In this week’s Social Media News Live, Erik Fisher joins Jeff and Grace and today’s show is all about being more productive in 2022.  

We’re covering strategies for prioritizing what’s essential in your life and sharing tools for collaborating with remote teams and customers. We’ll also talk about what it takes to “unplug” from time to time but still keep your business going.


This transcript is automatically generated by Descript.  Any errors or omissions are unintentional.

[00:00:00] Jeff Sieh: Welcome to Social Media News Live. I’m Jeff Sieh and your not…

[00:00:03] Grace Duffy: and I’m Grace Duffy. And this is the show that keeps you up to date on what’s happening and the world of social media.

[00:00:09] And today we’re exploring a new topic.

[00:00:13] Jeff Sieh: Productivity strategies for 2022. Today we are joined by Eric Fisher and the show is going to be about being more productive in 2022. We’re covering strategies for prioritizing what is essential in your life and sharing tools for collaborating with remote teams and customers.

[00:00:29] We’re also going to be talking about what it takes to. Unplugged from time to time, but still keep your business going. So I’m so excited to have Eric back in the show back on the show with us today, Eric, how are you doing today? I am doing

[00:00:42] Erik Fisher: great. I am actually off today. I get a day off one. My, the company that I work for, we have the first Friday of every quarter off starting.

[00:00:53] With this one. And so when you asked me to do the show, I was like do I really want to do a show on TV? I’m like, no, it’s fun. I’m just working out with my friends. This isn’t work. This is fun.

[00:01:02] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. So if you do not know who Eric Fisher is, you probably haven’t been on the internet for a while, but he is the producer and host of the long running, beyond the to-do list podcast for almost 10 years, he’s talked with experts on how to implement productivity strategies in their personal and professional lives.

[00:01:21] He is also the senior social media manager at Bizzabo Eric. I’m so glad. Tell us about Visibo. What is it? Cause it’s kinda hard to say. And you know, this is relatively new for

[00:01:32] Erik Fisher: you. It’s an event experience. Oh, S so it’s software that enables you to have an amazing event experience onsite online, virtually as well as hybrid.

[00:01:46] So we use those a bit. We use Visibo back in the day. I think it was two or three years straight back when it was just a digital app, just a virtual app at social media marketing world, when we were all part of that mix. And that’s how I knew of them. But man, have I been immersed in the event world in the past few months?

[00:02:07] It’s amazing. So if you, for any reason, need to put on events you should really check out busy. Yeah, it is. It is an amazing experience engine and

[00:02:19] Jeff Sieh: S cool. I want to do a shout out real quick to our sponsors over on Ecamm. Because they’ve got something amazing coming up.

[00:02:30] It’s an event as well, but it’s our friend Kelly. Mira. Bella is doing a challenge going from oh no, to Ecammm pro, which I thought was a really cool little plug there, but they’re going to be doing starting on January 17th through 20, the 21st. They’re doing daily live streams at 12:00 PM.

[00:02:51] Eastern 9:00 AM Pacific. And each day Kelly is going to dive into Ecamm live with you. She’s going to be answering your questions. She’s helping you to go from, like I said, oh no. To you can pro they’ve got daily worksheets. They’ve got checklists with a lot of help along the way. So make sure you take the challenge with them.

[00:03:08] If you’re wanting to up your live video game, one of the, that’s one of your resolutions for the beginning of the year this is one challenge that you want to go and try out. If you go to That’s the place where you can sign up and.

[00:03:22] All the information that you need about this challenge, it’s going to be amazing. Kelly’s amazing. But So we’d love for you guys to go check that out. So first section Grace, we’re talking productivity today. This is fun. We’ve got the guy who’s knows the most about productivity that I know.

[00:03:44] So kick us off with this first.

[00:03:46] Grace Duffy: Absolutely. We want it to start the year off, with a sense of intention and purpose. And so I’m so excited to have our friend Eric here to discuss his productivity strategies for 2022. And so we’re all getting back to work at least this week, we all haven’t, but it’s not quite business as usual.

[00:04:03] We’re still dealing with a lot of adjustments for travel. The conference world, definitely on Eric’s side, remote work for the rest of us, and then, just various lifestyle changes. And I know that last two years I’ve been giving us a lot of time to reflect on what’s important and reprioritize and reconnect.

[00:04:21] So I want to kick this off with Eric. Did you have any new year’s resolutions around productivity? If so, what were they I want to hear. I want to know.

New Year Resolutions

[00:04:31] Erik Fisher: So I typically, when it comes to new year’s resolutions, don’t hold. You know, from fast, I crossed this line and from that point forward resolved to, hunker down and do this thing forever and ever until the end of time, like I just don’t do that.

[00:04:49] I don’t necessarily make resolutions per se. I’m more of a, and there’s nothing wrong with them, but there is something good about assessing where you’re at and. Different people out there have different things. They do like Chris Brogan has his word or words of the year which I know I’ve done a couple of times in the past and it’s a blanket term to or a lens to look at the quarters of the year through that, that you’re walking into.

[00:05:17] And, and I think especially I’ve gotten away from resolutions with the past two years, but even more you know, 2017 through 2019, and then obviously 21 and 2021 and 22 so hard to get everything out of whack. So I kind grew tired of doing as much annual stuff, but I like to look at the larger, I like to look at the larger picture, but I also look to to look at the short term frames in between that the 12 week year type stuff.

[00:05:49] That’s Jeff and I have been part of a mastermind. We don’t typically adhere to. So what’s this quarter look like for you as much anymore as we used to. But we did. And when we entered into that, it was like, okay, 12 weeks is a good amount of time to be able to make some kind of incremental course correction, et cetera.

[00:06:10] And so being able to look at that, being able to assess where you are, where you’ve been and where you want to go and just look both ways on the timeline and decide, okay, do I need to turn the ship this amount of degrees left or right. Or do I need to jerk the wheel, whatever. And that’s where resolutions come in.

[00:06:30] I would think this is if, if you find yourself in a, I, you know what I need to jerk the wheel, something’s wrong. I need to make things happen here. But the thing is even when you’re jerking the wheel and turning suddenly, you’re not going to turn suddenly, but you can start to go that in other words, I’m thinking of everybody wants to, lose that 50, 60 pounds or whatever it is, or lose your COVID weight.

[00:06:54] In other words, you’re not going to lose all. In a matter of a new year’s resolution to lose that weight could be a good one. Just know if you were to start right now to lose it, you won’t until three months out, probably two to three months, at least, unless you’re literally starving yourself.

[00:07:14] Right. And I’ve got some course correction things that I’m working on in terms of sleep and energy and intermittent fasting and things like that. But overall, those were things I was already inching towards anyway, and, or testing out and working on. Last quarter specifically though, one of the things that’s interesting is we new year’s resolutions come at this point in time where we’re in winter, which depending upon where you’re at, it’s real cold, you’ve just done a full years of activity worth full year’s, worth of activity you need to rest, and that’s what’s most important.

[00:07:52] And so I think what’s interesting is the whole. Productivity slash fix your life. Refocus that happens at the beginning of January, really should happen September or at, or summertime somewhere where it’s more like you can be more active. You can be more focused. You can be. Yeah. In other words it’s the wrong time of year to be thinking of kicking things into gear.

[00:08:19] We should actually be assessing and making plans this quarter for the other three. That’s my personal. So

[00:08:27] Jeff Sieh: Interesting because you know, a lot of people, I think, feel that same way. In fact I’m editing a podcast right now for a guy Kawasaki coming up with BJ Fogg and he wrote a book called tiny habits.

[00:08:38] And the science behind habit forming is not it’s it was fascinating because it’s not about, making these things that he, you have to tie it to an emotion and it’s gotta be in your schedule. And it’s, it’s gonna be a fascinating podcast. But one of the things I know, like a lot of people have been reprioritizing their.

[00:08:56] And figuring out how work fits in. We we’ve talked about it in past shows about the great resignation, but everything from the type of work you do, where you work, how you work, there’s all these new options where people are having them come up to the top of their mind right now.

[00:09:11] So what are some tools maybe, or some tips you suggest for helping people figure out where they should put that focus and energy? Is there some hacks that you found to be helpful?

Tools and Tips for Where You Should Focus

[00:09:25] Erik Fisher: I think one of the things that when it comes down to this figuring out where you want to spend your time, obviously doing a time audit and saying, oh, I’m spending all this time on this thing that I need to, that I didn’t realize.

[00:09:37] Okay, that’s not good. Looking at we just, we got a video game system over Christmas. My son has already beaten two games and I’m like, dude, what are you doing? And I look, and I see it’s like time spent and I’m like, oh, like it’s insane. How much time he’s already spent now?

[00:09:55] From school. So he could do that. But suddenly I, I don’t expect me to get a lot done if I’m spending a lot of time doing so, but you but it’s amazing to me how much we don’t pay attention to how much time we’re spending on little things like that. Like my, again, my phone is not sitting here anywhere near my desk because I wanted to be fully present fully focused on this conversation and talking with you guys.

[00:10:18] And thing is, is that how many times are we picking that up to check the time slash swipe slash then just dive into all the different apps and just it’s so insane to me, how little time we have, and then we fritter it away like that. So that’s first step is just taken audit, see what you want to, see what you’re spending your time on and what you can eliminate and, or put boundaries.

[00:10:44] Part two to that is what do you want to be spending your time on? What should you be spending your time on? And only when you do like a brain dump and actually look at your calendar slash do a time audit. Do you start to see the patterns form and realize if I could free up all this time suddenly, what would I use it for?

[00:11:02] And honestly, I think some of us don’t even know what we want to be using it for or could be using it for, but we, but we, you for example, I know that, Jeff, you were doing a bunch of carving and things. Remember, that was something you had to free up time for now. You were multitasking where you were doing a right show doing it, but, that’s, it, it really comes down to where are you spending your time now?

[00:11:27] And what do you wish you were spending your time?

[00:11:30] Jeff Sieh: So I wanna just ask our audience because I know a lot of people are talking about like tools there and, one of Megan Powers, thanks for joining Megan. She goes, ah, ha. I’m going to resolve to speak clear because I screwed up at the beginning of the show.

[00:11:45] But and then another one says Photoshop and tailwind or some paper planners are their most important productivity tools. Digital artists that sells products on Zazzle full-time that is very cool Nelda of that. You do that. And then other people are like somebody said this may be Lou, I much prefer a word of the year versus resolutions that they see results from that, which is cool.

[00:12:11] Sabrina says this, I love what Eric said. I don’t do resolutions in January. January seems to never be a fresh start. It’s a let down from the Holly holiday season, which when you were talking to Eric, I was thinking about that because. You almost need a vacation from your vacation or a holiday from your holiday, so but anyway, I know Grace, I know you have some, you found some great articles about this, so I’ll let you take the,

[00:12:35] Erik Fisher: this next

[00:12:35] Grace Duffy: question. I love all of these people that are piping in with their paper planner, because I honestly felt like I was pulling that out of the dark ages. But honestly, when something that Eric said about how, you go on your phone to check the time and suddenly you’re in there.

[00:12:48] That’s why I wear a watch to check the time and I have my paper planner and it’s just doing those things are more intentionally offline are our tips. So I love that everyone is everyone in the comments is in on that. So my next thing I want to talk to you about was there’s this article in business insider about author Tim Ferriss, which of course we all know from the four hour workweek for our chef, for our body.

[00:13:10] Totally monopolized at four hour thing. And so he says that he conducts a past year review and to setting a new year’s resolution, what Eric was talking about. And he tries a, does it need to be more productive? There’s a whole five step process in doing this. If you want to know more about it, I would suggest finding this article in business insider, but he does talk about maximizing the positives in your life and downgrade to the negatives.

[00:13:33] So he does that full inventory assessment of what is positive in your life. What is negative and do more of the things that make you happy. So you’ve already touched a little bit on this, Eric, but tell us how you would apply the same principle in our work life and our business. Now we’ve talked a lot about how we implement this in our personal lives, but how do you apply this habit to work and how would you even implement this?

[00:13:56] Considering everyone else is just rolling in out of our hibernation in January.

Planning Tips for Focusing on Work

[00:14:03] Erik Fisher: Yeah and again, this is another reason why I really like the 12 week year versus annual planning. I know there’s a place for annual planning, but think about it. It’s arbitrary. It’s like January to December friend of ours, all of us, I believe Mike Vardy.

[00:14:19] He does he starts his year in September, which I think is crazy and amazing at the same time. I prefer to not have it be as overwhelming a task to do a full year review. And I would rather go with a let’s look at the quarter I’m closing and the quarter I’m heading into. In other words, let’s take it three months at a time and it’s much more manageable.

[00:14:45] It’s much more able to you know, cause if I said this is the year of insert here and then two months in something happens I don’t know a pandemic, then my words are going to change or my resolutions are going to change, but like I can pick up. In a quarter neatly and easily and assess where am I at with a certain project.

[00:15:09] Oh, okay. I need to push, pause and start this. See if it, maybe make sense to pick this back up in another quarter or two, something like that. I can’t. And honestly, I just think that this is, this is with, like with projects are big, daunting, overwhelming things, but you break them down into steps or chapters and you use them break those down into tasks and so on, and then you can knock it out bit by bit.

[00:15:34] So I lean towards, instead of doing a full year, you can do a retrospective if you want to, but I say, well, I’ve already handled the first three quarters, write in quarterly review to get to the end of the year and just assess September, October, November, December ish, area timeframe.

[00:15:54] Interesting to me.

[00:15:55] Jeff Sieh: So I went to Sabrina says she loves the paper planner to grace. She uses that the happy planner, which that’s perfectly on brand for Sabrina. And Jim says he gets, he sets goals instead of resolutions, which I really like resolutions sounds so formal. If you break this resolution

[00:16:13] Erik Fisher: that you’re going to, you know, it sounds like you’re signing a lifetime contracts,

[00:16:17] Jeff Sieh: you’re buying a house.

[00:16:19] Joseph says this and Joseph, thank you for sharing and being transparent. He says he’s found clarity on what is important when he was diagnosed with cancer, the things you thought were important change. And then hashtag one life. And we have a friend Owen video, a lot of, in the audience who is going through the same sort of thing.

[00:16:36] And it really does focus to that. And one of the things about social media is when people do share that, that also helps us think about, are we prioritizing things, right? So Joseph, we’ll be praying for you and thank you for your transparency on that. A lot of some other people have said, like Dustin says, he loves the idea of working one quarter at a time, which, I think I say that.

[00:17:02] And then I towards the end of the year, everything is goes crazy and flies away. Jim likes that quarterly approach and he’s also has been using the three words for his year. I did the same thing, Jim. I have it on my monitor, the three words that I do for a year. And I change that every year.

[00:17:17] So I think I love the Brogan’s idea. And, and Sabrina goes, yes, Jeff gets me. So what so as we’re going on, guys put in the comments, what are your, what is there some new focus that you’re going to have for 20, 22? I’d love to know what you guys are going to focus on because we’re talking about productivity tips and focusing is what has changed that you’re wanting to really do more of in 20, 22.

[00:17:43] And what other habits Eric should be as we take it from a business standpoint. So what should we as business owners. And you’re a business owner, even though you’re working for somebody else, you have your podcast, which is this whole separate business. What should we do in 2022 to be more productive and effective work at our work kind of life?

Creating Good Work Habits

[00:18:05] Erik Fisher: We’re going to get into this more later in the conversation. I’m sure. But the biggest thing that I can say that anybody should do in terms of the habits that you want to create, if you don’t already have this in place. To take breaks. And I don’t mean just you know, like I said, I could say pick the phone up on it doesn’t count if you’re doing the same.

[00:18:28] If you’re in the same position, physically in the same location, physically space-wise, if you’re doing the same, if you’re just switching to a different size screen than the one you were using to do the work, or even if you were writing with paper and then you know, pick something up in other words, really differentiate, really break it up, really get into a different physical state of mind or a physical state of presence of physical state of mind, all those different things.

[00:18:54] In other words, take real breaks. Let you know turn music on. If you weren’t listening to music like real music, not just listen to this music. So it helps you focus on the work that you have to get done type music, but actual music, you enjoy lifts your spirit. In other words or go outside for a while.

[00:19:13] Get some actual sun, if you can get fresh air, things like that. In other words, making a change of pace and a change of scenery and a change of mindset can really help. And it’s one of the biggest things that I think we overlook, we constantly are going through the entire day. And even when we say we’re taking a break, we’re scrolling right with our fingers or with our hands or something, or we’re looking at yet another screen.

[00:19:42] And by not having that built in decompression time and, or like take a nap for, in other words, it resets your brain.

[00:19:54] Jeff Sieh: So don’t take a nap during our show though, is the important thing not right now. Yeah. Uh, I want to bring up some more comments because some people are really sharing some great things.

[00:20:05] Uh, Facebook user said we made made a community track. For my membership this month, that is very cool. Jim is saying his focus is going to be scaling his business, creating more more content and taking time to learn new things. I love that last one because I think learning, finding out new things is one of the best ways to be creative.

[00:20:27] Our pal, Shannon Hernandez says he just read an article on business insider about taking breaks. Taking breaks is huge for him. That’s I think we do a poor job of this in the United States. I know Ian, he like, he’s on another holiday. He’s over there. It’s like they take every week. They have some new holiday that they go celebrate, which is great.

[00:20:46] I’m not knocking that. I wish we would do that more here in the states. And Sabrina says she’s actually going to focus on herself more and take more time off. Not weeks at a time. Just carve out three-day weekends, take more half days. I think that’s awesome. Sabrina, um, a lot of people are getting rid of uh, mental and physical clutter.

[00:21:06] You know, does it bring you. Let it go. What is it that that, uh, sparks, joy, sparking joy and, uh, Dustin’s doing the Pomodoro technique helps him stay fully energized throughout the day. That’s really cool. A lot of people are, are, have some really great focus tips. But now I want to talk about this because we went into, our business.

[00:21:31] Eric gave some great tips about how to be better at doing that. Taking breaks is a part of it, but I want to talk about collaboration across teams, because even if your solar preneur, as you grow even if you don’t have full-time employees, a lot of times you’ll have, VA’s that you’ll be using are contractors or something like that.

[00:21:49] And so much of productivity comes from being able to work with a distributed team every day or, once a week or whatever. So there’s a lot of these new work from home mandates that have been extended at many of the organizations. A lot of them that we’ve worked for. Companies are starting to double down on collaborative solutions that help productive productivity, like in zoom time.

[00:22:13] Cause we’re all tired of zoom calls. So we want to talk about how do we can collaborate with teams. You we’ve, all of us have been on the same team before working on projects and promotions and stuff like that. So I think we forget. And a lot of people watching me forget, like this is new to a lot of people.

[00:22:32] Like this is something that they we’ve been doing it for years, but a lot of people are like I had to master zoom last year, which we were like, yeah, we were doing live video back. When it first came out,

[00:22:42] Erik Fisher: we were already doing. Yeah.

[00:22:44] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. Um, as this grows, Eric, what do you think are some ways that you can, you, you have to do this now with your job as meetings and all this stuff in collaborating with, you have people who edit your podcast, how do you manage all that?

[00:23:00] And still, cause you can always be putting out fires and never get anything done. So what are some tips that you would give us for managing.

Productivity Tips for Managing A Team

[00:23:07] Erik Fisher: When it comes to being part of a team or managing a team, especially remotely, it is all about two things, communication and expectation. And it’s not just about those things.

[00:23:20] It’s about having clear and good communication and clear and good expectations that are all agreed upon. You know, we’ve all been in different scenarios where we’ve got multiple channels. We’ve got email, we’ve got slack, we’ve got Facebook messages. We’ve got Twitter, DMS. We’ve got WhatsApp.

[00:23:39] We’ve got I think I mentioned slack already, but see there’s, I’m like already lost in the weeds and it’s like, when somebody can message you on any of those, oh, text messages, phone calls, even if those are still a thing. If you don’t know which each of those channels is expectation that it’s used for then if you’re suddenly getting for example, if I have a person who only ever emails me and suddenly I’ve got a phone call coming in oh, that must be an emergency.

[00:24:12] Is the default mode that I go to. And a lot of other people are as well, because phone is reserved for, I’ve got to get you now because this is an emergency. But if it’s a phone call and it’s not an emergency, you’ve now trained me that you see that all these things are possible.

[00:24:28] You know, it may be. And so what I’m getting at here is that we have accepted this status quo of always being on call or at least feeling like you are, because there’s not clear expectations. Either from leadership or from management or being in the team or all of the above as to how, and in what way, and when, especially we are using certain channels to communicate changes in status or expectations or, all of that stuff.

[00:25:02] It, it first and foremost, and especially this comes with having a culture at a company, or if you’re the head of it, having. A statement and, you know, outright expectations stated like it’s almost like an email responder, but for everything in life and in everything in business, does that make sense?

[00:25:21] Yeah. Yeah,

Managing Social Media When Your Job is Social Media

[00:25:22] Grace Duffy: absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s hard when, especially when we’ve all worked in social media. I mean, there are 50 ways that we can be contacted so

[00:25:32] Erik Fisher: well. And it’s the fear of missing out. It’s the it’s again, it’s that whole, on-call constantly if I’m trying to build my brand or, like, as Jim talking about create more content in order to create that content, I got to know what people want.

[00:25:45] So I got to make sure I’m always on social, so I know what they want so I can make what they want. So they get, get it from me and not somebody else. And it’s this spiral of psychology and emotion when it comes to, if I want to be the best at what I’m doing. Over and, and even look at it as a competition with the next guy who does basically the same thing, but with their voice versus my voice, it’s imposter syndrome. We can go down that road, but we don’t have to, but point being like it, all of these factors start to meld into just anxiety of, I’m going to have to carry my phone with me at all times so that I can scroll through things at all times. And I know we always say turn off the notifications as like a default, but a lot of people don’t and even those that don’t, or even those that do will actually still pick, again, like me pick the phone up and start scrolling.

[00:26:39] And we’ll get into that a little bit more later, take some time away, but you’ve got to break the cycle to then reassess how frequently you should be using some of these communication tools. Yeah. And

[00:26:51] Jeff Sieh: people are saying, great points, Eric FOMO and imposter syndrome are real. And the other thing is we’ve all had this.

[00:26:58] Maybe from the same person, but that we’ve had an email. We made the mistake of on a Saturday checking our email and then your weekend is ruined because you’re like, I’m going to have to deal with this. And so one is making those habits that are, you do unplug during the weekend and also training you, like you had mentioned training your people, or even sometimes your, your, your bosses or your you know, that you’re contracting with that, what, what mode of communication that we’ve done?

[00:27:33] We had this, we have to do this with an on guy’s team. We were like, we have a system that we have set up and it works really well with peg and I and guy and messaging about the podcast. But I also think, and I am, I know Thanksgiving is over, but I’m so thankful that I see so many.

[00:27:50] Who work remotely that they’re on meetings all the time. And I think we have a meeting epidemic has most of these meanings are worthless. And I feel for you guys who don’t have the control to stop that, but if you are a manager and you’re doing that, stop it, it’s not worth it. It’s killing people.

[00:28:11] What are they supposed to get work done? I’m just like amazed. Like they’re there, their schedule is booked in and they’re telling me, yeah, I got to go and get on another meeting. And I’m like, do you really, how do you do any work? And so anyway

Managing Meetings

[00:28:23] Erik Fisher: Jeff, that, that actually piggybacks into the other point that I wanted to make, which is that not only is it about clear communication and expectation, but once you have those in place, it’s about time-blocking and it’s about stating, you’ve got to have the communication and expectation piece first.

[00:28:41] To be okay with saying, I am going to put this time block on my calendar, say what it is I am doing, and then close slack and close email and close those communication channels and know that anything that could be communicated to me during that time that I am doing the actual work that I’m paid for, whether you pay yourself or someone else does.

[00:29:06] During that time it’s going to be okay if I’m not paying attention to those incoming inputs, I don’t need more inputs. I need to close these loops on these outputs first.

[00:29:17] Jeff Sieh: So, uh, here, so Alisa says, I talked to someone the other day whose company policy is that they only meet us for as long as they can hold a plank.

[00:29:25] And I know that there’s also, they have standing meetings where you can’t sit, you only, you have to stay. And that makes the meeting shorter Amazon. And this was from another interview that I heard when I edited for guy Kawasaki, was that it had one of the big, one of the founders of Amazon on.

[00:29:42] And they, they have to have a written agenda for all their meetings. That, I think that kind of stuff is genius instead of just showing up. Okay. It’s our weekly Monday meeting. I just,

[00:29:53] Erik Fisher: I’m sorry. And I know Shannon said in the comments, your meetings should be emails. And I think often that’s true, but sometimes the opposite is also true.

[00:30:03] Don’t slack me to death. Don’t email me to death. Let’s get in a zoom for five to 10 minutes and literally do the rapid fire back and forth. Get on the same page and shut it down.

[00:30:14] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. But wish you have a good time management thing that you found that it’s coming to the forefront again. So talk about that.

Eisenhower Time Management System

[00:30:23] Grace Duffy: Oh, the Eisenhower time management system, Inc com published this article, Eisenhower president Eisenhower from the 1950s, of course was TA was, is credited with this. And it’s two questions that he would ask and it was, it formed a simple matrix is a task urgent or not urgent. And then is it important or not important?

[00:30:42] And then, or is it critical to the achievement? Is it satisfying a business goal? You can find this article in ink. It just Eisenhower time management system. It was an article from this past week. So I know there’s a lot of systems that talk about this. We’ve always talked about. What’s urgent. What’s important.

[00:30:57] What’s on fire. What’s not. So Eric talked to us about what you know, in terms of delegating tasks. So we’ve talked about managing ourselves, managing the people up above us, but we manage teams. I manage people too. And so yeah. How do you go about delegating tasks to team members?

Clear Communications and Expectations With Teams

[00:31:18] Erik Fisher: Again, this goes back to that clear communication and expectations.

[00:31:21] So if I am asking people to do things that’s not part of their, like having joined a company recently, like it’s it’s all about figuring out, okay, who do I go to when this happens? Or who is the person that if I need this done, I asked to do it and figuring all of that out. Once I’ve got, once we got that workflow in place, then it’s oh, okay.

[00:31:43] And, and, and what’s great is, um, I love the Eisenhower matrix. I don’t live my life by it, but at the same time, it’s great for triaging short and long-term, and being able to say, what’s urgent and what’s important, or what’s not urgent. What’s not important. And then the, all the different combinations therein.

[00:32:00] But once you have an idea of that, and in fact, I actually had a really good conversation. This week or the week before? The recent episode with Don Corey on my show and his books called when to say yes, and it’s all about this, it’s all about all these requests that are coming in. And I know you asked, about delegating.

[00:32:21] What if you’re the receiving end of that delegation? It’s about saying okay, here’s the thing, boss. If you want me to get this done, then you also need to be somebody who steps in and says what other priority that I’d already had needs to get delayed or be deferred either time-wise or to someone else due to this urgent thing that you and important thing that you’re now asking me to do.

[00:32:47] So I guess I would say keep that in mind, as you’re also delegating out and receiving delegation in. Yeah. He also makes a good point that there are different spheres or different you know, I think I’ve explained this to you before Jeff, where it’s like these concentric rings where I’m in the middle and right out from that is my wife, my daughter, my son, right out from that as like my mom and other extended family.

[00:33:13] And then that’s where Jeff come, Jeff and a few other friends here come in and then further out. And it’s based on how close the request is in which circle also changes how you relate to it and signify it, whatever, and your boss is in there somewhere, but you figure that out, right?

[00:33:33] Jeff Sieh: Yeah. That’s a great point. So another article I read was talking about there’s a huge opportunity right now because, and I totally agree that this hybrid work, the hybrid work situation we’re in is not going to go away. This. For the rest of time, because people have found out they like it. They don’t want to come to the office every week.

[00:33:53] They’re even thinking, like I saw some stat, they’re going to have three days in the office and then two days out is going to be the standard they think. But there’s a real opportunity right now for all these app creators and SAS companies to really build these tools that help facilitate this hybrid and remote working.

[00:34:12] Do you have any like tools or apps, like specifically apps? We kinda mentioned the big ones, like slack and all that stuff, but other things that would simplify, like the, like getting, cause you’re not in the office, but some people are like these, this collaborations that’s going to happen with your clients and your customers.

[00:34:32] Are there any things that you like to use that aren’t so much the standard, like slack and zoom and those kinds.

Apps for Collaboration

[00:34:37] Erik Fisher: Yeah one that we, a lot of people do use this, but one that we use is air table, because it can do so many different things. And it works a lot like an, a sauna or a Trello in certain ways with the Kanban where, it’s an imagine a big board in front of you and there’s different things on it.

[00:34:55] And as they move through various stages of progress, they move across the board. Different people are tagged and comments are in there and all that kind of good stuff. So as sauna Trello, those are, they’ve been around a while. We use air table. I hear great things about click up. Some of the problem with some of these is that you end up having a tool that is almost like a Swiss army knife on steroids, where it’s just so many different bells and whistles that you can do.

[00:35:22] I would say, think about what it is, think about what the bare minimum is that you need to be able to use these for and see which one can cover you there. Again, a lot of them have free options. Yeah.

[00:35:34] Jeff Sieh: One of my favorite actual tools is of course Ecamm, that’s my productivity tool and they also sponsored the show.

[00:35:42] Um, not only will it let you do very cool live videos like we’re doing right now. But it also lets you record, I’ve done pole presentations with, because you can record straight to your computer and not go live. You can actually do you could do a TikTok video because it lets you do the tall video.

[00:35:58] And so it’s very cool. Thank you so much for Ecamm for sponsoring the show, but you can find out more about them at Don’t forget they have this new challenge. If you have gotten one of your Christmas presents was Ecamm for yourself over this year. If you wanted to get trained on that, this challenge that’s coming up, the Kelly’s doing a make sure you guys go find that out in their Facebook group, because that’s going to be something that’s gonna be a lot of fun, but.

[00:36:23] One of the most important thing is this next section that I want to talk about. And we teased it at the beginning of the show. It is all about unplugging because in Mitch, Mitch had this great comment earlier in the show, he goes trends and social media consumption, mirror our productivity. We waste time on lots of small distractions versus concentrated big ones, just like how he wastes hours watching short 15, second videos.

[00:36:47] And sometimes we don’t, we need to watch those to unplug which we’re going to be talking about. But Grace, I know you found some really great articles about this and I don’t think we do it enough or we say, oh, that’s a good idea. And we try it for a week or two, and then we go back to our bad habits.

[00:37:05] So talk about this.

[00:37:06] Grace Duffy: Yeah in researching the show, I expected to find a lot of, and here’s how to make 20, 22 top-notch here’s your list. Here’s this here’s that. But instead, what I found was a lot of articles, title things like new year’s resolution, be less productive. Here’s how, and here’s why, so I know that a lot of people now are, we talked a lot about unplugging and taking that time off and taking those breaks.

[00:37:31] I think that’s where we are at right now, especially after the last couple of years of total upheaval. So the writer of this article, she’s a writer she’s been self-employed for 10 years. And she says that every January, first she makes a resolution to be faster, more efficient, agile at work like many business owners.

[00:37:46] She had a very complicated relationship with rest. We will, we were just talking about how we do there’s that urge of being in the know the FOMO and everything, but, and of course being self-employed she struggles because you’re on your own. You’re not relying on a company or a team. All of this was wrapped up in her sense of self worth with of course is a whole other topic.

[00:38:05] But this year she decided to stop berating herself for not accomplishing every goal that she hits and taking more of that time to find something called joy and creativity. So let’s talk about unplugging and continuing to find that joy and creativity, because to be honest, it’s hard to be creative when you’re constantly going, going, creativity takes a modern.

[00:38:31] Time to step back to think about things slowly, organically, whether that’s on a walk or doing something else, you’re not going to necessarily find all that creativity watching hours of 15 second videos, at least I haven’t. So talk to us about that, Eric.

Using Productivity for Creativity and Joy

[00:38:46] Erik Fisher: Yeah. I, I, I love when they, these are almost my favorite articles, cause it just gives me a pulse as to where people are when it comes to the way that they view productivity.

[00:38:56] So for somebody to say, my new year’s resolution is I’m going to aim to be less productive and I’m like, that’s not the good, that’s not a good goal. No, it’s not it’s because what they’re really saying, what they’re really saying is I want to this year, moving forward, be less busy. There’s a difference.

[00:39:17] There’s a difference between busy-ness and productivity is to me using the time you have for what you intended it to be used for. Watching those 15 second videos. If I say, I’m going to sit down and watch a bunch of 15 second videos in a row or the same one over and over again, because it makes me feel good.

[00:39:39] And I said, that’s what I was going to do. Then I’ve been productive. I don’t think that’s something we should feel guilty about if we decided and, and we knew with a clear conscience, that was a good use of my time. Same thing with productivity. It’s well, people want to say that wasn’t a productive use of your time.

[00:39:59] I, and, and people, people think productivity is squeezing every last bit of juice out of every second of every day, Carpe, diem, seize, crush it, all that kind of no, there’s a productivity for me again, if I intended to use the time for that reason, and it was a good use of my time and I did what I said I was going to do good for.

[00:40:21] That 30 minute nap that was productive that day off, that was productive me unplugging at a certain time of day, that was productive. Like me working on the weekend could actually be productive. If I said I was going to do it, or if I have it compartmentalized or broken up into the ways that I want it to be.

[00:40:41] So , I’m dancing around here, but ultimately it’s about the way you look at what productivity is and the way that you look at it. Again, this constant buzz of like I was talking about earlier, feeling like you are constantly on call, and if you can short circuit that expectation from others or in your own brain that you have of yourself for that.

[00:41:07] And you can say I’m now less productive, but what you really mean is you’re less busy now, who would, which would you rather be less productive or less. Yeah.

Editing Podcasts Productively

[00:41:17] Jeff Sieh: So we have a question from somebody over on Amazon live, which is great. They said, how can a person and Eric, this is right up your alley.

[00:41:25] How can a person be unplug and also edit podcasts? Because it sounds like they are like a podcast producer and they have their own show and you, and I both know that can suck. That could take a lot of time. How can you, how can you unplug and also be an editor, what are your tips for that?

[00:41:45] Cause you’ve done it for

[00:41:45] 10 years.

[00:41:46] Erik Fisher: Yeah. And up until recently I have edited my own show and I just had to put the blinders on, I had to, what I did find was I, I often use Yeah. I figured out that for a while there, if you played that and then turned to the sound of the podcast up, especially if there wasn’t music in the podcast, but it was just the conversation that you were editing, you would get some of that vibe off that brain FM, killing the fight or flight.

[00:42:14] But ultimately if you can sit and do a chunk of something and then get up and take a break and then sit and do it again. Yeah. And, and for that break, that be your social media time. It was like, okay, good. There’s no fires or, okay, good. I’ve got, oh, that thing I did got however many likes and people still liked me.

[00:42:33] Great. If that’s what you’re going for, which for me is not. But that’s what I’m saying. In other words, it’s, if you really can’t separate God constantly being connected, that is a problem. So you’ve got to be able to flip a switch and step away and do things that are more than.

[00:42:53] Jeff Sieh: That’s why I love this timer because I use this for, especially when I’m editing guys podcast, because I need to get up and not sit for a long period of time.

[00:43:00] So this is a perfect little thing that I use. Dustin mentioned the Pomodoro technique too, that he used. I think it’s how you say it. That’s how I say it. But this, this this whole thing about creativity and adding more creativity to our work is super fascinating to me. I am a shameless plug.

[00:43:18] I’m starting a new podcast, all about product, not productivity, all about creativity. And I’m so excited about that. So if you guys want to be like on the launch crew or get a sneak peak to it send me a DM in the comments and I’ll add you guys to this and let you listen to a pre version of it because I’m really excited about it, but a fascinating about great creativity.

[00:43:41] Erik Fisher: So

[00:43:42] Jeff Sieh: it’s great. Yeah. So Eric and I great. This is sorted as well, so I sent it to her too. So I’m very excited about that coming up, but that’s my thing for this. But what are some of your tips, Eric, about advice about nurturing more creativity? What do you, you mentioned brain FM. Do you have any other hacks that you have?

[00:44:02] Like when you feel like man, I’m in a slump, I’m not feeling very creative, what do you do to get past that hurdle?

How to Nurture More Creativity?

[00:44:11] Erik Fisher: Yeah. And the thing is we often talk about, you can’t output anything if you’re not inputting anything, so consume stuff that will inspire you and all that. And that’s great.

[00:44:21] And I’m going to toe that line and say that’s great. Keep doing that pick and choose and definitely go consume things. Whether, again, it’s setting aside the time intentionally to go look at 15 second videos and see what’s out there. And there’s some great ones that make you feel awesome or funny or creative.

[00:44:38] And you’re just like all, I just got an idea and you write that down and you capture it. But you also have to completely unplug, like you have to disconnect from the consuming and let what’s already in your head. Start to. Spin around and, ruminate and simmer, like in the pot, you’ve got a back burner, some stuff and let it sit there and let it just simmer, and let it cause.

[00:45:04] Cause often it’s great to have lots of ideas, but some of the best ones are the ones that you like holding your head for a while and connect up with other ideas and someone else, because once you’re thinking your brain is constantly working, so why not let it by letting it breathe. In other words, let your brain breathe.

[00:45:24] Grace Duffy: So Eric, have you ever taken a sabbatical from Social Media? Like I know so many of our friends in the industry have from time to time. Is this even something that’s possible?

How To Take A Sabbatical From Social Media?

[00:45:35] Erik Fisher: Yes I went for, I think it was 12 or 13 days straight without Social, just like a week ago. And it was great. Like I offloaded all the apps Just, you and, or delete them, depends on who you are, what you’re doing, but yeah, if you can offload those apps, if you can just go without it for a long time.

[00:45:56] And I even removed, like I created a separate screen, like on my, on your phone now on a iOS, especially you can move all your stuff to a certain page and, or just remove pages. So my front page was like, I had two widgets there and then like phone texting camera settings. And that was it for like almost two weeks straight.

[00:46:18] And it was like, I didn’t have to pick my phone up to do anything. I relied on my watch for the time it was know and, or like phone calls and texts. And that was it. And I did take, I did let that left. The camera, kept the phone on me cause I was like, I want to capture moments with video or with images.

[00:46:35] And I did, but I wasn’t like picking it up constantly to open up an app and open up another app and open up another app. And. And by not doing that, my, the habit of doing that became so much less of a pole, that it was a great reset to be able to stop doing that constantly. Now, once I’ve got those apps back freely able to be used.

[00:47:00] So

[00:47:00] Jeff Sieh: I would love for you guys in the comments to let us know what are some of your hacks that you use to help, keep you on track, be more creative. We had somebody over. Eric’s one of his tips he gave me. He also had a Napa Chino where you take it, he drinks some coffee, and then you take a little nap and by the time you wake up the caffeine is kicked in and you’re ready to go.

[00:47:21] And so I’ve been doing that. I love it because it does help with creativity. It gives you a little break you’re down and you’re in a lot of times creative creativity will bubble up through that. We had somebody on Amazon live saying they have a Fitbit that books. 50 minutes after the hour to get up when they’re doing their editing and get up and do stuff like that.

[00:47:41] One of my hacks that I do is that I change my watch face on the weekend to Mickey mouse. And that way, when I’m looking, I look at it like, oh, I gotta do something. I remember that, oh, that’s, I’m supposed to be on downtime right now. You know, Mickey mouse around a little bit more. Um, Joseph says he uses the Headspace app, which I’ve heard a lot of good things about that.

[00:48:07] Gary uses the timer on his apple watch. That’s a great, yeah. The T the new they’ve redone the timers now where you can have multiple ones, which I think is really cool. I really like what they’ve done with that.

[00:48:18] Erik Fisher: And your voice assistants using timers for you as well. Yeah.

[00:48:23] Jeff Sieh: Yeah, Megan likes the Napa Chino idea as well.

[00:48:28] Uh, back to taking a break sabbatical, this is our last question. What are some tools that you like when you went off line for that amount of time? I couldn’t even get ahold of him. That’s how deep he went. And he said, I mean, what are some words we can set and forget, like what, or to put our social media, that’s what you do at visible.

[00:48:48] You S you how do you, what are some tools that we can use? Like we can batch stuff, and then we can actually take like a vacation or a break. Is there anything that you use to automate Social.

Automating Social Media

[00:48:56] Erik Fisher: Yeah I mean, one of the best things you can do is you can, one, you want to make sure you’ve got somebody paying attention to be aware of the world at large, because for me, one of the things I did was I did not look at the news and or Twitter to see, news items, but you want somebody who is so that if you have content scheduled, that is going out on social, that it’s not in poor taste.

[00:49:21] And then a tool that obviously one of the tools that I would suggest when coming to scheduling content like that is a Gora pulse place that I worked for almost two years, at one point used for years in advance of that has been a sponsor of this podcast before. And we know great people that work there and there’s, that’s just one option.

[00:49:42] There’s many options when it comes to and, and even here’s the thing, maybe just don’t post anything that I just say that maybe you don’t need to. I didn’t, I actually. When I was gone, like for work stuff. Yes, I did. It was all scheduled and I walked away and somebody else had the, in your podcast, went out your

[00:50:00] Jeff Sieh: podcast when

[00:50:01] Erik Fisher: added podcasts went out and all that kind of stuff.

[00:50:03] But it was not an, a matter of, oh no, people are going forget about, we’ve had a post on social media for two weeks. Like you could still schedule some I could have, and maybe I should have, but did it hurt me? I don’t think so. In fact, not taking the time to do it actually made it quicker and easier for me to step out and walk away.

[00:50:24] Yeah. Karen

[00:50:25] Jeff Sieh: over. Oh, go ahead. No, go ahead.

[00:50:28] Grace Duffy: Oh, I said, I have a friend she’s not in our business or she’s, doesn’t do social media marketing. So it’s a little bit different. She calls it post and ghost. She’ll just post something on a personal page and then go away for awhile. And I started getting that on my own personal stuff.

[00:50:41] Of course I don’t run our business channels necessarily. So it’s, I wouldn’t do that there, but I liked that post and

[00:50:48] Jeff Sieh: ghost. Yeah. And Karen, over on Amazon live says she uses the block schedule and she blocks things out and she does that for social. And also for all her, like when to go to the gym, when to do all that stuff, that is, I wish I could do a better job at that.

[00:51:02] We’ve also Gary says he’s been using a gore pulse for a couple of years now. And he really likes it. So yeah, that’s what we use as well. Sabrina says exactly. Don’t be tone deaf social media poster. That is very, very true. You’ve got to watch what’s going on and not scheduling some things. Gary also said he’s been using the scheduling feature and Twitter for videos in the media library.

[00:51:24] That’s a hack that Eric taught. A while back too. So that’s really good. So yeah, set it and forget about it. Uh, anyway, that hope you don’t forget about the show because this has been amazing show, keep bringing the productivity tips, because I think we need reminders of those throughout the year.

[00:51:42] Thank you guys for all your comments and the things that you dropped in today that I may even have to try now, but Eric, before we end, I want to make sure that you have time to tell everybody about where they can find you your podcast, maybe some of your favorite productivity guests that you’ve had on recently that we should all go and check out.

Final Thoughts

[00:52:00] Jeff Sieh: So take it away.

[00:52:02] Erik Fisher: Yeah. Uh, the show at, beyond the to-do, that’s where like we’ve said before the show is found, you can find all the episodes there. It’s going on 10. It will hit its 10 year anniversary this year. And that’s hard for me to believe, but it’s true. I mentioned earlier, the Don Cory episode about knowing when to say yes, that’s one, that’s just come out.

[00:52:29] Another one that came out like right before that was Katie on a meditation, but also she’s got a really unique way of looking at achieving balance as a working mom. So that’s something that a lot of people don’t well, yeah. Anyway it’s important. It’s important. It’s important for all of us.

[00:52:50] And then there’s just, there’s been a bunch of other ones recently, like your organization, all that good

[00:52:57] Jeff Sieh: stuff. Yeah. Some of my favorite ones that you have on there, like from Todd Henry some, you you’ve got I think the James, Tommy Cabot’s guy, hasn’t he been on your show? James

[00:53:06] Erik Fisher: clears on and let’s see, just, there’s a lot of stuff.

[00:53:11] A lot of the stuff that we talked about today, if you were to go look up a word. Yeah. W say taking a break or sabbatical, or, pick a word, go to the site and then just search for it. You’ll get up all these different So at this loads that fit that

[00:53:28] Jeff Sieh: context and also do me a favor and go there to your favorite podcast player and do a search for beyond the to-do list.

[00:53:35] Listen to a couple episodes and then subscribe and also leave or follow. Now you’re supposed to follow but also leave a rating and review for Eric. Cause that really helps podcasters out. Let’s people get the word out and helps out the old algorithm. So make sure to check out beyond the to-do list on your favorite podcasting platforms and last, but certainly not least is the amazing Grace Duffy.

[00:53:57] It’s been, we had a little, we had to skip a couple of them cause you were out gallivanting around with family, but where can people I’m so glad you’re back. I’m surprised he was taking a break. I I’ll let her have that, but it’s so good to have her back. It’s so good to have it back. So where can we find you Grace, now that you’re here with.

[00:54:16] Grace Duffy: You can find me here most of the time. What have I been saying? You can find me. I’ll be here, except when I’m not. I am so excited to be doing the show with you, Jeff. And I’m excited to be back. I work for restream, which is another tool I like to help set and forget, because you can also record and distribute your show to all the places, which is what we’re doing with our show today.

[00:54:38] So I’m super excited. And I want to tell you my favorite. One of my favorite episodes of Eric’s podcast was the one he did with Michael Hyatt and his daughter. I can’t I’m sorry. I can’t remember. But that was just like, I bought the book. I joined the group. I did all the things. It was really life changing.

[00:54:54] It was all about reprioritizing.

[00:54:57] Erik Fisher: Yeah, and your life. Great.

[00:54:59] Jeff Sieh: There’s great guests over there. So if you haven’t checked out

[00:55:01] Erik Fisher: Hyatt Miller. Yes. Yes.

[00:55:04] Jeff Sieh: Very cool. And we’re also a podcast. So we’d love for you guys to do the same thing while you’re over there, checking out Eric show, make sure to leave us a rating and review as well.

[00:55:12] Just do a search for Social Media News Live. Our next show is Friday, January 14th at 11:00 AM. Eastern 10:00 AM central. You can always find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and Amazon live. Thank you guys so much for being here, Eric. Thank you. And we will see you guys next time. Bye everybody.

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