How do you slow down? What are your non-negotiables? How can you use the principles of “adding” and “subtracting” to optimize and uplift your weekends?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok discusses How to Slow Down from Thursday is the New Friday.
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In This Podcast
- Joe’s tips for slowing down
- Add and subtract
- Rein in your schedule
- The first step to moving towards freedom in your schedule
Joe’s tips for slowing down
Doing your best work is only truly possible when you have taken care of yourself. You can do work, but not at your best when you are stressed out and maxed out. You do your best work when you have slept well, eaten good food, and have given your body and mind a chance to rest.
Put hard boundaries in place
These are your non-negotiables that you stick to and protect. They could be:
- Not working on a Friday
- Not answering general emails over weekends
- Sticking to a weekly creative hobby
Put soft boundaries in place
These are things that are important to you, but that you are willing to work on if it is necessary. They could be:
- Helping out with an emergency at work
- Then finding a way to prevent it from happening again in the future
Finding those hard and soft boundaries [are] some of the first steps to really start moving towards having more of a slow-down lifestyle. (Joe Sanok)
Add and subtract
Over your upcoming weekends, add something and subtract something.
Add something into your weekend plans that is going to light you up and make you excited, something that is for you.
Then, subtract something from your schedule that you normally do over weekends that makes you feel drained and depleted. If it is something that is necessary to get done, find ways to change them up a bit or try to have someone do it for you.
Rein in your schedule
If you find yourself working constantly but not getting anything done, scrambling from item to item on your checklist, and feeling drained at the end of the week: stop it. Change it up, and rein it in.
Find your non-negotiables and change the rest because it is possible for you to get to everything without sacrificing your mental and physical well-being.
- Taking Fridays off from noon
- Not working on Fridays at all
- Taking Wednesday off and working the following two days
It doesn’t really matter exactly how you structure it. Just do some experiments to see for a couple [of] months if you rein your schedule in differently if you actually are less productive, or if you are more productive because I bet that you’re actually going to be more productive in fewer hours. (Joe Sanok)
The first step to moving towards freedom in your schedule
To see change externally in your life, you need to start internally with yourself.
Thursday is the New Friday discusses the internal inclinations of top-performers, slowing down and clearing your mind to enter a space where you can truly absorb new knowledge and achieve new insights.
These three internal inclinations are:
- Having an outsider perspective
- Having the ability to move on it
The key is that real productivity comes from organizing your internal world, which is what your external world will manifest itself from. Getting your mindset, health, and creativity up to strength and speed will help you to create truly meaningful change in your life.
If we can do that internal work first, it allows us, when we enter into the other skills, to be more prepared. That soil is ready to grow versus “I’m just going to jump into the end-goal of productivity.” (Joe Sanok)
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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.
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Oh, my word, Tuesday, Tuesday is when Thursday is the New Friday comes out. It couldn’t have been a Thursday. All book releases happen on a Tuesday. Would have been awesome if it was a Thursday, but on Tuesday, October 5th, Thursday is the New Friday hits the shelves, hits everywhere. There is so much amazing media. CNBC’s making it, Harvard Business Review, Smart Passive Income, EO Fire, The One Thing podcast, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Bloomberg News. So many things are covering Thursday is the New Friday and honestly, this could not come at a more timely time. I don’t know how it was for you during the pandemic of 2020. But it made me continue to say, why do I do what I do even down to just the level of socialization that just used to happen in my life where it was like, do I really want this?
The amount that I and my girls now pay attention to our bodies to say, like, what do I really want here has been really remarkable. Even this last weekend we were looking at what we wanted to do for the weekend and I said to the girls, “Well, what do you want to do. We could have adventures. We could go places.” And they said, “We kind of just feel like sitting at home.” It’s really interesting to see, especially because we took this mega road trip and their mom’s moved to California and there’s all these things that have shifted in their life. It’s really been quite a transition for all of us and to just allow that to unfold for them and to allow the pace. Like on Friday, my youngest kid went to bed at 8:30 and she woke up at 10:45 the next day. Her little body just needed to slow down after the first week of school.
They wanted to straighten up the house and they wanted to play Mario Cart and just play outside at home. And I wanted to do, because it was one of the last warm Northern Michigan days of the summer, I wanted to go in the water. “Let’s go to the beach.” They said, “No.” I said, “Well, dad really wants to go to the beach.” So I just need a quick dip because I tend to be, when it comes to swimming, like a dunker, not a swimmer, I can go in, go under and then get out. That’s good enough for me. I’ve always been that way. I’ve never been like a lounge in the water unless it’s like a perfect temperature. I need it to be like really warm or a warm day where the water is just, you can just stay in it forever. I don’t really like cold water.
So the girls stayed in truck and they looked down this little walkway and I run down, jumped in the water, get back in the truck. We live only a handful of blocks from the water. We didn’t feel like biking. So there’s just those times that you’ve got to listen to your body. So lately I’ve been trying to find things to do that while they want to be home, that I’m content doing. That’s not just my phone. So there’s some new books that I got. I started watercolor painting that I’ve been putting on our Instagram a little bit and learning November Rain, the classic guns and roses song on the piano. And I am not really trained in piano. So I’ve been learning that. I learned how to play shake it off by, I almost said Brittany Spears by, oh my gosh, Taylor Swift on the guitar, same three chords over and over. So that was really easy because I already play guitar.
But it’s like these things that then allow my brain to rest make it so I can just absolutely kill it later on when I need to do these bigger things. So in this middle section of Thursday is the New Friday, the first section, we really talk about your internal inclinations, how time is made up, then we move into talking about slowing down. It’s really interesting having hosted Slow Down School for a number of years in a row and then 2020 and 2021 had to skip that. Most likely we’re going to be offering that in 2022. We’ve realized that it’s socially distanced enough and as long as people aren’t sharing rooms like they did in the past, or if they do make sure that those folks are COVID tested and who knows what summer 2022 will look like. But we’re really planning on that. So if you are interested in coming to Slow Down School, make sure you go over to slowdownschool.com and get on the interest list and then when tickets open we’ll let you know right away that the tickets have opened.
It’s just this fun, fun event where people fly into Northern Michigan. I pick them up in a big yellow school bus. I mean, I don’t pick them up. We have a bus driver that does, so a bus driver and myself, pick them up in a big yellow school bus from the Traverse City airport, drive about an hour out to lake Michigan and have this beautiful campus right on the water. There’s a river that cuts through the campus and we have an executive chef that the place where we stay has, that has partnerships with farmers. They know where every carrot has come from. We had one lady who is a vegan and said it was some of the best vegan food she had ever had and another lady that was on the keto diet, the Stephen ketosis all week long. So good food.
Then for two days we go hiking and bring in a massage therapist and yoga teacher and we genuinely slow down and we only pull out our phones to take pictures. It’s one of those things where it’s interesting to watch how at the beginning people are kind of antsy. They’re like, “Oh, I want to get started. I want to start working on my business.” And then that’s like Sunday night and Monday a little antsy, but like, let’s go for some hikes and then by Tuesday it’s like their faces change. They’re just these like radiant balls of light that are just like, oh my gosh, I could just do this forever, just skip stones and hanging out on the beaches of Northern Michigan and just relax.
It’s like for once they don’t have to do dishes, they don’t have to worry about kids, they don’t have to worry about laundry. They can just be around inspiring people and just chillax with them. It’s pretty amazing to see. But then on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning, we run full tilt towards their businesses. To see some of the things that have happened, one story I tell in Thursday is the New Friday, some day I’ll get down how to say it in my own book’s name, silly Joe, Thursday is the New Friday, in that book releasing October 5th, I tell the story of Michael Glavin, who is this amazing therapist out of the Chicago area. He has a group practice that focuses on couples and this guy had just developed such a cool way that was so effective with working with couples.
He was in a mastermind group and he’d been working on his business, but he really wanted to kind of level up and start talking more about kind of the couples work and go more national and do all these things. But within the mastermind group, there’d always be something that got in the way. So he came to Slow Down School, he slowed down, he pushed himself in so many different ways and then we were focusing on sprints. So I kind of walk people through the sprint structure and how to find your sprint type and all these different things and we talk in a group of what am I going to achieve in the next 20 minutes and then you go off and you do it, and then you come back and report out.
So in 120 minute time, Michael sketched out nine chapters of his book and gave three to five points under each one. It was like by slowing down, his brain just unleashed this great positive energy for what he needed to be working on. So it’s interesting to see how it feels so unproductive. You know, yesterday I was playing Mario Kart with my daughters, we spent a little bit of time outside, we worked on building a fence, and so I did some things for my body. I ate relatively healthy, but it doesn’t feel like that’s helpful for work. It feels like that’s just, it is what it is. But the reality is is that when we actually slow down, when we get good sleep, when we get good food in our bodies. When we aren’t stressed out and maxed out we actually do better work than if we are stressed out and maxed out.
So how do you do that? Well, first there’s a couple of techniques I want to talk through. So first having hard and soft boundaries. So what are some hard boundaries? So for myself, a hard boundary is if one of you reached out at practiceofthepractice.com/apply and you applied to do consulting with me and you said, I can only work with you on Fridays, I would always say no. I mean, I wrote a book about not working on Fridays and why the four-day work week is for society. I can’t then turn around and work on Fridays. So I would have a hard boundary around that. Whereas a soft boundary, if Jess, my director of details said to me, “You know what, Joe? Practice of the Practice is on fire. Things are going crazy. There’s this big emergency.” I’m not going to say, “Oh, Jess, you just like, let it burn until Monday morning.”
No, I’m going to help put it out and then we would reverse engineer it. What happened? Why am I the only one that could help solve that? What sort of things do we have at our disposal that could have helped solve it? Why did this happen? Is there a way to prevent it? So we would reverse engineer how to make sure that in the future, hopefully that sort of thing doesn’t happen again. So that’d be a soft boundary. Other things are like every Wednesday night I’m part of an improv troupe. So I go to improv every Wednesday night. That’s a non-negotiable, that’s a hard boundary. My parents watch the girls, they have that in their calendar, I go do that every single Wednesday. I laugh harder on those Wednesdays with those improvs than I do all the rest of the week. And it’s just so much fun. Everything in my life just disappears for that hour and a half. So finding those hard and soft boundaries is one of the first steps to really start moving towards having more of a slowdown lifestyle.
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[JOE SANOK] Then one thing that I often recommend to people is for your next weekend, add something and subtract something, add something in, subtract something. So add something in that is going to light you up is going to make you excited. So it could be that there’s an outdoor concert that you want to go listen to, maybe it’s having coffee with a friend at an outdoor coffee shop, maybe it’s just having some alone time to read for a couple hours or to go sketch outside or go for a hike. Find that one thing that if you put that in your weekend, you’re going to feel so much happier and then subtract one thing. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to think about what are some things that are ultra draining for me. So maybe you have a toxic friend that you’re getting together with, but you always leave feeling like trash. I give you permission to cancel that time with that person. You don’t have to be, have people just like poop on you and make you feel like junk. You don’t have to have toxic friendships.
Setting limits in those friendships is better for you and it’s better for them to not be enabling that inappropriate behavior. Maybe it’s that there’s things that just drain you more than you think that they should, like thinking about mowing the lawn or raking the leaves. Maybe the idea of going and spending three hours to get groceries between driving there, parking, fighting the crowds, getting your groceries, bringing them back, all that maybe it’s like, for the 20 bucks, it might cost with a tip to have that brought to your house might be worth it. And that person would really appreciate doing that as well. Now it doesn’t always have to be money, but if we remove something from our weekend to give ourselves permission, to have it be not as draining and we add something in and it just makes it more exciting over time, we start to really build up some momentum there where we realize, oh, I didn’t really care that much about having my groceries delivered, but by having somebody mow my lawn, that was amazing. So maybe we start to think that way in a way that you’re just optimizing your weekend to be able to really enjoy it.
And then the third thing I would encourage you to do in regards to slowing down is to start reigning in your schedule. If you’re working five days a week, stop it. It is not effective. We know that, especially those last few hours of your week, you are not that productive. You are way less productive than you think you are. So I would start to reign it in and that may look like every other Friday, you’re going to take off at noon or every other Friday you’re going to just take Friday off. Maybe it’s going to be Wednesday. So you work two, have a day off, work two. It doesn’t really matter exactly how you structure it. Just do some experiments to see for a couple months if you reign your schedule indifferently, if you actually are less productive or if you’re actually more productive.
Because my bet is that it’s going to be that you’re actually more productive in fewer hours if you’re following what we’re talking about in Thursday is the New Friday. So we are going to play a clip from the Thursday is the New Friday podcast. This is a new podcast. The first season of 20 plus episodes is Angie Morgan interviewing me with the behind the scenes and application of Thursday is the New Friday. Angie is a New York Times bestselling author of the book Spark. She has another book coming out called Bet On Yourself, or bet on you. So she’s just an amazing lady that I know. She has been such a behind the scenes coach and just saying to me, “Joe, you can do this.” We know each other from Traverse City and it’s been so great to get to know her. So without any further ado here is that episode from Thursday is the New Friday the podcast.
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] So what’s the first step? So again, you start the book saying that this thing that we call time, that we’re so like wedded to and stressed often about is a complete construct. And then you talk about a mindset shift where you can accommodate more of your whole life needs into what it is you call time. What’s the first step then into really starting to move towards more freedom with your schedule and more empowerment with your time?
[JOE] So I would say that, if we just kind of go big picture with the flow, we have to start internally before we ever do anything external. Because if you read a productivity book and you haven’t done the inner work already, you’re going to take a good plan, but it’s not going to match you because you haven’t done your inner work yet. So that’s why in the book I start with your internal inclinations and then as we move out where we then look at slowing down and why really having your mind be clear before you enter into the productivity or working harder and then moving into just killing it when you’re back in business, like you’re going to kill it. But most people will read a productivity book and then they’ll try to implement it, but they haven’t done that inner work and so it doesn’t work.
They say, “I’m going to throw out whatever the book is. This doesn’t work for me.” Or they’ll read some self-development book that’s super woo-woo, manifest it, put a vision board, but don’t do any work and then you wonder why you don’t get all those things that are on your vision board. So what I like about this model is that it kind of brings all of that together, where you have that self-development inside first, move into slow down and then move into killing it. So step one to me would be doing some inner work around just kind of who you are and even just evaluating, why am I doing what I’m doing and then we walk through your internal inclinations.
The three big ones that research points to is curiosity, an outsider perspective, and then the ability to move on it. So I take curiosity back to when I was talking about my daughters and nieces, looking at this mouse. There’s this dead mouse in our yard, and they’re all standing around it in a circle and they’re wondering, they’re saying, “What happens next?” How often as adults do we allow ourselves to get into that, like, why is this happening? What’s going on here instead of this past fail mentality we often get into? So something shifts in most adults as they move into adulthood and I think a lot of it’s our higher education where you write a paper and then you turn it in and you pass or you fail. You went to the writing center and you do your best job, but the way that life and business more often is, is something occurs and then if we take a healthy approach to it, we say, “Well, what happened there? I ran this Facebook ads campaign and it was a total flop. I spent all this money and we didn’t get any new customers. Okay, I have data now about my customers, I have data about what works, what doesn’t work versus, oh man, I’m a big failure and somehow that reflects who I am as a person.” And then we personalize it inappropriately. So if we can do that internal work first, it allows us then as we enter into the other skills to be more prepared. That soil is, is ready to grow versus I’m just going to jump into the kind of end goal of productivity.
[ANGIE] I hear you entirely and I agree. I always love that phrase, your thoughts become your beliefs, become your behaviors. So without like digging in and taking a thought and really just staring it down and just being curious about like, why do I think that this is the way it is? Or why am I doing what it is that I’m doing? Or even just some of your habits and your patterns, and just really analyze them because you need to get by and the change is needed. And I think about the why of this book. In my world is coaching. What I’ve talked to a lot with people now in this environment is that they have so many different unchecked behaviors that they just fell into, that they finally got a chance to examine, and they just realize, like, “I don’t want the sum of my days to lead to a burnt out warrior, crushing it for a company, but killing myself in the process.” So just kind of examining their mindset around that. So I love the inner work first.
[JOE] There’s a section where I talk about how we overvalue work and undervalue fun and how often we put so much of whether it’s our ego or our self-worth into the work we do, which I would hope everyone has the ability to do work, that they love, that they feel is contributing to the world. There’s nothing wrong with that. But oftentimes it’s at the expense of fun and connections with family and things like that. And I remember Jay Papasan, who is one of the coauthors of The ONE Thing, he did a TEDx talk that I was able to see, and the big thing that stood out in that for me was he was saying how old are your kids? I think at the time my kids were eight and four. He said, think about how many more spring breaks you have with your kids.
It was just such a like gut punch, where to really think through, okay, so my eight year old at the time, I might have 10 more spring break. When she’s 18, is she really going to want to hang out with me on spring break? Probably not. So I might have eight more spring breaks. And just that idea of picking moments where it’s like this, these kid’s going to grow up. I have eight solid spring breaks left. Why would I just sit around on a spring break? I’m not saying everyone has to like fly somewhere and do something amazing. You can do something local that doesn’t cost a lot, that’s epic, that’s really interesting. So I took this mindset. I took my girls on a two-week road trip in California. I didn’t put any of this in the book because the book was like already done. So we decided that we were going to go to Death Valley, Kings Canyon, Sequoia Yosemite.
We went whale watching in Monterrey into this great two week trip, the three of us. At the beginning of it, I said to myself, “I’m so sick of parent fighting with this six- and ten-year-old over food and other things.” So I said, “Okay, we’ve got some new rules for this trip. The first rule is that we’re never in so much of a hurry, that one of us can’t yell, pull over. If you see something cool, you just call pull over and the other two people have to deal with it. Because if there’s something that you want to see that bad, let’s go see it.” So it was just like chilling out the pace of a trip.
I mean, trips for most family are like, “We’ve got to get to the hotel. We’ve got to unpack.” And it’s just not worth the stress. The second rule I said to them was you can eat anything you want whenever you want, as long as you listen to your body because I was just sick of the fights over, “I want sugar. I don’t want it.” You know all that parenting stuff. And then the third thing was that every night we would, all these little doughnut glasses that I bought in the dollar store and I said every night for one minute, the person with the doughnut glasses on gets to make everyone else dance or do whatever you want. So it was just one little way for a moment in time to say, this wasn’t spring break, but it was like a unique trip for the three of us.
And to just say, this is going to be different. This is going to be memorable. I think that when we do things like that, whether it’s in our social lives or in our work it allows us to then get a glimpse into life is meant to be enjoyable and fun and impactful. We’re supposed to help people that are oppressed or however you view the world. It was a glimpse into girls, this is the kind of life that the Sanok family values. So it’s teaching them, but it’s also teaching myself in saying this two weeks was one of the most amazing two weeks of my whole fatherhood. So now do I want to go back and just hustle and work? No, I now have an anchor point that I can go back to and say, if I just hustle and work, I miss out on those types of experiences personally. My daughters do too. So I think that when we do these experiments, both in our business, but then also in our personal lives, it then allows us to unlock this potential where we’re like, oh, that’s what I’m missing by running my life in this ridiculous way that everyone else wants to do. It is a super long-winded answer to that.
[ANGIE] I love that story. It just reminds me too, just how I am, my sister called me the fun governor growing up. What was the name of the cruise director on the Love Boat? She also calls me that too. I can’t remember off the top of my head. Because I grew up really, my fundamental years were spent in the Marine Corps. So going through a very, very, very structured environment and then going to work in a large corporation and now being a business owner, I do structure my life. But I do find when I pull the thread and things become unraveled, I’m in this whole different area and it’s a little scary, but it’s kind of exciting too when you know your world just kind of gets a little bit unsettled.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I know that running a private practice is really hard work.
Fortunately, Gusto makes the payroll part easy. On top of that, Gusto offers flexible benefits, simple onboarding and so much more. And right now our listeners get three months free. Gusto is what I personally use with Practice of the Practice. So go on over to gusto.com/joe to get those three free months. Again, that’s gusto.com/joe.
Have you ordered your copies yet of Thursday is the New Friday? Time is taking down for you to get free access to Killin’It Camp, our free online conference, over 30 hours of teachers going through the pillars of practice, ways to grow a private practice, and multiple streams of income. This is $197 conference that you get absolutely free when you buy five books. You can buy audio, you can buy digital, in-person print ones, whichever you want and then just go and submit your receipt over at thursdayisthenewfriday.com. You can buy different types. So if you buy different types, just put that in the notes over at thursdaysandyourfriday.com when you fill out your receipt there.
If you get five, you get access to Killin’It Camp. If you get 10, you get access to a six-week mastermind group that I am doing starting the first Thursday in November, going for six weeks. We’re skipping over Thanksgiving. So it’s actually seven weeks if skip Thanksgiving. That’s going to be starting at noon Eastern every Thursday. So make sure you sign up for that. The only way to get into that mastermind group is to buy 10 books. And let me tell you, there are going to be some top amazing people in there. I know when I was in the mastermind group with John Lee Dumas, the people I met there just helped me level up so much faster. A bunch of them bought books from me after being in there.
So if you have projects you’re working on or things, it’s a great way to network with other people. We’re not just going to be going through the book. We’re going to be creating a community, helping you connect with others, really level up in that six week period of time together. I’m going to be leading every single one of them. It’s not me outsourcing it. It’s literally me showing up every Thursday at noon to hang out with you. So it’s going to be amazing. Make sure you get your 10 books. And then if you get 25 bucks, we not only give you access to all of those things, but we also are going to be hosting a half-day conference just for you hanging out with me and a small group of people.
Now that was something we were going to do right before Killin’It Camp before we had to reschedule it. We’re still figuring out how that’s going to be. We really want it to be in-person. So we’ll probably do like a half day before one of our other events but we’ll coordinate with that group of people to make sure that it’s in a reasonable place. So we may do it in a central location in United States, or maybe we’ll plan something sweet and go to some other country. Who knows? I’ll just coordinate with the people that buy 25 books because we anticipate that that’s going to be a smaller group of people that are really devoted and dedicated and want to hang out. So make sure you get your books and then submit that receipt over at thursdayisthenewfriday.com.
Thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain. Go make Thursday is the New Friday.
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. This 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.