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Transcript – Top 10 Things to Simplify in Your Life
Shawn: Hello, BioTrust Nation. We are back with another episode. This is your host, Shawn Wells, and I’m here with my co-host, Tim Skwiat.
Tim: Thanks for not calling me “the hostess.” [laughs]
Shawn: [laughs] You do have “the mostest,” though.
Tim: Oh yeah.
Shawn: I love you, Tim.
Tim: Love you, bro.
Shawn: Thank you. And we are talking about the 10 most important things to simplify your life today. And I think we all could use a little simplification, a little downsizing, if you will, or “right-sizing” maybe is the new term of the day. Because our lives are getting more complex, more overwhelming, and we’re making them that way. And so, this is just putting everything up on the table, taking a look at it and saying, “Hey, can we clean out our closet in this category and that category?” and I think we all could use some of that.
So, we’ll get into that in just a second, but first we are going to talk about a review we have of BioTrust Radio.
Tim: Yeah, guys, leaving a review and rating on iTunes is one of the best ways to help out the show, help us spread the good word and also to pat Shawn and I on the back, which we greatly appreciate. [laughs]
Tim: Yeah, we really do appreciate these reviews. They mean a lot to us and thank you all for your time. And a nice added bonuses is that you get a free product if we read your review on the show. And today’s 5-star review comes from JohnnyLovesMeToo, titled
Great Podcast, and it says, “Very helpful, inspiring, and love the topics. Love it.” And we love you, JohnnyLovesMeToo. That is awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave that review. Email us at [email protected] and we will hook you up with a free product of your choice. And again, thank you so much. Tip of the cap to you.
Shawn: Yeah, absolutely. Anyone who shares our program with friends or leaves a review or hits the subscribe button, man, we’re just deeply thankful. Thank you so much. And if you go to BioTrustRadio.com, you also get all of our extra stuff, the full transcripts, the links, and all the fun stuff. This this show wouldn’t be anything without you, so we’re just deeply in gratitude to you. And we’d to make this a show about community and you are just as much a part of the show, so we are here to answer your questions, and Tim, I believe, has a question.
Tim: I do. I do. This question comes from Kimberly Byers, who’s a member of the VIP community. And Kimberly will also be getting a free product in addition to an answer or an opinion on their question. So, Kimberly asks, “My question for Mr. Shawn or Tim is how can I get enough protein intake daily to build muscle mass, without getting it from protein shakes and protein water. I’m vegetarian and I’m not getting enough protein intake daily to receive my goal for toning. I work out five days a week, 2-3 hours, but I am not seeing the results from all the work. Getting a little discouraged. Can you help me?” There’s quite a few pieces there.
Shawn: Yeah, okay, well as far as protein, you need to be aware of the type of protein, the quality of protein. It’s not just grams of protein. We’re huge fans of collagen here, and it has a big role in your diet, and a third of the protein in your body is collagen. It’s the glue, it’s in your skin, your hair, your nails, your joints, your bone. Massively important, but I don’t think it serves muscle as well, because it’s not loaded with essential amino acids. And especially a key amino acid that drives muscle protein synthesis, called leucine. So, it’s really important to get quality sources of protein, and that can be from meats, potentially. But if you’re vegetarian, I don’t know what that means, per se, because a lot of people define vegetarian differently; whether something whey protein isolate is okay on your vegetarian diet. Sometimes it is, like the lacto-ovo vegetarian can have egg and milk. So, I don’t know.
But if not, then for example, BioTrust has a vegan protein that’s called Harvest. So, that’s something to consider. Certainly getting complementary proteins, if you are vegan, is important to make sure you’re getting all the amino acids you need. Do we have an article on that on our blog?
Tim: We do, we do have a couple of different articles on plant-based protein sources on the blog. And yeah, I agree with you Shawn. I’m not going to interrupt you. I’ll let you finish that thought.
Shawn: No, go ahead.
Tim: But that, to me, the lines are fairly blurry on what constitutes vegetarian.
Tim: If you do allow dairy and eggs, then those would be high-quality protein sources with all essential amino acids, and particularly high in those muscle-building amino acid. Leucine is basically the essential amino acid that’s the trigger for muscle growth, but it needs all the building blocks there in order to really do its job.
Tim: So, beyond that, certainly the blog article that we have will shed some more light on this, but things nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, legumes of that nature, and various grains are going to be the highest plant-based sources of protein. And you don’t have to get all your protein from supplements, but certainly if your goal is to build muscle, then I would highly recommend at least some protein supplement. And Harvest, our plant-based protein is delicious. I use it, personally, quite often, and I’m not a vegetarian by any means. [chuckles]
But anyway, I think that you have to look at the combination of things because really, I mean, from a muscle building standpoint, it seems somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight seems to be a sweet spot for most people.
Tim: Depending on your diet. If you’re ketogenic, maybe a little bit lower because ketones seem to be protein-sparing and help the body improve protein synthesis efficiency. My concern, without getting too thick in the weeds here, Kimberly, is working out 2‑3 hours a day, 5 days a week, maybe you’re doing too much on that side of things, and that could be a reason why you’re not seeing progress either. More is not always better, and actually, rarely better.
Shawn: Well, it’s multiple things there because you have, yes, overtraining potentially, but there’s under-recovery.
Shawn: And those two terms kind of overlap, right? And that one is a result of the other, potentially. So if you’re going to train 2-3 hours a day, then you need to schedule your life around that and provide the nutrition around that. You need to get probably an additional hour of sleep. You need to get much more hydration. You need to reduce your stress in other areas. You need to get additional nutrition in the form of protein, in the form of calories, in the form of nutrients like a multivitamin, etc. You might want to check your inflammation and some of those things. I mean, it’s not easy to just—I don’t know if you went from 0 to 100, like you just went from the couch to 5 days a week to 2-3 hours a day. That could be pretty devastating for your body, and you are certainly probably overtraining.
Now, if you’re someone that’s been doing that for the last 20 years, you’re a collegiate athlete, but maybe you switched to vegetarian. Then that’s something to address too.
Shawn: But there’s some complexity here.
Shawn: We’re saying that you might be overtraining and you might be undernourished.
Tim: And again, we don’t know all the details about you, Kimberly, but having a pulse on the VIP group, if the goal is to build muscle mass I don’t think the average member the VIP group needs to be lifting weights for 10 to 15 hours a week.
Tim: And that’s the way I’m interpreting this. I would say a fraction of that, in the magnitude of 3-4 hours would be plenty.
Shawn: Right, exactly. Okay, well let’s get into our subject which is The 10 Most Important Things To Simplify In Your Life. It’s written by Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist at BecomingMinimalist.com. We’ll link the article. We’ve done something by Joshua in the past. We’re a big fan of this site.
It starts off with a quote, “Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.” Thomas A. Kempis. That’s a beautiful thing. So he says, “Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, ‘Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?’ Based on our personal journey our conversations and our observations, here’s a list of the 10 most important things to simplify in your life today, to begin living a more balanced joyful lifestyle.”
So let’s jump into it.
“No. 1: your possessions. Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love, and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove non-essential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.”
So, he links something else here that’s simplify 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter Their Home and Life. But this is a great place to start. The energy when you— [chuckles] Look, when I walk in a hotel—I travel a lot—and when I walk into a hotel room, some people think it’s too empty and doesn’t feel home. Because I have so much on my plate and I’m often so stressed, when I walk in a hotel room, I just feel calm. [laughs] It’s there’s something to that.
And you have to be aware of things that drain your energy. This is not a woo‑woo thing. If there are things that have been sitting out on your kitchen counter that need your attention, either do it or get rid of it, but don’t keep leaving it there. Because it’s draining your energy every time you look at it.
Shawn: So, just something to be aware of is those kinds of things. And just the clutter in your house takes up room and it distracts the eye. And then there’s things to break or that need fixing or attention. Or when you add certain things, then it begets more things. Once you have the bed then you need the comforter, and then you need the little nightstands, and you need the lamp, and then it just keeps going on and on. And then you need to change the sheets and it just keeps going.
How often—for all of you that have multiple guest rooms—do you need those guest rooms? Now, if you have people over your house every other week, cool. But if you ask someone over once or twice a year, couldn’t you afford to put them up in a nearby hotel room? Don’t you think you’d actually save money? And then think about how much heating and cooling you’d save, how much easier it is to just walk in your house and not worry about those additional rooms, the additional furniture, the additional cleaning, the additional heating and cooling. All of that. This is what it’s all about. Simplify.
Tim: Yeah. This reminds me also of our episode on the abundance versus the scarcity mindset, and kind of having that scarcity mindset begets more things and stuff. Whereas having that abundance mindset can help us limit possessions. And just one kind of practical thing that it reminds me of is my dad’s kind of a—I wouldn’t say he’s a minimalist, but he’s very conscious about more stuff. And he’s got this rule—at least, for my mom—and it’s “If you buy a new article of clothing, you have to donate two.” Get rid of two things.
Shawn: Yeah, I at least the one in/one out, but yeah, two is good as well. My dad does that with his ties, when he gets a new tie. He has a limit to whatever it is, like he can have no more than 30 ties or something. [chuckles]
Tim: Yeah, it’s something that we’re working on with our daughter, too. Like you get a new toy, so let’s give something that you’re not using away.
Shawn: Yeah, that’s a phenomenal, Tim. It’s a great time to teach that. “No. 2: Your time commitments. Most of us have filled our days full from the beginning to the end with time commitments: work, home, kids activities, community events, religious endeavors, hobbies, and the list goes on and on. When possible, release yourself from the time commitments that are not in line with your greatest values.” Again, this isn’t just about simplification. It’s about what’s draining your energy.
And sometimes its energy from effort, but sometimes it’s just energy from brain power spent on these things. That’s not the best place to spend your brain power. The best place to spend your brain power are the things that you love doing, that you’re passionate about doing. Of course we have to get things done that we just have to get done. But there’s things that we’re doing maybe because of FOMO fear of missing out.
Shawn: There’s things that we’re doing because of obligations that like, “Well, I guess I just have to.” And there’s things that we don’t need to do, that we can back out of in the right way from the beginning and say this does not serve me well. And it’s not selfish to say, “This doesn’t serve me well,” because when you are at your best, when you’re at your fullest, when you’re at your most passionate, then you’re serving everyone else best. When you are the best you, you’re bringing that best you to them. And when you’re showing up half-heartedly and it feels draining, and you feel you’re obliged to do something with whoever these people are, do you think you’re serving them that well? No. You’re setting a really bad precedent for someone who’s half‑hearted and dispassionate, and that’s not serving anyone well.
Tim: Yeah, those are great points, Shawn. This also makes me think about how we feel we need to schedule something for every time of the day, and ultimately what that does is create some more stress for us. Because then we’re running late for the next appointment because we tried to cram in one more thing. We’re always trying to do one more thing and it just it just leads to undue stress, and a lot of times those things aren’t as important as we think they are.
It’s good to give yourself a little bit of padding on each on your schedule. Like with meetings, instead of butting them back up back-to-back, try to schedule a buffer in‑between so you’re early and respectful of other people’s time. So, things like that. Just one example.
Shawn: Yeah, absolutely. “No. 3: Your goals. Reduce the number of goals you are intentionally striving for in your life to one or two. By reducing the number of goals that you are striving to accomplish, you will improve your focus and your success rate. Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish in your life and choose the two most important. When you finish one, add another to your list.” Totally makes sense. We have way too many things that we want to do. We have shiny object syndrome, where “I want to do that. That’s so cool. Oh, I should write a book. I wouldn’t mind running a marathon. What if I got a 6-pack? I’d like to get ready and go to Italy.”
Look, you can only have so many goals, because all those goals take preparation and focus. And what is it? “The jack-of-all-trades is the master of nothing,” right?
Shawn: You want to be a master at something. So, if you want to knock out your goals, you’re going to need to focus on just one or two goals, and clear out the other things that are just literally not serving you and working against you meeting your goals.
Tim: Well, it all starts from there. Like we talked about mastery, right? When we set our priority, then we know what choices we should be making after that. Like when you have a true identity for what your goals are, you know what decisions to make. You know what to accept. You know what not to be doing, what to say no to, and things that. So, once you have that goal clearly established, everything else should, technically, fall in line.
Shawn: Yeah, exactly. “No. 4: Your negative thoughts. Most negative emotions are completely useless. Resentment, bitterness, hate and jealousy have never improved the quality of life for a single human being. Take responsibility for your mind. Forgive past hurts and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.” I think we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on this one. I don’t know that you can ever focus too much here, that your negative thoughts are working against you. And we are in a constant battle against ourselves. These negative thoughts may have some roots in survival and evolution, like we’ve talked about. But there’s certainly something that we need to address here because we’re not in these scenarios that are moment-to-moment survival anymore.
We’re now in situations where positive mindset—the abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset—the abundance mindset can serve us for longevity and wellness, and being integral to the lives around us. These negative thoughts are shutting you down internally and setting up barriers around you so that no one can access you, no one can be friends with you, no one can have a deep relationship with you. So, they’re working against you and certainly, I think clearing out some of these negative thoughts by listening to positive podcast, listening to yourself say positive things to yourself, through a gratitude journal, through daily affirmations.
A lot of people say horrible things to themselves, “I’m so stupid. Gosh, Shawn, you’re an idiot. You did this again.” That’s horrible to do that. You’re reinforcing just terrible thoughts and behaviors, and it’s so counterproductive. Tell yourself I love myself so I’m going to do blank. I believe in myself so I’m going to do blank. I want to achieve this goal and I deserve this goal, so I’m going to blank. Start talking that way. Start being proud of your areas of genius and reflecting those out. And then, of course, one way to start talking better about yourself is to talk better about other people.
Shawn: Just start being positive all the time about people. Now, obviously there’s bad things that happen in the world. I’m not talking about being some cartoon idiot [chuckles] that’s smiling through nuclear war, but we could all use a little bit more positivity. And I think you could be certainly a lot more kind to yourself.
Tim: Yeah that’s super salient, Shawn. And I like how you talked about both ends of the spectrum. Limiting negative thoughts toward yourself and others. Either way, it’s energy vampire at work right there. Just sucking it out of you.
Tim: Sucking life out of other people, too. And it starts with awareness. Just catching yourself saying those things. Just think about some of the things you’re saying to yourself that are negative. What if someone else was saying that? What would you tell them? Would you stand for that? No, you don’t want to hear other people talking about themselves that way. It’s self-deprecating.
Shawn: Right. If you said, “Tim, you’re so stupid,” or “Tim, god you’re fat, you’re ugly.” Would you deal with that from someone else?
Shawn: You might be like, “I am never ever talking to this horrid, jerky person again.”
Tim: You wouldn’t feel sorry for them.
Tim: So anyway, again, a lot of times we can gain a completely different perspective when we try to step outside of our own body and our own lives and look at the way that we treat ourselves as if it was someone else.
Shawn: Yeah. Man, I love you, Tim. “No 5.: Your debt.” Man, this is a crushing one for so many people. This reminds me, I just talked to a friend of mine who’s from China and I was asking about credit cards, and he said, “We don’t we don’t typically take money out of the bank.” He’s just trying to speak to me in a little bit broken English but he’s saying we don’t typically take money out of the bank. “We, in China, put money into the bank.”
Shawn: And he’s making the point that in America [laughs] all we do is pull money and we never put money in. And it’s true because we’re so “thing” focused. And of course, at becoming minimalist, he’s all about removing things from your life and focusing on non-things, like the places, the beauty, the people, the things that are free in your life that actually hold the most value. And we’ve been lied to by a capitalistic agenda. And I’m not anti-capitalism, but there’s certainly an agenda to sell you stuff, and we’ve bought in hook, line, and sinker, and we believe in these ads that say, “You’ll be happy when you buy this thing.” And are we? Are we ever really that happy, and for how long, if you do actually get happiness? It’s always fleeting. There’s always the next thing. There’s always more stuff. There’s always someone who has better stuff. And this has all led to your debt because you’ve got to have that stuff to be happy.
And it says here, “If that is holding you captive, reduce it. Start today. Do what you’ve got to do to get from under its weight. Find the help that you need. Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.” You’ve been lied to about luxury. I don’t care if you’re poor, dirt poor. You’re in America. You live in more luxury than most of the world. And if you’re middle-class here, you’re living posh compared to the rest of the world. You keep looking at the lifestyles of the rich and famous and the Kardashians and whatever, and that’s all just garbage. It’s all garbage in your head. It’s not real. And again, it’s just selling you stuff. You are living well. You don’t need it. And the debt is crushing you and trapping you, and hurting you, and just causing you excess cortisol, and arrhythmias, and disturbed sleep, and frustration, and so much. Like a ruined marriage, erectile dysfunction, or whatever.
Shawn: All these things you have because of your debt. “Sacrifice luxury today to enjoy freedom tomorrow.”
Tim: Yeah, that’s powerful. And when it comes to debt, you didn’t necessarily get there overnight. You didn’t get there by accident.
Shawn: And getting out of it isn’t going to happen any time quick.
Tim: Right. And so you may need a plan, you may need accountability, and all those kinds of things, just any other big goal. And one resource that I found to be useful is Dave Ramsey.
Tim: So, it’s just a great template to go by and there’s a quote I love from Dave Ramsey that really resonates to this, and it’s, “If you live like no one else today, later you live no one else.” And so basically what he’s saying there is that if you make this sacrifice that Joshua Becker’s talking about, if you sacrifice luxury today—which everyone else is living luxuriously—if you sacrifice that today and a few years down the road when you get out of your debt, you can live in the luxurious way that you want to when other people cannot, essentially.
Shawn: Yeah and a couple others in that area like Dave Ramsey. I think Suze Orman is very popular in that category. And the Rich Dad Poor Dad, pretty epic in that area, Robert, starts with a K. I don’t remember, but he’s amazing as well. That book has transformed a lot of lives and something to look at. I agree, Dave Ramsey is a huge asset to people looking to get out of debt. And then, certainly, have some kind of wealth and fallback plan.
Shawn: I mean, it’s scary when you have not only you’re deep in debt but you have no fallback plan, and you’re literally a couple weeks from being out on the street. I mean, if something comes up a—God forbid—some accident or health issue or whatever, it could just be devastating to your world. You just don’t want to be there. This debt is seriously crushing.
Shawn: “No. 6 six: Your words. Use fewer words. Keep your speech plain and honest. Mean what you say, avoid gossip.” And I have said it many times, I’m a huge fan of The Four Agreements. Gossip, he talks about is black magic and that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt.” Names do hurt. And gossip is deadly. It is the worst thing that you can do, just putting out this this black magic out there that is not only making you look ugly.
I think of there was a Twilight Zone when I was a kid and the old black and whites that freaked me out, that these people that their personalities, they ended up wearing these masks and at midnight the masks actually became their faces and it matched their personalities. The person that was a gossiper had this ugly face that just, it showed me at a young age that how deadly and ugly gossip is, and you should never abide in it.
And if you’re excited to hear it or talk to people about it, what do you think they’re saying about you? What do you think when you turn your back what’s happening? If you’re around someone who’s gossiping, say “You know what? This just isn’t my kind of conversation.” You don’t need to be rude. “This isn’t my kind of conversation. I have something else to do. I’ll talk to you guys later.”
I think that’s powerful when you leave a conversation because it’s just not healthy for your mind, and you can be destroying lives. I mean, I could come up with countless examples of people’s careers that have been devastated, people’s marriages, lives, friendships, everything that’s just been ripped from them because of horrible gossip.
That’s a little bit of a rant which I had some words for. [chuckles]
Tim: No, I’m glad that you emphasized that part, Shawn. I think that’s really important. It doesn’t serve anybody. And I really agree with your point about taking a stand against it, if you’re there. Like physical demonstration of leaving. And if you feel so compelled to actually call someone out on it, and just let them know that it’s negative and it’s sucking the life out of you, because it doesn’t serve anybody well. I feel particularly sensitive to that, with a daughter. And you can see at a young age there’s bullying and things that. You have to protect to some degree, but you also have to educate and teach young people how to deal with that. It’s a problem at a young age and I think the sooner you can get ahead of it and demonstrate how to deal with it effectively and appropriately, the better off that is for the long-run.
Shawn: Yeah, and I think to avoid hostility, one of the best ways to make a stance but not be hostile is to be fair by saying, “I, myself, engage in gossip sometimes and I’m trying to avoid gossip because I’ve identified that in my life as an area that I want to improve. And so I am going to leave this conversation.” And that makes it a whole lot less hostile than, “Look, you’re gossiping. I can’t stay stand that. I’m out.” That’s certainly still making a point, but I think it’d be even more powerful if you use yourself as an example, because no one’s above anything.
Shawn: We’ve all done this stuff.
Tim: Great point.
Shawn: “No. 7: Artificial ingredients. Avoid trans-fats, refined grain like white bread, high‑fructose corn syrup, and too much sodium. Minimizing these ingredients will improve your energy level in the short-term and your health in the long-term. Also, as much as possible, reduce your consumption of over-the-counter medicine. Allow your body to heal itself naturally, as opposed to building a dependency on substances.” What do you think, Tim?
Tim: It’s a pretty interesting way of looking at nutrition. Like taking a minimalist approach. If you want to take a real minimalist approach, we’d eat whole foods and we’d go some intermittent periods without eating perhaps. [chuckles] So, I think in the context of this article, I think it’s very well said. If you’re eliminating those things that he mentions here, you’re basically eliminating a bulk of the processed foods that line supermarket shelves, and I think you’d be rightly served to do so.
And as far as allowing your body to heal itself naturally, I think that’s a great tip. Again, this is in the context of a list, so it’s not expanding too much on that. But there’s many different ways to facilitate the natural healing process; whether it’s through rest, just sleeping more; whether it’s through using cold or hot therapies; whether it’s through meditation; whether it’s through natural practices, acupuncture and things like that. There’s all kinds of different ways to explore to help your body heal naturally as opposed to consistently relying on different pharmaceuticals.
Shawn: Yeah. You crushed that. “No. 8: Your screen time. Focusing your attention on television, movies, video games, and technology affects your life more than you think. Media rearranges your values.” This is like what we were just talking about with the capitalist agenda, like we’re just telling you stuff. “It begins to dominate your life and it has a profound impact on your attitude and outlook. Unfortunately, when you live in that world on a consistent basis, you don’t even notice how it is impacting you. The only way to fully appreciate its influence in your life is to turn them off.” And I think you’ll get no argument from Tim and I here, on reducing your screen time. And certainly the conditioning you’re allowing your kids to have, if you have kids, can be a certain discussion here. The kids getting so much screen time.
Shawn: Quite often so we don’t hear them complain when we’re out at a restaurant, when we’re in the car, when we’re wherever. You just put an iPad in front of them and tell them to play Minecraft or watch this video on Netflix, or whatever. And it’s usually stuff My Little Pony, and it’s not exactly Planet Earth or some amazing documentary [chuckles] where they’re learning, right? Quite often it’s stuff that has—I don’t know—not the best values, let’s say, or it’s kind of contributing to the ADD/ADHD kind of stuff.
And the point is, here’s an example. Tim and I do this podcast, and we could do this over the airwaves and the Internets, if you will, and we choose to be here in person. We believe in be here now and the person-to-person connection. We look eye‑to‑eye when we’re talking into our mics. We see each other’s emotion. We feed off of each other’s energy. We hear each other’s voices for real in the room, and there is a power to that that screen time wouldn’t allow. And when you connect, I think anyone that’s said, “Yeah, let’s just do a phone call or Zoom call or Skype call or whatever,” and then for some reason you end up meeting in person. You’re like, “Oh my gosh, we got ten times more stuff done and it was incredible.”
I get that screens are certainly helping our lives in terms of productivity, but they’re also working against us, and you just have to be cognizant of that. Leverage them in the best way possible, but be aware of them being pervasive in your life. And remember how important personal connection is. And not only personal connection with other people, but personal connection with you.
Shawn: And taking quiet time, personal time away from devices and shutting your brain down, and allowing yourself to meditate and to pray. To just close your eyes and relax, to breathe.
Tim: That’s awesome, buddy. That was beautiful.
Shawn: Thank you, Tim.
Tim: I will not be trying to tack anything onto that. That’s perfect. [laughs]
Shawn: [laughs] I love you Tim. “No. 9: Your connections to the world. Relationships with others are good, but constant streams of distraction are bad. Learn when to power off the BlackBerry.” That seems a little outdated, but there are still Blackberries, I believe but let’s just say power off the iPhone or Android, log off Facebook, or not read a text. “Focus on the important, not the urgent. A steady flow of distractions from other people make us feel important, needed, or wanted. But feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.”
Tim: It kind of falls right in line with that previous one, right? I think that if you took that challenge of turning off your devices or putting them in another room, you’d be surprised how attached you are to those things or how attached you are to checking your email, or what you feel you’re missing out on. I mean, it’s a detox kind of thing. I mean, it’s not it’s no joke. I recently saw a study where it kind of was Captain Obvious, but it showed parents when they had smartphones with them in the presence of their children. It negatively impacted their relationships. Well, duh. But those kinds of studies are important because they validate what we know, but I mean, it has a tremendous impact on our quality of relationships when we’re constantly checking our phone.
And you and I have talked about this before. When you’re in the presence of others it’s rude and it takes away from the value of the conversation, when you’re constantly checking your phone. It’s very annoying to me. I’m just not a big phone guy, myself, but when people are on their phones and they’re scrolling through their phone and you’re trying to have a conversation, I just usually stop talking and carry on with my own thing.
Shawn: Yeah. I would tell them, “I need to let you focus on your phone.”
Shawn: “You need to put your focus there because that’s important to you right now.” And maybe it is important that they’re doing something, but it’s not going to be a place where they’re distracted with me and the phone, then they can just focus on the phone. And whenever they’re done, we can focus. Even just having your phone up on the table in a dinner says something.
Shawn: Doesn’t it? There will be like six people around the table and one or two has the phone up on the table. I guarantee those people are less engaged in the conversation and not the be here now, mindfulness, presence that there should be. And therefore they’re not they’re not getting the richness of the fellowship that they should be having.
Shawn: The truth therapy, the health benefits of that meal, sitting with the people and having a conversation, and just enjoying life. They’re distracted on a phone checking Facebook, and they could do that anytime. And I don’t care, even if you have your phone on the table you never check it, it’s still a distraction, it’s still a half-hearted way of putting it away.
Shawn: And you need to just completely put it away.
Shawn: So, the last one, number 10, we love this one.
Shawn: “No. 10: Your multi-tasking. Research indicates that multitasking increases stress and lowers productivity, while single‑tasking,” I don’t know, maybe it’s called mono‑tasking, “is becoming a lost art. Learn it. Handle one task at a time. Do it well, and when it is complete, move to the next.” Much like the goals we talked about. But Tim, you have a lot of research and knowledge in this area, so I’ll let you talk to it.
Tim: We call it uni‑tasking.
Shawn: Uni-tasking. [laughs] I like that.
Tim: [laughs] I first heard about this with the Leo Babauta, with The Power of Less, and we we’ve highlighted his work before. Yeah, I mean, this is something that I’ve focused on. [laughs] I wouldn’t say that it works against me, but sometimes I’m so into the task that if someone asked me a question, say my wife would ask me a question or something and I’m engaged in the task, I feel it takes me a minute to compartmentalize and move to that discussion.
Shawn: And I get attacked for this a lot. [laughs] But I do feel that’s where when I’m focused, that I’m at my best, and I just want to hone in. I gave this example to a friend of mine, a business partner of mine, that when I attend a conference or something that, I want to be in the front of the room, closest to the speaker. Why? Think about if I’m a few rows back. What am I looking at? I’m looking at the other people in the room. I’m thinking about what they’re wearing, what notes they’re taking, what they’re doing, when they get up and go to the bathroom. I’m trying to reduce my distractions as much as possible so I can focus on why I’m there.
I don’t know if many people think about that, but that’s why I literally, I try and get everywhere I’m going where there speakers, as early as possible so I can get literally as far up as I can go, so I can reduce distractions and take as much advantage of it as possible. I want to focus, cleanly and clearly, and yeah, I take a beating for it [laughs] sometimes too, because it’s like, “Hello, there’s other stuff going on,” or whatever. But I feel that’s when I’m at my best, when I’m passionately engaged and I’m using my mental power on that one thing, and processing it, and learning it, and memorizing it, and growing from it. And then I can go on to the next task.
But we’ve talked about multitasking is a lie. It’s a lie that you’ve been led to believe. You’ve been told, “Oh, women are better at it than men,” and “if you’re this age, you’re better.” No. No one’s good at it. No one. I mean, they’ve shown maybe some extreme genius-level people can pull it off to some degree, but we’re talking the one in 100,000 type people. There’s basically no one that’s good at this. And clearly, even if I took those people and I had them focus on one thing, they’d still do better at that one thing.
Shawn: We are not multitaskers. We lose the ability to filter when we start multitasking, and therefore, everything gets in our ear, everything gets in our brain. And things start getting overwhelmed and we’re not doing anything well.
Tim: I think that’s the take-home point is it that yeah, you can tell me that you get things done when you multitask. You might get them done, but it may take you longer and it may not get done well. So there’s a cost every time you switch from one thing to another. Like I talked about, you’re basically compartmentalizing each one of these tasks. And to get from one room to the next takes time, basically. One room being in your head, where those are compartmentalized. It takes time to get from one room to the next. And every time you leave that room, it takes time to get to the next room. It takes time to get back. And so you’re wasting time and then you also sacrifice the effort and energy you can put into each thing, each compartment, by trying to juggle all these different things.
Shawn: Awesome stuff. Hey, I hope everyone enjoyed this episode. Hopefully you’ll take something, one thing out of this list at least, and simplify. And we love you, we appreciate you. Thank you so much. You simplify our lives by giving us so much. Thank you for the outlet we have on this show, to connect with you. And hearing from you is so important, so we will talk to you soon. Thanks guys.
Tim: Thanks guys.