(Breather) Writer Michael Simmons breaks everything down everything for us in this fantastic Medium.com article so we can incorporate the most useful and effective tips that will help us be more like Buffett. Enjoy this 13-step process to help you become more focused, strategic, and prioritized in investing and in life.

The first step is determining your true values and goals, otherwise, you’ll find yourself wondering, “Why do my goals leave me feeling so empty?” Well, here’s the thing: you need to reflect on where your values come from: are they truly your own, or are they the result of the culture and environment you grew up in? From your peers to your parents to the consumerist agenda permeating modern society, who knows how deeply ingrained certain ideas are into your mind, without you even realizing it?!

It’s also crucial to make to-do lists and prioritize; go for the big rocks first a la Steven Covey and get good at it through repetition; identify your very top priority, do it first, and measure results carefully; filter out unnecessary stuff by getting better at saying “no;” and get expert coaching and accountability partners. Check in with yourself and your habits, and determine if you are guilty of “Procrasticlearing” – a term coined by Gretchen Rubin – as a way to avoid doing the necessary tasks on your to-do list. This is something so many people are guilty of, and it’s understandable: you’ve got a ton of tasks to tick off on the list, with no idea where to start. The pressure starts to mount, and it gets overwhelming. “I know,” you think to yourself. “I’ll organize all my utensils! Or my sock drawer! No, wait – I’ll wrap up all my holiday gifts, or clear out my computer…Then I’ll feel accomplished, like I really did something.” Wrong! That’s not the road to take, especially when you’re getting anxious about the things that you really need to just get done. Just focus on what you need to do, and do it.

Also, something that I don’t think a lot of people realize is that you need to make time for organizing your priorities. We’re so used to having calendars and reminders and all kinds of apps and tools on our devices, but what about investing in a plain old fashioned calendar? Yes, I’m talking about a literal calendar, one that allows you to physically block out your time and see how you’re balancing your priorities throughout the day and week. And if a physical calendar is not your thing, give Evernote a try, if you haven’t already. Evernote has been by far my favorite way to effectively organize all my thoughts, notes, schedule, to-do list, etc. Having a combination of a calendar, to-do list and notebook on a digital platform really helps me stay focused and clear, because it’s something I can update and have access to anywhere, which helps me keep myself accountable.

Another important thing to note that Simmons says is that, “Prioritizing is a skill” and that every time you see all your priorities, it’s an opportunity to get better at prioritizing. Once you start to incorporate prioritizing into your daily habits, you’ll see that you get better and better at it the more you do it. A great example of truly incorporating prioritizing into your daily life is to, “Do your priority first,” something I’ve adopted from my friend Andre Obradovic. In the mornings, straight after my cold plunge and stretching routine, I went straight into a few hours of super-focused work (book writing) before even daring to check my emails and messages. Once I did the one priority I knew I needed to get done, I would email him to confirm that I did this, and then I would go on with my day. This kind of discipline is really integral to accomplishing things, and sometimes you simply can’t do it alone – having someone who holds you accountable just makes it a lot easier for you to actually follow through. Commit to doing that one thing first, because if you push it off for later in the day, you’ll often find that you just keep pushing it to tomorrow, day after day.

Another thing that will help you stay focused and disciplined is by making an “Avoid At All Costs” list. These are the things you know that you can’t do without getting distracted, frustrated, or losing a big chunk of time out of your day. It takes a lot of energy and self-restraint to not do the things on this list, but the thing is, when you’re not deliberate in your actions, you’re likely to fall into old habits and lose time. Eliminate potential distractions before they can happen, so you’re not forced to confront them – this is why saying “No” is such a great skill to cultivate. We all have situations in life that we need to start saying no to, but you shouldn’t wait for the stress of battling those situations to drain you, simply remove them. Essentially: take the problem out of the equation for yourself.

At the end of the day, we’re all guilty of putting off the most important item on our to-do lists. Why? Simmons, the author of the article, says he’s guilty of this because, “I often resist the thing that is most important, because it requires me to confront my fears and self-sabotaging beliefs. Therefore, I always operate more effectively when I share my priorities with others, every day, and every week. Accountability forces me to be brutally honest with myself…it helps me put my foot on the accelerator.”

To sum it up:

  • Determine your true values.
  • Determine your true goals.
  • Set aside time for prioritization: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
  • Make a list of everything you have to do.
  • Get your to-do list out of your head, and physically put it onto paper.
  • Practice the 80/20 rule in all areas of your life.
  • Identify your single most important priority, and do that thing first, every day.
  • Message your accountability partner to confirm you did it.
  • Collect and measure metrics primarily on that “one thing.”
  • Put (mostly) everything else on your “Avoid At All Costs” list.
  • Prepare for, and envision what will happen if you get distracted by things on the “Avoid” list. This will help illuminate just how difficult and energy-consuming it is to stay away from distracting stuff.
  • Practice saying “No.”
  • Get both accountability and coaching.

TIMESTAMPS:

Brad presents a 13-step process to get inspiration. Numbers 1 and 2 are: determine your true values and goals. [03:43]

Set aside time for prioritizing. [06:54]

Make a list of everything that you have to do.  Getting it out of your head and onto paper is cathartic. [09:46]

Do your top priorities first.  [10:24]

If you leave your one thing for later in the day, it probably won’t get done that day. [14:23]

Measure the metrics of the items on your list. [15:13]

Put everything else on your avoid at all costs list. [18:04]

Practice saying “no.” [19:52]

Get both accountability and coaching. [20:43]

Brad summarizes these steps from the article. [22:52]

LINKS:

LISTEN:

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad: 03:43 Okay, breather show. Backing up the previous one about the inspiration behavior patterns mindset of investor King Warren Buffet, and now we’re going to do a 13 step process to apply these insights to your own life. Inspired by a great article. On the medium.com by Michael Simmons link will be in the show notes. So in the previous show you had some great exposure to his focus, prioritization skills, minimalist, simple, straightforward lifestyle. And now we can get into it with some practical tips starting with one and two determine your true values and your true goals. When you prioritize without having clear values, your goals often end up feeling empty. Hmm, sounds familiar. Yeah. Goal, goal, goal, focus, focus, focus. Do I care that much? Not really. Even though I achieve the goal, so, uh, this is a lot of quoting, but I’ll be interspersing in and out without your own north star.

Brad: 04:55 The goals you set are often the result of the values of the culture you have been previously in. Therefore, your goals aren’t really your own goals. I am a lot of people influenced by, of course, parents, well meaning parents, peer influences, the culture, the consumerism, and the value of material success over everything else. So let’s choose out of that and find out your own true values and true goals. Without setting clear goals, your daily priorities become overwhelmed with urgent tasks that have a short term payoff that make you feel good. Having clear values based goals keeps you focused on what matters most short term and longterm. Can you think of any good examples here? I can. Your email inbox, oh, doesn’t it feel great to clear your inbox and get back to everybody and clear your voicemail and make all those calls back and do all those seven errands of returning this garment to the clothing store and going and buying another a lock.

Brad: 05:57 I lost my lock. I have to go buy a lock today. I hate that. But this efficiency stuff can easily get away from you. Remember Stephen R Covey, seven habits of successful people. He was talking about effectiveness versus efficiency. So efficiency is a ordering the order of your errands so that it’s in a geographical linear stop here. First stop there next. But if that took 20 minutes to write down all the steps or you’re so efficient with every little thing like returning the $7 item that didn’t work and all of a sudden an hour of time has gotten away from you. Some of this stuff doesn’t add up. It gets away from you. Time gets away from you. I had a great interview with Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author, uh, on this podcast channel a little while back. Search for it online. And she talked about the concept of procrastaclearing, right?

Brad: 06:54 Clearing, clearing up, decluttering and making things so orderly and so efficient that you kind of forget your highest priority tasks of the day or you lose the time to do them. So determine your true values, your two goals. Third, set aside, time for prioritization, uh, making blocks in your calendar, uh, recommended by Simmons. 15 minutes a day, an hour a week, three hours, a quarter, and an entire day every year. Ooh, that’s interesting. Imagine that. Taking like your own personal retreat once a year and spending the whole day on your priorities. Wow. What is 2020 going to be all about? It’s about winning the super bowl for the dream team. Oh my goodness. That would be so fun. And so interesting to spend a day on your own personal retreat down at the library. Imagine that just sorting through your plans and your ambitions and your vacation opportunities. Wow. Uh, how about 15 minutes a day?

Brad: 07:57 Do you think that would be a useful, uh, application of your time? I really like that. I would probably reference that I spend three or four or five minutes a day. Definitely not enough, but I am trying to, uh, resource, uh, reference that to do list that I keep in digital form on the notes app, uh, from iPhone and a macbook. So it transfers back and forth between, um, my portable device and my desktop device. My home base, uh, also ever note is a fantastic program used by tens of millions of people. And what’s cool about that is it’s just a, a notes program where you can, uh, make folders and put notes in there. Uh, you can do multimedia, you can save like, uh, pictures and audio, but mostly them just making an assortment of text notes. And these also update to mobile device. And the great thing about Evernote is you can type into their search bar.

Brad: 08:51 It’s just like Google for your own life. You type in any term or anything. Like if I type in buffet, uh, I will come up with every single note where that word is mentioned in the note and quickly find all kinds of stuff from the owners manual to the spa, uh, all the way to the hiking trails that I wrote down on another scrap paper of note. Everything’s organized in Evernote. I think it’s free. Sure. You can do it with a pad of paper. I did that for many, many years. But I love the digital aspect of keeping things clean and the thought of losing, uh, some detailed notes and plans and things you spent a lot of time on just because you misplaced the spiral notebook, that would be tough. So my recommendation, go digital and then have at your fingertips on your mobile device anytime you just punch into a Siri or the talking voice of the other platforms that you might use and then it’ll fold right in.

Brad: 09:46 And so I have to clean up a mess basically every day where I’m taking these one off notes and integrating them into my priority list. A great stuff. So back to the, uh, the Warren Buffet List inspired by Warren Buffett, written by Michael Simmons, uh, going down from your true values, your true goals, your time for prioritization daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly. And then make a list of everything that you have to do. Getting it out of your head and onto paper is cathartic and it gives you fodder for the rest of the steps. Uh, there’s a great book called Getting Things Done that the author of the article recommends. David Allen’s getting things done.

Brad: 10:24 Next, circle the top 20% of priorities that will give you 80% of the results. Man, you hear this all the time. Do you think it’s really true? Maybe it is. I don’t know. Maybe we get bogged down in that 80% category when we could really let a lot of things slip through the cracks and just focus on the top 20% of priorities.

Brad: 10:47 I don’t think I’m very good at that. Maybe I should try it for a week and then do another podcast about that. Yeah. I don’t call people back. Don’t answer these text messages. Don’t answer these emails. Just go for that top 20% love it or some way, shape or form of that. Getting more focused. I think we would all benefit from, uh, I remember back in the day when I was working in corporate setting and the emails would come flying through these group CCS where there was five people on there and back and forth all day. The badminton birdie would get batted back and forth over the net and a few were out of the loop. For some reason, out of the office, away from your desk, you’d sit down at the end of the day and realize that the entire thread had been resolved without you needing to participate in these intermediate steps. Uh, okay. So top 20% of priorities, they give 80% of the road results.

Brad: 11:38 Next practice, the 80 20 rule like you would any other skill. Hmm? Prioritization is a skill says Simmons, by learning and then using different mental models such as the bottleneck analysis, the IC method or the critical path approach. Wonder what those things are. You get different ways of seeing your priorities every time you see your priorities as an opportunity to practice becoming better at prioritization. Oh, that’s cool. I like, I get what he’s saying there is just is just um, repetition and endurance as they say, building a better habit. So I’ve talked a lot about my morning stretching routine and cold plunge exposure. Didn’t do it today. I have to admit, very, very rare. Uh, I had to get my dogs out before it was really, really hot, so I skipped my cold plunge.

Brad: 12:29 That means I’m going to have to go back and do it later anyway. Uh, by identifying those priorities and having them at the forefront of your mind every single day and then developing the discipline to make them the priority by executing them, then your awareness is heightened all the time and you don’t slip and slide away from what your stated priorities are, but you don’t take action on. Love that. So that’s the tip named practice. The 80 20 rule like you would any other skill.

Brad: 12:59 Then identify the single most important priority. So if you were to narrow down a list of 25 priorities to five priorities, how about this aggressive misuse of the term priority? Anyway, you know what he’s talking about. Then you can apply the 80 20 rule again to focus on the one priority that gives you 80% of the results from those top five priorities, narrowing, narrowing, narrowing, focusing, getting to the top of the pyramid.

Brad: 13:27 He also learned this from a book called The One Thing. So another plug. Do your one thing first. Oh, I got this also from another, uh, another perspective from, uh, my friend Andre Obradovic who’s been on the podcast before. Wonderful. Uh, life coach, peak performance coach and a athletic coach from Australia has some great insights. No muppets being the very best insight he’s ever come up with in his life. Taking that to the bank and run with it. Uh, but that’s what he said to his like, do your priority first. And his assignment to me, our little coaching assignment was that I would get on it, uh, do my, let’s say two hours of focused work on the book before I opened up email or got distracted. I would do that as the very first thing, the day after my cold plunge of course, and my stretching.

Brad: 14:23 Uh, but then I would do it and then email him at the end of that time period that I had committed to saying I effing did it mate. And then go on with my day and allow myself to get distracted. Huh. Check out this youtube video. Oh, look at my inbox. It’s blowing up. But at least I pulled those two hours out of the hat and kept that commitment and it could be 20 minutes, it could be four hours, whatever it is for you to do that one thing first, when our day starts quoting about the one thing first, we have the most energy and the least distractions. This makes it the perfect time to tackle the hardest, most important activity. If you leave your one thing for later in the day, it probably won’t get done that day. I learned about managing my days based on my energy levels in a book called the power of full engagement.

Brad: 15:13 Next, we’re getting close to 13 I think this might be number eight, collect and measure metrics primarily on your one thing. Ooh, very cool. Did you do it or not? I’m thinking of that Voice of Dr Dre and my head. Uh, where’s the email? Did you effing do it or not? And if I have to write an explanation of two sentences. Oh yeah. Our Internet was down this morning and, and and no, collect and measure metrics primarily on your one thing. The mind loves metrics, says Simmons, especially public metrics. This is why social media platforms can so effectively train us to maximize our followers likes and comments. When these vanity metrics increase. I love that. What’s your vanity metric this month? Oh, I gained 50 followers on my social media. When these vanity metrics increase, we feel like we’re making progress and doing important work, but at the end of the day, if you run a business, what matters more is tracking profit first.

Brad: 16:14 If you run a nonprofit, what matters more is improving the world. If you’re trying to reduce loneliness, what matters more is how many high quality interactions you’ve had with close friends. The author of the articles business changed overnight when he took the time to identify the few metrics that really mattered and then focused religiously on them. Oh Man, I love this. This is such a great reminder for myself to to to get that metric part in. On the last show, I talked about how I’ve always been good at pursuing my passions and doing work that mattered and following my heart and my destiny. And I became an athlete, which was such a great surprise and a wonderful journey and did it for a little bit too long because I wasn’t really focused on my priorities, uh, weighing the instant gratification of doing something that was supposedly my passion with my, uh, a future plan and where everything was heading.

Brad: 17:12 And so sometimes we can just get stuck in the, uh, the play mindset. Life is short, uh, why plan for the future mindset. And that would probably be righted or checked and balanced if you collected and measured metrics primarily on your one thing. So why are you in this job? Oh, it’s to make a difference in my nonprofit. Oh, it’s to make my quarterly sales quota. And if it’s not working for you, even though you loved it and you had a great Christmas party and it’s really fun to hang out with the gang at the office. And you guys really laugh a lot when you take your breaks in the coffee room. Hey, let me see your metrics. Yo Man. So, uh, real life circumstances and pressures. Uh, same with college. Remembering the times when that fall semester freshman year is oftentimes an opportunity for the lowest GPA of all because kids are away from home.

Brad: 18:04 They’re going crazy, they’re having fun, they’re hitting the parties and they’re getting used to a new life and they’re not measuring the metrics primarily on the one thing. And the one thing being that they’re there to go to school, uh, get grades, pass their classes, accumulate those units because those units are so damn expensive. Now in today’s college world, their parents gonna be checking up on them for sure. Okay. So measuring the metrics of the one thing down the list, uh, it looks like number 10, put everything else on your “avoid at all costs” list. Uh, he references that Warren Buffet does this. And I read further into the article and it turned out that this was sort of a, uh, urban legend that Warren Buffet, uh, made a list of the top 25 most important things to do for the year or whatever. And then as soon as he completed the list, he crossed out, uh, numbers five through 25 and only focused on the top five.

Brad: 18:59 And it’s a really wonderful anecdote to think about, uh, the act of doing that, like going through the challenge of writing your top 25 priorities and then crossing out five through 25. Uh, but it’s probably an exaggeration. Warren Buffet answered a direct question at his Q and A at his shareholders meeting and he says, no, that, that’s not true cause I never even make lists. Whoa. But I like the idea from Michael Simmons to put, uh, an avoid all costs list together. And these are the things that a fritter away your time. Uh, furthering the concept of this avoid all costs list, realized that it takes a ton of energy and discipline not to do certain things on your avoid at all costs list. If you’re not deliberate, you’re likely fall into old habits to make sure this doesn’t happen. A strategize early on do a premortem.

Brad: 19:52 What would you, what would life being like if you got into these old habits got distracted? What would be the cause? Being aware of these potential distractions before they happen, we can dramatically increase the odds of avoiding them. Pretty Cool, Huh? Number 12 out of 13, practicing, no. Similar to, uh, how the prioritization is a learned skill. So too is saying no. Oh, it feels great to say no, not really. I mean, sometimes it does, but again, this might have a little bit of pain and suffering involved and changing your mindset, changing your, uh, established behavior patterns, but practice saying “no.” The skill is recognizing areas where we should say no but don’t. And then devising a solution for each situation that actually works.

Brad: 20:43 Finally, get both accountability and coaching. In my experience as the author of the article, I often resist the things that are most important because they require me to confront my fears and self-sabotaging beliefs. Therefore, I always operate more effectively when I share my priorities with others every day and every week. And when a coach forces me to be brutally honest with myself and give expert feedback, accountability helps me put my foot on the accelerator. Coaching helps me remove my other foot from the brake. Ooh, let’s repeat that and see if we can get what he means. Accountability helps me put my foot on the accelerator. Coaching helps me remove the other foot from the brake. I like the idea of accountability, accountability partner. They use that term a in workout, a vernacular where you’re trying to sign up for a, uh, let’s say, uh, a competitive event months from now. So you get a partner, a buddy, and you say, do you workout today? Okay, I did too. That kind of things. Cool. That could be a great role for a healthy partnership to serve as each other’s accountability partners, but then leave the coaching to, uh, an outside entity. Perhaps an expert, right? Cause if you’re spending all day trying to coach your partner and challenge them and do all these things that might be a little difficult to maintain the other wonderful parts of a love relationship. Same with your kids and other dynamics like that. I’m remembering the days of a huge sports where I was a really hands on participatory coach. I love coaching the little guys and a instilling the right values and the higher ideals of few sports until they were about high school age. And then it was time to get serious and it was more like a job with distinct goals in a highly competitive environment. So at that point you turn it over to a real coach. And then in terms of accountability, uh, you can check in and say, uh, did you get good nutrition today? Did you get enough sleep? Do you have everything that you need to succeed? How can I help you as a parent, as an accountability partner rather than trying to be all things? Hey, how about that for a little plug at the end?

Brad: 22:52 So, uh, finishing words from author Michael Simmons on the medium.com. Each of these steps is absolutely critical. Miss one of them. And your ability to pick and follow through on the right priorities plummets. Ouch. So let’s go hit the 13 really quick. Finish this thing off. Take a breath and carry on. Implement them into your life. Ready? Determine your true values. Determine your true goals. Set aside time for prioritization daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Make a list of everything you have to do. Get it out of your head and onto paper. Circle the top 20% of priorities that will give you 80% of the results. Practice the 80 20 rule like you would any other skill. Identify your single most important priority and do that thing first every day. And then write an email to your friend. I effing did it, mate. Next, collect and measure metrics primarily on that one thing. Next, put everything else on your avoid at all costs list. Okay, not everything else, but put a lot of stuff on that list and then prepare for it. Envision what would happen if you were to become distracted by these. Avoid at all costs list items. Realize that it takes energy and discipline to stay away from stuff. Next practice saying no another learned skill, just like the 80 20 rule. And finally get both accountability and coaching.

Brad: 24:28 Thanks for listening.thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at getoveryourselfpodcast@gmail.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves cause they need to. Thanks for doing it!

(Breather) There’s no doubt that having healthy, productive morning habits is good for you. Having the “perfect” morning routine is often touted as a great solution to so many problems, the clear, unobstructed pathway to a better life: all you have to do is wake up, meditate for 22 minutes, have your wheatgrass shot and make your superfood smoothie (10 minutes), get dressed and ready for your day (15 minutes), then write in your gratitude journal for 7 minutes, then you’re out the door with 5 minutes to spare and ready to conquer the world!

OK, so we can agree that all that is a little stressful, right? Especially with social media these days! It can be overwhelming when you’re scrolling through Instagram and you see someone detailing their very specific, impressive, fancy morning routine, and you’re like wait – what? Should I be adding some of that into my coffee? What else am I missing out on? The answer is nothing…. While some people may thrive off having a perfectly regimented, planned out schedule where every 3 minutes is dotted in, the most important component of a good morning routine is that it includes what works specifically for you. A good morning routine means something different for everyone, but, if you want to get inspiration from a seriously impressive one, then check out my show with Dave KobrineThe Morning Routine King, who starts his day at 4am with a two-hour meditation!  

It’s no secret that I love a cold plunge, and it’s my favorite way to start the day, but if that doesn’t seem like it could be your thing, at least check out this video I made giving you the brief low down on the benefits, which are impressive and may tempt you into taking the plunge: our hormonal/nervous system responds to brief cold-water exposure with a reset effect that energizes your body at the cellular level, boosting your immune function and stimulating a spike in adaptive hormones like testosterone. 

The most important takeaway is that your routine consists of proactive, deliberate behaviors that you repeat day after day until it becomes habit. I have a morning flexibility/mobility ritual for injury prevention that I do every morning immediately after waking up, without fail. It’s become such an ingrained part of my morning that if I skip it for whatever reason, I have to loop back and complete the sequence of exercises or I feel off/out of sorts – the absence of this habit is noticeable, and that’s what it’s all about: you want these proactive, deliberate behaviors to become an ingrained part of your morning, as simple as brushing your teeth – it really is that simple. But it’s the repetition that will get you there – the key words are deliberate and proactive for a reason. And don’t forget to get sufficient sleep – after all, how are you supposed to have a productive morning if you don’t have any energy to run on? A good morning routine is important, so think about works for you, and work at implementing it every day, until it settles into the kind of habitual behavior that you don’t even need to think about anymore! 

TIMESTAMPS:

Start the day with this routine. [01:28]

Many sources have ideas they promote. You need to do your own thing. [04:40]

There are wonderful hormonal benefits from cold therapy. [07:09]

Establish a routine of proactive, deliberate behavior that you repeat day after day. [09:18]

Get sufficient sleep. [10:24]

Movement is #2 on the list of routine suggestions. [14:13]

Exposure to cold is #3. [15:28]

Hydration is extremely important. [17:44]

What will be on your to-do list? [19:29]

Meditation or enjoying the family are important morning rituals. [21:50]

LINKS:

LISTEN:

Download Episode MP3

Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:08 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high stress modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad: 01:28 We want to begin our day in a pro active mindset. Take control folk at the little bit. Spend a few minutes. Really can be one minute or less, but have some quiet time to reflect on your top priorities of the day and thought things out. Movement is number two. If you’re keeping score at home. Number one, it gets the fishing fleet, get your sleep habits dialed, and then number two move. We want to wind things down, especially in the final two hours where you’re using mellow light sources, so your home, is it’s dark, it’s possible? Maybe you’re dawning yellow or orange tinted lenses to block out the harmful spectrum of blue light on the UV spectrum that comes from regular light bulb or eliminated green that is depressing things likeMelatonin and for stress hormones in the evening time.

Brad: 02:28 Brad [4:40] Let’s talk about morning routines, so interesting, so important. So over hyped these days. Do you agree? Are we hearing that? Morning routines, everything. Oh, we have a bestselling book called make your bed that I already made fun of on another show. Not that it doesn’t have great content, but let’s not get overblown here. Even if you have a kick ass morning routine, you still have to go out into your busy day and kick ass. But I thought I would give some practical, doable, reasonable tips to get a morning routine in place that can really help you. And you’re listening to a guy who is not much for routines, not big on them. I kind of go with the flow every single day. I’m doing my own thing in the workplace. So I have a lot of flexibility and freedom that’s made me who I am today for better or for worse, a lot of times for worse. But I feel that some morning routine elements that I’ve put into high gear in the last couple of years have had a wonderful impact on my productivity throughout the day. So I wanted to share those with you. This show is inspired by my friend Eddie Bee, faithful listener, childhood friend, looking for, give me some feedback saying, hey, how about some practical actionable tips not only from my guests, and I’ll try to drill down with these guys, uh, at future shows, but also some things that you can listen to and go try out tomorrow because we’re talking about morning routines. Okay. So yeah, sifting through the hype and all the blather about these perfect routines from these perfect people, especially the thought leaders in the business leaders who throw down their heavy proclamations that if you do this, this is going to be the secret to success in your life. And you too can build a $1 billion company from, nothing just, if you drink this yeast smoothie every morning with whey and wheat grass and then meditate for 27 minutes, no more, no less outdoors by your fountain that you have to rig up with a pump from Home Depot.

Brad: 07:09 Oh my gosh. You know what I’m saying? Okay. So my first and most emphatic suggestion here is to do your own thing and don’t feel intimidated by the proclamations and the people out there with incredible enthusiasm for their way and it’s so fantastic. And that includes me. I’m the biggest chest freezer, cold plunge enthusiast. You can go and look at my youtube video and learn about the benefits of cold therapy and a little demo for me jumping into the freezer tub. But if that’s not your thing, hey, think about it, absorb the information, maybe dabble in it. Start with taking cold showers. It does have some wonderful hormonal benefits. So I’m going to cover that as one of the steps, just some exposure to cold, a hormetic stressor for your body. Since we’re living in this comfortable temperature controlled environment day and night. It’s very good for you, very healthy, but you don’t have to feel intimidated if someone, one ups you with their morning routine.

Brad: 08:09 It’s hard for anyone to top Dave Kobrine’s morning routine and listened to my show. It’s so fabulous what he does every single morning. It is time consuming, but it’s very inspiring to try to take bits and pieces at least and do something for yourself every day. Ah, Jeez. Same with Deepak Chopra where he relates that every morning from 4:00 to 6:00 AM is his meditation time, so that’s inspiring. Kudos to him. I don’t think that’s going to be my thing from four to six. Maybe I’m missing out, but we want something that feels doable and comfortable to you and it’s not going to be perfect. It’s not going to happen every single morning and keep that in mind. When you look at the promoters talking about their awesome morning routine, I wonder sometimes, do you ever have a teenager who texts you with a lost password interrupting your morning routine? How bout a lonely chatty neighbor that wants to talk, talk, talk and keep you behind schedule g, do you ever have some fun and depart from your best laid plans?

Brad: 09:18 Do I hear about Hanky Panky in the morning, throwing you behind schedule and making you forget your dry cleaning and getting you stressed out a little bit, but hey man, plan B is okay sometimes going with the flow sometimes, but what we want to establish here is a baseline, a routine of proactive, deliberate behaviors that you repeat day after day until it becomes a habit until it becomes automatic. My favorite example is my morning flexibility mobility ritual that I have on youtube. You can look at the video. This is just a customized routine that I do to help with injury prevention and flexibility for my crazy stuff that I’m doing like sprinting and high jumping, but it’s something I do immediately upon waking up every single day without fail. Sometimes an abbreviated version from what you see on the video. Nevertheless, it’s become habit to the extent that if I skip it or I’m interrupted for whatever reason, I have to loop back and complete the sequence of exercises.

Brad: 10:24 Otherwise I’ll feel out of sorts, like I’m missing something. I want it to be in the same category as brushing your teeth and all these other habitual behaviors. So let’s go down a short list, one by one and help you develop an awesome and sustainable morning routine. Number one, get sufficient sleep. If you’re having to hit the snooze button over and over, something is wrong. Our bodies are designed to wake up feeling refreshed and energized near the time of the rising of the sun in your area throughout the year. That’s our hormonal processes, our circadian rhythm, the Spike of Serotonin in the suppression of Melatonin in the spike of Cortisol. All these programmed hormonal responses to the sunrise to the light of day getting you up and at’em, and if you feel like crap, let’s go back and look at your evening patterns, particularly the excess artificial light and digital stimulation after dark.

Brad: 11:32 So we want to wind things down, especially in the final two hours where you’re using mellow light sources. So your room, your home is as dark as possible. Maybe you’re donning some yellow or orange tinted lenses to block out the harmful spectrum of blue light on the UV spectrum that comes from regular light bulbs or uh, eliminated screens that’s suppressing Melatonin and spiking stress hormones in the evening time. Then you have a crappy night’s sleep, can’t get out of bed in the morning. So, uh, personally I don’t understand the snooze button. I’m not a big fan. I’d rather sleep in peace until the absolute last second rather than go through this ordeal of having to reach over and turn the thing off over and over. Maybe you’ll disagree and you like a different pattern. Uh, but generally speaking, what should happen in the morning is that we should have a predominance of REMcycles and fewer or fewer duration of the deep sleep cycles in contrast to the beginning of our evening sleep time period where we have longer deep sleep cycles and shorter REM cycles.

Brad: 12:49 That’s why if you go to bed too late, you can’t really make up for it by sleeping in because those deep sleep cycles are critical. Earlier in the evening time at your program, bedtime of 10, 30, 11:00 PM, whatever it is. So in the morning we should be arising out of a REM cycle. That’s rapid eye movement when we’re just lightly asleep and dreaming rather than a big log on the bed that has to be shaken over and over. So it should be easy to wake up and feel pretty decent. I’m not saying you have to be Jack Lalaine and pop out of bed singing a song and launching into some jumping jacks, but you should feel pretty decent. Look at your evening routine. If not, look at the medications and the substances you’re ingesting. If you’re having problems, feeling decent, getting out of bed, uh, particularly the sleep prescriptions or over the counter preparations designed to help you sleep. Uh, oftentimes what they do is knock you out, but they interfere with the efficient cycling through the various stages of sleep throughout the night. Same with dosing on alcohol before you go to bed. And same with assorted prescription medications that can compromise healthy, authentic, natural sleep.

Brad: 14:13 So try to clean up your act, have a nice dark, mellow evening, and then wake up feeling pretty decent and then go right into some form of movement. This will help you wake up and feel alert and energized and happy, even better than a strong cup of coffee. We want to get the blood flowing and the oxygen circulating throughout the body with a gentle sequence of movements, gentle because you’ve been sleeping all day. So jumping jacks, maybe not gonna work for you, but whatever it is, movement is number two. If you’re keeping score at home, number one is get sufficient sleep, get your sleep habits dialed, and then number two move. So it could be the famous sun salute sequence of exercises that are familiar to yoga practitioners. It could be heading out to the driveway to pick up the paper or leashing up the dog to take the dog out for early morning business. Whatever it is, you want to do some form of movement right away. As soon as you wake up, especially if you’re feeling a little drag ass, just getting into some movements will help you feel better, feel more alert, feel energized.

Brad: 15:28 Number three on the list I’m going to put right after movement is exposure to cold. When you get this hormetic stressor, you get a burst of nor epinephrin. That puts you in a good mood. It gets you focused and energized. It has profound effects on brain function, mood, alertness, and as Dr. Patrick describes in her beautiful detailed paper that you can find for free on found my fitness.com.

Brad: 15:56 You can download this 26 page hardcore pdf with all kinds of science touting the benefits of cold exposure. Also watch my short video on youtube where I jump in the tank chest freezer and talk some of the talking points about cold exposure. But this nor epinephrin boost is a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. It’s natural, it’s healthy, and even a short term exposure to cold. Uh, the study referenced by Dr. Patrick was 20 seconds of exposure into 40 degree water boosted nor epinephrin for a couple hours, up to 200 to 300%. So everyone knows that invigorating sensation of jumping in the lake or whatever you’re doing, jumping in the river and feeling refreshed and energized as soon as you pop out. So do something like that first thing in the morning. Of course, I’m big fan of the chest freezer cold therapy, but not to intimidate you or confused you. Just try a cold shower as your morning exposure to cold practice. And what you can strive to do is finish up your shower with one to two minutes of all the way cold exposure, the coldest water you can get. Uh, my Gosh, you’ll get out of there feeling refreshed and energized and I just gave you permission to start with a warm shower as normal. But we want to put our body under some sort of temperature stress to avail these wonderful hormonal benefits, especially since we’re living in this artificial temperature controlled environment all day long. It’s not good for the body. It kind of causes atrophy in various homeostatic mechanisms that are important, uh, for handling all forms of stress and boosting immune function and all that great stuff. So we’re going to get in the shower, have that final one to two minutes of cold exposure.

Brad: 17:44 The next one on the list is hydrate. And I’m throwing this on the list purely out of peer pressure because I’m hearing so many, uh, knowledgeable, enthusiastic people tout this as such a big deal. Ben Greenfield, Kelly Starr at two recent guests on the show. Dave Kobrine in the same right up there, the big three. Oh my goodness. What is this? It’s such a big deal, first thing in the morning to hydrate because your body’s dehydrated overnight. Makes a lot of sense. I would love to see some science proving this is true. Uh, it’s never been a big concern of mine, but now I’m definitely on board with the hydration scene. So as soon as you wake up, uh, get yourself a nice big glass of water and add some of these popular things that people are touting is some lemon juice, I guess for digestion. And the antioxidant benefits so you can put some fresh lemon squeezed in there. A little bit of vinegar are supposed to help with a fat metabolism and especially a great form of salt, like real salt, my favorite. That’s a brand coming from natural mineral salt, Himalayan pink salt, sea salt, a good quality, a salt that will go into the water and then help with the uh, osmolity. The hydration effect of the water will be improved if you add some sodium. If you just slam a big drink of plain water, it’s possible that you will just pee a lot of it out because it doesn’t have the proper, uh, sodium balance. So if you add the sodium, it will be more likely absorbed by the tissues throughout your body that want to be hydrated first thing in the morning. How about that?

Brad: 19:29 Next the to do list. Hmm. Throw in that in there. After we’ve done all our good physical self body care. So echoing many great peak performers on the planet, we want to begin our day in a proactive mindset. Take control, focus a little bit, spend a few minutes. Really can be one minute or less, but have some quiet time to reflect on your top priorities of the day and sort things out in writing or in digital form. I like to use the notes APP, the yellow a notes application where your iPhone and your desktop device or laptop are synced. When you add something to notes, it goes across to the other platforms. Wonderful. Or you can just have a a spiral notepad, handy dandy printed notepad, but make sure that this thing is given a precious sacred status in your life. Okay. And that you’re constantly referring to your to do list, updating it, revising it, and using it as a guide so that you don’t get pulled away from your top priorities of the day by the hyper-connectivity and the hectic pace and the constant over stimulation that we face in daily life, especially give your brain a break and empty it out of all these obligations to remember every little thing. I can’t tell you how many times I have failed to remember the most basic of tasks because I asked my brain to remember it for me without writing it down or memorializing it on a to do list. Oh, who am I taking after Albert Einstein? Man, remember his famous quote? He says, I don’t know my telephone number because I can easily look it up in the phone book. In other words, he didn’t want to burden his wonderful brain with memorizing his telephone number. Oh, I love that. Okay, so take it easy on yourself. Don’t trust yourself to remember all these little tidbits and obvious things that you think you should remember. Just write them down and keep a wonderful, powerful to do list. Then as we get down the list, I told you it was going to be simple, brief, and doable. Uh, fill in the blank to something that’s important to you.

Brad: 21:50 Maybe this is your chance to go and do your meditation exercise for 27 minutes next to your outdoor fountain. Maybe this is the time where you go wake up the kids or have a precious few moments of chatting with a loved one before you go on with your busy day. Maybe it’s time to eat your chosen morning meal. If you’re all about that or prepare something like you’re going to eat it later, but it’s part of your morning ritual. Dave Cobra and mentioned his smoothie that he makes a every morning as part of his sequencing through that cold exposure and the morning stretching and calisthenics and then the sunrise jog. Got The smoothie going in there, putting it in the fridge, using it later if you like to read the morning newspaper or do the crossword puzzle. These are all excellent morning rituals that keep you in a focused, proactive mindset. Even doing your hair and makeup or foam rolling your injury or doing your stretching exercises, whatever it is, a deliberate form of self care will be a great idea to kind of finish off this distinct morning routine. And then of course you can open the floodgates of technology and hyper-connectivity as soon as you pick up that phone, you know where things head from there, who knows what direction. It’s absolute chaos and distraction, at least in my life, I’m noticing it. Uh, I know it exists and I’m feeling the pain. I’m acknowledging the problem, trying to do something about it. And I think the very, very best thing you can do is to start out the start of the day in that proactive mindset away from technology, away from connectivity with the outside world, and then build your momentum, build your skills and let this thing be a centerpiece of your daily life.

Brad: 23:56 Brad 24.90

Brad: 23:56 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback and get over yourself. podcast@gmail.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars and it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.

(Breather) I cite some great ideas from peak performance leaders like “4 Hour” author and podcast host Tim Ferriss, the late “7 Habits” author Stephen Covey, and “Good to Great” author Jim Collins. These topics have become of central importance to me lately, because I feel like the world is getting more distractible and hyperconnected every day. We are losing our collective attention span to our great detriment!

I quote Ferriss about prioritizing starting your workday and avoiding “indiscriminate constant action.” Begin your day with fresh air and sunlight by taking a walk outside, then continue with productive action: sit down with a pen and paper and write a list of 3-5 things that are making you feel uncomfortable. Watch what comes up on that list – they’re likely to be the tasks you’ve been avoiding, the things that have the most chance of bringing up rejection and conflict into your day. But ask yourself this: if you accomplished only the tasks on this list – would you feel satisfied after? It’s all about letting the less important stuff slide, and making the decision to prioritize the things that you know must been done. This ties into the iconic 4 Quadrants from Stephen Covey, and the idea that you should spend most of your time in the planning, reflecting, and prioritizing mode instead of in the reactive, distracted mode. The 4 Quadrants are broken down like this: 

 

1st Quadrant: Urgent + Important 

2nd Quadrant: Urgent + Not Important 

3rd Quadrant: Not Urgent + Not Important 

4th Quadrant: Not Urgent + Important

 

Covey recommended spending most of your time in the 4th quadrant – this means planning, analyzing your to-do list, listing your priorities in order, and doing all the practical things you need to do to in order to get the most done – things that don’t seem urgent, but are actually integral to focus and productivity. Best-selling author Jim Collins is a great example of putting in the work into making sure you’re spending your time as efficiently as possible: he’s set a goal to spend half his working time in “creative productivity mode” and charts his time out on a spreadsheet everyday – talk about getting things done! He’s got the 4 Quadrants down and it certainly shows. 

It’s all too easy to become numb to this state of constant hyper-connectivity, and this show will help you identify the ways in which you can avoid falling prey to this, and work with the reality of our highly distracting world to create behavioral patterns that best serve you, allowing you to focus and prioritize your daily life to your benefit.  

TIMESTAMPS:

I talk about my cold therapy plunge and deep breathing. [03:18] 

Distractibility and hyper-connectivity are hindering us all from productivity. [05:19]

Step back and get more rest. Be open to feedback.  [08:03]

There is difference between efficacy, efficiency, and effectiveness.  [09:59]

Start your day with some sort of physical exercise before you get to your screen. [11:52]

Next sit down with pencil and paper. [12:39]

Learn to use the Covey Quadrant.  [13:43]

If you lose focus, a nap is a good idea. Or get up and move! [17:37]

Being busy is a form of laziness. [20:36] 

LINKS:

 

LISTEN:

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go. It get over yourself.

Brad: 03:18 Oh man, I am loving my morning cold plunge so much, especially as the weather gets hot. It seems like it’s a lot easier to jump into 34 to 38 degree water and commence my 20 deep diaphragmatic breathing cycles. But what’s so great about it is it’s really a meditative experience for me because I’m not practicing the art of meditation any other time. But when I get into that tub and I focus entirely on my breath, I don’t even feel cold. I’m taking over from the, uh, autonomic nervous system, the natural response to cold with that reflex action of wanting to jump out. I’m just in there, breathe in through it. So check out the video. Uh, Brad Kearns chest freezer, cold plunge and the great article on Mark’s Daily Apple called the maybe not so definitive guide to cold therapy cause there’s so much more we have to learn.

Brad: 04:13 Anyway, I’m starting the breather show, talking about my favorite time of breathing, which is inside the cold tub. And also because we need to take a break from this constant hyperconnectivity and overstimulation. It has become my number one pet peeve in modern life, especially with my core a contribution to the planet. Being a writer, communicator. I spend a lot of time trying to, for example, finish this book that Mark Sisson and I had been working on for many, many months. The sequel to the Keyo Reset Diet. It’s called Keto longevity. And it’s leveraging this, uh, Keto friendly metabolic state, ditching carb dependency becoming fat and Keto adapted into a comprehensive plan for longevity. So we talk about a movement, physical fitness, your mindset, avoiding rumination and distractability, living in gratitude. And then also the huge importance of rest and recovery that we discount in our fervor to eat healthy and get all the workouts done and be productive.

Brad: 05:19 And all that stuff. So there’s four pillars of longevity. Oh, it’s going to be great. And I’ll tell you more about it as time comes. The release date is December 31st, 2019. Right now what I’m really focused on is this pension for distractability and hyperconnectivity. I’m noticing it in the conversation patterns of humans on the planet, especially me. And I’m pointing the lens pointing the knife at me throughout this entire conversation because I’m noticing how distractible I’ve become and it’s such a different life than back in the old days when we had to push the buttons to dial up our Internet connection member with the, uh, the audible errrr younger listeners don’t know what I’m talking about. But you used to make this creaky, weird noise when you’re dial up internet connection connected to America Online or whatever you are doing to go check your email. But it was more deliberate. It wasn’t a constant, there was no mobile device connecting you to anything. You had the printed out maps, which I love to go get at the AAA office and have a map of every area of California that I’d traveled to or every area of the US ah, things are different now. There’s a voice telling you where to turn on every turn, lots of progress. But the pension for distractability and the shortening of our collective attention spans is really driving me crazy and making me sad, especially for the younger generation. Uh, when we think about all the things that we’re missing. So I’ve noticed a couple good articles, programs from thought leaders and I want to share some of the highlights because that’s what I do on the breather shows. Uh, one of them was from Tim Ferriss, the a bestselling author, a productivity expert, Tim Ferriss podcast. So He’s kind of this guy that, uh, is obsessed with productivity and efficiency and time optimizations.

Brad: 07:12 Many writes some good stuff about this. Uh, so this is, um, mostly quoting and then I’ll be paraphrasing at times or coming in from the peanut gallery when I disagree from the message or have something to add, I get to do it because it’s my show. But Tim Ferris says most superheroes, these super high productivity people, uh, people talk about Elon Musk a lot cause he’s running for different companies or whatever he’s doing. He claims to work 100 hours a week. Remember that article? Uh, I, uh, highly scoffed and criticized that even if it’s true, which it probably is. Who cares,? man, why don’t you go be healthier, work less and everybody will adjust accordingly. Uh, but, uh, the super geniuses that have that, a flaming, a shooting star to contribute to the world and change technology, I can see how he’s so motivated and so driven and irreplaceable.

Brad: 08:03 But for most of us, I find when we take a deep breath and sit back and maybe try a little bit of delegating if you’re in the workplace or just letting things go with the flow, if you’re a parent, I have noticed that myself where I feel like I had to be all things to all people and uh, make every social occasion and uh, be connectable to anybody who wanted to connect with me immediately. Sometimes you sit back and things have a way of working their way out. When you take care of yourself, get more sleep, focus on your peak performance, core daily responsibilities, stuff like that. So back to Ferris. Uh, most superheroes have nothing in the sort. They’re wild, neurotic creatures who do big things despite lots of self defeating habits and self talk. Okay. I’m feeling that a boy, the process of writing a book, if you’ve tried or doing a big project, whatever you’re working on a, sometimes there’s that negative self talk creeping in and a self doubt. Second guessing a feeling great about something one day and lousy about it the next day. And I guess that’s part of the process. And um, I’d say at times it’s really good to have that critical eye. I remember some occasions where I’m writing something or working on something and I think it’s the greatest thing ever and I’m just feeling great about it all the way through with no critical eye. And then I’ll send it to uh, someone to review and uh, the thing will get turned upside down. Like, Oh yeah, I never thought about that. Thank you for your feedback. So being open to feedback, being receptive to uh, change and revision a, those are good qualities for anyone who’s creating something. Eddie Blau frequent listener man, every time I send that guy something like my recent, uh, label of my top secret, incredible male optimization, a supplement product had great feedback.

Brad: 09:59 Yeah. All right. So Ferris says he personally thinks that he sucks at efficiency doing things quickly. It takes his time, but he gets it done. He’s written bestselling books, so it must be working for him, but he provides an eight step process for maximizing efficacy. Efficacy is doing the right things, where efficiency is doing things quickly. Do we remember the Stephen Covey books, the late Stephen Covey, seven habits of highly effective people. And he talks about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness. So you can be efficient without being effective. Ferris efficiency and efficacy. So here’s the eight step process. So the first one is wake up an hour before you have to be at the computer screen. Email is the mind killer, amen, oh my gosh. Email gets criticized a lot. Of course it’s the greatest thing and an easiest way to communicate and save so much time and energy from the old days of having to crank the phone or lick a stamp and mail an envelope.

Brad: 11:07 Uh, but it can definitely get out of hand. So you’ve got to use it to your advantage and leverage it by turning it off at times when you’re supposed to do something else because it is a sort of, um, the hyperstimulation as addictive. You get those dopamine hits every time you receive new and novel stimulation in your environment. That’s how we’re hardwired. We can’t help it. It’s very difficult to fight. So your inbox populating is always going to pull you away from trying to revise a certain paragraph deep into a different project. So an hour before you have to be at a computer screen, wake up and then do your morning ritual. And I’ll opine here where I feel like the best thing you can do as soon as you get out of bed is to do something physical to get the blood and oxygen flowing through your body.

Brad: 11:52 So you can look on youtube. I do this Brad Kearns morning routine. I think the title of the Youtube video is where I’m doing this flexibility mobility series of drills right on the ground. As soon as I get out of bed, it’s pretty strenuous. It takes about 12 minutes. Uh, if you want to start with a five minute routine, like the yoga sun salute moves or go out to uh, your backyard and just raise your hand to the sky, throw the ball to your dog, walk a little bit a stretch. Take the dog around the block is the very first thing you do. But when you get fresh air, sunlight, and move your physical body after a night of sleep, that’s a great way to start the day a Ferris wants to have you go make a cup of tea and then sit down with a pencil and paper a, this sounds like fun.

Brad: 12:39 I have to say that I don’t do this and might be an interesting thing to spend one minute on every single day, uh, like a to do list or something. His description is write down three to five things that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. Oh, the stuff that’s been punted from one day’s to do list to the next and the next. Most importantly, these are things that have some chance of rejection or conflict. So ask yourself after you write these three to five things that are making you most uncomfortable, ask yourself some questions. If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day? So maybe I’m writing down on my list, getting punted a day after day. Finish book, exclamation point. So yeah, good answer. Next one. We’ll moving this forward. Make all the other to do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later if you’ve answered yes to at least one of these questions, block out two to three hours to focus on one of these things on the list today.

Brad: 13:43 Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff. Slide again, that’s the Covey quadrant being referenced. So remember this or you can look it up. Uh, just type in Covey quadrant and you’ll see this wonderful diagram of, uh, for for uh, boxes. That’s a quadrant, right? And they are labeled as a different stimulation or things to do during your busy day. So one of the quadrants is urgent and important. So this would be a phone call from your boss saying, Hey, I need those reports right away. We have a meeting in 30 minutes. You drop everything and start kicking butt on urgent and important. And another quadrant is urgent and not important. So the term urgent, meaning you’re faced to deal with it right away, uh, that would be someone dropping into your cube saying, hey, did you see Curry last night? He went off on the threes. Can you believe it? And you say, oh, excuse me, I’m working on a really important project for my boss. It’s due in 30 minutes. And then they go, whoops. See you later. So that’s the urgent and not important example. There are many better examples such as, uh, answering your chats and texts messages while you’re supposed to be doing something else. So we got to be mindful of, uh, spending too much time in that quadrant. And then the other two quadrants are not urgent and not important. So that’s like nonsense. Surfing, Youtube, uh, frittering away time, shuffling papers on your desk that aren’t important in the first place. Uh, tracking down a mystery, charge on your credit card of $3, and you don’t recognize it. So you spend 27 minutes on hold and talking through it. Uh, instead of just eating the $3, then finally not urgent and important.

Brad: 15:41 And that’s the, uh, Covey all star quadrant. And he recommends that you spend most of your time in that quadrant, that be planning, analyzing your to do list, uh, order of priority, uh, plotting down your errands that you have to do on that day. And what order you’re going to drive to the various locations and what you have to take in your car so you don’t forget anything. Not Urgent, but important. This idea of spending the time in the high cognitive function planning, strategizing quadrant is echoed by bestselling author Jim Collins. He’s been doing some podcasts interviews recently. I think he’s got a new book out. He wrote good to great and many other of those, uh, peak performance efficiency analyzing of, uh, organizations and systems. And he said that he’s trying to set this goal of spending. I believe it was half his working time, let’s say in a year and a 2000 hours of work in a year.

Brad: 16:41 He wants to spend a thousand or those hours in, uh, creative, uh, productivity mode, generating, uh, original, uh, creative content. And then these other chunks, these other percentages go toward housekeeping, right? Or you’re just trying to get your software to work, uh, answer, phone calls, reactive mode, a communication mode, but half of his time, and he charts it out every day on a spreadsheet. This guy is tight, man. What a great concept to realize, hey, did I spend half my day doing something of value in making a contribution rather than just housekeeping, house cleaning, that kind of thing. So that’s four quadrants for you and back to back to the action. So now we’re jumping back into Ferris’ ideas and he wants you to be clear and block out two to three hours to focus on one of those high priority items that you pulled out of, uh, the Covey quadrant of not urgent but important.

Brad: 17:37 Okay? This only counts if it’s a single chunk of time of two to three hours rather than 10 minutes here and 10 minutes they’re adding up to two hours. Does not work. If you get distracted or start procrastinating coating from Ferris. Now don’t freak out and downward spiral. Just gently come back to your single to do priority. Ah, this is the only way I can create big outcomes despite my never ending impulse to procrastinate, nap or otherwise fritter my days away with bullshit in quote by Ferris and I’m going to extract and peanut gallery comment about the napping. Uh, if you are dragging ass or feeling like your discipline and cognitive abilities are declining at a certain point in the afternoon after that big a high carbohydrate lunch or what have you, a 20 minute nap to me is a real peak performance when, and I’m sure the fairest would not as had an agreement, and I’m taking his comment out of context, but, um, if you have to nap, you have to nap.

Brad: 18:39 And a little goes a long way when you’re constantly vigilant as to your cognitive ability and when you lose focus, uh, get up and move around is a great one too. Uh, I know Mark Sisson does that. He says when he gets tired, instead of taking a nap, he gets up, moves around and does some slackline comes back and I’ll do the same, but I’m also a huge, huge fan of napping. And I get that 20 minutes, 20 minutes back in droves with my productivity the rest of the day. Okay. And then a final thoughts from Ferris and this stuff’s gonna hit you hard because we all have to swallow this and realize, oh crap, that sounds like me a little bit, doesn’t it? Here we go. If you have 10 important things to do in a day, it’s 100% certain that nothing important we’ll get done that day.

Brad: 19:23 On the other hand, Ferris says, I can usually handle my one must do item and block out lesser behaviors for two to three hours. At least. It doesn’t take much to seem superhuman and appear successful, the people around you, but what you do is more important than how you do everything else and doing something well does not make it important. Huh. Interesting. Hey, I organized all my bookmarks on my web browser in alphabetical order. Isn’t that awesome? Yeah, that’s fantastically awesome. How long did it take you? Oh, it only took me 45 minutes and then we’ll check in tomorrow. What’d you do today? Well, I organize my sock drawer with the larger to smaller thickness of socks so I can reach in when I’m going for a run versus going for a hike. Fantastic. And boy, Oh boy, there we go. With what Gretchen Ruben calls proclass. Oh, sorry, I mispronounced, I was under pressure. She calls it pro class. She calls it pro crass to clearing procrastaclearing. Don’t be doing your procrastaclearing now. Ah, I made it.

Brad: 20:36 Okay. Uh, and here’s some quotes from Ferris that we shared in the book. They were so important. Uh, being busy is a form of laziness, lazy thinking and indiscriminant action. Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions. Whew. Pretty good stuff. Thank you so much for listening. Put it into action and spend more time in planning mode, reflective mode. The space between your thoughts is where the magic happens. That is the breather show. Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at getoveryourselfpodcast@gmail.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars and it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.

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