012: 5 Strategies for Taming Your Distractions

by Mark Struczewski

How effective are you with using your time every day? My guest “Mister Productivity” Mark Struczewski is an expert in helping people reduce overwhelm and increase their daily output by taming distractions. In this episode he shares simple, easy-to-implement tips that will ensure that you get more done – and that they are the right things to achieve the results you want.

You’ll discover:

  • The one thing you can do to reduce daily anxiety and achieve a greater sense of calmness
  • Practical tips for handling email and social media so they don’t consume your day
  • How to maintain focus and get more done
  • The kinds of activities you’ll want to put on your calendar
  • Why it’s okay to watch TV and play video games

Watch the episode:


Connect with Mark


Mark’s Website


Read the Transcription

Welcome to another episode of the Strong for Performance podcast. I’m Meredith Bell, your host, and I am delighted to have with me today someone that you are also going to be delighted to meet Mr. Productivity. Mark Struczewski Mark, welcome.

Thank you Meredith for having me on the show. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here.

Well, I am thrilled to have you here because mark is someone who works with business owners, executives, leaders to help them get better control of their time so they can, and I love this word Mark, tame distractions. I love the fact that you don’t talk about eliminating distractions because that is a, that feels overwhelming in itself, but what Mark Helps folks do is feel less overwhelmed so they can really enjoy life more and experience more freedom. And a key area is distractions. And that’s what I’m really looking forward to hearing today. Mark. I know you’re going to be sharing some very specific strategies with us, but before we dive into those details, give us some context. How did you get into this whole area of productivity to begin with?

Well, this is the story I’ve said so many times. It’s, it’s amazing to me. July of 2005, I was fired from my job here in Houston and I said, you know, I’ll be coming entrepreneur. That sounds fun. I mean, don’t entrepreneurs like zillions of dollars. The first thing I would decide to be was a portrait and wedding photographer. And, and I wanted to now keep in mind, we’re going back to 2005. So social media was still a baby and I decided to promote my business unlike anybody else. Everyone’s starting to use this thing called Facebook and you know, they’re sending direct mail. And so I want to, one of my speaker friends, I said, you know, I would like to get into speaking to promote my business. And they gave me some guidance on how to do that. And the first time I spoke, my wife said, you should be a speaker, you shouldn’t be a photographer.

You’re a gifted communicator. And said, okay, that sounds cool, but I want to tell you, I don’t want to talk about photography. So I started figuring out what I want to talk about. So I came up with a couple topics that don’t make any sense right now. One is going from hopeless to hopeful. I don’t know where I came up with that. Then I came up with a topic of how to overcome roadblocks on your path to success. Well, note to self, if you’re not successful, you probably shouldn’t teach people how to be successful. So one day I was on a phone call with a coach of mine and I was kind of feeling down and he goes, what’s going on? And I said, well, I really love speaking. I love training people, but you know, I can’t come up with a topic. And he goes, well, why don’t you talk about productivity?

And said, well, why would I want to talk about productivity? He says, well, you’re so good at it. I mean, you’re one of the most productive people I know. And I said, well, isn’t everybody productive? And after we got off the floor lab and he says, no, most people are not productive. And I said, Huh. So I started becoming Mr. Productivity. I wasn’t labeled Mr. Productivity until I think January, February 2019 when someone on LinkedIn tagged me that and so now, I’ve been using it and that’s why I went out and got the domain mister productivity.com because nobody can find marks chesky.com unless you know me. And so that’s my journey. Since 2011 I’ve been teaching people how to be more productive. And now I focus on distraction. Cause as you alluded to earlier, distractions play a little bit apart and are not getting stuff done

That is so important because today more than ever there are so many distractions that we have to contend with. So do you have like a top five list of distractions that you think create the most problems for people?

I do. And this is not all inclusive, but these are the big ones and your audience is going to nod their head when I say that. And these are in no particular order. So just cause I go one through five, you may label them one, three, five, two, four doesn’t matter. Email, social media, those other human beings walking around on the planet known as people, entertainment and our mindset or ourselves. So those are my big five distractions that affect our productivity today.

Well, let’s take a deep dive with each one of those and we can start with the first one you mentioned because I know I at times feel overwhelmed with email coming in. So what are some of the tips or, or strategies that you have to help people get past their inbox?

First of all, stay out of your inbox. 24 seven three 65 okay. Unless you are the leader of a country or some really big person who needs to be in their email. And if this was a blog post where you had bold the word need, we’d highlight it. We’d circle it. Need. Because if you’re not in your inbox and you have notifications turned off, you don’t know what’s in your inbox. Because I think everyone listening to this podcast, they knows that email is just a place where people can take their problems and then put it in your inbox. And then they go about their job while they wait for you to reply. And so if you don’t check your email, but a couple of times a day, and I mean a couple of times a day, you’re going to feel a sense of freedom right off the bat.

If you do nothing else as a result of this podcast, if you just stay out of your email and turn off notifications, you will feel a sense of calm because you know that stress will, you get when the notification comes or the phone goes Ding and you’re like, oh, another email and email is like a, the Garnerville game. Whack-A-Mole. Remember back in the days they had the game of whack-a-mole, yet you take care of one and six more pop up and in place. You can never get a grip. So I tell people the first thing to do before you go, anything else, don’t spend so much time in your inbox. Maybe go in there eight o’clock in the morning, maybe at lunch time, maybe at five o’clock in the afternoon, but nothing is that important to be in there and then turn off notifications.

Definitely the notifications piece. I think that that’s crazy to have that going off. I’ve been on calls with people where their email notification is going off and how can they even think with that kind of being ding, ding going on all day. And then we’ve got other notifications that can come through to, yes, you know, here’s a question that I’ve struggled with because in our company, we’re a software company and I work on the marketing and sales side and one of the things we pride ourselves on is responsiveness. And so when that’s an important aspect of being responsive and helping your clients or prospective clients feel that you are responsive, although not at their beck and call it, you know, the second you get it, but how do you balance that when you’re, when that’s a core value of yours. And yet if I don’t look at my email for four hours, what might have come in that wouldn’t have been responded to?

Interesting question. Because I had a client recently, they had the same issue. They would respond to all emails within one hour and I said, that’s kind of dangerous because what’s going to happen when you grow your business and now you can’t reply in an hour. Maybe it’s five hours, maybe it’s six hours, maybe it’s eight hours, and now those clients are going to go, hey, wait a minute. You said an hour, and this actually happened to him once. He had some kind of appointment and he didn’t respond for three hours and some people were kind of irate because he set the boundaries so high for him to achieve. I said, what you do is you set an expectation and say, look at you, email me, expect a response within 24 hours, 72 hours in the weekend. Then if you respond in four hours, they’re pleasantly surprised. But if you set the bar at one hour and you do 90 minutes, I’m going to like, hey Meredith, what’s up?

Where’s my response? And I think you have to realize, yeah, you need to reply to people. You need responses. But how important is it that you reply to their email? I don’t know everyone who’s listening to the podcast, I don’t know your business, but how important is it when you get that email from John Doe or Jane Doe? Ask yourself, do I need to reply to this right now or can I set some time later this afternoon for half an hour and d my do my email? I don’t know what email you’re getting, but I got to believe in my heart of hearts that most emails don’t have to reply. You reply right away because it’s really urgent. I would hope they would call you or text you if it’s really that.

Good point. Thank you. That is very practical and helpful. Let’s go on now to the second one that you mentioned that I think is a challenge for people that are on any social media platform. How do you manage the time you spend there so it doesn’t take away from productivity and yet when it’s important to your business, devoting the right amount of time there, what’s the balance?

Well first of all, there are two ways you go on social media. One, building your business brand and to consuming, so let’s take the easy one first. Building your business, a brand schedule time on your calendar. When you’re going to go on LinkedIn for business youth or an Instagram or Facebook, whatever your platform is a choice, you schedule time to say, okay, two to two 30 I’m going to go and network, prospect, comment, whatever. For my business on LinkedIn, that’s the easy part. The more difficult part is when we’re consuming, when we’re consuming for escapism or for enjoyment, which you have to do is number one, put on your schedule or set a timer on your phone and say, okay, I’m going to give myself 30 minutes to watch cat videos on YouTube or scroll through Instagram and then you could have guilt free because you set the boundary of 30 minutes and you’re going to be on there for 30 minutes.

The problem is when the timer goes off, you have to get off social media. You can’t go, oh just a few more minutes because they ended up beating the purpose. What I do is I set my schedule up where every 30 minutes I’m doing a different activity except for podcast interviews and whatnot. So, I may read from for 30 minutes and then I may go on LinkedIn for 30 minutes and that, okay I need 30 minutes of play time, we’ll add to 30 minutes of playtime. I have something else scheduled so that my phone’s going to go ding. You have another task to do and you hit this something remind you because social media, I’m sure people understand this is designed to keep you on there until you die. It’s designed more ever and if you don’t exercise the faith and the discipline and whatever other word you want to use and say okay listen, my Max is 30 minutes, 45 minutes, I wouldn’t do any more than 60 minutes. Cause you know Meredith, you can very well lose hours and hours of time on social media and you like wait a minute, what were the time go? You look at your watch, like what happened? Cause you didn’t have anything stopping you. And so putting those parameters in place, whether it’s a timer, when the alarm or your calendar going ding to tell you, hey I’m back to work. That’s how you deal with social media.

Now tell us why do you recommend 30 minutes? I know that’s what you say you do for yourself. Do you recommend to your clients 30 minutes? That feels like a very short period of time for me. For instance, I’m working on a book and if I only work on a 30 minutes, I’ve barely gotten into it before. I would be moving on to something else.

I chose 30 minutes cause that works for me. You may be 90 minutes, you may be three hours. Maybe you do the, the small stuff for 30 minutes. The big stuff for three hours. You need to figure out what worked for you. I know, I tell my, I always tell my clients what I do, but I don’t know them. I don’t know the workflow. I don’t know the demands. I you really need to take a look at what works for you. So I would never tell someone the magic elixir is 30 minutes. It’s not, that’s what works for me. But my podcast interviews, I allow an hour when I do interviews for my, my podcast. So it does have some variation. But what I do is I always tell myself 30 minutes, do something new cause I like the change of doing something different every 30 minutes.

I think that’s an important point. What is somebody’s personal style? And I know that I’ve found out if I go more than say an hour and a half or at the most two hours, I really get mentally fatigued.

Yes. You know yourself, you know yourself. That’s the important. You know yourself. And if you know you can work 90 minutes Mazal Tov work 90 minutes but don’t work 91 minutes because if you know yourself, you start becoming fatigued after 90 minutes. It’s going to like being pushed in your rope and you’re going to be effective and you’re like, oh what was that? Oh you, you keep reading the same center type in the same sentence like, oh this doesn’t make sense anymore. If you know yourself at that time, you stop and get up from your desk. This is very important. Get up from your desk, walk away, go do something. Take a walk around the block, walk out in the kitchen. If you work from home, walk to the break room. If you work in the corporate environment, but get up from your office. A lot of people just switch to one task the next they need to get up, let the blood start moving. Maybe stand up and stretch or something. That’s really important.

I couldn’t agree more. Those of us that sit in front of the computers a lot of the day and have remote meetings with people, it really is important to get up and move by. How hard wholeheartedly agree with you on that. Now the third area you mentioned where other human beings, and so you know that’s such an important one too because for those people that are in business, interacting with other people is clearly very important and if you’re in a work environment with others, being able to interact with them is also critical. So what are some of the tips you have on managing that Aspect of distraction?

Well, obviously I could talk for hours and all these topics, but one of the biggest things I tell people when it comes to human beings is let your no be no and your yes be yes. So someone comes into your office, someone calls you on the phone, whatever, and this says, hey, you got a minute, got a couple minutes, got five minutes. If you don’t have time, you tell them, no, I’m sorry I’m working on something right now. I can’t come up this project however I have 15 minutes this afternoon, or I have a half hour tomorrow morning. Will that work for you? Because if you say yes and you really don’t have the time right away, your mindset is in a bad place. You’re like, Oh man, I can’t believe that bothered me. What? What? What do you want? And so now you have a bad attitude. But if you would’ve said, look at no, I really right now, but I can help you later. Now, number one, you’re being courteous to them. You’re saying, hey, listen, I hear you, but I don’t have time. A lot of people will just let, because we’re people pleasers, we’ll just let everybody barge in their office calling on the phone and all this stuff and, and they wonder why they can’t get anything done. Well, you’re the problem. You have to take responsibility and start saying, okay, look at I, sorry, I can’t help you right now.

What do you, what are your thoughts on how to handle your phone? Do you put it on do not disturb when you’re working on a specific project so that people can’t call you or text you?

Yes, I bought 100% first of all, what I would do is I would put on mute. Okay. If you put them phone on you and put it face down, you won’t know, Oh turn vibration up. I think everybody should turn vibration up on their phone. That way when you muted because you mute it with vibration on and you get a call, it’s still distracting. So I have mute. I have vibration turned off my phone so I don’t have to put my phone in airplane mode. All I have to do is mute it and put a screen down. Someone calls me, I won’t know. So you don’t have to, if you want to put in the airplane mode cause you like air cause you like the vibration mode, fine, but away you can get around there is turned vibration up and then just put your phone on. You put the screen down. Always put a screen down because you know if you’re working on your book or some proposal and your screen lights up, your eyes didn’t go right to that screen though. Oh, that’s a text message. That’s how, that’s how our brains are wired. That’s why you had to put it screened down.

Now thinking about that, when we do get distracted, I’ve, I’ve heard about the fact that it isn’t just the time you spend away from, you know, moving your attention from one thing to the other thing, but the time that it takes to recover from that distraction. What are your thoughts on that?

As soon as your phone goes thing and you got a text message, you don’t even have to look at your phone. The fact that it went ding, your brain goes, oh, oh, there’s something important that is the most important texts I’m ever going to get my entire life. And you’ve already broken your, your focus. You might as well look at the text message at that point because that Dang, or if you go to mute with the vibration on the vibration, it’s already broken your focus. And people doubt me. I’m like, try it yourself. Stay focused. Heavy thing. Tell me if your focus the same. It’s not and but you’re absolutely right. So, your focus is broken and when you get back to trying to work on you and your whatever you’re working on. Yeah, because it’s going to, it’s like a stubborn teenager. Your focus is like a stubborn teenager.

You broke the, the broke the flow state. You broke the concentration. Now it’s going to go. It’s going to take time. Meredith. I was in the zone. Now I get interrupted. Now I’m going to pout until I get my focus back. You just can’t get focused back instantly. Not like go into your faucet, turn the water on your focus takes. Wow. And it’s going to be gradual. It’s going to be a little focus, a little more focus, little more focus. Now you’re back in the zone. That’s why I tell people turn off vibration, mute your phone, put it spring down. That avoids the electronics. But if you have people in your house or the ups guy shows up or the first guy shows up, I mean that’s still going to break your focus. Our focus is going to be broken throughout the day. Nobody can ignore all the distractions in the world. It’s just not possible.

I like though your strategy for setting up blocks of time and scheduling time for these various activities so that we’re not at the whim of reacting to things when we go into the day. We have proactively designed it. Yes. Four, four being productive. So I really liked that. Now I think the fourth thing you said was entertainment. Yes. And so let’s talk a little bit about that. Cause I know you have some rather different ideas around.  The benefits or, or downsides of entertainment?

Yes, I am a productivity expert that says it’s okay to watch television. You can play video games as long as you are in control. So if you want to watch Judge Judy, this one of my guilty pleasures, I don’t, I’m not ashamed to admit it. I love watching Judge Judy, but I don’t watch it. Why I watch it am I DVR my wife and I don’t have cable. So, we have a TiVo, we record things over the air, but I want it when I want to watch it and I don’t watch the commercials. And when my wife’s not home, I actually watch it. I got this thing called quick mode, which actually watts at 1.5 speed dress and white, not, I kind of like, like watch an episode, 15 minutes. But, so I scheduled time, but I also reward myself. So if I don’t have a good day, I don’t allow myself to watch television.

I don’t allow myself, I don’t play video games, but I say, okay, and if you want to watch Judge Judy, then you better have a productive day. Because if you don’t, now you’ve got to work later. And I think if you use it that way, because we all need to have outlets. We all need to have our guilty pleasure of whether the judge, Julie, the Bachelorette survivor, whatever it is, we all need our guilty pleasures. But the problem is we’ve got to make sure that we are the one in control and not the entertainment. Too many people are like, I’ve got to find out what’s going on in the bachelor. It okay. You know, it’s not live right. It’s all scripted. It’s not live. And people get obsessed over that.

I think going back to those of us that work from a home office have more distractions. Yes. You know that the TV is one, but then there are just so many chores around the house that you could do doing what we know we need to do. So that those two, I think your fifth item, which is us, yes, we manage ourselves because we can become our biggest distraction or the biggest source of distractions. And again, not so much eliminating but taming our tendencies to get distraction. I just love that word.

Well, it goes back to what we talked about a few minutes ago about scheduling. Okay. If you have nothing on your calendar, you are far more likely to go, oh, squirrel. Oh, Netflix. Oh Hulu. It because you have nothing on your schedule. That’s why I tell people schedule your day and you can move the things around. Obviously you can’t move, you know, interviews around, but you can schedule reading from 10 to 10 30 but if you have a client call that wants to, a client wants to talk to you at that time, you can move around, but always have things on your calendar. High-Performers always have things on their calendar. A blank day is the worst thing you can have because then you start justifying, well, you know, I’ve been working really hard. I, I’m just going to take today off. Well, there’s nothing on my calendar. Tomorrow I’ll take another day off another day and all of a sudden the week off and two weeks off and not getting anything done.

Then they come and kick you out of your house cause you haven’t paid the mortgage and it can get that bad. And I’m just telling people what you need to do is you need to be in control and say, okay look it. I need to have something on my calendar. I know if I don’t have something on my calendar, on a workday, even though I’m constantly moving things around, I am far less productive than I would be if I had things on my calendar. So if you don’t know what to put on your calendar, just put something on there just because number one you should read. So put time to read. You’ve got to have lunch, put lunch on there, fill these things in, social media, whatever sales calls, and then you can always move things around. But you’re going to be far more better off if you spend the time to create a schedule. Then you have, yeah, I’m, I’m, I’m an adult, I’m a mature dog. I’ll get it done. I don’t need a calendar. Yes you do. I need a calendar. You need a calendar.

So what are your thoughts on making a list of so many items per day that you want to get done and then maybe blocking those out on your calendar? What are you, what’s your approach to list making?

If it’s something that’s going to take time, let’s say you want to write for a blog for LinkedIn. Well that wouldn’t be on your to do list. You put that right on your schedule. Remember I told you schedule that stuff. So, he said, I want to write an article on LinkedIn tomorrow. It’s going to take me an hour. Put that in your calendar. I think to do lists are things that are really short. Like let’s say I want you on my podcast, you’ve already been on my podcast, but let’s say I want to reach out to you. So I would put on my to do list, reach out to Meredith about being a guest in my podcast. That would go on my calendar because that’s just an email. Boom, fire off email. So the thing takes time, don’t put it on your to do list. Figure out where it goes on your schedule and put it on the calendar. That way when you open your calendar for that thing, go, oh yeah, I’ve got to write the blog article today. Instead of going through your to do list, go home. That’s what take me an hour. We’re going to set that in case it doesn’t make sense.

Sure. Yeah. So tell us a couple of examples of clients you’ve worked with where they were not very productive when you started, but you help them go through our, I’ll call it a transformation, but a major overhaul, let’s say, of their productivity.

One of my clients, I’m a big fan of simplicity, so one of my clients had this issue where he would take calls, inbound calls, and he was supposed to enter all his call notes after the call and the problem is he wouldn’t do it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. He’d come in on Saturday and I’m like, well, why don’t you do it when it’s fresh? I’m trying to understand this. And he goes, well, I don’t know. I said, you have a wife and baby, don’t you want to go home and don’t want to spend the weekends with them? He goes, yeah, I do. How long are you in the office on Saturday? You don’t sit eight hours. I’m like, wow, the wife can’t be too happy. And so what I told them, I said, okay, here’s what I want you to do. We’re going to gamify your entering your notes.

So every day you enter your notes when account. That’s one day. Okay, so I want you to do just count the days and then s for a second. He goes, alright. But he goes, if you don’t mind me being bold, I’m paying you a lot of money to coach me. And that seems kind of simple. Like I entering the notes now and he goes to say, so what happened was, is he got to one and he got the two days and got the three days and get the four days. And now once that number gets high enough, you’re like, wow, I don’t want to break my streak. And so I’m a big fan of people knowing we’ve listened to my podcast, I’m big on counting things. Okay, I’ve run, you know, over 680 days, neuro, I do pushups every day. So I’ve got the way of life app and I, I love the streets because when the number gets high enough, you’re like, I don’t want to start over at one.

And it’s kind of a built in motivation. And so I worked with this gentleman to gamify his productivity and it’s a very powerful strategy. Had another guy who the guy was talking about earlier who just, he had a reply to these emails, I’m like, don’t get in your email program. And he goes, what do you mean don’t get me if you don’t get in your email program, you don’t know you have emails. He’s like, but my clients, no, no. You think your clients want replies in an hour? Do they really? And now full disclosure, he’s still checking and returning an email within an hour. I’m, Kevin broke them, haven’t yet. I’m working on it because it really, none of the clients are has said I want it, but now, like I said earlier, when you set the boundary up there, you set the expectations. Now they’ve become to expect it now they expect it and he cannot not do it now because they’re going to be met, so he’s in a pickle now. I’m like, dude, just pulled a bandage up and just, just people auto-reply you’ll get a response me within 24 hours. It’s not that critical. They need to get responses right away.

Okay, great. Those are both good examples and what you’re really getting at us, this whole thing of habits that we’ve created over time and what are the best ways to break those. So we establish new habits. Yes. Have you found any particular strategies to be most effective in getting somebody to switch from doing things one way to adopting a new way?

I have to first understand why they’re doing it the way they’re doing it and most people don’t have any clue. This is, this reminds me of the story I tell all the time. Zig Ziegler came home from work one day and he noticed his wife was cutting off the end of the ham and he said, honey, why are you cutting off the end of the ham? She goes, I don’t know, mom always did it. He said, well, let’s call mom. So they call mom and they said, mom, why do you always cut off the end of the ham before you bake it? She goes, I don’t know. Grandma always did. So they said, let’s call grandma and they call grandma and they said, grandma, why do you cut off the end of the ham before you bake it? And Grandma says, I don’t know why you’re doing it, but I’m doing it because the panel was too small.

The moral of the story is why are you doing things the way you’re doing them? Will you train that way? Maybe that was the fact of six months ago or two years ago or three years ago, but most people don’t look at their processes and go, why are we doing it this way? Again, this is making sense. So we just, we get in the flow. You getting a stream and we just go along with all the other fishes and we do all the other fishes you’re doing instead of going, this doesn’t make any sense. And a lot of times when I deal with my clients, I’m like, spoiling me while you’re doing this again. They’re like, I was trained this way and I’m like, well, I’m the outsider and it doesn’t make any sense to me. And people have got a question itself. You should be questioning the way you do things every day. Go, does this make sense? Yup. Still make sense. Fine do it. But if it doesn’t make sense, then you got to go, okay, is there a better way doing this? Is there a more efficient way of doing this? And a lot of people don’t take the time to stop and go, hmm, this doesn’t make any sense. And so we get caught in this hamster wheel doing the same thing over and over again, and it makes zero sense.

That’s great. It really is important because we, we get into doing, doing, doing, and not reflecting and questioning. And a question just came to me as you were talking, is this serving me well? Is this serving me or my clients well to do this? And I think the example with the person who feels compelled to respond to the emails which I can relate to. So this is a really good takeaway for me and, and part of what I think, happened, I remember it’s been a while back that I had let some, our resellers know I was only doing the available certain hour hours and this guy got really unhappy about that because I had trained them that I answered the phone. You know, when people call. And I think that it can be uncomfortable for us initially to switch from what we’ve been doing, especially if we’ve been making ourselves so available to be a little less available. But in reality that makes you, if I can say it, more desirable. It makes people want to, they understand you’re busy, you have important priorities and so you teach them to respect you.

Exactly. When people book on my schedule for my podcast or as a coaching client, I had one guy, I still, I send them a calendar link. One Guy, he said he wanted it in my podcast and he goes, here’s my link to schedule the interview. Like, no, that’s not how it works. I sent you my calendar and you look at dates on my calendar and he goes, why can’t you use mine? I’m like, because I only do certain, I only do interviews on Mondays, I only do them in certain times. And second of all, it’s called the Mark Struczewski podcast, not the John Doe podcast. So you could do whatever you want in your podcast. And it’s, funny how people say, well, you should bend the rules for me. No, I have a friend, a good friend of mine, and she’s a coach and she will take, you know, do coaching calls on the weekend or on holidays because her clients say, well, I’m free. I’m like, no. You say, no, no, I’m not doing, I don’t, I’m not, I don’t need the money that bad. I want to spend time with my family. And so I remind her about it all the time. But you know, you’re right, we have to set boundaries, we have to set expectations because that’s going to help us be more productive.

Exactly. And I think that’s what we have to look at is results. Are we getting the results we want to, and I know that another piece, uh, tell me how you handle this with clients and then we’ll kind of wrap up here, but how do you help them set priorities to make sure they block time every day for those things that they tell you are their most important one or two things?

Well, what I asked them to do is after they tell me, okay, this is important, I said, okay, well what are you going to do about it? And they’re like, what do mean? Well tell me you’re going to do something about it or tell me you need to do x, y, and z. That’s nice. But you told your coach you’re going to do that, but what are you going to do to make sure because I can’t be there. I mean, if you want to pay me lots of money, I’ll gladly come and shadow you your entire day. I don’t think you want that. That costs you a lot of money. You need to put things in place. So you hold yourself accountable. Maybe your spouse or maybe your friend or coworker or something like that, hold you accountable. I’m a big fan of accountability, but you got to not everybody can be accountability partner cause you got to be someone’s going to say, Hey, wait, Meredith, he said you’re going to do actually didn’t do x, y.

A lot of people say, well I don’t want to get involved in that and I can’t be there 24 seven three 65 so you have to put things in place and mechanisms in place that says, okay, I’m going to do this and if I don’t do this, this is the consequence. I mean, I can only do so much. I mean if I, if I, if I shared with a client around 24 seven three 65 I wouldn’t have a life. So we do have to grow up and say it’s my responsibility. Nobody else’s brunt. All the, it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m getting done what I need to get done.

Excellent. Very important. Thank you. This, this has been so valuable. You’ve given lots and lots of great tips that I know people who struggle with how do get the most of each day and often experience overwhelm. There’ve been some really valuable practical tips here and I wanted to mention because you did refer to it earlier and mark has his own podcast, the uh, Mark’s your podcast and you have what, 375 plus episodes now, so Mark’s been doing this for quite a while so you can go to his podcast and learn all kinds of wonderful tips because he focuses on productivity and tell people other ways they can find you online.

The easiest way to find me online is go to MisterProductivity.com. That’s Mister all spelled out, MisterProductivity.com. There you can find out about my productivity coaching my productivity cores. You can sign up for my email newsletter where I give you strategies every week to take your productivity to the next level. You can find out where I’m on social media. I mean, you could try to find me on social media, or you can go to Mr. MisterProductivity.com, scroll to the bottom and click on the links directly and you can also find about my podcast. Everything you want to know about me and so much more is all at MisterProductivity.com.

Thank you and I know that those who are listening and experience frustrations will be very eager to learn more of your tips. Mark, it has been such a pleasure to have you with me today. Thank you so much.

Thank you for having me on the show. It was an honor to be here.