Discipline And Procrastination AMA With Eric Twiggs

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Eric Twiggs.

Welcome, Eric.

Thank you. It’s good to be on your show.

My pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Yes, I am your procrastination prevention partner. I’m the author of the discipline of now and I’m the host of the 30 minute our podcast and as far as what I do, I help entrepreneurs and executive leaders to ditch their excuses to beat procrastination so they can make more money, get more done and feel more confident. Well, that’s a there’s a few topics in there that are really worth. I’d like to dig into. I like the one about discipline. I’ve spoken about that a few times. Can you talk on what your approach to discipline is? So, so the good thing about discipline is that it is a skill that can be developed, right? So I talk about procrastination and overcome procrastination. Overcoming procrastination and people often say, well eric it’s easy for you.

You’re genetically predisposed to procrastinating, but that’s not how it works. It’s all about discipline, it’s all about anybody can put certain habits in place to keep you from procrastinating and that’s really that’s the difference, that’s the difference between me and somebody else that’s out there over the years, I put certain disciplines in place now. The other side of that is that if I don’t put those disciplines in place. I’m just as likely as anyone to slip and start procrastinating. So what are some examples of the types of things you put in place. So the most basic discipline is making an appointment with yourself. Just this one thing has helped many people that I’ve worked with to overcome procrastination and it’s something I do as well. Instead of saying that I am going to write a blog post this week, I’ll say that on Wednesday at one o’clock from one o’clock to two o’clock, that is my creative time where I’m gonna write my blog post and I put it on my calendar and I set a reminder and I found that when you make an appointment with yourself, the chance of you actually doing that thing Go up by like 80 because what was happening to me before it was, oh yeah, I’m gonna write a blog post this week before you know it, it’s Friday at 5:30 and I haven’t written anything.

Yeah. So and I suppose if people ask you can you do this at that time, you’ve already got it blocked out in your calendar, whereas if you didn’t, you know, you might say yes or it might get pushed back to another time, right? Yeah. And so one thing Thomas that really just frustrates me is when I talk to somebody and I say, hey, so did you, did you write that outline for your book? Like you said you would owe Eric I didn’t have time, you have time, but we didn’t have, we didn’t make it a priority. And so one of the things that’s so powerful with making that appointment with yourself is you can’t say that you know you’re making time. Yeah, very good point about because I know you’ve got a procrastination prevention program. What do you find that the that most people, what’s the main issue when people say that they’re procrastinating? What’s the main sticking point that people have? Would you say, well, I think the fundamental issue is a lack of awareness, right?

And so the book is heightened to increase – the book is designed to heighten and increase your awareness to win your procrastinate. So people say I always procrastinate. I have yet to meet someone that just procrastinates on every aspect of their life. Like I know people who procrastinate in a work situation, but they’re right on time when it comes to their kids or they procrastinate at home. But when it comes to work there on point. So the key thing when it comes to procrastination is really pay attention to your triggers. Like if you just track how you’re like a useful exercises if you if you had a sheet of paper and have people do this, you have a sheet of paper and track how you’re spending your time and you’ll see patterns. So for a lot of people, for example, they procrastinate on the undesirable tasks, right? It’s called tasker version, it’s just they don’t like doing, it’s not that deep, they just don’t like doing the task. So they put it off. And some people procrastinate when it’s something that could move them forward in their career. It’s like a fear of success.

Because what happens is they started listening to the negative voices inside their head. So I think the fundamental key is really being getting aware and it may, it may require getting a mentor or getting a coach who can give you that outside perspective and see that you always procrastinate when it comes to a certain thing. It sounds like there could be multiple reasons why someone may not do that. So you alluded to, you know, they may not want to do it in the first place because they’re like, they’re not engaged with it and if they did do it, they might be more successful. And that voice is telling them that they shouldn’t be successful. So it’s almost like compounding thing sounds like to me Oh sure, interesting. And coming back to what I said about what’s the what’s the thing that you recommend regarding the appointment that you said? Is there another thing that you would recommend regarding procrastination? Yes, I call this the Twiggs top five.

And so what I do at the end of my day, I have a three by five cards, I think I have one right here, we’re gonna see it. But I got a three by five card and I write my five most critical priorities for the following day, the five things that I have to, I don’t care what happens, I need to get these five things done the following day. Now for me it’s important to write and not put it on my phone because I think when you, when you write something it creates a stronger link to your brain when you put, when you get it out of your head. So and the five things are aligned with my what I ultimately want to accomplish. So I know I’m moving in the right direction and what I find is that the things that I write down during that day, it’s like I feel compelled to do it, it’s like literally I’m walking around, I feel urged to do what I gotta write this blog post, I got it written down, I gotta do it. You just feel urged and compelled and you will find that you procrastinate your procrastination to go way down if you’re writing down the five things you need to do for the following day and what business stuff have you got on your card for today?

That’s interesting. So like I’ve got a follow up call that I need to do with my team tonight because we’re doing this special master class session, so we’ve got to coordinate. You know, I’ve got it written down that I have to write down my priorities for the next day really, I have to do that sometimes because it’s easy for me to get out of that habit, but it goes back to that discipline. So you know, you know, another thing I’ve written down, I need to follow up with one of my podcast guests that’s going to be on my show in a 30 minute hour on Monday. So those are saying, no, I’m telling you that that is if you’re looking other than the making an appointment with yourself, that’s the next thing. Like, like if you do those two things, your procrastination will go way down. I can imagine it, it means you’re super organised because you’ve got your calendar and it means that you’re essentially listening at your priorities for the day. So I can totally understand how that might be, it might be beneficial.

Does remind me of a Jim Rohn quote. Um, are you aware of Jim Rohn? It’s all easy to do, but easy not to do right now. He’s 100%. It’s always tell people it’s simple, but it’s not easy. You say you say it’s the 30 minute hour your podcast. What is that about productivity? Getting an hour’s worth of work done in 30 minutes is that works well? Well, No. So we named the podcast the 30 minute hour because it usually goes an hour, but it feels like 30 minutes because we were so different in our approach. Like, like Ted and I were personal friends and we have a chemistry and so were we keep it light, we’re always cracking jokes. We were unscripted and so the feedback we always get from our guests is like, wow, that was so much fun man. I really had a great time. But it’s a personal development podcast and we have influencers, people that are highly successful people that have overcome these amazing challenges and they talked to us in our audience about what they did.

It’s important to us. Yeah, we want to have fun. Well, we want to leave people with nuggets that they can actually go back and implement so they can say, I watched the 30 minute hour, I listened to third minute hour and as a result I did the twigs top five where I did what have you? That’s good. It sounds like a good listen. Do you enjoy it, enjoy your podcasting? I do. I always like, I’m surprised at how much I enjoy it because the funny thing is like for years people were suggesting that I started podcast, oh here, it could be great. I’m telling you that’s the way. And I’m like, and I would always say I just don’t need something else to do. I’ve got, I’m too busy. I don’t need one more thing to keep up with, but like knowing what I know now I would have done it years ago. No, it’s, I would recommend anybody ever wanted in my opinion on whether or not they should start a podcast. I would say absolutely well there’s a lot more people doing it now, right? Yes. Yeah. Now that we’re in this virtual world, the podcasters are everywhere. And you mentioned, you know people coming on your podcast influences and what influences and what not.

Have you got mentors that you have learned a lot of your stuff from who your mentors? Yes. So one of my main mentors is Dr Willie Jolley. He wrote the foreword to my book but just it’s not like every day and then he would give me that he would give me this tip and I would take it and surprisingly it would work right. he gave me this tip but a lot of times it’s just watching his example his hustle and like the thing that stands out to me with him is that this I mean he’s one of the top speakers in the world, he’s on stage with Les Brown and but you would never know the way he works. You would think that he was still trying to make it. I mean the way he hustled the way he’s following up, he’s just still acting like somebody’s gonna take it all away from. And I watched that because I think that’s how you have to be. I think that you know if you want to sustain success, you have to maintain hunger. You’ve got to be hungry. Absolutely. I just had to say because you mentioned MS Brown, that’s one of the things he says all the time.

But I’ve found that to be, I’ve done that to be true. And would you call yourself a motivational speaker more? And I think I’m more of an inspirational speaker. I think motivation is more short term, right? You hear something, you feel motivation in that moment, but the emotion passes. But I think if you’re inspired, if you’re inspired, that’s gonna last longer and you’re more likely to do something that you feel inspired to do. So I think I’m more of an inspirational speaker. And what are your days look like now with Covid? How does that change things for you? I’m on zoom a whole lot. Sometimes. I’m just like, I’m just zoomed out like this. I’m in other personal groups like, you know, my college fraternity, we have a graduate chapter, this thing with the church and they have zoom meetings sometimes. And sometimes I just, I just don’t go because I’m just zoomed out.

I’ve done all these meetings. I’m doing interviews. I’m interviewing people. It’s like, it’s like I need to unplug, but like no, so I’ve had to become more familiar with this virtual environment. Okay. And you find it’s just as efficient in some ways even more so yeah, I think you can get your message out two more people, you know, in the virtual environment. and so the funny thing is we were doing my podcast before the pandemic and we used to meet at my co-host office, we had microphones and all that we recorded, we didn’t do it live, but when the band eric came his office closed because you have really shut down, we said hey what are we going to do? And that’s when we started using Facebook live and zoom and it’s literally I think it’s like quadrupled our audience. Yeah, I’ve heard it about the concept of writing books, so like you can spend a year or two on a book or something and reach however many people you sell your book to or you can put out a YouTube video or a podcast as you say, and reach, you know the same afternoon you can reach almost just as many.

Yeah, I mean I’m literally, I mean I’ve had people from around the world reach out to me about the podcast and like Ted and I just joked that when we first started getting these seats, the seat back, I was like wow, somebody from Australia just connected with it, wow, somebody from England. Oh man, now it’s not even like, like if I tell ted hey you know what, I was just talking to the bucket list guy from Australia. Okay. But I’m saying that the reach of a podcast and the reach of these virtual platforms is just incredible. Can you talk to me about the urgency of now, So, the urgency of now is it’s one of the presentations that I do and it’s really, but I was inspired by Dr Martin Luther King, where he says, he says this is one of my favourite quotes of all time. We are faced with the fact that tomorrow is today, we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.

Like, that’s like the most profound quote, and it really speaks to you think you have all of this time, you think, oh, I can just do this down the road, but you don’t, so you really have to treat now with urgency. And so I do a program where I talk about that and I tell stories, I have all kinds of stories of people I’ve worked with, who thought they had all this time and they tragically passed away and leaving everybody in a scramble. And sometimes when I go through these types of experiences, I’m kicking myself like, you know what, I would have pushed even harder. I would have pushed him harder to move forward on these things. And it’s just a reminder that we don’t have the time that we think to leave the legacy we wanna leave. And if you’ve got anything to recommend, like, a few things that if someone is totally sold by that concept, what can they do if they’re sold by the concept of the urgency of now.

Yeah, I mean, they you can certainly get my book the discipline of now, which is kind of walk you through the process of you know, how to, how to move forward. But now I think really just taking action. So the key here is the big thing that this is something that helped me. You always have to remember this. You can’t allow perfect to become the enemy of progress, right? It’s a lot of time and I was guilty of needing things to be perfect before I move forward. So I felt led to do less. I felt led to write a book, right? But I would say, oh man, I don’t I don’t know anything about publishing, How am I going to sell it? You start? You know, it’s not perfect, you don’t have all the details. So the easiest thing to do is nothing right but nothing and then years go by you still haven’t written your book. So the key is what can you do in recognising that the small steps count. So a small step could be calling a successful author. You know, leverage mentorship, call somebody who’s done what you’re trying to do.

So that would be my advice. Focus on what’s the next step you can take no matter how small it is. Was there an author that you called? So I talked to several authors, actually. Yeah, I mean, I’ve talked to Dr Willie Jolley, I’ve talked to quite a few authors. Yeah I did when I was going through that whole process. The other thing that helped me is I had had an accountability partner. So we would Yeah so we would talk we would talk every Sunday, it was like every Sunday like 7:30 and he would say okay so what are you gonna do by next week? I mean, she’s a nice person you’ll ever meet. And I would say hey I’m gonna write the outline for the book okay. And then the following week, Eric did you write your outline? And I remember one time I’m like oh you know I didn’t and I felt terrible and I said I’m never having this feeling again. But it shows you the power of mentorship and accountability and finding people that are on a similar path to you to help you to move forward.

It is funny that you say that because I’ve done a similar thing and although like you say nicest people that you could talk to but at the same time that feeling is you know, I don’t wanna I don’t want to say that I haven’t done it really works right? Yeah. And to make it worse. She had done her part so that just really made me feel bad and the fact that she wasn’t like jumping up and down and that was like oh man, but I’m telling you that that’s a key thing. Getting someone who can hold you accountable to what you’re saying, you’re going to do that, that can be big, just use the line, I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed. huh. No, but that’s good. So what helped you write your book? Did you, you know, just small steps or did you do it all in a very short period of time? It took me a while, I mean it was like a six year journey, but I think the biggest thing that helped me was getting out of the habit of writing and editing at the same time, because the progress was slow at first, because I would write, then try to edit and then and sometimes when you do that, that’s where you fall into the hole, writer’s block thing, and it’s really just you trying to do those two things.

But if you, when I started doing these exercises, like, I would go to these conferences and they would have special sessions for writers and during the sessions, they would just have you do free flowing writing exercise, they would tell you, look, you’ve got five minutes, I want you for the next five minutes just write whatever is on your mind, it can be about your book, what have you? I don’t care how crazy it sounds, whatever comes to mind, just put it on paper, and I did that, and that’s literally how I came up with the introduction for the book. And that’s really what changed things for me. Once I just got to the point of having a time where I just write, write, write, write, write, write, write, write, write, write, and then later go back and edit. That’s what you were saying about perfection, right? Exactly. Yeah. That’s another example of not allowing a perfect become the enemy of progress. So I have an audience of business owners, if you think you’ve given a lot of valuable information so far, but if you were to say one thing to a typical business owner in terms of something to help them, what would you say?

Yeah, making that appointment with yourself? Because as a business owner, you’ve got so many demands on your time and you don’t necessarily have someone to like a boss, right? You know, you no one’s gonna, if you don’t do it a lot of time unless you hire a coach, there’s really not that consequence. So again, you run especially in business, you run into that thing where you say, yeah, I’m going to I need to find this employee, this is key employee, I’m gonna look for him this week. And then again, it’s become, it’s Friday at 5:00 and you’ve done nothing to look for that person. So I would definitely say getting in the habit of making appointments with yourself. But I would also say to find someone that can hold you accountable, you know, I think mastermind groups worked very well because I think when you, when you’re making your goal public, that that puts additional pressure on you to get it done to find joined the right mastermind group accountability partners hire a coach, all those things and you’ve got your, you got your appointment in your calendar and you’ve got your daily tasks.

Do you also do sort of weekly or monthly tasks that you want to get done if you can’t get them done in a particular day? I don’t have weekly tasks, so to speak, but I do like a weekly reflection. So like I’ll take time, like, like what I do is like I do a personal swat analysis on myself. So each week and I’ve been doing this for years, I look at my week and I say, okay, what were my wins? What are my strengths? What did I do? Well, what were my weaknesses? What did I mess up at? What did I do wrong? What are my opportunities? What should I be looking at down the road that I may not be paying attention to? And what are, what are my threats? You know, what are those things that can just, I’m not outside of my vision that I’m not paying attention to. So a lot of time through that exercise, there are some weekly things that come up, you know, you know, as far as opportunities, I need to follow up with this podcast, I need to, so that’s kind of where the weekly focus comes in, reminds me of Brian Tracy advocates a what did you do?

Well, and what would you better? is that kind of kind of what you mean? Oh, for sure. For sure. Like there’s this book I’m reading, it’s called anti fragile. It’s by a guy by the name and not seem to leave. And the premise of the book is that like when things go wrong, you know, it’s like the opposite of being a fragility is anti-fragility, which is you get better from the adversity, right? You actually benefit from failure. So I think like that habit of checking out, okay, what did I do? Well, what, what did I mess up when you, when you have that level of focus, you start to become anti fragile, right? So you start saying, okay, yeah, I missed this appointment. So now I’m gonna start making an appointment with myself and I’m gonna put it on my calendar so that never happens again. Have you run into any of David Goggins this stuff? Yeah. Oh yeah, his videos and well, it makes me think what you just said, makes me think of callous in the mind.

Yes. Yeah. He’s uh, I started following him when I ran a marathon back in 2017 and he’s run like these ultra-marathons like 40 miles, 50 miles, but he’s up to 205 miles now. I think that that’s just crazy. That’s what I’m like, I’m not doing that. I like David Goggins, but I’m not doing that. Yeah. You don’t, you know, you don’t want to cast your mind that badly. There’s some other way to do that. So we always asked near the end of a podcast, what are your business goals? My business goal. My ultimate business goal is to help 10 million or more people to move in the direction of their ultimate goal. That’s really my ultimate thing. There’s a lot of ways I do that through the books through the podcast and I want to reach those 10 million or more people, you know where you’re at, where you’re at the moment. Not at 10 million yet.

I probably, I probably need to figure out a way to get an exact count. But definitely just thousands and thousands. I mean just through, you know, the internet and all these different mediums, a specific goal, which is good. Some people when they give the answer that it’s kind of like generalised, you’ve got specific goal. Have you got a date on it? What I would say within the next five years. Okay. Yeah. I just try to think In like five-year windows. So I think that’s a long enough time. So I’m thinking within the next one and I just think it’s extremely possible. Oh, definitely possible with the internet. Right? Sure. Well, thank you very much for all the information. I think it’s been a good talk and you’re welcome anytime. Where’s the best place for people to find you? It didn’t go to my website, the discipline of now dot com and they can pick up a copy of the book. It’s in the book. Is the discipline of now 12 practical principles to overcome procrastination. It’s an audio paperback and e-book format as well.

Okay. Eric Twiggs, Thank you very much for being on the podcast.

Thank you for having me.

All right, speak to you soon. Thank you.