Category Archives for Productivity

Video: How the President of Micro Media Marketing Runs Her Day

Stephanie Lichtenstein is the President of Micro Media Marketing, Your Boutique Social Media Agency. Stephanie’s passion for social media is contagious, it has led her to work with Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer Top 500 companies since 2007. Stephanie is a social media entrepreneur and speaker specializing in social media strategy and management. Click here to learn more about Micro Media Marketing.

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Video: Power of Obsessions

Transcription for your reading pleasure.

Hello my friends. It’s Patrick Allmond from stopdoingnothing.com. It’s probably been a while since you’ve listened to a podcast or seen a video because I’ve been screwing around. I have been doing plenty of stuff, but not taking care of you the viewers and the listeners at the Stop Doing Nothing podcast and on the Stop Doing Nothing page. I am working hard to remedy that. I know as much as my website preaches about not doing nothing, I have been slacking a little bit on that but it’s not because I’ve been sitting around doing nothing, it’s because I’ve been sitting around growing my agency by leaps and bounds. Business is great, but I’ve abused this which is a real passion project for me in an area where I really want to help people. Please accept my apologies for those of you that listen to the podcast and watch the video, and by the way if you are on one right now, be sure you subscribe to the other. If you listen to this on the podcast, go subscribe on YouTube, and if you are subscribed on YouTube watching this, you can go subscribe over on iTunes.

For those of you who are first time listeners, first time watchers, let’s really recap again a little bit about me and a little bit about Stop Doing Nothing. Like I said my name is Patrick Allmond. I run a digital marketing agency here in Oklahoma City, and I started Stop Doing Nothing a while back as a project to help me motivate myself, but to also externally share the information that motivates me. Different people get motivated different ways, different people are coached different ways, and I tend to be more of the aggressive, ambitious, go, go, go type, don’t stop, work a long hard twelve hours before I take a break type. I wanted to share my thoughts on how to work like that with other people like that. There’s a lot of different ways, like I said, people can get motivated. Some people are motivated by a soft, fluffy, bunny foo-foo stuff. That is not me. I’m going to come out you at 90 miles an hour, and if you’re not doing what you should be doing, you’re going to find me really getting on your case about it.

After a while if I get on your case about something when it comes to coaching or whatever, and you’re not doing it, or you don’t want to do it, then I’m just going to walk away because you obviously don’t want to put in the time and effort. Those kind of people, those are the kind of people that the podcast and the video is for, is people like being highly productive. I like to call them high achievers, extreme high achievers. You don’t mind working seven days a week for spurts at a time because it just helps you get done. You don’t mind blowing through obstacles, you’re the kind of person who always sees that there is a way around, over, under any kind of obstacle. Those are the kind of people that I like to work with. That’s who this video is for, that’s who this podcast is for, so again for you first time listeners and watchers, welcome, welcome very much.

Like I said I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. Couple businesses doing great, now it’s time to get back into taking care of Stop Doing Nothing. As you see, you probably see a bizarre pink wall behind me and some patchwork going on. We’re doing some remodeling here. That was one of my many excuses for not getting a video out to you and a podcast out to you. I was looking for the perfect environment, the perfect background, the perfect soundproof room, and you know what? It’s coming. It will get there, but done is better than perfect and you probably hear me say that a lot. That done is so much better than perfect. If you’re the kind of person who’s waiting to get something done, like a podcast, like a video series, man just get on the ball. Quit sitting on your hands, quit screwing around, and get started on it.

I apologize if the room isn’t perfect, and yes it is a bright pink or purple background, but hey, deal with it, okay? Just so you know we are based in Oklahoma City and we are going to be doing these weekly and there’s a huge fan page out there. It’s under the name Patrick Allmond and you can find me on TwiCer also at patrickallmond.com.

Today I thought I would talk to you about one of the more popular blog posts on the website recently, stopdoingnothing.com, for you avid readers. The most popular blog post over on stopdoingnothing.com over the past, oh I don’t know, thirty days, sixty days, and ninety days, is one called How To Become Obsessed With Something. How to become obsessed with something, so we’re going to focus on that word obsessed today, and kind of clarify what it means for me, and I’d like to hear your feedback also about what it means to you. As I’ve become more mature in the world, I’ve learned that when I really want to get things done, it takes an insane amount of obsession. I’ve tried over the years to, whether it’s exercise, let’s speak about that topic of exercise. I’ve tried casually going to the gym, and maybe doing some walking here and some running there, and maybe do one week on and one week off, or do a day and skip four days. I’ve tried that. Oh it’s really cool, you can’t hear it, but there’s an airplane flying overhead. I’m a big aviation fan and a pilot and whenever an airplane flies overhead, man I am in love.

Anyway, getting back to the word obsession, I’ve just tried various levels of dedication when it comes to getting tasks done, and the only way I have learned is to become kind of obsessively consumed with accomplishing a particular task, a particular goal. That is not easy, and that’s getting harder and harder every single day with being a business owner, and the number of things you have to pay attention to. Oftentimes I take care of my own social media, take care of my own e-mail marketing, I take care of all my own video work. There’s so many things right now that I do myself as a business owner that are keeping me from being obsessed on certain things. The last video I made, one of the things I’ve really been working on is getting things off of my plate. Literally, for fitness reasons, and figuratively. I’m slowly handing out the tasks in my company that I don’t have to be directly involved with to other people who are smarter than me.

That’s kind of a self-realization that’s happened recently is a lot of things that I’m doing that are keeping me from getting obsessed, I’m not very good at. There are smarter people than me, and my ego’s going to have to deal with it, but there are smarter people than me that know how to do some of the things that I want to do. There are some things I’m really good at. I’m really good at meeting with clients. I’m really good at closing business. I’m really good at finding new business. I have no problem with that. But there are some other things when it comes to running the business that I am not great at, and so what I’m doing is getting obsessed about those things that I am great at, and slowly shuffling away, pushing away those things I am not that great at.

In your life, this is my challenge to you, after you watch this particular video is become that person that’s somewhat obsessed. I’m not talking about the sick kind of obsessed. I mean be willing to set the standard for your life, and for your business at a very, very high level. Not just some of this mediocre low end stuff. Be willing to do things like put aside social activities, or put aside maybe eating certain things, or maybe working a few more hours here and there, and a few more days here and there. If you’ve seen some of my previous blog posts and videos, you know that I really don’t mind working seven days a week. Especially on the stuff I like. There are plenty of times where I’ll go to the gym on Saturdays and the gym on Sundays also, because I’m becoming that obsessed with my fitness.

I don’t think it’s kind of a sickness in the head thing, I think it’s because there’s so much that I want to do when it comes to life, and to my body, and just being healthy and things like that, and I’m realizing every single day that I have a finite number of days leP, and a finite number of hours. I don’t have cancer or anything but all of us are going to die at some point. We all have a stop date. That’s something we can’t fight. When you put off stuff for an hour or a minute, or a day, that may be that one hour, that one minute, or that one day sometimes for that thing that your really wanted to do when you will lose the opportunity to do that. That scares me, and so again, I’m the kind of person that’s becoming obsessed with the things I want to do, the things that bring me joy, the things that allow me to help more people, like Stop Doing Nothing. This really juices me.

There are people I have internationally which like the videos I put up, and like the podcast, and a lady the other day, Chloe, what did you put on your vision board. Someone, Chloe, put on her vision board that her goal was to meet me, and I’m like, “Wow, that is a heavy responsibility.” I want to do more of that type of stuff. Now, in my mind, I know I’m going to have to meet her someday because she put that on that vision board, and I want to make her vision and her goals and her dreams come true. That’s a huge responsibility. But it’s something I have fun doing. I have fun talking. I don’t have fun writing, I’m not a good blogger, but I have fun talking. I have fun podcasting, and I want to do more of that, so I’m becoming more obsessed with those things, and less obsessed with the things that just don’t make a difference. I would encourage you to do that also. But as you can tell I feel pretty passionate about this project, so you’re going to see me talk more about that as we better the video series, and better the podcast.

That’s all I’m going to talk about about the word obsession. Get obsessed, if you haven’t done so yet, go read that blog post over on the website. If you go to it right now, I’m at the website, there’s a secKon down the middle of stopdoingnothing.com homepage which is called viral videos, and right now it’s in the upper leP hand corner. It says become obsessed with something. That has been an insanely popular blog post. Of course you can always find it over on TwiCer, YouTube, and Facebook and read about that same blog post there.

Enough about that. What else I wanted to talk to you about today? Book recommendations. I’m slowly culling down the number of books I have but that does not mean I’m reading less. I’m going to start recommending books to you because that’s when I really get smarter. I get smarter hanging around with other people. I get smarter listening to other people speak and going to conferences, but once I pick up a book and read certain chapters over and over, it really kicks me in the butt. My latest book that I have read, I have actually read through once and I’m going through it on my second time, is this book right here by a friend of mine. A gentleman who I personally consider a friend of mine right now called Dan Meredith. And yes, the book is How To Be F*cking Awesome. It’s a very easy read. That’s the thing I liked about it. It’s simple. Most complicated topics are really simple when you break them down. 184 pages right here.

The chapters are things like, let me see one of the chapters here just so you know when you’re getting into this, Be Selfish, Be Shameless, Be Weird, Be Brutally Honest, Be Valuable, Be Interesting, Be Spiteful, Be Productive, Be Around Like Minded People, Be Relentless, and Be Nice. This is going to be like no other book that you’ve ever read. Dan is a very raw person, a very real person, a very transparent person, and if you’re looking for that extra kick in the butt, like you are looking from stopdoingnothing.com and I don’t have a book, I would go pick this one up from Amazon. I think it was $20 on Amazon from Rethink Press. I love this book so much that I’ve actually started buying copies of this book and giving it out to friends as gifts. I mean it’s just an insanely, insanely great book.

Going forward for Stop Doing Nothing, you’re going to see we’re talking about more books, but what I really want to do is gear this show toward what your needs are, and how I can help you with my forty some odd years of life and business experience. This is what I need you to do. Leave a comment someplace, and if you don’t want to do that, I’ve got another option for you. Go subscribe on YouTube, go subscribe on iTunes, to subscribe on Facebook, and either send me a PM, a private message if you don’t want me to bring up your name when it comes to the topic, or just leave a comment on the videos and subscribe and tell me what topics you would like me to cover about business and life. What’s holding you back from greatness? What is keeping you from being obsessed?

If you’re only mediocrely or somewhat interested in a topic, let me know what that topic is, and I might be able to help you transition to becoming obsessed about it, either through I’m making of the videos for you, answering Q&A, or maybe we could possibly get into some coaching sessions, or maybe they’ll be some products or books where I can refer you, mine and others, that can help you be a better person in life, and become more obsessed with your success and turn you into more of a high achiever. Because that’s really important to me as I want to see you function at the highest level, whether it be physically, psychologically, mentally, spiritually, or in your relationship, I want those things for you.

Something else that’s just really cool, if you don’t want to send those questions on social media, you can take out your phone right now for the U.S. watchers, and text me questions to 405-251-2022. 405-251-2022. That number comes, that’s not my cell phone directly, but it does come to my cell phone, and I will get those. I will use that as fodder to answer future questions on the show. Again, 405-251-2022. For our international listeners and watchers, I apologize, I do not have an international number but if you know me on Twitter or Facebook, you know how to send me a private message and I will use that in future versions of the show. I’m going to immediately start working on the next version of this show for you, so we keep this consistent, so I eat my own dog food. Remember done is always better than perfect, and so in the next episode you’re going to see me probably pick another topic to talk about, probably have another book recommendation for you, and hopefully I will have some questions from you that I can use as fodder for discussion for between us.

You’re going to see this show progress, get more frequent, we’re going to have guests. I’ve got plenty of great plans for this show, if you just hang with me, stay with me. I promise I will make you a better person and I will make this better for you. One last thing, don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and leave a show rating. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube also and leave me a comment over there. Very important on the YouTube side, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send me a private message also. Until the next video and the next podcast, thank you very much for watching. I want you to know that I really have a heartfelt appreciation for those of you that stick through me, through all the talking points, through the entire video, through the entire podcast, and already interact with me online.

I take that very seriously. I take the responsibility very seriously, and I take my mission very seriously. The more I hear back from you, the more, as I heard someone else say this, the more it fills my bucket and the more energetic it makes me to want to do this for you. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will talk to you again soon. Have a great week and a great weekend. Good morning, good evening, or good afternoon depending on where you are watching this in the world and I love all of you and we’ll talk again soon. Take care.

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planninh

The four best damn productivity habits high achievers use

I’m a student of productivity. I have to be—distractions are everywhere.

And while I know there are hundreds of apps designed to plan, protect, measure, and manage my time, I prefer some died-in-the-wool methods.

The good news is you can use them as well and with zero training.

First, how are you doing? Are you able to focus when needed and complete the task at hand? Are you organized and following a plan? Can you recover from inevitable distractions quickly and get back to work?

If you’re not sure you’re playing at the top of your time management game, then these solutions can make a big difference.

1. BOUNDARIES

I think “open door” policies are stupid. It’s also stupid to check you email first thing in the morning, work without a plan and allow interruptions to rule your day.

That’s why you need Boundaries.

A Boundary is when you are strategically unavailable. Different from a meeting, a Boundary is a time block that reoccurs every day to allow you to work on projects that require your full attention.

My first Boundary is from 5:00 to 7:00AM for writing. No Internet, spell-check, email, or social media—just a big cup of tea and writing. I will either be working on a blog (guess what time I’m writing this), client proposal or speech—most mornings I can crank out 1,000 words.

My next Boundary is 9:15 to 10:30AM. I’m at my office (a 12 minute bike ride from home) and working on 50% of the hardest work on my plate for the day.

And then I have a Boundary from 1:30 to 3:30 for the second 50% of hard work.

Here’s the trick: I don’t worry if it doesn’t happen. It could be I have a client meeting, a speech out of town or I’m meeting someone. Of course, I try to schedule around my Boundaries, but if I can’t protect that time my trick is to return to my routine the next day.

2. BLOCKING

You get ready and are on time for meetings. Right? Why not create a meeting for yourself.

Blocking happens when you create an appointment with yourself for a task that either:

  • you know you might procrastinate about
  • impacts someone else and they are relying on you to get it done
  • is strategic and by completing it you move other projects ahead

When I get off the phone from a new client I block time on my calendar to interview delegates (invaluable research as a speaker), create handouts, or have a final call with the client.

I also Block time for responding to RFP’s (Request For Proposals), researching for my blog, creating email sequences for upcoming webinars and just thinking.

I’m always a bit surprised how my Pavlovian reaction to seeing a meeting on my calendar (even if I’m not meeting someone) alerts me to get ready to work on that task.

One last point about Blocking time for yourself: my rule is once the Block is created you can’t delete it, only move it.

3. BATCHING

When I visit my friend’s cabin each summer we chop wood. Nothing like chasing a scrap of wood around the chopping block to keep me happy.

It would be a bit silly for me to announce I’m going to “chop some wood”, proudly return with one stick only to head out 20 minutes later to “chop some more wood.” Instead I Batch.

Batching is a lost art in our age of multitasking and it still works like a damn. When you Batch you complete similar tasks all at once. The most obvious example is your email. That addictive InBox (Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D likens our addiction to email to that of a Vegas slot machine) will suck up every available moment unless you reserve your visits to Batching. Other examples of batching include:

  • paying bills
  • filing and clearing the clutter in your office
  • returning phone calls
  • updating your planning tools
  • updating social media
  • reading and commenting on blogs
  • dealing with personal finances, money transfers, investments, banks, insurance companies etc.

4. BREAKS

And now for the one power tool that will have the biggest impact on your success—taking Breaks. Don’t underestimate the power of a Break.

New research found that over four hours of sitting a day (between your breakfast, commute, email, social media, TV, Netflix and meetings that’s easy to do) doubles your risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and early coronary disease. Got your attention?

The trick is to take Breaks throughout the day, not to wait for that long walk in the evening. Researchers found that exercise after the fact (like going for a long run after work) can’t undo “damage” done while we’re dormant in our chair.

So you have to plan to move at least every 15 minutes. Here’s how:

  • move your garbage can, water and recycling box away from your desk
  • when working on a project, set a timer for every 25 minute to get up and move
  • park further away from your office, meeting, grocery store and walk the rest of the way
  • take the stairs
  • Use this list of office exercises to inspire some variety in your movement.

Boundaries, Blocking, Batching and Breaks – pretty easy hacks to get you productive and moving. What are you going to start with?

“When you feel good about what you did, your brain will change. It will want to do the behavior again in the future. That leads to making the habit stronger.” —B.J. Fogg, Ph.D

Hugh Culver

Bio: Hugh Culver co-created the world’s most expensive tours (to the South Pole), started five companies, and teaches experts the business of speaking. Read his blog on the business of speaking. Follow him on Twitter @hughculver

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procrastination

How to get unstuck and started (even if you love to procrastinate)

We’ve all been there. You have. I have. Stuck.

Maybe you need to get your sales up or write a book. Maybe you need to deal with a staffing issue (or you need staff). Whatever the reason…being stuck sucks.

The good news is there are hacks that’ll get you unstuck, moving and productive again.

Before we get to that…

Advice is like water. Everyone needs it, but we don’t give it much credit for making life happen. Ask a person in the middle of a desert if water is “helpful” and you’ll get a different story. Why?

When you recognize the “cost” of being stuck the solution is much, much more valuable. So, before we dive into solutions I know work, think for a minute about the alternative. What is the real cost of being stuck?

If you don’t pick up the phone and call the client back. If you don’t create a deadline and start working on that book. If you don’t create those emails and ask people for the sale.

Procrastination has a cost.

Feel it? Good. Now, let’s move to getting you unstuck.

Ten ways to get unstuck, moving and productive again.

1. Get real

Think how many decisions you’ve to make in your life. In a year’s time this will seen minor, so why not just do it?

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” —Churchill

2. Take a break

When you focus your attention on a task completely unrelated, your mind can return to the original task refreshed and with a new perspective.

“Never taking a break from thought work actually reduces your ability to be creative” —Kimberly Elsbach, UC-Davis

3. Get physical

Stand, stretch, go for a run, walk your dog—physical movement increases the flow in your circulatory system, releases feel-good neurotransmitters (like Dopamine, and Serotonin) and puts you in a positive mood.

“Exercise is like fertilizer for the brain…it’s so good it’s like Miracle Gro.” Dr. John Ratey, Harvard.

4. Stop Doing list

What is filling your time AND holding you back? Make a list (Jim Collins calls it your ‘Stop Doing list’)—one of the fastest ways to get started is to stop doing those low-value tasks that are chewing up your time.

“The “stop doing” list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions.” —Jim Collins, author From Good to Great

5. Change your environment

Clear the desk clutter, work from a local cafe, use paper instead of computer—sometimes, a change is as good as a start.

“As a species, humans have evolved to respond to novelty, once we’ve become accustomed to something, we may grow immune to its effects. —Hugh Thompson, Ph.D

6. Be kind to yourself

It’s easy to blame yourself—don’t. You’ve been here before, you are capable and you will succeed. Have faith you will get through this period, just like every other time.

“Practicing self-compassion provides us with the kind voice and warm embrace we need in difficult times so we courageously do the right thing.” Forbes

7. Let go of the past

It’s hard to get started when your attention is on what didn’t work in the past. Take a deep breath, let it go and focus on what you want to create in the today, for the future.

“Once we start a task, it is rarely as bad as we think.” Tim Pychyl, Ph.D

8. Get advice

Usually we can’t see the forest for the trees when we’re too close to the problem. Ask a good friend, hire a coach – even ask on-line. And then listen.

“When you ask for advice, people do not think less of you; they think you are smarter.” —Maurice Schweitzer, PhD of the Wharton School

9. Create a deadline

A little tension (like a deadline) can move mountains and end procrastination. Give yourself a Decision Deadline (for the full project or a practical solution) and stick to it.

“Deadlines allow us to clarify our thoughts and create an action plan.” — Dan Ariely, Ph.D

10. Create tiny wins

Frustrated about sales? Call one prospect. Want to lose weight? Start walking 20 minutes a day. Need to apologize? Write a card. Any forward motion is a tiny win in the right direction.

“When you feel good about what you did, your brain will change. It will want to do the behavior again in the future. That leads to making the habit stronger.” —B.J. Fogg, Ph.D

Ten ways to get moving. All work. Only one question…what are you doing here (get started).

Hugh Culver

Bio: Hugh Culver co-created the world’s most expensive tours (to the South Pole), started five companies, and teaches experts the business of speaking. Read his blog on the business of speaking. Follow him on Twitter @hughculver

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Break Through The Wall

Four Ways To Break Through the Wall

Let’s be honest, at some point we all hit a wall. A Plateau. A Bad Day. Writer’s Block. Whatever you might call the moment when things stop working. It is a natural part of reaching for a goal. It’s just a part of life. How you handle that moment is crucial though.  If handled wrong the wall becomes too big to overcome, and we become frustrated, irritable, and maybe worst of all, we give up.

If we handle the moment well, the wall becomes a hurdle.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t take work or time to overcome, but we soon find ourselves back on track to achieving our goals. Here are a few ways to handle those moments when we hit a wall in our life.

Take a Break

We work hard. Life can get busy. Sometimes we hit the wall when we are tired, and that makes the wall bigger than it actually is. It is OK to take a break. Walk away from the wall for awhile. Part of this is being aware of your situation and self. To be honest enough to take a real break. I know this is difficult for us when we are striving to achieve a goal. But when you feel rested, you might discover that the wall was not that big in the first place.

Ask for Help

This option is also hard to do sometimes. Our pride gets in the way, but consider that great athletes have coaches, great writers have editors, and simply, CEOs have friends. We are people, not machines. Getting someone else’s perspective on a situation is a valuable asset in overcoming a “wall” moment. When working on a goal, our focus can actually blind us from seeing new opportunities or hurdles that trip us up. Life is a team sport, you don’t have to do it alone.

Try a New Approach

One way around a wall is a new approach. Asking for help can lead us to consider new approaches. But we can figure it out sometimes when we hit a wall, and we hit a wall, and we hit it again. If we keep doing the same thing and keep hitting a wall, it is time to change.  As a coach and teacher I am always evaluating the outcome of a lesson or practice plan. Track is the best example here. As a track coach I paid attention to my runners’ times for their events. If they didn’t improve their time after a few weeks, I knew I had to change their training. The same holds true in our pursuit of a goal. Hitting a wall, especially a couple of times, is a sign to try a new approach.

Learn

The last approach may be the most important, learn. When we move into a new area of life or step closer to a goal, we are entering new territory. And we might not have the knowledge or skills for this step forward. My first novel has been out for six months. Sales started out well, in fact, I sold a couple of hundred copies. But now sales are almost to a stop. I have hit a wall.  This wall is because of my lack of knowledge about promoting a book. It will take some time, but I am learning about different ways to self-promote and hiring an agency to promote a book.  This wall was created because I had not gained the knowledge needed to promote a book well.

Hitting a wall is a part of striving for a goal. It is part of life. Using one of these strategies should help you get through the moment and back on track.


True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower

Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six. He is currently an Instructional Coach and an adjunct professor for Central Community College, Nebraska. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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