Leadership and Creating Boundaries

One of the things that I do is talk to my girls and explain to them some of the things that have happened or that are currently happening as far as our relationship dynamics go. This is something you have to be careful with because you have to communicate things to them in a way that they will be receptive to, but it can be done if you keep their emotions in mind while you do it.

Something we were talking about earlier this week was the process of me creating boundaries and then enforcing them for each of the girls and what that did to the quality of life for all three of us. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, this sounds like a good topic to talk about.

The Basic Process for Producing Strong Boundaries

There’s a process that you’re going to go through when you display leadership and create a boundary for a girl, and it’s extremely important that you realize that women need the entire process to satisfy their emotional selves, and it’s not something that they can help. This means that you can’t get emotional yourself over the process. Instead, they need you to be their center so that they can count on you not to give in to them when they are being emotional.

The process starts with you establishing a boundary. Generally, this means that you’ll have them either do something or not do something. I’ll give some specific examples below, but we’ll keep it general for the moment. You can (and probably should) give a brief explanation of why you are setting that boundary, but you shouldn’t call it a boundary because that sounds contrived, and you shouldn’t get into a debate about it.

What’s going to happen next is that she’s going to test that boundary, and you have to hold it in place. If you asked her to do something, she’s going to complain about doing it. If you asked her to not do something, she’s going to complain about not doing it. She’s going to try to skip out on it and not hold up what you asked her to do. All you have to do is show that you’re serious about that boundary being in place without getting emotional about it, and you’ll be in good shape.

I’m going to repeat this because it’s important: You cannot get too emotional with her on this. She needs to test those boundaries and have them reinforced to feel good about the boundary itself and about your leadership. It calms anxieties in her about whether or not you’re a strong enough leader to follow, so just get used to the process.

A Physical Example

Now I’ll give some specific examples. Back when I first started seeing Ginger, I made a joke, and she punched me in the arm. I don’t tolerate that kind of thing, and I told her that was her freebie but not to do that again. This was me setting the boundary.

A few days later, we were in a department store. I made a joke, and she punched me in the arm again. I immediately let her get about a step and a half ahead of me, and I slapped her across the ass about as hard as I could. She jumped and was all like, “What the fuck?” and without getting emotional or defensive, I told her that I’d already told her once that the hitting me shit wasn’t going to fly.

Ginger was used to treating guys like shit, and she didn’t understand why. She felt a little guilty about it, but she also felt compelled to do so, and she didn’t like how she felt when she wasn’t treating them poorly.

The reason she felt compelled to do so is that all women feel compelled to test the leadership of the man they are considering following. Once that leadership is proven (by her testing boundaries and seeing that they’re reinforced), then she can relax a little and trust more in that leadership. Ginger didn’t feel right not treating guys like shit because she’d never had one that set boundaries, enforced them and showed leadership. This is that emotional component I was talking about earlier, and once those anxieties are handled, it’s smoother sailing for both of you.

A Non-Physical Example

I’ll give an example with Lola this time, and this comes from about a year ago or so. Lola works in a store where a lot of the people who work there are family (including herself). Each day for lunch, most of them would order in food from one of the restaurants in town. It’s something that they just always did. I decided to set a boundary that was going to start packing her lunch and taking it to work.

So I got with her, and I told her that I wanted her to start packing her lunch. I made sure she had a lunch container thing she could use that didn’t suck, and I gave her the reasons why she should pack her lunch. For what it’s worth, those reasons were saving money (and I gave her an idea of the amount of money she’d save a week), being able to eat a more healthy lunch, and not feeling guilty about spending money on food when she was low on funds, which was sometimes leading her to not eating lunch at all.

Then she bitched and complained and gave tons of excuses. Without getting emotional or dragged into a debate, I made it clear that this is what I wanted to happen, and I let her know that I knew she knew it was the best thing to do.

One excuse was that she was running late in the morning one day and didn’t have time to pack it. I told her to pack it the night before. This was her testing the boundary.

Another excuse was that she was afraid her coworkers would make fun of her for bringing her lunch. I told her to ask them if they planned on paying for her food so she didn’t have to. This was her testing the boundary.

Pretty soon, she was preparing her lunch for the next day every single night without a problem, and she still does this now. It’s even a point of pride for her to the point that she’s made comments before about other people who work there being dumb for paying that much for lunch everyday.

Overview

If you look at the basic process, it’s easy to understand as a whole. You set a boundary, and she tests it. You hold the boundary, and it gives her emotional comfort. That’s how you lead.

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Productivity Mini Systems That Actually Work

In my introduction to this category, I noted that I’m only interested in a few things when it comes to talking about productivity for myself and for others:

  1. Everything is about is increasing the amount of work that I get done in a certain period of time.
  2. I only care about things that actually work and that are sustainable; I don’t care about what “sounds good at the time” if it just doesn’t work.
  3. I’m not looking to sell crap to anyone, so I’m only going to recommend free tools.

To this end, I’m going to recommend an approach with a few tools here that will instantly boost your productivity tremendously. It might take half an hour to download and set all of this up, but you’ll save multiple hours of time each week and lower your stress levels significantly, even if you already have some kind of productivity system.

The point here is that I’m going to introduce you to a few extremely simple systems that will change how you do small things that take up a lot of time so that they don’t take up as much time anymore. I prefer small, useful, self-sustaining systems over trying to keep a bunch of crazy organizational tools together because I don’t want to spend more time organizing my work than actually doing my work.

What You Need For These Systems

I’m going to rattle off a list of accounts and tools you’ll need for this. This is going to seem too simple to do much good, but bear with me. You can either sign up for all of this first and work through the explanations below (which is what I recommend), or you can read through it all so that you see where I’m going with this and then come back and do it all. It’s up to you, but I think you’ll have a better chance of actually doing it if you just start with this list first.

And remember: It’s all free.

  • Get an account at IFTTT.com.
  • Download Todoist to your computer and phone.
  • Create a Readability account, install the plugin on your web browser and download the phone app.
  • Download the free version of OneNote to your computer (phone is optional since we won’t need it for mobile).

Once you have all of this downloaded and your accounts set up, let’s jump into what we’re going to do with it all.

Set Up IFTTT First

IFTTT (IF This Then That) is basically an automated system that will do something when something else triggers it. For our purposes, we want to be able to send an SMS (same thing as text message) to IFTTT and have it add an item to our Todoist inbox. When you create a recipe, have SMS as the “this” and Todoist as the “that,” and make sure you choose your inbox when you’re setting up the Todoist part of the recipe.

Here’s how this mini-system works: Now you can send a text message, which is one of the easiest and most natural things to do at this point, and it will automatically go to your Todoist inbox, which we’re going to get to down below. The idea is to never forget anything that you want to try to remember. It’s worth noting that this is much faster than virtually any other method of keeping notes for yourself, which saves time, which is one of our main goals.

Set Up OneNote

OneNote is going to be our personal reference, and it’s basically going to be a set of lists for us of things that we might want to remember later but that aren’t all that important right this moment. For example, you might have lists for movies you want to watch, books you want to check out, motivational quotes, projects that you might want to go after in the future, etc.

To give an example of how this might work: If you have a significant other, you might keep a page in your OneNote notebook of ideas for Christmas/birthday/Valentine’s Day presents. You might think of the perfect Christmas present in the middle of July. With this set of systems, you’d send a text to Todoist reminding yourself of the present idea, and then when you went through your Todoist inbox, you’d add it to OneNote on the appropriate page.

If the IFTTT method above is your automated “short term memory” system, then OneNote is going to be your automated “long term memory” system.

Set Up Readability

One of the biggest time sinks for people is getting distracted by something they were reading on the Internet. Readability is a free service that allows you to send these types of things to a list that you’ll refer to later. The point of Readability is that you can access these items conveniently (and in a form that looks better than most websites today if we’re being honest) from your phone after just pressing a button in your browser. You avoid the time sink, distraction and interruption without needing the willpower to just skip reading whatever it is.

Later in some kind of downtime, whether it’s waiting in a lobby on an appointment or whatever else, you can bring these items back up in a couple of taps on your phone. This instantly rescues time that would have been wasted reading when you’re supposed to be getting work done while still allowing you to get that reading in later.

Setting Up Todoist

Todoist is basically a smart to-do list that lets you set reminders, dates, organize lists and stuff like that in a really clean interface. It has an inbox, which we’ve already set up, but we’re going to set up a few other things by using it in a way that most people don’t.

The first thing you want to do is create a top-level project called “Recurring Tasks,” and under that project, create three more projects: Daily Tasks, Weekly Tasks and Monthly Tasks. Naturally, the next thing you do is go in and add all of the tasks you need to do daily, all of the tasks you need to do weekly and all of the tasks you need to do monthly.

Make sure you add a daily task to zero your Todoist inbox. To zero your inbox means that you process everything in it so that there’s nothing left. We’ll come back to this in a moment.

The second thing you want to do is create another top-level project called “Other Tasks,” and under that project, create whatever projects make sense for you in terms of grouping your other tasks. These tasks aren’t regular things that happen, and they’re basically tasks that you have scheduled for specific days. I suggest having a project under “Other Tasks” that’s just for general reminders like a simple reminder that a show is coming out a certain day or that you need to remember someone’s birthday, etc.

So when you go through your Todoist inbox, sometimes you’ll have things in there that you need to do. The rule is that you don’t add anything to your “Other Tasks” without assigning it a date to actually do it. If you do, then you’ll run into problems with it never getting done.

The third thing to add to Todoist is a top-level project called “Shopping List.” Whenever you go out to the grocery store or wherever else, you put your list of what you need to get in there, and you’ll always have it with you. You can also add items by store using projects under that “Shopping List” top-level project if you want. This will save you time, aggravation and so on.

How These Systems Work Together

This creates a very simple productivity/organizational system for people that can be adapted to damn near anything. Each day, all you have to do is check the “Today” section in Todoist and work on that list of tasks in whatever order makes sense. It will automatically populate your to-do list with everything you need to do that day, so most of the organization is automatically handled (which saves a ton of time compared to most productivity approaches). When you clear a recurring task, it’ll automatically be added to the next day/week/month as needed, etc., which also saves time.

You should always get around to your recurring tasks each day. However, if the “other tasks” don’t get done, you need to assign a new date for them so that your “Today” list is always cleared by the time you finish up for the day.

While you’re going about your business, you’re constantly sending yourself reminders and things of that nature (via text message through IFTTT). Since you zero your inbox daily, all of that will be processed and added to either OneNote (for long-term reference) or Todoist (for things you need to do or be reminded of on specific days). What was previously downtime waiting in lines or in lobby areas or sitting around waiting on your significant other to get ready to go is now reclaimed time reading things that you’ve added to your Readability list.

In short, you can set up all of these systems in something like half an hour or so, and it will save you a tremendous amount of time and stress from here forward. That’s why I’ve written out such a long-ass post about this.

Please Give Me Feedback

If you try this set of systems for yourself, please leave me feedback in the form of a comment. I would really appreciate it.

How to Get Out of the Friend Zone

Make sure that you read What Alpha and Beta Really Mean and the Introduction to Hypergamy in Women before you start into this post. We’re going to build on those here.

What is the Friend Zone?

The friend zone is really simple to understand. A man likes a woman, wants to fuck her and have a romantic relationship with her while the same woman likes the guy but does not want to fuck him or have a romantic relationship with him. The characteristic dynamic is that the man believes if he keeps showing her how he’s such a great guy (by being a great friend), then eventually she’ll want the romantic relationship.

The fundamental problem of the friend zone is one of having too much beta without enough alpha. If she’s not attracted (ie: if you don’t display enough alpha), then she’s not going to want to fuck you, and that means you have no chance of having a healthy romantic relationship with her.

How to Get Out of the Friend Zone

If you’re already in the friend zone, the best thing you can do is withdraw your time from the woman while improving yourself. Don’t wave it around in her face, and don’t say shit about it. Just stop being around her quite as much (taper it off a bit if you don’t want to just cut her off completely) so that you can naturally lower the level of beta that you’re dishing out. Stop being as available, but don’t be an asshole to her. Being an actual asshole isn’t alpha; it’s just being an asshole, and we’ll go into the difference in later posts.

While you’re doing this, you need to build up your alpha traits. You need to learn to talk to girls and flirt, and you need to make sure you have enough going on in your life that shows you have some value. You don’t rub any of this in her face or even really bring it up. Instead, you just let it happen naturally.

After a couple of months, you start talking to her again, and you don’t talk to her to try to be her friend. Instead, you try to talk to her like you want to bang her or be in a relationship with her or whatever your goal is. If you would have done this in the first place, then you wouldn’t have had this problem, but the past two paragraphs are letting you get back around to this point (which you can’t do right away if you’re already in the middle of it).

If she goes for it, then great. If not, then no big deal. There are a lot of pretty girls on the pretty girl tree. You just go out and find you one of those. But what you don’t do is sit around being her friend aka being held hostage against your will.

And if she says something about how she just wants to be friends, you respectfully tell her that you appreciate that, but you aren’t friends with girls, you date girls. If she doesn’t want that, that’s cool, but you’re going to find girls who do.

Work and Productivity

This is the first post in the Work and Productivity category. This is a really important topic for me, and I’ve spent a lot of time on it. I’m going to talk a bit about my own work in the posts in this category and everything that comes along with how I manage my workflow, goals for the future, managing a household with two females and so on.

What I Do

I’m a self-employed writer in the gambling industry. I have anywhere from 5 to 12 clients at any given time, and I’ve been doing this for years. Before that, I played poker professionally for a few years. Before that, I worked construction and went to college as a mathematics major (before dropping out to pursue poker at the beginning of my senior year). It’s not the most exciting work in the world, but it pays well and has a ton of flexibility, and it’s not particularly hard because I have so much experience and such a deep knowledge of virtually every aspect of the industry.

Productivity Defined

Tons of people have tons of things to say about productivity. For our purposes here, we’re going to have a very simple and straightforward definition of productivity: The measure of productivity is the measure of how much shit you get done. With this definition, an improvement in productivity means you get more shit done in the same amount of time compared to what you did before. It’s that simple.

A better productivity means we make more money and/or spend less time on our work without taking a hit financially. This is really important for me as a writer because my biggest enemy is when my productivity falls off for various reasons.

This Isn’t Your Typical Productivity Advice

I don’t really get down with the typical garbage that passes for productivity advice. You can take about 99.9 percent of what you’d read about productivity and see that it gives you either no results or actually hurts your results. I have a very no-nonsense approach here because it affects my money: If it works, then we do it, and if it doesn’t work, then we don’t.

Again, it’s very simple.

I primarily draw from sports and performance psychology and my own experiences with my own work and with the work of the people I’ve helped with their productivity when it comes to any observations of advice I give on this, and I want my readers to know that it’s something that I take extremely seriously. I’m not looking to sell books or some other feel-good crap that doesn’t work here. I just want to offer good advice that helps people to do better because helping people is my primary motivator for posting in this blog to begin with.

Managing Two Women For the Long Run

In My Household Explained, I broke down some basic information about how I’m 31/m and live with a 25/f and 20/f, both of which I have relationships with. When people find out about this, the first questions I usually get are about sex, so let’s just go ahead and say that we all get naked around each other so that’s out of the way. What I really want to talk about here is managing both women as a part of a functioning household because it holds a lot of lessons no matter how many women (or lack thereof) you’re dealing with that I think my typical reader will enjoy.

A Focus on the Future

The first thing you have to realize is that I have a huge focus on the future. Everything starts with the vision that I have for us 6-8 years down the road, and every decision that I make centers around what will maximize our chances of reaching our goals for that point in time to fulfill that vision. This includes a rough timeline that’s subject to change as needed, but the basic ideas always stay the same.

So if I break down that vision, it’s something like the following. Ginger and I are married, and Lola lives with us in what will be either our permanent residence or the place we’re at right before we move into our permanent residence. Both of the girls either have jobs that pay well that they enjoy, they have their own business that they’re running, or they’re working for me as a part of my business. I want to have transitioned from the full-time writing business to building and managing web properties full-time, and I have all kinds of ideas about what I want for our permanent residence that aren’t all that important for our purposes here. Both of them are in excellent shape and look hot as fuck, they’re both extremely happy, and we all have a lot of sex with each other.

The Vision as a Guide

If we start with that vision, and if we want everything to be geared towards achieving that vision, then a lot of decisions in the present become easier and our goals for the short-term become pretty easy to define. For example, I have both girls hitting the gym three times each week, and if I need to, then I pay for gym memberships, personal trainers, shoes, clothes and whatever else needs to be paid for to make this happen.

In the long-term, this will help us to achieve aspects of the vision I outlined above related to how they look, how they feel about themselves and how much sex we’re all having. The confidence they get from not letting themselves go as they approach 30 (like most women seem to do) will help them in their jobs, business and everything else they do, which in turn will also help their mental health.

For another example of how this vision works as a guide, I clearly need both girls to have a skill set that allows them to be employed in something they care about. For Lola, for example, she really enjoys graphic design, Photoshop and photography. Along these lines, I’m going to make sure she gets her ass through school for something like a graphic design program, and I’ve been encouraging her for more than a year to put a lot of work into learning Photoshop on her own through huge tutorial series and other online instructional material. She’s taken advantage of the opportunities that have been put in front of her in a major way, and she’s well on her way to either being a valued employee or working for herself.

There’s a lot more that goes into this, but I just wanted to introduce the idea of the vision, how that shapes how I handle these girls and what goes into it. I’ll get more into how I handle the day-to-day situations that come up in a future post.