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Do you ever feel like you lose half of your day to a bunch of tiny distractions? In business, micro-distractions are equal to death by 1000 cuts. In this episode, Ben walks you through how he beats them.
Okay, super short episode today, but this is something that I see a lot of people struggling with, and I would love to help you fix this, because one of the keys behind my success always has been my ability to produce really, really high-quality content, really great products that teach people how to do something, and to do it at a pace that most people have no clue how I do it. There’s a secret, there’s an absolute secret to doing what I do and doing what a lot of the top producers out there do.
Listen, if you can be someone that’s prolific, meaning you can put out a lot of content, you can put out good stuff that people want to listen to or watch or read, then you can be very, very famous, number one, but you can make a lot of money doing that, too, because it leads to people wanting more of you, and they’ll pay for it.
But money aside, the key here is how do you get a lot done? How do you avoid distractions? There are a few things that I’ve learned along the way that are super important. To start off, you have to really understand what your distractions are. I know that your distractions and my distractions are going to be two different things. Listen, you may still work a day job right now. I don’t work a day job anymore, I work from home, but there’s still a lot of distractions from home, there’s still a lot of day job distractions.
But one of the things that I am really, really good at is, number one, I try at least when I’m on my own time, and this is even back when I was in an office, when I’m on my own time, I try not to multitask, meaning I try to do one thing at a time. Multitasking is something that’s very dangerous because we never do any of the things that we’re doing when we’re multitasking really well. We’re doing each of the things that we’re doing at about 40% to 50%. I try to be very focused on one thing at a time. That’s a start, but that’s not really what I want to teach you about.
What I’d like for you to understand is when I cut this podcast, when I write a blog post, when I put together a marketing piece or email campaign, I am shutting out the world. I think that’s something that a lot of people have a really tough time with, and I did for a while, too, but this is what I mean by this.
When I am creating this podcast, when I am writing a blog post, when I’m putting either stuff together, you’ve got to understand the environment that I create for myself, and this is super important. The distractions for me are pretty simple: Facebook notifications, super distracting; text messages, phone calls, super distracting. All of these things are very tough. Other people coming and needing things from me, my family. My family’s really good about when I work, but this is key.
I want you to understand what I do. When I am working, everything is shut off. There would literally have to be a bomb that goes off for me to break creative mode. What I call creative mode is for me … And it’s going to be different for you. You’ve got to understand this. You’ve got to find your own.
What creative mode is for me is getting a task done. Let’s say that I’m writing a PDF, a book that is going to be 20, 30 pages, or even 60, 70 pages. I understand that I have to write something like that from start to finish in one sitting. This was something that was taught to me years ago and something that’s been very, very important. I have to write it from start to finish in one sitting. If I don’t do it in one sitting, it’s going to take months to get done for me, because I’m a procrastinator, I’m someone that’ll put stuff off. It’s just the way that it is. I have to go from start to finish.
This podcast, it’s extremely hard for me to sit down and do this podcast. Once I sit down, I have a blast doing it, but it’s extremely hard for me to get focused enough with all the other distractions that [inaudible 00:04:06] to do this. How I do this podcast, I will literally sit down in one sitting and cut 10 episodes at once, because once I’m in the zone, I’m there. But keep in mind, 10 episode is my goal. I don’t get up until I do it.
My typical process is this to avoid distractions. I will typically do my best to work from about 10:00 PM until about 1:00 in the morning, sometimes later. But those are hours that are pretty quiet around the house. There are not many distractions. At that point, people in my house are safe, the doors are locked, nobody’s going to call me. If somebody outside of my house calls, they can call my wife, and she can come up and get me.
But what I’m going to do is I’m literally going to turn my phone off, ringers off. It’s probably in the room, as long as I can’t hear it vibrate anyway. No Facebook notifications. I’ve got everything turned off. I literally record this podcast on a computer that doesn’t have most of the apps that I use on my regular computer just so I can stay focused.
Here’s the thing. With your creative process, with your marketing, whatever you’re doing, what I want you to understand is you have to do everything in one sitting. You have to. When I do most of my training programs, I will sell the program before I actually do it. I don’t set up and cut a bunch of videos before we sell a product. That’s a waste of time for me, and I just wouldn’t do it anyway. It stresses me out. What I will do is I will sell the products and I will do a webinar for two hours where I’m sitting in front of people doing it live, because it’s start to finish. It’s done.
That’s the key for me. How I’d avoid distractions is something I’ve had to develop over time, but I understand that if I’m multitasking, I don’t get the main task done. The main task that makes me money in my business, and probably makes you money in your business, is when you are putting out content.
Here’s what I want to challenge you to do. This is something that’s a big challenge for me, but with Serial Progress Seeker, the ability to travel a lot more, to be with my family a lot more, I get to work from home already, but I can waste a ton of time like nobody’s business. I can waste time at my house. Believe me, you think you waste time at work. Wasting time at your house is much, much easier. There are so many other things you can be doing.
What I do so that I can actually get a ton of time with my family and travel is I will put the tasks that I’m trying to do together and go to start to finish. When I do a podcast, I try to do everything from start to finish at once and knock it all out at once.
Now I’m going to do another show, I’m sure, about batching, how I do batching, but that is an absolute key for me is to make sure that I do as much as possible in one sitting. I make a lot of my money in this business by either putting out a training program that’s video-based, writing down a training program that’s PDF-based, or recording audio like what you’re listening to right, now or recording video. The key is I have to make sure that between the two to three hours that I have to work, that I have a set number of things and I’m only doing that.
One more cool little example. This podcast, 10 episodes at once. I will sit down, I will do nothing but record this. I don’t do any of the editing. I don’t do any of the other stuff, I’m just recording this. I don’t get to get up, I don’t get to go do the next thing that I want to do until I’m finished.
Now what’s cool about that is once I’m done, I’ve got five to 10 weeks of podcast content that can go out. I can be living my life and enjoying my life and traveling and doing all kinds of other things pretty much with a backpack, the whole premise of this show. I can do that because all of the grunt work, the content work is done.
Here’s the thing. You’re going to want to do a lot of other things, Facebook, your phone. Do me a favor. The next time you sit down to work, try putting those things out of the room. Sit down and say, “For the next hour, I’m going to get this thing done.” Even if it seems impossible to get whatever you’re doing done in that amount of time, I want you to shut out all the distractions.
It’s funny. Things that I used to think were absolutely impossible in a certain amount of time are absolutely possible in a certain amount of time if I’m not being distracted by eight other things, which I would tell you, for a long time, was the way that I worked, and I’m willing to bet that it’s probably the way that you work right now if you’re not getting as much done as, say, the next guy who’s maybe in the same industry as you but is killing it, guy or gal, same industry as you but putting out way more content, putting out way more stuff, putting out way more products. They’re doing it because they have focus time, and during that focus time, they’re actually getting a lot done.
All right, so there you go. That’s what this one’s all about. I want you to really focus on where can you find two to three hours of time. During that time, can you get the whole PDF written? Can you get 10 podcasts done? Can you get 10 of your YouTube videos done? Can you get the blog post completely written? Instead of walking away and writing it later, can you get the entire blog post completely finished? That’s what it’s all about.
All right. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Serial Progress Seeker podcast. My name is Dr. Ben Adkins. Listen, if you dig this, click the ‘Subscribe’ button. That way you’re going to be alerted every time I’ve got a new episode that comes out. You’re going to get more great stuff like what you just heard.
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