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Feb 14, 2019

On today’s Just the Tips, it’s just Dean and I sharing a podcast episode for two for Valentine’s Day. This is actually the one place where I can tell Dean I love him, because he’s actually taken a hiatus from social media lately. At first I thought I wasn’t seeing his posts, but he tells me it’s been an intentional pullback from social media. Why? Find out on this very special, intimate Valentine’s Day episode.

Dean goes dark

Back in December, everything had been going well for Dean, when suddenly he got really sick. He tried to go into work, but had to turn back home and ended up spending about six days in bed, unplugged from the world. At that time, he’d also just dropped and smashed his phone, so his new phone had none of his contacts, none of his apps, etc. And what he realized was that he was always reaching for it, even though there was nothing to do on it. And it was then he realized he had an addiction to his phone.

Taking a break

After realizing that he had a habit of checking social media compulsively, Dean decided to go cold turkey. For three weeks he didn’t check his social media, barely checked his email and went online as little as possible. And what he found was that his head was feeling a lot clearer. What he realized was that he was just passively consuming “other people’s crap,” and not focusing on what he thought was important. If this sounds like you (it sounds like just about everybody), this episode is for you.

You’re not good at multitasking

One of the effects of leaving social media, Dean found, was getting a whole bunch of time back. All that time he wasted on social media, but then also all the time he lost by losing his focus. Humans are not good at multitasking, no matter what anyone says. Studies show that the human mind is better off focusing on one thing at a time in order to be most productive. And so by turning off his phone or by not checking his email or Facebook incessantly, Dean was actually able to get his focus back.

Figure out what’s distracting you

Now that Dean has found that he’s much more productive not going on social media or not picking up his phone every 20 minutes, his next step is to make a list of everything that causes a distraction. Phone calls, notifications, Slack notifications, etc. And he wants to figure out which of those are essential to him, and which he can remove so he can take his focus to the next level. It’s important to set expectations with people that you’re not always going to be available at the time, so you’re not ghosting your friends and family. But try removing some of the noise, and you’ll be amazed by how productive you can be.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:30] Why Dean has gone silent
  • [8:30] Dean realizes it’s just a habit
  • [10:00] Three weeks off social media
  • [11:41] Wrong metrics for success on social media
  • [17:36] How to get past your performance gaps
  • [21:20] Make a list of everything that creates a distraction
  • [26:55] Set expectations
  • [31:08] Dean’s making a comeback in the book challenge
  • [37:06] Abandon the good for the great

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Connect With James and Dean

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