zen habits : breathe

Golden Goals: Mark Frauenfelder of bOING bOING: Bills motivate him to work

This is the fifth article in the Golden Goals series of interviews with notable bloggers about their goals, habits and productivity systems.

Mark Frauendfelder (shown to the left with friend Stephen Colbert) is one of the most accomplished bloggers alive. He co-founded bOING bOING magazine and the Boing Boing Blog, and was an editor at Wired from 1993-1998. For three years, he wrote a monthly column for Playboy called “Living Online,” and was the co-editor of The Happy Mutant Handbook (Putnam-Berkley, 1995). He’s the design columnist for Mobile PC magazine and a contributing editor to TheFeature. He’s also a ukulele fanatic.


1) What would you consider your greatest achievement in the last few years?

I would say it is managing to raise a family and work at the same time. It’s tough to do both of them, but it sure feels good when you manage to pull it off.

2) What was the key to achieving that success for you? Was there one thing, or were there a number of factors?

The key is in trying to do the things you have always dreamed about, in spite of being afraid that you’ll fail. Failure is always inevitable, but once in a while things actually work out the way you hoped.

3) What are the essential habits that you’ve formed to help you achieve your goals?

Never putting off things that you can do right here and now.

4) How often do you think about your goals, review them, and take action on them?

I try to do it a couple of times a week. When things are crazy, I do it a couple of times a day.

5) Describe how you overcome failure, how you pick yourself back up if you are struggling, and how you motivate yourself if your enthusiasm is lagging.

It’s pretty easy — I look at my mortgage, taxes, insurance, and other bills. It always puts me in the mood to work hard.

6) Could you describe your productivity system and any productivity tips you have for people?

I use a program called Life Balance, which I have modified to work with David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Basically, I set up projects, determine the steps needed to do the projects, and then perform the steps in order.

Also read: all interviews in the Golden Goals series.

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