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I'm Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, host of the Psychology podcast and founder of the center for Human Potential. If you like on purpose with Jay Shetty, I think you'll enjoy the Psychology podcast where we explore the depths of human potential. In each episode, I talk with inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self actualized individuals who give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. Our aim is to help you live a fuller, more meaningful life. Listen to the psychology podcast on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts.


Mental health is now talked about more than ever, which is awesome. I mean, I don't have to tell you that it's a primary focus of on purpose, but on a day to day basis, many people don't know where to turn or which tools can help. Over the past couple of years, I've been working with calm to make mental wellness accessible and enjoyable. Or, as I like to say, fun and easy. Calm has all sorts of content to help you reduce anxiety and stress, build mindful habits, improve sleep, and generally feel better in your daily life. So many bitesize options from the most knowledgeable experts in the world, along with renowned meditation teachers. You can also check out my seven minute daily series to help you live more mindfully each and every day. Right now, listeners of onpurpose get 40% off a subscription to calm J that's calm. J-A-Y for 40% off. Calm your mind. Change your life. If you're sitting there on your emails for hours and hours and hours, it's obvious that you're going to switch to YouTube, you're going to switch to another page, you're going to get lost on a rabbit hole.


And all of a sudden you go from answering your emails to ending up watching videos about cats and babies or whatever it may be, right? Like it's so easy how we lose thought. The number one health and wellness podcast, Jay Shetty. Jay Shetty, the one, the only Jay Shetty hey, everyone. Welcome back to on Purpose. Thank you so much for coming back to listen, learn, and grow. If you're tuning in right now, whether you're working out, driving, cooking, walking your dog, whatever you're up to, thank you so much. Keep those stories coming in. I love seeing the clips on TikTok, what you're learning on Instagram, and of course, your reviews mean the world to me. Thank you so much to the amazing group of humans I bumped into on a hike this morning who said that the podcast had moved them, helped transform their life, and especially conversations around masculinity and vulnerability. It moved me. It touched me. It made my week. I want you to know how much I value the impact that you all experience and that I experience from the love you share with me and this episode today. I've been noticing how you all want 2024 to be your year.


And if you right now are thinking, Jay, January was good, or maybe it wasn't even good, but I want February, March and April to be epic and incredible and amazing, this episode is for you. If you're thinking you want to be more productive, you want to be more laser focused, you want to have the power, the strength and the organization to get more done this year, then this is the episode for you. I'm going to be sharing with you all of my personal and the most researched productivity tips and hacks that are going to help you build a schedule and craft a calendar that's going to make sure that you will achieve your targets and goals. I think what we often don't realize is we start to think that there's some weakness in us. We start to feel like maybe I'm not good enough, maybe I'm not fast enough, maybe I'm not organized enough. And the truth is, no one ever taught us this right. No one ever broke down at school how you could be more productive. No one ever taught you at home how you could get more done. So often we waste so much time self criticizing, self judging, when actually if we use that same energy to just implement these skills.


What I'm going to share with you today, you can implement starting right now. It's not something you need to learn. It's not something you need to develop. You just need to start it. All you're going to need is a timer that's going to be really useful for some of these. And I highly recommend if you want to get a small little hourglass or a big one, whatever it is that you need. Or if you do want to use a timer, maybe you're going to use a stopwatch. I want you to find a way to use a timer that's not on your phone, ideally because that way you don't get distracted. But hey, if you can put it on airplane mode and then use the timer, that could be the easiest and simplest way. I know that when I'm building these habits, sometimes I need to switch away to a new timing device in order for me to build the habit so that I can go back to my phone. That's often the way I like to play it through, at least but like I said, if you put your phone on airplane mode, you can use it as a timer, which is going to be so useful to so many of the tips I'm about to give you.


Now. I want to dive into the first productivity tip. Now, the most productive workers engage in job related tasks for 52 minutes, then take a 17 minutes break. And studies show that that 15 to 20 minutes break window is productivity's golden hour, or quarter hour, as the case may be. It's long enough for your brain to disengage and leave you feeling refreshed, but not so long that you lose focus and derail momentum on what you are doing. This research is so powerful because I find that a lot of us think, well, if I'm doing deep work, I need to work for 3 hours in a row, 4 hours in a row. And often you get into that first hour and now you're actually feeling drained. How many times have you over pushed yourself? And you said to yourself, I'll take a break tomorrow because I've been taking too many breaks. And all of a sudden you're drained. You're tired, you're challenged. You're just feeling like, gosh, I feel like I've been working this whole time. And what's really interesting is when you factor in your break, when you know that in 52 minutes you're going to take a 17 minutes break, all of a sudden, your mind lets go of that pressure.


If you're going to push yourself to work, there's a bit of pressure, oh, my gosh, I have to stay focused. I have to stay organized. Otherwise this isn't going to get done. Now. What happens is when you talk to your mind in that way, your mind can be somewhat like a child. And the child goes, well, I don't want to do that right now. I don't want to focus right now. You've probably had that conversation before, right? You're telling your mind, hey, we got to focus now. We got some serious work to get done. And your mind goes, I'm out. Like, I don't want to do this right now. Guess what? You turn on the next episode of your favorite reality show, and there you go, right? And what's really interesting about this is actually when you say to a child, you say, hey, I want you to work for this much amount of time, but then you're going to get this break. All of a sudden, there's a bit of give and take there. And so the same works for your mind. We have to train our mind to commit knowing that there's reward at the end of it, that incentive also relieves that stress.


It relieves that pressure. That's my goal for you. The tips I'm sharing today are tips that will help you be more productive but also reduce the stress. I don't want you to get more done and be more stressed. I want you to get more done and be less stressed. That's the goal. So remember, 52 minutes and a 17 minutes break. And here's the thing you have to promise yourself. You put on a timer for both of those and you go back to it knowing that you're going to have another 17 minutes break after the next 52 minutes. So this is a rolling cycle, right? This is a rolling cycle that you can repeat three times over in order to get 52 times three. Right. 156 minutes worth of work completed in that time. Now, the Pomodoro technique is a slight adjustment to this one. This is a time management method based on 25 minutes stretches of focused work broken by five minute breaks. Now, I'll tell you the difference in when I use these, when I'm doing 52 minutes at a stretch and then a 17 minutes break, it's usually deeper creative work. It's work that requires me to bend my mind.


It's work that requires writing and lots of thought. It's work that requires innovation and when I'm challenging myself, but if I'm trying to do more logical tasks, if I'm trying to get emails done, if I'm trying to get functional things, scheduling my task list, if I'm trying to check off what parts of the project are being completed, if I'm doing any sort of that organizational work, I find the Pomodoro technique to be great. So again, the Pomodoro technique is a time management method based on 25 minutes stretches of focused work broken by five minute breaks. Now, they say that longer breaks, typically 15 to 30 minutes, are taken after four consecutive work intervals. So once you've done four rounds of 25 minutes on, five minutes off, 25 minutes on, five minutes off, et cetera, once you've done that four times, you can now extend your break periods to 15 to 30 minutes. Now, I really, really like this method. Like I said, for really functional tasks like emails, I find that if you're sitting there on your emails for hours and hours and hours, it's obvious that you're going to switch to YouTube, you're going to switch to another page, you're going to get lost on a rabbit hole, and all of a sudden you go from answering your emails to following a link to someone's video that they sent you to, ending up watching videos about cats and babies or whatever it may be, right?


Like, it's so easy how we lose thought. Whereas when we say to ourselves, I'm going to work for 25 minutes and then I'm going to have a five minute break, and guess what? In that five minute break, I'm going to allow myself to do whatever it is. Now, I do have some recommendations because our natural tendency is to scroll on TikTok or scroll on Instagram. And we know that that can outlast five minutes. But one of my favorite things to do is to really use that five minutes to walk around to get some blood pumping, to get some energy pumping. It's to get some water, to get hydrated, right? Allowing yourself to walk, to get some water, finding a window, if you can, open it to get some fresh air, fantastic if you can't. The ability to look out into the distance. So much of our life has become consumed by what's close to us. We're so used to looking at our phones up close, our kindles up close, all of our devices up close. So when you look off into the distance and you find a bird, a tree, you look at a cloud, you look into the sky, right?


Just allow your eyes to gain some relaxation, to gain some rest, to gain a bit of a break. It can be really, really powerful. The three w's, walking water and window, are my go to in that five minute break so that I can come back refreshed. If you go from your screen of your laptop to the screen of your phone and your whole life becomes screen time, it can be really tiring, really, really exhausting. So those are two really core techniques that I use when I'm actually breaking down my work. For deep work, I'm using 52 minutes, 17 minutes break. For functional email type work, I'm using 25 minutes stretches of focused work broken by five minute breaks. And the way you do this is you identify the task or tasks you need to complete. You set your timer for the 25 minutes, then you work on the task and you put everything aside. That's why I said airplane mode. And then finally, when the alarm goes off, you allow yourself to take that break. Then you can repeat that process four times in total, and then you can extend your breaks to 15 to 30 minutes.


So that's how I work effectively with tasks and I want to give you one more before I talk to you about my week schedule. So I don't look at planning and organizations just as tasks and to do lists. I see it also as a week plan. I couldn't be more excited to share something truly special with all you tea lovers out there. And even if you don't love tea, if you love refreshing, rejuvenating, refueling sodas that are good for you, listen to this. Radhi and I poured our hearts into creating Juni sparkling tea with adaptogens for you because we believe in nurturing your body and with every sip you'll experience calmness of mind, a refreshing vitality, and a burst of brightness to your day. Juni is infused with adaptogens that are amazing natural substances that act like superheroes for your body to help you adapt to stress and find balance in your busy life. Our superfive blend of these powerful ingredients include green tea, ashwagandha, acerola, cherry, and lion's main mushroom. And these may help boost your metabolism, give you a natural kick of caffeine, combat stress, pack your body with antioxidants, and stimulate brain function.


Even better, Juni has zero sugar and only five calories per. Can we believe in nurturing and energizing your body while enjoying a truly delicious and refreshing drink? So visit today to elevate your wellness journey and use code on purpose to receive 15% off your first order. That's And make sure you use the code onpurpose. Now, a lot of you have been asking me, Jay, what about the to do list? Right? Do you recommend to do list? Do you not? Here's how I like to break it down. I like to break down what I need to do by something I call TTC task time calendar. So first, what are the tasks you need to complete? A task could be write a summary chapter for my book. A task could be write my next episode of my solo podcast. A task could be research a guest. Right? These are all tasks. Now, what you really want to do for repetitive tasks is to know how long they take. And that's the time. So remember, TTC task time calendar. Once you've got the task, how much time is that going to take? This is where I see most of us making the biggest mistakes.


We often overestimate how much time we need. By that, we end up wasting time, or we underestimate the time, and by that, we end up feeling like we failed. Right. When was the last time that you had a task, you know, you needed to get it done, but you gave yourself too much time? Maybe you gave yourself two weeks, and actually you lost momentum and you lost enthusiasm for it. And two weeks later, it kind of didn't feel as good, or you've had the other option or other situation where you gave yourself 2 hours and really you needed like five or six. And now when you don't complete in 2 hours, you feel frustrated. So one of the key things that we need to understand when it comes to being productive is we need to start getting better at knowing how long something takes us. So, for example, when I used to first script my solo episodes, they used to take 8 hours worth of work. Today they take 2 hours worth of work because of the time invested over the last five years. And so I know that in 2 hours, I can research and record my solo episodes.


And so that's what's scheduled in my calendar. Task time calendar. The task is recording a solo episode, researching and recording the time is 2 hours, and it's in my calendar every week on a day when then I can send it to the team for editing. So again, it's calendared in. I find that to do lists end up being a long list without the time and without the calendar, and without the time and the calendar, all you have is a task list or a to do list. And that can kind of stretch over too many days or too little days. It can keep adding up, whereas if something goes straight from task in time into your calendar, you know when it's going to be completed. So if I opened up my calendar right now, every single task I have to do this week is in my calendar, scheduled during my work hours. And so there is no room for me to miss anything. The only mistake I can make is not correctly allocating the right amount of time.


I'm Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, host of the Psychology podcast and founder of the center for Human Potential. If you like on purpose with Jay Shetty, I think you'll enjoy the psychology podcast, where we explore the depths of human potential. In each episode, I talk with inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self actualized individuals who give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. Our aim is to help you live a fuller, more meaningful life. Listen to the psychology podcast on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts.


Now, if you're someone who has lots of new tasks, tasks that you don't often do and are not repetitive, that can be challenging. But what you want to do is get a better estimate, maybe from the person giving you the task. You can always say, hey, how long do you think this should take? Hey, how long? Or when would you like this back and what level would it be at? What quality would you like? I think asking those two questions is huge. How much time do you think this will take me? And secondly, what quality do you expect in that time? And then after doing that a couple of times, you get a sense of how that works for you. So these are my core ways of breaking down task time and calendar. And what I like about this is it stops me from being indecisive. Right. I don't have to wake up and go, oh, my God, what am I doing today? Or, oh, I don't like doing that one. Maybe I'll do this other one, maybe. Oh, no, I got started on this one. Let me carry on. You actually set your whole week up and you have it all in the calendar, so it really takes away that indecisiveness.


The other thing is it gives you the opportunity to schedule for work life balance. You get the opportunity to say, okay, well, I'm doing that many hours that day. Let me take a bit of time off here as well, and it helps you stay on track. Now, one thing I will add is when you start calendaring out your days, you have two options. Something called eat the frog, right. Or the frog first thing in the morning. And this is the idea of doing the hardest thing first. The idea is if you can do the hardest thing first, everything else becomes easier. The other one that I like is eat the fly, which is do the simplest thing, the easiest thing. Now, I don't want to eat frogs or flies, so I don't like those terms. But you get the point. Eat the fly. Let's start with the fly. Let's start with the smallest easiest thing first so I can build my confidence. This is really based on your psychology, and it's based on your personality type. So maybe you're someone who gains confidence from doing big things first and hard things. Or maybe you're someone who gains confidence from doing small things and doing them well, and now you want to do big things.


This is where the idea of make your bed first thing in the morning came from. It was the psychology of making your bed is really easy. When you get that done, you feel a sense of accomplishment. So this comes back to a point of self awareness. Are you someone who likes to start with the hard thing or start with an easy thing? I'm definitely someone who's oscillated between the two. I've definitely done both of these things. And I find that if I keep putting something off because it's hard that's when I'm going to start on that thing. If I've noticed that too many weeks have gone by, I keep putting off the hard thing. I keep pushing back on it. It keeps becoming something that's frustrating me. I'm overthinking it. That's the thing that I'm going to start with. So, so far, we've covered some brilliant techniques of how to actually break down each hour of your day. We've also talked about how to break down your tasks overall. And now I want to get into how I look and map a week of my time. So the first thing I have which has changed my life is something called creative versus logical days.


I have creative days and I have logical days. Let me explain what I mean by that. Logical days are when I'm processing data, numbers, analytics, functional project management, and then I have creative days when I'm doing things like innovation, creativity, coming up with new ideas, brainstorming, trying to challenge myself out of my comfort zone, learning, being curious. Right. And I've found, and I will tell this to you, and I really want you to implement this. If you try and do both in the same day, it's like trying to drive from one side of town to the other in the middle of rush hour. Right? It's a longer journey. You can do it. It's just more stressful. Imagine you're on one side of town and this happens a lot in LA, you're in Santa Monica, and then your next meeting's in West Hollywood, and all of a sudden you've got to drive in the middle of the day. You're going to get stuck in traffic, you're going to get stressed, and you're going to be late for the meeting. When you try and rush from being logical to being creative, so let's say you just had a numbers meeting, and then the next meeting you've got to come up with a new creative idea.


It's going to be really hard. You might be able to do it for a while, but eventually you'll get exhausted or you've had a creative day and all of a sudden you got to be organized and numbers focused. So what I like to do is I like to break down my days and say, okay, Monday is going to be a creative day. Tuesday is a logical day. Wednesday is a creative day. Thursday is a logical day. Right? Whatever it may be, whatever may work out, I often do this when I'm interviewing for the podcast. So if I'm interviewing for the podcast, I'm trying to do two episodes a day for three to five days a week. Because I know I can go really deep into interviewer mode. I know that I'm going to be able to ask the right question. I know that I'm going to be in flow state. That's how we access flow state. But if I said to myself, I'm going to do two podcasts today, and I'm going to look at analytics and I'm going to look at my finances, that becomes challenging. Now, if you don't have the luxury of planning each day, you can plan the morning and afternoon.


Before and after lunch is a great way of thinking about this. Before lunch, I'm being creative. After lunch, I'm doing the logical tasks. This is a great way of creating separation for your mind and creating that space for yourself. Now, at the same time, when I look at my logical or creative days, I can go even further into whether I want them to be effective or efficient days. Now, effective days are where you do one thing and you achieve one thing, but you feel really accomplished. Efficient days are when you do lots of things. You check loads of things off your to do list, your laundry, your groceries, your taxes, whatever else it may be. Now, what's really interesting about this is often we do so many things in a day, but mentally we still feel dissatisfied. How many times have you ever checked everything off your to do list and still felt like you hadn't done the most important thing? Or how many times have you had it the other way where you actually only did one thing, but you felt like you had lots left to do? This is because we haven't mentally made a choice as to whether it's an efficient day or an effective day.


So efficient days are days when I'm like, all right, this day I'm going to get lots of logical tasks done. Effective days are where I'm like, okay, I just need to get this one big thing done, and I'm going to feel really accomplished. All of this takes a bit of planning on a Sunday night or a Monday morning, and that's what I recommend. If you like doing on a Sunday night, because you like to be set for the week, like to wake up on Monday and not have to think about what I have to do. But if you're someone who wants to plan your week and your work week, when you're at work, Monday morning is a great time. If you set aside time to do this every week, it will save you hours, weeks, even months of time. I promise you, it's a game changer. Getting on with work doesn't get more work done. Planning out your work gets more work done. So that's the key, right? I think so many of us are thinking, oh, God, I just got to get on with it. If I get on with it, I'll get more done.


It doesn't work that way. Now, there's one thing I really wanted to add because I think it's often not spoken about and it's this idea of energy versus time. And what I mean by that is often, sometimes we feel we have the time for something, but when it gets to it, you realize you don't have the energy for it. So me and Radhi were talking about this. We love seeing our friends, but we realized that on weeknights we really struggle because we like to go to sleep early. And we've realized that our cutoff point on a weeknight is 09:00 p.m. We want to be in bed by 09:00 p.m. And so recently I started sharing with my friends who I'd still wanted to see on weeknights. And I said, well, I just need to be in bed by 09:00 p.m. I had to set that boundary for myself because what I realized was friends would come over. I would then push myself to stay up till ten or eleven on a weeknight. I'd feel really upset that I wasn't good company after 09:00 p.m. Because I'm yawning and tired and not as present. And then I'm feeling like I also am missing out on sleep.


And so I'm thinking to myself, well, wait a minute, what is it that I actually need? I want to show up as my best self for others. I want people to have a good time with me and I want to have a good time with them. And for that, it's not about whether I have the time, it's about whether I have energy. So I want you to also think about your schedule in terms of energy. If you have a meeting, are you setting it at a time when you know your energy is going to be amazing? Think about your most important meetings this week. Are they set at times that you feel you're going to be energetic, enthusiastic and engaged? Or are they set at times when you usually switch off, get a little bit tired? I also want you to think about what are some of the healthy habits that help with your energy? Do you need to be eating at a particular time? Are there certain foods that actually don't help you focus because you had them at lunchtime. You may love them and enjoy them, but have you noticed that you feel that afternoon slump?


I know for me, that getting a little pick me up in the middle of the day with my juni is a great way of getting that little boost. For me, a fruit bowl with some almond butter can be a really, really great boost. But what is that thing that's holding you back with your energy? And also, when you're mapping out your schedule, are you taking into account energy? If you got a big pitch meeting, a big sales meeting, you want to have your best energy. Now, it doesn't always work that way, and you have to also be adaptive, but if you can plan it out, it makes a huge difference. I guess what I'm saying overall is that so many of us are trying to get a lot done, but having a smart plan and a smart, focused, organized timer and everything else can actually set you up for greater success in the long term. Yes, it takes away from the amount of time you have, but you make more of the time you have. Right. That's what's so powerful about operating with all the things I mentioned today is that you may think, oh, well, that's going to take up two, 3 hours of my Monday, Jay, that may take up 4 hours of my Monday, but I promise you, you're going to get so much more time than that back when you follow through on that process.


Now, for those of you who are saying, jay, I just get distracted all the time. I found that having my phone away when I'm at work, when I'm in meetings is actually really useful. I found my phone to be a distraction unless there's an emergency. Of course, having a special tone for an emergency is the best way to go about it. And allowing yourself to disconnect, definitely separating your work email and your personal email if you haven't done that already makes a huge difference. Or devices that you see both those things on. And the biggest thing I want to remind you all is that we all are going to get distracted. There's no one in the world who doesn't get distracted. I get distracted, too. And I found that what's worse is when I start making myself feel bad for getting distracted, as opposed to use that energy to just get refocused. And I think that's what helps me more than anything is saying, look, I'm going to give myself grace. I'm going to get back to it, and I don't need to overcomplicate it. Another thing that's been huge for me is keeping my desk clean, right?


You may have to spend a couple of hours just cleaning up your desk, cleaning up your space, but that's going to give you mental clarity. Your external space has a huge impact on your internal mindset. And that's why I tell people, don't eat at your desk. Eat somewhere else. Like, don't bring that energy to your desk. Right? A lot of us eat where we're meant to sleep. We sleep where we're meant to work, and we work where we're meant to eat. Leave your bedroom just for sleeping, leave your desk just for working, and leave your kitchen counter just for cooking and eating. Right? Break it up and create that energy in that space. Thank you so much. I hope this makes you more productive in 2024. I hope you get more done this year. I hope you win this year. Thank you so much for listening to on purpose. Leave a review, make sure you've subscribed and followed, and share this with a friend. There's going to be someone out there who needs this as well, and maybe you can help each other. Thanks so much everyone. See you soon. If you love this episode, you will also love my interview with Charles Duhigg on how to hack your brain, change any habit effortlessly, and the secret to making better decisions?


Look, am I hesitating on this because I'm scared of making the choice, because I'm scared of doing the work? Or am I sitting with this because it just doesn't feel right yet?


I'm Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, host of the psychology podcast and founder of the center for Human Potential. If you like, on purpose with Jay Shetty. I think you'll enjoy the psychology podcast where we explore the depths of human potential. In each episode, I talk with inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self actualized individuals who give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. Our aim is to help you live a fuller, more meaningful life. Listen to the psychology podcast on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts.