Rank Up Podcast: You’re Wasting 80% Of Your Time (And How To Fix That)

By Michael Hodge | Instructors

Oct 07

Did you realize that you’re wasting 80% of your time? And sometimes, I am too! This episode is about making you more productive – doing the right things – and less of the things that are interrupting you, and taking you out of deep work. What we’ll cover:

  • The four zones (incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius).
  • Immediate actions to increase productivity.
  • How to use your smartphone, instead of letting it use you.
  • More intelligent ways to use email and communications in general.
  • Personal hacks that allow me to get more things done than the average person.
  • How to actually do the work that you love doing.

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Rank Up. This is Michael Hodge. I am your host. I am the guest. I am the producer. I’m going to be walking you through today’s episode. It’s called You’re wasting 80% of your time and also how to fix that. Are you actually wasting 80% of your time? I think you probably are. I happen to waste a pretty good percentage of my time as well without realizing it, but I’m really talking about the Pareto principle, which I’ll get into in a moment, but I’m really talking about becoming more minimalistic in this episode, being a digital minimalist, talking about being highly productive in the actions that you take.

Clearly smartphones are completely destroying our productivity and our attention span and changing the way we live as human beings. I get this weird feeling sometimes whenever I have my phone near me and I don’t check it. It’s very, very odd. This is not something that I’ve experienced a couple of years ago even. I think that it’s becoming more and more prominent now, but talk about some strategies to really immediately… Some immediate actions that will increase your productivity and your happiness. It’s going to be a really good episode. First of all, talking about the 80%, right? You probably heard of the 80-20 rule, which is the Pareto principle. Roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. I have seen this in my life to be true.

The Pareto Principle

Roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. Twenty percent of your actions bring you eighty percent of your results.

20% of our customers bring in 80% of our revenue, or you might even say 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your net profit, or 20% of the time you spend working brings you 80% of your results. It’s really interesting. You’re like, “Oh, what about the 80%? how do I maximize that? How can I become more efficient overall?” Well, you’re always going to have 80-20 rule, but clearly you’re going to make improvements as you go. The way I see this is we want to be very aware of what our 20% is, be very aware of what our zone of genius is, which I’ll talk about in a second. I also wanted to point out the Pareto principle. The first time I ever heard of that was actually when I read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. I read it I think for the first time seven years ago, and I got so excited.

I was like, this is absolutely incredible that he was able to run a business like this and travel the world and barely worked at all. I literally started a business called Wow Gift Boxes, which was an online gift box shop. We made very unique custom gifts. Actually not really custom, but we had a gift box for a lover of Dr. Pepper. We had a gift box for a lover of Mountain Dew. They’re a very specific niche themed gift boxes. Then we ended up pivoting and created something called The Wow Gift Box, which when you opened it up, it was this like treasure chest looking box. Very fancy. It had a photo on the inside of the loved one, and it played back an audio recording of what they were able to upload. You could say like, “Oh, happy birthday, grandad.

Really miss you. Hope you enjoy these chocolates.” The point is I was trying to create a business with the principles of The 4-Hour Workweek and the Pareto principle. Working very few hours personally, but hiring out people to do a lot of the different things, such as the designing of the website, social media ads, and everything else. The point is it ended up actually failing overall. I did learn some things from it, but I think in general the whole business wasn’t really built around my zone of genius. It wasn’t really built because I had something that was emerging through me that needed to come out to the world. I was probably doing it more because I was trying to create an external life situation that seemed favorable to me.

Sometimes we try to do things like that. It’s like someone who when they’re in high school, they’re like, “Oh, yeah, I’m going to become an attorney because they make a lot of money, or I’m going to go and become a doctor.” You can kind of tell they’re doing it just because they know they’re going to be set up. They’re going to be secured. They’re going to be able to buy a luxury car, and they’re going to have a lot of money. They’re not really doing it because that’s their zone of genius, that’s really what’s emerging through them, that’s their gift to the world. It’s kind of probably going to become a problem, and they’re not going to be very happy down the line.

Zone of Genius

Coined by Gay Hendricks, which he now calls The Genius Spiral. I recommend the book The Big Leap. There are four zones we live in: zone of incompetence, zone of competence, zone of excellence, and zone of genius.

I actually was just in an Uber with an Uber driver and he was talking to me about how he’s trying to raise money to go to law school, and I got that feeling from him. Just wanted to point that out. I thought it was kind of interesting. But zone of genius, this was coined by Gay Hendricks who wrote a book called The Big Leap. I really liked the book, The Big Leap. It talks about the upper limit problem. How whenever we start to do better, we start to reach our goals personally or in our business, we somehow hit a ceiling or we knock ourselves down. We get sick, or we have a fight in our relationship, or we make some bad decisions. We kind of subconsciously create issues. It keeps us in this place where we’re more comfortable, right?

But in his book, he talks about the four zones that we typically live in, the zone of incompetence, zone of competence, zone of excellence, and zone of genius. Zone of incompetence is like something that you’re really, really bad at. You dislike doing because you’re just not good at it. For me, I’m really not very good at mechanical things like building something, fixing if a motor breaks down, something like that. I have to get on YouTube and spend hours and hours and hours trying to figure something out that someone with a lot more mechanical knowhow or knowledge such as my father for example, he’s very good at things like this, he’d be able to figure it out and get it done in like 10 minutes. I know where my zone of incompetence is.

Whenever you have something of this genetic competence, it’s not like it’s impossible for you to overcome it, but you have to strive way harder. Zone of incompetence is just basic stuff that we can do that everyone else can do. I mean, other people can drive. That’s why anyone and everyone can be an Uber or a Lyft driver, for example. Anyone and everyone can get some of these jobs that are popping up and don’t pay that well because they’re just in the zone of competence. Really when you get to a certain point, you really need to be hiring someone to do those things. Zone of excellence is where most of us live most of our life, typically our work life especially when it comes to our jobs.

We might get very, very good at teaching martial arts classes. We might get very, very good at making outgoing phone calls or doing school presentations or doing a particular task, and we’re like, “Man, we’re so good at this.” It might not necessarily be your zone of genius though. Zone of genius is something that you’re uniquely qualified to do. Zone of excellence is you’re really, really good at something, but other people can also do it well. But zone of genius is when you’re doing this thing, it really doesn’t feel like work at all. It just feels like you were made for this. When you’re doing this particular activity or set of activities, that you’re really at home and expressing your full creativity and life and everything else. We typically don’t spend a lot of time in our zone of genius, but I’m personally working on improving that. Someone like Gay Hendricks is spending all of his time there. Just wanted to point out that the more we can spend in our zone of genius, the more productive actually we’re going to become because we’re doing highly leveraged activities, highly leveraged activities that are unique to us that other people can’t do. They add the most value and they make us happiest.

Immediate Actions to Increase Your Productivity (and Happiness)

Okay. Now, onto some actual tactics. I’m going to give you some immediate actions that will help you increase your productivity and your happiness. Now, it’s kind of funny. Back in 2012, I didn’t even have a smartphone yet.

I don’t think I got one until maybe end of 2012, but I remember people around me, they had iPhones and different smartphones for like a couple of years already. They’re like, “Why don’t you have one? You obviously are pretty tech savvy, and it seemed like you would have a smartphone.” I’m like, “Honestly, I’m afraid of them. I’m afraid because they’re a time management disaster. I saw everyone around me, they’re on the Facebook app and they were just like always on their phones. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to get any work done ever.” In a way, that sort of did come true. It is a huge problem. Clearly though, there are so many amazing things you can do with a smartphone. The mobility you have.

Put your Phone on Do Not Disturb Mode

If you use it with great self-discipline, it’s much better than not having one. But I’m just going to go through these tactics, though a lot of them are going to be related to your phone, but not on everything. The first one is put your phone on do not disturb mode. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this until, I don’t know, nine months ago, maybe a year ago. I’m pretty sure this is in Android and in Apple systems, but just literally it’s called do not disturb and click on. You can select to where only phone calls that are your contacts ring. That’s what I have mine set on. I don’t hear any notifications whatsoever. All of my notifications are turned off. But if someone calls me and they’re a contact, it rings. That works really great for me.

You could even have it to where only favorites ring I believe, and you can get kind of custom with that. But if for your job you need to be able to receive calls that are not contacts, you could also set it up towards just none of your notifications come through. You should not be getting pinged when someone text messages you. I mean, you’re working and you hear the ping and you walk over. You have to walk over, right? I mean, studies have been done on this. People, they go crazy. They can’t continue to work whenever they know there’s a text message waiting for them. It’s crazy, but it’s just how it is. The point is don’t have that happen. Text messages are not urgent, and urgent situations should be escalated to a phone call if it’s really urgent.

Okay? Don’t feel like you have to reply to a text message either within like 30 minutes or you’re being rude. That’s absolutely crazy as well and ridiculous. We need to change our culture a little bit about text messaging I think. Just reply to all your messages when you have time during lunch or whenever you want to do that. Just want to point that out that that can be really, really crazy. Using things like Slack or other always on chat rooms are also really challenging. Keep in mind to not use notifications or to only do that during specific parts of your day. But again, that’s one of the things where if you kind of dip your toes into it, you go all the way in. Be very careful about how available you’re making yourself.

Put Your Phone In Another Room

Next, when you’re working, when you’re spending time with your family, if you’re at a restaurant or hanging out with people… Okay. If you’re at a restaurant and you have to have your phone with you, don’t have it on the table and don’t be using it. But while I’m working, I have my phone in another room. A lot of people do not do this. Okay? They’re like, “Well, what if someone calls you?” I’m like, what I do is I walk over about 15 feet, open a door, and I get the phone as it’s ringing. But what happens is that since it’s not as spatially so close to me, I can’t just grab it while I’m working, so I’m much less likely to be checking it. I’m also less likely to, yeah, just essentially losing focus on the work that I’m actually doing at that moment in time.

When you’re with your family, when you’re with your kids, I mean, I’ve had challenges with my wife in the past with her being on the phone. This is something that’s very common. We need to be very careful that we’re not putting technology in front of our real life in front of us. Try to batch your communications into times, unless it’s just a really urgent and emerging situation that must be taken care of.

Don’t Have Your Phone In The Room Where You Sleep

Another thing on this topic is don’t have your phone in the same room as you when you sleep. Really a bad idea. Put it in another room, maybe your bathroom or closet or something. Also, don’t check your phone right when you wake up. If for some reason you really think you have to for some emergency reason, you could. But otherwise it’s typically a bad idea.

Put a clock somewhere in your room because a lot of people check their phones to see what time it is because they literally don’t have another type of a clock or something or watch. But I just want to point out, it’s really not a good way to start. Because then if you see notifications, you’re going to get sucked in for like 10 or 20 minutes. It’s not the best way to start your morning routine.

Don’t Have An Email App On Your Phone

Now, another thing that I have… I don’t have an email app on my phone, like the mail app, Gmail. I literally don’t have an email app. Ido actually go to the browser and check Gmail sometimes if I really need to. But I’ll admit, at the moment, I’ve been getting kind of bad at checking on my phone sometimes and I need to remind myself not to, but I’ve had lots of bouts where I just don’t use it at all unless I’m out of town. But if you have the email app, you’re going to be significantly more likely to use email on your phone. Most people do not need to use email on their phone. They think they do because they’re like, “Oh, I have a smartphone. I can reply to emails right here.” You need to be batching your emails, which I’ll be talking about in a moment anyway. Also, do an email purge. This is something you could do like right now. Just open up your email and go through everything. Unsubscribed from everything that doesn’t add value to your life.

Do An Email Purge

If there’s someone you really don’t listen to or read emails from anymore and… Gosh, anytime you buy something from somewhere, you know what happens. You get tons of emails from these new places. If you never unsubscribe, then your inbox is going to get over flowed, and it’s going to be flooding with emails. I like to do an email purge. I’ve done one before and then now just any time I get added to a new list, if it’s something that adds no value to me, I unsubscribe. Even if it adds some value, but I know I just want to be in control of when I reach out to them, I unsubscribe anyway. The next one is don’t check your email first thing in the morning. A lot of people are proponents of this. I am as well.

Whenever it’s the first thing you do, like you walk into the office, it’s so easy because it makes you feel like you’re doing work. You’re like, “Okay, let’s check it. Okay, cool. We’ve made some cells. We’ve got some people I need to reply to, blah, blah, blah.” It makes you feel busy and productive. We don’t want to be busy. We want to do deep work that actually makes a difference. Responding to emails is usually not deep work that makes a difference. Obviously, I realize you need to use it as a communication tool and I use email all the time. I typically use it more than phone calls for example, but don’t do it first thing in the morning. The first thing in the morning…

Only Check Your Email Twice A Day

Well, first thing you should do when you wake up is a morning routine, which I’ll talk about in a second, but I want you to go with your morning routine. If you roll into the office or wherever you’re working, whether it be at your house, get the most important thing done on your to do list, or eat the frog. Do something on your to do list that you just know has to be done today anyway. That’s what you want to do before you check your email, and then you’re like, “Okay, I can check my email now.” Also, batch your emails to twice a day. Ideally like 10:00 AM or 3:00 PM. Currently I do my emails usually about 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM just depending on the day. I’ll admit, I’ve had a lot of challenges with this the past.

I get really upset with myself whenever I start to check my email multiple times throughout the day. What I find is that I start to do this whenever I’m stressed out or whenever I feel like we’re behind or just overwhelmed, like the business is kind of behind on revenue or we have a lot going on and I just need to jump in the weeds and get things done, and I’m stressed out, or there’s some discord going on in my personal life. Whenever I check my email, it just sort of makes me feel like, “Oh, there’s something good that came in. Oh, there’s something for me to work on. I can stay on top of all of this.” It’s just a dog running around chasing its own tail. It’s so bad. It is just so bad.

I mean, if you work in customer support, clearly you might have to check emails several times a day, but most people do not. Most people could handle just once a day and you’ll be just fine. But if you need to, maybe twice a day is fine, only at these specific times. Open up your email, take care of everything, close it. You’re done. You literally could do it once a day. Most people could do this just once a day. Also, when you check your email multiple times throughout the day, you have back and forths. Instead of a conversation being just two or three emails long, it’ll end up being like eight or 12 or 15 different emails. They’re like short snippets back and forth. Very unproductive way to communicate. I like to be very just straightforward and blunt in emails.

Use Loom Instead Of Email

My emails oftentimes are a little bit longer, and I also use Loom a lot, which I’ll talk about in a moment as well. Batching your emails out all at once is extremely beneficial. Okay? It gives you so much more time to focus and have segments of deep work. When I say deep work, I’m referring to what Cal Newport calls deep work. He has a book by the same name that I highly recommend. It’s extremely good. I mentioned Loom, L-O-O-M. Loom allows you to make videos, recording yourself talking. It automatically uploads the video as you’re making the video. You don’t have to wait and then upload it or something. It’s extremely convenient. It’s much more personal as well than just typing out an email. Actually it’s a lot faster than typing out a long email.

You can do a screen record or you can just be… Make a video of yourself in the video. I have over a thousand Loom videos I’ve made in the last couple of years. I use it all the time. People are really impressed by the personal touch and the fact that they literally understand what I’m trying to communicate so much better than just with text. Text has no emotion behind it. You’ve probably had email communications go back and forth where people get the wrong idea behind what you were trying to say, right? The same thing happens in text messages because it’s hard to convey emotions. That’s why emojis came about, but we’re starting to go overboard with the emojis and now we’re lacking real adjectives. We’re lacking real substance in our communications.

Make The First Block Of Your Day A Time For Deep Work

I really like to communicate in a way that is clear, but that also has clearly that level of personal human touch behind it because I truly care about the interaction I’m having in that moment in time. Something else I recommend is having a morning routine. A morning routine is something that you’ve probably seen like 5,000 videos on YouTube regarding this topic especially if you’re an entrepreneur or a self-starter, someone that’s interested in self-improvement, but my morning routine is pretty simple. It is typically… Well, right now it’s the school year, so I get up and I get the kids ready for school and drop them off. Then I do a workout and do some stretching, some like prayer meditation as well right after the workout, and then I eat breakfast.

Acknowledge When You’re Most Productive

Then I move into my workday. Everyone has a different type. I mean later in the day, often I’ll do Reiki as well, which is an energy healing kind of meditation style thing. That’s very beneficial for my body and for my spirit overall. That’s not even just in the morning because I have also found that… You’ll see people’s morning routines, they’re like, “Okay, meditate and then workout and then eat breakfast and then journal. If you do all this every day, it takes like two hours.” I’m like, I don’t have two hours. I’m like, I need to get to work. I need to get some stuff done. The morning is when I’m most productive. My morning routine doesn’t take too long, but I also do something in the afternoon, usually every day as well, which is way better.

Because instead of like doing a two hour morning routine, then working eight hours straight behind a computer or eight hours straight making phone calls or whatever it is that you’re doing, or teaching classes, I’m talking about like the business side of martial arts, the business side in general with anything you’re doing because this particular podcast I think is highly relevant to anyone, not just even martial arts instructors and school owners. But after your morning routine, then you make that first block of your day a time for deep work. For martial arts instructors and school owners, let’s say you are a full-time school owner, what would that block of the day look like for you?

It can kind of depend on your zone of genius, right? Maybe your zone of genius is planning classes out for the next month, having them all planned and having it all completely ready for your instructor team because you’re so good at making these creative drills and warm ups. You know that that time spent and that hour and a half is going to pay off the next month because these classes are going to totally rock. It might be that you’re really good at communicating with people, and you spend an hour and a half making phone calls to PE teachers because you’re working on setting up school presentations. It might be that you’re really good at organization and management in general, and you’re actually creating a document that shows your team how to do an introductory lesson.

You’re writing it all out, and then you make a video explaining it. Whatever it is that you’re adding the most value in, whether it be guiding your team or making connections that will allow you to enroll new students or planning things for your own students. Even if you have another job, it might be related to your job that’s not being a martial arts instructor. Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You’re like, “I’m actually not the most productive in the morning.” There’s a book about this. I can’t remember the title of it, but most people are either larks, night owls or a normal bird or everyone else basically. A lark is someone who gets up really early. They like getting up at 4:00 AM, maybe 5:00 AM. Not because they have to.

Like, “Oh, I’ve got to get up at 5:00 AM just to get everything done in time to get to traffic, to get to work.” No. Their body really does like to get up early. They like to get up early and they get to workout. They like to be journaling and doing things before the sun even rises. There aren’t that many larks out there, but that’s a lark. Then a night owl is someone who they have trouble getting out of bed. The morning is just about taking a long time to get their coffee made. But later in the day, they’re feeling better. Then at night actually is when they do their best work. If you’re a night owl, everyone else is asleep or you’re sitting behind your computer and you’re writing a blog post or you’re working and you feel energetic.

You feel great. For the rest of us normal bird or whatever you want to call it, we typically wake up and we like waking up at maybe 6:30-7:00 ish kind of depending on your day and having a normal day and going to sleep at a typical time. For most of us though, we are the most productive in the morning. You want to play to your strengths. That’s how I am. I definitely get my best work done in the morning before lunchtime. After lunch, I like to again do some Reiki or do something that will allow me to take a moment out away from doing work, and it’s for myself and for my body and for my spirit, and then move back into some more work in the afternoon. Then depending on the day, if I teach classes in the evening, I kind of have a break before I teach the classes.

Automate All Payments

If I don’t have classes, I would spend time with my family on those evenings. But yeah, you want to definitely play to when you’re most productive and recognize that. Okay. My next tactic is to automate all payments. If you haven’t done this yet, take the time to make a list of anything that you’re writing a check to or anything that you get a bill in the mail. Also if you’re getting bills in the mail, turn everything on e-statements. But if you have to make a one-off payment, and some people or some companies are like, “You know what? I literally have to. They bill me and I pay.” Now, that might be true, but you might check into online bill pay with your bank.

Create An Evernote Document For Commonly Needed Information

Sometimes you can get them to automatically write a check for you, but there is almost always a way to automate the majority of payments. Also have a document. I have an Evernote document that has all of my automatic payments listed out, what they are, the amount it is, and the date it is, or this could be in your accounting software or something like this. This is really helpful because if your credit card or your debit card gets hacked and you got to go in and change everything, which has happened several times, and you don’t want to have to forget what do I need to go change, I have the exact list right there. I know I can just go down the list, log in to all of these places or call them if I have to, and get it all done.

I’m also going to mention another Evernote document now, which is creating an… I say Evernote. It doesn’t have to be Evernote. I just like using it. You could use some other app like Notion. You could use Notes, but something that’s in the cloud that you can access from any device that’s very secure. I have commonly accessed information such as the business’s EIN, tax account numbers, my driver’s license number, my vehicle’s license plate, passport information, things that you need often whenever you get asked on a web form or you’re doing particular things. It saves me a ton of time. I can be out and about somewhere and they need some sort of information. I’m like, “Oh, here it is.” Obviously make sure you have two step verification.

Stop Using Some Social Media Accounts

You’ve got a pin on your phone. You’re making it incredibly secure if you’re going to have anything that you would not want to lose her house someone find. But the point is it’s just a little hack that allows me to get things done faster because I’m organized is what I’m saying. Also, really consider your social media use. I mean, I really don’t like social media that much personally. There are obviously benefits to it, but people get really sucked in and they’re just creating… They’re just content generating machines for these large businesses that are making a ton of money off of the content and their attention. But consider what social media accounts are using.

Maybe you just really, really do enjoy Instagram and it brings you joy somehow from seeing people that you know and people that you’ve connected with in the past. I get it. Maybe you really like Facebook, whatever, but choose like one, maybe two, social media accounts that you actually follow and that you interact with. Trying to like keep up with four or five or six, it’s just way too much. I’m talking about for your business as well. For your business also, focus on what makes the most sense. Let’s say for a martial arts school, what makes the most sense? Well, Facebook definitely. It makes a lot of sense. Instagram is very popular right now, so it’s very possible that you would have an Instagram as well.

Then also YouTube can be very beneficial, although not as much for a local martial arts school, but definitely something like Facebook or Instagram would be focused on. Do you need like a LinkedIn page as well? Do you need a Pinterest page? Do you need Snapchat? Do you need all these other things? Possibly. But if you could focus on one or two channels and get really, really good at them and just be comfortable with those, that would be my recommendation. Just consider the social media accounts you’re using and if they’re really worthwhile. My next thing is your to do list. A lot of people are using electronic to do lists. They’re using apps. I personally don’t like to use a digital to do list.

Use A Paper To-Do List For The Week

I think that you can overwhelm yourself and add way too many things. What I personally do, I just have a regular like 90 page eight and a half by 11 inch journal. It’s like a journal, and I have a clean sheet paper for one week. At the top of it it says week of. For example, week of September 23rd, and then I have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. What I’ll do is I’ll just write things in that I should do on specific days of the week, and there aren’t that many items for each day. Then sometimes even I’ll already make the next week if I have something like, “Oh, I definitely should do this next week on Tuesday.” Clearly I could be adding this to my calendar or do something digital, but I found that with a paper to do list, I don’t add as much.

I can mark it off when I finish it. It’s much more manageable. I personally have not been as successful having a digital to do list. Now, I do use a digital project management system called Trello for our team, for the GMAU. Whenever we have projects and tasks that the entire team needs to do, we can assign them to different people and it works really well. But my own personal work, I like to use just the old fashioned analog to do list. Another tip is whenever you’re going, to go into deep work mode. Deep work mode, meaning you’re not looking at social media. You don’t have your phone near you. You’re literally doing actual work. It might be on your computer. It might be pen and paper. I wouldn’t consider this teaching a class or something.

Put On Some Music

Teaching a class is very important, but this is different. You can put on some music that will help you. Usually music without lyrics is better, although you might find that particular tracks or albums you really, really enjoy, and they allow you to get into the flow state. I use something called Focus@Will. Focus@Willis a really nice music service that… It didn’t cost that much for a year subscription, and it has different types of music, like classical Baroque piano. There are different genres that are specially designed to help you get into a focused state, and it really does work quite well. When I turn it on and I’m supposed to be writing, typing something out, or doing something like a higher level mental task and creative work, I would call it, it seems to help quite a bit.

Take Short Breaks

Another thing you should do is to take short breaks. Especially if you’re working at a computer, at least every 90 minutes, maybe even every 60 minutes would be better, walk around, do some exercise, make a phone call to someone, go outside. Don’t just sit there and slog through more work, chugging more coffee or an energy drink.

Use A Standing Desk

Along the same note, I also highly recommend a standing desk. I started using a standing desk six years ago and have not gone back down. I’m actually sitting down right now. This is the first time I’ve ever recorded a podcast sitting down. I haven’t work at a sit down desk in a very long time, but actually because I hurt my back a few days ago, which it’s healing up right now, but that’s the only reason I’m sitting down.

My standing desk, I got the one that you can adjust from standing to sitting thinking, “Oh, if I get tired, I’ll just drop it down.” I never drop it down because if I get tired I found out, I need to go sit down. If I get tired, I just need to lay down and take a quick nap. You shouldn’t just continue to work. That’s the problem that I found when I used to sit and work at a computer for a longer period of time. When you get really tired, your mind wanders. You start checking social media. You start checking YouTube. You start doing things that aren’t work. Anyway, if you’re going to do that, just get off your computer and walk around and go do something. Go spend time with your family. If you wanted, go watch YouTube. Just relax and actually do it.

Take A 20-30 Minute Power Nap

Don’t be in a halfway mode. A standing desk is really good for your body. It’s gives you more energy and highly recommended. Another thing is when you get tired in the afternoon, low, which a lot of people do, and you get tired at 2:00-3:00 PM or so, take a power nap, a 20 minute power nap, maybe 30 minutes. So, so good for you. It’s something I’ve been doing more lately. I stopped drinking caffeine and coffee and energy drinks several years ago, but that’s something I used to do in the afternoons whenever that time period would come. It’s just not good for your body. It’s not natural. It’s not controlled energy. But when you take a quick nap, you feel so much more refreshed and the rest of your day you have more energy and more mental clarity and focus.

Hire Others To Do Things

I just have to recommend it. I really do. My last main tactic here is to hire others to do things that are in your zone of incompetence and competence. Now, when you get even bigger and you have a larger team and even more money, you can hire people to do things in your zone of excellence, but start out in your zone of competence at least. Okay? If you have something that’s been sitting on your to do list at home, like a plumbing issue that you’re like, “I just really don’t want to get this done,” or some car repair because you’re not good at it and it’s going to take you several hours, just make the call and get it done. Just hire someone. If you realize you spent a lot of time mowing your lawn and keeping it all clean, just call someone.

See how much it costs. It’s probably not as much as you think. It just depends though. Maybe you really like mowing the lawn. It’s something that I enjoy doing, although here in Texas it’s extremely hot during the summer, so it’s not as enjoyable because of that. But if it’s something you like doing, it’s fine. But I’m just saying if it’s not enjoyable to you, if it’s something that you’re not good at, you should really hire that out. It could be cleaning your house. It can be doing laundry. It can be doing your accounting. It can be filing your tax forms for you, you know, having someone to do your taxes. It could even be hiring a personal assistant. I don’t currently have a personal assistant.

It’s something that I’m thinking I might hire someone to be a personal assistant at some point. I’m not sure when, but it’s something to consider. I mean, you can hire a virtual assistant as well and not be that expensive. For your business, you can hire someone to do things like video editing, setting up paid ads on Facebook, coming to clean your school. We would always clean our school. But if I ran a full time academy again right now, I would actually hire someone to come and clean it. But just something to consider, like focus on what you do best.

If your team can come in there just to teach classes and then they go home and you do some marketing and you pay them less because that’s all they’re doing is coming in, you’re paying them hourly to teach classes and you do a math center every Saturday, I mean, you could literally increase your net profit dramatically. Drop the amount of hours you’re working. I mean, if you didn’t listen to my episode about how I was making $100 an hour through teaching martial arts and that was because I only work about six and a half hours, seven hours a week, for my kid’s academy, which is my local private academy. You need to look at what you’re spending your time on.

If you’re spending your time on things that are just busy work, stop doing that and just do real work, and then have more time to have fun. Have more time for your hobbies, for rock climbing, for going for a run, for riding your bike, for traveling, for playing with your kids, whatever else that you want to do, learning something new, learning a new martial art with the GMAU at your house. You actually have time now to do something a couple of hours a week. Focus on what you’re best at, where your happiest is at, and add the most value. When you’re starting out, it can be really hard to hire someone because you’re like, “Oh, I got to do everything. I got to do absolutely everything because I got to watch my bottom line and make as much money as possible.”

That’s actually a limiting belief, so really keep that in mind. I hope you guys really enjoyed this episode. It was in a way all over the place. A lot of it was about digital minimalism. A lot of it was about the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule. But I wanted to give you an inside look at things that I do that have helped me be much more productive and happier in my work life and personal life overall. Hope you guys really enjoy that. Let me know if you have any questions that I can answer in future episodes. I’m not answering a question in this episode, but I really would like more questions to answer in future episodes.

If you’re really liking this podcast, I do ask that you take a moment to write a review, just a quick review, not only to help other people find out about the podcast, but it’s feedback. I want to know what you think. I want to know how it’s helping you in what areas, in what ways, and I look forward to seeing you guys in the next episode. Take care.

Ask a Question for a Future Episode!

If you have a question, please ask it below in the comments section and I will try and answer it in a future episode! Thanks for any other comments or for simply discussing the topic of this episode.

About the Author

I am a Lead Instructor at the Global Martial Arts University. I live with my three energetic kids on a prairie in Texas. I also lead The Abundance Projects.

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(2) comments

Joe Jankovich October 7, 2019

This is a great article. I appreciate that you comprehensively provide solutions so that something will stick for everyone.

    Michael Hodge October 8, 2019

    Thanks for the comment Joe!

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