Hi, my name’s Dustin Slightham and I’m the CEO of 434 Marketing. For this resource video, I was asked to cover the things I do in the morning to get a jump on the day and be productive. But, before I get into that, I think it’s important to understand the motivation I have for being productive, and the reason why I developed this routine in the first place. You know, this is easy, and I can explain it with one word. Time. Early on, about five years ago or so, I had a mentor tell me, “You know, you can’t buy time.” Now, this wasn’t the cliche you know “time is money”, no, he was really just referring to the fact that time is valuable. You know, frankly, when I look at the big picture of life, I’m not going to be sitting on my deathbed saying, “Man I really wish that I had more money, or that I worked longer hours”? No, I think I’m going to be sitting there wishing I had more time to be with the people and the passions that I love. So, I really try to bring that to every day. And now that you understand a little bit more about the why behind my motivations, let’s talk about these routines themselves. First to start, there’s about a billion help and productivity self help books out there. I think it’s fair to say though, after looking at a number of them myself, not one shoe fits all. In fact, I hope you don’t take the items that I describe in my routine in this video and use is as a prescription for yourself. I see routines as very beneficial and a great way to plan your day that ultimately helps you mitigate any unnecessary decisions and tasks, and ultimately it really helps you to save time. On top of that I’d like to say if you deviate from your routine or your plan of attack, let yourself off the hook and really just ask the question why. Personally, it took me years to find a routine that really worked. There were things I tried and ultimately did away with for various reasons. It’s okay, you know, just find out what works best for you and hopefully, I’m going to talk a little bit here about my routine, you might be able to glean some insights that could be helpful. Alright so let’s jump into my routine. The first item on my list, of course, is waking up. Now, since having kids, I can’t really sleep since about 6 o’clock. So generally I’m up between 4 or 5 a.m. But, you know what? I love it. I love quiet mornings, I love getting to the office before everybody else when it’s just quiet. I allows me to reflect and think and actually move into these next items that I’ll share with you here. One of the kind of strange things that I do is I make the bed. It’s something that I can control, it takes me 30 seconds to do, and it’s something I get to return to at the end of the day. I don’t know if it really helps, but it is something that I do if the bed’s empty, if my wife and kids aren’t still sleeping in it. The next thing of course, the obvious, shower, get dressed, and things like that, but one of the important things that I did about five or six months ago is I changed up my wardrobe. I had, I don’t know, 200 items let’s say in the wardrobe collectively. But, I’m not wearing all that stuff, and one of the things that I found was I would get into the closet in the morning and I’d be sitting there trying to figure out, okay, what outfit am I going to wear? I know, maybe TMI, but the fact of the matter is that I reduced it to 60 items total so that’s socks, underwear, undershirts, all of those things, 60 items, and that has helped a lot in terms of planning and just being efficient and getting out of the door quickly. I’ve got a few outfits that I change and it kind of works for me. So, that’s something that I’ve done. The third thing of course is eat, and I’m not a big breakfast guy. Actually, for the last two years, every morning I start my day with bulletproof coffee. You can check it out, a guy named Dave Aspry came up with it, I’ve talked about it before, definitely within the community as well, but it’s something that’s really helped. I don’t have brain fog anymore, I really start my mornings off with quite a jump and with a lot of focus and a lot of energy, and so it’s a great thing for me. The other thing is vitamins. So, I did away with the multivitamin, it wasn’t working for me, I met with a physician, found a lot of areas that I was deficient in actually over multiple blood tests I was able to see over time that I remained deficient in these areas and so I take high quality vitamins to supplement those areas and I noticed a cognitive change as well as just a focus change throughout the day. So, that would be the eating piece. At this point, I’m sort of transitioning to the office. So, I’m driving in, drinking bulletproof coffee, listening to NPR or whatever the case may be. And then, when I get to the office, again it’s pretty early and quiet, and so I like to meditate and I use an app called HeadSpace and it’s a 10-15 minute guided meditation. But, it really sort of helps to just calm the day. The last thing you want to do is make decisions for your business in fight or flight. You want to be calm, and you want to be thoughtful, and be able to work through things and I’ve found meditation really kind of helps throughout the day keep things focused and under control in that sense. The other things after meditation is then moving into the five minute journal, and you can buy this on Amazon or a bookstore here locally, but essentially it’s just five minutes of things that you’re grateful for, and I think it’s important to do that. I’ve actually just started doing that a few months ago, and it’s really just helping to focus things and then you reflect on yesterday and the previous things you were grateful for and the things that you wanted your day to look like or things that would make your day awesome, and it’s a helpful way to get the day going. The next thing I do on more of a religious side of things is move into prayer and some scripture and spend some time there, and then after that start transitioning into work. And so, we get the Wall Street Journal here at the office and Business Week and things along those lines, so I like to keep up on current affairs and what’s going on out there in the world, and then slowly start to shift into my work day. So that’s kind of my morning, that’s my routine, it’s not always all of those eight items, sometimes I change up orders, it really just depends. But, generally I’m doing those things each morning before I get started here at the office. A couple of other things that I’ve added are just some productivity hacks that I’ve found have been really helpful, especially when you might not be as focused or be as productive in the day. So, the first one is I set a 20 minute timer. So if there is a task that I’m just holding off, for whatever reason I’m just not diving into that task, I’ll set a 20 minute timer, I’ll press start on it and promise myself at the end of the 20 minutes that I’ll take a break, I’ll go do something completely different if I get to the end of that 20 minutes and I’m still not able to move forward with that task. I have not found one time yet where I’ve gotten to that 20 minute period and have not been focused and working diligently on getting that task completed. So, that’s something that has really worked well for me. The other thing is I like to plan that day’s tasks the night before. So at the end of the work day, I’ll go through look at my calendar, look at the things I’ve got to get completed, kind of plan out that next day. Of course, as a business owner, no day goes as planned as you would like it go so things always come up and I try to make time for those things as well. But, it’s helpful to have a grasp on what is that next day going to look like, then when you show up on that next day, you kind of already know what you’ve got to get done. I stay away from email and text message, especially when I’m trying to do things like writing or any type of task work, if I’m drafting proposals or working through contracts, just don’t like the distraction. So, I use a lot of filtering in my email and I turn my phone off or put it on do not disturb and just don’t pay attention to it. And then the last thing is I really do work on the big tasks first component, I just try to get it out of the way, and then move on. And then, if the rest of the day completely blows up, that’s fine with me, at least I got the one thing I needed to get done that day completed. So anyways, there are eight items from my routine, four items from just sort of a productivity thing that has worked well for me. Like I said earlier, you know, find a routine that works for you, find a plan that works for you. Not all of what I suggested, maybe none of it, will work for you. But really listen to your body and take note of the things that you do and make a routine and plan, and I don’t think you’ll blame yourself for it at all. Alright, thanks.
About Dustin Slightham
Dustin is a tech geek and entrepreneur at heart who loves to gauge the success of creative ideas with data. He is the president and cofounder of 434 Marketing. After graduating with a degree in Business Finance from Liberty University, Dustin started working for a Fortune 500 company as an Operations Leader. Over the course of the next four years, Dustin would manage a 200-person team, a $20M budget, and work alongside Product Managers to create a $1.5M custom software solution. In addition, he would gain $1M worth of new business by developing a new process for a large-scale backfile project. Hard work and determination, coupled with consecutive 80-hour work weeks, culminated in him leading his team to receive the prestigious Supplier of the Year Award from his client, Genworth Financial.
After being shaped by the corporate world with skill sets like Six Sigma, software development, team leadership, sales, P&L management, and consistent executive level exposure, Dustin felt prepared to venture out as an entrepreneur in 2011. At the time, Dustin saw a need for business owners that wasn’t being met: creative marketing that uses cutting-edge technology and is traced back to tangible metrics. This is how the Carrot Saver application and Carrot Creates website design agency were founded.
|Date Added||January 30, 2017|
In this video, Dustin Slightham explains his productivity routine, including:
- Why a productivity routine matters
- How to find the routine that works for you
- Choosing tasks you can control
- Getting focused
- Productivity hacks