December 2019

Thoughts about…

Time Management

Overnight, winter arrived at Lake Tahoe.

For the second year in a row, a major snowstorm hit Lake Tahoe around Thanksgiving. Although much of the precipitation at lake level (elevations closer to that of Lake Tahoe versus the high country) has been rain, you won’t hear too many complaints from me. In the elevations of over 7,000 feet, that precipitation has yielded glorious snow.

Without boring you with the details, suffice it to say that the snowstorm prior to Thanksgiving provided enough snow for me to officially begin the 2019/20 cross-country ski season.

I refuse to say that my happiness is dependent upon the weather. However, I won’t deny my love for being outside and gliding across the snow through the forests and mountains!

‘Tis the season.

Rocky beach along a lake in the mountains with cloudy skies

Hiking around Fallen Leaf Lake on November 6, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Nearly as joyous for me, though, has been the volume of work I’ve been able to complete once I finished those fall wilderness classes. Mostly smaller projects, as you’ll see a sample of below, but necessary and rewarding just the same.

I treat the completion of each small project, in addition to the larger ones, as a victory. Incremental gains in a long-term, unified vision of creating a life out of nothing more than the ideas in my head and skills in my hands.

Dry grasses on rugged mountains

View of The Sisters, south of Carson Pass, on November 11, 2019. © Jared Manninen

I imagine, when it comes down to it, building a career in the digital world really isn’t much different from one in the physical world.

  • You need a product
  • You need a platform from which to sell the product
  • You need a customer to buy the product

And, along the way, you’ll stumble into a million-and-one pitfalls designed to thwart you from achieving your goal. Those pitfalls, or traps, often take the form of mechanisms that seek to separate you from your money and resources or ones that eat up your time (or both).

In spite of all the gear and comic books I’ve purchased over the years, I’m actually quite frugal with my money. So, for me, time management has always been my greater concern.

Am I focusing my efforts on completing projects that will have the greatest impact toward reaching my goal?

Or, did I fall down another rabbit hole that’s going to take me days or weeks to climb out of?

Woman hiking in the fall on a trail lined with dry grasses

Pixie hiking along the trail to Mount Tallac on November 14, 2019. © Jared Manninen

The only effective defense I’ve found against time-sucks is to have a plan, goal, or purpose – a passion that will enable you to channel everything you’ve got into one direction.

And, to know that the result of our passion won’t necessarily manifest overnight.

I don’t want to say that we have all the time in the world because each one of us is obviously working with a finite amount of it. However, I’m getting away from the idea that our passion project needs to be finished in a week.

When we operate on the belief that we have too little time, we begin to cut corners. We also tend to avoid beginning larger projects, which can sometimes be time-consuming and tedious. These could be projects like data and resource management. We fear that we won’t have enough time to complete them. So, why bother starting them? We ask ourselves.

But how many times have you gone to the garage to grab the tool in which to build the thing only to spend all day looking for the tool? Or, maybe only wasting half of that day running to the hardware store to spend twice as much for the tool because you already have one (somewhere!).

Snow-flocked trees along a cross-country ski trail

Winter wonderland on November 30, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Working on those large-scale projects may actually be the most effective use of our time. Often, they yield infrastructure to our operation or become defining elements of our “business.”

That’s the balance and discipline, though – reframing our minds to understand that we do have enough time, just not all the time. We do have enough resources, just not limitless resources.

I’ve just grown so tired of believing that life is a race, and that there isn’t enough time to finish what I start. So, I’ve embraced the idea that what I’m building is long-term, and that most of my projects are akin to living documents. Basically, I can go back and edit or modify them as new information comes to light. I have that luxury because what I “sell” is information and knowledge about playing outside (hiking, xc skiing, and snowshoeing).

But, then again, what road or bridge or building is ever truly finished?

Everything is a work-in-progress.

Now I just need to be careful as to how much time I spend cross-country skiing!

  • Are you using your time effectively?
  • Is your operation efficient and streamlined?
  • Is everything you’re working on heading in the direction in which you’d like to go?
Snowy lake near trees and mountains

Cross-country skiing at Grass Lake on a stormy December 2, 2019. © Jared Manninen

I won’t be quitting my jobs or retiring anytime soon, but October was my biggest month in ad revenue to-date for Tahoe Trail Guide. And, then, November was even bigger than October! In addition, I’ve had some nice interactions with people via my primary online platforms (Tahoe Trail Guide, YouTube channel, and Instagram). It’s encouraging to see the increase in visitors, as well as to have quality conversations with people around the world!

Here’s a fun video I made this week about standing up after falling down on cross-country skis. On this day I was xc skiing with a friend. But the snow was so deep that we weren’t getting too far. So, I decided filming clips for this video would be a more enjoyable (?) use of our time. The conditions were epic and exhausting, but a blast to experience!

I’ve been slow to write new articles for Tahoe Trail Guide. And this one I’ve mentioned previously as it was published in the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s quarterly magazine last spring. However, I posted the article in its entirety on Tahoe Trail Guide last month, along with an audio transcription. Enjoy!

Click an image to read its article.

Two women cross-country skiing in the mountains

Rachel and Maria cross-country skiing along the Pacific Crest Trail south of Carson Pass on February 1, 2018. © Jared Manninen

I designed some simple greeting cards for the holidays. I’ve uploaded them to my RedBubble account, so they’re available for purchase along with a bunch of my other artwork and designs.

Click an image to view it on RedBubble.

Copyright © 2018 Jared Manninen

Below are a few designs I uploaded to my RedBubble account that feature imagery from around Lake Tahoe. I’ve been trying to upload more photos to the account lately. So, if there are photos and images that you’ve seen me post on social media that you would be interested in seeing as a print or on any of the other merchandise that RedBubble offers, let me know. I’ll continue to add more images to the account in the days and weeks to come.

Click an image to view the design and its corresponding product availability.

Thanks for being a part of my life. Until next time…

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online magazine for sharing my knowledge about hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, as well as information about traveling to (and through) the Lake Tahoe region. I refine that information for a younger audience and produce it in a printed format under the title Wilderness Activity Books. Lastly, Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe.

Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2019

Comments (2)

  • John Le Pouvoir . December 17, 2019 . Reply

    Are you skiing skate-style or kick and glide? 3 pin or NNN?

    • (Author) Jared Manninen . December 17, 2019 . Reply

      Hey John!

      I’m doing all of the above 🙂 But mostly I prefer classic diagonal striding because it’s way more versatile. And on the south shore I mostly xc ski off-track and in the backcountry, so classic xc skiing is where it’s at. I have a handful of different skis/binding systems to accommodate different snow conditions. 3-pin on a 112mm Fischer S-Bound for deeper stuff, NNN BC on 88mm and 62mm for moderate to lighter conditions. And I have a couple of track skis for the groomers. I actually don’t own any skate skis, so I use our rental ones at work.

      So far, it’s turning out to be another epic season. Today was day #20 on skis. But who’s counting 😉

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