If you’re an efficient person, you’re always looking for ways to optimize time, money, energy, and thought by making things better faster. This is time management. Being able to manage your time effectively is like having the ability to bend time. In order to bend time, you must have some form of awareness around planning ahead and being in the present time. That fine line between planning and formulating and actually doing things is the sweet spot. Learn some tricks around the concept of bending time so you can be super efficient.
I’m so excited to be here. This week show is in the concept of bending time, also known as time management. I am an extremely efficient person because I am addicted to efficiency. I’m always looking at ways to optimize and tweak and make things better and faster. I’ve had roots in this in the restaurant business and various parts of my career on how to tweak my actions to optimize money, time, energy, and fun. We talked about one of my favorite books, Deep Work by Cal Newport, which is changing the way I think and how to live in a distraction-free environment or at least create a distraction-free environment to do these deep work to enhance your business.
We’ve then bring Loren. He’s from Texas and we talked about his version of his distraction. When he looks at his finances, what happens is his fear over takes things. I gave him both some emotional tips to look in and check out why he’s has his foot on the brake, and also some very specific pragmatic tips of how to enhance his life, optimize his time, and increase his efficiency. For more shows, please visit us a TuffLove.Live and if you’re listening on iTunes, I’d be so grateful if you go to iTunes and leave me a review. Reviews help me spread the show. Thanks so much.
Listen to the podcast here:
How to Bend Time
We’re doing a show about the concept of bending time, my version of time management. Morgan is always just like, “How do you get so much done?” It drives her crazy. You have the ability to bend time. I did some research on the concept of bending time and bending time is a Buddhist meditative way like, “Time is not linear.” Going back to Einsteinian theory of relativity, when you travel at the speed of light you don’t age the same as gravity. I’m going to give you the New York pragmatic version of how to bend time and how to be super efficient because that’s where I am. I got a lot of shit done every single day, which I’m quite proud of. There’s something about time management, which is a game to me.
The first thing I want to say is pretty much everything in my life, I think in terms of games. I think in terms of how to move my pieces, which could be me or my money or my employees or my work from point A to point B. I’m always thinking what’s the most efficient way to go from point A to point B. Some of my systems and some of my desire to be efficient might drive you crazy. I am constantly thinking strategically of how to make things more efficient. As Henry Rollins says, “I’m not just efficient, I am efficiency.” I am, to the core of my being, trying to optimize every aspect of my life to make things more optimal.
To me, it’s a game. It’s like when I’m traveling from Woodland Hills to Venice Beach, California, I’m thinking about the most optimal, fastest way. To me, if I’m like, looking at my little ways is that mapping, if it says like arrival time is 10:07 AM, I’m trying to speed up and be more efficient so I can get there at 10:06 AM. Why? That minute is like losing time. It’s killing me slowly. If I lose that minute, one minute of my life is being robbed from me and if I can make my life more and more efficient, then there’s just something about it that’s super fun and super exciting. What I’m trying to say, there’s a caveat to this show. Don’t do what I do, unless you really want to do what I do and find your way to do what I do, if you want to do it.
The first thing is I have notes. I’m really excited about my notes. The best thing about Groundhog Day, the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day is I was watching a little clip on this morning because they are celebrating it. They are critiquing the film in a way that I thought was very different. They looked at it not just as a comedy, not just a drama, but also as a spiritual awakening for the main character. For those who don’t know it, the movie’s based about this guy who gets stuck in this little town in Pennsylvania on February 2nd and he basically has to replay the same day over and over again until he hits his form of his spiritual awakening. If you have seen the movie, watch it because it does apply to this show. That’s what most of us do. We keep doing the same thing over and over again and then bemoaning the fact that things are enhancing, getting more optimal, or even getting better or not even liking it.
If you’re in the world where you’re recycling over and over again and you’re not happy with the results, change something. Do something different. You have the power to do something different. The only one you have to blame if you look like you’re stuck in a pattern is you. You can blame your mother, you can blame your father, you can blame your partner, you can play into your boss, etc., etc. but you’re in control of your own destiny 99.99% of the time and I’m sad for that 1% of the world that do not have control of their own destiny, etc. We’re not talking to them. We’re talking to people on the show who have the ability to change their life with one change of perspective. Don’t get stuck in a Groundhog Day loop unless you’re on some spiritual journey that’ll let you find your next level. Groundhog Day, what we often do is we do the same thing over and over again.
I came up with a list of eight concepts that I’m going to go over in a second, but the first thing I want to do is do a book recommendation. I’m in love with this man, Cal Newport. I don’t know if you know this guy, he is amazing. He wrote a book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. That was my first book. I absorbed it in about two days. It is a great book and the subtitle is Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. The first half of the book, which I’ve honestly read, fully inserted the faces of why we should get into deep work. Deep work is defined by Cal as activities performed in a state of distracted free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate. Let me say that again. Deep work, by his definition, is professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. That means it’s going to be uncomfortable.
These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate. Posting on Facebook is not deep work. Figuring out 141 characters, 140 on Twitter is not deep work. Our president is not doing deep work. Deep work is when you’re in a state of prolonged concentration. When you’re doing a deep dive inside of yourself, when you’re focusing on that book, that website, that e-letter, that whatever and you’re pushed away all distractions. You’ve pushed away all distractions to get into this deep and then you create some value. Here’s the opposite of deep work according to my new friend. It’s called shallow work, non-cognitive, demanding logistical-style tasks often performed while distracted or multitasking.
These efforts tend to not create much value in the world and are easy to replicate. It’s when you’re doing your multitasking, you’re doing things at the same time. You’re trying to do more than one thing like me meeting people, at the same time, I’m trying to think of something clever. It’s like when you’re trying to do two things at once. It’s like when you’re in that place where you have to figure out different places. Shallow work is often where we spend most of our time and you’re not to blame. This is the way society is going. The advent of Facebook, social media, SMS, text messaging, GroupMe, all these things that keep us distracted and keeps us in the form of shallow work. You can create a whole career out of shallow work and probably make enough money to sustain.
In my opinion and in my experience, you need to go into the version of deep work. You need to go into the version of creativity outside your norm to suppress the mediocrity that is most of our lives. You need to go into the form of deep work and that could about relationship as well. If your relationship is not fulfilling, you can go into a place where you truly discover the deeper desires and things that you want. Really dig into this. Dig into this concept. Start to play with this thought pattern of the difference between deep work and shallow work. I want to do another shout out for the book. I recommended Deep Work by Cal Newport. If you don’t have time to read the 294-page opus. There are YouTube videos that will give you the CliffsNotes version, so you can feel good about yourself or watching something on TV that is not OA or some other Netflix wonderful show, which I liked as well.
I want to tell you a little story about the way I work and that’s what I learned in the restaurant business. For all those young enough who have the time and looking for the next thing, go spend six months working in the restaurant business. I kid you not. I am such a strong believer in the restaurant business. Every high school student in the world should spend some time learning the best skills that you can learn from the restaurant business. It’s just the best skills. I worked in the restaurant business for six years. I started when I was about sixteen. I finished when I finished grad school, which was 24.
There were some breaks in between and my last restaurant was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I worked there for two years. I made a ton of money for a student who only work certain hours, but I learned this valuable trick. The trick is around the concept of efficiency. The way the restaurant was set up, like normal, all the tables were in the front and then you get a section of a table. I’d work my bar and you have six or eight tables and the kitchen would be in the back. Everything you needed for the customers was in the back, right. We had our side stands with the ketchup and the silverware. That was one thing, but all the things that the client really wanted was in the back. That back was good 47 paces, 50 paces from most of the tables. It was not a quick in and out.
When I started to do as a restaurant server, I will start to think about the most efficient ways to get what I needed from the back to the front. What I did is I started to create teams. I started asking for help and offering help to my co-workers. To think, I’m leaving in the kitchen, I have to go into the main area, “Is there anything I need to make my tables more efficient?” I would physically stop sometimes step aside, so I wouldn’t get bowled over by the other crazy waiters and actually think in terms of what are the specifics. I would scan my tables. What are the things? That table wanted bread, that table ask for some lemon with water. I would think of wherever efficient and what happened is going into the dining area, I would be thinking and going out of the dining area, I’m thinking and my strategic mind started to plan ahead.
In order to bend time, you must have some form of awareness around planning ahead. You must take those extra seconds to think. My professional waiter career ended when I left grad school at the age of 24 and then they went into technology. I worked in corporate America, but those lessons of thinking ahead and planning, thinking like a waiter because in the restaurant business, if you lose two minutes can change your 10% tip to a 20% tip. In terms of revenue, which is the goal there was to make as much money to optimize my tip percentage. I was always thinking in terms of how to optimize my time and energy.
Here’s the next thing. There’s a balance between thinking too little and thinking too much. Thinking too little and thinking too much, and this I think is the core of all bending time skill ser is to find that sweet spot in between those two things. If you think too little, then what happens is you’re frantically running around trying to finish the tasks on your to-do list or what your boss wants or what your partner wants or what the kids want. You’re constantly in a state of frantic working to figure things out. If you think too much, guess what? You’re sitting on the sideline concentrating and planning and formulating, but nothing’s getting done. You’re just sitting on your ass on the fence posts, with the fence posts up your ass thinking, “How should I do this?” You’re promoting the fact you’re not in present time. You’re thinking. It’s that fine line between thinking too little and thinking too much and be willing to take the time to find the sweet spot between the two.
I am a strategist and a planner in pretty much everything I do. I think in terms of advanced. There’s some degree of my mind planning and formatting the day. Every day I work, I work by myself. I work in office in Woodland Hills and I have my schedule. I live on my schedule, I optimize my schedule and my schedule even has time for deep work. I’ve actually put it into my schedule every Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 6 :00PM, I call it deep work. In that time, I will not have phone calls. I will turn off social media. I will tell my partner that if she wants to get in touch with me, she should call instead of texts. I will do whatever it takes to turn off notifications on my computer. I’m going to focus because there is this book inside of me that wants to come out and needs to come out. It’s like a baby that’s well overdue. I feel a little bloated. I feel a little cranky. The ability to actually take eight hours of my week and focus on this book, I think is going to move me from point A to point B. Concentrate, build your schedule. Here are some specific tips and tricks I’ve mentioned to increase your ability, to increase time management and to bend time.
Here’s the first, plan ahead. Number two, pause and reflect and optimize. When you’re in a place where you want to tweak and increase your timing, what you can do is actually in the middle of the flow state, you can actually stop and think of how to make this better. A lot of us go into a plan of action and just implement and don’t think about optimizing. We’re like, “I made this plan to go from point A to point B and all of a sudden, there’s a roadblock in between point A and point B. Optimize it. Think in terms, take time, constantly tweak your plan, give yourself permission to change your flow and make things more efficient. Number three, remove or delay that which is not optimal. If you have this hankering for In-N-Out Burger and your closest In-N-Out Burger is a good 25 minutes away and you’re thinking about the burger, but you know you need to get this much time. In-N-Out Burger 25 minutes away, that’s 25 minutes on a good day.
Then you’ve got to wait in line, which In-N-Out Burger is not a small thing. That’s fifteen to twenty minutes and you finally get your burger. Hopefully, you’re going to take at least more than five minutes to eat your burger and then you have a 25-minute trip back. That is a 90-minute costs to that stupid burger. Go get a salad at Whole Foods next door. That’s a three minute walk. It’s four-minute thing to get your salad, put it together and it’s a three-minute walk back. Better yet, think ahead, plan your salad. Get your tuna fish, get your sandwich done the night before. It’s in your refrigerator. You’ve got the fourteen-second walk to your little kitchen. You take your salad, you go back to your desk or whatever. Think ahead and be careful of distraction. If In-N-Out Burger is not optimal to your life mission, don’t do it. Don’t fall into the extremes of your own distractions.
Number four, execute. What this means is do it. A lot of us have a lot of fear about execution. We fear to pull the pin, to open up the laptop, to send that email or send that text. We are afraid of once we start a cycle, then we’re stuck in the cycle. That keeps us in the state of stasis. We get frozen in our own thought process about it. When you have something you want to do, execute it. Take those first few steps, take that leap, cross that bridge to nowhere and actually execute your life. Be willing to go into the flow. Five is remove distractions. The number one distraction that we found is social media, Facebook. How many times a day do I check my Facebook feeds? 74? This is not unlikely.
In Cal’s book, he talks about this guy did this research on how much time do you spend on email? Now, responding and reading email was not part of his job description, but one hour a day on average he spent. He did a mathematical query. He looked at the amount of emails. He figured out how many words he types. He figured that one hour of his eight hour day is being spent on passing information versus email. Optimize your time. What could you do with an extra five hours a week of work? What could that do to your profit line? Remove distractions. Isolate when you work on email, isolate when you’re working on social media, be willing to put them in compartments and then when you’re fully in the social media, do it, execute and get out.
The last three are leverage. Learn to leverage. This is the hardest one possible. I am taking a course on marketing and I wrote in my little questionnaire that I’m happily a one-man band in my business. The guy running the show says, “You’ll never going to reach a million dollar business working by yourself.” I said to him, “I absolutely agree with you 100%. I’m thinking in terms of getting an intern. I’m thinking about how to leverage my business.” There’s a certain fear around that because once you have someone else in your field, you have to take care of them. You have to either pay them or offer them value and people are annoying. People are annoying. I need to get over the fact that if I have another person on my team that I can increase my leverage and I can provide value to them and they can provide value for me. The last two, pick your battles. Pick what you wanted to do. Pick your fights. Be willing to look at, “If I engaged in that social media war on that new masculine community and get stuck in the silly battle, how much time are you going back and forth to Facebook?” Be careful where you spend your energy, pick your battles, be efficient, and be wise about how you do it.
Finally, most importantly, is embrace your miscues. I’m not even going to use the word mistakes. I’m going to use the word miscue. Miscue is when you want to push button A and you actually end up pushing B. That has huge ramifications. Here’s what most people do. Once they realized they pushed button B, they spent a lot of time beating themselves up about pushing button B. You’re a human being. Stop beating herself up. It’s a waste of time. Get off the floor, don’t be lazy. Just embrace your miscues, learn from them, apologize, make amends, and then be willing to move on. Life moves really fast and if you’re not willing to let go of that baggage of your own self-flagellation, you’re not going to be able to keep up with it. I am very happy with that rants. The last few have been a little less energetic but I’m in a mood and I’m excited.
Let’s get my new friend, Loren. Hello, sir.
How are you doing?
Excellent. A pleasure.
How’s your day going so far?
I am distracted.
Is that sound padding in your room or is that a crazy wallpaper?
It is sound padding. I’m in our version of a media room where we make podcasts and whatnot.
I want some sound padding. How can I make this most optimal for you? How can I serve you?
The points that were happening pretty big for me were basically a lot of the execution was a hard point for me. There’s that place where I find myself constantly thinking about it and then I won’t do it and then I beat myself up about it a lot.
Do you have an example?
One example is I’ve been trying to get back on top of my finances and look at those things and then I get like overwhelmed with the idea that everything has to fall in line or I won’t be able to do certain things and then I don’t take a look at my bank account or I don’t do the budget or I don’t sit down and look at that stuff. Then I go to my distractions and whatnot.
There’s a whole podcast on Money. You can get more in details in there. Money is a fabulous thing that people will not confront. Let’s go underneath it a little bit. What does it mean if your bank account is too low?
It means that I’ve been mismanaging, that I’ve been unconscious around my spending and I’m not being a responsible person.
If you’re mismanaging and not being a responsible person, what does it mean?
That means that I can’t say yes to the things that come up that I want and I feel guilty about it and I get angry at other people for offering them to me in a certain place.
There is a fear of not being liked and that fear of not being liked has you not honor your no or yes and what we call boundaries. You’re having trouble with boundaries. You don’t have boundaries, you won’t look at your foundation. The baseline of your financial and emotional energetic success is money in our society. Unless you have a trust fund or live at home or, etc. All of us are controlled to some effect by this concept of money. The ironical part is that it’s not really about the money per se, it’s your about your fear of not being liked.
I would recommend that instead of focusing on the smoke, which is the fire, go into your inner work about your feelings, about your relationship to others. Then once you go to the roots and you actually look at what those feelings are that could for you free all the way up there. I personally think making money is easy. I also tend to think spending money is easy. My point is you are an intelligent person. You are a powerful person. You are moving around the world. You do have the ability to make money, but if you don’t confront it, if you let your fear of X, Y, and Z control your life, that’ll fuck up your innate skill to produce.
I’ve never heard as far as not being liked. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to that level. As far as what my blocking of that that was, but I can see how that would definitely come up as far as me not being able to say no to things.
Let me tell you a story. I had a client. In her presence, she is a queen and I loved her and I was so fortunate to work with her. You could look at her money and it would just go up and then would go down to go up and it felt like there was some artificial ceiling that she had created because she could only reach this point. We did some deep work, Cal’s deep work. We went into the inside game and after a good hour of conversation, we hit the point that her fear was that if she went above this ceiling. She would be the most successful person in her nuclear family. All her nuclear family with lower, middle class. Good people, but not high earners. Happy in the lower middle-class strata. If she went above that range, her fear was that she would alienate her nuclear family. She had created an unconscious block to going above that ceiling.
I’ll tell you a personal story. Last year I looked at my rates of what I was charging per hour, and I realized that I was charging 2016 pretty much the same rates I was charging in 2007 and that’s ridiculous because I’m a bad ass consultant and a badass coach. There was some mental block I had inside of me due to some other trauma that said I want it to be not the coach that charged a lot of money. I went to the extreme and I lowered my numbers. I minimized myself. I had to do some deep work with my therapist and other hallucinogenic to go in there and figure out what was my block. I pitched a company. I went another $100 per hour past my normal rate. They said yes and it’s my highest paying client. I know what it feels like to have these blocks, these unconscious blocks. All I can say is money is rarely the thing that stops us from being in flow. It’s our fear. Let’s hear more from you.
I resonate with that idea of not alienating things. There’s a fear of not even knowing what I would do having more in that place. I would think of spending it would ultimately be the same way as I spend it now, just a little bit more freely. That’s not necessarily that appealing. There’s a block there around possibility and even just attaining this sphere of dreaming bigger in a weird way.
Fear of success is often greater fear of failure. We are so good at diminishing ourselves. We’re so good at self-sabotaging. We’re so good at staying at the same strata that we are to actually be big. What does that mean about you? What does that mean about you as a person? You are a kick ass producer in the world. You have to change your whole story that you’re as lazy schmo. You have to change that internal story. That is sometimes really hard to do because with expansion and execution, there’s responsibility. If I take on an intern, I’m going to be responsible for someone. I know that’s important. I don’t want to be the kind of employer that has interns that don’t take care of their interns. I want to take care of them. My point is that fear of success is often greater than fear of failure.
In here, I feel like I’m good at planning and it is picking the battles and the removal of distractions is also a huge one. To coming home and having all these things I want to do a not like kind of having the structure to get them done or like, I know that I know what I need to execute but not actually knowing when or where or how to best incorporate that into my life post work. It’s like I have this amount of hours, but also knowing that right after work, I’m generally tired. How am I putting my time to you use in a way that keeps me on point in a certain sense.
Let me give you some pragmatic tips. Yours is a mix of a non-pragmatic, pragmatic and pragmatic, which is often the case. Explore that two things for you. Explore that fear of not being liked or not being not being accepted if you a successful. Imagine you’ve got some gig that doubled your salary tomorrow. Just mock up in your mind, how do you perceive that will affect your relationships? Be honest with yourself. Be willing to do the mental exploration to figure out that piece. Attached to that is if you were disliked because you were successful or disconnected, how would that affect you? Do a journal entry, go in a quiet place and just write things down and be willing to do the exploration of it. Those are emotional things. On the flip side of the pragmatic things, here’s the first thing I highly, highly, highly recommend. Invest in a software called Quicken. It’s $100 product.
You can get the cheaper version. These free versions called Mint, but they suck. Go spend the money and do Quicken. Quicken is a way to download your transactions from your credit cards, from your bank accounts, your investment accounts and put them in one place. I am a Quicken addict. I spend time organizing every transaction to make sure it’s properly allocated because it informs me. It actually has me confront my money. I know how much money I’m spending every single month and I know mid-month how much I’m spending. I’m looking at the grocery bills, of me and Morgan and the kids and the dogs and looking at how does that number look? I spend time and then we’re in communication around it, rather than it being this black mystery whole of, “I think I have $17 left in my checking account.” You actually in relationship with the facts of your money. To me it was one of the most powerful tools out there and it’s a great product and well done so, Quicken. That’s the first thing.
Can I ask a question about that? How do you generally go about budgeting time to a look at that? Do that on a monthly basis or is it like a weekly thing?
Every other day, pretty much. It takes me seriously maybe ten or fifteen minutes. Some days, I like looking every day cause Quicken also tracks my investments. I see how well Facebook is doing up and down like a yo-yo. I look at my special stock TASR, that’s made me a lot of money. I’m actually quite often looking at these numbers as part of my game. When I spend more money per month than I want to, I don’t beat myself up. I use the facts to educate myself. I went to Costa Rica this month and I said, “I’m going to spend $300 a night on this hotel,” because I have this much money coming in and I deserve it and it was a life changing experience. I confront it. I don’t beat myself up around it. Fifteen minutes a day. Once you get it set up, it’ll probably take an hour or two to set up realistically. If you’re tech savvy, it might be quicker. It is the most powerful tool I use for my personal finances. Two other things for you specifically. Do you remember in school, you used to take a piece of paper and then you’d write Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday on top and then you’d write nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, one, two, three, four, you’d make a calendar grid?
I’ve done this with at least half my clients. I’ve done is create yourself the optimal schedule. You can also use Google calendar. You can create another calendar for yourself and just make a blank calendar. I have one. It’s called Rob’s Life that I’m constantly tweaking, yoga class here. I go to the Westside. I live in the valley in Los Angeles so I go to the Westside, Venice and Santa Monica once a week for my Saturday and I put that into my schedule. I’ve actually built myself a schedule so I can actually know what my week is like. It’s not the Bible for me. I’m often going off that schedule but at least it creates a guideline. If you want to come home and think like one our reading time, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, put that in your schedule 7:00 to 8:00. Get home at 6:00, eat dinner, take a shower wherever you need to do and 7:00, turn off your phones, turn off the TV, put on some good lights, grab Cal Newport’s Deep Work and spend some time and work at it.
The last thing is, which I do often choose is get yourself an accountability buddy. It is so hard to make changes in isolation. It is so hard to do this life by yourself. It’s possible. Get an accountability buddy. “Can we talk once a week and review my progress on my reading assignment.” For me, it’s like going to the gym is so much easier when I take a class that when I go by myself. We got a personal trainer. My therapist is my accountability buddy. My partner is my accountability buddy. We share and hold each other to the things we say we’re going to do. It makes life so much easier.
I got to do these things. I feel a lot of it’s around of just sitting down and doing them.
Fear, to me, can be something that keeps you locked in or something that inspires you. I have a friend of mine who just contacted me about wanting to lose weight. He’s afraid of the changes of his lifestyle, especially when I hand to Morgan and Morgan is going to Morgan-izehim and fuck up his whole world in a better way. Fear of the unknown. You just have to embrace it and learn from it. It might inspire you.
Please stay in touch. Let me know how it goes.
I will. Thank you.
Thank you so much.
I’m really happy to be back in this mode. For more shows, please visit us at TuffLove.Live. I’ve redone my website. There is now a mailing list that you can join and recommend your friends. I also have what’s called a Patreon account. Become a patron of the show. You can send a $5 donation per month. You can send $100 donation per month, whatever you want to do and I also have some special levels. I have a VIP level which is one day a month with me kicking your ass, or we even have a $99 coaching session as part of the level. Patreon.com/TuffLove, check it out. Help the show out. Let’s make some money so I can get an intern so we’d make the show bigger and better. Thank you so much for being here. I’m really grateful. Take care guys. Go forth, be efficient, be nice to yourselves, get some nookie and just know, I’m always thinking about you. I love you.