Season 2 Episode 1: 1 year on, Dean & Dan revisit the Procrastination Priorities looking at the changes and benefits caused by an awareness of procrastination.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep019
Dean: Dan Sullivan.
Dan: Dean Jackson. We've moved from Mr. and Mr. To personal now. I guess that's what a year of doing podcasts will actually do.
Dean: That's so funny. I was laughing as I came on because we've joked about the dial talk done as the effortless way to do a podcast like we're doing right now. And I've got my voice command set up to, I just say, "Call Uber Conference." I don't even have to push the buttons to actually dial. But I would say I should change my voice prompt. I should change this to the milking shed, 'cause that's the way I talk about the ... If I could make the voice command, "Call the milking shed," then I'm in.
Dan: That's great. That's great. You know, I'm wondering if people under age 30 today actually knows what dial means.
Dean: I know, exactly. You're absolutely right. Isn't that funny?
Dan: One of our coaches, Theresa Eastler has an apartment in the upper part of lower Michigan. Michigan has the two parts to it, but she's right up in the northern part of the lower Michigan. And for some reason, she told one of her sons to go use the pay phone. There was a pay phone. And he came back and he said, "I don't know how to use it." He said, "It's got this circular thing."
Dean: Oh no.
Dan: Yeah. He's late mid twenties, and he says, "How do you use it? I don't know how to use it," because he had never been confronted by a phone dial before.
Dean: A rotary. That's so funny.
Dan: A rotary. Yeah. And I was thinking, knowing out of date technologies is actually a secret advantage to as we get older, because we know how to use technology that young people don't know how to use.
Dean: You're right. That's it.
Dan: Yeah. I could take him even further. I could take him back to the stand up phone with a party line, where there's no dialing, you just pick up-
Dean: Operator, get me Klondike five.
Dan: Yeah. And not only will the operator help you, but all your neighbors will too, because you can hear them picking up-
Dean: Party line.
Dan: ... and onto the party line on your conversation. Yeah.
Dean: That's funny.
Dan: Yeah. It's kind of like knowing proper English. It's a huge advantage as you get older.
Dean: That's true. So, happy anniversary, probably.
Dan: Yeah. Happy. And I don't know the exact date. We can probably trace it back.
Dean: I don't either.
Dan: Well, we can trace it back to a July date when you were in Toronto.
Dan: It was after your workshop, so I'll get the house detectives busy on that, because I think this is gonna become a momentous date as we go into the future. When you laughingly accused me of holding onto secret knowledge.
Dean: That's right. Oh man.
Dan: So those who are just listening to this podcast, I'd been contemplating what has become the story of procrastination. But there's a concept called the procrastination priority, and this is what we're gonna talk about today, and this is about a year now that we've been doing this as a podcast presentation. But I had come up with an idea, and I was just playing around with the idea, and using Mr. Jackson, first name Dean, for bringing up new thoughts, because I can really develop my thought. If I have an idea, I can develop it with you, because you like developing thought.
Dean: I really do.
Dan: I hadn't told anybody else about this. You were the first person that I talked about this. But I had this idea that this thing of procrastination is sort of a secret energy source that we can use our procrastinations. We all have them, and that's one of the mindsets that goes along with this idea. And that maybe we're looking at this in a way that wastes energy, that drains energy, and we could flip it, and we could actually turn it into something that actually, first of all, continually teaches us a lot about how we operate as an individual. But it could also be a trigger for actually zeroing in just on the most important things that we need to do, short range, that the things we're procrastinating might be secret sensor or secret indicator of what we should be working on. Or can be, it's not a should, because the should is bound up with the negative part, but it's actually an indicator what we can turn our attention to next, so that's kind of in short form, what the procrastination ... And there's a joy in that when you realize that all this procrastination that you've avoided, and hidden, and not wanted to look at, actually, it can be a great thing to look at.
Dean: There really is. I was reflecting on the big outcomes I would say, or the shift, for me, in the year that we've been having these conversations. And one of them is something that we've been talking about a lot, is this idea of conversation being the thing that is really the driver of all events, and the more that we can get into a space where the only thing we're doing is talking, that's my happy spot. And that's, it's interesting, because a lot of times people think well, that is counter to being an introvert, but it's not anything at all about being an introvert. It's just, I'm still ... I am an introvert, but it's just such ... But I do love to talk. That doesn't ... I just like to talk. I like conversations more than being in big groups.
Dan: Yeah. It's actually, sort of for both of us, and we've talked about this. This has been a great July, because I've seen you a lot and talked to you a lot-
Dan: ... because you've decided to spend the whole month in Toronto. And we've talked about this almost continuously since we did our last podcast-
Dan: ... which was in our studio. And here's a way, I'm just gonna pick up on what you just said there. I'm an introvert also, for all activities except conversation-
Dan: ... where you can develop your thoughts. I don't like being obligated, or feeling under the gun to do things on my own, 'cause I'm highly dis tractable. I like, it's kind of, you have dial talk done.
Dan: Name of your thing, but mine is Brainstorm-
Dan: Which is what I like to do as an introvert. I like to brainstorm.
Dean: Me too. Yeah.
Dan: And then I like to converse with someone who I can take my brainstorming, and develop it further, because there's only so much I can do inside my own head.
Dan: And I've gotta get my brainstorming, I've gotta get my brainstorming into an intelligent conversation.
Dan: Not with everybody, but with certain people, and you're certainly a great partner with this. And then, expand. You know, it's sort of like brainstorm, talk, expand. Just to take off on the name of your podcast service.
Dan: Why don't you tell everybody about this, because we really haven't talked about this here, and it's much further ahead, your podcast, the easy way to set up a podcast. Whey don't you just give everybody a sense of how that works.
Dean: Yeah. We're just-
Dan: I've been sharing this. I've been sharing this is all my workshops.
Dan: Because I'll talk about, I've gone from zero to very, very extensive podcast experience in the last five or six years, mainly because Joe Polish got me started on this.
Dan: And I was very encouraged to do this because of the podcast series that you already had with Joe, I Love Marketing.
Dan: And I know that you've done that. But you've actually made it very, very easy for entrepreneurs to actually get involved in the podcast world.
Dean: Well, I really realized that the real essence of the podcast, the value, is the conversation. It's this. It's the capturing of that, between two people. And all of the rest of it is logistics. It really could be done by anybody. And I've saw so many people who wanted to do podcasts, or would love the thought of doing a podcast, but they just don't know where to start. And they start with the logistics. They get blocked by the logistics of it. So my goal is always to make things simpler for entrepreneurs, and this is the outcome of that. First of all, I look at myself as the lead in this, in that I want to make things simpler for me.
Dean: So I go ahead and set up the algorithm to how can I have as easy a podcast as possible. And what I really look at it, is it's just about if I could just dial the phone, and talk, and then hang up and everything else is done, that's the simplest possible way. So I set up my own unique teamwork for that, to make that a reality for me, and that's the way that you and I have been doing this podcast for the last year. And that, we started ... I had that process set up maybe 18 months ago, or a little more, but that capability now, was what allowed me, when you and I had this conversation a year ago, to say, "This should be a podcast. Let's do that." And then, literally, within 24 hours, we had recorded our first episode.
Dean: And there's no delay on the logistics of it. So setting that up for other people now, that's been a process to set it up, so we could allow other people to take advantage of that. And we're just starting to work with other people now, through that DialTalkDone.com.
Dan: Yeah. And you know that the interesting thing about it, we've had ... This has been a really joyful experience. You came up with the name The Joy of Procrastination. But I have to tell you that both our conversations, and the thinking about our conversations has led to one of the most joyful years that I can remember.
Dean: Me too.
Dan: And I was talking about this in my workshops this quarter, and I said, "You know, I've made a bigger jump in personal productivity, and also the enjoyment of my productivity, between ages 72 and 73." I'm May to May, and so I started when I was 72, with this podcast series with you, and I'm now 73. And I would say it's been the biggest jump in my clarity of how to just think about my daily activity, and how to be effective with my daily activity in this past year, than I had in the previous 20 years.
Dan: And you know I'm pretty good. I come up with all these thinking tools, and I have really good teamwork around me, but I was still caught with two things before we started the series. One is the non-joyfulness of feeling obligated to do finished work by myself.
Dan: That was part of it. And the other part was, what happens after I have a conversation. And then I would think, well now I have to do this, and this, and this, and this. And I've gotten rid off ... So if you think of it as three steps, there's by myself, then there's the conversation, which I actually totally love, and then there's the third part. So the first part and the third part, I don't like at all, and I procrastinate in the first part, and I procrastinate on the third part, but I don't procrastinate in the second part. I've been looking forward. I kept looking at the clock for the last hour. I said, you don't want to be late. You don't want-
Dean: Right. I was sitting here.
Dan: And it's 12:27. Minutes are really long when you're looking forward to something, and you're not there yet.
Dean: Yeah. I agree. That is so funny. You mentioned something about the thought, and we talked about it at lunch yesterday, this idea how thought, thinking a thought, leads to how you think about other thoughts. And that was really a powerful thing, because one of the thoughts that you've been instrumental in planting for me this year is that, the conversation thing. When we've been talking about just doing. If we could steer toward all the things that do just involve conversation, that has been the biggest shift for me. And I would say in the last six months. I started in January, just before the new year, with this idea of how can I really leverage these conversations? How deep can I go with the content extraction, or the value extraction that I can get from every conversation that I have? And I started, coming into the year with this idea that what I wanted to do was I wanted to model what's possible with one hour podcast a week. And so, with my More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast, what I've done is that, everybody on my list gets three emails a week, that are all 100% derived from what I've said on the podcast. And it's so delightful. I look forward to doing that, the format of the way the More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast is, because it's just a podcast where I'm having conversations with an entrepreneur, applying the profit activators to their business, which I never get tired of. I've constantly got new ideas and ways to think about it. And then, when I hang up, what I've captured is that conversation in its audio form, which is the podcast. And then we get it transcribed, and from that, I have a writer who can go in ... I call her a gold digger, that she can go in and find two 300 to 500 word excerpts from this episode, that can be turned into 300 to 500 word articles, that go out. So the three emails a week are the announcement of the new episode, and then the Tuesday and Thursday emails are really nice 300 to 500 word articles that are derived from that content, of which I don't have to write them, because I said them. I already said it, and somebody taking it, and just shaping it into that, polishing it into written form for it. And then I get the emails ahead of time, and I just get to put the final, final polish on them, which is just my own word smithery, you know?
Dean: Just looking how I might say something compared to another. But I would say that there's less than 2% to 5% change in it. I might make a couple of little changes, which I love to do, as opposed to having to set up that goal of sending out content emails, and having to block time off on my calendar to write those emails alone, would be a drag.
Dan: Well it would be a likely situation where you would procrastinate.
Dan: If you had to do it on your own.
Dan: I know the experience 100% that you're talking about. And the thing is that I will get enthusiastic during the conversation here.
Dan: And my previous history, going back to childhood, in the 1940's and 1950's, my previous thing is I would get really excited. And I said, "I'll tell you what. I'll go up, and I'll think about this, and I'll put it together." And I'm saying this in the enthusiasm of the conversation.
Dan: Okay? But then once I get away from the conversation, I say, "Oh, where'd he go?"
Dan: Where's my buddy? Now I gotta sit here in front of the computer, and I've got to capture it, and I've lost all my follow through enthusiasm. There's not follow through enthusiasm. And I'll tell you what I did, and this will give the listeners a little bit of insight. I have a writer who works for me, and so every time we do a podcast, he, of course, will two or three days later, go and get the actual podcast, and he'll listen to it, and then he'll get it transcribed. And he'll pull off ten talking points, so I have a sheet of paper in front of me right now-
Dan: ... from our very first episode, a year ago. And I'm looking at all 10 points, and they're all extraordinary meaningful points, but my understanding of each of these 10 points is incredibly greater than when we said these things a year ago, so I said, "Well, we're starting at the top of our scorecard again, for this beginning of the second year." And I said, "Isn't that great? I have the complete record of the key points that we talked about a year ago."
Dean: I love that.
Dan: But I didn't do the work. The writer did it.
Dan: Yeah. And I was so thrilled when I was able to give it to you. And that was one of the thrills, when you came in for your, where we did the Joy of Procrastination in the studio.
Dan: But I was able to hand you, this is the entire bullet points of everything that we've talked about in all of our sessions, during the first year. So that was, it's not only useful to send out to other people, but we have the benefit now, of going deeper with anything that we choose, from what we talked about a year ago. And we're back to our very first mindset, which is everybody procrastinates. And I just wanted to, just to kick that off, how do you feel about that statement now, that mindset that everybody procrastinates?
Dean: I can't tell you how many people that I've seen, that have said exactly that, that they're just fascinated by the fact that we brought that out there, and made it okay. Because everybody in the past has been hiding behind the guilt and shame associated with that word. And now here we are-
Dean: ... celebrating it.
Dan: Celebrating it. Yes.
Dean: Yeah. As far as I know-
Dan: You know, it's almost like-
Dean: ... we're the first ones that have ever really celebrated it.
Dan: You know, it's almost ... I was thinking in scientific terms. It's almost like we've cracked the nuclear code here. We've learned how to take something that was radioactive, and turn it into energy.
Dean: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. And I'll tell you what's evolved for me now, is the, with this idea of conversation, I can wake up and say, "What have you got for me today?" And it's always right there. And in most of the times when I've been experimenting with the last couple of weeks here now, is how can I turn that into a conversation as the action, instead of I have to block time off and do something else. I've got, and I've had this for a while, now in combination here. I have a special calendar set up with a link that I can send to the people that I want to be in conversation with, and say ... I may, in some cases, I'll wake up and there's three people, or maybe even more if I'm doing it at the beginning of a week, that these are the people that I want to connect with. I can send one email to all of them, saying, "I really want to connect this week. Can you pick a time, and let's connect. That way, the logistics of setting up the conversations are even smoother. 'Cause I don't have an Anna yet, in terms of somebody who completely manages my calendar. So that's a good way for me to ... I just pick the times, when I know I want to be available, and then they are filled. And it's so relaxing.
Dean: It's like sending ... I notice, as soon as I send that email, as soon as I've said, "What have you got for me today?" It's typically something that involved a who, another person. That's been the ... That's I think what drives the energy of procrastination. It's always something that ... Not always, but most of the time it's involving other people that you owe somebody something, or you need to move something forward, or there's something that somebody else is expecting, and so to be able to, if I can turn that into a time.
Dan: Yeah. You know that what's rally interesting about that, you said you don't have an Anna yet, but I kinda gave you the benefit of Anna, because one of the things we did is Anna set up all of our podcast recording dates for ... And she runs it 12 months ahead-
Dan: ... so you can always look at your schedule 12 months ahead. Even though you were getting the benefit of, this is Anna Divcher, who is-
Dan: ... the scheduler for Babs and me. So I said rather than it being left open ended and undetermined what our next podcasts are, we just, I just said to Anna, "Why don't you get in touch with Dean, and why don't we just go 12 months out.
Dan: And actually put in all the dates, and therefore, Dean won't have to think about it. I won't have to think about it. It's already in the schedule.
Dan: But do that every time we go through one month, add another month at the other end, so it's a running 12 months. It's always 12 months ahead. And you hit on something here. The biggest shift, and I remember it was your thoughts, and I remember it so clearly. A year ago, you said, "All the procrastination comes from the question how-"
Dan: ... "but the solution is don't ask the question how, ask the question who."
Dan: In other words, who is now going to be the next person, after we do our part, which is the conversation, which we love, which we enjoy, which we don't procrastinate about, and get it to the hand of someone who also doesn't procrastinate in the very activity we need as the next step.
Dean: Yeah. And that's been ... Watching you, the way your book process has evolved just beautifully over the last, is it three years now you've been doing the book-
Dan: Yeah. I'm, yeah. I'm just finishing book 11, so this is the cartoons. Just for the listeners, who don't know, is that I have a 25 year framework that I plan forward. And I started a new one. I did one from 45 to 70, and now I'm starting, at age 70 I started a new one which will take me to 95. And I think about it in terms of 100 quarters. That's four quarters times 25 years.
Dan: And you get 100 quarters. And I just decided, you know. I've written a lot of books. I've written 13 books before that. But it was always the painful being off on my own, and producing copy, and oftentimes even doing the graphics for it, which was very painful to me. And I said, "I'd like to write a book every quarter per 100 quarters. So, by the time I'm 95, having started at 70, I will have produced 100 books, one per quarter. And then I got into that, and I was immediately confronted with just the horror, the alone time that that was gonna require.
Dan: And out of pure desperation, I stopped thinking in terms of how on my part, and who on other, who else is on ... And now I have a nine person team who cover ... And this team, they're skilled individuals who cover all aspects of taking the conversations, because I'm interviewed now, and that's all happening. And that has gotten hugely better in the last year, again for because you and I are having these conversations. And so I've removed every aspect of procrastination on my part from that process. I just show up and talk.
Dean: Yes. That is so ... That's the shift right there, is realizing that it almost seems like it can't be that. It can't be possible. I remember the shift number one for me was thinking how, when you're first kind of discovering and exploring what your unique ability is, it almost feel like, well that can't be it, 'cause that's just too easy, right? And then, this is even that next level is just the talking. And it's funny because I've traditionally been resistant to synchronous and scheduled as a thing. When I have a ... I know I'm being successful when top value of I can wake up every day and say, "What would I like to do today?" That has been something that's set me up to avoid synchronous and scheduled things, because I like to have that sort of flexibility. But also set up a culture of procrastination, because thinking that it is, that that's my ideal way to work is just asynchronously at my discretion. That's kind of the dream of the freedom scenario. But the reality is that the most freeing way to work is synchronous and scheduled. And that's been a big big shift for me. It doesn't have to be that, because I get to set the schedule, so I'm not into the routine of things, where I'm locked in and can't change anything. It's a fluid, flowing schedule. When I am doing things, is to have them synchronous and scheduled, and involving other people. That's really the power move for me.
Dan: Yeah. And the other ... I was just thinking, if I observed the changes that you've gone through, which really resonate with the changes that I've gone through in the last year, is that sort of thick scheduling I often felt was a bit of a straight jacket.
Dan: And I was getting caught in a straight jacket, and I was being pushed into procrastination territory, because potentially I was obligating myself to doing things that I knew were going to be painful.
Dan: Well, certainly unjoyful. I'll use the opposite of our title for the series. And what brought up, because I'm really observing things now that I'm in my 70's. I have a special experience right now, that I am far, far more excited about all the work that I'm going to be doing, up until age 95. In a way, and periodically talking to other 70 year old who quit working when they were 60 or 65, and when I ask them why'd you quit, and they said, "Well, it was just getting to be such a drag. The work was just getting to be such a drag. And you know, I couldn't stand the deadlines anymore and I just kept feeling the pressure building up, and I was looking ahead. And I might as well just pack it in right now. Hopefully I have enough money that I can just sorta hang out for the rest of my life."
Dan: Well, essentially brainstorming. They want to get to brainstorming, if you want to really talk about what retirement is all about. I get to just let my mind go where I want. Of course, they ran out of money. They ran out of friends, and they don't have any purpose. But those are just ... Put aside those three minor points. No friends, no money, and no purpose, and what that does to you. And what I'm noticing is I've defeated retirement. I'm at an age where I can legitimately say at age 73, I've defeated the entire idea of retirement, because I've taken out of my life all the things that would prompt somebody to retire.
Dean: Yes. And you're at the point where even the government is forcing you into it, by forcing you to take your government pension, and forcing you to take your distributions from your retirement funds.
Dan: Yeah. Well, I, yeah. I told you yesterday at lunch that I was in Chicago because a lot of my top notch medical health, even though I have the Canadian healthcare system here, the real skilled people we have is actually in Chicago, because Babs and I are citizens of both countries. And she was, 'cause she's getting a lot of people, anybody who's in the 70's is taking advantage of Medicare. And she said, "You don't use Medicare at all, do you? And I said, "I don't think I do, because I'm not entirely sure what it is.
Dan: And everything else. And she said, "You probably don't take your pension. I says, "Not that I'm aware of. A check may come in, but it comes in to my bookkeeper."
Dan: And she's probably got some account. I said, "It's neither Medicare or ..." In Canada, I like Canada's version of pension, because they called it old age pension. They don't-
Dean: Isn't that the greatest? Old age pension.
Dan: Yeah. Old age pension. There's a disincentive.
Dan: And everything like that. And I said, "No." I'm not involving myself in the thinking that would go along with those two government checks. I think they're bad for my thinking. I don't want to involve myself in them.
But I want to go back, Dean, just before our hour flies by here, is that the bad side of everybody procrastinates, when this is really are pressing you, is that you always blame outside factors for problems that are actually caused by your procrastinations.
Dan: Just to relate it to what we've both discovered over the last year ... Hello?
Dean: Hi. There he is.
Dan: You're thinking.
Dean: No. I was ... You cut out a little bit there. Are you still, are you there?
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, we both cut out, because I couldn't hear you either.
Dean: Okay. There we go.
Dan: So again, the statement, this is on the procrastination priority score card. And anybody who wants to download those can just go to Joy of Procrastination, and it's a PDF download. You always blame outside factors for problems that are actually caused by your procrastinations.
Dean: And that is funny. I kind of discovered that that's sort of a natural tendency of people is to do external blame shifting. And I caught ... I have a couple of friends who are on the Meyers Briggs, they're ENFP, and so they're extrovertive, intuitive, feeling, perceivers. And I don't know whether it's just a trait in that, or maybe in others, but I recognize the trigger words that are immediately brought up when questioned about something that is, that they've been procrastinating. The starting word is well. "Well," and then it leads to insert external blame shifting here. "Well, I was gonna ... " Yeah.
Dan: Or fiction writing. They become fiction writers. They make up a story that bears no, has no connection to reality whatsoever. They just make up a story.
Dean: Yeah. That's funny. So that was a very funny thing that I discovered by accident, and love to point that out. But it's certainly the language of external blame shifting. And it's a natural thing that we always kind of ... I think it's a natural tendency that people want to protect their egos, protect their, yeah, another shell around-
Dan: The whole thing is that you feel totally defenseless. In fact, if you were procrastinating, what defense do you have against that being revealed? There's no comeback to it. You were procrastinating. Humans are geared, they like to avoid all sorts of unpleasant situations, but I gotta believe being revealed as a procrastinator has been one of the greatest fears that people have. There's no comeback. You can't defend yourself against that. And you know, it's really interesting, 'cause it's shifted my understanding of the news, 'cause I'm a news junkie, and have been since childhood. And most of the news is complaining and blaming, if you actually watch-
Dan: ... the news. And you've got the accusers and blamers, who are usually the news media. And they're interviewing people who are criticizing, accusing, and blaming someone else. And then there's the people who are being accused and blamed. All of them are procrastinators. The newspeople are procrastinating because they're late in getting the story out, so they double down on their accusation and their blaming of everybody. And I said it's because nobody in the world can actually admit that they were just procrastinating. They're late. They were supposed to do something and they didn't do something. And I could just imagine that the entire news media depends upon procrastination never being a good thing.
Dan: Yeah. I was just watching the news from the States. They're not repealing Obamacare, and they're not coming in with a new health plan, and then I said, "It's just a massive, massive web involving millions of procrastinators.
Dean: Yeah. And everybody loves to poke at that. I think you're right, that that's what contagious in a way. That's what, the news is really calling them out on that. And you see the ... I saw a meme that was going around saying, how to fix healthcare. If President Trump made a mandate that Congress had to, as of midnight, accept or work on the same healthcare plan as Obamacare, that it would get fixed very quickly.
Dan: You mean if they depended on Obamacare for their healthcare.
Dean: That's what I mean. If it was, yeah-
Dean: If he switched it so all the congressmen had to be, they had to live under Obamacare-
Dean: ... that was their healthcare plan, it would get fixed real quick.
Dan: Yeah. That's ... Yeah, and many other problems in the world like that. If they have a sweetheart health plan, well then they have no incentive to solve the problem for anyone else, because as far as their concerned, there's no problem, because they're not experiencing it.
Dean: That's exactly right. That's exactly right.
Dan: Yeah. And the second mindset here is that we do admire. We do admire people. So this is the second statement. You admire people who seem to be free of procrastination, but it frustrates that you don't know their secret. So would you say that most people's public stance, and how they present themselves, think of meetings you've been in, think of presentations, that everybody will present almost like a theatrical front. It's almost like their public front.
Dean: Oh yeah.
Dan: That they're not procrastinators. They're on top of everything.
Dan: They do have their complaints that they people around them sometimes often are not dependable for getting things done when they should. But that would not be true of them. They're on top of everything. And if they don't have the answer, it's because someone who's supposed to provide the answer is late.
Dean: Yeah. "Well, let me tell you what happened."
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Well, here's the problem we have. We have the best experts. We have the most competent people, and we've got our act together, but we're depending on people who don't have their act together.
Dean: I think the key words in that statement are seem to be free of procrastination.
Dean: Because anybody that you think seems to be is not. And the secret is that they are not free from procrastination. We've discovered that it is, literally seven billion people, approximately.
Dan: Seven point three now. Seven point three, so I don't want to give you a free ride here. This is such a great thing, because you begin to understand this secret shameful offstage, that nobody but you experiences. But then you have a look good in public skill that ... And I think about large bureaucracies, and how they use email. They send email to cover them. "Well, I sent you an email on this."
Dan: "Three weeks ago, and I informed everybody, and I just didn't get any response from them." I think we've really tapped ... I go right back to the story of the garden of Eden and, the story Adam and Eve, and "Do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge." I think that was the statement there. And you did. You did-
Dean: That's it.
Dan: ... that which you should not do. No, no, no, no. Besides, it was the women who did it. It wasn't me.
Dean: Well, it was the Devil. It was the snake talked me into it.
Dan: Yeah. The first words out of Adam's mouth is a procrastination. It's external blame shifting. That's ... Poor Eve. She didn't really even have anyone else to talk to. She didn't have anyone else to blame at that time.
Dean: Oh, just that snake. That's funny.
Dan: That snake, yeah. That snake. Snakes are, they take it in ... Well, they don't even have necks. But they take it in the neck right from the beginning.
And then the third statement is you design your life so that everything is on autopilot, with the result that there's nothing new to procrastinate about. And I would say that you can take the word retirement, and autopilot, and put the two of them together.
Dan: I've stashed away enough money, and the money operates automatically, and it's offshore.
Dean: Yeah. Yeah.
Dan: It's in a Swiss back account, and it's in a tax haven. And I take on no new projects. I have no new deals. I have nothing. Whatever variation, people have different income status, and different status.
Dan: But this pain, this unjoyful, these vast areas in our life of unjoyfulness due to procrastination, how that's kind of at the center of people's notion of what's a good life or a bad life.
Dan: And I didn't see any of this a year ago. This has just come from conversations.
Dean: It is fascinating when we're revisiting now, to see how ... Really, it's like a positive focus in a way. We're looking back, and seeing the progress. It's tremendous. I just can't stress enough how much more effortlessly productive I am.
Dan: Can I ask you a question? Do you find yourself more understanding and more tolerant of other people's grappling with this problem, than you did?
Dean: I do. I do, because I see it now. That's what I was saying, in my observation of it, I just kind of see where people go to, where they automatically go to, and it's like you ... Primarily it's going to an external blame shifting. And understand that coupled with what their unique ability is, but it's typically something that has not been their unique ability, whether it's that they are a quick start, and this requires fact finding, or that they are a fact finder, and this was just dumped on them as a, which really should've been a project. Somebody who had more structure to it. But anytime that people have to step outside of their effortless unique ability, that that is where that procrastination lies. That's been my observation.
Dan: Yeah. And what's beautiful about this, and that is that I notice, in our company, something that was generally agreed on in a meeting or something. It hasn't happened yet. And what I find more and more, when the desired result hasn't happened because various contributions on the part of, it could be up to ten people. Five or six of them haven't happened yet. My attitude is, "Well, let's just look at the whole structure of this project, and what was happening to the individuals in it, and let's think it through again, and let's just use what's happened so far as practice. So we took our first attempt at getting this done, and now let's just get together again, and without any blaming whatsoever, let's just talk about where the difficulties were in carrying it out, and actually making the proper connections and moving things forward. And let's just treat it as a lesson and make some changes now. We practiced for the time that we gave, but it was just practice time. It was almost like we were just brainstorming.
Dan: Yeah. And now, all of us are really smarter, so let's just take the clock back, and say we're just taking the clock back to the start again, and now how will we, based on what we've learned, and how each of us needs to contribute, but also how the teamwork has to happen. And now let's really do that project. And instantly I find there's this forgiveness, sort of collective forgiveness, but individual forgiveness, and people say, "Okay, now we know. I shouldn't have really obligated. I have so much on my plate, and I knew I had so much on my plate, but I didn't want to say anything because I thought, well I'll work weekends, and I'll work nights, and I'll get it done." And I said, "But you're not gonna do it."
Dan: Or maybe you shouldn't be doing it at all. Maybe you should be doing this part of the project. Any of you want to trade assignments here.
Dan: Anyway, it's kind of interesting, because that really-
Dean: Have you found that ... I was gonna ask if you'd found that with your cartoonist, for instance, because I know that you've shifted the way that you interact with Hamish now.
Dan: Yeah. There was two things. One is that he really, really loves conversation, but what I was sending him was written specifications on what the cartoon should look like, and I would even send him drawings. But he's a much better cartoonist than I am, but I was also forcing him to work alone. I would work alone, then I would send something to him, and he would work alone. Then it would come back, and then I would write something to him. "Well, change this and change this," which I did on my own, and he would get it, and he's reading it alone, and he's trying to interpret what I did. But very, very little conversation in any of this.
Dan: And now what we do is we both read the finished copy beforehand, and I highlight, and I send him through a PDF, and he's done the same thing, and then we just put our, the points that we think each of us, and I said, "Okay, well what do the cartoons actually look like?" And he can, on Zoom, which is a wonderful communication medium, he'll just draw the cartoon. I said, "Well, let's just look at the first page. Do you think it's one cartoon, two cartoons, what do you think? Three cartoons? Then we'll sit there and talk about it and we'll get agreement, and then we'll ... But I'm not gonna go through the whole process here, but it's now purely a conversational-
Dan: ... to the maximum degree, we converse on it, and then he says, "Okay, I feel really comfortable. I can go and I can get the first 80% done." And I said, "Okay, well give Anne," you know, my scheduler, "just tell her when you'd want to have the next, when you feel ready to have the next conversation, just let her know. She'll let me know, and then I'll come in on Zoom, and we can take it from there.
Dean: Right. Fantastic. I like that.
Dean: That's a shift. That's a shift in the last 12 months for you.
Dan: Well, and the other thing is, what I noticed in up 'til book nine, and then book 10 I switched over to 100% conversation driven, on my part. And usually we're really starting to hustle now, because the deadline for having everything finished is about two and a half weeks. And we'll be finished a week and a half early, this way.
Dean: Pretty exciting.
Dan: Yeah, it is very, very exciting. I mean, it's ... I said, "It took me 73 years to discover this." And I said, "Well, you know, it's a great treat to have discovered this in the year '73.
Dean: Yeah. That's awesome. And there's a, the fourth column, you have to recognize that you're a procrastinator, because so is everyone else on earth. 7.3 billion and counting. We've added to the numbers since we did it last year.
Dan: Yeah. The population of the plant has gone up since we talked about this. But it's very forgiving. You just think of all the psychological and psychiatric explanations that are out there, why people are miserable all the time. They don't use the word procrastinate. They stay away from it, and I said, "What if a large amount of this is just the negativity that what is being talked about is this syndrome or that syndrome, and that, and that all these syndromes are just a failure and the general disinclination to come to grips with personal procrastination.
Dean: Yeah. Pretty exciting. I can't wait to see what the second year holds in store for us.
Dan: Yep. Well, we're approaching the magic hour when we have to end up. We're an hour into this, but this has been such a pleasure. This has been like a birthday celebration.
Dean: It really has. Yeah. I've enjoyed it. And it's almost like, without any real conscious effort. Doesn't feel like it's been constant effort that things have shifted for both of us-
Dean: ... in the last 12 months. I look forward to it.
Dan: One of the things ... I'll just wrap up with three things that I've gotten out of this conversation. One is that it may be that we're kind of similar, because of our Cold-Eze and other factors, and where we are in our entrepreneurial career. But coming to grips with procrastination has both led us more or less the same direction. That's one point.
Dan: And the second point is, in both of our minds, being scheduled, like there is firm schedules and firm deadlines have gone from being a necessary evil in our lives to something that actually supports our ability to stay in the activity that we both find joyful.
Dean: I agree. And for me, that has been the big shift. 'Cause I find now that shift to synchronous and scheduled, it actually gives me more freedom than the asynchronous openness of it with carrying the weight of, "I should be doing this." And it's like a half freedom, if that makes sense.
Dan: Yep. Totally.
Dean: It's kind of a half freedom, because I'm carrying around the weight of, "I need to do this." Whereas having it blocked on the calendar is, I know that I'm 100% free up until that moment, and I only have to be engaged in something that's exciting and effortless during that block of time, and then I'm 100% free again.
Dan: Yeah, and you're 100% free because you already set up the synchronous teamwork-
Dan: ... that's gonna follow. And the power of that idea, and you conveyed it right in our first podcast a year ago, was when something has to be done, do not think of how it has to be done, because that's not really part of what you have to do. It's the who that you just have to make sure that they get a clear, new value that you created in the conversation. They can now take that clear, new value and expand it. They can package it, expand it, and send it out. And just a really tremendous thing here, that we've discovered. And it's been a real pleasure, and it's been a joy to work with you Dean, because this has been a terrific teamwork over the last year.
Dean: It really has. I look forward to many more.
Dan: Yes. And since our future is more joyful than our past, it's all anticipation looking forward to our next podcast.
Dean: That's awesome. And we know that it's already synchronous and scheduled.
Dan: And I'll be there.
Dan: Okay Dean.
Dean: Thanks Dan. I'll talk to you soon.
Dan: Okay bye.