How does one get into the flow state? What is your sprint type? What can you do to increase focus throughout each task you work on?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks about what Thursday Is The New Friday can teach you about having an efficient work ethic.
Podcast Sponsor: Thursday Is The New Friday
Thursday is the New Friday empowers you with a practical, evidence-based methodology to create your own work schedule and dedicate more of your precious personal time to pursuing your hobbies and spending time with your family and friends.
Be sure to get the bonus pre-sale offer when you buy 5, 10, or 25+ books you get a ticket to Killin’It Camp (Lodging, travel, and food not included), Make Thursday the New Friday a Reality Workbook PDF, First chapter of Thursday is the New Friday to begin reading immediately and so much more!!!
In This Podcast
- Vigilance decrement
- How to set up your environment to jump into the flow state
- Sprint types
The idea of vigilance decrement is that when you’re in a tough task, when you’re doing emails too long, when you’re planning out things, the way you pay attention towards the end of that task is typically worse than how you paid attention at the beginning. (Joe Sanok)
Recent studies have shown that vigilance decrement is quickly remedied by taking a one-minute break between tasks or at least every 20-minutes.
Take a break by trying out some of these activities instead of looking at your phone:
- Taking a walk around your property or the block
- Petting the dog
- Doing a quick stretch
- Going outside
How to set up your environment to jump into the flow state
Protect your brain in the morning: when you are working on your task, try to steer clear of social media or watching the news before you start so that you keep your mind focused and your own ideas at the forefront.
Eat a healthy breakfast: feed your body with nutritious food to benefit your overall well-being and the health of your brain.
Set up the physical environment:
- Change the lighting
- Reposition your chair
- Listen to certain playlists
When you are wanting to enter the flow state, layout your space accordingly, as this will help your mind associate this type of environment with going into deep work.
Set a timer: give yourself a set amount of time to fully focus on one aspect.
A lot of times people sprint or batch and try to get things done but it just doesn’t work for them – just like personality types. If you don’t understand your personality type it’s harder to do things, [this is] the same with your sprint types … are you a time-block sprinter or a task-switch sprinter? (Joe Sanok)
Time-block sprinter: Someone who works on one task for a minimum of one hour to a maximum of four hours.
Task-switch sprinter: Someone who needs variety, and who can work on multiple tasks consecutively over a period.
Another important sprint factor is timing. When do you sprint?
Automated sprinter: someone who repeats the same task every week at the same time until it has been completed.
Intensive sprinter: someone who goes to a different environment to complete their work.
Books mentioned in this episode:
Useful Links mentioned in this episode:
- Purchase 10 copies of the book to gain access to the Mastermind group for 6 weeks. Submit your receipt to Thursday is The New Friday
- Slow Down School
Check out these additional resources:
- How To Slow Down: Thursday Is The New Friday | POP 615
- Apply to work together
- Pillars of Practice
- Sign up for Next Level Practice
- Events – click on the event’s dropdown
- Sign up to join the free webinars and events here
- Podcast Launch School
- Practice of the Practice Podcast Network
- Free resources to help you start, grow, and scale
- Apply to work with us
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media by clicking on one of the social media links below! Alternatively, leave a review on iTunes and subscribe!
I’m Joe Sanok, your host and welcome, welcome, welcome. Man, today is the day. It is October 5th, and we are talking about how to kill it and make Thursday the new Friday. I am so excited. It’s crazy. I finished this book more than a year ago, and now today it’s available worldwide. You can download the eBook, the audio book, you can also get your copies of the tangible book whether it’s Amazon or target or your local bookstore. You can go get those today. This week, our goal is to hit 10,000 sales and at the time of this recording, we were on track for that, for New York times best selling status.
This week is a crazy week. Let me pull up a little bit of my schedule. So let’s see, today got all sorts of things going live. We’ve got on BYU radio, The Lisa Show on XM. We’ve also got tomorrow, I’m going to be speaking at Ivy, which is a digital event that is now going to be online. So I’m not going to be in New York for that. As well, I’m going to be on Bloomberg News tomorrow. So catch that at 4.30 Eastern. That’s a live show on Bloomberg News. Thursday, have some things coming in, the Success IQ podcast interview. As well LinkedIn is bringing me in on Thursday for a LinkedIn Live, going to be on the Front Row Dads’ podcast, and then actually on Friday going to be on Good Morning, Washington. So if you’re in the Washington DC area, you’ll be able to check that out, going to be hanging out there.
And then the PR companies getting all sorts of craziness going around the podcast. So they’re getting some last minute things. The media landscape right now, it’s crazy. Basically, unless it has to do with Afghanistan or COVID there’s very little that’s going on in the news cycle, other than that, which obviously, those are really big stories. But my PR company keeps trying to wiggle their way in to talk about Thursday is the New Friday, but who knows? So it’s great to push as hard as we could with over 200 media appearances and then boom, here we are. Today’s the day. So we’re going to talk about how to kill it, a little bit of things from the book, but even more so just things that I do in my regular life.
So we’ve talked about slowing down and how important that is. But once you get into actually killing it and getting things done, we want to get as much done as possible. So there’s a study I talk about in the book from the University of Illinois, where they look at vigilance decrement. So if you’ve watched my Ted talk, I talked a little bit about that, vigilance decrement, how well you pay attention going down over time. So the idea of vigilance decrement is that when you’re in a tough task, when you’re doing emails too long, when you’re planning out things, the way you pay attention towards the end of that task is typically worse than how you pay attention at the beginning. So they actually found through the research and through a number of studies that I go into that if you just take a one minute break, every 20 minutes, move your body, don’t look at screens go up and down the stairs, step outside, it totally removes vigilance decrement. Totally removes it.
That’s just crazy. I mean, when you look at the Iceland study where they did 32-hour weeks you think about going from 40 hours to 32. That’s a 20% drop. So there should be 20% more productivity in a 40-hour week. But the research actually showed that people were more productive with a 32-hour week. So that means that that last eight hours is totally a waste of time. That’s time that you are not doing anything productive. So we want to look at when you actually kill it, how do you set up your environment first and foremost, to be able to jump into flow state faster? So when I was working on the book, one thing that I did is I really used neuroscience I was learning and applied it right away.
So I would protect my brain in the morning, make sure I didn’t see any news or look at any texts. I’d eat a healthy breakfast and healthy smoothie and green tea and get myself ready for the day. I would change the lighting in my office to make it lighting for writing. I would move the chair I wrote in to a different spot of the room to trigger that that’s the spot that I write in. As well I had headphones that I only used when I was writing and listened to a playlist that I only listened to when I was writing. So when I hear writers talk about how they need to have all of this kind of startup warmup time to get the brain going, sure, you may be a little bit but to really be able to think through that process of how do I use this neuroscience to trigger the brain to say, oh, it’s time to write was so helpful for me.
So other things when you’re killing it is just set a timer, give yourself a limited period of time to just work on something. So to give yourself 15 or 20 minutes, say, I am going to focus fully on this blog post. I’m going to focus fully on this podcast. I’m going to focus on sketching out a process within my business. That’s going to save me tons of time. That is so helpful to take that time, to really be able to kill it. The last thing that we want to think about is you sprint types. So your sprint types is something that we discovered as we were examining the research in regards to that, a lot of times people sprint or batch or try to get things done, but it just doesn’t work for them. And just like personality types, if you don’t understand your personality type, it’s harder to do things same with your sprint types.
So first we want to think about, are you a time block sprinter or a task switch sprinter? So a time block sprinter is a person that has one task they’re working on for a minimum of an hour and usually a maximum of four hours. So I’m going to work on podcasting all morning long, or I’m going to work on writing the book all morning long, and I’m going to do 20 to 30 minute sprints that I just go full tilt. So that’s going to be a time block sprinter, whereas a task switch sprinter is someone that needs that variety. So maybe you do a 20-minute sprint around getting some emails done then you do a 20-minute sprint around podcasting, then a 20-minute sprint where you’re working with your team and then another one around sketching out blog posts. Some people need that variety within their sprints.
Then the other part of your sprint type is when do you sprint. Are you an automated sprinter or an intensive sprinter? So an automated sprinter repeats every single week at the same time. So for me, that was every Thursday I worked on the book, wrote it, wrote it, wrote it every Thursday, whereas an intensive speaker, I’m sorry, an intensive sprinter is someone that needs to go away. So Dr. Jeremy Sharp from the Testing Psychologist podcast, he’s someone I talk about in the book and he goes away to an Airbnb, gets a whole bunch of different tasks done so he does the task switching there. He finds an Airbnb that’s a walking distance to a vegan restaurant. He looks at the menu ahead of time so he doesn’t have decision making fatigue. He makes sure there’s an outdoor space. So an intensive person might need to get away to go work on things.
So understanding that about yourself is so important. And we walk through all sorts of different things that you can try for yourself to get more done in a shorter period of time throughout Thursday is the New Friday. So what are you doing to limit your schedule? Another thing is to make sure you’re studying hard and soft boundaries around your schedule. What are things you never do and then what are some things that are more aspirational? Those are the things that are going to help you just get to the next level.
Well, at this point we’re going to have Mitch, my sound engineer, he’s going to bring in some audio from the new Thursday is the new Friday podcast. This podcast has gone live. You can check it out. We have 22 episodes in the first season that are going to be releasing over the next month or so, really going behind the scene. I hang out with Angie Morgan, New York’s best selling author. She interviews me about Thursday is the New Frida. So they’re short bite size, little episodes, usually eight to 10 minutes long going into one aspect of the book and kind of going beyond what the book talks about. So without any further IDO here is that segment from the new Thursday is the new Friday podcast.
[JOE] Welcome to Thursday is the new Friday, the podcast. That’s all about how the 40-work week will help you to work fewer hours, make more money and spend time doing what you want.
[ANGIE MORGAN] And it opens up your mind too, and I think that’s, I want to go back to the curiosity point because I see that. When you’re in the grind, you’re not using your mind. You’re not pausing long enough to nurture, you know what we value most in the knowledge economy is our mind. So how do you become more curious? Because I hear that in businesses, right now a lot of businesses are trying to innovate faster, they want better ideas, they want more ways to engage their employees. It just takes a lot of mind work and thought to do that, but how do you nurture curiosity within yourself?
[JOE] I would start with, I like that you say within yourself, because a lot of times it’ll be, top-down, it’ll be the C-suite saying we need to get a more curious staff. It doesn’t usually work that way as much as internally someone saying, I want to build my curiosity. The first thing I would say is really making sure that we can slow down. And we know this intuitively. The best ideas we have aren’t when we’re usually stressed out. You might be taking a shower or meditating or going for a long drive without the radio on and your brain just kind of bounces all over and you start making those connections differently than you normally would. I think a lot of times people think that a new idea has to be something that’s brand new, but more times than not, it’s building on something else.
remember I was at an event that Rob bell put on and he was talking about how it’s often taking clouds and stringing them together. And I love that visual of okay, there’s elements that have never been brought together. So even thinking about the story of Uber when the two founders were, I think they’re in Paris and it was raining and they were like, “This is so ridiculous that there’s not something that can get us a taxi right now.” So they brought together things that all already existed. You know, GPS existed, people had smartphones, it was on-demand like movies and all sorts of other things on demand. They took all these building blocks that were already created and just said, we’re sick of standing in the rain for a taxi. This is ridiculous. And then they brought it together into this platform that’s a multi-million or billion dollar company now.
So I would say our best ideas and best curiosity comes when we’re putting ourselves in unique situations to see how other people do things that you can bring back into your industry. So too often, we get in these silos of, I just go to the counseling conference and I just hang out with counselors and just network with counselors. And it’s all therapists, therapists, therapists in my world, but there’s some amazing ideas that are in the IT world, that are in the business world, that are all over the place. To just take that one idea and say, well, how would I adapt that to the counseling world could totally change the whole counseling world. I mean, my podcast, I was listening to tons of business podcasts and there were no counseling podcasts at the time. And I just said, what if I took kind of this basic model of interviewing people, but then always put it through the lens of a counseling practice? So from day one, it was the number one podcast for counselors because there was nobody else.
[ANGIE] Because you it was the only one.
[JOE] And even if someone outranks me, I’m still the oldest, the longest lasting podcast. So I think that in slowing down and then observing how other people are doing things, and that’s kind of where the whole outsider’s perspective also helps people innovate quicker is that when you’re just always in either the same culture or mindset or business, you only see things a certain way. It’s really hard to break out of that. But if you even put yourself in situations where you feel very different, where you feel like out of the box and going to another country, or you’re getting to know people that are different from you, it’s just fun to meet different people and you then unlock parts of your brain that can really help you see things differently.
[ANGIE] And this is connected to it, and I think it was later on in the book too, it’s when you stretch out of your comfort zone and are not into the panic zone, but in the discomfort zone. That’s when some of your best work happens. And that was again later in the book, but that really struck a chord. It’s like when you’re prepared enough, perhaps to do the task, but not prepared to do it with excellence, that’s you really push yourself into something significant.
[JOE] Yes. I remember I had this supervisor, it was right before I got licensed as a counselor. This has been taught by lots of people, but he was the one that brought it to me. It was that you don’t know what you don’t know is like your first phase of, for him, he was talking about therapy, but it applies to everything. It’s like, then you know what you don’t know. So it’s like, well, I am crappy at counseling. I need to read some books and then the next phase is you don’t know what you know. So it’s like, wow, I really moved into some things here that like I’m doing, but I don’t really, like, you don’t even have the awareness that you’re good at certain things and then finally you know what you know.
And I think that second phase of knowing what you don’t know is when you see so much growth where initially you don’t even know what you don’t know. So you learn just enough to be dangerous and then you move into that next phase where you realize I need to do some work here. That’s where you become like very voracious in how you’re reading or taking in information. It’s this sweet spot that’s really important to kind of lock into, because curiosity, it’s interesting, in the book, to dug into the different types of curiosity and why people get curious and the different elements of curiosity, just because it is something that we hear, but we don’t really break down and say, “Well, what does this actually look like for ourselves?”
So I think even just that model of like, I know what I don’t know, and I need to like learn a lot more really quickly, that’s a really important thing to have a realization around. But then if we move into how do corporations do that? I mean, there’s lots of different experiments that corporations have done, whether it’s the 20% time of Google or other things. But I think the big thing is allowing your staff to step back and evaluate a problem from their own perspective and not just to get the approval of the higher ups. I think that’s going to be an element that we see organizations shift from kind of this industrialist mindset into more of an evolutionary mindset.
[JOE] Are you going to make Thursday the new Friday? I would love for you to join our mastermind group that we are hosting starting the first Thursday in November. I am so excited about this mastermind group. We’ve got tons of amazing podcasters, therapists, counselors, influencers that are joining this group. All you have to do is purchase 10 copies of the book. I know a bunch of you bought five copies to get to Killin’It Camp. All you have to do is buy five more and then you get access to this mastermind group. So the way it works is we’re going to be meeting everything Thursday for six Thursdays. We’re going to skip Thanksgiving. So it’s actually seven Thursdays, but we’ll be meeting six times from 12 to one Eastern, every single Thursday. And that mastermind group, what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be talking about concepts from the book Thursday is the New Friday.
Then we’re going to be doing a couple hot seats with some people to really dig in quickly as to how they can make Thursday the new Friday. And then most importantly, you’re going to get to network with people within the group. So I’m super excited because so often in mastermind groups maybe you’re talking to the person that’s leading it, me, but you don’t really get to know the people that are in it in a deeper level. And my goal is that you leave with six to 10 new, amazing contacts, people that you could really just get to that next level with. So we have a workbook that’s going to go along with it. We’re going to have all sorts of extra things that are bonuses that go along with the Thursday is the New Friday mastermind group. So all you have to do is have what 10 books total submit your receipt over at thursdayisthenewfriday.com, let us know, and then you get to hang out with us.
So go do that. Help us all make Thursday the new Friday. This is our revolution. We are the post-pandemic generation moving away from thinking like the industrialists who saw us as robots, as machines that you can just plug in. We are changing things for our generation to have the four-day work week, be what we all move towards. So go pick up your copy of Thursday is the New Friday. Thank you so much all of you who have helped with this launch. There are so many people who have done bulk book buys of 25, 50, 75, 100 that are really trying to say, I want to help society shift and change and grow in a healthier, more creative, productive way in doing that out with the four-day work week.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Go get your Thursday is the New Friday book. I’ll talk to you soon.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.