Ep035: Procrastination Frequency

Join Dean and Dan as they talk about how scheduling and frequency (as well as technology) can help procrastination.



Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep035

Dean: Mr. Sullivan.

Dan: Mr. Jackson, where are you? Reunited.

Dean: I'm in Winter Haven. I just got-

Dan: Oh, good. Yeah.

Dean: Yeah, I just got back.

Dan: I just...

Dean: Go ahead.

Dan: I just spent two weeks in Arizona.

Dean: Oh, yeah. How did that go?

Dan: That was great. That was a week at Canyon Ranch and then we did the Genius Network in Phoenix. I had a terrific experience on Friday night, so day before yesterday, in that Joe, through Joe, you know, who can arrange almost...

Dean: Yes.

Dan: ... almost anything with anybody, we had dinner with Alice Cooper. Babs and I were guests. We had about 10 people for dinner and Alice Cooper was there.

Dean: I love it.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: That's so great.

Dan: I'm not a big rock fan, never ... I was a jazz fan, early rock and roll, '50s and '60s but then I really wasn't a rock fan. And so, this was an entirely new chapter in my knowledge about music. So, yeah, I spent about three hours chatting and great guy. I mean, great person. I mean, just ... He actually grew up just about the same time, about two or three miles from Babs in Detroit.

Dean: Is that right? Wow.

Dan: Yeah. '50s, Babs was born in ... So they're both ... He's a little older, about three years older, but I mean he had the same memories of Detroit in the '50s and '60s. And just a terrific attitude about his stage persona and who he is as an individual. He says, "The stage persona is, it's the stage persona." But he said, "That's not who I am." He's down to earth, he's funny. He's really interesting. Not only interesting, but interested, you know?

Dean: Yes.

Dan: I've known people who are interesting, but they're not interested.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah, so anyway.

Dean: That's funny. I went to Hawaii earlier, well about almost a year ago now and had dinner with Shep Gordon who is Alice's manager. Yeah, so we had ... It's kind of cool, we've had the bookend experience there.

Dan: Yeah. And Shep is sort of famous in his own right because he was a real pioneer and he was one of the first people who understood that the future of rock and roll was going to be in the concerts.

Dean: Yes. And really that, especially even the stuff that he pioneered with Alice Cooper. I mean, that's really, that's something. So, so much-

Dan: Yeah, you know what I mean? It's really interesting and he's got a radio show, a night time radio show called Nights with Alice Cooper.

Dean: I didn't know that.

Dan: Yeah. And he's in 140 markets around the world. And what he did-

Dean: Wow. Is it a talk radio show?

Dan: Yeah. Talk radio. And the thing about it is that it's five hours of talk and music, but he does, or he actually does the five hours of recording when he's doing it. He's in the studio for five hours and he does it five times a week. And I came home and you can go to podcasts of just him talking and he's just really, really interesting. And I mean, it's a pleasure to listen to him. He made a comment, which I thought was funny. He says, "I'm telling the history of the way things were in the '60s and '70s, the early days." Not the real, real early days, which is the '50s, but the late '60s, '70s, early '80s, and he says, "And I can say anything I want because I'm the only one who's still alive."

Dean: That's so funny. I love it. Well, it's been ... Where do we even begin? I've got so much catching up to do.

Dan: To report on.

Dean: It's been a few weeks. Yes, exactly.

Dan: It was actually the fourth of February. The fourth of February was the last time we tuned in.  Yeah, and the interesting thing, and I made a point that you are more than 50% of my cell phone use.  But here's the thing, the last time I used my cell phone was actually February fourth, talking to Dean Jackson.

Dean: I love it. That's the best.

Dan: ... this is really ... Yeah. Yeah, this piece of technology is just for you, Dean.

Dean: Oh, this is great. I love it. The whole ... There's something to that, though, you know? I want to talk about, I mean, specifically that in a little bit here, because that's an interesting piece. I'm going to forward you, I just got it yesterday, somebody forwarded me, an article in the New York Times called The Tyranny of Convenience. And it is really pretty fascinating how, it's just some of the quotes on these. And you were, you came right to my mind as I was doing it. Basically, the summary of the article is that convenience is the most underestimated and least understood force in the world today. Probably next to procrastination. Yes.

Dan: Well the two of them, I think the two of them go together, actually.

Dean: You're absolutely right. "As a driver of human decisions, it may not offer the illicit thrill of Freud's unconscious sexual desires, or the mathematical elegance of the economist's incentives. Convenience is boring, but boring is not the same thing as trivial."

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: And it was saying convenience has the ability to make other options unthinkable. "Once you've used a washing machine, laundering clothes by hand seems irrational, even if it might be cheaper. After you've experienced streaming television, waiting to see a show at a prescribed hour seems silly, even a little undignified. But to resist convenience, not to own a cell phone, not to use Google, has come to require a special kind of dedication that's often taken for eccentricity, if not fanaticism." It requires a special dedication.

Dan: Yeah, well, I don't know what the dedication is, but it's, I mean, we could go into it because everybody who wants to get in touch with me, and everybody I want to get in touch with, those events happen. Those events happen throughout the year. I mean, you're one of my events.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: So, not only does it happen, but we're scheduled a year out. I mean, every month and contacts, your contact person and we put it in the schedule and we're all set. So, there's nothing I'm missing throughout the year because I don't use a cell phone.

Dean: I get it, yeah.

Dan: I have no sense of scarcity. I have no sense I've missed opportunity as a result of not using a cell phone. I carry a charged up cell phone with me all the time just in case there is a phone call that I have to make, or Babs wants to contact me for something. But, I don't feel beholden to being available. I don't feel, you know? I'm available when it suits me.

Dean: Yes. I agree. And I think that that is one of these things that fits into this category that I've really been thinking a lot about this month especially is this idea of ... I've been adapting my question of waking up every day and asking what would I like to do today? And asking myself this question of what would I like to do or happen tomorrow? And that's a really interesting re-frame of a question. Rather than reacting to what's going on today, I'm thinking proactively about what would I like to happen tomorrow?

And when you've got that kind of frame, you wake up and it's still filled with things that I really want to do, right? Because I say, normally my thing is I wake up every day and say, "What would I like to do today?" Which, in a lot of ways has been a limiting factor, right? In that you're not being resistant to scheduling things out ahead of time. But asking that same intention of filling my time doing things that I really love to do, but doing it, thinking ahead and saying, "What would I like to do, or happen tomorrow?" And just that tomorrow being not today and some point in the future. Filling up all of these future tomorrows with stuff that I can actually set in motion today. That's been a big shift for me.

Dan: Yeah, and I would say, and we haven't talked about this before, but if you go back because you've been in this approach now for as long as I've known you. As long as I've known you, you've been in this approach of what do I want to do today? And then you added within the, since we've been doing the podcast you've added the tomorrow part of it. But I would say and this as an outside observer, I'm just looking from the outside at you, that the quality of what you're doing today compared to 10 years ago is much higher. The impact of it is much higher. The return on investment is much higher.

So it's not like it's always the same, but because there aren't a lot of things that you're contending with every day, the emphasis isn't on quantity, it's I'm going to do certain things today and I'm going to give a lot of room for the experiences to actually improve. Or over time there's going to be an improvement of quality. And that's what I'm noticing that is missing from the whole convenience. The fact that something's convenient says nothing about the quality of the experience.

Dean: Yes, agreed. And that's what they're saying. That's what they're saying here, is that the tyranny of the convenience. Because it's convenient, it's often not the best thing. And we often replace what our true preference would be with the convenience. Like even if people say, "I prefer to brew my own coffee and grind the beans and really have that coffee experience." It's just so convenient to order coffee or pick up a coffee on my way to work at Starbucks.

Dan: Or use Nespresso or use Nespresso pods.

Dean: Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan: You know? I mean, Nespresso actually removed the Starbucks from the ground beans market. I mean, people used to go to Starbucks, get a bag of beans. You'd wait for it to be ground and they would bring it to you. And then Starbucks said, "We'll just look at the ones people want all the time and we'll have it pre-ground, so we'll make it more convenient." And then but you still had to take it home, you had to unpack the bag, you had to ... It was kind of messy. You had to take the ground beans out, or grind them yourself, and you had to put them in the pod thing. And Nespresso comes along and says, "We'll do all that for you. We'll just take a cut.

Dean: Yeah, don't worry about it.

Dan:  A pre-ground portion for one cup of coffee.

Dean: A coffee pod.

Dan: ... and let's do a pod." And they did a beautiful job. Now, I don't mind it. I don't mind it because I have it in the workshops and it served espresso in the workshops if they weren't pod form.

Dean: Exactly. They have baristas to man the workshop room. Right.

Dan: Yeah. It'd be an unholy mess otherwise.

Dean: That's right.

Dan: Yeah. So, it's interesting. It brings up the question in my mind, where is it that convenience is really a quality experience and where is it that it's just stuff? It's just stuff that's filling up your brain because one of my observations about convenience is that what was convenient for a lot of people six months ago, is no longer convenient. It's taking too much time.

Dean: Give me an example.

Dan: Well, yeah, people tuning into the internet and, I mean, just think about it. You're tuning in to a capability that gives you access to the world, and I watch people and they say, they're waiting 10 seconds for it to actually link up so that they can link up. And they say, "Man, this internet is so slow. It's 10 seconds to connect with the world."

Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan: Well, I mean, 20 years ago you couldn't connect with the world, now you can connect with the world, but it's already inconvenient that you have to wait 10 seconds. And I think that if you get into the convenience arms race, nothing's ever good enough for very long.

Dean: Right. Yeah, I think, and it spoils you for going backwards on it. You're absolutely right. Yeah. You think about the pioneers, how long it took to get from one side of the country to California climbing over the mountains and all of that. And now you just fly and you get upset when there's a delay. It's pretty interesting.

Dan: And you're complaining about the experience of being three or four hours in an airplane, but you've gone across three timezones in three or four hours and...

Dean: Yeah. Exactly.

Dan: But that's the thing, because it's just quantity of convenience, it's not quality of convenience.

Dean: Right. I have a new addition into my world here. I got a, something called the reMarkable Tablet. Have you seen these, Dan?

Dan: Yes, I have. I have seen the reMarkable Tablet.

Dean: And what do you think about the reMarkable Tablet? Have you tried it?

Dan: Well, I think it's great. Yeah, no, I just, somebody had it and he just showed me how he used it. I thought it was really terrific, actually.

Dean: It's really ... I think this is really something because I'm a pen and paper kind of guy and I have an iPad Pro with the pencil and the whole thing, but it's not the same experience. Just the tactile experience, right? There's still a latency and it's still you're writing on glass, so it's tap, tap, tap. That kind of a thing. What this reMarkable Tablet has done is created zero latency and a textured matte finish feel that is exactly like writing on paper.

Dan: Paper.

Dean: Yes. It feels just like it. And of course you have to replace the nibs on your thing because there's that abrasion and it gets, wears down. So it's like a pencil lead kind of thing.

Dan: Yeah. I remember having to do that with pencils every once in a while I had to throw one of them away.

Dean: Yeah. And then this is so ... The great thing about it is that it's digital now, right? Right now I don't have to have all these multiple notebooks for multiple projects. I can keep everything in the...

Dan: One.

Dean: ... folders and share it. It's just so, it's so wonderful, you know?

Dan: Yeah. Well, you see it's a compromise with the analog experience, because the analog experience is writing on paper, and but it is digital, so it's a halfway creature. They went to digital and they tried to convince you that writing with your finger on glass or something was a complete and total substitute for writing on paper with pen.

Dean: It's not at all.

Dan: But people didn't buy into it. People didn't buy into it, and so they've come back 50% of the way back to the borderline between digital and analog, and that's why you're, I think that's why you're loving it. You're getting the benefit, and convenience of digital, but you're getting the actual satisfying sensory experience of analog.

Dean: Yup. That's exactly it. It has more of a Kindle feel to it, than anything.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: I love it.

Dan: And I think that that's going to be happening more and more. There were the futurists who were saying ... I can remember in the 1980s going to conferences and people say, "25 years from now there won't be anymore paper on the planet." Well, paper sales are at an all time high right now.

Dean: Is that right? That's awesome, I love that.

Dan:  Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, we like paper.

Dean: Yes we do.

Dan: There are things in paper. For example, if you send someone an email it's iffy whether the person's actually seen it or read it because it could have just gotten wiped. It might not have even gotten through the filters. But if you send them a fax and the paper comes out, I find the chances are two to three times higher if you sent the person a fax that they will have read what you did, rather than an email.

Dean: Mm-hmm, and that's I would do.

Dan: On the other end it was I'm talking about a paper fax. I'm not talking ... I'm talking about paper fax, and a paper fax was delivered to the person, they said, "Oh, well it's in paper, it must be important."

Dean: Right, exactly. Yeah, yeah.

Dan: Yeah. So I think we're going back to this. I think everybody ... I think this is going to be an individual decision, but my feeling is that if you're succeeding as a person both in your personal life and your professional life, you will have actually moved more back towards the analog three years from now than you are today.

Dean: Yes. I like that. I wonder, I think when we were talking about your cell phone and I was saying about the moving my thinking towards what would I like to do tomorrow. By you not having that cell phone interrupting things, or as a way to keep you from being present, right, in the day, which a lot of people ... I mean, we're all ... You look around and it really is that people are completely addicted, right? I mean, we're definitely ... It's crystal clear when you're in a group of people that our preference is for the digital world. I mean, the new posture of everybody is leaned overlooking at their screen.

And it's not that big of a leap to think that that's going to move up another eight inches and be right in front of you when it all becomes the virtual world here as we're moving forward, as we talk about that migration to Cloudlandia that everybody's moving over to that world. That if you're doing things where you are getting that sense of abundant time that we talk about, because you've only got three things that you're focused on then there's enough time to get those in, that that really is a way of consciously bypassing that demand. That the frequency is really increasing as a society, you know?

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: It's more convenient.

Dan: You know, I've actually, when I go ... Half of my trip to Arizona is to a health resort, luxury health resort called Canyon Ranch, and this was our 45th trip since 1990.

Dean: Wow.

Dan: I've been going for 28 years and 45th trip. And what a lot of people do when they go there they just max their time out. They've got a class every hour. They're doing this, or they've got an appointment with the massage therapist, or they're seeing some sort of special on this when they get up in the morning. But, I look at it and I said, "I bet when you're not here you're doing that too back at home, you're maximizing your time." So you have to make a decision whether you're maximizing your time, or you're maximizing your consciousness. And these are two totally different things. And so, I need to have the experience of being successful with three things a day.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Some measurable progress where I can say, "I did this today." And that's an anchor for me. I need to have that. But the rest of the time I spend thinking about my thinking. How am I thinking? And I need hours just to be reflecting on how I'm thinking about my thinking. And as far as interaction with other people goes, I prefer the company of people who are also good at thinking about their thinking.

Dean: Okay.

Dan: And you're a real favorite of me, and I should tell you, since I've seen you last time I've had 10 comments about how much people enjoy our conversation.

Dean: Me too. Every ... Yeah, I...

Dan: And people say, "I just love going along with you guys for an hour because I have a feeling that neither of you have a plan about what's being talked about throughout the entire hour. It's just going to get created on the way. We find it kind of fascinating." But I think the reason is because both of us, when we're not together, are thinking about our thinking and then we get together and we share what's been on our minds, what we've been thinking about. So for the most part, if I meet another person and they're not good at thinking about their thinking, probably not a good use of my time.

Dean: Yes. That makes sense. I mean, I look at that too, and you realize how ... I remember you had said something about different levels of what people talk about. And you're surrounded and I see people, sometimes I'll just listen in, or be in at a café or at a restaurant somewhere and then you're just hearing what people are talking about. And so many of them are just talking about people. Like all just gossip.

Dan: Yeah, sure.

Dean: The drama of their reality show, you know?

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: That's what their ... But you never hear anything close to the kind of conversations that we would have at table 10. You never hear ... I never hear people talking about ideas or thinking. It's interesting.

Dan: Well, it's interesting. I was going ... Babs and I were going to France for the first time in 1998 and I was meeting with someone and this person went to France a lot. And said, "Do you speak French? Do you understand French?" And I said, "No, I don't." I said ... And, he said, "Well, that's really good because," he said, "I want to tell you, you're going to enjoy going to France a lot more from the fact that you don't speak French." He said, "I'll tell you why. You're going to be in a café, or you're going to be in a restaurant and you'll hear people speaking French." And he says, "It's really beautiful to listen to. It's one of the most beautiful experiences." But he said, "If you understood French you wouldn't enjoy the experience because they're just complaining about something or other." He says, "It's just nonstop complaining if you're in the café."

Dean: Oh, man. That's really something. That is funny. That is true, you know?

Dan: Yeah. I just sit there and I just said because French, I mean to listen to French, I've got French radio stations where the commentary is in French, and it's just highly enjoyable. And the reason why it's enjoyable is I don't know what they're talking about. I'm just enjoying the experience. Just the audio, the autistic.

Dean: Yeah, yeah, the sound of it.

Dan: The acoustic, yeah, acoustic experience is just a marvelous experience. But he said, "If you were there, they'd just be complaining about this, they'd be complaining about that. They'd be talking badly about somebody else. They'd be tearing somebody down." He said, "You're not getting any of that experience. You're just getting the music."

Dean: Yes. That's so great. That's so great. Well, that whole, the thought that I was having about the frequency changes, when I look back now at the, we talked about 30 years ago, the technology was, the inputs that we had were really the physical mail and my voicemail, are really the things that we had. And so they came sporadically or once a day. And I started thinking about this waking up every day, and like I said, saying what would I like to do today? But knowing that I've already prepared wonderful things for me to do today and get to pick the three things that are going to make this sense of accomplishment go. But I've been fantasizing, haven't tried it yet, of what it might be like if I just took emails once a day? Like if I answered...

I always think about your attorney example of I'll never return your phone call today, but I will always return your phone call tomorrow. If I had that approach to email, that I never see today's emails today, but I see all of today's emails at the same time tomorrow and can answer the ones that need. Because there's so few that actually require any action. You know?

Dan: Mm-hmm.

Dean: That require you to actually do something, but we're constantly, the frequency of them being available is, it's like that siren call of checking the email, checking, checking, checking. And not really doing anything about it, but just getting in that loop of the frequency of checking very often.

Dan: Yeah. Well really-

Dean: As opposed to constraining it.

Dan: There's another aspect about it and that is that people are not situationally aware anymore. Tim Larkin, you know Tim...

Dean: Yes.

Dan: ... who teaches, you know, I mean, personal protection. How you protect yourself from violent situations in the 21st Century. And he just wrote a book called When Violence is the Answer. Which I was so impressed with that I bought a copy.

Dean: You gave everybody one.

Dan: I gave a copy. And Tim was at Genius Network, so I was able to talk to him. And he was talking about how predators, people who will do violence to other people, look for people who preoccupy themselves with their cell phones. He said they're the easiest people to victimize because they're totally unaware of their situation. They're totally unaware of what's going on around them. And he shows a video, which is very, very interesting. It's a very ironic video. It shows a subway car, I think it's in Seattle, where it just, it's the camera that's on the subway car. It's like CCTV. It's just the security camera. And it shows a person coming in through the door on the far end of the car and he's got a gun in his hand and he goes person by person and he robs them and he goes down the line. But the rest of the car, and the car is packed, everybody's on their cell phone and nobody's picking up.

Dean: They don't even notice it.

Dan: He's moving, he's moving from one end of the car to the other and he's taking away their cell phones and he's taking watches off of them and everything, dropping it into a bag. And he finally, about two-thirds of the way down comes to this guy and the guy suddenly becomes aware and he goes after the robber and goes after his throat, and he's got his cell phone in his hand, which he could use to actually hit the assailant. He could hit him in the throat, or he could hit him in the eye. But he takes time to put his cell phone in his pocket.

Dean: Yeah, doesn't want to, but, yeah, yeah.

Dan: I mean, it's the most valuable ... It's more valuable than ... My cell phone is more valuable than my life.

Dean: Wow.

Dan: He just uses it to show an extreme case. That the guy made it two-thirds of the way down the car, and people were so stunned and they were probably in shock because they had lost their cell phone. They weren't shocked because they had been robbed, they had been shocked because it's like taking away their-

Dean: I would call it their oxygen tank, because that's really what it is.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: It's almost like we can't breathe without this pit of oxygen from Cloudlandia because we're definitely in that cloud. It's a different air that we need over there. I mean, you've seen ... I'm really, I'm completely fascinated by this experience of what's happening here as we're completely migrating to the cloud as a real place where we exist and live. That the, that transition, or the things that actually happen on the mainland, I'm looking for and trying to find ways to maximize that. Maximize our time grounded here in the mainland.

Dan: Well, first of all, if it becomes ... If other people require almost a guide to the mainland, there's money to be made doing that.

Dean: Yes. Yes.

Dan: I mean, the Breakthrough Blueprint, you're being a guide to the actual reality of what it means to maximize your profits. Okay? And, you know, I mean, there's lots of illusions in Cloudlandia. If you just learn this new technology and everything you're going to be very successful and you're going to be very profitable. But it's all projections on a screen. It's not the actual...

Dean: Right, right, right.

Dan: It's not like getting a check in the mail that your banker will recognize.

Dean: Right.

Dan: And, I mean, I got to ... I've got, what do people say? How do they measure on the internet marketing world? What is it? Downloads or clicks or...

Dean: Right, yeah, I mean, there's all those things. Hits, and downloads and yeah, yeah. I mean the opt-ins and measuring all these metrics of their followers, yeah.

Dan: I mean, if you had 100,000 a month and each of them represented a penny, that's really, that's pretty good. That's actually pretty good. 100,000 pennies, I mean, adds up to quite a bit of money, actually.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: And it's not bad. But the thing about it is that the ... What was I reading? When the whole notion of affirmations came into psychology, which was around the 1890s, there were two people that I looked into. William James was an American philosopher at Harvard, and he was one of the big people to recognize that talking to yourself in a very positive way would have a positive impact on your brain. And the other one was a Frenchman by the name of Emile Coue who came up with an affirmation, "Day by day, in every ..." Well, translated into English it's "Day by day, in every way, I get better and better." And he says, "If you just get up every morning and say to yourself 10 times, "Day by day, in every way, I get better and better."," he said, "Your brain will start looking for the better ways that you can become because you're telling your brain to look for that."

Dean: Wow.

Dan: But the interesting thing is that an affirmation is not a result.

Dean: Right, that's true. That's true.

Dan: Saying I'm going to get three things done today, that's a result. That's not an affirmation. It's a result.

Dean: Right. You got to have a metric attached to it, right.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. And what I'm thinking is that if people begin to believe that the digital world is reality, they get little dopamine hits from their affirmations, but they're not getting the dopamine hit that comes from actually getting a physical result.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: My ultimate, does the banker think that this is good?

Dean: Right, right, right. Exactly. Yeah, that's so funny. But that, so I've, I think that it really comes down to that all of the creative stuff, like all of the ideas, all the thinking are things that happen in the mainland, not in the cloud. The cloud's a distraction from the actual thinking that we put into coming up with a new idea, or expressing it, or solving a problem or packaging. All those things that would be what Cal Newport would talk of as deep work. All the things that require maximizing our time on the mainland, while fully embracing and realizing that all the multiplier opportunities are, in part, in Cloudlandia, in bridging that. It's being able to maximize our time.

I really think ... I'm going to go ahead, I'm going to experiment with it, Dan. I'll report back on our next call. I'm going to experiment with that. I'm going to do my email once a day and just see what ... Because as I look through it you realize there's not many emails that you really have a sense of that you got to get to it today, you know?

Dan: Yeah. You know, and I have over the years I've trained people to go through other people in our company to get to me. And there's a priority list if somebody comes in right away, the person who receives it will come to me and said, "I just got an email from so and so." And what they'll do is they'll print it off for me. They'll bring it and they'll actually print it off and present it to me. But, what I'm realizing here is that my priority list is it is someone who's good at thinking about their thinking? Because if they're good at thinking about their thinking, then I want to interact with them because they've got new and useful things, unique things to say. And, that's worth the contact.

Dean: Yes. I like that. And just the same I have-

Dan: But if it's just stuff, if it's just, yeah, if it's just stuff-

Dean: Yeah, all the stuff that needs to be addressed anyway I've got Lillian or Diane are looking at all my emails anyway, so it's not anything that needs to be addressed right there. I'm just looking at them for curiosity, often, you know? But I do find that it's all part of that loop that I'm looking through it, you know? It's a distraction. It's robbing my attention from being able to focus on the deep work things that would make the biggest difference.

Dan: Yeah. I think that there's ... I was thinking, what's ... I know what the carrot is for this because there's ... My feeling is that people do it because there's an attraction to being connected all the time and checking your emails and exercising your thumbs, because a lot of it's texting. And, the question is, what's the stick? They talk about the carrot and the stick. The carrot is the reward and the stick is the threat of punishment if you don't do it.

Dean: Right.

Dan: So I've been trying over the last week, because I had a lot of time on my hands. I was saying, I said, "What's the stick in the digital world that if you don't do this?" And I was, what I came to I said, "We don't have much physical fear in our lives anymore." If you go back a century, if you go back to the beginning of the 20th Century, there was a lot more physical fear.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: As a matter of fact, the threat of personal violence was much higher a century ago. The chances of being assaulted or anything were probably a hundred times greater a century ago than they are now.

Dean: Yup.

Dan: And I mean, and my sense is that that still plays a really, really huge part in how our brain works.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: So, what clever writers and clever TV producers and movie makers and news, the people who put the news together know that this fear of physical harm is ... We're very, very alert to that. The brain has developed over millions of years to be observant about this, so it keeps us busy with the images of this, which is in the digital world, but it's not actually in the physical world. I mean, if you live in ... You live in Winter Haven, you get hurricanes every once in a while.

Dean: Right.

Dan: You got to keep your doors locked for obvious reasons, but-

Dean: Well, I mentioned the, yeah. I mentioned to you when we had the hurricane come through when you realized what it actually, if I thought about it a hundred years ago, the hurricane would come in and it would zoom through in a few hours and then the next morning it's over. Whereas this, the technology and the ability to track that red buzzsaw of death inching its way across our TV screens for 10, two weeks before it arrived, is a ... It just distracted so much more than the actual threat of what it was. You know?

Dan: Yeah. And, so we're kept on edge. We're kept on edge with this. I live in Toronto, and you've had not had enormous amount of experience with Toronto. So I've been here, this is my 47th year since I moved here and I've never seen an act of violence and I don't know anyone who has. Nobody I know has ever had an act of violence, like anything because it's a very safe city.

Dean: That's why it was very shocking. I mean, if you remember just earlier in the fall the realtor that was shot at that restaurant in that town.

Dan: Oh, yeah.

Dean: That was a friend and client of ours, Simon, who was just, that you, like you said, you never hear about things like that in Toronto, but there it was somebody I know.

Dan: And, but, yeah, but that was front page in Toronto's papers for a good two weeks after the event.

Dean: Absolutely.

Dan: I mean, it's so shocking in Toronto that it's really, it really makes the news.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: So I said, "So what is the stick that keeps people attached?" And I think it's social fear. Okay?

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: So here's the thing, and you can see if this happens to you or not, but you decide just once a day you're going to check emails, rather than be checking all the time. Whether you sense any fear of what will people think if I send that email in the morning.

Dean: I think that already. That's the resistance already. You're absolutely right.

Dan: But it's not a physical fear, it's a social fear.

Dean: No. Yes, you're absolutely right.

Dan: It's a social fear. And I think that what has happened to most people, they have replaced a physical fear, which was very real for most of human history, but we've replaced it with a social fear. What will people think if I don't respond to them right away?

Dean: Right. Every time you tell that story about your, the attorney saying that. You think about how many people could say that as an attorney?

Dan: Have the guts, have the guts.

Dean: Yeah, that would have the guts. I will never return your phone call today, but I'll always return your phone call tomorrow.

Dan: But I will always return your phone call tomorrow. You know?

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: This was 25 years ago, he was getting $500 an hour and people, he said some people say, "I'm going to be paying you $500 an hour." He says, "You'll talk to me when I want you to talk to me." And he says, "Well, see, isn't this beautiful. Right off the bat we know we're not going to work together."

Dean: I love it. But I think that thing about email, my friend, your friend too, Brendon Burchard says, had a great quote about email. He said, "Email is a ... Your email inbox is the perfect way for other people to prioritize your day." Which is great. I mean, it's so true, right?

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: If you're looking for that, it's definitely a reactive thing, and I think that putting this frequency on the, that it's once a day, than that's a more responsive way to deal with email, than a reactive way.

Dan: Yeah. I mean, I came in last night and I said, "Oh, I have to check."  My calendar is on my email. It's on Zimbra. We have Zimbra, so I went and I checked the calendar, and I have to actually do two clicks because it usually only shows weekdays. And so I had to click on to get Sunday, Saturday and Sunday in, and I said, sure enough, there's Dean at 12:30. I said, "Okay, now I know one of the three things for tomorrow, then, is my podcast." But there were no other emails for me there.

Dean: Right.

Dan: I mean, there was nothing else. And, because that's all been directed through another channel. All those other emails have been directed through another channel. So it's a constant discussion, and I think that this is of great interest to people who are listening to The Joy of Procrastination, because this is the new central force in the world as the New York Times. The convenience is you can get ahold of anybody at any time and any place and any situation. And that's the new force. And if you don't comply with that, then you have the fear that somehow you're going to be socially rejected if you don't respond to that.

Dean: Yes. I agree. I mean, that's so ... I'm excited to experiment with that. Those two things are, everything that I'm doing now is moving more around me being able to either set up in advance the things that I want to have happen, so it takes very little of the actual day. I'm not spending my time scrambling to organize something that's going to happen today. It's all been organized. So it takes the least amount of time. Actually, what I do to schedule podcasts, to know that when it is and have it on the calendar, it takes absolutely the least amount of time that way from the day, today, to be able to just see that it's at that time. You're able to dial in and jump right on. And then the same thing for the blocks of time to think about whatever it is that I'm working on. Thinking about what you want and all of that stuff, exposing yourself to things, that's a, that all happens in time on the mainland, but you can direct things through Cloudlandia that make all of that, that make it all happen.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, it's really, I mean, this is an endless discussion because the dimensions keep presenting themselves. You think you've explored one dimension and there's a door and you open it up and there's another dimension to it. But, going back to our central starting point here of procrastination, my feeling is that being bombarded from all directions is an excellent reason why people procrastinate.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: Because which one do you respond to?

Dean: Yes.

Dan: Which one do you concentrate on when you're getting hit from all sides, you know?

Dean: Yeah. You must be, now, in the final preparations for our Game Changer workshop.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: I'm so excited about it.

Dan: Yeah, and what we did is we opened a second program in June because we had about 10 people who couldn't make one or more of the dates, so everybody will have the option between, right from the beginning you'll have the option of two dates per quarter to actually make it.

Dean: Oh, nice.

Dan: Yeah. One in April, April 10th.

Dean: Very good. One in Toronto and one in Chicago?

Dan: No, no, they're both in Chicago.

Dean: Got it.

Dan: Yeah, and it'll be April 18th. Or, June 18th. June 10th and April 18th and then it'll just be ... They'll be ... There's two months of workshops in every quarter and it'll obviously ... And then from the 10x program people deciding during the year, they'll just join one or other of the groups.

Dean: Oh, got you.

Dan: And we'll just gradually fill them up. We're up in the mid-30s right now for the start of it, and people. And just fabulous, fabulous discussions with the projects that people are doing. I'm going, I said, after 73 years of getting ready, I'm really going into 25 years of just total excitement for me. Yeah, so it's kind of neat.

Dean: Yeah. Well, I can't wait. I'm super excited. April 10th.

Dan: Yeah, April 10th. And a party the night before, so get in earlier on the-

Dean: Yes, of course.

Dan: And there's a 10x the day before. I don't know. I mean, if you wanted to do a 10x because it'll be a different workshop, but come in in the afternoon and then head out.

Dean: That might be the 10x that I would be missing for March, because I'm not going to come up to Toronto for the March workshop.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: So maybe I'll do that, come for the 10x and then do the party and then the Game Changer. Perfect.

Dan: Yeah, and if you got in ... So, if the Game Changer's on Tuesday and the 10x is on Monday, so if you got up on Sunday, then you can come over to our house.

Dean: Perfect, I'd love that.

Dan: Yeah, I don't know if you've been there.

Dean: I have not. I've never been to the office in Chicago, I've never been.

Dan: To the house.

Dean: It's all been Toronto. Yeah, I would love to.

Dan: Yeah. Okay.

Dean: Deal.

Dan: I'm talking to you next week. I'm talking to you next Sunday.

Dean: I'll report on the grand experiment. I'll have another week with my reMarkable and I'll keep you posted on that.

Dan: Yeah. I'm very interested in that. Very interested.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: Okay, Dan. I will talk to you next week.

Dan: Okay.

Dean: Thanks.

Dan: Okay, bye.

Dean: Bye.