The Barcelona House ~ Day 21 Super Hacks

*The famous Spanish paella

So we are sitting at the end of our 3rd week of The Entrepreneur House in Barcelona and we have got settled in quite nicely.  Our daily routines are set, we have began to find favorite coffee shops, restaurants and bars and started to make some good memories.

We have actually upgraded our masterminds to 2x a week.  We now have a Thursday mastermind where we feature someones business and put it though the gauntlet.  Myself and Aaron Nunez were the lucky ones this past Thursday.

Friday, we were lucky enough to have some girls cook us an Russian/Ukranian/Polish dinner.  They brought it over and enjoyed some new food.  We continued the night by having karaoke songs pulled up on You Tube, which involved some salsa dancing and Gregory and myself may or may not have performed ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ by Charlie Daniels.  Nonetheless, everyone seemed to love it.

Saturday night Peter, myself, Charlie, Elisa, Chris, Nathan and Stephen all enjoyed a traditional Spanish dinner at La Fonda.  Somehow we didn’t make it home until 4:30am….but that is pretty early for Spanish standards.

Sunday, four of us went to the Barcelona Improv Meetup, and had quite a good time. It was my first time, but not surprisingly acting like someone other than myself came pretty easy.  We spent 2 hours laughing and performing….very well spent.

For our mastermind this week, we went to my favorite Argentinean restaurant in Barcelona.  It is a hole in the wall, but has delicious meat. Our topic this Sunday was ‘Share Your Best Hacks’.  We had quite a list and I thought some of y’all might like to hear about them. Here goes….

On Dating

This week Gregory started a conversion with a girl he had never met by asking if she would babysit his baby elephant.  The girl was intrigued and they actually continued the conversation for the next hour and a half.  This was actual Vihn’s idea from a post he read about stopping someones thought process by introducing a new idea.  Apparently, it works for finding dates.

On Productivity

Pete uses MySpeed, which is used to speed up videos online.  If you are like many of us and love videos but hate wasting time, this is a great app to watch those videos up to 10x’s faster.

Aaron and myself have practiced the Pomodoro Technique working for 25 min and taking a 5 min break. We actually both preferred working for 50 min and taking a 10 min break. For me, I have used this a lot while doing menial work.  Then on my breaks I would do my work outs, with push up’s, pull up’s or sit up’s.  Or I would make something to eat, do laundry, run the vacuum or something during that time.  This also incorporates Parkinson’s Law and only gives you 10 minutes to get whatever task you need to accomplish.  I have pulled hundreds of 8,10,12,14 hour days online using this technique. However, myself, Aaron and Stan all agreed this technique is not for creative work.  If you are in a state of flow, you will naturally come out of it, and a short break can only disrupt it.

Aaron also recommends listening to audio books while cooking, doing dishes and walking here and there.

On Decision Making

Vihn Ly has a great hack for decision making. He recommends only giving yourself 25 min for any decision. Also, to stimulate creativity and to keep productive every 30 minutes write a summary of what you did the previous 30 min.

On Productivity 

I have used a similar method from an early mentor of mind.  He recommended for 2 weeks writing down what you do every 15 minutes for your entire day.  At first this seems counter productive, but what you will find is that you discover your daily patterns on paper, and you can see where you can consolidate your activities for the day.  You will blow your mind how much time you do the same thing over and over again in one day. It opens a lot of doors to simplify your life.

On Health

Last Friday night we had a dinner and karaoke party at our apartment.  Stan ate dinner, but didn’t hang out too much because he had some work he needed to do.  After all the shenanigans everyone went home around 4am.  We were wrecked after a singing aimlessly at the top of our lungs.  To our surprise Stan came our of his room at 4 o’clock in the morning with his running gear on.  We looked at him in awe… in his French accent he said…I’m going running guys….as our jaws dropped Stan hustled out the door.  Apparently, Stan does a 4am run often. He works through the night and then before bed goes for a nice run.  He absolutely loves this and says it is a super hack for him. I am sure he sees some interesting things on the streets of Barcelona at 4am.  That Friday night a random drunk Italian coming home from the clubs started running with him who said he was training for a marathon.

Chris VanPatten has a 0 inbox policy. For any email he needs to revisit he sets it up on a timed email to be sent back to him.  He recommends rightinbox.com.

He also has a super hack to maximize his time….hire people to do stuff for you.   I like that one too.

On SOP’s

Chris VanPatten uses screen casts as an SOP instead of writing it all out and using screen shots. He will record himself as he goes along and this saves him hours of time.

Nathan Liao gets his VA on the phone and walks her through the process of how he creates a SOP. He tells her she needs to know this process to train the next VA that he hires.  This way she is learning to teach in the future and won’t mess up his SOP’s.

On Sleep

When I was in grad school we figured out sleep cycles, on how much or little we could sleep between studying to maximize our study time and mental performance when taking exams. REM cycles are about 1.5 hour, so we would sleep in 1.5 hour increments during the night. This let us sleep little and still have a strong mental capacity to take tests.  I still use this hack today while working.  One will feel better sleeping 1.5 hour then you will sleeping 2 hours, or 4.5 hours is better than 5 hours.  No matter how much I want that extra 30-60 minutes of sleep, I am almost always more awake when I follow REM cycles.

On Dating and Sales

Stan Leloup is a big fan of the open loop.  He uses this for the seductionacademy.fr.  Most of us have probably seen the open loop somewhere whether we know it or not. Tell the audience what they want and then tell them that you will return to that part of the story in a bit, after you tell them another story first.  This will get peoples attention and keep them on your site, or engaged in what every activity you are doing for 30 seconds or more.  Keep your story engaging and then close. With dating and sales, you automatically become the ‘go to guy’ or the Alpha.

On Marketing and Keepin’ Employees in Check

From Stephen van der Peijl had a couple of great recommendations about retargeting marketing and tracking employees.

Hubstaff.com is a tracker software for employees to keep them in check.

Adroll.com is a retargeting performance and marketing platform to target a perfect audience.


The streets of Barcelona

Thats all we have for this week folks.  Hasta pronto…