Whatever it is, I believe in delivering value. And so I said to Ted, I said, “You know, man, I don’t want to call you at like midnight and have you post the call, because I wanted to make sure the calls got up immediately. So why don’t you tell me how to do that?” And he said to me, he said, “Paul, that’s a little bit above your skillset.” And I never forgot it.
So the truth of the matter is, I only do the things that I’m good at. And I break it down to what are the three things that I need to do today? The reason most people procrastinate is either they’re in fear of trying something and not feeling it’s going to work, they’re looking for an excuse because maybe they feel that they’re not worthy enough to try it.
Most people will, it’s funny and I used to do this, and so everything I talk about I’ve experienced. I remember I have deadlines. I remember, OK I got to get this thing done and I try to find everything else to do other than what I needed to do.
So, if I had a deadline to write some copy or create a program, I might say: “Well, I think I might clean the garage today.” So, we tend to avoid the stuff that we need to do because of some particular mindset or thought about our ability to accomplish it in the way that we think we need to accomplish it which gets into this whole concept of expectations.
And what I believe about expectations is expectations will always lead to disappointments because you’ve set this bar for yourself and chances are, you’ll never reach the bar because you’ve set it at an unreachable level. And so, procrastination comes in because you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll never be able to accomplish it.
Paul: And so, it comes down to mindset. And so I know you teach amazing stuff. I mean I’ve seen your program. I think you’re one of the people that I resonate with because you’re high in integrity and authentic.
But the truth of the matter is if you can give people small steps to get to the place that they want to get to, and of course they’re telling you where they want to get to, then they’ll actually get there.
But if you leave it to their own devices, they’re going to try to do too many things that get in the way of what they really want to create in their life. And so what they’ll do is they’ll end up procrastinating.
It’s funny, (line cut out for editing) I was at an event while speaking at it. It was about teaching people how to write books and getting in the right mindset about how to be creative and so forth.
I remember I met a friend of mine there who had a PR company and we were talking about procrastination and he said: “You know what? Procrastination is kind of like any other kind of organization that people don’t want you to know that they procrastinate.”
He said: “You know what? You should maybe get the website ProcrastinationAnonymous.com, right?” And I did. So, I haven’t done anything with it but again, procrastination is just another way to avoid what it is that you truly wanted to do because you’re totally getting in the way of yourself.
And if you would just kind of let it all go and believe that you could have it and not worry about the outcome and the expectation, you’ll get to that place much quicker. So, that’s my take on procrastination.
James: Perfect. Alright, that’s some useful tips right there. So, just keeping it into very small steps, little bite-size pieces and don’t do things that you shouldn’t be doing in the first place.
James: Something we talk about a lot in my group is writing that big list of everything that you think you have to do and then give it to someone else.
Paul: That’s a good move.
Distraction And Human Nature
James: Then there is distraction. So, what about if you’re constantly getting distracted and you’re lacking focus?
Paul: Well, it’s funny. Again, all three of these things kind of work hand-in-hand – waiting for the right time, procrastination, distractions. The truth of the matter is you could take them on your own but together, they kind of all work on the same thing.
And again, distractions are really how your mind is avoiding what it is that you’re trying to tell it to do but you’re not doing the right kinds of things that give you the inspiration or the motivation or the empowerment to do it.
We live in a world that’s highly distracted, OK? Now, I’ll take you as an example. You’re not a distracted person as far as I could tell and I know you pretty well. You love to surf, right?
Paul: You could get distracted by your love of surfing so that all of a sudden you’re not doing all of the other things you’re doing.
But since you’re a highly systemized and organized human being, you fit that stuff in so that you can make sure that everything else that you do in your life – your business, the coaching that you do, the ability to take people to the next level in their life, your relationship.
All that stuff, you make sure all that stuff is taken care of so you can surf without having to feel bad about anything else that you’re doing at that moment. Would that be accurate?
James: Yeah, trying to treat it like as if time is a bucket. You have a limited quantity and then you have to fit all the rocks and the sand and the pebbles in the bucket and you certainly can do it.
Paul: Right, and the stuff that’s important to you. Right?
Paul: And so…
James: So, the rocks go in first which means I don’t podcast at high tide because I’d rather allocate that time to surfing.
Paul: Exactly! To surfing.
James: I’d rather podcast when there’s a closeout so it’s not surfable because there’s no conflict then.
Paul: Exactly! Right, and so I’m talking to you today. You’re in Sydney, Australia. I’m in Marina del Rey, California. It’s quarter to six at night my time.
I’ve had an amazing, highly productive day today and so now I can focus in on this. So, distractions, technology is a wonderful thing but again, it’s either/or – either it can distract you from you doing the stuff that you need to do to create the success you want in your life wherever that might be, whatever it might be for you.
Or you can use it as a means to inspire or empower you to do what it is that you want to do, so you do it in a much more high level kind of way.
So one of the things that I teach people is I don’t sleep with my phone next to my bed. Because I know if I did, then I would look at it as soon as I wake up in the morning.
And so, for me, when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I want to do is spend the first 20 minutes of my day on me and getting myself into the right frame of mind.
So, I’m not distracted by anything that takes me out of my routine or my ritual if you will and I think human nature is to try to find magic bullet or the shiny penny.
And I say that because most people, I mean if you’ve ever done any personal development courses and I’ve spoken at a lot of personal development or big seminars – multi-speaker, whatever it might be; and I find that people end up looking for that next big fix without even looking at the fixes that they already accumulated. Does that make sense?
Paul: And so human nature is to be distracted and to take the eye off of what it is that you want to create. So distractions are one of the biggest pitfalls into creating success in your life, wherever that might be.
I mean, if you’re in a relationship with somebody and you’re trying to take the relationship to the next level and you’re sitting there talking to them and you’re basically not paying attention because you’re distracted by “Oh, I forgot to do whatever it might be,” you’re never going to get to the deepest level with that relationship or the same thing happens in business or whatever it might be.
So, distractions have a tendency to take you off your game. And so what I teach people to do is I teach them to schedule. I teach them to schedule in all the things you need to do and make sure you get those done before you get distracted by things that aren’t really in the mainstream of what you’re trying create in your life.
James: Yup. So basically, if you want to eliminate distraction and get more focus, you actually build-in activities into your schedule so that they just come along and happen rather than you having to initiate something.
Three Big Things (Rocks)
Paul: Right. Well, you know for me, I mean I find that, again, I have this program called: “Day Sculpting” and so Day Sculpting is about creating a success routine, it’s about creating habits and it’s about creating a plan for your day and I do three things a day.
I do three big, you talk about big rocks right? I do three big rocks a day. One of my big rocks today was talking to you. The other two were I had to work in my studio on a piece of music for my sculptations program and I had to work on finalizing some copy for a landing page.
Those were the three things that I needed to do today. That’s all I needed to do. As long as I got those done, then I didn’t have any distractions around it but I scheduled them.
James: Yeah, that’s exactly the same as me. Your podcast, Ezra’s podcast and surf. They’re the three things that I wanted to do today. This is number three and it’s not even lunch time.
Paul: Great. Exactly. And all I do is three things because I know, first of all, I know that I don’t need to do 25 things if I do three things really well.
So again, I’m doing this podcast with you and it’s very important that we have a really amazing, creative, inspiring dialogue so that whoever’s going to listen to this, I’m not trying to sell anybody anything and you’re not asking me to, what we’re trying to do is deliver content to somebody that can help them.
So, my focus is OK, how can I show up in the biggest, most powerful way that I can for you and your people, right?
James: Yup and that’s how we come up with the framework that probably helps the majority of listeners because if we’re honest, we’ve at some times do feel procrastination, perfection or distraction.
Paul: Absolutely. And then, writing copy for a squeeze page. Then you know, I mean I’ve got to focus in on Ok, every word, every comma, everything to make sure that what somebody’s going to see when they come to my site, they’re going to want to opt-in for because I want them to get this content that I believe is going to transform their life.
And then working on this piece of music today that I’m doing for somebody that I’m creating a sculptation for which is my brain entrainment technology.
I’ve got to like focus in on that. I mean that’s plenty of stuff for me to do today so I’m only going to do three things every day that help me get me to what I call my chief aim.
And so, if you’re going to give yourself the permission to do that but don’t be distracted by things. Again, I associate distraction to avoidance.
And again, I’m not trying to criticize but the truth of the matter is if you get distracted, you’re trying to avoid something that you really need to do that deep down you know is going to propel you forward but for some reason you’re just not doing it. And so, you got to take a look at your patterns, your behaviours, your habits and your beliefs around things.
Summary and Action Step
James: Perfect. So, I think we’ve probably helped somebody tune at least one thing. Let’s see if we can wrap this up into a bundle here.
So, if we were to summarize the key points, it is that you should be avoiding doing activities that you should never be doing in the first place, you should just get started with it and you’re getting started with it because it’s been scheduled in in advance, you’ve planned out what you want to do and you actually build the time for that.
So that if the time comes along, the task appears, it’s the right task because it’s something you should be doing and you don’t have too many of them, so you do it. Is that right?
James: What will be a good action step for our listener to take today?
Paul: We all either use our smartphones, our computers, our mobile devices, iPads, whatever it is and chances are, most people either use Google Calendar or some kind of calendar program, unless we’re old school, we use day timers which is fine as well, OK?
Just write down what your three big rocks are for the day. So for me, I got a rock in there, five o’clock it’s called: Interview with James Schramko, right? Just plot it out. Plan it out. And then, everything else that you’re going to do during your day is planned around your three rocks.
So once you put it down, once you get it out of your head and out and onto paper or onto whatever it might be, then that’s an action step. So, there’s activity involved with that. Right?
Paul: And then, you make it happen. I mean, as simple as it sounds, that would be what I would do.
James: Well, that’s working for you and working for lots of other people. You’ve got more material on SuccessCreationInstitute.com.
Paul: Yes sir.
James: Paul, thanks so much for sharing these ideas with us.
Paul: Oh man, James, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it and I just want to say that those of you that are listening to this, I know that James is very much of an inspiration and a positive influence in your life and he does great stuff and I’m just blessed that you and I connected and anything I can do to help you and your people, please just let me know.
James: Thank you. I’ll have to keep in mind if I ever need a serious jingle. You’ve got some massive credentials there.
Paul: I could write this whole sculptation brain thing which I should talk to you about at some point too, we can maybe talk about it some other time but I could always write: See James on a surfboard, we could write a song around that.
James: Oh, don’t give my listeners ideas they’ll probably…
Paul: Alright then, nevermind, OK.
James: Thanks Paul, see you.
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