couldn't we all just be a little bit more productive. Whether you feel like you've got a pretty good grasp on your days or your life's a complete mess. Most of us could probably use a little sharpening up when it comes to mastering productivity. At the turn of the Industrial Revolution, productivity meant squeezing as much economic growth out of his few resources as possible from agriculture to fashion to masonry and journalism. Industries found ways to incorporate new technologies, machinery and systems to increase profits and succeed in business. It was about doing more with less and while the tools and systems have changed since the invention of the cotton gin in 1794, the basic concept still applies, but today, as millions of people are turning towards a freelance career, increased productivity doesn't just mean more profits. For your employer, it could be more downtime with family leisure activities and time spent on passion projects. The fuel productive is a beautiful thing. It'S what you might call a good tired. The moment when you slide back from your desk.
At the end of the day, turn down your computer put down your pen, knowing that you gave everything you had to that day, you got done. What I say is I focus on helping people become more capable. That'S Thomas Frank, you might know him from his popular YouTube, channel or podcast and that encompasses productivity content, whether it be like getting down and dirty with the systems or talking more holistically about things like habits of mindset. Basically anything that kind of sets you up for being able to better achieve your goals in life. What does it take to be truly productive today from the small things we do to the larger systems we create? How can we make the most of our days and what won't productivity get you? How can we find fulfilment in our work without turning into automated robots at in a moment, but first, this video is sponsored by Squarespace every website.
I'Ve built in the past five years has been with Squarespace I'll talk more about. Why I love them at the end of this video and how I'm able to create simple and effective websites really fast. Is there like a tool or a hack or something that you do when it comes to productivity? That has helped you the most or that's the most memorable for you yeah. It'S probably downloading information be a little port in the back of my head. Did you get that at Staples? Yes, yes, staples, experimental, matrix, yeah, it's really good yeah. So the biggest thing for me, I think, is not letting me be the deciding factor and what I get done, because I think the more freedom you have the more self-discipline you require to actually take yourself off of the path of least resistance. And even if you care a lot about the overall mission, you might not always care about the individual piece that you are working on, so sometimes it'll be hey. You know, keep me accountable I'll say as my girlfriend or to my best friend, like I'm gon na get this done by this date, so at the IKEA cabinet, planner for research, you're, disgusting or I'll use a tool like beeminder, which will literally charging money.
If you don't blog habits or if you do log habits depending on how you set it up or you know, even have it acai just check-in my habits every single day, so I get that little streak to encounter going up. I use external systems to put training wheels on the teeter peterey bike. That is my mind. Yeah we love. We love talking about these, like kind of the little things that we do like the little tactics that might help us or give us a little bit of an advantage. But I know that recently, you just created a course around how to develop productivity systems yeah, and that to me is really interesting, because that's just this the entire system, it's the bird's eye view of how things are made in your life. Talk me through some of the most important aspects of it from maybe a to-do list or a task list to the calendar, so overall philosophy here what I consider the main missions of a productivity system to be our number one to make sure nothing ever slipped through The cracks to sort of give you that peace of mind. You know everything going on your life.
You know cuz people when they when they feel like everything, is chaos. Then that brings a lot of stress. Like am I am I forgetting something right now? Can I relax right now or is there something that I should be doing? If you know everything's going on, then you have more control and then the other part of it is bringing in a little bit of that external control over your own self-discipline. So, for me, the components are a to-do list, a calendar and then a note-taking system of some sort and there's a few meta ones.
So I often bring in the way that you process email into this, and they also bring in the way that you store your files, both digitally and physically. What I usually say is like a good starting point. Is I really like to do it and I know you use to do which is possibly even simpler? I like to do this because again it's simple: you can sort of divide your life up into different little buckets, so I can have a project for say every class on the mat
If I'm a student, where I could have a project for grocery shopping, I could have a project for like this UX design, I'm working on and that can all be separate, and I can sort of plan things out step by step within a little individualized list. But then you can also have a day like today, next seven days, maybe even next Tullius list. So you can see at a glance everything in your life.
That'S coming up same thing with calendar, You see what's coming up in your life and for me the split is: are you going to it? Are you doing at a specific time? Well then, that's a calendar event. Is it just do at a specific time, but you could work on it whenever that's a to-do list or a task manager? So if somebody feels like right now, their life is completely disorganized and their productivity system is basically non-existent. What steps should they take to go about doing it like? What'S the most important like set up a to-do list calendar I mean it's: are there any of these that are the most important to follow along with, or does the whole system need to be intact? I would never go as far as to say you need to get the entire system up and running right now, because that's overwhelming, where is the biggest source of your stress, coming from right now? Is it the fact that I really just don't know all that? I have to do is the fact that I keep missing events.
Is it the fact that I do not know where my files are and I keep like losing important documents? I keep you know not being able to turn homework in, because I can't find it What'S the thing that's sort of like screaming out. This needs to be fixed right now, focus in on that and then just work on building that part of the system. First, like make a little bastion of safety and then sort of spread out from there, and I good start is just bring up a document or grab a piece of paper and just write out everything that is stressing you out in our quest to increase productivity. There are things that will inevitably get in our way and steer us off-track from social media to video games. There are an endless amount of things that compete with our attention and beg us to procrastinate. We each pick our own poison when it comes to distractions, but one aspect of digital work: that's impossible for most people to ignore is email. Email is a source of stress because there are obligations.
I mean it's an evil Hydra You cut off one head to take its place, yeah. The one thing I tell people is, if you're sitting with a inbox full of like 4,000 messages, that's the same as an inbox with zero messages in it, because you're going to look at it, get overwhelmed and close it right. So you know take an hour go through the first like four or five pages and star what you know. You need to reply, therefore you're creating like a little second inbox for yourself and then everything else. Just our guide. It yeah my friend Josh Milburn. He recently went on vacation and said: hey guys during vacation, I'm gon na be going away, but then, when I come back, I'm gon na declare email bankruptcy and then or kyv all of my emails, and I was like that's brilliant
I never thought to do that, but if you think about it, when you come back from a vacation, you have hundreds of emails, or I mean, depending on like how busy you are or what kind of work that you do. If you have even 50 emails to respond to, that could be an entire day, the first day that you get back to work and if you set the precedent beforehand, if you let people know hey, this is what's gon na happen. If it's important enough they'll email, you back after you get back yeah well, I think another thing people have to realize is like people thrive on their expectations and their expectations are set by previous behavior. So if you're, the kind of person who everyone knows for applies to an email like within a day, then now that pressure is on you, people expect a you know, snappy response from you and when they don't get it, you violated their expectations and I think about The Salah, the violation of expectations, is probably the thing that makes people angry in the world because it is taking them out of order and throwing them into chaos in some way.
You know it's a threat to the way they live. So if you can manage expectations by maybe being the person who just doesn't reply to every email - and you don't reply super super quickly, then no one cares and that's a load off your plate mentally. Once we've built a solid productivity system implemented all the various ways we can incentivize ourselves to work, ignore distractions and tame the Beast of email.
We still need to understand that there's a limit to what we can do when we constantly seek to produce more work to create more profit, it's easy to end up with less and less time sure our hours are productive, but are we truly making enough time for Ourselves and for our families paying the bills is great, but is our life defined solely by work, or are we finding the right balance for our physical and mental health? We were talking recently about some burnout that you faced it's it's kind of the other side of productivity where it's like. You can only be so productive. You can only get so much work done yeah. When do you know when to start taking some things off your plate? I pushed myself past the burnout point for too long and when I really knew that it was an issue was when my girlfriend said, I don't like how negatively you're talking about your work.
Every time you say you want to make a video and it's more like I've to make a video you're doing too much, and I realized oh yeah. If I'm projecting a negative sentiment about my mission in life, essentially to the person, I love the most. That'S clearly a sign of burnout, so that's when I had to take it very seriously a lot of times. I think we get into this habit of thing saying if I make this decision, that's forever, that's my content forever! It'S you know if I, if I switch to one video this month and take a couple weeks off, then everything's gon na fall apart and the other thing is once you hit upon something that works. It often seems like that's the only thing you can do forever and if you stop doing that, you're dead, you're, gon na be in the gutter and your whole life will crumble around you and everyone will point and laugh, and it's funny like if you give yourself Just a little bit of space, what I found is the creativity starts to come back.
All these things start flooding in once you give yourself space to breathe. Should we shake hands? I think so. Oh thank you. It'S a lot of fun that much for doing it Absolutely cool all right. We can just get up and walk off. The frame. Cool music plays yeah. You know how it works, as you guys know, I like to keep things simple and I do not like wasting my time.
So that's why I use Squarespace. Have you Squarespace to build every website I've created over the past five years and I cannot recommend them enough. I'Ve used it to build my personal website. My podcast website, as well as my favorite website, get the rock on Matt's podcast. Calm, As you can see, they're templates are beautiful and simple, and they make it really easy to get your message across in a concise way. Also, by the way, if you happen to be Dwayne, the rock Johnson, I actually left a contact form on this website so feel free to. You know message me back on that.