch, which makes it easy to check off achievements as they happen.

I’m not looking to develop a habit of anything specific; I’m developing the habit of doing things and challenging myself. Most people talk about doing things, few people do things. I want to be a person who is always doing things. What is one thing you always talk about but never do? Hit reply to this email and share that with me.

Habit Tracker Apps

Listed from left to right:

  • Productive – Nice interface. Easy to use. Has a monthly cost. (iOS & Android)
  • Strides – Simple interface. Easy to use. Monthly cost, but can be used for free with limitations. (iOS Only)
  • Streaks – Easy to use. I like the big buttons. App has a cost, no monthly subscription. (iOS Only)

If you are an Android user and want more options, let me know. I will test a few and include them in my video.

📺 New Videos This Week

VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector Review

State of Tech – Mobile Tech Reviews, Tips & News

Have you heard of 4K Laser Video Projectors? I spent some time with one to see if it would make a good replacement for our TV. This projector doesn’t have to go clear across the room, it goes up against the wall and projects almost straight up onto your wall. Pretty cool.

Check out the video.

Video Update!

I did a lot of filming and editing last week but only got out one video. Going into December, I have a lot of videos I want to put out on State of Tech, Ditch Auto, and my own YouTube channel. I will keep you updated in these emails but you can also go subscribe to my channels if you prefer.

My Black Friday Purchases

  • Freshbooks – This is the Invoicing & Bookkeeping service I use to run my business. I’ve been using Freshbooks for over 12 years now and it just rocks. They are running a Black Friday discount for new users. Save 50% off plans for the first three months if you skip the 30-day trial. Try Freshbooks
  • LensProToGo – I don’t need to own all of the camera gear. It’s actually cheaper to rent some of it just when I need it. I just rented a camera and lens I have wanted to try to take to Florida next month when my wife and I travel there for a friend’s wedding. You can actually use the coupon code “JERAD” to save 15% off of your rental. I don’t get paid for sending you there, I just like their services. Try LensProToGo
  • Teachable – I have hosted my online courses on Teachable for a few years now and Teachable just works well. They also run Black Friday deals each year so I renew at this time and save each time as well. Try Teachable
  • Namecheap – I buy way too many domain names (website addresses). Namecheap is running a bunch of sales right now so I purchased a new domain name for a small side project I have wanted to start working on. Check out Namecheap

Momentous Occasions

My youngest child turned one!

My youngest turned one the other day. We had a party for her last weekend. I captured this photo of her dumping the pumpkin off of the chair. That is totally her style. She keeps me busy. We brought her home at 11-days old and she officially became part of our family on August 12th. It’s crazy to think that this time last year we had no idea she was being born and that on December 7th we would get a call asking us if we could provide her with a home. One day I would like to tell the story of our adoption journey somehow. The entire journey took us almost three years.

What Resonated This Week

Ideas, quotes, and thoughts that are “resonating” with me make it to a new section in my Daily Log. Here are a few from the past week:

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James Baldwin

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami

Now

🇺🇸 Writing From: Home Office

💪🏼 Current Challenges:

  • 20,000 Steps/Day for 30-days (Day 9 – Friend me on Fitbit)
  • No Sip November – No alcohol (Day 28)

📱 App of the Week: Zero – Intermittent Fasting Tracker

🎧 Listening: The Side Hustle Show Podcast

📖 Reading: I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

🍿 Watching: Disney+

➡️ More now

Next

Several of you responded to my last email letting me know that you wanted a photography-related newsletter. I am trying to figure out what that might look like. Next week I will likely have a signup form, so make sure to look out for that if you are interested.

Thank You!

Thank you 🙏 for your support.

Want to fuel my next email? Buy me a coffee.

What’s currently in my pocket?

Disclosure: My content occasionally contains affiliate links and I earn a small referral commission for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps fund the costs to support the newsletter, and I’m grateful for you!

Newsletter Personal Development

💩 = 🌱

Hey Friend 👋🏼, can you believe November is almost over already? I remember this time last year thinking the same thing and feeling a bit depressed over the fact that I had not accomplished many of the things I wanted to do that year. Has that ever happened to you?

This year has not been perfect, but I have accomplished more personally and for my family than I have in years. As the year comes to a close, a portion of my email will be dedicated to helping you create goals, start them, and stay motivated to finish them. If you’re serious about making 2020 your best year yet, I’m considering starting a private group for those of us interested in making next year amazing. Let me know if you are interested in something like that.

I had multiple requests for a copy of my Daily Log, so I created a page where you can download the template for free. Check it out.

On Feeling Overwhelmed

It’s easy to get overwhelmed these days. More things pulling at us than ever before, and it’s hard to process it all. One of the things I have started tracking in my Daily Log is the things that are currently overwhelming me. When I get overwhelmed, my wheels kind of just spin in place. It’s hard for me to make a decision and move forward. Are you this way? I sometimes get overwhelmed when I have to decide what to focus on and especially when I have something I wanted to finish, but it’s time for me to stop working and spend time with my family.

Later today, I am going to start calendar blocking. Calendar blocking is the practice of planning out your entire day, so you know what to expect. I have tried this before, but it didn’t last because I didn’t dedicate myself to making it work. Using a task manager has worked well for making progress on projects, but blocking out my time will ensure I have time scheduled for those projects, so I am not scrambling to find time throughout the day.

What overwhelms you? When you are finished reading this share it with me in the comment section below.

Insights I’m Exploring

I was pretty busy this past week with client projects and publishing a few videos for State of Tech. During my time at the gym and while working, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. When something interesting is said, I log it in my Daily Log. Sometimes those ideas inspire me to write a blog or record a podcast. I wanted to share a few thoughts with you from my Daily Log this week.

We must go beyond knowing to feeling.

You can know something, but for it to be real, you have to feel it. To improve my life, I have to do more than understand what needs to be done. I need to feel the “why.”

I need to be right because when I’m right, I feel safe.

This thought kicked me in the chest. I am much better now, but in the past, I always had to be right. It didn’t matter if it ruined the connection I had with someone. Being right made me feel safe because, as a child, I was often told that I was wrong. I’ve been practicing holding back in conversations to avoid having to make a point or appear superior to the other person.

When 💩 Hits the Fan

I had this thought about a common phrase we use when something goes wrong. When 💩 hits the fan, where does the 💩 go? Does it stick to the fan? Does the fan sling it all over the room? If life is the 💩 and we are the fan, what am I doing with all of the 💩 that comes my way?

I had this thought as a milk commercial was on the TV in front of me at the gym. The cow was at a dairy. Now I was thinking about 💩 hitting the fan and cow 💩. That’s just how my brain works 🤷🏼‍♂️

I thought about how farmers turn cow 💩 into fertilizer that is used to grow plants. So 💩 = 🌱

How can I take challenges that life throws at me and turn them into growth opportunities?

Did something inspire you this week? Share it with me, I would love to hear about it.

📺 New Videos This Week

State of Tech – Mobile Tech Reviews, Tips & News

The iPad Pro is a year old, and it looks like Apple won’t be updating it until the spring of 2020. Is the iPad Pro worth it? This week I published a video on the iPad Pro 11-inch model one year later and discussed how I have been using it.

iPad Pro – 1 Year Later Review – How I Use It

Upcoming Videos:

  • Massive iPhone 11 Pro Case Haul Review
  • Airpods 2 vs Powerbeats Pro
  • How to Make Your iPad Pro the Perfect Laptop Replacement
  • Boosted Board Plus vs Boosted Mini X

Subscribe to get notified when new videos go live.

Ditch Auto – Photography Reviews, Tips & News

I didn’t get anything new out on Ditch Auto this week but I am editing a few videos that will go live before the end of the month.

Upcoming Videos:

  • Canon 90D vs Nikon D500 – Which one to buy?
  • Canon 90D – 10 Settings to Change
  • Nikon D750 Review 2019 – 5 Years Later – Is it still any good?

Subscribe to get notified when new videos go live.

My YouTube Channel

I had been looking for a tool I could use to manage my work and life rather than having several tools that worked well but didn’t talk to each other. I found Notion, and for the past few weeks, I’ve been figuring out how to implement it into my life. I decided to put out a video sharing how I am using it. Notion is free, visit the Notion website.

How I’m Using Notion for Productivity

Upcoming Videos:

  • 7 Ways to Be More Self Disciplined
  • I quit drinking for 30 days
  • 10-Minute Rule for Overcoming Any Habit

Subscribe to get notified when new videos go live.

From My Resonance Log

Ideas, quotes, and thoughts that are “resonating” with me make it to my new Resonance Log in Notion. Here are a few from the past week:

“Even if you’re sure you can win, be careful that you can live with what you lose.” – Gary Keller

“You will get there when you are meant to get there and not a moment sooner… so relax, breathe, and be patient.” – Unknown

“What other people think about you isn’t about you. It’s about them.” – Unknown

Now

🇺🇸 Writing From: Home Office

💪🏼 Current Challenges:

  • 20,000 Steps/Day for 30-days (Day 3 – Friend me on Fitbit)
  • No Sip November – No alcohol (Day 21)

📱 App of the Week: Notion

🎧 Listening: Brain Food Playlist on Spotify

📖 Reading: Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal

🍿 Watching: When a Korean kid meets an American kid for the first time – YouTube

➡️ More now

Next

I’m contemplating starting a weekly newsletter for photography and technology, perhaps one for each. These newsletters would be a collection of news and tips with the goal of keeping you informed with what’s new and also teaching you something new each week.

If this is something that would interest you, please reply to this email and tell let me know.

What question do you have for me?

Simply comment below or send me a message through InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

Thank You!

Thank you 🙏 for your support.

What’s currently in my pocket?

Disclosure: My content occasionally contains affiliate links and I earn a small referral commission for your purchases (at no extra cost to you). This helps fund the costs to support the newsletter, and I’m grateful for you!

Newsletter Personal Development

You Should Start On That One Thing, Here’s How!

Hey friends, It’s been a busy week. I sent out my first Weekly Newsletter last week to over 21,000 people and only 1.9% dropped off. Thank you so much for sticking around to see what this thing becomes. I have some interesting stuff for you this week that I think you’re going to like including a podcast episode on a pretty big idea, some interesting thoughts from what I read this last week, and challenge at the end. Let’s Go!

Starting Is The Key

I have been tracking various aspects of my day for over a year now which includes tracking status on projects. Looking at the accumulation of data I realized that I start too many things and don’t finish them. A great realization to have after just having started yet another thing. 🤪🤪

My Daily Log Template in Notion

The main takeaway for me was realizing that starting something new is better than not having started at all. How many times have you told yourself “no” before giving an idea or a new project a chance? We are masters of coming up with excuses. It’s time you start on that thing you have been thinking about for so long. You don’t want to miss this talk, one of the keys to starting something is to “Get Chunky!” You’re going to have to watch the video or listen to the podcast even if it’s just to hear me say chunky multiple times, and yes, there is a vomit reference 🤣🤣 It’s basically a free short course I designed to help you develop a framework for becoming someone who isn’t afraid to start new things.

My Daily Log has been monumental in me becoming more self-aware. I not only log what I intend to do but I log what I get done as well. I also check in multiple times each day to note how I am feeling. If something happens or I come across some inspiration, it goes in the log. I recently started tracking my caffeine intake as well because I might have a problem there 🤫🤫

Want my Daily Log Template? Reply to this email and ask, I will send it to you directly. You can use it in your favorite note-taking apps such as Evernote or the notes app that came on your phone. I will be making a video on the topic of my Daily Logging practices. As part of my inner circle, you will be the first to know when that is ready 🙌🙌

Could you do me a small favor?

Did that get your attention? I bet it did because you are the kind of person who is eager to help a friend out. As I continue to improve my writing I have found the use of trigger words and phrases to be very interesting. It’s fascinating to me that we can simply say something a certain way and have someone’s attention whereas if we say it a slightly different way, it pushes them away. We all do this in our own subtle ways. I just finished reading, “Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact” by Phil M. Jones. It’s a shorter read, check it out.

“There are two types of people in this world: those who resist change in favor of nostalgia and those who move with the times and create a better future.” ― Phil M Jones

While we are on the subject of favors, I am not sure it’s for you, but I would appreciate you checking out my podcast and let me know what you think about it. Click Here to check it out.

This Week on the Podcast

I put out two audio podcast episodes this past week. The first titled “The Value of Challenging Yourself,” discusses how important it is for us to challenge ourselves even if we have other challenges we are facing in our lives.

The second is on the topic I mentioned above titled “Starting Is The Key.”

I bet you’re like me and need some motivation today, click here to check out the latest episode of the podcast or watch it on YouTube.

This Week’s Tech Video

AirPods 2 vs AirPods Pro – Which One to Buy?

This Week’s Photography Video

50mm f/1.4 Sony E-Mount for Under $100? Brightin Star E-Mount Lens Review

Do you like Photography?

I coordinate a photography Facebook Group and we started a monthly photo challenge. This month there is a give-a-way. The group has over 4,000 photographers in it ranging from beginner to advanced. I would love for you to join us. Join the Ditch Auto Facebook Group.

Let’s Go!

What’s something you have always wanted to start? After you finish reading this email, hit reply and share it with me.

Thanks for sticking with me, it means the world. Over 50 people replied to me last week and shared some things they are thankful for. It was the highlight of my week!

What questions do you have for me?

Simply comment below or send me a message through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Blog Personal Development

The Value of Challenging Yourself

The Value of Challenging Yourself

Over the past few months, I have been challenging myself in different ways. I believe that we grow the most when we feel challenged. When we have a lack of challenge in our lives, we find ourselves deep in a comfort zone. It takes a constant level of difficulty to keep us sharp and feeling motivated.

There are many different methods for challenging ourselves. I try to challenge myself in ways that stretch me both personally and professionally. Some of life’s challenges will come naturally, such as when you get married or have a child. Other challenges we must force ourselves to take on such as losing weight or working to get a promotion.

I like this concept of challenging myself because it keeps me moving towards something. It is easy to get comfortable in situations you would rather be growing in. It’s easy to let things go when it comes to parenting your kids. It’s easy to eat that extra thing instead of throwing it away. The easy road is the most comfortable until it’s not anymore.

In this post, I am going to identify four different areas in which we can challenge ourselves. There are a lot more, but for me, these were where I started.

Common Types of Personal Challenges

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Relational
  • Occupational

These four personal challenge categories are all very difficult topics for me. I have struggled big time in each of these categories. Perhaps I will go deeper into that in a later blog post or podcast episode.

Physical Challenges

I used to be very physically fit. It was easy in my late teens and early twenties. I worked out a lot, was pretty active, and ate whatever I wanted. Pretty simple… Until it wasn’t that simple anymore. Responsibilities took most of my time and soon I was not going to the gym. My diet changed as well. I was not unhealthy, but I was overweight. I was giving my body more than it needed and it was storing that for me. I had to challenge myself to eat better and be more active.

Mental Challenges

Life would happen and I would just deal with it. That used to work for me. Handle it or forget about it. Those were the silos I put everything in until they were overflowing and everything came spilling out. I realized that if you don’t take care of your past you are carrying it with you. It was too heavy and I needed to get a handle on it.

Relational

I have never been good at maintaining relationships. I don’t have many friends and even fewer close friends. I was always too busy and didn’t want to spend time with people who had nothing better to talk about than sports facts. That made it hard for me to fit in with groups and I eventually developed some social anxiety. I have been challenging myself to make and maintain more friendships in hopes that some of them become deeper friendships.

Occupational

The problem with working for yourself is that there are often only two motivators: Money and Clients. You need money so you get clients. Clients want the work done or you don’t get money. If the clients are happy and my bills are paid on time, it is easy to feel safe. Feeling safe for too long leads to a lack of growth both in my business but also in myself professionally. I have had to find new ways to challenge myself to grow while at the same time not killing off what is still working.

Why Do We Need Challenges?

We need challenges to help us grow and get outside of our comfort zone. Without them, we stay comfortable until we get taken out by someone who’s challenge was to get ahead. It happens at work and in our personal lives. If I am not getting outside of my comfort zone then I’m not growing. I am finding ways to avoid frustration and avoid the change that I want in my life. That means I am saying no to opportunities that could be really interesting but might take some extra work and I am saying yes to relaxing and taking the easy route.

If we are ever going to progress, we need to expand beyond our current understanding. You might be a professional in your industry but there is always someone with more experience. My kids often feel like they know everything about a subject until I ask them to go up against someone with more experience than them. Whether it be a video game or their jiu-jitsu class, they need to seek out challenges to help them grow.

It is very important to put yourself up against others, even if they don’t know you are doing it. Sometimes my kids have a great jiu-jitsu session, other times, they get owned by some other kid. That is how life works. Sometimes we win and sometimes we get owned. You can have all of the techniques and lose in endurance. It happens. My kids have been in jiu-jitsu for over a year now and some days feel like they just started last week.

Challenges give us opportunities to learn more about ourselves. You don’t learn much about yourself from the couch. If you sit in your office all day and never bring that new idea to the table, you never learn whether or not your idea would fly. Sometimes we learn that showing up is what it takes and as long as we keep showing up, we keep winning. That is the case for me with my challenge to get back in shape. I just keep showing up. I’m not looking for perfection each time I go to the gym, I just get up and go.

Fear is also overcome when we challenge ourselves. You beat fear regardless of when you take on a new challenge. Fear is what stops you from even starting. Fear is what keeps you in bed at 4AM instead of getting up to go to the gym. Fear is what keeps me from blogging, recording a podcast, sending an email to thousands of people, or talking to my kids about something tough. The more you avoid fear, the easier it gets to stay somewhere safe.

My Challenges

I have been challenging myself to get to the gym first thing in the morning at least four days of the week. My goal is that I never skip more than two days in a row. For the most part, I have been able to stick to that. I have to get up early to get to the gym because that is the only time I can make it. Once the day starts, it’s too late. The demands of my family and work are priorities of mine so I can’t take off for an hour or two in the middle of them. I would prefer to sleep in, but I go to bed early so I can get up really early to work out. I feel great for the rest of the day when I keep that challenge to myself.

Another recent challenge has been to start sending a weekly newsletter to those who have given me their email address over the years through one of my websites. I had a list of over 22,000 emails and I was doing nothing with them. That’s 22,000 people who wanted to hear from me but didn’t. I have also wanted to get back into podcasting. I love podcasting and have been doing it off and on for about 20 years now. I would start and stop, because of fear. I know that I need to challenge myself to send something weekly by email and publish at least one podcast. This challenge is in line with the goals that I have for myself that fit into all four of the categories mentioned above.

My Challenge For You

What fear is blocking you from taking on a new challenge? It could be the opinion of someone else, or just a voice inside you telling you you’re not good enough. If you would be so brave as to share that with me in the comments section below, I would appreciate that. If not, please subscribe to my newsletter and reply to Issue #2 when it comes out. I will be making a similar ask at the end of this week’s email newsletter.

What can you do today to start challenging yourself? For my fitness challenge, sometimes it is just getting out of bed when the alarm goes off. If I get out of bed and head out the door, I will arrive at the gym and workouts will happen. The first step is getting out of bed. If that doesn’t happen, the rest of the plan is over before it even started. What is your first step?

Final Thoughts

Your challenge doesn’t have to be big. I know that on social media everybody looks like they are making these giant leaps ahead, but that is the problem with social media, it’s a highlight reel. We see the before and after pictures posted at the same time and we don’t get the story that includes all of the challenges they had to overcome to get there. Your challenge can be small. Small challenges add up to big change.

It also doesn’t have to be public. Often the first thing we do when we decide to do something is post about it. That does two things. It puts the pressure of other’s expectations on us and it gives people an opportunity to give us excuses as to why we can’t or shouldn’t challenge ourselves. I prefer to challenge myself in private as often as possible because sometimes I don’t know if what I want will benefit me or not in the way I hope it will. If I make it public, I then have to back down in public.

With other challenges, I have to give myself time to work them into my life. Lately, I have been giving myself 30-day challenges so I can measure the results and see if this is really what I want. If it is, I keep at it and hopefully, it will soon become an aspect of my life.

Sometimes we think that involving others whether it be friends, loved ones, or social media followers will help keep us accountable. I have found that people are actually more likely to give you excuses than to help you achieve your goals. When I would decide to stop working towards something I really wanted people would say, “well, you have four kids, you are busy enough,” or something like that. They are not trying to keep me from being the best version of me, they are just trying to help me feel better. But I don’t want to feel better, I want to feel challenged, so I keep it to myself at the beginning.

Whether you want to grow physically, mentally, relationally, occupationally, or all of the above, I hope that you decide to start challenging yourself today.

Thanks for reading! I ask that you would please subscribe to my Weekly Email Newsletter and if you like listening to audio, Subscribe to my Podcast.

Newsletter Personal Development

Sunday Dispatch – Issue #1

What is this?

I know it’s frustrating to receive emails out of the blue. This is completely my fault as you did signup at one of my sites and I failed to send you anything for your efforts. Before hitting Unsubscribe, please take a moment to read about why I am sending you this. If you prefer to be removed from this list, the link is at the bottom of the email. No hard feelings 😇😇

So what is changing?

I have a variety of projects that I contribute to including State of TechDitch AutoLearn with JeradHill Media Group, my own personal blog, and social networks. Across these platforms, there has been no consistency. I definitely have shiny object syndrome when it comes to ideas and projects, which is why I am consolidating.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, it means that I am merging some things, starting with email lists. Nothing will change names at the moment, all of my projects will remain the same. I just desire to provide value and I hope you decide to come along. You may be a client of mine, a friend, family member, viewer of my YouTube videos, or a student of one of my courses, my desire is to inspire or motivate you. We all need as much of that as we can get, right?

What’s Next?

I do my best to stay connected to what’s going on in marketing and technology. I am also very interested in personal growth and development. Personally, I have done a lot of work towards the end of my 30’s and professionally I have doubled down in the areas I know I provide the most value; anything else, I have stopped doing.
The mission of this newsletter is this: To share and inspire what I believe brings value.

I will always lead with value and avoid anything that will waste your time. The fact that you trusted me with your email address and are still reading at this point means the world to me. I value your time and want to be a resource to you.

What will that look like?

Those of you who watch my YouTube videos know my sign-on: “What’s up, it’s Jerad…” So for now, I am going to call this weekly email, “What’s Up Weekly.”

It will come in the form of a weekly email that will briefly touch on a couple of topics. In that email, I will also share anything interesting I come across that week that I believe would be valuable for you to know.

You can expect to see things like this in the future “What’s Up Weekly” emails:

  • Insights into the latest in personal technology such as smartphones, gadgets, and computers.
  • Inspiring Quotes from something I recently read or listened to that resonated with me.
  • Recap and link to an article or podcast I think you’ll find interesting.
  • A recap of recent content I have created.

This email might not be for everyone, and I totally understand if you need to unsubscribe. If you do, consider staying connected or connecting with me on social media (Links: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Linkedin)

How will it evolve?

Everything changes and this weekly email will change as I get feedback from you. Each email will include a question or a challenge that I hope intrigues and motivates you.

Let’s Go!

I’m excited to get started. One of my personal goals is to challenge myself to do something for 30-days as a way to make or break habits.

This month I have cut out alcohol and I will talk about that more in a video soon.

What’s something you have always wanted to challenge yourself to do? It could be something simple or a big feat. Reply to this email and share that with me.

Latest Content

Apple Watch Series 3 vs Series 5 – Which One to Buy?
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Thanks!

You made it to the end. I know I already appreciated you for getting through some of the email but it really does mean a lot to me. We have too many messages bombarding us these days. I will do my best to make sure this is one you look forward to.

Before you go, do this one thing for me, reply to this email and share with me one thing you are thankful for.

Be Blessed!

Jerad Hill

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