In this episode Josh talks with Chad Cooper, author of “Time Isn’t the Problem: Four Strategies to Transform Stress Into Success”. They discuss productivity vs. keeping busy.
As the founder and creator of Legendary Life®, Chad E. Cooper inspires his audience to generate the power to make, as well as the art and science to navigate, their own intentional life. The result is more money, time, harmony and fulfillment without losing one’s sense of spirit in the process.
Chad powerfully transforms the clarity of who a person is and how they will show up for life. “Life isn’t about either/or decisions; it’s about creating YES, AND opportunities”.
In today’s episode you will learn:
- Is productivity about time management?
- How to transform stress into success?
- How to achieve work-life harmony?
- How to do the right things and not just stuff?
- What you can do to get you three times productivity?
Narrator: Welcome to the Sustainable Business Radio Show Podcast, where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business, but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In a sustainable business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful.
Your host Josh Patrick is going to help us through finding great thought leaders, as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick and you’re at The Sustainable Business. My guest today is Chad Cooper and Chad is the author of Time Isn’t the Problem: Four Strategies to Transform Stress Into Success.
So similar to a long introduction, which I don’t— anyhow, we just can be chat on. We’ll start off the question.
Okay, so how do I transform stress into success? Chad?
Chad: Well, that’s a great introduction. Let’s just jump into it because people really don’t care so much about your backgrounds these days. Anyway, what they care about is whether you can help them, right?
So, the reality is, as we look at what makes a sustainable business today, and what I’ve discovered with some of my mentors in the past, that being Bill Gates, Tony Robbins, and others that were before my time, but had left great roadmap such as Napoleon Hill as an example. One of the things that I’ve noticed in my work over about 30 years is when I retired from the corporate world at age 35. So, relatively young to achieve that pivotal moment in people’s lives. The other is in learning through that time, that the world is very different in the 21st century than it was even in the 90s or early 2000s.
So, while there was a time where Stephen Covey was coveted in really useful, the reality is, many of us whether we’re a small business owner, or whether we’re a large corporation, whether we’re white collar or blue collar in our roles, is understanding, productivity can be really difficult today and that can actually create stress and part of that reason is understanding. Most of our businesses often are across multiple time zones, whether that is in the continental United States across eastern Pacific Coast, or whether that is internationally. My clients are global around 12 or 13 time zones all the way from New Zealand in the South Pacific, to Canada in you know, the United States and in Europe kind of scenarios.
So, today, what creates stress is understanding. We’re not a nine to five business anymore. And if we want to be successful, we want to be sustainable.
We have to understand the strategies that allow us to navigate that. Many of us work out of our homes as an example, maybe virtually. And so how do we have that separation from work where it was nine to five, and we left, you know, all the work at home, maybe brought a briefcase home and dealt with a couple of things, to how many email accounts do we have? How many phone numbers do we have? Do we have a nine to five hours? We don’t put up a sign most of the time today. And so it’s about how do we actually navigate all of this that is coming at us in a graceful way. And so part of that is this really being able to manage ourselves is a predecessor had said many, many moons ago, the greatest threat, Peter Drucker, and some people know who Peter is. The younger generation doesn’t know who Peter is, but Peter was a titan in his time. He said the greatest threat to society is not war. It is not technology. It’s actually the ability that we cannot manage oneself. Seeing the industrial age, we’re told what our jobs were. We picked a business and that’s what we did to when we retired.
Today, we can be whatever we want. And the challenge is we don’t know how to manage that.
Josh: Okay, so let me just push back a little bit, at least with our audience is probably listening today. Most of folks listening have blue collar businesses, so they are nine to five businesses or local businesses, they serve a local community. And one of the things I always encourage people to think about is—I’ve never liked the term work life balance. I’ve always thought it was stupid. But I’ve come up with the idea of work life integration, which I think makes a whole lot more sense. Give me thoughts about that.
Chad: Great points. And I absolutely agree. It was Jack Welch, former executive GE that said, there’s no such thing as work life balance. There’s work life choice. And I think the best that we can strive for, Josh is work life harmony. If you’re a blue collar worker, you’re not working 40 hours a week.
40 hours a week was just delineation between regular wages in overtime pay. That’s all it was. So let’s be realistic. Most people are probably putting in 50, 60 hours a week one of those kind of things.
So the question is, are you able to do that and be able to come home, both physically and mentally present to your family, to your kids to your other roles in life? Or you showing up in other roles of your life, physically present, but mentally checked out? So the workplace balance is really about, can I go in excel, however many hours in one area and allow that to still recharge my batteries and then go in perform in another area? And that seems to be the challenge today? Because whether we’re in one time zone, maybe our clients aren’t, maybe our clients are saying, “Hey, I’m handling other clients in nine to five shop hours. Don’t work for me. So, can you stay open on the weekend? Can you stay open after six o’clock?” And so maybe while we have blue collar business, our clients may be expecting 24/7 service, maybe we have an online presence on Amazon or other things possibly as well. And so it’s about how do we navigate that without actually burning ourselves out.
Josh: So how do you do that?
Chad: So we can look at a conversation that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett had with Charlie Rose back in January of 2018. And Bill Gates said, the best lesson that he got from Warren, is that he thought that being busy was an indication of his level of seriousness in life and how important he was. But what do you also realize is that actually having time for pit stops, time to actually not have your plate so abundantly full, actually gives us the ability to allow the creativity to flourish.
So regardless of where your clients are, do we value, a pit stop? If we look at every single sport that’s out there that’s popularized today, we can look at soccer, or around the world football, right? We have the NFL, we have major league baseball, every— pretty much every sport out there has a pause. They have intermission. They have a half time or something to that degree.
And so the question is this, are we also able to do the same? Because Bill Gates said, that’s actually where it allows him to do his creativity and if we cannot create as a business that our competition is probably going to consume our clients for us.
Josh: I mean, again, you’re saying the world’s a 24/7 world and I think there’s some truth to that. And we tend to get hung up on being busy and not doing the right things, but just doing stuff. What kind of recommendations do you have for doing the right things and not just stuff?
Chad: So when we look at— there was a study done by one of my business partners rescue time, and they studied 165 million hours. And the conclusion that they came to is workers on average spend just 2.8 hours a day on productive task. Eight hours, and they’re only spending 2.8 hours of that. And so communication overload is a real issue in the workplace, regardless of the size of our business.
We check email on average, every six minutes. And so one of the things that we can do to remove stress and become productive is the ability to say, “I need to take these to do list. I need to take all of these things coming at me. I should actually block them out on my calendar.” My suggestion is to train your clients stop being Pavlov’s dog in responding to every ding on your text or your email or somebody who stops in and instead, lock that time. So maybe that’s 45 minutes three times a day to check email, but train and communicate your client, “Here’s what I actually check email.” So that you can actually be present to those that walk into your storefront. You can actually be present to those that are on the phone.
And you actually can give them your undivided attention and emails a great form of communication to follow up, or reiterate a point. But I think today we struggle with the value of in person relationships. And I think that’s why webinars in video are making an increase in communication is we want to be able to connect with people. So in order for us to be productive, we actually need to carve and block that time to be committed, literally blocking the brakes and those pit stops. That allows us to actually go from average person’s about 20 to 30% productive. My clients in the work that I do are 92% three times, four times the result. And it’s because you structure, you only get 160 hours a day. 168 that’s it, one week worth of time. How we utilize it is what separates the boys from the men and the girls from the women.
So it’s about how we actually manage that time that can make an impact.
Josh: So what specifically do your clients do they get them three times a productivity and everybody else?
Chad: One of the things that they do and that I recommend is turn off the notifications for email on your desk. So no ding, no little pop up that says you have an email, no indication whatsoever Josh, that you have a new email that just popped in. Just in our conversation, I probably had 10 emails that have come in because I crossed so many time zones. So turn it off. And instead schedule that time is really no different than in the days when somebody would just knock on your door and say, “Hey, you got a minute.” It’s just a got a minute interruption. And it causes us to actually 40% of workers have less than 30 minutes at a time where they can actually be focused. They’re interrupted every 30 minutes. So we turn off that distraction, then we can actually be present to the productivity that we’re trying to accomplish.
Second is stop responding to the text and feeling like you have to answer the phone. I remember when I was a kid, my father was an attorney. And he called me into his office, usually for a lecture or something. And inevitably, the phone would ring. And he go, “Hold on.” I used to hate that experience, because I felt so devalued, so unworthy of whoever else was on that line. And so ignore it. This is person is the most important person in your life right now. Give them that respect that they’ve earned, and give them the time.
So if you schedule that time, and you remove the dings and the alerts, and the reminders, all those things, then we can actually be present to what’s in front of us at the moment.
Josh: So there’s a concept out there called “Deep Work.” I’m assuming you’ve read the book. And to me that makes a lot of sense. Is that something that you’re in favor of?
Chad: It depends on the individual. So, some people are best when they can actually have that dedicated, immersed time. Other people, for example, let’s say that you’re ADHD, and like 85% of all executives are ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). And we often see that is— in so with Deep Work, I really try to avoid the labels because somebody goes, “Ahh, I got ADHD.” I go, “Great. Go read the book, the ADHD advantage.” If 85% of executives are ADHD, something’s got to be working for them.
So for some people is having that space to just totally immerse yourself in two, four hours of work. For other people, they need small spurts. And so it’s a matter of then leveraging technology. Stephen King, the novelist.
Josh: The novelist, yeah.
Chad: He doesn’t type. He uses a Dictaphone and has that transcribed. So part of that Deep Work is— how do we get out of the brain the logical and actually get into the fluid flow that usually comes from our heart? So we have to break the logic to get into our creativity. What’s the technology that allows you to do that? That’s how I produce my articles. I record them. I use a service that transcribes them, and then we polish them up from there. And those are done in small spurts.
So, I think it’s really more about honoring who you are and knowing who you are. If you’re a morning person, you’re ready to get up. I get up at like, 4:30 every day. I’m a lark, right? Melatonin is burned off, I’m ready to go. It really irritates people who are not that way. They like, “Ssh, I need coffee.” And then you have night owls who are most productive at that time.
So I think Deep Work is great. And its theory in its ability, but it’s incumbent upon us to know how do we apply it that honors who we are as an individual as well.
Josh: So I want to push back a little bit, 85% of executives are ADHD—
Chad: According to the ADHD advantage, the research that they’ve done.
Josh: Right, okay, well, that’s— I got to tell you. I don’t buy it. There are plenty of people with ADHD. And I also think ADHD is an excuse for bad behavior in many cases.
Chad: And that’s why I avoid the labels. The question is, whether you’re using something as an excuse to continue a behavior or whether it’s an explanation, and you’re taking responsibility for that.
Josh: That’s true. And if you are ADHD that means you probably have convinced yourself that multitasking works.
Chad: They often think that and I tell them before they get on the phone with me, you have to go do an intense workout. That’s my requirement. They have to go do a workout so that they actually have that energy burn and they can focus.
Josh: In my experience is that a.) We don’t multitask. We parallel task or simul-task but we don’t, we don’t multi— we do, this and this and this and this. As we’re younger, we do it really fast. As we get older, that’s sort of rapid switching slows down. But truth is, unless we can block out, you know, at least 20 or 25 minutes at a time. I don’t know how to get anything done.
Chad: Well, and let’s look at where does that apply in a sustainable business? Where does that apply in our lives today? If we only have 168 hours, and let’s say that our calendar—regardless of whether you’re using Google Calendar, or Outlook calendar or piece of paper, if that calendar is full, for one week of time, why on earth do you have a to do list or multiple to do list? All a to-do-list is another calendar with a different skin.
And so what we’re trying to do is multitask, saying, “Oh, I’m going to continue doing this, but you’ve already got a full calendar.” So I absolutely agree with you, Josh is that our calendar should have a linear. And there are opportunities to multitask. Maybe it’s listening to an audio book while you’re working out as an example. Maybe it’s listening to an audio book while you’re doing your commute, like maybe a podcast on your drive to work. There we can actually multi-task.
But the reality is that the majority of the time, we can’t. We do a very poor job at it. And the argument is women can do a better job than men. We all suck at it.
Josh: I’m not convinced to that a little bit, but that’s okay. What I have found is that— I mean, I agree with you, that time blocking where you taking you say, “I’m going to schedule my tasks on my calendar for how long I want to spend on it.” Is a lot more logical way of doing that than having a to do list 25 items—
Chad: The great
Josh: And I would even submit that the first thing you should do every day is say, “What are the three things I have to get done every day?” If we just focus on those three things, and if we finish it early, we can go look for something else. But if we just focus on those three things a day, I would submit that we’re all a lot more productive and 98% of the people in the world.
Chad: So there’s two things that all add to that because I agree with you. And the first is somebody who is way smarter than me. And that was Pareto, when we look at Pareto’s principle, some may know that by the 80/20 rule. In that principle, which is held throughout the test of time, is 80% of your revenue comes from the top 20% of your clients and prospects. Another way of saying that is 80% of what you do is only generating 20% of the results.
Chad: So, that is, “Look, what are the top three things that will net you 80% of your results today?” Make sure that those are the big rocks that go first as Stephen Covey would say.
Chad: –make sure you have taken the time. If you’re a morning person, do it in the morning before the interruptions, before the phone calls, before people come into your office trying to grab your attention. If you’re a night person schedule it at that time. So, honor Pareto’s principle, the 80/20 rule.
The second was a question that wasn’t really I would say thought through when it was asked of me. And the father of coaching had asked me, Tony Robbins had asked in front of his organization where I partnered with Tony for many years. And he said, “Chad, your results are number one consistently, yet you take more time off than any coach that I’ve seen in this organization. How do you do it?” I said, “Tony, you don’t want to know the answer. You get all these people.” He goes, “No, I want to know.” I said, “You’re not going to like the answer.” “Yes. I want to know the answer.” I said it’s simple.
And this is my invitation to our audience today is schedule your personal things first. If you want to take a vacation, block it out now. Schedule your personal important items first, and then fit work in between. If we have eight hours a day in theory to work, and we’re only productive 2.8 hours out of that, because we go, “Oh, I got eight hours, Josh. I can just take my time.”
But if we only have 2.8 hours, we’re going to be way more productive and effective in that time because it is limited. And so it actually requires us to be focused and do that Deep Work, rather than, “Oh, I got all the time in the world.” Does that make sense?
Josh: It makes a lot of sense. So why do we work eight hours a day?
Chad: I would argue that we don’t work eight hours a day, nobody works eight hours.
Josh: Why do we spend eight hours a day at work? How’s that?
Chad: Because we’re ineffective—if we actually understood how to be productive, if we actually understood how to be persistent and consistent with scheduling our calendar. Part of the problem is, when we schedule something on our calendar. We’ll just use a simple thing that many people do around the New Year, and they put this event on their calendar called “workout.”
Chad: What a terrible subject line. I mean, really, who wants to work out. And so how many of us in our day are filling our calendar with, deal with customer complaints or resolve this or that. The subject line is not using empowering language. So, if we actually understand— it was a difference. My mother many years ago as a nurse for the elderly, she started getting burnout. And I said, “Well, mom, what is it that you’re trying to do?” She goes, “Well, I’m one of the only opportunities all week that these people will actually get some sunshine in their life. I’m able to actually relate and bring some greatness into the life.” I said then, “What are you putting on your calendar?” She goes, “Work with the elderly.” I said, “How inspiring is that?” You look at that, and you’re like, “Uh, they’re going to be crotchety, they’re grumpy. They’re never happy.” Whatever things that we want to beat up on people. And I said, “What if you actually put the subject line that said, Sunshine Giving Day?” She goes, “Well, I’d actually look forward to that.” I said, “That’s what you want to do.”
But I think people lack productivity, Josh, because they don’t know their outcome. They use discipline to try to cross the finish line, instead of actually knowing the strength of the purpose itself.
Josh: Yeah, it sort of fits in with it. Most people never bother to figure out their why.
Josh: And I would say not only do they never figure out their why, they don’t ever go down and dig into why to find out is the right why or the right what for that matter?
Josh: We have a decision making process I call it “The stage two decision making process.” And it goes, What? Why? What? Who? How? So we start off with, what is it postulate? We dig down five times of “why.” Go back and relook at “what.” And about 90% of the time we change the “what” because the first thing Tasha was wrong, after we figured out why we wanted to do it, it’s a more elegant way of doing that. Then we go to “who’s” going to help us because we never do anything by ourselves. Then finally we go to “how” because “how” is actually very easy once you’ve done all the other stuff.
Josh: It just falls in place like that. So, that’s my recommendation for people to really get—you know, the thing is, and I think what you’re bringing out here, which I think it’s really important is we don’t focus on the right things. You know what you were just explaining is you know, take care of the elderly or bring sunshine.
Well, what’s the outcome you’re trying to get to people? Take care of the elderly or bring sunshine?
Josh: You know, for everyone who’s listening right now, stop being activity based and start being outcome based.
Chad: I was recently in Bend Oregon, beautiful community, by the way. I was with a client. We stopped at this coffee house. And it was a drive thru and I was blown away at the customer service and the clients going, “Well, we come here because they’re always so cheerful. They’re always uplifting. They actually care about what was going on for us and they recognize us.” And so after it was done, I looked at that and said, “We are so busy today doing that we forget to actually take a step back and say who do we want to be in the process of whatever we do?”
Chad: And that’s what that business got right. They’re not a major chain. You know, they’re a small business offset. They’re not a Starbucks or Caribou Coffee or anything like that. And I looked at and said, “When I go back, I’m going to stop in there because they make me feel great.” Because they asked the vital question, “Who do we want to be in the process of what we do well?”
Josh: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Hey, Chad, unfortunately, we are out of time. And this has been a really interesting conversation, a bit of a pain in the neck about it.
Chad: Not at all.
Josh: Which is sort of my style, fortunately, or unfortunately, but you also bring some really interesting stuff. How do people find you, find your book, get more information about what you’re doing?
Chad: I appreciate that, Josh. It’s really easy. You can just go to my website, chadecooper.com. That’s E as an echo, chadecooper.com. You can find my book Time Isn’t the Problem: Four Strategies to Transform Stress Into Success, on any of the outlets, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, you know, anywhere that you want to go, it’s there. If you’re in China, it just got picked up in China. So you know, there’s always that availability as well.
I also have a monthly radio show that I syndicated on my site as well but best bet is just go to my website and you can see the different services and products that are available. And it’s anywhere from the book all the way up to a membership course of 12-weeks to help you with exactly this, how to actually make your business sustainable, how to actually show up and be present in all facets of your life. And at the end of the day, how you can actually live a legendary life.
Josh: Cool. I also have an offer for you. It’s actually— it’s a one page very simple things and infographic on the five stages that you go through the Crack The Cash Flow Code which means going from not having enough cash to having excess cash to fill all four areas of profit. But every business needs to fill at least have their privately held businesses—easy to get. Although this podcast is a big button, just click on it, you’ll get our infographic so this is Josh Patrick.
We are with Chad Cooper. You’re at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at www.askjoshpatrick.com, or you can send Josh an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.