I cant explain the excitement I have in writing this certain post on The Lifestyle Maverick blog because I am about to unveil one of the most integral aspects of freeing your time from mind-defining tasks so that you may pursue more fulfilling aspects of life. As i write this, America continues to be overworked and studies show that the average weekly work hours combined for a household family is continuing to rise with no sign of slowing down. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with earning an honest days wage, my problem is within earning an honest days wage(or less) and not living a life of substance due to that. And honestly through the majority of people, this seems to be the case.

A study done by Edward C Prescott, of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and W.P. Carey Chair, with the Department of Economics at Arizona State, showed that Americans now work 50 percent more than Germans, French, and Italians. And the odd thing is that this was not the case around 25-30 years ago, when the majority of Western Europeans worked more than those in the United States. Now, all be it, I know that our advance as an industrial performing country as well as marginal tax rates on labor income can be pointed to for some of this effect. However I firmly believe that the simple fact that Americans are programmed in believing that they now must work 60+ hours a week just to keep up with the Joneses is a large factor.

As masses of individuals march to a numbing existence behind a desk day after day, the simple fact that they do it because that is the “normal” and “typical” thing expected of them lies at the heart. It is something that I prefer to as Habitual Work Syndrome(or HBS). HBS in its simplest terms is the act of working for works sake, or rather punching in 9-5 (or in today’s standards 9-9) not because you necessarily enjoy your job or even need the money but rather because that is what everyone else in your office is doing. Its following the herd to the slaughter and it literally is killing many of Americans, as well as their dreams of a life that is filled with excitement, pursuits, and passions.

With that let me introduce “Groupsourcing“, which as you will find can be integrated not only into workplace situations and tasks, but to any and all tasks assumingly associated with life . Groupsourcing is the direct derivative to outsourcing(which is what the larger majority of lifestyle designers favor as of late). Outsourcing in effect is to subcontract services from an outside source, such as if a small business were to outsource its bookkeeping to an accountant firm. Basically , it is handing off work that you do not desire to do or you know can be done more accurately by someone else for a fee. It is done by some of the largest corporations in the world, and even by a vast majority of individuals who would rather have someone in India perform a task related to work for them. Outsourcing can even be found in small neighborhoods……when a homeowner outsources the mowing of his lawn to a teenager down the street. In terms, outsourcing is found everywhere….you just may not know it.

PROBLEM=SOLUTION 

Groupsourcing, in the same terms can hold a vast advantage over this. It, in effect is sourcing out (or rather bidding out) your work or life related tasks to a group of individuals or firms for performance, with the desired result being finding the one that performs said task most to your liking. The advantage that I find in groupsourcing is that you have multiple options to choose from when deciding exactly what you want performed.

For instance, if I want to set up a new online business I need a quality and attractive website that I feel values the image of my company. If I outsource the design through Brickwork, an outsourcing company in India, I am stuck with their end product whether I like it or not because I only have their end result to choose from. However, with groupsourcing I can go online to Sitepoint and submit a contest through their site. With the contest I will have a handful of designers who will post their adaption of the site I long for. If I don’t like one designers work then that’s OK….I still have numerous other designs to choose from. At the end of the contest I can choose which design I feel is most adaptive to what I want and continue forth. It provides me with options, which ultimately is what I am want to design my life to have.

How can groupsourcing directly affect your work-task-related life and shave hours off of your workload? Well the beautiful thing with groupsourcing is that it too, like outsourcing, can be applied to almost anything in this day and age. If you have a presentation that needs to be given at work that you cant seem to complete and that has destined your next month to sleepless nights at your computer terminal, groupsource it. One can go onto sites such as elance and place a bid for a certain task to be done…..whether it be collecting information for a school report, to actually writing the report, to buying groceries, sending flowers to your wife, implementing market research, making appointments, the list goes on and on.

By placing the bid you see who is interested and by testing them , see who is actually capable of getting the job done for you. And with a task being performed for you rather than you performing it yourself , you now have the option to pursue something that you may not have had the ability to do so otherwise….spending time with family, picking up a hobby, regaining a social life again……. OH MY THE CHOICES!!!

Groupsourcing, when implemented correctly, can ultimately help in decreasing your life hours spent on work related tasks. And the fact that the big conglomerates in New York and Paris are doing it, yet do not want their employees to know about the method, should tell you something. If you want a lifestyle, or for what its worth even a LIFE, one may need to learn the art of groupsourcing…….atleast in America. Of course there is always Western European countries offering open arms to those who desire to work half the workload, and be content and merry with the remainder of their time. How to get there will be another post in and off itself. Until we can get there, we all have a little Habitual Work Syndrome that needs to be taken care of.

YOUR TURN TO CHIME IN 

What are your thoughts? Do you feel that you carry more of a workload than you see others with?  As a whole do you feel that Americans work now more than 25 years ago?  Please feel free to chime in and add your input.

Until next time,

Bunk Price
The Lifestyle Maverick

I swear if another teenage girl comes close to side swiping my car on the highway because she is too distracted by the text messaging conversation going on with her BF on her new cell I am gonna go ballistic. And if I see another mother lose sight of her small child in the mall because she was too occupied texting her house mothers group for a dinner date I swear child authorities will be phoned. Lets face it, text messaging can be down right annoying and impersonal, especially to those people around you. This portion of our blog is set to simplify the art of the all transcending text message. I personally believe that it is soon to be obsolete, but only time will tell.

I say this because text messaging in the recent past year has found a way to become more advanced and allot more manageable. Through more tech-savvy and personal operations such as Pinger, text messaging is finding its vision of the future. A future that looks allot more feasible as far as flexibility with messaging your friends/ co-workers/ or associates.

So with all of that said, here are some of the top reasons that Pinger and other Voice Mail 2.0 Options will more than likely be killing off modern day text messaging as we know it.

You Dont Have To Text and Drive Anymore — I have never been one who multitasks when I drive, but boy do I know people that are. Pinger saves you the hassle of having to text message without having to look down at your phone. This gives you the ability to keep your eyes on the road.

I Dont Have to Be Fast Anymore — I know people who seem to be the fastest fingers in the West when it comes to texting. They can incredibly write a paragraph out on their phone within 20 seconds. Me, I’m not one of those people. With Pinger and other services like Jott, I dont have to get a cramp in my hand trying to reply to a message in super fast time in hopes that the person I’m having the conversation with is wondering why the heck I cant respond in adequate time.

Its More Personal –With Voice Mail 2.0 , one can be more animated and expressive. Your personality can come alive with a voice text rather than a written one.

Group Messaging Just Became Alot Easier –Just watch the Pinger video link above and you should understand why.

Now that you know why Voice Messaging is a little better than the dark days of typing it out, let us offer you some choices as far as what the market offers for anyone interested…..

Pinger – Send a message to single or multiple people with a single call. In addition to the voice recording, Pinger sends an email and text message with a link to an audio file. There is no transcription and it is free to use at the moment.

Jott – Users record a message, which is transcribed and e-mailed to contacts. Recipients can quickly scan transcription for important info. Unfortunately, it is only for outgoing messages. It too is free at the moment to us.

GotVoiceGotVoice logs in to all of your voice mail accounts and emails you a link to your messages. There is no need to change your phone number. There is a fee for basic service.

Simulscribe – Uses software to transcribe your voice mails and sends them to emails and text messages.Its not totally accurate and there is a $9.95 fee per month fee for 40 transcriptions.

GrandCentralGrandCentral recently was purchased by Google, meaning something big could be in the works for its operations. It links all of your phone lines under one new number. It allows you to use only one voice mail box. But to use all its features, you have to change your phone number. As of now , its free.

Voice Mail 2.0 and Text Messaging for the future. Again it doesnt have to be hard. Pinger and its co-horts all wreak of prolific methods that simplify life. Now that’s something I like to message people about.

When Life Comes a Knockin….

September 13, 2007

There are 3 ugly beasts that rear their head from time to time in each of our lifes. They are Stress, Reality, and Working for Works Sake. Terrible, just terrible they are.

In the next upcoming weeks, The Lifestyle Maverick Blog will introduce posts explaining objectives related to Stress in Life, Reality in Life, and Works Sake. These include, but of course aren’t limited to……

The Defining Difference: Why using Leverage does not= Laziness

The Pareto Principle: A look at the 80/20 Rule

The Green Collared Worker and How Average People Can Earn $320 an Hour

Until then , you can use this clip as a stress and reality bending tool.

Robert Kiyosaki tells the story of two separate men who have been given the job of supplying a town with water. One of the individuals gets to work right away and decides to take the route of “carrying buckets” , two at a time to continually supply the townspeople with water. The other individual doesn’t rush into the project to supply the town with water, but rather sits down and puts his mind to work. He comprises a complex system of pipelines to continually supply ample amount of water for the people so that less manual work is required.

The man who decides to carry buckets to supply the town soon finds himself slaving away to continue his method of supplying those in thirst, while the man who built the pipeline sits back and is able to enjoy both the pursuits of his effort and because of the freedom he has allotted himself , he now is able to pursue any other hobbies or ventures he so chooses.

Two completely different systems and two completely different thought patterns.

Lifestyle Design as an art is ultimately the pursuit of a more productive way of operation(s) so that the outcome may produce more time freedom to pursue greater aspects of life. Whether it be as simple as batching every day commitments such as checking email or paying bills so that you have more time to spend with your family; to more complex methods such as creating an asset system to supply you with more time freedom for travel, it all comes down to designing the lifestyle that one chooses to pursue.

Knowing what you want in advance out of life( or as some would call “setting goals”) can only be reached when one designs what they want out of life. Thus, Lifestyle Design is very similar in operation. More to come…..

With the fall already upon us and with school back in session for the majority of both high school and college students, I cant help but think about how quickly time flies by. And the scary thing is that within no time this year will be over and a new large mass of “graduates” will be unleashed into the real world. Which brings me to my specific blog of the moment.

I am the proud parent of two children myself and one day(if all goes according as planned), I will be standing in the bleachers with other parents and onlookers as my children walk across stages to get their diplomas and hopefully their degrees as well. From what I have been told it is definitely one of the prouder moments in a parents life. And with graduation and everything that follows , the graduation gift always falls into the picture. This is something that has always confused me beyond belief. Not the fact that graduation gifts are expected, but rather the lack of creativity in the gift giving process. Its the typical scene I have seen all to many times and that I agonize over. A graduating student becomes the proud owner of a brand new car from the proud parent , with the proud parent thinking that this gift is something that will express his/her way of saying “Congratulations, job well done!”. Stop the bill for one moment.

My challenge to any type of parent who falls into this “lazy” type of gift giving pattern is to put a little thought into the matter and bend reality a little bit. For the same price of a new Honda Civic (roughly around $15000), a student could be rewarded with something that would be a heck of alot memorable and with stories to tell THEIR children later in life. How about a trip across the world from Airtreks.com to visit all the seven wonders of the world? Far fetched you say? I think not. For the price that a father would shell out to buy a new shiny vehicle(which honestly would get run down in just a few short years), one could pay the way for a parent and his graduating child to visit Beijing, Delhi, Amman, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Cusco, and Cancun . Food and accommodations could be payed for from the remainder of the $15000 after airfare was taken out, and if played right a good quality used car could be bought even after the return home. Its very doable and would provide a once in a lifetime memory for both a very thoughtful parent and I assure you a very thankful student.

Remember that teenagers are smarter than we give them credit for. They can tell when something has been thought out and more often than not would probably appreciate the creativeness put into the effort. The stories and pictures from the trip would be enough to last a lifetime, and it would give any lucky parent/child team the chance to do something that the large majority of families tend abstain from doing……spending some quality time together(and have a heck of an adventure to boot).

A Month of Muscle

September 3, 2007

I am an ectomorph by the pure definition of the word. To put it simple it is hard as junk for me to put on weight, it always has been. In high school, I so badly wanted to be starring in the backfield on the football team, however due to my slim build and the fact that I could not put on weight no matter how hard I tried, I was doomed to the life of a split end.

Now as some of you may know, I can add muscle definition with the best of them , but when it comes to building muscle mass it has taken hard-ass work on my part for years and years to actually make good “gains” when building muscle mass.

So for that reason, I decided to test the the perceived notions of a typical workout and opted to drop the typical “so many sets, so many reps” routine. I used a workout regimen that had me in the gym for 2 days a week, 30 minutes a day . I focused on less time in the gym, but maximizing the time in there. For the 30 minutes occupied in the gym, I went only one set per exercise on 5-7 basic multi-joint exercises (i.e. squats, bench press, dips). The difference in going one set rather than 3-4 sets, was I went to failure on the one set, which conditioned my body to release testosterone causing growth. I did a slow cadence on both the upward and downward movements, causing a heck of a lot more resistance .Many people know of this as HIT(High Intensity Training) and it has both its followers and naysayers. The end results….

Being an individual who finds it hard to put on muscle mass,

August 1st(start date) to August 31st(finish date)

Weight- from 174 lbs to 186 lbs.

Chest – from 38 inches to 43 inches

Biceps – from 12.24 inches to 14.75 inches

I also went on a strict diet corresponding with this which was compiled entirely of meats(for pure protein), vegetables(mainly greens) , and lentils(mainly beans). I drank only water and unsweet tea, as well as a protein shake once a day. Aside from this no sugars were in taken aside from the one off day I allotted myself per week in which I allowed myself to consume any food I wanted for 24 hours. Now I’m not going to give away all my secrets on this, but you get the general idea of it.

12 lbs in one month. I gained more muscle in this one month depending on lower output with higher frequency(also allowing my muscles more time to grow) than in my previous 6 years combined. And a total of 4 gym hours contributed to more muscle gain than the previous 5 years(which accumulate roughly 520 gym hours) combined.

Less= more in this case even in the case of body building.

Thanks in advance to Tim Ferris for tipping me off on methods helping lead to this.