Cathryn Lavery

๐Ÿงช the secret sauce to genius

published14 days ago
3 min read


May 16th

Hey friend,

I recently had an incident where I ran my lawnmower over my phone.

Yes, you read that right. It was a calamity of errors, but it brought up some interesting conversation topics among friends about why I was mowing my own lawn in the first place.

But first, here's a picture of what the phone looked like after:

Like I mentioned I had a few entrepreneur friends sending me contacts for lawn companies and pushing the notion of "buying back time" โ€” which usually I'm a huge proponent of.

And yes, for around $40, I could have done so.

But, I've decided not to. Here's why.

We live in a world that places a premium on innovative ideas.

Yet, it overlooks the importance of prepping our minds to come up with these ideas.

If we're always focused on optimizing every moment of our day, are we not robbing ourselves of potential thinking time? What's the cost of assigning all routine tasks to others, so we can only focus on "bigger things"?

I argue that the time we regain isn't necessarily time well-spent on executing or ideating. Instead it may be filled with busywork and email.

And here's why: our minds are brilliant at playing tricks on us. They're running on ancient hardware that prioritizes safety and survival over innovation.

That's why, when we try to sit down and think, we're often interrupted by thoughts of errands or our ever-growing to-do list. Somehow one minute I'm focusing on a problem, then the next minute I am on Amazon buying a garlic mincer that will be delivered no later than 5pm.

{ Bolognese emergency avoided. }

Since becoming a parent I've figured out a secret weapon.

Using routine tasks as distractions, a means to quell my brain's protective instincts. A sort of strategic multi-tasking that allows me to generate ideas without my brain stepping in to "protect me".

Btw this same concept is why you often have those "eureka" moments in the shower; your mind is busy with the task at hand, allowing your subconscious thoughts to surface.

What I'm describing is the exact same thing, but by using routine tasks as a way of forcing some thinking time.

Pro Tip: If you have a partner who's primary love language is Acts of Service, then you're winning twice! ๐ŸŽ‰

TLDR despite my phone becoming a lawnmower casualty, I'll keep mowing my own lawn.

I encourage you to experiment with this idea of using routine tasks as fuel for thought to see how it works for you.

  • Find routine tasks that don't bore you to tears (like laundry ๐Ÿ’€)
  • Remove distractions (phone, tv etc)
  • Use the time doing routine tasks as a platform for thinking.

To aid this process, you might want to consider some prompts. Creativity is powerful when there are constraints after all.

Prompts for generating ideas:

  1. Consider an existing product or service that you find lacking. What would you do to make it better?
  2. What have been 10 problems, big or small, you dealt with in the last month?
  3. How could you leverage AI to automate part of your life or business?
  4. Think about an industry or field you're passionate about. How could you innovate or improve an existing product or service in that industry?
  5. What are your top 10 personal stories or challenges? Share how they changed you and what you learned from them.


๐Ÿ“ฑApp: Iโ€™ve been using Opal app on my phone which has been helping with my screen time and generally being on my phone too much.

Mowing over the phone helped even more, but would not recommend.

๐Ÿ“– Book: I recently read a book called "Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art" that fundamentally shifted my views on the importance of breathing. It's insane how many people are breathing wrong and it's creating all sorts of problems in their body that doesn't require medication or surgeries.

I've since started doing some daily breathwork, using this free app which has been great.

๐Ÿ’ƒ Concert:โ€‹
If you have the chance to see Taylor Swift in concert it is a masterpiece. Yes I had to sell my left kidney for tickets but honestly was worth it.

Goals progress:

I mentioned in my 2022 review that one of my goals is to get in the best shape of my life. It's going well so far:

This screenshot is from my Withings scale btw, a year in and it's been awesome.


Next newsletter edition:

Expect an email from me in 2 weeks, if not I will be donating $200 to a politician I don't agree with. How's that for incentive?

I'll be sharing some thoughts on:

  • thoughts post-exit (and what I will do differently next time.)
  • creative ways I'm using AI
  • webapp live ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

Have a great week!



P.P.S. This is my best work on twitter last week:


If that made you smile, consider sharing this newsletter with someone you think would appreciate it Reader Thank you ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Cathryn Lavery

Want to go from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur? Iโ€™ll guide you through business strategy, finance, ecommerce, personal growth and DeFi. (Plus behind-the-scenes life updates ๐Ÿ˜‰)