Dean & Dan continue the journey looking at the impact of procrastination, including the impact of illness and the freedom of having things planned ahead of time.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep014
Dean: Mr. Sullivan?
Dan: Mr. Jackson, you're back from your trip around the world.
Dean: I have been everywhere it feels like. I was just literally thinking about that, that it was ... This is, literally, almost three weeks now. I left on Tuesday, almost ... This Tuesday will be three weeks, it's Sunday today. I left to go to Phoenix for Genius Network. Then I went to Maui and I got back last Friday from Maui and while I was away I got sick. I got this like whooping cough infection and this whole week has literally been a write-off with antibiotics and the whole deal. Here it is like three weeks and just like in a blink, gone.
Dan: In spite of that I dialed exactly when it was twelve-thirty. I'm always trying to see if I can right at the crossover between twelve-twenty-nine and twelve-thirty and today I get it. It was just-
Dean: That's so funny.
Dan: Hey, there's something.
Dean: There's something-
Dan: That in spite of whooping cough and antibiotics, there's some things you can count on in the world.
Dean: That, I think is the perfect testament to this idea of, "What would I like to do tomorrow?" I've really been ... This week has been an interesting struggle in that I haven't been 100% physically, like energy-wise and I'm coming away from two weeks being away. Of course, there's stuff to catch up on and stuff to ... That I need to move forward and there's plenty of room for procrastination.
Dan: You know, not feeling well is just a marvelous, what I would say, invitation to procrastinate because you get a lot of agreement from the world on that one.
Dean: It really is, isn't it? It's almost like a free pass in a way, almost. I agree, you start rationalizing with yourself saying, "Well, people will understand if somebody's procrastinating." "Well, I'm ..." You can apologize and, "You know, I've been antibiotics and this really knocked me out," and there's this world of compassion around that. You can use that as a... It's a virtuous thing, even through my best intentions this is just fighting against me.
Dan: Yeah, but have you had this happen before? You haven't struck me as someone who's sick very often so I just wonder.
Dean: I really don't. I was talking with Jeff Walker, that I look at it, I have not ... How long have we been doing the Our Strategic Coaches Workshops for the new program, since 2010?
Dan: The 10 times, yeah.
Dean: Yeah, the 10 times program.
Dan: It was 2011 is when we started that.
Dean: I have absolutely perfect attendance.
Dean: Yeah, and so it's an interesting thing. I very rarely get sick to miss stuff, but it's an interesting ... I'm observing everything when we are ... When it does happen and I'm just having this open conversation and this thought, really, I'm more aware of it and I see how it does play in. I notice without, just like you said, no matter what, I knew that at twelve-thirty I would just need to dial in and you'd be there, and that's ... It's procrastination proof and I know that that's true for everyone of the ones that we have on our calendar for the rest of the year, and so-
Dan: It's interesting because on Friday I was in Chicago and I get an email from Anna, my ... You know, the person? People say, "Is she your assistant?" I said, "Ah? More like a supervisor." I said, "I think more like a supervisor, she actually supervises me." She sent me a note saying, "Remember you have the twelve-thirty on Sunday," and then last night before we went ... Babs and I went to bed she said, "You know you have Dean at twelve-thirty tomorrow, don't you?" One is that it's not only in the calendar but then just to make sure that I show up on time, I have these built in reminders in terms of the support systems to actually get me there.
Dean: Yeah, and that's interesting. Do you look at your calendar or you-
Dan: Not very much, but if it involves someone else, I have things on my calendar that are reminders for me to do something, that's a commitment but the event the next day is not with someone, it's with myself. I'm not reminded of that because it's if you want to use our framework in Coach, a front stage, backstage, that's a backstage matter. My credibility doesn't get hurt if I don't do the thing tomorrow, it means I just am going to have to hustle a little bit, perhaps, the next day to get something done. Where it involves someone else, yes, I'm always reminded. Where even if it's a driver to pick me up, I'm reminded, "The driver's picking you up," because it involves someone else.
Dean: I got you, yeah, and I notice Anna had emailed me to confirm that there was a ... That we were ready, yeah, so…
Dan: A double supervisory, yeah.
Dean: Exactly, I've gotten…
Dan: Yeah, and that's her unique ability. Anna would just never miss doing that, she would ... So, I look for that in other people, people who just will never forget, because I will forget. So I'm going to give a life over the person who would never forget and then I'll be benefiting from their unique ability. That's an easy way to understand unique ability. This doesn't cost Anna anything to do. It's not like it's a strain. It's not like she really…
Dean: It's her natural-
Dan: It's a natural ability. Her mind works this way. Her whole notion of the future works this way so I'm just-
Dean: What's her Kolbe?
Dan: If I remember it really, she has quite a bit of factfinder, so it might be 6, 7 factfinder. She has about a 4 follow-though, but that's an accommodating and the follow-through is that she really works well in team work so she has accommodating teamwork. For the listeners who don't know we're talking about it's a profiling system called Kolbe. Then she has enough Quick Start that she doesn't find it a strain working with Babs who's a 9 Quick Start and myself, and I'm 10 Quick Start, and you're a 10 Quick Start. She's got enough Quick Start to do that but she's ... If I had to say, characterize Anna's unique ability it's, "On-top of things." She's an on-top of things person. You can always count on Anna to be on top of the things and that's her…
Dean: The thing that's interesting, but her lead, her longest is factfinder, even?
Dan: Yeah, which means that she really does research on things. One of the research she does is that she'll be scanning ahead in the calendar and noticing things coming up, but she does a wrap-around on things. She just doesn't see it as an event. She walks all the way around and says, "Mm? Is there anything here I should be thinking about in regard to this event?" When we first started this she would approach me and say, "Is there anything you need for your call with Dean, and I establish that we have a score card that's always available to us on our laptop so that was the only thing that we needed, but she does that all the time. Since I am a procrastinator, but I will not procrastinate if I'm reminded that I have to do something with someone.
I'm very, very driven to agreements with people in the front stage of life, like showing up at twelve-thirty is a friend stage event because you're involved. Also, this is going to be recorded and sent out to ... Must at least a billions right now going to…
Dean: We're on our way to seven billion, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, on the way to seven billion, but there are some laggards here who are procrastinating.
Dean: Procrastinating listening, that's right.
Dan: Listening to us but we'll get to them.
Dean: That's so funny, yeah, the whole ... I am fascinated by that because my struggle this week has been ... I'm observing like the discreet flavors of procrastination and that's really been an awareness that I've been developing since we've been having this conversation. Since we've had the conversation about Anna and about this idea of your calendar being completely handled that I noticed that a lot of the procrastination that I have is not in actually talking to people. A lot of the things that I need to do after being away for so long is to catch up with people. I realize now that if I could just ... Like what I really want to do is just magically have that conversation, have it on the phone, but the logistics of now reaching out to coordinate and to set up a time with those people, that's really the procrastination.
Dan: Yeah, and-
Dean: I can imagine-
Dan: That's where-
Dean: How that would be if I had a magic wand that I could just have this list of people and set it up through the contact-o-matic and that's kind of-
Dan: Well, yeah-
Dean: That's really kind of-
Dan: She's my contact-o-matic, you know?
Dan: I like it that way simply because she's giving a lot of thought to it. She'll come up with observations about better use of certain days where I might have four or five ... Team work, that's what you and I are doing right now is a teamwork event. She'll say, "You know, I could clear out your whole afternoon if we can move those here and we move those to the next day," you know? It's not just that she's responding but she's actually pro-acting, she's actually going ahead. Now, if Anna was listening to this, she would find it strange that we find this extraordinary.
Dean: Exactly, isn't it how funny they're so ... Yeah, but you know what, equally, people that you and I know that are long factfinders would find it unimaginable that we're going to get on a call for an hour and we don't have an agenda and a line item thing of what we're going to talk about. Actually, they would find that magic, you know?
Dan: Yeah, yeah. We didn't have our ... We're always lacking our Power Point theme.
Dean: Yes, exactly, and we're-
Dan: Okay, just not to get too ... I just want to remind that we're on number seven of our mindsets which is your Next Best Progress. I just want to get in the first one and then we can go wherever we want, but the scorecard, it's broken into four columns and each column has three numbers, scoring numbers, one, two and three, to indicate that it's ... This is kind of a bad way of approaching things. The mindset here is you increasingly compare yourself with other people who always seem to be moving forward and you resent them for their progress, so that's ... I think comparison is kind of ... Comparison with others never ends up good. I just discovered since I've been an entrepreneur that comparing yourself, given all the vast experience you had with someone else who's vast experience you have no insight into, always strikes me as a losing proposition right from the beginning.
Dean: I agree. Okay, well, let's talk about the problems then.
Dan: Yeah, but one thing I want to say, I came up with a really ... The procrastination priority exercise that we do in Coach, and now it's a bedrock exercise that we do and people love it. I've completed 3/4 starting in September and then October, then December and then January and then March and then April, so those are my quarters. It's a bedrock concept. Everybody loves it, everybody unlocks three things in the course of about a half hour in the program and everybody loves it. It's interesting because just like you and I discovering new dimensions as we're talking here, my workshops, people's response to this. One guy said, "You know," he said, "I just noticed I'm really procrastinating about something because I'm afraid of being rejected."
It struck me as odd, it was right near the end of the day. It was a wrap-up comment around four-fifty and the workshop ends at five o'clock, so that's 10 minutes to the hour. I says, "If you don't mind, I'd like to talk you about that afterwards." We finished up and I went over and sat down next to him. He said, "Yeah," he said ... He's in the legal profession from New Mexico. He's in the New Mexico area. He said, "Yeah, I'm really ... I just noticed." He said, "I've never really run into this before, but I'm just not putting in my proposals and I'm kind of afraid of being rejected." He described it that it involved dealing with bureaucracy at the other end. He said, "I'm just all of a sudden procrastinating on putting my proposals in." We talked about it a little bit more.
Then I reminded him, I said, "Well, let's draw back here and out of the workshop today what picture have you of yourself in the future?" That's really what Strategic Coach Workshops do, the reinforce a picture of yourself down the road, it could be 90 days, it could be a year, when you're operating at a much higher level and producing much bigger results. He said, "Yeah, I'm resisting that, I'm really resisting that." I said, "So, here's what I'm picking up so far." I said, "I think the reason why you're procrastinating, doing what you're doing right now with these proposals," and he had established that he's been doing this for about 10 years. I said, "You don't like the work anymore and you're actually, you're not afraid of being rejected by them, you've already ... It's the rejection is coming from your side. You've rejected this as something that you want to do any more in your future."
I said, "That's what I picked up on." I said, "I've never heard the fear of rejection as a procrastination." I said, "You don't want to do this work anymore. You don't want to deal with these kind of people anymore,". I says, "Okay," and I said, "But you're caught because you're not engaging with a bigger and better version of yourself that's doing something significantly different." That goes back to our previous conversation we had, Dean, where that the ... As it gets mindset number three, It's Caused By Your Ambition. He had definitely said, "No, to the way he was operating right now but he hadn't replaced the way he's operating right now with a bigger and better version of it, so he was caught in between. It seems to me, totally intelligent, that would be procrastinating on this because he's not engaged with anything and that's a good prescription for being procrastinated.
Dean: Did he agree and saw that as what was going on?
Dan: Yeah, and he says, "Boy," he says, "I better really ... I better get a new version of myself." I said, "Yeah," I said, "It doesn't have to be the full-blown thing but pick four or five things over the next quarter that represent an entirely new direction." He says, "I have one, but I didn't think it was possible because I thought all my time would be used up with these proposals." People can get themselves almost stalemated by a refusal to move forward what they're presently doing but also refusing to actually engage with something higher, so that's almost like a perfect prescription for procrastination.
Dean: Does that fit with your Next Best Progress, then, as our mindset?
Dan: No, it didn't. I just wanted to get it in so we didn't forget it in this conversation. You got to strike when the iron's hot, you know, when-
Dan: When you're having a conversation between Dean and Dan, you only get short windows-
Dean: Get it in.
Dan: Of opportunity to get certain concepts in and-
Dean: Oh, that's so funny.
Dan: I just wanted to do that. I didn't want to lose my window of opportunity there. Anyway, the comparison thing is really an interesting thing and so I'm just cutting now, we don't have to talk about what I just told you anymore here, unless we choose to later on.
Dean: I was thinking through it as your lead-in to your Next Best Progress but as a thing that ... I mean on a stand alone, it is kind of where you set up almost oppositional forces in a way. It's almost like a ... They negate each other because he's not moving forward on this because he thinks it's going to take up all his time and then he's not moving forward on the other because he's, as you identified, not really ... Not into it anymore and so…
Dan: Yeah, he's playing a chess game with himself and he just checkmated himself twice.
Dean: Yeah, right. Double checkmated.
Dan: He just checked himself, right. It's a double checkmate, yeah. Talking through, and this is really why workshops are really good and why discussions are really good is because I was coming from the outside and just asking him all sorts of questions. All of sudden he got the picture of what he was doing and he got real excited. One of the things that he hit upon was is that he has an entirely new opportunity but the best thing for him to do is to create a mindset scorecard for the new situation. He had been holding back on that, developing that capability, but now he says, like he says, "In the next four weeks I'll have that scorecard completely done." Then he got very excited and he had a big smile on his face when we want out. All the energy that was missing was returned to him because he could see his Next Best Progress, he could move forward.
Dean: I had a great conversation in Hawaii about the immigrant mindset. Like, you've often ... You're the one who brought that up to me, that ... The thinking like as immigrant the future is always bigger than their past because there's that physical migration of over a great distance where there's leaving, physically, everything behind and just bringing your unique abilities. Bringing whatever it is that you have that gets to come with you. I've found that as really a great mental exercise that you can do at any time.
Dan: Yeah, I mean so-
Dean: It's just imagining cutting everything off like right back to if you just to do ... Think about it, that you're leaving this, that you're leaving everything behind. What would you really want to bring with you?
Dan: You went Maui but you also went to Australia didn't you on this trip?
Dean: Not on this trip. I'm going to Australia-
Dan: Oh, not on this trip.
Dean: In August.
Dan: I was going to say, you just went to Maui.
Dan: Let's say you went to Maui and then that was it, you couldn't go back to Florida. In other words-
Dan: And you had to start fresh in Maui.
Dan: From your experience and from your capabilities, what would you have immediate access to in Maui if you couldn't go back? For example, from now on you had to operate in Maui, then what would be the new foundation and so there's a…
Dean: It's really interesting to think that there's not ... It's not the same in 2017 as it would have been in 1997 or in 1992. It's not the same in that ... Functionally speaking, very little would change in the day-to-day ... In or the world because I'm just in different place, but everything about my world is online and mobile, basically. It's kind of an interesting thing, but what would be missing is all of the stuff and the local sort of relationships, but it's amazing how much you literally could, geographically, switch things up.
Dan: The Internet, if you're in our line of work, the Internet has provided us all with a permanent home. So, geographically, it doesn't really matter where we are because if we have access to the Internet, we have everything that we need.
Dean: That's exactly right, and-
Dan: You know-
Dean: I just thought now, did you watch Mark Zukerberg's keynote this week?
Dan: No, I didn't.
Dean: He introduced the Facebook Spaces and it's really, then, it's one step away from being able to have a workshop, a virtual reality workshop in the Facebook environment. You can go into a room, or into a space, and have your avatar through virtual reality in there and experience it as being in the space. It's pretty fascinating, it's like you can imagine beaming in with your virtual reality, your Oculus goggles on and sitting around a conference table or in a workshop room. It's definitely where that's going, augmented reality is really where that's heading and that freaked me out.
Dan: Do you have to design your avatar? Is your avatar a cartoon character?
Dean: From what I understand, yeah, your avatar is a cartoon version of yourself. Yeah, you can change it and adapt it and do whatever you want to it and-
Dan: Would yours have the same timeless wardrobe?
Dean: I would hope so. I think that would be the thing. I think you got to-
Dan: Does it-
Dean: Able to-
Dan: First of all, it's already iconic so you wouldn't want to fool around with an iconic version of yourself.
Dean: That's what I'm thinking.
Dan: I think it would cause confusion. I think it would cause cognitive dissonance if you were to-
Dean: Right, it would be like a-
Dan: Suddenly change.
Dean: Like Spider Man all of a sudden showing up in something else.
Dan: Yes. Yeah, yeah.
Dean: Yeah, disconcerted.
Dan: Anyway, I'll look into that. One thing I wanted to tell you because it's really become very, very vivid in my mind since our last call and I think it's a direct outgrowth of our doing these podcasts since September or July, and I'm trying to think-
We'd have to go back and actually establish the date because it'll be a holiday quality sort of thing in the future. The thing that I noticed had to do with your comment previously in this episode where you said, "I never have any problem with procrastinating talking."
Dan: In other words, I would never feel any pressure leading up to twelve-thirty when we usually-
Dean: No, absolutely.
Dan: There's no pressure or anything like that. There's nothing that would enter into, "I really don't want to do this today." I think you've understood that for years but I hadn't seen it so clearly until I started doing a whole number of podcasts.
I have other series, the one with Joe, the one with Peter Diamandis, the one with Shannon Walter, so I have these. I've also switched over my writing of the books to the fact that I just get interviewed off and outlying this book and I sit there and I talk. The same thing, I go in and get videos done but I'm just simply talking in the workshop, you know when I do my workshops, it's just talking. I just started zeroing in on this that it's ... But it's not just talking, I have to have a conversation, I have to be responding to someone. What I've noticed is, is a sharp change in how I'm arranging things and scheduling things that the amount of any kind of work that doesn't end while talking has reduced by about 60% since I would say ... Let's say September of last year. Because I realized that I never procrastinate for a front stage event, I only procrastinate for backstage preparation.
Dean: Right, I agree. That's what I've found is that if I look at the thing, there may be ... I don't know, let's just say there's a dozen people that ... Be in that two-week period I was in ... Or three weeks now since I was in Phoenix. People that I had conversations with at Genius Network that I want to schedule to follow up with. That's the perfect example. You have a short environment where you connect with somebody maybe at lunch or at a break or something and you want to continue the conversation. Now, I carry that and I know and I've got these texts and I've got the people there that I want to follow up and have these conversations with. What I would love is to just have that on my calendar. I want to talk to them but it's this ... Now, the overwhelmingness of trying to handle the logistics of connecting with these 12 people, and their varying schedules and what that's going to involve. I would just love to skip through all of that and be talking with them.
Dan: Yeah, well you know, I'm not far off on that, what you just described about yourself. I'm not far off that but I'd really, you know, said to myself like, "There are people who have the talent to do those for yourselves and the part that I'm responsible for is to fully inform them so that once I give them the instruction and they're about their ... They're doing what they love doing and I cut them off. What I do know, I mean what I ... The way I've done it, I said, "There's going to be an activity ... There is going to be an activity which do I enjoy it?" I don't know if I enjoy it. I certainly enjoy the results of it and that's our impact culture exercise. Not an exercise but it's a communication format about that, and because I know what such good things happen once I'm finished a half hour of specifying it.
So, with the process is set up where Anna called you and we plugged everything in for the next year and this will continue. Anna will always be 12 months ahead forever. That's because it's in someone else's ability, it's in someone else's capability, but I had to inform her, and also Eleanora, who does a lot of the work with all the other podcast series, and they've got me 12 months out with everything. As a result of one half hour of writing and specifying and then communicating it to them and then lots conversations. They'll come back to me and they'll say, "Just want to be clear about this," "Just want to be clear about that," and everything like that. I think both you and I, the part that we absolutely have to be good at backstage is getting the per-instructions.
Dean: Yeah, the closest thing I would have to Anna would be Lillian and she's a seven, six, four something. In that order, like a seven factfinder.
Her natural thing would be to get the facts and, of course, the facts, if not completely presented are coming from me so that's been the form of questions for me. I just have this whole realizing that I have to present all the facts and I think you're ... I think it's just that for the minutes in the impact filter that could do that. Is that how you would do something like that with ... Like when you go to do Genius Network or you got to Abundance or you go somewhere and there's people that you want to have-
Dean: Conversations with. Do you come back and do a specific impact filter or say-
Dean: "These are the 10 people that I want to connect with, here's their contact information."
Dan: Yeah, if they were not in Coach. A lot of them are in Coach, so the contact information's in our data base, so-
Dean: Right, you got it.
Dan: If it was Eleanora or Anna, they would just have to go to the data base. I'll just simplify this. What I decided is that for the rest of my life, as much as possible, I want all my important and strategic activities to just take the form of talking. Podcasts are talking, doing the videos are talking.
Dean: Yeah, workshops.
Dan: Webinars, workshops is talking but that would go so far, for example, as I used to do sketches and I would do written specifications for the cartoons that I'm doing with Hamish for my small book but I haven't been doing that for the last four weeks. We do Zoom calls where he has the text that's going to be rendered into cartoons and he'll read through it and then I'll have Zoom call with him. He lives 1,000 miles away from me; he's in Eastern Canada. We'll just go over it and we have a standard format, it's a two-page format that's going to get filled up with cartoons. We'll just sit there, I say, "What do you think? Two cartoons on the first page, three on the second?" It's usually a two-three or a three-two. We look at what we've been doing and we try to alter it.
Then I'll start talking to him about the cartoon and we've read the text and I said, "You know, central idea here," and this is recorded, so the Zoom call is recorded so after we're finished he can go back and he can look at it. Then he'll send through a rough drawing and then we'll do another Zoom call. I don't find any pressure about that whatsoever. If he needs three Zoom calls to get it clearer I have no problem with. I would not procrastinate on that. More and more I'm saying, ultimately, I only talk, okay?
If there's areas that require off-stage activity on my part I'd like to reduce all that activity to an impact filter, just one form that I'm really good at, and so I just have two things. I have impact filters, off-stage, and I have talking front stage and that's my life.
Dean: Very interesting, so that ... I was going to ask you about that whether Anna schedules your e-synchronous things as well. Whether you-
Schedule those things off like, "This block of three hours, I'm going to focus on this." Do you have those conversations and schedule those times or do you- Oh, you do?
Dan: Yeah, and she's in complete control of every aspect of my schedule including personal appointments and things I have to do on weekends. I don't drive at all, you know?
Dan: I'm either a passenger with Babs driving or I'm a passenger with a limousine driver. During the weekend I can have four or five different things I'm doing, usually on a Saturday. That's all set up, we go through and then she goes over the schedule with me Friday night. It works out really well but the thing of being aware of the areas where you procrastinate and where you don't procrastinate in life is a very, very useful division. It's, you know, to under- Yeah, go ahead.
Dean: I totally get that. I totally see it and that's why I've always resisted, up until the last six or so months, or however long we've been doing this, that's been ... I have resisted even scheduling the recurring things. Now, I'm starting to see that on reflection the last, especially this last quarter, has been one of the most peaceful quarters knowing that there's this infrastructure of things that are just happening because I've thought them through and they're happening just as I wanted them to happen. Like thinking through, "What would I like to do tomorrow," and to know that I would like three emails a week to go out to all of our subscribers and to schedule my More Cheese Less Whiskers podcasts and my Joy of Procrastination podcasts.
Even Joe and I would last a while here being able to schedule more of our marketing podcasts. I think Joe's coming around on that schedule thing too. That was, for the longest time, our biggest challenge is trying to coordinate our completely moving schedules with resistance to locking anything in, you know?
Dan: Yeah, well so Anna, from my standpoint, zeroed in that if she could get to Eunice and Joe's… so here's this Joe's thing, you know?
Dan: So that's it, so all of our 10XTalk that I do with Joe, that's 12 months out too. We did just did four last Monday.
Dean: That's what he did, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, and so that entire area of my life is a known ... Is always a 12-month piece of knowledge; I always know 12 months ahead. That frees you up. A lot of people don't realize-
Dean: That's because it's-
Dan: What a lot of people don't realize that by keeping a maximum number of things optional, you actually lose a lot of concentration freedom.
Dean: Yes, I agree, and the freedom of having that settled is so much more valuable than the option of having it unsettled, you know, or having it open?
You're right it's completely ... It requires no more energy, no energy and it's a comp- Everything about it is ... Everything about the procrastination is 100% positive energy because all we do is dial in at the transition from twelve-thirty-nine to twelve-thirty trying to be the first one on, you know?
Dean: Then here we are, so let's talk about your Next Best Progress here.
Dan: Yeah, that's a-
Dean: I've kept you from that.
Dan: I think ... No, no, can't make any mistakes, it's impossible.
Dean: No, no. I think it's been a very…
Dan: There is not wrong way to do it.
Dan: All right, so the second column is you've always dreamed about a way of freshly focusing and motivating yourself to start each day. This is almost the definition of what we're doing here. We're using our procrastinations to be the means of actually identifying what our Next Best Progress is.
Dean: I love that and that's been ... I think even looking about it and something about, I think stretching this out over the one decision rather than having to continually make little decisions even if you just come back to the way we've scheduled our podcasts here that we don't have to ... It's never a thought. It's never, "What am I procrastinating? I need to schedule another time with Dan," it's we have an abundance of that. We have the complete piece of knowing that the only 60 minutes I need to think about that is this, the time that we've set aside for it.
I think that's really I'm looking for more and more things that I can set up that way, and absolutely where it's ... That's really where this question of ... It's similar to your, I've been using your idea of wanting what you want, but to thinking and, "What would I like to do tomorrow," is a very empowering question. It's almost like brainstorming. It takes the pressure off it, "I don't have to do this today, but what would I like to do tomorrow?"
Dan: Yeah, and you go-
Dean: Tomorrow you maybe-
Dean: …some future time, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, and I don't know what the exact number is going ahead for us, if we go 12 months down the road but let's say it's say it's an average of two and a half per month because we do have different schedules, but two and a half times 12 is 30 so already you've got 30 pleasurable things stacked into thing. It's already there, it's not something you have to work at, it's not something, "Oh, I got ... Gee, I have to remember to coordinate with Dan to set up our next podcast." It's already handled, and will be always handled because Anna considers it one of her key ... Her key achievements going forward, is that this is always true, so it's made it kind of ... You had contact automatic, the contact automatic system and it's working. It's either, I say, it's either teamwork or it's technology and it's probably both, you know? It's probably a combination of teamwork and technology when we do this, but it really brings into fair that ... But I went through this with everybody and see this is another very, very interesting ... I would do it with you indefinitely, not endlessly, into the future because I get so much out of the conversation.
Dan: And always will because they're always unpredictable which is a pleasure, you know.
Dean: Yeah, I don't think we're going to ever handle it completely. I don't think we're ever going to run out of ... I think you've been doing it for longer than I have even and I don't think I'm ever going to run out. We've been procrastinating since 3rd Grade right?
Dan: I can't think of a time in my future where I'm on a Monday of the week, and I'm looking at a Sunday and it's just, "Oh, old, boring Dean Jackson again."
Dean: Oh, man, exactly. That's funny.
Dan: It's important because you're not only sorting out your future time, are also sorting out your future relationships when you're doing this.
Dan: Because you're still letting your ... No, go ahead.
Dean: I just think that you're absolutely right and the thing is that we're ... I'm evolving tremendously through these conversations and I've had conversations with other people who are telling me the same thing and they're listening to this. They're going through these but they're just fascinated and getting so much value from our conversations about it.
Dan: I had five people Friday, so I was in Chicago all last week so I just got back on Friday night, and I had five people at Friday's workshop that came up to me and said, "Just really loving the ... They said, "We're really loving the content of the podcast but we're also loving the unpredictable form of the podcast," they said. I thought, "Whatever do you mean by unpredictable form? I don't know what you mean," and-
Dean: …that combination.
Dan: "Dean and I spent about three hours before that podcast spotting out everything we did. I don't know what you're talking about the unpredictable."
Dean: Oh, that's so funny.
Dan: Yeah, let's get a third one in here. You are in the business-
Dean: Yeah, column three.
Dan: You're in a business, market, and industry where progress is predictable and guaranteed if you just do the same thing every day?
Dean: Yeah, well that wouldn't-
Dan: Well, depends on what the same thing is every day.
Dean: I wonder ... So this brings up a great point because have you ever seen, Dan, the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi?
Dan: The which one?
Dean: Jiro Dreams of Sushi?
Dan: No, it sounds like a ... It sounds interesting.
Dean: It's really very interesting and I'll put in a context of there are several of these types of things where it's a life dedicated to mastery, where Jiro is a sushi master and he has done nothing but sushi his entire life. He's in Japan and has this little restaurant where there's 14 people at the counter and it's full months ahead of time, it's 3 or $500 to come and have sushi with him and-
Dan: All the money upfront, all the money upfront.
Dean: Exactly, yeah, and no menu, you eat what he prepares. He has just completely dedicated himself to mastering the art of sushi. There's an interesting thing about that because you would think that, that is sort of very predictable, right? You think about that as a thing where anybody, dedicated to one thing which could seem monotonous or could seem on the surface to be something that is predictable, just like you said. What are your initial thoughts about…
Dan: Yeah, I went through a long stretch when I was a late teenager and into my 20s where I was really entranced with Japanese culture. They have a particular literary form which is called a haiku, which is 17 syllables. There are people who've spent 50, 60 years writing 17 syllable poems called haikus. The thing was is to pack as much meaning as you possibly could into 17 syllables. One of my favorite is by 17 ... I think it was a 17th Century poet by the name of Basho, B-A-S-H-O, and it was, "Since my house burned down, I have a better view of the autumn moon." It's a complete philosophy, you know?
Dan: "My house burnt down, but look ... But big deal, my house burned down but, oh, what a view I have of the moon now since my house burned down." You could spend a college seminar just analyzing the philosophy that's in that and so the ... That's also Japanese so sushi, you know the whole thing was sushi. They have a lot of that in their culture, people who just dedicate their life to just doing one thing. I was very, very attracted to it. If you bring it full circle up to today, where the two of us, you know who are 10 Quick Starts on the Kolbe which means constant variety, constant change of pace, constant change of interest. Also the fact that both of us are admittedly and I've been clinically diagnosed as ADD, which means high distractibility and everything else. I'm coming around to the fact that there is a real constant to my life up to ... I'll be 73 in less than a month, but there is a real constant, is that the high points of my life all involved conversation with really interesting people.
For all the things that I've done, there's this one activity and the great breakthrough for me is I used to see that as a nice byproduct of all the other things I was doing. Now, I'm seeing that as the central activity going forward for the rest of my life is that more and more in the middle is this one thing called conversation so being dreams of conversation, Dan dreams of conversation just like Jiro dreams of sushi. I think we're there, it's just that in the conversations between the two of us and each of us who have other conversational partners, almost any kind of idea can pop up and that's where we ... The variety of part of it comes, but we've protected it because we're just in this one activity.
Dean: Yes, that's really ... That is profound, actually. Are you saying that one of the ... You said something earlier about your cooperation and collaboration with Hamish around your cartoons.
Dean: Are you finding that with the awareness you're taking that on as something that you would have to do asynchronously and prepare and send in advance to Hamish? You're saying you're bypassing more and more…
Dan: No, I'm bypassing more. No, I'm bypassing that 100%. I just said I'm not going to do that anymore, we're just going to have Zoom calls and whatever Zoom calls are needed to complete the cartoon, that's the number of Zoom calls, but they're all pleasurable for me and so-
Dean: But I've noticed… I get it. What I've notices is that my procrastinator, my preference, and my setting things up for leaning towards more asynchronous things like looking at that I prefer to work asynchronously with a deadline or, ideally, asynchronously at my discretion. That's really the thing that I actually find now that is absolutely the least likely way for me to actually get something done.
Dan: Yeah, I have organized-
Dean: The more certain way for me to get something done is asynchronous in person, or with somebody else. I mean synchronously, synchronous scheduled in conversation, those are the things I never miss.
Dan: Yeah, I mean, I'm surrounded by an ocean of organizing talent inside my company. We have the vast majority of Strategic Coach team members who have a combination of long factfinder, long. These are master organizers and more and more I say, "I'm thinking about something here," and in the best circumstance I've done an impact filter where I talk them through the impact filter and it doesn't even have to do with whether that's their area of activity or not. I just say, "Can I talk to you?" I pick them based on their factfinder follow-through, and I'll say, "This is what I'm thinking about, this is what the ... This is the breakthrough that I'm looking for." I go through the categories of the impact filter and then I say, "And in the end, these are the success criteria, this has to be true, this has to be true," and so forth.
I says, "How would you go about organizing? How would you get a handle on that?" It's like two or three minutes and they come back, "Well, this is the way I would do it. I'd do this, this, this, this, and this, this, this." You can tell they're getting really, really excited because this is their stack and trade. This is what they do and somebody would you like me to. They'd say, "Would you like me to handle this for you?" I said, "Yeah." "Oh, I can handle this in a day."
Dean: Oh, man. Yeah, it's like if somebody would come up to us and ask us for some ideas.
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Dean: "Have you got any ideas about this?" I really-
Dan: Yeah, yeah. "How would you think about this?" "Well, you could think about it this way, you could think about this way. Oh, and I just thought of something and you could think about this way and this way and ... Oh, that reminds me of something and you can do ..." you know?
Dan: Yeah, I mean this is what we do. But there is this pass off, Dean, and I think we'll talk about this more in the future. There's this pass off between us where we're doing something backstage but it is purely to set up a front stage miracle. Now, that excites me. If I can look at all my backstage work and I can minimize it down to a half hour, I think that's a great breakthrough of the impact filter is that I can satisfy myself that I'll do a fantastic job of communicating if I just spend the half hour on the impact filter.
Anyhow we're past the magic hour here.
Dean: Let's just do the fourth column here just so we can finish that number seven.
Dan: Okay, why don't you read that one?
Dean: I think people will forgive us.
Dean: "You're very excited that from now on your biggest procrastinations today will always create your best progress tomorrow." Actually, what a very fitting one to end on here because that's exactly the way that I feel right now, having that freedom to know that I'm discovering the same thing about myself and talking conversations just to set up my calendar with more of those.
Dan: Yeah, and that it wouldn't even have to do with anyone actually knowing what your business is about if they've got this factfinder, follow-through capability because they'll just ask you, you know, "Well, what about this, and what about this, and what about this?" Then they say, "Okay, I can have a plan for you ... I can have a whole plan and if you want executed I can take care of it," because this is what they do. This is the sort of the sort of thing which causes us such angst and but for them it's pleasure, you know, so pleasure for us, pleasure for them, that's a good-
Dean: This is fascinating.
Dan: Anyway, let's just have a wrap up because we really covered a lot of ground on this one.
Dean: We sure did.
Dan: What would you say to wrap up here?
Dean: I think that what it's really come down to, for me, and I appreciate your indulgence on sharing the inner workings as the way things work with Anna because that's definitely something that is going to make a difference for me. I think what I've been resistant, or what I've seen recognized now as the intermediate thing is I need this tool to convey the facts to my factfinder to just make the things happen. I find sometimes that I'm caught in the idea of, "I want to have this conversation, I want to have this, or I want to have these things scheduled or set up, but then feeling like I would really love is somebody who could just read my mind and set those up, but I realize that there's no way to do that.
I have to have the time to set them up to win on that. Right now they're just feeling it as burden. Even if I express that desire I know that the thing that's going to happen is, A., they're going to need the fact and I'm the holder of the fact, so that's going to come in the form of questions to me.
Dean: It's now full circle, could really come down to conversation, actually, really what it is, is just have a-
Dan: You know, and then-
Dean: 30-minute conversation-
Dean: About it.
Dan: Conversation then immediately generates more wants which takes the form of specific events. Then we go back to the impact filter and we do it again with the people who are the masters of the facts and follow-through. Really it's a closed loop, which is beautiful. What it means is that even when we're off ... And I'm using conversation here to say that that's front stage for us. Even when we're backstage we're preparing for front stage, you know?
Dan: Like we're just taking the front stage, so there's a closed loop for both of us and this conversation more than any single conversation has clarified that loop for me. I was aware of the value of the impact over and I was aware of the value, obviously, of the conversation, but I hadn't had them in a loop with each other, and that the setup for a multiplier of teamwork and technology so that the next conversations are even better, requires us to do in very great form, something backstage so that we can get back to an even bigger front stage.
Dean: I get it. I appreciate it. This has been fantastic. I can't wait to listen to this one back because there's a lot in it.
Dan: I've seen-
Dean: I look forward to ... I'm not sure when our next one is but I know that I'll be there and I know you will and I can't wait.
Dan: Okay, bye.
Dean: Thanks, Dan.