Ep012: Procrastination Proof

Join Dean & Dan as they discuss ways to make you life Procrastination Proof!


Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep012


Dean: Mr. Sullivan.

Dan: How are you?

Dean: There he is, I am good.

Dan: Yep, we are right on time.

Dean: I love that.

Dan: Which shows high intentionality on the part of two procrastinating people.

Dean: Well, I just want to tell you that I got a very long list of dates from Anna, and have entered those into my calendar, and I feel like we have the 'Joy of Procrastination' podcast procrastination proofed for the balance of the year.

Dan: Yes we do. Yeah, that brings up a really interesting topic about procrastination. There is procrastination where you are surprised by things, but there's also procrastination where probably you shouldn't have been surprised by things.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: What I mean is, I have regular activities, and my life kind of works on a quarterly basis. Every quarter there are activities which, if you look at me the next quarter and you went ahead five years, in that quarter five years from now I would be doing activities that I'm doing during the next quarter, so they're predictable. In some cases, I wait until the last moment to schedule and commit to something I know I'm going to do. We talked about procrastination here, since we started this series, on the topic of things come up and you are kind of thrown off balance by them. There are things that really ... You are a contributor because of a lack of foresight or a lack of pre-planning.

Dean: Yeah I agree with that, I think there is something ... I am thinking a lot about you, and the way that your activities are all recurring for the most part. You have got your workshop days and how many workshop days do you have during the course of a year?

Dan: Well, it is somewhere, this year, so I will answer just for the coming year. Every group, I meet four times during the calendar year, so it will be ... Right now I have 12 groups so it will be 48 days.

Dean: Forty-eight days are already blocked on the calendar that are 100% focused days, in your unique ability, that you just ... You know exactly what is happening that full day.

Dan: You just show up, and every quarter I am creating about half new things for a workshop, so I have groups with people who have been in the program many years. When you are dealing with entrepreneurs, there is a fine balance between going over things which are kind of pleasurable, for example the 'Moving Future' exercise.

Most people really enjoy that activity because it gets you very, very clear about the last 90 days, about what is happening right now and what is going to happen over the next 90 days, and allows you to focus in on the five, what I call, multiplier projects, which would ... If those were the only things that you got done during the next 90 days, it would be a great quarter.

It would be a great quarter, and that is my criteria. If you can answer the question, "What five things, if you got it done over the next 90 days, and you got absolutely nothing else done, those five things would still constitute a great quarter?" Our brains enjoy that activity, it is very clarifying and people get a big jump. That is an activity that I do every quarter with the entrepreneurs, but that fine line I was telling you about, I also have to be coming up with new things.

Dean: Right.

Dan: I have to come up with new things, I have to give them completely new perspectives. Now it is all directed to what is likely to be happening in their life, but I am giving them a new way to, very quickly, look at something that has been going on for quite a while, but in an entirely new way and that is it. It is like the entertainment business, there is all these oldies and goldies that everybody likes to hear again, but you better have some new stuff.

Dean: Yeah and that ... It is interesting ...

Dan: That activity of coming up with new stuff is also predictable, I know I am going to have to do it, so I have built that into my life, I know I am going to have to come up with ... Out of an eight hour day, I'm going to have to come up with 4 hours of new material, and that is predictable.

Dean: That is what I was wondering, and wanted to ask you about, is that those days, you know that they are there, those 48 days are completely locked in, you know what iss going to be happening, and they're synchronous and scheduled. Then all of the creating of the new material that you have is sort of asynchronous with a deadline. You have got ... You know you don't have to do it at any particular time, but you have to have it done by the start of the first quarter's workshops, right? You have got to have the thing set up for that, for that series.

Dan: Yeah, I actually have production deadlines because editors are involved, artists are involved, the team that sets the room up. The materials, they have to be completely ready, so I have a whole circuit of before each workshop deadline, I actually have team deadlines where the team that is going to have everything ready so I can just walk in the room and coach for eight hours. Those deadlines I have to pay attention to.

Dean: Nice. That is what I am curious about, is how ... We have never really talked about any of your process for focusing on the asynchronous stuff, the stuff that is ... There is no particular time that you have to do it, but you have to get it done by a certain time. I don't think we have ever talked about your process for that.

Dan: Yeah, and actually I have a manager, Kathy Davis, who you know very well. Kathy is very, very alert about ... When I at least have to have started that creative process. The thing is that Kathy is what I call an innovation manager, and this is a term that I have coined, which I find very useful for me, and I have two of them, I have Kathy Davis and Paul Hamilton and these are are managers who manage new things.

They are not managers, I have managers who manage recurring things, but there is a particular type of person who enjoys doing new things and they are very good at overseeing ... If I come up with a new idea, they are very good at overseeing the process by which my new idea is going to get into the hands of other people who have a part in packaging it.

By packaging I mean there are things to be ... There is always artwork because we have diagrams and we have ... These diagrams can show up as part of a multimedia presentation, so this innovation manager type of person doesn't like doing anything for a second time, but they love doing something for a first time, but they bring organizational skills and coordination skills and completion skills. They have the ability to take things through and complete them. That would be a weakness of mine. You want to get something started, no problem. You too, both of us are in the same boat here.

Dean: Yeah, that is why I am listening very intently because I am always curious for how that process would go.

Dan: The thing here, Dean, is that I don't consider the other members of my team as sort of like an afterthought, all of the really bright stuff is Dan coming up with stuff. Then, of course, there are people who have to ... Packaging, getting everything ready, but that is not the most important part. You have to see the whole thing, every part of the whole thing as just as important as everything else.

There are people with different abilities and my growth ... What I would say growth in success over the years has been the degree to which I no longer see myself as being the main focus, it is just that I have certain skills for coming up with new things, and getting it in a form where other people can understand this. That is a skill I have, but that is just one part of a whole process, to deliver something that people would be willing to write large checks for.

Kathy would say ... And here is the thing Dean, she is in every one of my workshops and it is about 12 a quarter. Throughout the day, when the entrepreneurs are busy writing or they are busy in discussion groups, I will be back at the table with Kathy and I will have a non-stop discussion with her. "What do you think for next time? What do you think?]

Dean: Yeah, yeah.

Dan: What is coming out of these discussions and she is making notes, she has got a next time file. Then when the time comes. and I have to be thinking about this, I get an email from her and it is usually, I would say, three weeks before the actual deadline, where you have to have a show. There is an audience in the seats, a paying audience in the seats, and you have to have a show.

For me, it is about three weeks before. The reason is if I try to start that any earlier than that, I won't feel any urgency about it and I am likely to procrastinate, but three weeks, I know I have to use my time well. There is not a margin for error and I am fine with that. I kind of like that.

Dean: Yeah, it is enough time, but it is not time that there is going to be time to lollygag or whatever.

Dan: Yeah, you don't have time to fool around. That is what it is and she will send the list of everything that I ... She will send me a list of everything we talked about and there might be 10 things on the list but, in truth, the new things that I have could be more than four in a quarter. Just taking into account that you want to do justice to the idea and it is going to require presentation time and it requires thinking time on the part of the entrepreneur.

It requires discussion time among the entrepreneurs and I have done 23,000 ... I have actually got a handle on that over the last year, that I have done over 23,000 eight hour workshops since I have started the workshop program. You really have a sense of what the flow of any day is, you have a flow of ... We try to fit them in 50 minute segments ...

Dean: Segments, yeah.

Dan: ... so we can get a 10 minute break. Ten minute breaks are really crucial towards the learning in a workshop. I never asked someone to think until I can write more than 50 minutes and I want to give them a break right away. I have a sense of timing about it and then I try ... As the years have gone on, I can get ideas across much faster with less talking, less diagrams, less writing on their part. I try to get them actively discussing things in about 15 minutes after they start the actual exercise.

Dean: Is this happening, this three weeks ... I know that you stagger your events, I don't know how exactly how you do it, but I know you have a period where ... Is it a whole month that you don't have any workshops? Like between…

Dan: It is actually more than that, it is six weeks, it is about six weeks.

Dean: Okay.

Dan: All of my workshops happen within, on the calendar, two month periods, so I am right in the middle of a two month period which started ... In a year, they start ... I will start March as if it was ... There is March and April and then about a week before the end of April, that is my last workshop and my first next workshop won't be until the end of the first week in June so I will have six weeks to ... Okay, and then I will have June and July and August is the off month.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: I will have September, October and November as the off month and then December and January. That, I really love since we have gotten it scheduled and I didn't have that for more than ... How long have I had those? I had those for about four years now.

Dean: I think when you started the 10X.

Dan: Yeah, I think you are right there. As a matter of fact, I think we started this new schedule before the 10X started, it was one of the conditions for me being able to do that.

Dean: I think that is some ... If I recall, I am in workshop one for ... Our group is the lead group, we get to see it first.

Dan: You are in the first workshop for every quarter.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: That group. Anyway, the thing that I think is a real success for me, in other words if I look where I started coaching 43 years ago, well everyday could be a workday or not a workday. You didn't know what you were going to work on and there was no order to the year, there was no recurring activity. I would say a great measure of my personal success over the 43 years since I have been coaching, but the 28 since we have had the workshop program, is just how much things are structured into recurring quarterly cycles.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah. I like that, I like that a lot. I find that recurring cycles is really ... First, I just enjoy it. Then the reason is you plan ... You are always planning how you are going to improve the next cycle, the next quarter cycle in some way, but you have the reassurance that there is a lot already going. I have massive teamwork around most of the activities.

Dean: Keeping those things supported, that has been a big thing for me too now, is seeing this shifting to anchor things that are recurring. That has made a big difference.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: When?

Dan: The big thing is I think we are just identifying something that people, who resist having recurring cycles, I think are putting themselves in a situation where there is going to be a lot of it that is going to catch them by surprise and probably they are going to procrastinate with a lot of these things.

Dean: I agree with you, yes.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: I agree with that. Aside from Kathy, then when it comes down to you, the part that you are responsible for ... I remember hearing an interview with Billy Joel, the singer, saying that he does an album, but he would do an album and he would do a big tour on that. Then he would take a lot of time off and then there was one thing that always triggered the next album.

He would always go to this same Italian restaurant and he would bring his spiral notebook and he would have a nice meal all by himself and he would start the writing process for the next album. Is there a ritual or anything like that that you have? I know you don't ... This is kind of hard for people to believe sometimes, but you don't have an office and that you don't ... It is not like you are going into your office to do these things, but what does that look like for the things that you are actually doing to prepare for the work?

Dan: Yeah, well we have ... I have the good fortune that Beth Smith, who is my ... We are married, but also we are partners in the business that ... Her commitment from the very beginning, I met her in 1982 and we actively started working together around '85 or '86, somewhere in there. I was still just a one on one coach back then, we didn't start the workshop program until three or four years after we started and it was 1989.

Unlike a lot of entrepreneurs who have the management of the business responsibilities, the ... I call it back stage. If you think of it in theater terms, it would be the running of the theater and making sure that the seats are filled and everything involved with the theater, with the exception of the actual performance, the actual entertainment or play that was going to be put on, or the concert that was going to be put on, I am freed up from all of that. Never have been involved in that actually and can concentrate on just what the performance is and what the play is. That suits me. That suits me, I am not a backstage person at all. There is nothing about backstage activities that, in the least way, interest me in being involved in.

Dean: Right.

Dan: I don't have good skills there and I think we are interested in the areas where we have good skills and I don't have good skills there. I am not a detailed person, I am not a good manager, but I am really good at delivering front stage product. Babs recognized that right off the bat and said that I was doing a lot of things when I was just on my own before I met her, but I am doing it badly. Not keeping my finances in order and most things being a mess, not keeping good records or files or anything like that. I always had the ability to go out and get the next check, so I was always a head of the bear, the bear never caught up with me.

Dean: Right, exactly. Yeah, yeah.

Dan: I knew I was fast enough that I could stay ahead of the bear, but you could never rest, you could never rest.

Dean: Right.

Dan: The bear I had chasing me had infinite endurance because I created the bear. I created the bear to chase me and it is really funny, but I think that just telling the truth about this. One of the things that I really admired about the continuing discussion with you on your part is just, on a continual basis, just telling the truth between what you like doing and would do and what you don't like doing and likely won't do. I think that is the key to success in any endeavor, human endeavor on the planet. Just tell the truth about what you like doing and what you don't like doing and don't buy in that you should do something for some other reason than if you like doing it or you don't like doing it.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, so let me ask you a question, I sort of structured ... There is a lot of details and fine tuning that I could tell you about that, but I think I have given the general picture of how my life is. Was there something about what I said that rings a bell for you or…

Dean: I think about that I am observing myself and going through a period of transitioning and our discussions about procrastination and me paying attention to it for myself are ... I am observing things, I got a new lens to look at things. I have not been one to embrace that structure or the recurring element. As I have seen it at work in my own life, that I see the more of this structure and recurring element that I have, the more freedom I actually have. As opposed to what would feel like the opposite of that.

That has always been what is resistant to it. Like I have, for years, had my list of, "I know I am being successful" lens. My first one has always been, "I know I am being successful when I can wake up everyday and say 'What would I like to do today?" It has been interesting that as I have been ... Especially since our last conversation, but over the last week or so, I have been observing that maybe a more empowering question is I can wake up every day and ask, "What would I like to do tomorrow?"

Dan: Oh.

Dean: Now there is an interesting shift here. If the procrastination, by definition, not working on something that is affecting tomorrow, what it is pushing off to tomorrow when all the work is going to be done and only doing the things that you really ... It puts you in a position where, often, you are in a place where, when you wake up, is knowing what you have to do today. What if I put off until now when I really need something done? Whereas if you take a recurring mindset and really think about almost the polar opposite of what would I like to do today is what would I like to do tomorrow, and that forces you to have a future oriented look and to do something today that is going to set up that tomorrow.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: You have more options, more and better options, I think for your todays, if you thought about them as tomorrows instead… Does that make sense?

Dan: You know what I like about that is you are using today as a means rather than an end in itself.

Dean: That is what I am saying. Yes, exactly.

Dan: It is a means to something that, if you do things really well today, tomorrow is going to be even better and will keep happening that way. I think one ... It just brings up a very interesting insight, you just twigged my mind here, that lots of times people procrastinate things because they don't see beyond the completion of the thing itself.

In other words, ... Then they say, "Well, when I am finished with that, then what do I do? Rather than get into a situation where, "I don't know what to do next, I will just procrastinate on this one because it is always in front of me. I know I have something in front of me that I have to get to." I don't know why I just picked up on this this week that people are afraid of completions because they have a feeling that there is a void that follows the completion.

Dean: Yeah, I don't know what it is, but I am starting to realize that even the things that I get to do in that referring column still leave me plenty of time to do anything that I want to do spur of the moment.

Dan: It is really interesting what you are saying there.

Dean: I found I have a sense of peace about the 'Joy of Procrastination' podcast in that I know that this is something that I enjoy doing, I get a lot out of these discussions, it is our unique ability certainly. It is not any effort. When Anna sent me over that list of all of the dates that are available, that just ... Just to know that that is locked into place, there is a sense of peace about that.

I look at those things like, for years, the most anchored thing in my schedule has been my quarterly strategic coach workshops. You are a the person who packs, who has their calendar out far enough that I know, going into the year, I have already got my four, at least, trips to Toronto, I know my workshop dates, I know I have my mastermind group I meet with the day after anchored to our Thursday workshop.

I know that we are going to have a wonderful lunch on the Saturday and that is like just those quarterly anchors in my schedule are really the thing that have encouraged me to embrace that. Now I look at it that I have got all the dates for my breakthrough blueprint workshops on calendar now, I know exactly when they are. I am really locking in the things that are recurring and what I am finding is, on all fronts, things are getting easier and easier.

Dan: Yeah, well the other thing about Anna, because I set this up, this was one of my major projects for the quarter, it is one of the five most important projects, I said, "Look, with all of the podcasts, I have others with Shannon Waller and Joe Polish" I said, "I want you to run everything out a year." Anna has been busily looking at the calendar and checking out things and then coordinating with other individuals because…

Dean: Joe and I are recording this afternoon after you and I.

Dan: Using ours as a warmup, we are just warming you up for Joe. Here is the thing, every month Anna ... Like Anna phone you last week to set this up and then emailed it to you and then, on the exact 30 days from now, she will phone you again and add another month to your 12 months, so it will always be 12 months out. I said, "It has got to be a rolling 12 months, it can't be just the next 12 months and now you are halfway through it and you only have six months left and the void is at the other end." I said, "There is never going to be a void, we are always going to be 12 months ahead with everything."

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: See, here is the thing, that took me a half hour to articulate for Anna in our tool, the impact filter, and I sent it to her and there is another person involved too who coordinates some of the people that I work with, that is Ellen Rohr and they sat down and then they took the calendar and they identified every single day that I could do that and they did it efficiently than if I am doing it one podcast. Podcast costs me no energy whatsoever. As a matter of fact, I get energy from them. You can't overload Dan with any activity that just involves talking.

Dean: Right.

Dan: That is so funny.

Dean: It has been all around me too. I was playing golf with Tony Robbins one day and we were talking about my "I know I am being successful" and that first one came up and we were talking about that, I can wake up every day and say, "What would I like to do today?" He looked at me and he said, "Dude, I don't have one of those days until March." That was in January. We were playing golf first week in January and he is telling me, "I don't have one of those days until March," that he knows what every single day on his calendar is until 90 days out basically.

Dan: Yeah, yeah.

Dean: That is kind of an interesting...

Dan: Yeah, I think you and I would have a hard time with that type of life.

Dean: Yeah, that is.

Dan: I have got a lot of activities going that are recurring, but I really actually don't have to know my schedule that much because I am guided, I am managed, to a certain extent, by the people ... First of all, who would you rather be managed by? Someone who has no management skills at all, which is me, or someone who has superb management skills like Kathy Davis or Anna or Eleanor?

Dean: It is so funny because you had ... I always think about talking about the whole focus free days, buffer days as a model for athletes and entertainers.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: I remember Eben Pagan and I were talking about this years ago, the idea of thinking ourselves in that way, as a talent. If you were to ... When a production company enters into a contract with a movie star, they enter into what is called an FSO contract, For Services Of, because the actor will basically have a company as well. They will have a corporation, so the contract is between the studio and the actor's corporation for services of Jim Carrey, or whoever the actor is and it outlines, specifically, the time commitments, the focus days.

"This is the rehearsal schedule, this is the shooting schedule, this is the redoing dialogue schedule, these are the days for the promotional thing." It is like that is completely outlined ahead of time, the scope contract or the project. When you think about this idea of what would it be to think about trusting my talents, my abilities into the hands of, somebody just like you said, better at management than me? If you imagine I can envision, and you can too at the quick start, what that would look like, but to be able to execute on it is a different thing. If I had professional management, think about what you could do, if I could just get me to do it.

Dan: Yeah, just think what Dean could do if he actually applied himself.

Dean: Right, exactly. That is so funny, isn't it? We have all got that got that manager. Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, but here is the ... I had a brand new group that started on Tuesday and I had 66 ... This is an interesting ...

Dean: That is a big workshop, wow.

Dan: I had 66 of them who started and just a terrific group of people, terrific day. About halfway through the afternoon, there were questions about this, questions about this, and I said, "Now look, I want to get something across to you. This entrepreneurial life you have, you made this up." I said, "This is a game that you made up for yourself. Nobody made this game up for you, you made this game up for yourself." I said to him, "What I find strange is you designed part of the game so that you can't win it. The way that you are playing the game right now, you designed it so that you can win it. I have got to ask you, truthfully, what is the reward that you get for making up a game for yourself, and no one else does this, and you designed part of it so that you can't win and then you complain about not winning?"

Dean: Hmm.

Dan: I said, I didn't say it in those words, but I said, "This is a dumb-ass game that you have”. I said, "Parts of it are great, but the parts that aren't working, remember that you designed it that way so I want you to take a look at why you design it that way? The way you handle time, the way you handle delegation."

Dean: Right.

Dan: "The part where you keep starting new business contracts with people in the marketplace that you don't really like. Why do you do that?" So my feeling is that what we are getting down to is, as far as entrepreneurs ... I just have some basics about this. In life, you can trust that someone else is going to create an occupation and someone else is going to create an income for you and someone else is going to take responsibility for all sorts of things of keeping you focused and keeping you busy. That is a choice if you want to live your life that way, or you can go another way where you do all of that for yourself and you get much bigger rewards. You get to keep all the reward in that case.

You have to realize that, and I was saying to the entrepreneurs, I have to say, "We are talking about a decision that you made 30 years ago or decision that you made quite a long period of time and you have forgotten that you are the one who created this." I said, "Most of you in this room have forgotten that you are the one who have made this up. If you took 100% responsibility right now for making it up, what part of it would you redesign because it isn't working for you?" It was a really good discussion, it was really good to ... I know, more and more, I am at a 97 or 98% total responsibility for that. There is still some little things where I am expecting that someone else to solve it for me.

Dean: Right.

Dan: Yeah. There must be a Tooth Fairy or something that solves some. They come at night and take care of it, yeah. This is fascinating how much we have gotten into just organization out of procrastination. It is interesting where procrastination, if you are just willing to shine the light on the topic, it will take you into all sorts of areas and this was a fascinating one today.

Dean: I think that is what it has been, just taking the ... I think you are right, shining the light on it and observing it and finding that, looking at everything I do or don't do through that lens of, "Why am I doing this? What does procrastination got to do here?"

Dan: I want to tell you something that has been profoundly important to me that you have introduced to the topic, and I just did it about an hour before you came on the phone. I don't like exercise.

Dean: Right.

Dan: I don't like working out and we have a good gym. We got Fast Burn and everything else, and it seems like a duty to me. It is something that, honestly, if I want to achieve some of my long range goals, I have got to exercise. I just adopted your brainstorming strategies. This morning I said to myself, "I don't have to go downstairs to exercise, all I have to do is go down and stand on the elliptical machine and brainstorm."

Dean: Ah, okay.

Dan: I didn't think about what I was going to do or anything else and I just got ready because I look forward to brainstorming.

Dean: Yes, me too.

Dan: I really like brainstorming. Okay, first of all, because you are not accountable for brainstorming, right?

Dean: Right.

Dan: There is no measurement to brainstorming, brainstorming is just activity, so I went down on the elliptical machine and I said, "Okay, so what are we going to think about?" I started thinking about ... You know something? I have had an elliptical machine for 14 years and this particular brainstorming machine, but I always use the manual ...

Dean: You just called it a brainstorming machine? I love it.

Dan: Brainstorming machine.

Dean: That is what you call a great reframe. What a great reframe.

Dan: Yeah, I know. I work out about 20 on the brainstorming machine.

Dean: I think we are on to some Dan, I think we are on to something here.

Dan: When I got the machine, it was delivered, it is a Precor, I really liked the Precor brand, but you get it and there is this big thing that shows up on the machine that says 'quick start'.

Dean: Oh, perfect.

Dan: I thought that was the program for me because it says quick start, boy talk about a machine custom designed for your quick start. Then I noticed there is another one called 'programs' and it has got one for cross country, it has got crossfit, it has got weight loss, it has got mountain climbing, it has got all these other ... In 14 years, I have never done one of those and I said, "Oh, let's look at that." Then I went down and asked you to put your age in and your weight and the time you want to go and I did and I did it and there was the program all laid out for me.

It seems really, really silly for a lot of people, but you have to understand, for 14 years, all I needed was, to get on, there was quick start, I hit it and I started exercising. What I would notice is that I would start thinking about it a couple of hours before and say, "Well, I really have to put in 20 minutes, or 25 minutes." I was starting to make this into a really big chore ahead of time. When I say, "No, all I have to do is get my gym clothes on and all I have to do is go down, get on the elliptical and brainstorm," and I brainstorm. What this means is what I did today has no bearing on what I am going to do next time.

Dean: What do you mean by that?

Dan: Well, now I am ... What I don't like is the notion that because I did something today, therefore I have to do something identifiable tomorrow. I don't feel boxed in, I feel boxed in by that. Okay, now the thing is, the parts of my life that we described earlier in the podcast where things are scheduled, I don't have any problem meeting those and the reason is that I actually like having other people being able to depend on me.

Dean: Oh yeah. Yeah, I get that. That is part of the thing and that is where the podcast is one of those ideal things. A workshop is just like that, they are synchronous and scheduled and involving other people. That is the magic formula, I am very dependable in that.

Dan: Yeah, and I am totally dependable too. I show up on time, I do my four rules of being referable are actually four rules of being dependable. You show up on time, you do what you say you are going to do, you finish what you start and you say please and thank you around that. You are thankful for doing that. It is very, very interesting is where it is just something that I am doing myself. I am much less dependable in relationship with myself than I am with other people.

Dean: Right, which brought me to ... That kind of is where I was going with my line of inquiry about what you do in the preparation for the workshops. How you ... Is there any sort of thing that you have that would be a ritual or an anchor or a process? I mentioned that I start out with my processes brainstorm, outline, record and edit. That is the winning formula for me if I have to prepare anything asynchronously.

Dan: Yeah. It is really interesting because this is a lot of talking back and forth to the production team. I have gotten to know how many days before the workshop do they need to feel that they are not being put against the wall.

Dean: Right.

Dan: In other words ... I, over the years, got my work in in time that they can do it and enjoy the process. I like them to always enjoy getting ready, I don't like them ... The other thing is that a weeks before, I have got a rule that I can't ... Even if I came up with something great at the last moment, I can't change anything.

Dean: ... next file? The next time file?

Dan: What I say is we will do it in the next quarter. Okay, so this will just go at the top of the list for the next quarter. That is deeply appreciated on the part of everybody else.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: That we are not going to make last minute changes.

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think that is kind of a cool thing. On the things that you…

Dan: One thing, Dean, the reason I can do that is I have got endless quarters ahead of me. Let's just make this a good quarter, it doesn't have to be a perfect quarter, but it has to be a really good quarter. Plus, a lot of the making the workshop better is the doing of it, it is not so much the content, it is actually in the doing, the maximizing…

Dean: Right, I imagine that there is ... The thing is you are observing, you are learning, you are seeing what flies, you have gotten an insight from the workshop one. I imagine that workshop 12 is different than workshop one.

Dan: Oh yeah. First of all, how you link it up together. I am noticing I am halfway through the quarter right now and a couple of the team members were saying, "It is so smooth, everything just fits together." I said, "Yeah, by the time I get to six and seven, I have got five to do in the next month." By the time I get to number seven, I got a feel for the whole day, I know the rhythm of the day, the timing of the day and everything like that so there is a real improvement that almost makes, "Well, did you have the perfect content," it makes it meaningful because you are doing such a fabulous job with the content that you have, it doesn't really matter.

Besides the excitement, if the excitement level that the entrepreneurs are getting from their own thinking, that is the gold standard for the day. It is not whether I was putting on a perfect performance or something. The only thing is are they excited about what they are seeing in terms of their own thinking?

Dean: Yeah. I thought about that, but what I think I am going to do this year when we have our next workshop and June, and then I am going to London and Amsterdam for some breakthrough blueprint events and then I come back, I am going to be in Toronto for most of July. I think I am going to pop into one of those workshops, seven, eight nine, somewhere in there and see the difference.

Dan: That means we can go out to lunch twice in a quarter.

Dean: Dan, I am going to be there so much in July, you will be sick of me.

Dan: No, that is not true. That is not true.

Dean: Perfect, I love it. I love it.

Dan: Yeah, this one, if I ... I could not have predicted anything that we did during this podcast beforehand, I could not have predicted any of it.

Dean: Right, it has been that my thought, that whole thing, I think ,is the big realization that I had, what kind of struck that chord for me was seeing that long list of dates from Anna and the sense of peace that I have knowing that the 'Joy of Procrastination' podcast requires no more thinking than dialing a telephone at the right time and not having to wonder when our next one is or carry around the thought of, "Oh, I need to get with Anna and get the next one," or, "I wonder when we are going to do the next one." To know it is there, it is just streamlined, it is like a standing thing. It requires even less effort and that makes it even more enjoyable.

Dan: Yeah. We can have a further discussion about this, but I have, as you know, I have some great historical role models. Euclid is a mathematician, but one of the five, the other four, Johann Sebastian Bach, who is, I think, the greatest composer of all time.

Dean: Let me see if I can…

Dan: Okay, go ahead.

Dean: Let's see if I can name them because I know Euclid and I know Shakespeare and I know Johann Sebastian Bach and I know James Madison and the fifth one is…

Dan: A light bulb will go on.

Dean: Ah, Edison! Yes, exactly. Oh, that is so great. Okay, there we go, so that is the historical...

Dan: There is something about the structured way that they did things that really appeals to me, but I was reading a biography of Bach, it was a little incident from his life and someone ... By the way, he was ... There were seven generation of Bachs, he was one of seven generation of Bach and he was in the sixth generation, so they had been going ... A whole family in Germany had been going about 200 years. There is a lot of thought that he is the great aggregator of everything that this family produced.

He was the one who wrote it all down. Anyway, whatever the case, there is no way of proving it one way or the other, but the thing is he said ... They asked him why he loved music so much. He said, "Well, it is such a pleasure." He says, "All you have to do is hit the right note at the right time and the music plays itself."

Dean: Oh man. I am a big fan of that, I love that kind of thinking. That is where ... I have often said that with the approach that I take with eight profit activators as looking at it as a construct, looking at it as a framework. Music theory, there is only eight notes, yet every song ever written is some variation of those eight notes and all you have to do is press the right notes at the right time and it is the same thing, I think, in business. Every breakthrough is some combination of those eight profit activators.

Dan: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Anyway, but the thing is that the structure, first of all, it is guaranteed to be a really enjoyable experience and the more it is set that you don't have to think about each of these dates that Anna gave you for going into your calendar is a guaranteed enjoyable experience.

Dean: That is exactly right, yes.

Dan: You can't be oppressed by, being guaranteed ahead of time, an enjoyable experience.

Dean: Yes, and it would certainly ... It fits with this exploration that I am having of, "What would I like to do tomorrow?" That is really a great thing because if I wake up, if I don't have that tomorrow framework of thinking, if I wake up saying, "I would like to do a 'Joy of Procrastination' podcast with Dan today," that is very difficult to organize. We are able to do, very quickly, the first podcast that we had right on the heels of our very first luncheon discussion about it. Now, it is like I am guaranteeing that I get to wake up on the appointed days that we have set at five and I have preselected in advance what I would like to do today by saying, "What would I like to do tomorrow?"

Dan: I had to laugh today how this makes you a more responsible person because, in the past, on Sunday I will have a beer or something like that, I don't like it, but it wasn't with you, but it was with Joe, I had a beer about an hour and a half before my podcast with him and it was the worst podcast I ever did in my life. Because I wasn't quick, my brain slows down and ... In conversation, if you are about a 20th of a second off, the energy goes out of the conversation.

Dean: I hear it, it is the difference between Siri and Alexa.

Dan: Oh, yeah.

Dean: Have you experienced that difference?

Dan: A little bit, yeah.

Dean: Alexa is just right on it.

Dan: Yeah, I sort of stick to my own species, I don't ...

Dean: There you go.

Dan: That was so interesting because I was downstairs and I was getting something frozen from the freezer downstairs and then I open the other door and all my beer is there. I said, "Nope, Dean at 12:30, can't have a beer."

Dean: That is so funny, I love it.

Dan: It makes me more responsible, it makes me more responsible.

Dean: Everybody benefits.

Dan: Yeah, yeah.

Dean: That is great. A very enjoyable podcast, we didn't get to talk about everything. We will, just a little teaser coming up for the next one, so the next one will be weaknesses and strengths, so that is what we will focus on next time.

Dan: That will be next Sunday.

Dean: Awesome, I am very excited about it.

Dan: All right. Dean, real pleasure, have a great week.

Dean: Always. You too, bye-bye.

Dan: Okay, bye.