Masterclass - Productivity with Michael TipperJun 28, 2022
VIDEO: 54:31 mins
AUTHOR: Michael Tipper
Welcome to another GYDA Masterclass with Michael Tipper on productivity.
This presentation will help you and your busy agency eliminate distractions, get laser focused and achieve much more with just a handful of tiny tweaks to what you're already doing. Michael ends his presentation with a Q&A from the audience.
Robert Craven 00:29
GYDA Talks and today we have got I'm delighted to say we've got Michael Tipper with us, Michael runs performance productivity, he is a specialist in productivity, which I guess is why so many people are here. Ironically, I saw one or two people sign up at 12:10, 15 minutes early, which makes me think that maybe they productivity or their efficiency, maybe suffering slightly anyhow. The subject is procrastination, what is it, why it happens, and what you can do about it. So without further ado, I'm going to hand over to Michael and Michael is going to give us about 30 minutes or in a sort of a presentation style. And then we'll throw it open to q&a. Any questions you've got through the session, you can drop them into the chat. Otherwise, I'm really looking forward to this. Thank you very much. And welcome to Mr. Michael Tipper .
Michael Tipper 01:32
Thank you very much indeed. First of all, I just want to make sure that everyone can hear me because I have launched 22 presentations in the past not realising that I was on mute. And no one could really hear me and no one really acknowledged that for a while. So can you just sort of wave to me so that you can actually hear me? Thank you. Fantastic. So we're going to talk about procrastination. And I want to start by telling you a quick story about procrastination because there is a cost of procrastination. Now I don't know how many of you have got involved in any cryptocurrency investing. Up until about 18 months ago, I had no idea what cryptocurrency was, but a friend of mine got into it. And around about November last year, they started talking me Michael, Michael, you got to get into Bitcoin, you got to get into Bitcoin. And I was going yay, okay, we're gonna get to Bitcoin look, it's at a great price now. And at the time, this is back November 2020. It was at a price of $14,000. Now, I don't even know much about Bitcoin, but you can buy little slivers of it. So you'd have to buy one whole Bitcoin, you can buy slivers of it. So I thought, yeah, it's gonna be because Michael is gonna go to 100,000 next year, you've got to get in, you got to get in. So I go, Yeah, I got excited by it. I'm excited by it. And I didn't actually put any money in until the middle of December, by which time it was now $21,000. So its price it increased by 50%. Okay, its price increased by 50%. Now, I don't know if you've looked a bit more recently, but yesterday, it was priced at $61,000. So there's a cost to procrastination, there's a cost of delay. For me, depending on how much that is? Well, it doesn't matter how much it is. But my investment is only worth two thirds of what it could have been. Had I got in where my friend told me to. So my delay has cost me now in monetary terms, I did the maths, working this out in monetary terms, so it's got a record of this, if I'd have just invested 1000 pounds into it, it would have cost me 1500. If I didn't invest 10,000, it cost me 15 grand, if I'd invested 100 grand, it would have cost me 150,000. So I can put a price on my procrastination in that particular situation. So there is a cost to procrastination.
Michael Tipper 03:42
There are a number of costs. First of all, a big cost is our own self esteem, believe it or not, because if we get into the habit of identity of putting things off, then we start to become someone with an identity of not completing. And of course, you're busy people, you've got lots of things you want to do and you want to complete them. If you create the pattern of putting things off, then what will happen is that you'll set up that identity and that's not good. Now, the other thing that there is a cost there is something called the Zeigarnik Effect. Have you heard that if you've heard of the Zeigarnik Effect, could you sort of wave your hand up sort of or some form of positive so no one's Zeigarnik Effect. Bluma Zeigarnik was a Russian memory expert who was studying in Berlin in the 1920s. One night she went out with her professor and her friends and went to a restaurant. What she noticed. What she noticed was all the waiters could remember the drinks orders the desserts, the main course of coffees, member all the information about that particular table, these tables might have 10-15 people up until the point the bill was paid. So whilst things were going on, and they were looking at the table, they could remember everything but as soon as the bill was paid, as soon as the transaction had been complete, they couldn't remember anything. She was fascinated by this did some research and discovered this effect called the Zeigarnik effect. So, what is it every time you open up an intention to do something, a channel opens up in your brain, there's a root into your subconscious going to tap into everything that you've already done expense to see if you can help with that particular task. That channel stays open until you get completion. So, Do you feel committing to doing things while you're putting them off and putting them off, the more you do, the more channels are open, that's going to drain mental energy, that's going to drain mental energy. So it is a real problem. And if you've got lots of those things over, you won't be as effective on the things that you do do, because you've got all the things waiting to be done. Okay, so procrastination is a problem. Some research I saw the other day show that 20% of us will procrastinate on something major every single day. Now, there's even if procrastination is celebrated, there's even a procrastination society that have their own website and their own creed. They have a 13 point creed now. So just listen, these are three that I think might resonate with people. So item number three on their on their 13 Point creed is, I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration. So we've created, now if you can resonate with any of these just sort of make a mental note. Item number eight on there creators, if at first I don't succeed, there's always next year. And the last one, which is this, I know the work cycle is not plan, start finish. But wait, plan and plan. So that's so it's celebrate. So procrastination is almost a celebrated thing. But actually, it's very, very costly for us. So what I'm going to do today is I'm going to talk to you about procrastination. Here's what we're going to talk about procrastination, what it is, why it happens, and more importantly, what you can do with it. And just to give you a bit of context, here's mine mantra for productivity. My mantra is this - Do more important work in a more focused way more often and for longer. So do more important work in a more focused way more often and for longer. That's the context. When am I helping people productivity, this is what we're trying to do. But what we find ourselves doing often is putting this off. So what is procrastination?
Michael Tipper 03:42
Well, there's all sorts of definitions. My favourite definition comes from a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. And his definition of procrastination, there are two phases, the first thing you identify something called resistance. And this is what resistance is. So resistance cannot be seen or touched or heard or smelled, but it can be felt, we experienced it as an energy field radiating from a working potential is a repelling force. It's negative, its aim is to shove us away, distract us prevent us from doing our work. Now, that's the overall resistance. I'm sure we've all felt that when we're something we know we should be doing, but we can't actually do it. And what happens is, he says the worst form of resistance is procrastination. This is his definition of procrastination. It's the most common manifestation of resistance, because it's the easiest to rationalise. We don't tell ourselves, I'm never gonna write my symphony. Instead, we say, I'm going to write my sympathy, I'm just going to start it tomorrow. So that's a great definition, I can't really better it. Now, one of the things, I think is really, really important. Now I'm going to say something now. And I implore you to write it down, because it's really good. Now, I can't claim Fred, can claim where this comes from, because it's someone else's statement. But it's really, really good comes from two people called Chip and Dan Heath, and it's this resistance is often the lack of clarity, resistance is often the lack of clarity. So there's just a hint to one of the things that you can possibly do to overcome resistance and maybe overcome procrastination. So that's what procrastination is. There's all sorts of other scientific definitions, but just want to give that because it's a really nice definition and really grabbed me when I first saw it, so why do we procrastinate, okay, now, this might come as a bit of a shock, okay, and if anyone's offended, it's the truth is because Why do you procrastinate is because you're weak. That's why you procrastinate, is because you're weak. Now, it's not used specifically, it's because you're human, and humans are generically weak. Okay, and I'm gonna explain why in a second and give you some of the neuroscience brain stuff about why we actually procrastinated. Now, what I want to do though, is I want to set you up for a challenge. Are you up for a challenge? Okay, this is Yes. This is No, obviously, you're up for a challenge. Okay. Now, here's the challenge. Now, I've done a lot of work in the nuclear industry. I remember working with one power station up in the northwest, and I said, Are you up for a challenge? They said, Yes, Michael. I challenged them. I didn't like it. Okay, so the challenge is quite simple. I'm gonna challenge you now because I would imagine, just like any Special Forces soldier who's gun level leaves more than three feet from where their hand is, your phone is within arm's distance of where you are.
Michael Tipper 03:42
My challenge is this, turn your phone off for the remainder of this session. Now, I don't mean silence, I mean, actually turn the thing off, because I want you to turn it off. And I want you to notice how you feel when you turn it off. The other thing I want you to do, if you're looking at a screen is I want you to close down everything but zoom. I want you to close down everything but zoom, I just want to notice how you feel. Okay? Now, for the rest of this presentation, I want you to focus on me. Now, I might be boring, I might not engage you. You might hear stuff that you don't like. You might hear stuff that you've heard before. But you'll encounter all four of those scenarios in the work that you do. The challenge to get things done doing more important work in a more focused way more often for longer is to overcome that by just want to experience what it's like to make that commitment because in order to overcome procrastination, that's what you've got to do. That's what you've got to do. So what we're going to do now is I'm going to explore a little bit about the brain. Okay, a little bit about the brain now, bit of interaction. Now, I'm gonna ask you some questions. I want to give you some answers. But can you sort of type it in the chat to everyone? Okay, so we can all see it. So just get your fingers ready to type in the chat. And the answers are going to be very, very simple. They have to do much. So talking about the brain, the brain is a certain age, we have been in the format that we've got our brain so many 1000 years. So is it A 30,000 years? Is it B 300,000 years? Or do you think it's C 3 million years? How many years old? Do you think our brain is A, B or C? Just pop it in the chat. I got to see an A, A C, A, B, okay, a B, a B, and somebody put the numbers in there for me. Thank you for that. Okay. I've got to count the notes now. So that's a B, that's a B. Okay. B's, you've got it. 300,000 years old. Okay. So this structure that we've got right now, was designed for 300,000 years ago. And that's important to understand. Okay, so we're operating on a system that was designed for 300,000 years ago. So second question. Okay. So, and this, you might have to type a couple of words in here. What do you think the number one function of our brain is? Okay. There are two main functions, which is the number one function is any idea just type in the chat? Survival, Survival, Survival, Protect. Okay. Propagation. I think I know what that means. Okay. Thinking, yeah, it does think plus a function rather than Okay, survival. Yes. Number one is to keep you safe. Number one, is to keep you safe. Number two, is to minimise efforts, so it can keep you safe. So number one is keep you safe. Number two, is minimise efforts to keep you safe. Now, there's lots of other stuff going on as well, granted, but fundamentally, that's what's going on. That is what is going on. Now, remember, 300000 years ago, our environment is very, very different. We are primed for keeping us safe and minimise efforts. So we can use the energy should we need to be kept safe. So remember that so let's just go into brain structure, could you put your left hand out like so? Okay, let's find out like so. Imagine a walnut in the centre. Grab your hand around the walls. We've got the handout me. Stick it on top. Okay, this is a three dimensional model of your brain, the wallets, the reptilian brain, at the top of the spinal column, which is your arm, the bit wrapped around it is the mammalian brain and this is your cortex. Okay? So let's go through each one of those in turn. So first of all, the reptilian brain, oldest part of the brain, 250 million years old, very, very simple, very, very simple. It's responsible for things like your heart rate, your centre territory, but also more importantly, your fight or flight mechanism. Okay, so we're driven by the force feeding, fighting, fleeing and making babies. So the fight or flight is a very important part of keeping us safe, because remember the number one thing is to keep us safe. Okay? So what happens here is it's a very, very primitive system, very, very primitive system, everything and I mean, everything that you process that comes into your senses, comes up to the spinal column into the reptilian brain because the reptilian brain is your alarm system. It's a very twitchy, very twitchy part of the brain because it wants to make sure you are safe okay? So what happens it's very very simple in its assessment. But first thing it does if there is something that it process first thing is it a threat or not? Is it a threat or not? If it is, automatically we want to fight or flight muscles tense up, breathing gets faster adrenaline begins to flow, we get ready to run away or take something on. Automatically that happens automatically. If it's not an instant threat. The second thing is what is it new and exciting? Is it new and exciting? Why would it look for new and exciting because if we are living in our environment, we see something that has changed in the last time we were there. That's potentially a predator. So if it's new and exciting, we want to be drawn to that okay. And then from looking at new and exciting, it is a predator we can fight or flight and get ready because remember the number one thing is to keep us safe. So very, very simple decision making matrix now, this is where both procrastination and distraction come in from okay, because automatically it is jittery, automatically he's jittery. Therefore, he's scared of everything doesn't like fear. So fight or flight kicks in? Secondly, okay, it is distraction comes from the fact is it new, exciting. So here's a quick tip, a throwaway tip for you switch your alerts off from your phone, and your computer. Switch your alerts off. Because what happens is your hard wiring means that when you get so if you're typing away on a computer and your email alert comes off, when it comes off thing, your reptilian brain goes, Oh, it's Christmas. Oh, it's Christmas. Something's been exciting. Love it, love it, love it. And then we're drawn to it. And I'll explain why it's a problem the second so reptilian brain, you're wired for distraction and procrastination because of wanting to keep you safe. So that's the bit that's the walnut.
Michael Tipper 03:42
The next bit is a bit that goes that wraps around, okay. This here is your mammalian brain also called your limbic system because you keep your limbic there, not the best joke, I'll admit, okay, I need to work on the delivery of that one, maybe. Okay. So the limbic system, so in here are three things your memory, long term memory, your immune system, okay, and your emotional centre. Now, when you go into fight or flight, what happens the brain shuts down because the body doesn't need so can maximise energy to keep you safe, okay? Because it wants to minimise any unnecessary effort, okay. But one of the things it does, it shuts down this part of the brain, okay, what's happened. So this part of the brain, this is the power horse of your behaviour, your activity, this is where things get done by this is what drives you. Okay? Your emotional brain. This is very, very fast, it is very, very fast. It is very, very strong and very, very powerful. Okay, and it's time horizon is now, it's time horizon is now. It can't look beyond it wants to be satisfied now, and is drawn towards pleasure. And is repelled by pain. Very, very powerful. Okay, so that's the bit the rat friendly warm up. Now. The second bit is the cortex. This is the bit that goes on top, this our thinking brain and our thinking brain. This is where we process our higher order thinking, okay, that's different from our new order thinking where all we do is process blue Mondays. Some of you too young, maybe even remember that song. So I do need to work on this year, I must admit. So this is where the thinking brain now. This is where we do all our major sort of cognitive stuff. There's also another part of the brain. This is this one, okay? This is where this sort of like the fanfares come out, this is the prefrontal cortex. Now, this diagram gives an indication of the power or the perceived power of the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex as a part of the brain said, I got an email from Robert, saying about procrastination be a good idea, if I went along, looked at that. This is the part of the brain that says, okay, good idea. If we did this, we did this. And we did this. The challenge is, you think this part of the brain is in control? Because this part of the brain was saying, well, it makes sense. So I do all these big project tasks because we've got to get the big project done. Okay, but this isn't what drives us. Okay, what drives us is the mammalian brain, the emotional brain, that's what drives us, okay? So and we're driven by emotion, not by logic, this is logic very, very weak, very, very slow. If you imagine a mouse sat on an elephant trying to guide the elephant. That's the battle it has. Okay. So this is what goes on. So we're driven by emotion. If you don't believe me, have you ever done something you know, you shouldn't have you know, it's bad for you. But you did it anyway. Okay. And then later on, you just find it with logic. Okay. That's what's going on now. So you've got all this hard wiring set up to procrastinate and be distracted? What compounds that is the brain chemistry that we have. Okay. So, neuron neuron, okay, now is a connection to in the brain and communication. The brain is one of two things it's electrical along the brain cell is chemical between brain cells. The synaptic gap is where you have all this neuro chemistry going on. method of dopamine. Dopamine is the drug of achievement. Okay? Joke dopamine. So Mother Nature gave us dopamine because when we do things that are good for our survival, we get a hit of dopamine eating, feels good, but a dopamine feels good. I'll do that again. We keep eating, we survive, okay? Sex feels good. Okay, dopamine feels good. We keep doing it. That's how we're able to propagate as a species. Okay. So dopamine is really, really powerful. But it's also the drug of anticipation as well as something people aren't really aware of, which is why you might go on a course, do a course think is really good course. And not do anything with it, because you've got enough of a hit of the anticipation of what great stuff would happen if you did it. Okay. And that's why people go from course to course. Anyway. So dopamine is really important. Now, why dopamine is important is because when you do the little stuff, you feel good. Because it's the drug of achievement. Do something. Well, that small emails, or the telephone, or someone's liked my Facebook posts. Oh, this feels great. I love this. It feels fabulous. I love all this little stuff I'm doing. Oh, that big, that big stuff. I've got to do. mammalian brains go, no, no, we're not going to do that. Okay, we just want to do the easy stuff and the easy stuff to get. And that is what is going on. Okay. So you've got this hard wiring that predisposes you to distraction and procrastination, and you've got a chemical concoction going on, that rewards you for all the little stuff that you do. It's no wonder we struggle, it's no wonder we struggle. So what can we do about that? So let's get let me give you some five steps by six steps to help you to do this. This is the practical how to do stuff. So the first one is turn pro. So in Pressfield, book, The War of Art that I mentioned earlier on, he says turn pro now turning pro, show up every day. Show up no matter what. And do the work. Simple. Not easy, because you're hard wiring and the chemistry. It's easy stuff. Ah, okay. But this is where it starts turn pro make the commitment. When your executive prefrontal cortex decides this is what we're going to do, work through it and do it. So there are a number of things that you can do to set this up. Okay, so here's the first one. One of the big problems with doing stuff is that if it seems too big, or too difficult, the reptilian brain which processes everything is going to go to difficult, okay, fight or flight, and we're going to do it. Let me do something easy. Okay, so what do we do? Step one, if you've got a big task is get some post it notes. Step one, get some post notes in a pen. Step two, write down everything that needs to be done to get the tasks done. How do you eat an elephant one bite at a time. So do that. And then once you've done that, organise them, and then do them in order 1, 2, 3, 4. It's simple. And what you'll do with this is, first of all, by breaking it down, it's not quite so much of a threat. You're not gonna go into fight or flight so much, but break it down to the small tasks when you do one. Ah, I feel good. I feel better. Let me keep doing this. This is good. Okay, so by breaking it down, or you probably know this, I'm probably not telling you stuff you've heard before. They're not heard before. But to know when not to do is not to know and your hardwiring and neuro chemistry will draw you to doing the easy stuff will draw you to do the easy stuff.
Michael Tipper 03:42
So that's the first thing the next thing is this. Plan your day the night before. So I've been broken down your project, plan your day the night before. Now, one of my favourite quotes from a guy called Tony Robbins is in the absence of direction, everything becomes irrelevant. In the absence of direction, everything becomes irrelevant. So plan your day the night before and then with the first thing you do make that the worst thing you do, in fact, do what's called number four. Eat the frog. Eat the frog. Mark Twain famously once said, it's the first thing he did every day was eat a live frog, then your day could only get better. Which I thought was brilliant. So to illustrate this point, I invested my hard earned cash into a puppet frog to illustrate the point. The trouble is, the puppet frog is green when I got a green screen, so I've had to change this I've had to hire a stunt rabbit. So now we have stunt rabbit. So why don't I change Mark Twain's quotes to this. If the first thing you eat every day is a live rabbit. You'd They could only get better. I don't even notice they know. Okay, you do well there. Thank you. So, what's that mean? It means the worst tasks that you do, you start that first. And because you do it first thing before you do anything else, no email, no social media, none of that rubbish, okay, you focus on the big task while you still got mental energy to focus on it, and you get into the rhythm of it. And because you've broken things down, that were fairly easy to get on the slippery, slippery slope to get that thing done. Okay? Very, very powerful. approach this, and I wish I know, when I do this, this makes a big impact, okay. Number five, schedule your distractions. You can't ignore the phone, you can't ignore email, you can't ignore social media. What I'm going to suggest to you is you block out specific times, I'm going to suggest as a starting point, let's say just for email, but you can put any other social media stuff you need to do for 30 minutes about them at 11:00, 11:30. And then maybe for 30 minutes around about to 2:00, 2:30 and just put your distractible stuff in there. There's a part of your brain the moment is screaming at me know who know where am I gonna get my fix from Michael, where am I get my feel good stuff from Michael? Well, I'm talking about turning pro. If you want to get stuff done, and you're professionals, sometimes you've got to just bite the bullet and do it because it's about this one word. It's about this one word is the D word. Discipline. That's all it is, is just about discipline. Just about discipline now, and we're gonna get to questions in a second. And I do workshops on this, by the way. And if you want to find out more about our workshops, this QR code, if you scan that, that will take you to a workshop link. Okay. But let's sort of get into a few questions in a second. So just to tie that off, just to tie that off, you are hard wired for an environment 300,000 years ago, that environment was hostile. So your hardwiring is set up for survival, okay, so to keep you safe, and minimise efforts, so that it can keep you safe. Your brain chemistry, reward you for doing little things. Okay, which is why we have a tendency to put stuff off. And the big challenge that you have is that the stuff that you have to do that you're putting off, feels uncomfortable, the little trivial stuff they do on a regular basis, it feels good. And therefore we go to doing the stuff that feels good. But it's simply about turning pro, being disciplined, putting those things into place, by breaking things down, by planning your day the night before, by starting with your worst things first. And that's how you can overcome it. And then with practice, With practice, you'll be able to do more and more of that. But remember, as a human being, you'll always be fighting that and all you'll do is create the discipline to be able to do these things on a regular basis. So I'm going to sort of shut up for a second and then see what questions we have.
Adam Bell 28:20
Brilliant. Thank you very much, Michael. That's absolutely awesome. We've got one that's come straight in already, which is a bit of a push back on you, says Michael, isn't this all a bit idealistic? So we'll ask him quest to bring questions in on the chat or put your hand up because I don't have a proper conversation. But isn't this all a bit idealistic? There's a pushback?
Michael Tipper 28:42
Yeah, that's a really good question. And I think the answer, I would say, because the technique if you just did the technique, you stuff, and if I just said I'll procrastinate, we put things off, here are some things that you need to do some things that are well, idealistic. Sometimes I've answered some important phone calls in the morning, okay? Or I'm too tired during the day to do this. It's, it's just a dream world. And in the past, I would have agreed with you, but when I started to understand, first of all the brains hard wiring is there to protect us and sets this up. And then with the more recent research into back the neuro chemistry, and how that neuro chemistry promotes us to do that. I would say that it used to be idealistic, but now we've understood actually it is practical, common sense. And actually, it does actually work practically. Whoever asked that question, I would suggest, just go and do your normal work and see if anything of what I said doesn't fit. If it doesn't fit, then go and find that there may be going, Maybe I am wrong, but I know this fits with me. And as I'm human, I assume it fits for everyone else. And the research shows that so that's what how I'd answer that. That's a great question.
Michael Tipper 29:55
Okay, it's been coming straight behind that there's one which is What are your thoughts about getting up at four o'clock in the morning and emailing everyone and having a cold shower?
Michael Tipper 30:09
You just broke up very slightly this first time the question.
Michael Tipper 30:12
What are your thoughts about getting up at four o'clock in the morning, emailing everyone and then having a cold shower routines?
Michael Tipper 30:23
Okay.Right. So that's very interesting. First of all, I get up at five in the morning, I do meditation, I do exercise, and then I have a cold shower. So I'm in that camp. However, I wouldn't email everyone at four o'clock in the morning. So I get up that early because I meditate. And that's really good for my mental well being also clarity of mind that allows me to be more productive. It's an investment I put in myself that actually I can get an ROI in being much more mentally stable, much more emotionally stable to do my work. The bit about the cold showers is a bit extreme, I'll admit, but again, I've researched it, I've experimented it. And it's something that the investment I make in that benefits my health, my well being. So I would say that the just generally starting with a routine is a really good thing. I've started to read a bit of stoicism and some of the works of Marcus Aurelius, as has been quoted to me by people have actually read it, I've just been cherry picking some ideas. One of those is starting your day with a routine, getting into the flow so that you're then ready to go. The quote I said earlier on, in absence of direction, everything becomes irrelevant, is really powerful, because your reptilian brain scanning everything for potential threats. So if you've decided the day before, that, you're going to do this. So and that's all you're going to do. And you'll set us up with a more morning routine to wheel you up for that, you're going to get more stuff done. Because the other thing I didn't mention is that you have a finite amount of energy, brain energy. And when you wake up in the morning, if you waste that on deciding what to wear, doing trivial stuff, it's depleted, depleted, depleted. And most people will start their day with easy stuff because they want to get into the swing of things are well let me just start this easy task. I'll do that. And then we start another easy task, another these tasks and the energy goes down by telling the end of the day when you shouldn't do the stuff that you're putting, I think I'll do it tomorrow, you come in the following day, I'm going to do a good day today. So let me just get warmed up, let me start with an easy task, do an easy task, then start another easy task and get to the end of the day. And often the tasks are too tight. I'll do it tomorrow. And then what happens is the only time people actually start doing the stuff they've been putting off is when your mammalian brain, remember that the elephant bit, it's time horizon is now so it has no consequence of a view not doing something that might be affecting something two or three weeks time. But come the night before two or three weeks time when you're suddenly faced with I've got to do it. It's here, your reptilian your mammalian brain is gonna go and that's we get this surge of energy and actually get things done. Okay, so the routine is really, really important. But that's another great question.
Adam Bell 33:00
Okay, keep checking the questions in the chat or some people have been sending them to me on WhatsApp. Another question is are you saying that high achievers don't procrastinate?
Michael Tipper 33:14
No, everyone procrastinates because that's how hardwiring, high achievers learn to procrastinate the right stuff. So I'm going to put off going on my social media. I'm going to put off going to the pub and getting drunk with my mates. I'm going to put off all the stuff that's not helping me to focus on what I want to help with it what I want to do. High achievers become very aware of noticing what works and what doesn't and noticing that they actually put stuff off and then understanding why they put it off. And then understanding what they can do to mitigate that such as breaking stuff down planning the night before, starting with the worst task first shedding distractions. They do that but it's all natural. So I can do a productivity workshop with a group people today, I can go back in six months time do exactly the same workshop with them because they may have got develop the habits but they're at a different level of productivity. So these things are always we're always fighting our natural tendency to be to keep us safe and minimise efforts. That's what we're always doing. So high achievers learn to adapt, learn to adapt. Great question.
Michael Tipper 34:21
Okay. Sam Redland. I think this is about what I call the Eisenhower matrix or the covey four quadrants. And you might want to explain that now. I've mentioned it. How do you manage questions from the team? Should you shedule in dedicated question time?
Michael Tipper 34:47
That's a really good question. Productivity will be so much easier if it wasn't all those other people we have to deal with. If all we did was work out our OB so much easy, so much easier. So what I would suggest And we're having worked with organisations and seeing and helping them improve their productivity. The big challenge is the people working at different times on different things. So you've all got to be at meetings at the same time. And so that's one of the organising things. So what I would suggest people do is that, can you clear a corridor of time where people can carve out deep work focus time where they can do more important things in more focus way more often and for longer, so that's where they do their work. And in essence, no one else can talk to them. So the work gets done there. And then outside of that, you then have the meetings. Okay. And then outside of that, you may have a time when you're accessible. One of the things that I would also look at in terms of the question element is that is it I would recommend tracking your time when you're working with other people, and track when you have to change tasks. I did a session last week with a group of people and they've done this for a week, and one of them found that other people were taking their disproportion amount of their time. And when we had a look at it, there was a couple of staff members are asking questions, when really they should have been doing it themselves. So there was an element of Okay, is it competence is it confidence, are you just become a micromanager and they're used to you doing their work for them to this other deeper issues that are there. But certainly, if you can give someone the opportunity to do their prime work in their prime time, and then when, and then allow them to interface, when there may be, they don't need to work quite so hard. So for example, I tend to put all my meetings and phone calls in the afternoon, I block out my morning time as a matter of course, because that's when I'm at my best. So that's how I would answer that question, Sam, Diane, to that world do you get?
Michael Tipper 36:58
Yeah, no, that's helpful. Thanks. I did look at the deep work thing a few years ago, but that was before, before COVID. And COVID is just changed everything. I mean, coming back to the office now is horrendous. I can't get anything done. It's just people talking all the time and asking me questions. And you know, you want a cup of coffee, and it's just like, it's hideous, much more productive when I'm at home. With the dogs. And but that's not you know, you can't lead a team like that.
Michael Tipper 37:27
But you can, you can lead a team of that, because you have to let go of the need for them to being able to tap into 24/7.
Michael Tipper 37:35
I realised that what I mean is you can't lead a team never going in the office and just staying at home. Actually, you get more done.
Michael Tipper 37:42
So one of the recommendations was shedule your distractions, schedule your team time schedule, when you have a Zoom meeting schedule, when you have the one on one schedule when I'm open for business here. So they get used to that. Yeah. Same with clients as well, if you set the expectation that. So one of the guys on My Courses switch on this morning, he said that he found it really beneficial turning off the alerts. And his daughter said to him, was anything wrong, dad? Well, why? Well, normally you answer me within 10 minutes, I sent you a WhatsApp message a day. So she explained what he'd done. And she said, Well, that's a bit odd, isn't it? What if I need to get you in an emergency? And Dad said, Well, did you know that thing you can call me? That works as well. And so there are ways and means around that. But thank you for your question. Appreciate it.
Robert Craven 38:36
Great. There's a question from Dixon Jones. Dixon, would you like to?
Adam Bell 38:40
Yeah, so I'm a big read as for sure I'll tell the question. So you don't have to read it and squint? Yeah, I'm a big reader. I Eat That Frog. Mug serious and Chimp Paradox is my go to thing for St. Petersburg, same ideas and things. But so my question is this, when trying to help a team member to get a challenge done, that they don't necessarily fully understand yet. So maybe there's a lack of clarity, which, or whatever, or maybe it's the fact that, you know, they don't like the boss telling him what to do whatever it may be, but there's lack clarity. And so the emotional side is in that conversation. And the reason there's no clarity is because there's a task, it's not just a go and go to the shops and get this something, it's a task, it's going to require some research, that the you know, the me setting the task doesn't necessarily yet know the answer to that otherwise, you know, I wouldn't necessarily need somebody to go and do this larger task. So my question is, are there any tricks or techniques, hopefully not tricks, techniques to prevent the reptilian not the reptilian brain, the mammalian, the chimp brain, as I call it from from taking over in the conversation, to stop them being defensive about the problem so that they do think about how to approach the task rather than how to not worry about whether they're going to get sacked for not doing the task?
Michael Tipper 40:06
Sure. Well, the first thing I'd say, what's your culture at work like? Because the first thing that screams out to me that..
Adam Bell 40:12
We've started this business entirely remotely. So we have most of us have met each other actually. So, so which is worked out quite well, because it's pretty. Everyone's got a little bit of time to think we're working in Ms. Microsoft Teams, and they got time to think before the replies. So that's reduced. The office bickering, I would guess a little bit, right, but we're growing now we don't want that to get into the system. So we got to work with that.
Michael Tipper 40:43
Well, first of all recognise that because you are assumed the line manager, you are 13 times more likely to be perceived a threat than a reward. That's the first thing so you're already on a sticky wicket in terms of creating an environment where they're going to feel threatened. So understand that. So you've probably got to go the other way to create a safe environment for them, where they know that they can a challenge you and B, B seem to not know the answer, and it'd be okay. And I'm talking about growth mindset. Okay, so having a growth mindset culture. So if you can be challenged on a Zoom meeting publicly, and it'd be okay. You've got a good culture. Okay, if you could admit, I don't know the answer, I'm going to have a look. Okay. And you'd be okay with that in a public forum. You've got a growth mindset. That's a good culture. That's a starting point. So it comes down to sort of personalities and style, I suppose, in the specifics, but it how you position it. Look, Dave says David's work, we look Dave, I've got his big promo, I want you I think you're the best person to work at, here's the idea, we're gonna have some thoughts that come back to me see what they're telling me what how you think you would address this, again, it's a talk of some ideas is a way that I might do that, for example, and other contexts may not be appropriate for what you're talking about. But you have that conversation where you set them up for them taking ownership of it for the first thing. And then when you have that conversation, the most powerful people development skill, which I think has been underutilised is the power of positive reinforcement, make people feel good about the behaviours you want them to show on a regular basis. So because that's neuro chemistry, you have to realise as a line manager, you are effectively a drug dealer, you have the ability to either create a positive concoction in their neuro chemistry, or a negative concoction. And already, you're on the backfoot, because you're 13 times more likely to be perceived as a threat. So you have to create that environment where they feel valued, they feel trusted, they feel that they can challenge and it's okay for them to make mistakes and not be ridiculed, not be punished, not be belittled, in any way, shape, or form. When you've got that environment, and you're talking to each other, almost as peers on the con on the problem and the exchange of ideas and come up with a structure. That's how I position it. So the quick answer is creating that neurochemical environment where everyone feels good about the whole thing. Now, when you do enough of the positive reinforcement, you build up a bit of a, enough of an emotional banker where you can challenge and you can hold people to account. But you need to do a lot of investment positive reinforcement start off with.
Adam Bell 43:28
Can I add a complication to the question is that if I add a layer of complexity to that. So I think I'vegot a pretty good environment, with the organisation I've got now. However, there is a particular reason why I'm asking this question. And that's because my daughter used to work for me. She went off to go and get a proper job in her mind to realise that the grass is not always greener over there. So my business partner, she was reported to my business partner, so and a bit my business partner said, I would love to have Jeanne x. So one way or another, she's coming back. She's now coming up full time. So now I have every you're 13 times is probably multiplied by the fact that there's a generational gap, there's a family gap, there's a dad's the big old fart that gets involved in business gap, you know, there's a lot of things going on, that's liable to go on there. So I guess it hasn't, it's gonna come in, I'm gonna have this problem, but they're added challenges or added techniques that I can think about. To do that in a family environment where I'm not sitting there, I guess, you know, how would you do it with your partner?
Michael Tipper 44:47
This is a really good, really good question. And I think what we're seeing here, and this is played out in businesses across the country, across the world, not necessarily because of the family connection, but because of the intergenerational connection because you've got Different, you got this moment in time, you've got different generations working. And we all work differently, what seems completely common sense to you, to your daughter's generation is like, That's ancient history that just won't work. So what I would suggest you do is, first of all, explain, this is how I work. These are the things that work for me. Or actually, rather than leading with you ask her, what works well for you. What, how can I get the best out of you? What things do you do that you think you can add that will add value to this? So we're not seeing right now? Okay, what is it about this environment that can is currently hampering us getting the best out of you? Okay, and also, let's talk about the elephant, let's talk about our communication. How can we communicate effectively, first of all, when there are things going that aren't going as well as I would like? How can I communicate that to you, so it doesn't blow up? What's the way we can do this? So the elephant in the room is the fact that your daughter's working for you. Okay, you've got to get over the because you've known her since she was you are changing nappies and things. And so the problem is as much on your side as it is on her side. And he's having the humility to recognise that, and then the vulnerability to share that with your daughter and say, look, we got a problem. How do we, you want to work well here? I want to work well here. There's conflict, because I'll have father and daughter, how can we remove that element of that for our work? And in actually, how can we actually bring the best of our father's relationship so we can even enhance our work relationship? So it's those sort of conversations I would recommend, as I'm not a parent, I'm on sticky ground recommending this. But as someone who's worked with teams, I'm talking from more of a team sort of organisation, but I have been the son of a parent. So I sort of know the dynamic a little bit.
Adam Bell 46:50
Yeah. And it's not that we are on a sticky wicket. It's just it's an interesting, and it's gonna happen, and you see it and she has on the plus side got a degree herself in language culture and communication. So I suspect she's not unaware of the problem. The challenge that is happening anyway.
Michael Tipper 47:08
Ask her for her solution. You're probably better than yours.
Robert Craven 47:12
Cool. Nice. We got five minutes to go. If you any more questions, put your hand up and put them in the chat. Got one here, which is, after 2000 years of civilization, why are we still talking about procrastination? I guess this is a bit like, why do people go to time management courses and then go on more time management courses? Why haven't we got this procrastination bit? who's just gonna repeat the whole presentation.
Michael Tipper 47:41
This is a problem that we've got, we have set up certain societal norms and expectations that often fly in the face of this fella, and this fella, and this fella. And the trouble is, this is the part that set up this, we should do this now, we should do that now. We should do this now. But that's the weakest part of our brain. It's the weakest part of our brain. This is what drives us. And we rationalise it with logic later on. But actually, this is what drives us. This is why we still have crime. This is why we still have it because people make stupid mistakes. Most white people still get upset because when the red mist takes over, we can say stupid things. Okay. And so it's, I think the answer is more investment in emotional intelligence to become aware of the signs when this guy is taken over. Or this lady is taking over. Because they're both genders, of course. And already I'm thinking, Oh, my God, I just got into a gender issue now. There are lady elephants there are men elephants, Lady elephants are just gruesome elephants. And the men happens to sometimes maybe aren't as good as Lady elephants. Okay, see what I've got to I'm a white middle class male, middle aged, and I'm in a minority. I don't know why I went with that one. But but that's the problem. We've got the all that stuff has come out of what we've created. The problem is this disparity between what we set with this brain, and actually how we really feel and what drives us with these three brains. So it's becoming more aware of this, when you become more aware of this, you can then maybe head off some of these things. So you don't get some of these problems. But we will never ever be free from procrastination because our brains desire to keep us safe and minimise efforts so it can keep us safe. That's what's going on.
Robert Craven 49:43
So you're saying kind of recognise that procrastination. So there's a big decision do we don't be on the price? Yes. No. Recognise that there's different levels of conversation going on in your head, allow them their space, but then kind of takeover a bit like the kind of the Chimp Paradox and that recognise that the chimp is there. Take ownership of the decision making process.
Michael Tipper 50:09
I mean, we can follow the chimp. So doing things like this, for example, this is falling the ball the whole brain, really, because the big challenge is, is that this exercise requires a bit of thought, and you might put this exercise off, but as we have to sort of develop this word, okay? And actually just JFDI I mean, that's the answer. JFDI. Okay, but you've got a lot of things working against you. That means it will feel uncomfortable to JFDI. Okay, and it feels better to do the easy stuff. And that's the problem that you've got, because this is the guy or gal in charge. It's about feeling not about whether it makes sense that we should do this project now. And that's the battle that we've got.
Robert Craven 51:02
Michael, we're coming up to time, would you just like to give a summary of what you think we should do next are a summary of what people try to do the procrastination thing is, and just so that we get a sense of action that we should be taking now.
Michael Tipper 51:23
There are some practical things I've already given you. So the steps, I've already been to the six steps, take those and apply those, my strongest recommendation to you all, is to spend five days tracking your time, okay, because a lot of this stuff is subjective. When you're in the middle of doing your work, you will do work. In the end, they will think very, very busy. I've had a busy day to day and then you'll go on to the next game possibly receive repeat the same behaviours. It's only when you actually look at what you're doing, when you see how often you check your email, how often you're distracted, how often someone else is gathering your attention when they shouldn't be, when you've got that data in front of you, then you can sit back and say, Okay, well, what's going on here? What am I happy with? And what do I need to change? And then when you get that, then you can start making changes, I would recommend you that for five days, I asked for five days when I'm working my groups hoping they'll do three knowing that I might get one. Okay, that's how I set it up that way. But the what I would recommend you do is you track every time you change tasks, so not one of these 15 minutes, every 15 minutes record we're doing every time you change tasks. When I started doing this two, three weeks ago in preparation for last week's course so that I could have a frame of reference. I found one day I changed tasks to tasks, it took me less than 10 minutes 11 times during the day, and 8 of those tasks took less than 2 minutes. So I was all over the place that day. And I didn't realise because our brains hardwiring makes it feel right, we're doing the right thing. We go from one thing to another. Okay, and that's what goes on. Okay.
Robert Craven 52:59
Brilliant. Fantastic. So, finally, Michael, how can people get ahold of you?
Michael Tipper 53:05
So the best way of getting hold of me is if you go to this, if you just scan that, that will take you to the URL, which has my workshop details on it. And on there is my website. It's got all my contact details on there as well. Okay.
Robert Craven 53:20
For non QR people?
Michael Tipper 53:22
Peak performance productivity.co. My email addresses himself, himself at Michael Tipper.com. And as we've now worked together, if you ever get any questions about any of this stuff, email me I'll get back to you within two working days with a with an answer of sorts.
Robert Craven 54:09
Fantastic. That's absolutely fantastic. So Michael, thank you very much. Everyone. Should give a big big round of applause cuz it's been absolutely fantastic.
Michael Tipper 54:17
Thank you and great.