It’s a new year! We have big plans but a lot of us are still shaking off 2020 and struggling to be present… and therefore productive.
Today I’m gifting you a master class in Being Present but more specifically in productivity. We’re going to discuss how eliminating distraction, changing your environment, and not relying on your finite willpower, is the game changing step toward actually BEING PRESENT and getting stuff done.
This Week’s PRO TIP is: For this week’s pro tip, I want you to give strong you the wheel of life and make the changes in your environment that weak you is going to hate you for. Delete an app, throw out some candy, write out a workout schedule...do whatever it takes to move the needle on your productivity in the right direction!
Come join the conversation and play with us!
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/playtheory/
Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1652343491608927/
Remember that Life is a team sport, so let's play together!
LINKS From Show
It is a new year and a lot of us have big plans, but we still might be shaken off 2020 and struggling to be present in there for productive. Today, I'm gifting you a masterclass in being present, but more specifically in productivity. We're going to discuss how eliminating distraction, changing your environment and not relying on your finite willpower is the game-changing step toward actually being present and getting stuff done.
And I could not be more excited to share with you today,
400 families woke up on Christmas to $250 gift cards left on their porch. With a poem. That's $100,000. With all the hardships they endured in 2020 many people found it more difficult than usual to believe in Santa Claus. That's why Santa went out of his way for some folks in the Canadian city of Edmonton to make sure they knew he still believed in them.
A Saint Nick who chooses remain nameless left envelopes containing an inspirational rhyme along with $250 gift cards on approximately 400 doorsteps. Bringing unexpected, cheers to many families in the area. As we saw over the year, just past, even when things looked their darkest, there have been generous people around the globe who stepped up in big ways to fill SANAS snowy boots time. And again, whether or not you believe in Santa Claus. This spirit of giving has the potential to shine in all of us. What a great story and very generous gift for so many people in the area.
Time for coach Neil to give an update on operation. Domination. Okay. So we had some awesome team players, again, we're getting those numbers up and we want to share a really exciting milestone, but we need some more sharing to happen. And as we go into 2021, we really want to take the momentum from 2020 on the podcast and really move forward. So we need your help there.
But two quick posts that I wanted to share with you first, we had happy Mrs. Gardner on Instagram share about our last episode.
Some lessons learned from 2020 and positive outcomes from 2020. She said so many good things. I snuggled more with my family, talked more with my neighbors, spent more time in nature, turned an old barbecue into a planter, and found joy in the simplicity. Of curbside pickup. Awesome. Updates. Thank you. Happy Mrs. Gardner for sharing, and we are so grateful to have your contribution to the community. Thank you for pointing out the good things of 2020. Next up, we have Laurie who shared. I choose to see 20, 20 as a gift. I was gifted time with my family minus the normal interruptions time with myself to reflect and get better acquainted.
Given the opportunity to find new ways to connect and communicate. She started a YouTube channel for moms thrown into home, learning with their children, wrote letters and mailed them to friends and family. Played a lot more games, read more purposefully, stepped back and gained a great deal of perspective.
So we are so excited for you, Lori. Thank you for sharing. And we're going to link your YouTube channel in the notes for anyone who's interested. So I hope you can head over there and check. And check out Laurie YouTube channel for moms who were thrown into home, learning with their children.
Okay, so productivity let's dive in. How fun is it that we now get to say hindsight is 2020. Well folks, how fun is it now that we get to say hindsight is 2020.
Now there is some truth to that. 2020 is now behind us. And what was a very difficult year. That had lots of challenges also had some great lessons. If you haven't already checked out episode 20.
Our open letter to 2020, then you've got to do it. It's a quick one. It's 18 minutes long. And there's a lot of great insights there.
But now as we look forward to the future with hopes, aspirations, goals, resolutions. We got to be effective and to present in order to make the progress we want. And that's really hard. We want to be present and in the zone this year to make magic happen, but we have to eliminate distraction in order to do that. And that's what we're going to talk about today.
Clyde Beatty was a pioneer in the circus industry and the man who created one of the most daring acts in circus history where he mixed 40 lions and tigers of both sexes. And tamed them all in front of a crowd. Clyde Beatty was born in Bainbridge, Ohio in 1903. When he was a teenager, he left home to join the circus and landed a job as a cage cleaner.
In the years that followed BD quickly progressed from a lowly cage boy to a popular entertainer. And now to the legend that we all know him for. BD became famous for his fighting act in which he would tame fierce wild animals.
PDs act included a segment where he brought lions. Tiger's cougars and hyenas all together into the circus ring and taint the entire group. But the most miraculous part of Clyde Beatty story is his survival in an era. When the majority of lion Tamers died in the ring, BD lived into his sixties. In the end, it was actually cancer that took his life. Not Elian.
How did he manage to survive? It's very simple, actually. Clyde Beatty was one of the first lion Tamers to bring a chair into the circus ring. What does the chair have to do with taming Elian? You might ask. Well, Everything actually. The classic image you see of a lion Tamer is one of the entertainer holding a whip and a chair in facing down a ferocious lion. We often focus on the whip.
But it's actually mostly a prop. In reality, it's the chair that does the important work. When a lion Tamer holds a chair in front of the lion's face, the lion tries to focus on all four legs of the chair at the same time with its focus divided. The lion becomes confused and is unsure about what to do next.
When faced with so many options, the lion chooses to freeze and wait, instead of attacking the man holding the chair. As crazy as it sounds, this majestic powerful beast is diverted by a small chair with four legs on it. The powerful part of this story and metaphor. Is that we are each just like the lion with all of its majesty power and potential, but we to get distracted. By this four legged stools of life.
What are the four legged stools in your life and how can you overcome them? As we dive into this topic, I want to start by letting you in on a little secret. The very concept of motivation is bogus and almost all engagement techniques used today. Are embarrassingly outdated.
Now that might seem like a bold claim, especially coming from someone who has a high ticket program called the purpose driven professional. That's all about engagement and drive, but let me tell you a little bit more and explain what I mean. If we are, depending on our willpower to get us where we need to go, we have a lost before we even began. Willpower is a limited resource or at least our brain thinks it is. And resisting temptation and distraction. Actually weakens it. How many times have you hopped onto your computer?
With all the good intentions in the world to get something done. And two hours go by. And you look at the clock and realize you've done nothing except browse the internet. YouTube, social media, whatever your weaknesses. And let the time go by. The important thing to remember is that your environment has everything to do with your ability to execute. And your willpower actually has very little to do with it.
Ben Hardy, the author of the amazing books, willpower doesn't work and personality. Isn't permanent said most people, mindlessly and reactively walk through life. They are unaware just how much their environment is shaping them. They're unconsciously becoming something they wouldn't want to be. This happens when we're not present. When we're not in the moment we just washed down the stream of life and are not intentional.
The truth is if we are allowing our environment to be full of distraction. Disorganization and chaos, we will never be able to be fully present for the task and projects at hand.
So what are some ideas to eliminate distraction in your life and be fully present? Well, here's just a few. First off limit internet use with apps and filters. We all have our weaknesses online. Mine is YouTube. There's something about those recommended videos that just keep rolling in auto-playing that just get me every time.
I probably account for at least half of all the views on the daily dose of the internet. A channel. Whether it's YouTube, Instagram, Tik TOK, or the news setting limits on these websites can be a total game changer. I use an app called SelfControl for my Mac book. That allows me to create a black list of websites. I go in there and I enter every website that I just want to block.
And then it has a timer that you can set and you can go all the way up to 24 hours in length. But it prevents you from visiting all of those sites for as long as the timer is going, it's very powerful and I've been using it a lot. If you have an iPhone, the screen time app is a total game-changer as well for your mobile device. I found that implementing these changes allows me to be free from the temptation.
And decision fatigue that comes from relying on willpower alone. There's also an app called forest for Android and iOS, which is kind of funny. It's a, you gotta lock your phone and as long as your phone's locked, there's a little tree that grows for however long you set the timer. And if you open your phone, it actually kills the tree and it's weird, but it's actually very motivating to keep your phone locked.
Another thing you can do if that's not working. Is just put your phone in a different room altogether then where you are working or trying to be present. If the site blockers and screen time, isn't enough. Try just charging your phone in a different room. This is actually very helpful at night when it's time for bed. And it's something I've tried doing is you know, just charging my phone in a different room, or if I'm using it for my alarm, I actually just turn it on airplane mode and that's been very helpful as well.
Research shows that just having your phone in the same room as you. Can be a distraction to your focus, not to mention when you get that little buzz for an email or text. I don't know about you, it's nearly impossible to not check in. Even if you do resist the temptation, that thought is in the back of your mind, wondering who was that or what was it?
And that is taking up mental real estate.
The next tip is to start your day with some quick wins. Now, this is a little controversial, this recommendation of making, because a lot of people will tell you to eat the frog, right. To take on your biggest, most hairy task first. And there are days where that may be the right strategy, but more often than not.
I have found that in order to really gain momentum for my productivity, I do a brain dump of all the tasks I have to get done that day. And I do this every day. And then I categorize them, not just by what's most important, but by what will take the least amount of time to do. And then I start my work session by setting a timer for 30 minutes and I get as many of these little tasks done as possible. And you can do less than 30 minutes. If you want. Even 15 minutes could be a huge help.
But when the timer's up. I transition then into my most important task, but I do so with momentum and a boosted perceived capability, getting in those quick wins up front helps you stay present. And in that state of flow, because you're getting that dopamine hit as we check off those quick wins, but also because your mental real estate is no longer weighed down by those undone tasks in the back of your head. So I found that to be a very
Approach , to be present with those important tasks. Is that plan out those 15, 20, 30 minutes? Of quick wins in order to get momentum and my productivity.
Designing your environment for success is also key. If you want to work out in the morning. Why not set out your workout clothes next to your bed. This will be creating an environment that makes it easy to do the things you want and need to do. If you want to read a book at night, find an easily accessible place next to your bedside to place it. If eating healthy is important, throw out the junk food or give it away.
I know that it's easier said than done, but it will be the small movement. That becomes momentum and really empowers you to level up. There's a great concept called activation energy that Shawn Achor shares in his book.
The happiness advantage. And it really comes down to, you know, how much energy is it going to take you to do a task? And he talks about increasing the activation energy or friction. And for the things that you don't want to do. And that might look like. You know, burying an app that you don't want to have easy access to in a bunch of folders on your phone or deleting the app. Right. That would be an example of increasing the activation energy.
If you don't want to be really extreme. I know a guy who actually has a. Admin change the password on all of his social media accounts. During the week. So Monday morning she changes all of them and she doesn't let him in until Friday after work. And so he only checks his social media on the weekends.
So that would be an example of increasing the activation energy for things you don't want to do, but you also want to decrease the activation energy for things that you want or need to do. And again, we shared a few examples of those setting out your workout clothes that makes it easier to put those on a, you know, make it really easy to eat healthy. We just invested in a juicer actually, and that makes eating healthy, exciting, and easier because we have this produce and we just juice it and drink it on the go.
So those are some examples of designing your environment for success.
Another big one is to simply organize your environment. If you are surrounded by clutter and chaos, it is going to be incredibly difficult to stay present focused in on task. Even just five minutes of picking up is enough to really impact your environment and productivity.
And a bonus tip here for those working from home, especially is if you have work to get done. And your home environment's really distracting. You might consider going somewhere else. And if you can't leave your home, maybe try a different room, but if you can. You know, try a coffee shop or just go somewhere else. And
And change your environment and that separation and change of environment can also have a huge impact on your productivity and an additional.
Action. You can take with this tip is to actually leave your laptop charging cable at home. This will force you to work harder and it might seem dramatic. But knowing that your battery is going to run out, can actually create the urgency needed to produce the results and help you stay focused.
At the end of the day, there are hundreds of ideas and tips for being more productive and staying present when you're trying to get things done. But the key is taking action. And setting aside five brave minutes to actually change your environment and give strong you the steering wheel of life to make those changes.
Stop relying on that willpower. That's not getting you where you need to go. You've got to change your environment. And doing this will pay dividends in the long run and help you change your environment. Eliminate distraction, and stop relying on willpower to accomplish your goals. If we want to make the progress in 2021 that we so desperately want to, and really develop the skill of happiness, we need to take action and change that environment.
For this week's pro tip. I want you to give strong you. The rains and the steering wheel of your life and make the changes in your environment. That week you is going to hate you for. Okay. So five minutes of courage. And an action can have a huge impact. So I want you to set aside five minutes, set a timer.
And just start changing your environment. Delete an app, throw out some candy, right out a workout schedule. Do whatever it takes to move the needle on your productivity in the right direction.
As always, we want to hear from you. If you have a story, an idea, or feedback, head over to play theory.org. And leave a comment on one of the episodes we would love to hear from you. And if we've benefited your life in any way, if any of these tips were helpful to you. I hope that you'll look outward and send some love and leave a five star review on iTunes or share the podcast with your friends. If you know someone that's really struggling to get ahead with their goals or productivity, share this episode and let us know so that we can give you a shout out.
In our operation, joy domination update.
To wrap up today's episode. I want to share a poem entitled farewell mediocrity. Some lives are riddled with impulsive in short sighted efforts. But not mine. Some people have trained their subconscious to seek out the path of least resistance and reach for the mundane, worldly and enslaving. But not me. Some lik colorless dreams and the currents of mediocrity sweep them away down the stream of disappointment. Some let distraction, deception, and pleasure derail their golden train off the track of dreams and wonder. But not me. Not me. I live the higher law. I breathe in the magic freedom that inspires my soul to reach higher love, deeper and unleashed that determined the lion who relentlessly pursues my dream life.
As flashy and cheap thrills tempt me to meander off the trail that leads to my majestic summit. I will fix my gaze on celestial glory and that which is of true worth and joy. I don't feed the alligators. I starved them. I don't hesitate building my empire. I do the next right thing and move forward. I don't lose my way. I kill mediocrity one disciplined and focused step at a time. Let mediocrity die.
Let it die.
That is my invitation to you. Let's let mediocrity fade away into our memories like 2020.
Let's bid farewell to mediocrity once and for all and let the distraction and disorganization and all the other massive roadblocks to our progress and to being present. Drift down the stream and fall out of our lives. I can't wait to see what you achieve this year. As you get productive is you eliminate that distraction and get present. 📍
Let's eliminate distraction shape our environment and be present practice happiness this week and never forget that happiness is a skill and life is a team sport catching next week