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SPI 403: 2 Time Management Strategies to Practice Right Now

Show Notes

This episode comes out on Christmas Day, 2019, so first of all, happy holidays. Now, obviously, I’m not working today, I’ve recorded and scheduled it in advance so I can focus on other things. That’s part of what I talk about in today’s episode, which is an excerpt from one of my presentations at FlynnCon1 earlier this year about some time management tricks that have worked for me.

I really hope you’ll think about joining me next year, 2020, for FlynnCon2. We’re keeping the event around the same size, five hundred people, but we’ve got so much more planned in terms of events, activities for you and your family, location, and more. It’s going to be back and better than ever. We’ve still got some tickets on sale over at, which get more expensive the closer we get to the event. If you’re thinking of coming out to San Diego, now’s the time.

This episode is short and sweet, but I talk about two key time management strategies that have really helped me make the most of my time. The first is just in time learning, which is the idea that you only learn the things you need in order to take your next step. Balancing that is the twenty percent itch rule, which is the idea that I set aside twenty percent of my time each week to experiment and try new things. That way I still get to scratch that itch and explore some new things while keeping focused on what I have to do here and now with the other eighty percent of my time. Take a listen to learn more, and happy holidays from all of us here at Team SPI.

You’ll Learn


Pat Flynn: Hello, and Merry Christmas to you. Happy Holidays. This episode comes out 2019, Christmas Day. I want to respect your time. I, obviously, am recording this ahead of time. But I know you’re busy. Whether you’re listening to this on Christmas Day or sometime around then, or maybe in the future, it doesn’t matter. I want to give you something for being here today. This is not going to be an incredibly long episode. It’s going to be actually short and sweet, and I got a little surprise for you.

This is, what you’re about to hear, a snippet, a clip, an audio file from one of my presentations at FlynnCon this past year. FlynnCon happened in July. It was the first ever Team Flynn community event. We had over four hundred entrepreneurs come into San Diego, and this was part of day two in the afternoon where I gave a talk on time management. And specifically, two techniques that I have used over the past, now, few years to make radical changes in just how much I’ve been able to accomplish, how much more focus I’ve had, and just progress that I’ve made in my business.

I wanted to give these to you today. You may have already had access to this through something that I sent a while back last month in an email, but maybe this will be a great reminder for you if you did hear that. But these two time management practices, I was so thankful to have the opportunity to share this live and on stage at FlynnCon1, and I got a lot of great feedback from it. So, I wanted to offer it for you, too.

I also wanted to let you know that tickets to FlynnCon2, July 16 to 18 here in San Diego, California, looking forward to having many of you who have already signed up and bought your tickets. We still have some tickets available, and the price goes up at the start of the year. If you want to check that out, is where you need to go, For right now, just sit back. This is part of the conversation that we had on one of the afternoons at that event.

When it comes to excuses that we have in our life, in our business, the most common excuse—and I’ve surveyed my audience and many of you—this is the number one excuse. “I don’t have the time.” It is, “I don’t have the time.” So I wanted to talk about time a little bit. We talked about it in the VIP lunch a little bit, and I’m very thankful that a lot of you are looking to figure out how to better manage your time.

The number one thing that I’ve realized with this is, this excuse is just code. It’s code that means, “The things that I want to do are not a top priority for me right now.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Sometimes we have to put other things in priority above the other things that we want to do. And so, what can we do in those situations? We have to understand, well, where is our time going? How is it being used? And just being conscious about those efforts.

Over time, I have learned to develop all kinds of different strategies. I’ve tried all the things under the book, and different things that have worked for other people don’t work for me. Some things that worked for others worked for me, as well. I wanted to pass on a few options for you to test, and try, and experiment in your life, in your business, to see how you might be able to maximize time. I just wanted to give you stuff that’s working for me right now.

I’ve tried the sort of thirty-minute timer, ten minutes off, thirty minutes… What is it? Pareto or . . . Yeah, thank you, Pomodoro. They even sell Pomodoro clocks and little apples that you can twist. Those are fun, but I mean, they don’t always work for me. They may work for you. I’ve tried other strategies, and batch processing works really well, but we don’t always have the time to record four podcast episodes in a row. So, how are we going to figure out where we’re going to do these things? Because yes, you might want to start something, but unless you have time to do it, then it’s like, well, where are we going to get access to even the opportunity? I have a couple things for you.

Number one, and this has been huge, because I didn’t even realize how much I was doing this, but this is something called “just in time learning.” I learned this from the guys over at Internet Business Mastery, specifically Jeremy Frandsen. He told me that you should only allow yourself to learn about the things that are relevant to what you’re doing right now. We’ll talk more about that in just a minute. Number two is what I like to call the “twenty percent itch rule,” the twenty percent itch rule. Let’s talk about these a little bit.

Number one, just in time learning, only allowing yourself to consume information relevant to your next step. This, alone, has helped shave eighty percent of the wasted time I had when I was subscribed to forty different podcasts, when I was reading ten different blogs in my RSS feed. Yes, consuming content is great. It’s fun. You can learn things that can help you and legit actually change your life, but unless you are actually implementing what you are reading or listening to or watching, it’s not going to have an effect on what you want to do. Just in time learning has been huge, and there might be opportunities very quickly for you to understand, I should probably stop doing these things. Or maybe I need to subscribe to less podcasts. Am I saying you shouldn’t subscribe to the Smart Passive Income podcast? Maybe. Maybe. Not a definite yes, but maybe.

I had a person who had just recently discovered me in my podcast go, “I’m going to go to episode one, and I’m going to listen to all of your episodes.” I was like, “I’ll see you in two years when you’ve done nothing.” That’s literally what I said. I said, “Go through the titles. Look at the descriptions. Figure out what you need to do next, and match the podcast episodes to that. You can still listen to the podcast, but you don’t have to listen, and you shouldn’t listen in the order.”

This is another thing related to your blog content, if you have a blog. How do we write our blog? We write our blog in chronological order, but is that the same order that people should be consuming that content? Most likely, no, which is why a getting started page is really important. “Hey, you’re new here. Let me filter all this stuff for you so that this is where you start.” Been one of the best business decisions I made. I created a start here page to make it easy for people so they don’t get overwhelmed. The getting started page is huge.

When it comes to learning, it’s hard because we fear that we’re missing out on that next big thing. Right? We fear that information being absent from us in the future when we could potentially use it. We all have FOMO, F-O-M-O. Have any of you heard of JOMO? Anybody? Joy Of Missing Out. Right? The joy of missing out, JOMO, which I’ve adopted for a while, and I like that. I like, hey, you know what? I am happy that I am missing out on these things, but it didn’t align for me in my head very well. I needed to restructure this a little bit. I don’t promote JOMO anymore. I promote JO to the third, JO3. That is the joy of opting out, opting out being the keyword. I know that this exists, and I choose and I am purposeful of not doing that right now, of not consuming that right now.

There’s a little bit of a difference there. I don’t know if you can hear, between the joy of missing out—I felt like I was kidding myself when I was saying that to myself. JOMO, I feel good that my friends are at a party, and I’m not. But I can feel joyful that I’m saying no to my friend’s party because I’m going to be spending my time with my kids. Opting out consuming content on purpose. So, JO3, the joy of opting out, and I want to encourage you to try that.

Number two, the twenty percent itch rule. Twenty percent itch rule. This is allowing yourself the freedom to use twenty percent of your time to explore and experiment with new things. This is a relatively new strategy for me that’s and working really, really well, because I was focused on only do what I’m supposed to be doing and only learn about what the next thing is right now. I felt like even still, even though I wanted to practice a hundred percent, that I couldn’t possibly do that because I am an entrepreneur. You’re an entrepreneur. We want to try new things. Being an entrepreneur is about trying and experimenting, even if you know you have these other things to do. This other thing is worth experimenting with.

I remember listening to Gary V. on a live once. I had my earmuffs on, so I was cool. He was talking about his strategy for how he experiments with new social media platforms, because there was a bunch of new social media platforms coming out at the time. Back then, it was he was big into, which now turned into Tik Tok and all these other ones. He’s like, “Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, these are the big three for me—Facebook—but I also allow myself a little bit of time to experiment. I’m okay with experimenting with them, knowing that they can potentially just fail and die, and be okay with that.”

I was like, “Whoa, that’s actually a really good strategy.” No, you don’t need to say it with all those F words, but it can still be very effective. For me, I love to experiment. I love to try new things. Okay, that didn’t hit like I wanted it to. I got to say, we took this photo. I did a photo shoot with some people for business, and it was in a lab. It was like, experiment with your business. Right? I did some fun things. They were just like, “Grab that glove. Put it on. Look like you’re going to do something.” So now, that picture is not a waste. I used it. I’m done. I’m not going to use it anymore. Don’t worry.

Anyway, I love to experiment, and you’ve seen this from me recently. I have been experimenting with twenty percent of my time on the SwitchPod, recently. A couple years ago, I experimented with writing a business book with twenty percent of my time. How do you figure out twenty percent of your time to allow yourself to be okay with doing something that may or may not work? Ramit Sethi does this, as well. He uses every Friday to experiment, and try, and be creative, and be a visionary in trying things, knowing that the rest of the week, he’s going to be focused and nailing everything he needs to do. That was a huge revelation for me.

For anybody here who is struggling with wanting to scratch that itch, but also, you have all these other things that you need to take care of, try twenty percent. You might have to adjust it, obviously. Now, how does this work? How can we make this easy? Very simple. Just like with Ramit. On Monday, you’re on Project A, and then allow for every Friday, you wake up on Friday knowing that’s your day to play. That’s been huge for me. That’s where the SwitchPod came into play, which is really cool.

Now, the SwitchPod could’ve totally failed. My invention—we could’ve Kickstarted it, and it could’ve been a complete failure. Nothing is, however, a complete failure. You can learn from the situation. So, in addition to potentially doing something and having it work, even if it doesn’t work, you’re still using twenty percent of that time to experiment and try, and even if it were a failure, learning at the same time. You’re learning about new things, and therefore, you actually feel like that itch is being scratched.

Alright, and that’s the little clip for you. I hope that was helpful. Joy of opting out. I hope that you opt-out of some stuff that’s going to distract you from the things that you know are important for you and to you right now, and I hope that you do allow yourself a little bit of freedom, controlled freedom and controlled space, to experiment, try new things, go big, and you know what? It could work out.

Thank you so much for listening in. To everybody who has listened for any amount of time this year in 2019, thank you so much for being a part of Team Flynn. I hope that I can see you, and treat you, and serve you in-person in San Diego July 16 to 18. We’re looking forward to it. Head on over to the landing page at You’ll get a sense for what it’s like, and it’s going to be even better and bigger next year, not bigger in terms of number of people. We’re going to have about five hundred people, maximum, there, but bigger in terms of the efforts to serve you, and the activities that we’re going to have for your families, and the location, and just all the activities we’re going to do. It’s going to be a ton of fun. I hope that you’ll come. Thank you so much.

Team Flynn, you’re amazing. Enjoy your family. Enjoy the time that you have. Be grateful for the successes that you’ve had, and be grateful for the opportunities that are right there in front of you that you’re going to take head-on in 2020. I appreciate you so much, and I’m here to help you along the way. Until next year, as always, Team Flynn for the win. Peace.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at

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Smart Passive Income Podcast

with Pat Flynn

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