Blog, Musings & Sometime Rants

Dominate Your Day, Productivity

How to Win Tomorrow Today

I’ve have been doing a lot of speaking in the construction industry with associations and companies.

I have a featured article on How to Win Tomorrow Today in this months Construction Executive Magazine.

— Read on www.constructionexec.com/article/how-to-win-tomorrow-today

Dominate Your Day, Productivity

Here we go again…

Last month bagels emojis. This month landing emojis.

Over the past two decades of working with some of the most productive (and busiest) people. I am well qualified to say this… If an emoji concerns you… YOU must have a lot of free/down time, all of your projects completed, financial security, job security and overall you are lighting the word on fire with all that you accomplish.

Not quite you say…

I think I’ve isolated the problem.

An article today in the Los Angles TImes covers the apparently upsetting “landing” emoji. This is after last months “bagel” emoji fiasco.

They say (they are always a bit over sensitive) the current emoji on the left is a bit too “crash-y” their word definitely not mine.

As a pilot (again, qualified to address this) I can tell you the image on the left is a typical landing position called nose down. This position happens normally in a decent and landing. However, in all fairness the picture on the right is called the flare. This also is normal and a part of a non-crash-y landing.

The point is who has time to fret and worry about nose down or flare. Crash-y or not so crash-y? I’m even somewhat bothered that I am taking my daily article writing time to write about this. I’m even more up set that I’m using the word “crash-y.”

How to focus.

I offer my audiences this idea shift when it comes to this area of focus, getting more done and blocking or resisting unwanted, non-productive endeavors.

Focus is NOT about saying YES to the right things. Focus is about saying NO to the wrong things. This perspective shift allows you to have the meaningful and results producing work in front of you. As apposed to… what do the new emojis look like and are they accurate. It’s an emoji. Come on.

You could just type “Landed.”


Eric Herdman is a Professional Speaker and Keynoter. He is an expert at human optimization, productivity, energy and focus. Helping people be their best most productive selves.


Dominate Your Day, Productivity

LIVE with LAURIE and ERIC. TOPIC: How to save time and get more done when using the written word.

Smartphone, Uncategorized

Keep It Simple For Being Insanely Productive

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I test a lot of productivity, habit and human optimization apps.

I have to because I am constantly asked at my seminars and keynotes “what app do you recommend” for this or that? I try to always have a recommendation to offer. I even have a PDF document that contains my current and top recommendations. However, I recently discovered something about my app choice and usage. Personally I have migrated back to most of the native (IOS) apps. If I don’t use a native app I noticed that my chalices were always for the simple app.

Simple is where the freedom is

I pondered why and how I choose the apps for may daily productivity and what I kept coming back to was simple! Simple is fast. Simple is not over complicated. Simple is reliable. Simple doesn’t require a lot of brain power thus not creating decision fatigue. Simple is all I require to get the job done.

 

Stop giving yourself decision fatigue by going simple

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Let me share some of my thinking here with you so that you can make an informed decision on if simple will work for you in the app department.

As a productivity expert speaking and writing on the subject of getting more done I have to tell you everything you can do to reduce decision fatigue is essential to your productivity success. We make 25,000-65,000 decisions a day. These decisions start as soon as we wake up. Snooze? No! I mean yes, I’m tired. Brown shoes or black? Oatmeal or avocado toast? Should I take Warm Springs road to work or the I-215? Some of these decisions seem trivial, but be warned: brown shoes or black shoes takes just as much out of the decision making allowance as making a decision on $100,000,000 project. Yep, true story.

This is why simple easy-to-use apps are key in not giving you decision fatigue. If the app is over complicated, just the act of adding an item to a to-do list can be taxing. I counted how many decisions I had to make to add a task to a very popular to-do app. Eight! It took eight decisions just to enter a simple task. I don’t know about you but I need all of the brain power I can recruit for higher cognitive pursuits. So, how many decisions is it to enter it into a “simple” app? None! Hit the plus sign and type, done! Want to save an article to read later? I tested a very elaborate app that boasts tons of features. It’s an app that is made for this sort of curation. It took 9 taps just to send it to the app. Two more click to specify the destination location. I switched to using Instapaper and in two clicks I have it sent, saved and ready to read as soon as I open the app.

Try it out see if simple works for you.

Below is a list of simple apps to test. Kick the tires see if you notice the reduced trouble and decisions to execute just using the basic functions of these apps.

To Do:

     Reminders (Apple IOS)

     Swipes

Notes:

     Notes (Apple IOS)

     Pen and paper (Yep, going old school)

Calendar:

     iCal

     Google Calendar

Reader and content curator:

Instapaper

 

 

Smartphone, Uncategorized

A Manifesto on Smartphone Rules and Expectations

By Eric Herdman
Eric@EricHerdman.com

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Are you aware that there are Smartphone rules?

Who made up these rules?

Who set these expectations that we must all follow?

Where is it written that I have to have my notifications on?

Where is the contractual obligation that I must respond in a specific given period of time?

I just had a discussion with someone who got (as my mom would say) “all high and mighty” or as my family in the UK might say “cocksure” with me about not responding to their text message.

It started like this…

Them- hey, you gonna ever respond to my message. (This was their greeting)

Me- Hi there!

Them- Did you see I sent you a text? Are you going to reply?

Me- No I didn’t see it yet. I will reply. When I have time set aside to do so.

Them- what?

Me- I said, No, I did not see it yet and I will reply when I decide to.

Them- I heard you but I sent it yesterday morning.

Me- great! Thank you. I’m sure I’ll see it and get to it over the weekend.

Them- weekend? Get to them soon? It’s a text message. You need to answer those right away!

Me- (now he pissed me off) I do, hmmmm. According to whom? I typically don’t operate by responding to other people’s agenda and priorities. This is unless I have set it up and agreed to it. Plus, I didn’t even know you sent it. I don’t utilize my notification on my phone. (Recently, I extended this to all devices)

Them- what?!?!?!

Me- yeah, all of my notifications on my phone are off.

Them- (head about to explode) you don’t have your notification on. How do you know…

Me- (I cut them off) How do I know I have a message, a missed call, an email and Voxer, a WhatsApp message, a Facebook like, an IG heart? I don’t… until I look. You see, I decide when to look and respond. I am not a hyper-responsive sheep. I don’t respond on other people’s agenda, I respond on mine.

Them- That’s not cool. That’s not cool at all. (Note: as he keeps looking at his phone. Struggling to balance the every two to five seconds it beeps with our conversation)

Me- Actually, it is. I am much more productive, get more done with less distractions, have greater focus, suffer no attention residue and can double down on my deep highly focused work with great accuracy. I also sleep much better because of this.

Them- whatever! I sent it!

Me- yeah you said that.

Who made these rules? Where are they written?

How about this…

I turn my phone to this all red

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non-blue light format 2.5 – 3 hours before bed. I do this to block the cortisol stimulating, melatonin suppressing blue light. One hour before bed… wait for it… I turn my phone off. That’s right, all the way off. Shut down. Off.

I said this recently in one of my seminars and I got asked; if you turn your phone off 1 hour before bed, what do you do then? I was speechless. Not really but I was befuddled by this question.

Are you thinking… you turn your phone off, but you turn it on as soon as you wake up, right? No way! Why would I do that? That (the first 65-80 minutes) is the most productive part of my day. Turning on the phone would be the death of that productivity. No, I usually fire it up after I shower and do my morning routine. I begrudgingly turn it on before I have my to leave for my first appointment or meeting or conduct a call. Then it’s only on to look and see if that meeting or appointment has changed or been modified by my assistant overnight. She is great. She works on East Coast time and is three hours in front of my day.

Back in the day… I purposely waited to reply to emails so as to not let people think they would always get an immediate response from me. If I was working on something important I might not answer the phone at all, returning the call only if a voicemail is left. I still do this. If you call me and think just because you called I will return your call, I will not. Please leave a voicemail or call back.

Try this one on for size.

I only check my email once a day. I have a time block on my daily schedule to check my email accounts. I’m in and out and nobody gets hurt.

These rules you have–that we must reply ASAP, answer every call, be notified when someone you don’t like comments on your selfie or your lunch that took you 27 pics to get perfect (#FakeLife), respond to every ding and chirp like Pavlov’s dog, having loud audible alerts on like you are a Fireman waiting to be dispatched to an emergency (#YouAreNotThatImportant)–are quite simply idiotic. These are not my rules they are your self-imposed regulations and guidelines you in all likelihood subscribe to.

Where do people get the idea that these rules are out there and must be adhered to?

They are not part of my cellular service agreement. They are not issued to me to abide by when I get my new iPad or iPhone. They are not in any waiver or contract I’ve signed. They are your rules. You want me to follow them. You have cajoled yourself into believing that everybody does what you want on your imaginary timeline. #IamNotYourPuppet

What about, yeah but, and what ifs…

Yes, I do have time blocks in my schedule that I create to check these different modes of messages and communications. Some I do check everyday, some every other and yes some only once every 10-14 days. It is not unusual for me to not check text messages but once or twice a day. It is also not unusual for me to not reply to text messages for up to 3 days from when they are received. It’s all about schedules, focus, and my priorities. Look around, by doing this the world has not ended.

I have a system to ensure that the one or two people that need to get a hold of me instantly can do so.

What about your clients and customers?

As a speaking event closes in I have a system set up so that the decision makers for these events (the people that hire and pay me) can, will and do get in touch with me or my assistant if needed.

What about other important business matters? I do have my ways. I have specific systems, people and methods to get notified about important business and money making endeavors. These notifications are not normal alerts and buzzing, they are controlled by me and my support staff. I have not missed a deal, a speaking date or flight due to these habits and practices. I promise an excellent client and customer experience. I deliver. I maintain that one of the ways I can outservice others and give such an excellent customer experience is by doing some of the things I mentioned above. I have unwavering attention when giving a speech or seminar. I can create great work and content for my clients. My business partners want me to focus, deliver great talks, write good material, and be present with them and my/our clients.

I am certain of one thing. That by not being a hyper-responsive, easily distracted tool, I am mindful, present and focused on my family, self, work and clients. I could not do this at such a high level if I were being distracted by multiple audible, visual and tactile notifications.

In closing, please consider the following…

I use technology. Technology doesn’t use me.

I use social media. It doesn’t use me.

I work without distraction.

I am okay without my phone.

I respond on my agenda, not because a device we are tethered to 24/7 told me to.

I am okay not being hyper-responsive to all alerts.

My phone and devices work for me, they don’t work me!

I work without the bondage and tugging of useless noise and notifications from a device that was invented to make our lives better. That’s how I choose to use it – as a device to make my life better.