Mindset and training our brains to think in a certain way play such a big part in our productivity. In today's episode, I'm joined by Blaine Oelkers and we're exploring the 30-minute hour and the 21 second way of forming a habit.
A fascinating discussion where I learned a lot so grab a pen and paper, clear your schedule for the next 30 minutes and join me as we learn how to be super productive and create new habits in 21 seconds and also work ‘30-minute’ hours.
[02:10] How did Blaine get into the world of productivity? What were his ‘lightbulb moments’?
[04:30] Why did Blaine decide to become a work from home dad?
[06:50] How do you influence yourself? “Selfluence”
[07:35] How to get an hour of stuff done in just 30-minutes?
[11:10] What did most people, at the end of their life, wish for?
[12:10] How to we actually achieve the 30-minute hour?
[14:00] PDF - Plan - Delegate - Focus
[20:00] How to avoid the 90-minute hour!
[23:30] The importance of batching - single tasking
[27:16] How do we make sure we don’t fall back into bad time management habits?
[32:35] How to form new habits in 21 seconds rather than 21 days
[36:47] What advice would you give your youngerself, just starting out in business?
“What you think about you bring about” - Blaine Oelkers
“Which day of the year are you 3-10 times more productive? The day before vacation!” - Blaine Oelkers
“Never let a day end without planning the next day.” - Blaine Oelkers
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Mindset and training our brains to think in a certain way play such a big part in our productivity. And in today's episode, I'm joined by Blaine Oelkers and we're talking about the 30-minute hour and the 21-second forming a habit. Such an interesting concept, and I learned an awful lot. And there are things I'm going to take away from today's podcast that I am going to be applying in my business. So grab a pen and paper, clear your schedule for the next 30 minutes and join me as we learn how to be super productive, create new habits in 21 seconds and also work 30 minutes hours now.
I know all of that sounds really far-fetched, and if I'm honest, I thought that would be the case before I interviewed Blaine. But as you will find out, he's going to give you some really practical advice on how to achieve both of these. So let's get going. I'm Rob Da Costa, and this is The Agency Accelerator podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started growing and sold my own agency and just know how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life. So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing my and my guest's experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable and enjoyable business.
So, good afternoon, everybody, and welcome to this week's episode of The Agency Accelerator podcast. Now many of us feel really overwhelmed in this on-demand World War. Trying to work 24/7. We always feel like there's just not enough time to get everything done. And this is especially true for agency owners trying to juggle so many plates. The answer isn't to run faster. It's to work smarter, to get the results that you want and take back control of your life and yourself. So I'm really excited to dig into this topic today with my guest, Blaine Oelkers.
First of all, we're going to talk a bit about the concept of the 30-minute hour and how to get some more stuff done in just 30 minutes and seven hours, and I'm also going to talk about the 213 2nd habit, which sounds really fascinating. So, Blaine, welcome to the show, and why don't we just kick off by telling you a little bit about yourself and how you got into the world of productivity and efficiency? Yes. Rob, thank you so much for having me on the show. Happy to be here.
And I just want to say thank you for the time. The effort that you put into bringing out these podcasts. I listen to a bunch of episodes, love the podcast, and I love that you're kind of giving back. You're trying to help these agency owners navigate life. And I think service too many leads to greatness, and you are experiencing some greatness by doing all this now. So that being said, I hope today, to add some value, we'll talk about how to get an hour's worth of stuff done.
Just 30 minutes. That's fun. Habits are also fun. And so for me, I live in Phoenix right now, but I was born in New Jersey, and I had a couple of moments of dawning comprehension, and this is where, like, the light bulb goes off and then you're never the same. And sometimes you make a clarifying decision based on that experience. For me, the first one occurred in college. I went to a place called Purdue University. And maybe, like many of the listeners, I've always been kind of a seeker of knowledge.
And I saw this little ad, and you could send away for an audio cassette now, probably dating myself. Some people might not even know what an audio cassette is. But in the eighties, we had them put in your Sony Walkman. But it was an audio cassette where it was the reading of this book called Think and Grow Rich. And it was read by Earl Nightingale. He actually became one of my mentors. But anyway, it was the reading of this book.
Think and grow rich. I listen to that. And then I bought the book, and I read the book. And the moment of donating comprehension was this concept of what you think about yourself brings about. It has a little acronym called White Abba. But what you think about you bring about, and I really discovered there. Luckily, I think at an early age, the power of my mind and my thoughts kind of not only dictated reality but dictated how I perceived reality and the choices I made and the decisions I made.
So a lot of stuff is your thoughts, and kind of directing those thoughts? So that was a big moment for me. The second one, which kind of led me to become a chief results officer, was that I had my degrees and computer science, and I came home from this long business trip and my son, he was one year old, and he was like, kind of like, giving me the cold shoulder and acting weird. And so I said, "Beth, you know, are you both sick or what's wrong?"
And she said, "Well, you were gone so long on that business trip that he kind of forgot who you were,". I was like, "Oh, man, that, like, emotionally hit me pretty hard." And then I realized when I was a kid, I would come home. Both my parents worked, and I came home to this empty house, which was a little scary. A lot of times, my brother wasn't there. And so that night, I made a clarifying decision. And I said, No matter what I do, I am going to become a work-from-home Dad.
And so, I started a couple of businesses that year while I kept my full-time job. So I had to have some. I learned a lot about productivity and efficiency there, but then a year later, I broke free. I left that job, and that was 27 years ago. So for the last 27 years, I've been this work-from-home work remote before. It was cool to work remotely. But what that did was that it gave me the flexibility to start to pursue what I really love, which was a kind of self-development.
And I realised that I'm here to help people take control of their lives by taking control of themselves, something I call self-influence, which you alluded to in the introduction, you know, and it's this. It's the art and science of influencing yourself. It's the power you already have to influence yourself. You don't need anything else you got right here. £3 tool is all you need. You don't need a fancy app or any other new stuff, you can do it all yourself. And so in 2009, I started this company called Cell Florence, and since then, all I've been doing is helping organisations, mastermind groups, and business owners to kind of get more from themselves.
I call it personal implementation. Getting yourself to do the things you know you should do, maybe getting yourself to stop the bad things you're doing as well. But it's all about yourself. And when you do that, which we'll talk about today, you start taking control of yourself. Everything turns out to be better. Everything starts to get better. People get nicer; people get easier to deal with when you're kind of in control of what you're doing and what you're thinking. Yes, so that sounds fascinating.
You make it sound very easy, but I'm assuming it's not that easy. Otherwise, it will be doing it. So talk to me a little bit more about how you influence yourself. Yeah, so here are a couple of things. So all we often say is powered by self-fluency. But with all the frameworks we teach you to know, everything you need is within reach. You're already doing it. That's a big key. And you can master it if you choose. But the thing is that most people underestimate their powers.
But we're gonna prove to you that you know how to do it, and you're just going to be able to do more of it. And it's going to be kind of self-evident. It's kind of fun, actually. So let's like, let's unpack one of these. Let's unpack the one you talked of, which is, you know, I'm good at naming things, right? So the 30 minutes out, right? So I had to get an hour's worth of stuff done in just 30 minutes. Now, this is a very powerful framework, and it's so powerful that Rob, I've got to make sure that we use it for good and not for evil.
And so let's say that you and I had four 30-minute hours in a row, so we have 213, 30 hours or so. We got four hours' worth of stuff done in just two hours, and that leaves us two hours of guilt-free time. Now, the type of business owner agency is going to say, "Oh, I got two extra hours. Let me work some more". No, that's the evil part. So what I want to do is I want to ask you, and I'll answer the question first.
If you had to do a guilt-free hour that you were not going to work, what would you do? And so for me, I do, you know, I enjoy it. My kids are out of the nest now. 27 years. There are, but I like to stay connected with them, so I probably reach out to the kids, you know, maybe a Facetime, maybe texting. I also like to reach out to old friends. I feel like I don't do that. And so I've had guilt-free time.
I would do that. I like my peloton bike. Probably ride that. And I do like to hike. So I would probably kind of get out in the Phoenix area and get a little hike in if I had time left over. I do like a little nap. A little 15-20 minute power nap. That's me. What about you? You have two hours of guilt-free time not working. What would you do? Yes, that's a good question. I would probably do some more self-development stuff, so I would definitely go to the gym and listen to my favourite podcasts.
I would also spend time. I work a four-day week, and I spend my fifth day working on my sort of passion project, which is my YouTube channel, which has nothing to do with work. So I will probably do more of that. And for sure, I travel more because I'm a big lover of experience over material things. So if I had that time calculator, I would travel more. I think there are plenty of things I could do with it. I had that time, but I think I put my hand up and confessed to being the evil person because I feel like when I win back time, I just find more stuff to do at work.
And it's interesting is probably advice you give as well. But, I've recorded podcasts on my four-day work week, and the only way I could eventually make that work was by filling that fifth day with stuff that wasn't non-work, and in this case, it was editing videos from my YouTube channel. But if I found personally, if I said I'm not going to work five days, eight days, and I have four days work, and then I just got 1/5 day where I think I'm going to just lounge around and do nothing.
Invariably, I would work. So that's the evil version of me coming out, I think. Yeah. But you did well to fill that fifth day with the right stuff, right? And so I do; I'm like you. I've got to have something to do every day. I'm making a plan, even if it's to do nothing, So my wife and I, you know, at least once a month, we have a do-nothing day. So we actually force ourselves to put nothing on the calendar.
Now we end up doing something. Maybe we will go to a movie. Maybe we tidy up, you know, we do something, but there's nothing that you have to do, right? So I enjoy it. Enjoy that. And you know, my wife helps me kind of to stop and smell the roses. I think the other thing that helped me the most was I studied people in the last few weeks of their life, and it was in insisting that they all said the same thing. They all said I wish I had more memorable moments with the people I love.
And so the people they love, it could be family, but it could be close friends. It could be piers that they worked with for a long time or staff that work with them but the people they love, but they wish they had more memorable moments with the people they love. So when I generate that extra time, I'm looking for that. I'm looking for those memorable moments with people I love. The only other thing they said in the last few weeks is I wish I had more impact on what I learned.
So, in other words, they wish that somehow they took their life experiences and they were able to share that to help other people to impact other people's lives. So anyway, if you can ever do more of those, any of those two things you're going to be a happy person. And certainly, no one is going to lie on their deathbed and sandwich. I will earn more money because I'll take that with you. So let's assume that we've bought into this idea of winning back time, and we're going to use that time for something that's good for our mental health.
It's nothing to do with work. How do we go about actually moving from one hour to 30 minutes and being equally productive in that 30 minutes as we were in an hour? Okay, so now, this is what we want to do. The listeners, like you, just thought of what you would do, and I want you to put some of that back into your day as you start to have these 30-minute hours. So let's talk about it. I said you're already doing it. So let's talk about the day.
Sometimes it happens more than once a year, but there's a day that people say it's their most productive day of the year, and on this day, people are 23 to 10 times more productive than ordinary day Now that's three X to 10 X. We're only looking for two extra. So this is going to be easy, actually. So do you know that day of the year when people are, you know, experiencing their highest level of productivity? Do I know it? I know I can probably tell you that mine is the day before I get all the day because that's when I got to get stuff done.
So my mind is super laser focused. There's no faffing around. There's no being distracted by things that aren't important because I've got to get key things done because I've got a hard stop. So for me, it would be, "Okay, that is the day. It's the day before vacation". So when you think of the 30-minute hour, I want you to think of the day before vacation. So what I did, I realised that myself, right? And so, in looking for productivity, I went in and studied the day before vacation.
And why is the day before vacation so productive? And how can we extract things from that you're ready to do? Everyone thinks back just like you do. What's my most productive day of the year that day we just want you to do now that you know you can have that high productivity. Now we want you to master that. We want you to bring that into your regular life. So when I studied it, I made a little acronym to help you remember. And the acronym is PDF. PDF is easy to remember. People say to email me the PDF or print out the PDF.
And in the tech world, that stands for portable document format. That's not what it is for us in the productivity world. I want you to think 30 minutes, an hour, and a day before vacation. PDF stands for Plan, Delegate, Focus. All right, so let's unpack each one of those so that you can have more than 30 minutes. So the first one is planning what happens on the day before vacation. And I know you're. I've listened to some of your podcasts, and your next-day planner, like me, is that they plan that day out, typically the day before they plan that day out, sometimes down to the minute, because it's that tight of a day but certainly at least by the hour.
I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna do that. So the first thing you do to gain more productivity and have 30 hours is plan your day, especially if you can do it the night before. So when you wake up, you're ready to go. But planning the day is key as kind of scheduling the whole day. Now I know that life is going to come in and things happen, and some emergencies and clients need you. That's okay, but you're going to do better. Your productivity will be higher if you have a plan, even if part of that plan gets overwritten with some emergency later.
The other thing about planning is that if you want to have a 30-minute hour for your first hour on the day before vacation, people typically wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier, right? So I'm not saying you do that every day, but if you want extra time, you know you can just wake up 213 minutes earlier. That's what happens kind of on the day before vacation. The other two planning things that happen are just like you said. You kind of have a hard stop. But you have a clear vision of what you want to get done, right?
So having a very clear vision about these are the things that I want to get done. That's what happens on the day before vacation. And not only is your vision clear, but you're actually applying and using the 80-20 rule. Now, have you heard of the 80-20 rule before? I certainly have. And I use it so much in the work I do with my clients. So yeah, the Pareto effect? Yes. The Pareto principal I love that guy, was actually born on his birthday. And so, but this parade of principle is 80-20 rule, you know, simply says 20% of what you do produces 80% of your results, and then 80% of what you do only produces a small 23% of your results.
And everyone I asked, I said, "Oh, I believe that I know that. But it's not until the day before vacation that they actually start using it. And they focus on the 20 like this is the stuff most important stuff that I have to get done, that only I can do. And they start to oust the 80, and they start to push it out". And that leads us to the second one, pushing out, delegating and deferring, right? So I got a plan. Delegate focus. So the second one is delegated.
And so what happens is there's a little phrase I like that people I learned from the day before vacation think who before do. So they think, Who could do this before I go do this? So I think who did before do? And so, on the day before vacation, you're thinking, "Who else could do this? I don't have enough time to get everything done. Who else can do it?" And the delegation again takes that higher priority. Now, you know when you delegate something, you know the watching of your pet or the watering of the plants or whatever.
It's probably not going to get done as well as you're doing it, but you don't care, right? You don't care. You just know that has to get done. So you start to do that, and you start to do different things, I like to call it. I created a practice. I call proactive, positive, proactive procrastination. Which means when I make my to-do list for the day, I look at it, and I say, "Well, if I only had instead of eight hours to work today, I've only had to, you know, one of the most important things that I need to get done and what can I defer?"
What can I procrastinate? What can I push out till tomorrow? Most of the time, I can push out my list until tomorrow. So I do that now. My day opens up for more important stuff, you know? And if I push something for a few days in a row, it isn't that important, right? It wasn't that important. So differ and delegate, and that leads us to the last one. So plan, delegate and focus now focuses where I personally get my most 30-minute hours, right? And so when you think about focus, first, think about the day before vacation.
What doesn't happen, right? There's no idle chit-chat. There are no long conversations. You're not as susceptible to shiny objects because you're so on task. Right? So those little ads when you're scrolling Instagram or Facebook or whatever don't have as big an effect on you when you know when you are really focused. Right? The other thing, let's see. So you're an England fellow. So do you like James Bond movies? Sure that we are all okay? I do. I love them. Do you know in 1963, the very first James Bond movie came out?
Do you know which one that was? No. Okay, so you're correct. No, you just said the answer. You are correct. It was Dr. No. And so, what happens on the day before vacation? You become Dr. No. So people say blank, can you do this blanking you? This can? No. I say no. Is my default answer on the day before vacation? My plate is full. I am. I'm not accepting anything else. And I'm asking you to bring that back into your normal day, right?
Your normal day. So saying no. No need to be your default. Answer to most things and, I'll say, I've got to check my schedule, or I'm not sure I've got this big project. I'm working on whatever you have to come up with for yourself to make no, your default answer. That's key. Now, that's key for the 30-minute hour. But the no, the Dr. No, is also key in you avoiding the 90-minute hour. So the 90-minute hour is when someone asks for an hour of your time, which takes 90 minutes.
You're the big loser there when someone says, "Could I just have 10 minutes of your time?" and it takes 213 minutes, Right? So we want to avoid that. So being Dr. No is really keeping all right. A few other things to focus on the day before vacation. People tend to stay on schedule. So they say, I'm going to do this at one o'clock. This is at two o'clock. At three o'clock, they tend to stay on schedule. So look to push yourself, map your day out as completely as possible and then push to stay on schedule.
And one of the ways they do that is that they use timers. And so I use a lot of timers, So if I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna check my email. I'm gonna say, look, it is 15 minutes, 30 minutes. That's all. I'm gonna give myself that amount of time to check my email. So I'll tell Siri to set a timer right for 15 minutes. I can use a voice command and do that. So use timers throughout the day that'll increase your productivity. And then where I personally get my most 30 min hours is on the day before vacation. People become masters of tasking.
Now tasking has three components. Single-tasking, multitasking and batch-tasking. Now single-tasking. That is where that's my sweet spot of productivity, and single-tasking is a total focus on the single task you're doing. That typically is a task that only you do or you do the best. And so, for example, I can get an hour's worth of article writing. I write a lot of articles. I can get an hour's worth of article writing done in 30 minutes if I'm totally focused on that and the outside world is gone, meaning my phone is made totally off, or at least no rings, dings and bings, right?
I have nothing open on my computer except the one screen. Some people even turn off their WiFi so they're not interrupted in any way. But I'm single-minded and focused on that one thing. My doors closed. You know, my wife knows that I'm in a single-tasking mode, and I stay in that mode, and I wipe out all distractions. Now I will say I got better. When I first started single-tasking, I had a monkey mind. "Hey, don't forget to do this. Hey, you got this."
Hey, these Bob ideas were popping in, and so to tame the monkey mind, I have a scrap piece of scrap paper and a pen. And when the thought comes, I capture the thought, and I just put it in my little daytime, and then I get right back to what I'm doing, and over time, I quieted it down. So now I can come in here. I crank out, you know, more than 30 minutes. Then I used to do it more than we did. So that single-tasking mode is super important.
But you really have to kind of push out all the distractions completely so that single-tasking, multitasking is when you can do two things at the same time without sacrificing the quality of either one. Right? So I can't do this podcast and check my email at the same time on a hike. Quality weight. But there are many things that you can do together. For example, I can listen to your podcast while I'm driving in my car. I can do high quality of both of those right or make phone calls while I'm in my car or exercise and listen to a podcast or make a phone call right.
I have a peloton bike but have a little insert that turns it into a desk, so literally. I can pedal. Sometimes sweat drops on whatever I'm working on, but I can work out and do it. There's my Taipei coming through, you know, workout. No excuse not to work out because my bike turns into a desk. But there are many things. There are many synergies there, you know, I love my family, but I love to exercise. So I taught the kids how to play tennis, so we would go out and play 30 minutes of tennis.
Well, that was 30 minutes of tennis and 30 minutes of exercise. Hours worth of stuff in just 23 minutes. So look for those synergies. Especially where we can keep the quality of both those items high. And then the last one is batch tasking. Now, you know, when you look at the people a day before vacation, they're batching everything. Like, for example, if you have three errands to run, you're not going to run an errand comeback. Run an errand. Come on. No, you patch them together, go out, and run all the errands.
You put all your phone calls. You will get an hour's worth of phone calls done in 30 minutes if they're all spread out all over your day. But you push it into 30 minutes. See, I gotta make these three calls in 30 minutes. Now, you know, it's 30 minutes a call, and it helps you that the batches of that help you email batching, working on the computer. I'll even batch my wife and old batch our communications with each other, so we used to text each other all day long and interrupt each other.
Now we have a shared note. There's on the iPhone. There's a notes app, and you can share the message with someone else. You can add stuff to it, but they don't. You know there's no ring dings or bing's, but you can go in and look at it. And the last thing that people do on the day before vacation is batch to their distractions—kind of like what my wife and I do there. But for example, let's say you're going into the agency, and you tell everybody, "Look, from 9 AM to 2, I'm going to be in this office in single-tasking mode.
If there's a fire, come and get me. Otherwise, don't come through that door. Don't touch the door. But at 2 o'clock, I will emerge from my single focus time, and I will answer all the questions you had and give you 22 minutes of, you know, focused time for you, right? So this kind of almost office, our first concept, you patched all those distractions for those first few hours into that 22 minutes, and then you can handle them quickly. Boom. So that's key.
So think 22-minute hours. You already know how to do it the day before vacation mode. PDF -- plan, delegate, focus. And the one overarching thing that happens on the day before vacation is that you release your inner perfectionist. You release your inner perfectionist. Done is better than perfect. The deadline is here. You can't. You know you have to get it done, and just doing that alone begins to help you get a lot more stuff done. And like the day before vacation, you could give yourself a reward at the end of the day, especially if you had a bunch of 903 minute hours.
Give yourself some of that time with memorable moments. Give yourself some time for your hobbies. Give yourself some time to connect, you know, with nature or whatever you want to do. And so that is the 290-minute hour. Wow, so interesting and such a good way to show that we actually already know how to do this. We just don't play every day. It's really interesting what you talked about. Single-tasking, multitasking and batch-tasking. I've recorded an episode about batch-tasking before because it's such an efficient way to do things.
But I've always been a believer until now that there was no such thing as multitasking because I feel like humans can typically only think about one. Do practically think about one thing at once. So multitasking leads to a lot of inefficiencies. But you've just described multitasking in a way that is true. Like, you know, as you say, we can drive and listen to a podcast or make a phone call. So that is really interesting. Tell me this, though. So I intellectually get everything you said.
And no doubt I'm going on holiday on Friday, the 21st of January. So, no doubt, on the 21st of January, I will be totally achieving lots of 30-minute hours. But when you don't have that deadline, and you've got more time, how do we make sure we don't flow back into our old habits of getting distracted and, you know, laying someone still an hour your time like you explained, or just making sure that we keep that discipline of focus and planning and sticking to a 30 minute hour. So, I think if I gave one key, it would go back to the next day's planning. That would be the one key never to let a day end without planning the next one.
And so if you'll do that, even if you know at the end of the day, you're brushing your teeth, and you don't have a plan, you put together a plan, you know, that's probably the biggest thing. And I do this, you know, the day before vacation mode, every single day to some degree. But it starts with my planning. So that night before, you know, planning out my day, especially that first hour, is so critical that when you wake up, you just get going.
Do you know what you're going to do? And you decrease the resistance to whatever the things you're trying to do. You know, right, especially first in the day. Because if you can win that morning, typically, you'll win the day, and by the afternoon, the day can get away from you. But that morning, the time is yours. So anything but planning the day over, planning a day, scheduling using timers, you know. And once you start doing that, once you get into this habit of kind of overscheduling and you can schedule blocks for thinking and exercise and eating and all that. But like the day before the occasion to do a little overscheduling and then use timers, you know and say, "Hey, I'm gonna you know, wherever your distractions come from, for me, it's typically online."
I'll be honest. So it's either, Social Media or checking the news or researching something, then getting lost in all kinds of stuff. And I woke up, and it's two hours later, and I really haven't done any. So that is key is having that schedule and then setting that limits on the time. The other thing. You've talked about this on your podcast before. Brian Tracy wrote a book about it, and he called it eating the frog, right?
And so there's a saying that, if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, the rest of the days all downhill, you know? And so he talks about something you've talked about, and that is doing that harder task first. And so some of that can also play out. Is that the night before? Now I like to do. I like to get a little morning momentum. So I like to put some small nuggets in some tadpoles first, but I do it before noon?
I want that frog to be eaten before noon. So getting that bigger project done helps out by having reminders and cues, right? I've got a little card up here the day before vacation mode. Some people I might talk about the day before vacation mode. So many people say, "Blaine, where are you going?" I'm not going anywhere. But I believe it's the day before vacation because I want to get all these things done and then give yourself a reward.
At the end of the day, you kind of get conditioned to say, "If I get X part of my list done today, then I'm going to have the glass of wine with dinner, or I'm going to watch the little extra TV tonight, or whatever that little reward is for you and putting those things in place, and we can talk about habits and setting up new habits." But once you establish some of those things over time, now we can talk about it creating having 21 seconds.
But in brain science, neurologically, it takes about 21 days for the habit to start to form and take 63 days for it to be able to run on its own without you having to kind of think about it. Yeah, that's so interesting. I am a massive fan of planning my day. I do it every single day. I'm also a big fan of morning and evening rituals, a Michael higher type of concept that basically says you start and end your day in exactly the same way. And for a lot of us who are working from home, that becomes particularly important because you need to have a sense of leaving the office.
So, my day ends with me closing my computer down, shutting my camera off, turning the lights off, and shutting the door. But my day always starts with planning the day, and I'm a massive fan of everything you just said. So I'm glad I'm getting some of this right. I plan every single day. Today has been a particularly busy day for me, with lots of client calls and podcasts and so on. So planning my day is super important, and it means that I feel like I'm moving the needle forward in my business rather than just being a busy fall.
I think it's really interesting, Blaine, that many years ago, I wrote a blog called "Being a Busy Fall," and it was in my early days of coaching back in 2013 and or even earlier than that, and it's not a very long article. But when I look at Google analytics, it's always the most searched article because clearly a lot of people are typing being busy fall, and none of us wants to be busy falling, filling our days with stuff so that we feel productive.
But then we look back and think, well, actually haven't really focused on those big priorities. So let's just see. Let me test you now because we're going to run out of time. But I do want to ask you before you go about 21 2nd habit and how we can form new habits in 21 seconds running 21 days. So can you really do that in a really much? Not sure. Maybe we'll get you back again to dig into it in more detail in another episode. Yes, I'm going to treat it like it was the day before vacation.
And so all right. So just like the 30-minute hours 21 2nd half is, you already know how to do it. You already have it, master. Okay, so I often talk to people you know about habits you already have that you don't have to think about like brushing your teeth. Every day he brushes your teeth. I'll tell a story about my wife. This is how I discovered the 21 2nd habits. She had to fill out this headache log, and she couldn't do it, and she'd lose the log and forget.
And then, one night, I realised she brushes her teeth every night and every morning. Two minutes, just like the dentist says. And so the first key to the 21 2nd half is what we call habit Link. So she put the headache log under the toothpaste. When she brushed her teeth, she filled out the headache log. She did 90 days in a row. She went from daily migraines to maybe once every couple of months. After that, you'll have a migraine. So the first key there is habit. Linking the second key is urge surfing.
You need to surf some kind of an urge, a desire to give you the energy to do the habit, the new habit that you're linking to the existing ones. So for me, what I wanted to do is, I want to start a new habit of reading the Bible app. But then I want to take a mind show. And so I wanted to wash my mind every morning, just like I shower my body. So I said, Blaine, what do you do without any willpower?
Required first thing every morning? Yes. Hello, Smartphone. I turned my smartphone on, right? So what I did is I moved all the apps off the home page, and I just put the Bible app and headspace. That's when I want to use apps I use for a mind shower. And when I open my phone, I have this desire to check my text message. My son lives in Denmark and I want to check the orders that came in and the news and the social media like this big desire to find out what happened in the world while I was asleep.
And I surf that urge and I say, I can't touch any other buttons until I do those two. Now what I like about those apps is they track how many days in a row has Blaine gone in there. And today was day 21 days in a row that I've woken up, opened my cell phone, smartphone, and iPhone, and I did those apps. And then I went about the rest of my day. So the one thing is habit linking, find a habit you are already a master at linked to that surf summer to get yourself to do the one and then the last part is leverage, and you can give yourself a carrot reward or a stick, a penalty if you don't keep the habit.
But once you get three or four days in a row, you don't want to break the chain. And psychologically, it becomes really strong. And one last example. I did have a client, and she liked playing. I want to do that the next day, planning. I'm not doing it. I'm like, what do you do first thing in the morning that you don't even have to think about? She goes, "Well, I wake up. I'm still falling asleep." But I walked to the coffee maker, and I made the coffee, and I said, "That's great."
And put a pad of paper and a pen by the coffee maker. Go to the coffee maker, make the coffee, smell the coffee, and get all excited to have that coffee. But you can't take a sip until you start that plan. Even if it's just, here are the top three things I'm gonna do today, right? And so for her, now she has this new habit in 21 seconds linked to the old no willpower required. Surf the urge. Make it happen. That's why the quickest rendition. I don't think you've done that justice, so I'm definitely going to ask you to come back, and we'll dig into that more because it is really fascinating.
And I mean, half the most of the audience will be listening to on a podcast. They won't be able to see me, but by my door on the floor. I've got a piece of paper that says, Turn your camera off because I keep forgetting to turn my camera off at the end of the day. And I figured the only way I would remember this was by having something that shouldn't be there. And I'm hoping that because I'm going to repeat that, I will be able to link turning the camera off to shutting the door.
But I'm not there yet, so listen, like I said, I think we should bring you back cause I think a lot of people be really interested in talking, to learn a bit more about that than the sort of superficial two minutes I gave you to describe it, but I'm just conscious of trying to keep these podcasts all around about a half an hour mark. And I also want to ask you a question. I asked all of my guests if they could go back in time and give their younger selves just starting out in business a piece of advice. What would it be? Yeah, I mean, it would be, Don't underestimate the power of your own mind and your thoughts. That would be my thing. I think that when you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them. And I wish I argued for less of my limitations and had more of a growth mindset, and how you look at the world is kind of how the world shows up. So I think that would be the best thing.
And maybe second, if I throw a second one in there, is to get a good mentor. So that also helped me to make a good bit of advice. I love asking that question because we always get such varied responses now, if people want to find out more about you. Blaine? Where would they go? Real simple. Just go to Blaine, ted x dot com So B l a i n e t e d x dot com. There you can opt-in to get my Ted X Talk I did about this concept of a white table. What do you think about you bringing about and then we'll be conducted?
You'll get my articles. If I could serve you in any way, be happy to do it. Great. Well, we will include that in the show notes and I just want to say a big thank you for joining us today. That was absolutely fascinating. I always love a podcast where I have learned something I can apply for myself. So I'm definitely going to start applying this day before the holiday. And I'm glad, by the way, I answered that question in the right way. That wasn't seeded for me to answer it like that.
So, that shows that it works, right? You recall that most productive day, right? So that's awesome. You did great. Thanks so much for joining us today. All right. Thank you so much for having me. I'll leave you with this. The bad news is time flies. The good news. You're the pilot. So, pilot. Well, my friend's pilot. Wel.