TMBA 387: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

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Dan and Ian are always looking for new ways to increase their productivity.

But generally, they find there is a mental cost that comes with any kind of productivity boost. Namely, the harder someone works, the more stress is added to their life. But, what if there were a few easy steps to increase productivity, whilst minimizing those kinds of costs?

Dan has been spending some time New York City recently. And, whenever he makes his way to NYC, he makes it a point to catch up with Taylor Pearson, who is one of the most productive people he knows. Taylor is the author of The End of Jobs, and a very frequent guest on this show.

In this week’s episode, Taylor shares four productivity strategies that he has tested himself and teaches his students. He recommends them as do-able ways to become more capable and productive.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why it is important to talk about productivity. (5:36)
  • How the concept of the “90 Day Sprint” can help some entrepreneurs be more productive. (11:45)
  • The difference between leading and lagging indicators of success. (17:42)
  • How to make money with courage and wisdom, rather than labor. (29:07)
  • Some of Dan and Taylor’s favorite tips for increasing productivity. (35:44)

Mentioned in the episode:

This week’s sponsor:

A big thanks to Growth Ninja – this episode’s sponsor. Are you looking for a reliable and hands-off way to scale your company’s revenue? Growth Ninja is an industry proven Facebook ad service that can explode your sales funnel.

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Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST. Cheers, Dan & Ian

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Published on 05.04.17
  • Julie

    Hey guys–the transcript link is borked. Thanks!

  • LOVED it.

    We moved to daily “standups” which cover 3 questions each team-member discusses:
    1. What they focused on yesterday
    2. What they’re focused on today
    3. What roadbloacks do they have

    Keeps us very focused on “the one thing” that can really move the needle

  • hey Julie this should be sorted now.

  • Thanks DT I like that framework!

  • Vincent

    Honored to be sponsoring! LOVED the Whiplash music, guys. It’s one of my favorite movies of the past few years!

  • :D appreciate your support Vincent!

  • That movie was great. Had chills.

  • So a question about the Facebook Feed eradicator. I put myself on a 12 month FB “pause” as I couldn’t help but hit the gerbil-pellet button and also get dragged into nonsensical arguments.

    After coming back I just simply unfollow everyone that posts such stuff. So I still get a newsfeed of friends & family photos, adventures, etc. but none of the political stuff.

    The eradicator wipes the whole feed. Why even use facebook then?

  • Paul Bleisch

    Yeah, judicious unfollowing has improved my Facebook experience. If I haven’t had a personal conversation with you in the last 3 months and you post garbage, I unfollow you. I’m down to people that I want to interact with.

    I also mark things as abuse a lot more now. But that is mostly just spite. :)

  • That seems to do the trick, the main idea for me is to use FB not let it use you. By removing the whole thing perhaps I threw out some cool updates from awesome people but so far I don’t feel I’ve missed them.

    Cal Newport has a good article about it:

    Few thoughts from my experience: I just use it like early days FB + messenger occassionally + fan pages/groups for events happening that I’m interested in (I used this function earlier this year when I went to Italy and I didn’t know anyone there). I use it often for research before I meet somebody in person. The messenger app is a good way to get in contact with people as well, I find that comes in handy when I’m traveling.

    A few years ago I switched from a personal FB mindset to a business one, or order to share our work and connect with those who were responding to it… so my network there is mostly lose ties of folks interested in similar topics, but since FB isn’t organized around topics but people I found my feed to be worse than useless but harmful.

    I get a lot of friends family stuff on IG which I (currently) prefer greatly and still use almost everyday.

  • Oh also I’ve removed it from my phone. Since I see FB as a work app I open it on my browser during my email checking time of the day (PEBBLE). :D

  • Solid strategies! Here’s a Q, do you essentially do your sprints back-to-back and fill up the whole year, or do you take breaks between them?

    Personally I tend to favor more of a rhythm of a 4-6 week sprint followed by an approximately equivalent amount of rest / travel / just taking it easy. Thanks to my investment in content marketing and automation over the years, that “lagging indicator” of sales stays strong throughout the rest periods.

    I also feel like work-wise, I can really only have one big “rock” at a time. Maybe it’s just a personality thing, but I have no idea how people manage to juggle multiple serious ventures simultaneously. Even if I don’t have to spend a lot of actual time on a particular project, I still find myself thinking about it, and the mental responsibility ends up becoming a burden. So I’ve felt driven to simplify relentlessly.

  • I get a lot of mileage out of the groups. It seems like the default forum software of choice now and I have 5 or so groups on there that I get a lot of value out of.

    Unfollowing everyone seems like a good play but I have a twitter list that I use for that and like Twitter more for that sort of interaction.

  • At this point I do them back-to-back and fill up the whole year. I could see that shifting over time but at least for now, I’m enjoying the hustle :).

    I’ve tried just one rock at a time, but I find having a couple of projects seems to be a sweet spot at the moment. one is the primary focus but sometimes I need to walk away and work on something else.

    E.g. Sometimes if I’m working on a big writing project, I need to go do something else for a few weeks to get it out of my head.

  • I use the eradicator as I’m on there for business, doing business things – not wanting to be distracted. Limited “Social” use is on my phone, via browser, an intentionally terrible user experience.

  • Sjors Provoost

    Quick tip for the security and privacy paranoid: create a new “Person” in Chome and call it Facebook. Only use that profile to login to Facebook and more importantly, only install the Feed eradicator Chrome extension on that profile. Just in case that extension ever goes rogue, it can’t access anything other than your Facebook account (which would still be bad).
    Side benefit is that – assuming you logout of Facebook on your normal browser profile and wipe all cookies – Facebook can’t (easily) track your other activities.

  • Sjors Provoost

    Can you publish the rest of that 100 item list somewhere?

  • Great strategies Dan and Taylor. I like your discussion of leading indicators vs. lagging indicators and building sustainable habits.

    I use this 15″ monitor as a second screen while traveling. It’s super portable and I just stick it next to my laptop in my Minaal bag. Just has one USB-C connection to your laptop and doesn’t even need to plug into the wall outlet.×1080-Powered-Portable-Monitor/dp/B01C83BE06/

    I also use my 9″ iPad Air 2 as an extra screen with the iDisplay app.

  • Sam

    Hahaha You guys got the wrong Jumpcut. I recon that’s why they made that their name. Those Simple Pickup guys are geniuses

  • yikes nice catch! this is what we were referring to:

  • is there any lag on that setup Dave?

  • oh man it’s a shit show! perhaps @TaylorPearson:disqus would be willing toss it in the DC

  • Sjors Provoost

    That would be awesome.

  • I was a long time jumpcut user who recently purchased Copy Em Paste which I’m very happy with and has far more features. Well worth the price.

  • cheers! thanks for the link

  • Yeah I also use the iPad.. very convenient. Except I’m using the Duet app. Not sure if one has better performance. Lag is fine if you lower the refresh rate.

  • speaking of music… I miss the old days with the hip hop track of the week :P what happened!

  • hehe no clear reason, perhaps bossman has started listening to country music?

  • Damnit Austin.

  • ryannagy

    If you use FB for business as I do – and you do sponsored posts and ads, the feed eliminator can be a great way to take a complete break from your home page feed and build the habit of using FB solely for business. You got to FB and then click directly to your business pages.

    That being said, simply unfollowing people can be a useful strategy as well.

  • Allen Walton

    I’ve listened to this episode 3 times since it came out and keep coming away with more nuggets. Get Taylor on here more yo

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