SPI 043: How to Have Laser-Like Focus and Stress-Free Productivity—Summer Marketing Mashup 2012

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In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I have not one, not two, not three, not four – but five guests in what is known as the Summer Marketing Mashup.

This is a round table session with myself and some of the top podcast hosts and online business minds, including:

For 4 consecutive weeks this summer, this panel meets live on a webinar and we discuss a different topic each week. Each person shares a tip about that specific topic and then we go to the live audience for questions.

This session is the second session we’ve had, which I’m happy to host here on the SPI Podcast and it’s all about how to have laser-like focus and stress-free productivity, which is extremely important for all of us who run a blog and/or a business online – especially in this world which seems to throw distractions at us all of the time.

The first session, which was all about traffic, is hosted on the Internet Business Mastery Podcast, which you can listen to here.

You can join us live on the third and fourth sessions, which happen at 6pm PST on Tuesday, August 7th and 14th, respectively. Click here to register for the free webinars. 

In this session you’ll learn about:

  • The #1 Multiplier for Dan and Ian’s business overseas.
  • How Jason and Jeremy use an Operation Manual to get things done much faster and done right.
  • Your best 20 hours and how that can take your business to the next level.
  • “Just in Time Learning” and what Jeremy would do if he could do it all over again from the start.
  • The two types of time and how to track and schedule a proper ratio between the two for maximum output.
  • How letting little bad things happen can actually help you focus on your bigger goals and become more efficient.
  • The power of walking for productivity and focus.
  • Where you should be spending most of your time in your business.
  • Why checklists are your friend.
  • The “big elephant in the room” that will motivate you like nothing else.

Questions we answer from the live audience:

  • Is there anything that you say to yourself to stay focused while doing work?
  • What percentage of my work should be allocated toward email, SEO, content creation, and social media?
  • How do you properly schedule writing several  blog posts a week and make sure they are of high-quality?
  • How do you get from dreaming to inspired action when you first started?
  • Are keeping track of analytics a waste of time? How to you make sure the time you spend checking analytics works in your favor?
  • If you only had an one hour a day to work on your business, what would you be doing?

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

This was a great session with a ton of focus and productivity tips. Like I mention at the end of the session, learning is great, but nothing will ever happen unless you take what you learn, and do something with it.

Cheers, thank you for listening and thank you so much for your support! Here’s to you and getting things done in your business and in life.

Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates for your device:


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 43 (PDF)

  • http://www.GoToPhysicianAssistantSchool.com The PA Coach

    Thanks Pat! I needed this one!

  • http://www.nichesiteadventures.com Johnny Bravo

    Looking forward to spending some time listening to this Pat. Great idea for a podcast.

  • http://businessandblogs.com Matt Wolfe

    Cool idea with the round table podcast!

    Looking forward to listening to it next time I’m in my car.

  • http://www.nichezilla.com Adam

    I have actually built something similar to the treadmill desk and while it’s fine for watching movies or youtube seminar videos it isn’t productive for pretty much anything that requires focused concentration.

    Q.) How do you get from dreaming to inspired action when you first started?

    I have a fortune cookie slip tapped to my monitor that I think fits that question well and it reads: It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it.

  • http://extraincomeblogger.com Sune @ ExtraIncomeBlogger

    Pat, this is one super podcast with tons of helpful information! Really looking forward to the third and fourth sessions as well!

  • Vinod Poyilath

    This is synchronicity at its best.. I poke you with a productivity question yesterday, and here I have a whole podcast on it… never knew this was in the making..

    Can’t wait to listen.. it’s well past midnight here, but gonna listen to this before I sleep.

  • http://Www.methodsem.com Jason

    Headed out the door for a run and looked for an old podcast of yours to listen to. Even better, I find a new one!

    Will be back after the run with comments and questions.

  • http://www.methodsem.com Jason

    … and the podcast did not disappoint.

    Some great additional reads that I don’t believe were mentioned:

    Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill – discusses more on the principle of “my inner world becomes my outer world.” Basically, any internal beliefs that you ingrain into your sub-conscious will materialize themselves in their physical equivalent.

    If you know you will be hit your target goals, then chances are you will. The hardest part is convincing yourself. The book clears this up.

    Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy – Expands on Hill’s idea and adds some very interesting strategies for programming yourself to be successful.

    Both books have changed the way I look at my online business.

    Also (as was mentioned in the podcast) 4 Hour Work Week.

    It seems for me the theme of the last few weeks is focus and productivity and this podcast did a nice job of adding to the knowledge.


  • http://contentmarketingup.com Michael Chibuzor

    Hey Pat, I’m so confident this podcast is going to help me. Talking about productivity, it’s what I’m looking for right now. Thank you for making out time to create this.

  • http://www.discoverwithandy.com Andy

    Hey Pat, just finished the podcast and really liked it. I especially like the podcasts as a whole because when I’m working on my websites I can’t listen to music as it’s too distracting, so I listen to your podcasts instead and use them as motivation to keep me going.

    But back to SPI043 – I have two things I wanted to say:

    1) I think you discounted your suggestion of eating healthy and staying in shape. It’s a really good suggestion and makes a HUGE difference. I remember reading somewhere about Richard Branson being asked what his top suggestion to increase productivity was, and his answer was exercise.

    2) When you brought up how you noodle around in the analytics, I think too much emphasis was placed on it only being productive if you have set goals – you go in and get out as soon as possible. I think that’s great for running the business, but not necessarily for productivity.

    It reminds me of both the RSA talks from Sir Ken Robinson on changing education (http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U) and Steven Johnson on where good ideas come from (http://youtu.be/NugRZGDbPFU).

    What you’re doing when you’re playing around in analytics isn’t a waste of time. Doing things like that is how GREAT ideas come around, and I don’t mean good, I mean GREAT. Maybe you’ll find something that no one else has, something that will revolutionize the way online businesses are run. Or maybe you’ll see a link between how peoples attention works on webpages and how they pay attention to teachers, write a book on it, and revolutionize education.

    This is of course all just theoretical examples, but what I’m saying is Mozart didn’t write music by not playing around and having fun with it. Great things don’t happen on a schedule or when you plan them. Don’t take this the wrong way, but no one on the podcast has ever really done anything great – I mean TRULY great. Being methodical and doing things on purpose is wonderful for taking good ideas like all of the websites all you guys run and maximizing the potential of those good ideas, but it isn’t where anything truly great comes from.

    You have to leave yourself open to the possibilities. Who knows, if you really find analyzing traffic patterns that engaging, maybe you’ll end up working for Google (or maybe they’ll end up working for you ;), doing something you love even more than today. But don’t close yourself off just because you think it’s “not productive”.

  • http://www.discoverwithandy.com Andy

    Okay, now I feel like a jerk for the “you guys haven’t done anything really great” comment – that came out way wrong. Everyone on the podcast seemed like really good, genuine people, which is a great feat on its own. Pat, I know you’re raising a family too, and I think that’s TRULY the greatest thing a person can do.

    So I apologize for my previous comment. But I hope you know what I meant. It seems like if you want to create the next Twitter or Facebook, you have to let yourself explore.

  • http://talesofwork.com Kimanzi Constable

    Wow, this podcast was packed with some really good information. I love the contrast between traditional goal setting and more of what Leo from zenhabits talks about with no having set gaols. Some of the stuff talked about is a little hard with a day job.

  • http://olympicdistancetriathlons.com Brandon Breshears

    I’m super excited to listen to this on my commute out today! Thanks man, I really feel like I’m needing some of this. I get really distracted by stuff when I’m working so I’ll definitely implement what you say. I noticed while going through your old income reports that it seems like it took you a while to learn how to develop the focus and discipline to sit down and get work done, so I’m working on building that muscle too.

  • http://mypassivepaycheck.com/ Scott Frye

    Really great tips on productivity, and keeping that laser focus. I use evernote like crazy, it is great to have on the phone and on the puter.

    In the past, I’ve had the habit of switching from project to project, and that lack of focus on a single project start to finish has been one of the biggest causes of stress and at the same time slowed things down.

    They say something in alot of types of athletic training, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” and its kinda the same way in internet marketing, keep the focus, don’t worry about fast / productivity, just focus on the task, and get it done!

  • http://www.onlineincomestartup.com Dr.Spencer Jones

    That was a good one Pat. I actually needed to hear a bit about maintaining focus and productivity especially since I have big plans for my blog while at the same time getting more busy by being a medical doctor in India and having an entire business, our own medicine manufacturing unit to manage. So the only time I can manage for my online business will be in the mornings and the evenings and any time which I can save in between and of course the holidays.

    Back to my point, I jotted down some tips while listening to the podcast, especially liked the first one, which is to hire someone to work for you as quickly as possible. I knew it’s the right thing to do to achieve success much faster, especially in IM business, as there are lots of technicalities involved that me as one person can’t manage. I’ve been planning to set up an office with a team since many years.

    Also like the idea of structuring time in to prep time and money time, importance of exercising and eating well and making the blog posts and content flow through you instead of forcing it to happen. Overall a good one.

    Btw I also ordered the “Getting Things Done” book. Do let me know if there are any other good books on productivity and time management. Thanks.

    Dr.Spencer Jones

  • http://www.lazybastardlife.com Jason

    You mentioned it, but for me, it’s a small to do list on a white board that is visible near my computer. I find that whenever I start drifting into just reading twitter, facebook, and blog posts from my reader, I glance up and see my list. Usually it’s right back to work. Before I did this, I barely used a to do list and it was either a word document or a piece of paper. Once out of sight, it was out of mind.

  • http://www.thesailingpodcast.com David Anderson

    Hey Pat, enjoyed the podcast (as usual). You were a great host. I found the confession by most people that they jumped into it too early an interesting co-incidence. Reminds me of the conversation you had in episode 9 with Nicole Dean regarding the motivation you have to succeed – especially if you have lost a job etc.

  • http://www.myp90xworkoutschedule.com Jonathan Wilson

    As usual great stuff. I love being able to listen to this when I don’t have time to be reading. All your productivity tips are going to be funneled into a big push for my sites this month. I am sure like everything else I’ve learned here it will be worth my while.

  • http://www.iclanwebsites.com iClan Websites

    Very good content hear pat, resonated with it all.

  • Oliver T.

    Hey Pat, great podcast with great guests. One of your best. Superb with very good information. Thank you.

  • http://www.jatemweb.com Mark

    Hey Pat, I just wanted to say well done a superb job of hosting the webinar. You were the comsate professional.

    Nice work.

    • Mark

      ….as opposed to me who cannot spell!

  • http://www.thinkentrepreneurship.com Pete Sveen

    Hey Pat, I’ve listened to every single podcast you’ve done so far. They make my exercising and runs go by so quickly. The panel you had with multiple views was interesting and I found a lot of the viewpoints helpful. I’m looking forward to the next podcast. Thanks!

  • http://www.myp90xworkoutschedule.com/equipment-needed-for-p90x Tony Maggin

    Great Job as usual Pat. I love how you gather all this insight from industry tycoons and put it all together in one great post. Saves me hours of scouring the web. Thank You!!!

  • http://www.beginningiosdev.com Shen @ BeginningiOSDev

    Awesome tips on productivity. I’m personally a big fan of the Pomodoro technique.
    It’s been great in helping me to focus, and I’ve probably doubled my output since I’ve started using it.

  • Andy

    Hey Pat,

    Long time follower of you and your blogs and podcasts… tons of great tips and tricks in this podcast… i am so glad i read about the ‘just-in time’ learning… i am guilty of getting distracted and following all over the place on the next tip/trend and not staying focused on the task at hand… i do use mind mapping software to help with my checklists and for resources… (iThoughts for the iPad is a must!)

    Awesome work mate and congrats on hitting the 50,000 subscribers!

  • Luis

    Thanks for this Pat, I’ll listen to that podcast.
    I have a huge problem with focus and productivity, hopefully I find lots of helpful things there.
    Also very interesting your newsletter this week Pat, I like to know of the difficulties you face and how you solve them. Wish you all the best of successes with the new project that you are developing.
    Cheers, Luis

  • http://www.damienelsing.com Damien Elsing

    I got so much from this podcast. I especially liked Jason and Jeremy’s idea about Just in Time Learning. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it and how it relates to the four stages of competence: http://www.damienelsing.com/do-you-know-what-you-dont-know/

    Thanks for this great episode.

  • http://www.wp1stop.com Frederick

    Great Podcast – Just want I needed. I have 5+ years since I left my 9 to 5 and not looking back. I do have to improve my reaction to bad clients – my mood when dealing with nut cases. Clients that take your productive time and try to violate the terms of scope. — Remain focus and remember why I do this.

  • Luis

    Another thing that comes to my mind (because I just used it, hehe) and makes my productivity absolutely skyrocket like hell (it is actually in Tim Ferriss’ book):
    Set time limits stupidly, ridiculously short. So short that’s like, are you kidding me?
    1) Get some kind of clock, alarm or whatever so that you can set a countdown timer to whatever you want. I use this: http://sonoragraphics.com/timer.html
    2) Now decide a time that sounds ok for the task. Imagine that your boss (imagine that you have a boss if you don’t) comes and tells you do task X in Y minutes/hours. Decide to which minimum value of Y you would still feel confortable and be like: “hmm.. ok, I can surely do that in that time period”.
    3) Now divide this time Y by 10 or whatsoever, make it crazily small!
    4) Set the counter on. Problem time management? *trollface*
    Now you must take it seriously of course, you have to somehow trick yourself into believing that you really must do it in the appointed time. If you don’t think too much about it, it’s actually not so difficult. If you do this right, this additional crazy pressure will absolutely prevent you from losing focus because your mind will be in a kind of alarm state. It works like a spell.
    I recommend setting times short enough that the passing of seconds is painful. For instance, I’d say that 2 hours is already too long. 20 minutes is great because in such a short time you won’t even think on procrastinate. If the time is long enough so that you can have a moment of relax without worrying, it’s not gonna work.

  • http://www.kylelife.com Will

    Hi Pat, I listened to this podcast today and felt like it was exactly what i needed to hear. Got some good book recommendations and it was nice to hear ppl who are already successful still deal with some of the same day to day issues as me!

    All the best,


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