Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Robert Baum, and I observe things, mix them up, and publish my synthesized thoughts on my blog.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got a few projects I’m working on all at the same time. I’m working on a fiction book about loosely based on my own struggles with OCD. I write on my blog every day. And I’m launching this project too. I think we all need side projects in addition to our day jobs if we’re going to be truly happy.
What motivates you?
What motivates me is the repetition of working and sticking to a strict schedule. I basically committed to blogging every day for the rest of my life. Everyone needs something that they do every day, and the blog is my palette. Some people get bogged down on being consistent. I think consistency is the where the magic comes from. The work doesn’t start unless you do. It takes enormous discipline, and the repetition makes it easier to start.
“What motivates me is the repetition of working and sticking to a strict schedule.”
Can you share one productivity hack that others many find useful?
Yeah, grab a pen and paper when you’re struggling to focus or come up with ideas. With all the distractions these days, you need to set away the phone and look at a blank state disconnected from the Internet.
Where do you like to work?
I like to work everywhere, honestly. The mobile phone makes it possible to write anything down so I can start a blog post when I’m having coffee in my apartment in the morning and finish it on the train on the way to work. However, I’d like to have a studio one day even if it’s just an office where I can throw around paper. I like to show my work, even if it’s to myself.
When do you work best?
In the morning right after I wake up. My brain is fresh, unspoiled by the day’s worries. Also in the evening, post-work, on the couch. I think wildly just before I pass out.
Who was or still is your mentor?
Louis Menand as a writer, Seth Godin as a marketer, John Peel as a DJ/Curator, and Michael Jordan in the never-ending pursuit of excellence.
What was your earliest ambition?
My earlier ambition was to play in the NBA, to be the next Michael Jordan. But my height failed me. I still played above my height though.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Work wise, writing a few books and selling them on Amazon. It’s a DIY world.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
Not being able to write another book. It’s such a painful process.
What is the greatest achievement of your work life so far?
Committing to blogging every day for the past 4 years. I can’t do the exact math, but I’m sure it’s exceeded much more than 1k posts.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
A house. My wife and I have a dog and probably have a kid in the next couple years and need more space. And I want a legitimate office.
How do you stay motivated?
Time, honestly. Ever since I turned 30 I feel like every second counts.
If you could teach, what would you focus on?
I’d teach people how to connect the dots between life and art, make mind maps, exploit technology, make their own stuff, think different, social network, etc.
What are your listening to?
My favorite track right now is Taylor McFerrin collaboration with Hiatus Kaiyote. I studied in Melbourne, Hiatus Kaiyote is from there, and it just brings back nostalgic vibes.
What’s one book/movie/museum/tune that changed your life?
The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand. Our brains are plastic and we must be open to change.
“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wrote that in my High School yearbook too.
Advice for yourself/the kids?
YOLO is undeniable.