Dominate Your Day, Productivity, Smartphone

Do not disturb doesn’t work. You might want to go to the next level.

Do not disturb doesn’t work. You might want to go to the next level.

The gloom and doom of our phones are destructive to our work, relationships and our mental health.

I’m sure you know it’s ruining your work by the constant notifications, the FOMO that you cannot control and the attention residue it causes.

As for our mental health. How is my smartphone hurting me in this area.

Check this out.

It Distorts Our Perception Of Reality…

How many times have you heard people mention things like this:

“The world is total $hit.”

“Did you see that horrible story on social media?”

“The world is coming to an end.”

“I cannot believe they are going on a vacation again!”

Our smartphones in combination with social media has the ability to distort the users perception. The reason for this is because the media is biased of course and whatever bleeds, leads.

Now, this is one of those aspects of where you have to decide does your phone and social media use you or do you use it? Unfortunately, most people let the use of this tool impact them in a negative way and are totally clueless on how destructive this actually is.

DND didn’t work.

I tried DND (do not disturb). That still let people and some notifications in. Then, I switched to airplane mode. Cutting off all communication in or out.

What a great feeling.

I turn it on-

-When I am speaking

-With clients

-Sleeping

-Working out

-When I’m working and need to focus

I can hear it now. I can’t do that.

Can’t means won’t.

You can… just flip it on and it’s done!

The problems with our phones and social media are complex I’ll give you that. However, the solution is easy, simple and fast.

Dominate Your Day, Productivity

What are your MIT’s for the day?

Grind. Hustle.

Sleep less.

Do more.

Constant sacrifice.

Just to get things done is total BS.

You need to make the executive decision to do and complete two (2) Most Important Tasks everyday. Yes! Just two. I know you have 714 tasks. Some of them a low level, low energy, low focus tasks like water the plants and refill the stapler. That’s busy crap work. Not meaningful work.

MIT’s move the needle on progress.

By deeming two tasks MIT’s they rise to the highest level of task work. Then you can tap into the best time, highest energy and laser like focus time you have available to get these MIT’s done!

Take some action NOW!

Try it out.

  1. Pick two task.
  2. Make the commitment that they are MIT’s
  3. Place them in your day where they WILL get completed. Use my Time. Energy. Focus. Chart to determine the highest and best use of your time, energy and focus.
  4. Make it happen!

For a comprehensive course on how to use these three highly available optimizing determiners – TIME. ENERGY. FOCUS.

Click here to check out my NEW eBook and Video Course. Use discount code “mit20” for 20% off the already low introductory price of $39.95.

Dominate Your Day

Why Do You Need A Complex Solution To A Problem When A Simple One Will Fix It?

Why Do You Need A Complex Solution To A Problem When A Simple One Will Fix It?

As a Professional Speaker and Corporate Trainer I get the chance to observe many massive changes in peoples productivity and workflow. However, I am always amazed at what people do when they are given a fix, solution and answer to a problem.

In the spirit of full transparency. I am a reformed control freak and over-thinker. Fixing these issues gives me some license to write and speak about my observations below. My hope is to offer you some solace from the bondage of being an overthinking control freak and implement simple solutions.

No doubt many problems are complex, multi-layered and bothersome. However, I have discovered over the past 23 years of working in this industry that no matter the complexity of the problem almost all of the solutions to the problems are simple. It’s as simple as don’t do that. Start doing this… Just as the famous quote says “just do it” but they don’t. When I sense that the (easy) solution is not going to be implemented that second I explore why?

How to implement a simple fix to a complex problem requires a few things. First, determining if you can control it and making it hard to screw up the solution.

One of the most common obstacles in implementing a simple solution is trying to control things we can’t. He’s a little help.

Running things through the control decision filter looks like this.

As you can see running these through the decision filter you get two possible outcomes. Let it go or do something about it. If social media is disruptive to you or chews up a ton of your time then delete the social media account offenders. If you are worrying about what other people think. Let it go – you cannot control third parties and people. Ruminating and overthinking. Again, through the filter it goes. It you say I can do this and handle it, then do it now. If you can control it – let is go now!

Simple right?

It is. That’s all there is to it. Another common obstacles in adopting a simple solution is wanting a complex and dense solution.

We discount solutions that lack complexity and density. I’ve found that sometimes it’s that people want to be beautiful unique snowflakes and a simple fix is to general for them. They need the density of a solution to un pack to make them feel special. You want to feel special rescue a dog from the shelter and watch how they treat you when you come home from a long day at work. There… you’re special. Feel it?

Make it hard to mess up and simple fix.

Some fixes require friction or self-imposed barriers to carry out the solution. Friction makes it hard to screw up a simple solution. You identify you have a slight peanut butter overconsumption problem. The massive amounts of nut butter you shovel down your gullet is making you fat. Hmmmmm what do you do? I’d say, don’t buy any more peanut butter and delete the @I ❤️ peanut butter account from your Instagram app (self-imposed barrier). Problem solved. You say, no my kids need peanut butter for their school lunches. I understand. Then buy it and have them hide it (friction). Every morning when you get ready to make their lunches they bring it to you. After you make the lunches they hide it again.

Now, you try it.

Take a problem run it through the decision filter. If you can’t control it then let it go. If you can control it. Look for a solution and implement it now. Apply a self-imposed barrier or friction. There you go. All better.

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.


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.