April 11th, 2023
Productivity and the Lifehack Method
With Demir Bentley, a renowned productivity expert, and the co-founder of Lifehack Method. With over eight years of experience, Demir has helped over 50,000 professionals achieve their goals and create more freedom in their lives. His clients include executives from Facebook, Google, Uber, and PepsiCo. Demir has been featured in many publications, including Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He is also the author of the WSJ Bestselling book “Winning The Week: How to Plan a Successful Week, Every Week.”
What sets Demir’s coaching apart is his hard-hitting efficiency techniques and proven accountability strategies that have helped his clients generate millions in revenue while saving thousands of hours. He combines personal accountability with daily practice to get you taking action, not just watching videos.
In his personal life, Demir and his wife Carey have a unique and adventurous lifestyle, living for three months at a time in different cities around the world. They have lived on a boat in Croatia, explored the Basque country of Spain, retreated in Bali, and savored the islands of Hawaii. Currently, he is residing in Medellin, Colombia.
Join us on our insightful podcast where Demir shares invaluable tips and secrets for planning your week in the most effective way. With his own transformative experience of reducing his workweek from 80 to 40 hours, Demir offers practical advice on optimizing productivity. He challenges misconceptions about week planning, shedding light on more effective approaches. Furthermore, Demir candidly shares his personal journey as a productivity coach, providing inspiring insights for those interested in pursuing a similar path.
Tune in to this enlightening episode and unlock the secrets to planning your week in the right way!
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Biggest takeaways (or quotes) you don’t want to miss:
- Where’s a good place to start with your productivity?
- “The number one way that I stage how I work with people is what is the smallest thing I can teach them that gets them the biggest, most disproportionate fast result so that I can get some buy-in from them to do the next thing.”
- What Demir calls the “original power source”.
- The four-step process of Demir’s Lifehack Method
- “Anything you’re excited about, working about, and you’re working on in your organizational activity, go for that.”
- What we’re doing wrong with planning.
“If I could go and apply myself to something I care about that’s challenging and fun for three to four hours a day, even if I had a billion dollars and had no reason to work whatsoever, I would still want to work three, four hours a day.”-Demir Bentley
Check out these highlights:
- 12:15 When clients try to ignore the signs and become coachable
- 15:19 What’s the problem with productivity?
- 19:52 A good planning process is…
- 22:53 What is Step Zero in the four-step process?
- 39:13 Demir shares his personal story and the big “why” behind productivity.
- 49:22 Why productivity is upstream of the things you care about.
On social media:
How to get in touch with Demir:
Learn more about Demir, by visiting his website here.
Special gift for listeners: You can get access to Demir’s free masterclass of “How To Plan The Perfect Week In 30 Minutes Flat” by clicking here.
Imperfect Show Notes
We are happy to offer these imperfect show notes to make this podcast more accessible to those who are hearing impaired or those who prefer reading over listening. While we would love to offer more polished show notes, we are currently offering an automated transcription (which likely includes errors, but hopefully will still deliver great value), below:
GGGB Intro 00:00
Here’s what you get on today’s episode of Guts, Grit and Great Business®.
Demir Bentley 00:04
But for me as an experiential designer, a lot of it is about creating willingness and self-belief and rebuilding that confidence and show people this is working. So the number one way that I stage how I work with people is what is the smallest thing I can teach them that gets them the biggest, most disproportionate fast result, so that I can get some buy-in from them to do the next thing that will give me the buy-in to do the next thing.
GGGB Intro 00:31
The adventure of entrepreneurship and building a life and business you love, preferably at the same time is not for the faint of heart. That’s why Heather Pearce Campbell is bringing you a dose of guts, grit and great business stories that will inspire and motivate you to create what you want in your business and life. Welcome to the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast where endurance is required. Now, here’s your host, The Legal Website Warrior®, Heather Pearce Campbell.
Heather Pearce Campbell 01:03
Alrighty, welcome. I am Heather Pearce Campbell, The Legal Website Warrior®. I’m an attorney and legal coach based here in Seattle, Washington, supporting online information entrepreneurs throughout the US and the world. Welcome to another Guts, Grit and Great Business®. I am so excited to bring you my friend Demir Bentley today. Welcome Demir.
Demir Bentley 01:28
Hey, it’s good to be here.
Heather Pearce Campbell 01:29
So good to have you and to see you again. We were just commenting that Demir and I met right before the pandemic hit. It was at a live event. And at least for me, I feel like I’ve been through like this weird time or B phase. And so it’s like, oh, wasn’t that event just like yesterday, and…
Demir Bentley 01:45
It was literally like weeks before COVID broke out? I mean, it was probably the last live event. Yeah.
Heather Pearce Campbell 01:51
It was days. It was February like 28th and 29th. And see I came home to Seattle, and we were ground zero for COVID.
Demir Bentley 01:59
Something like I came back and had the worst like flu, whatever that I’ve had in my life got tested multiple times, because I was like, it was definitely COVID. But I guess I was one of those people like it wasn’t because of it or it just didn’t show up on the test or whatever. But yeah, that was a squeaker we got that one and right before the world shutdown.
Heather Pearce Campbell 02:17
That was right before because it was like March 3, I was pulling kids out of public school in Seattle was like literally just a few days later. And I remember being at that event and thinking like, nobody’s really talking about this like that one guy on stage did right. But like nobody in real life was talking about this. And I serve and I think you do to small businesses and entrepreneurs exclusively. And I remember thinking, like nobody’s talking about this tidal wave that’s headed our way. And like I wrote a newsletter that week, like, here’s what to do to prepare for COVID. Look at your business insurance, look at like it there was this long list of like how to button up and shift online. And anyways…
Demir Bentley 02:59
And here we are it what seems like 10 years later, but it’s actually only three years, something like that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 03:04
I know. Even that, right? So my daughter was two when it hit, she’s five now. Right? But I feel like she’s having a lot of those experiences that two and three year olds would have had had they been in preschool and blah, blah, blah. So we’ve just been through a whole respiratory season of like, thing after thing after thing. I’m like, Oh, I am ready for the sun, ready for the sunshine brutal. I think it’s right around the corner. I know we’ve had a few days of sun and I’m like, like, it feels like a whole new world. Okay, so for folks that don’t know Demir, I am so excited to get you an introduction to him because this is going to be a super fun, super relevant conversation for everybody. As I was saying to Demir, this is a topic that never gets old and that we all have to revisit time and time again, because life changes circumstances change. Our energy levels change business changes, right? So for those of you that don’t know Demir, Demir Bentley is a productivity expert and co-founder of Lifehack Method and WSJ Bestselling author of Winning The Week: How To Plan A Successful Week, Every Week. He helps his clients kick butt at work to live their best life when they go home. See, I could stop there, but I’m not going to because you need to hear the rest of this. Demir teaches hard-hitting efficiency techniques and proven accountability strategies that have helped clients generate millions in revenue while saving thousands of hours. Ding ding ding, let’s put a pin in that one. In the past eight years, he’s helped more than 50,000 professionals, including executives from Facebook, Google, Uber and PepsiCo – helping them prevent burnout and create more freedom in their lives. Demir’s advice has been highlighted in Forbes, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur and more. And his background is really interesting. Prior to co-founding Lifehack Method, he worked on Wall Street where he figured out how see this just doesn’t feel like a true story but I’m going to make you talk more about this, Demir how you whittled down his 80-hour work week, down to two hours a week. Demir is passionate about living his own life in a way that embodies his principles. He now lives a nomadic lifestyle with his partner and co-founder Carrie and their two year old daughter, and you’ve got to update your bio.
Demir Bentley 05:21
Yeah, three year old daughter and brand new world.
Heather Pearce Campbell 05:25
And a brand new little peanut. They are currently living in and how do you say it Medellin? Medallin? Oh, medeccin. I totally got the double L wrong. Medellin, Colombia. I know. Welcome, Demir. I’m so happy to have you.
Demir Bentley 05:41
Oh, my goodness, I’m so happy to be here. Yeah. So where should we start? Where should we dig in? This is one of the things you know how doctors have an occupational hazard that they’ll go to a party and somebody will like pull up their shirt and be like, Look at this, you know, rash that I have in the dark? Where do we start? Like, I get this so much when I’m like out at a party or whatever people will be like, let me just start telling you about my productivity problems. I’m ready for this. No, actually, I love it. I really love it, I found the right work because I could talk about this like till the cows come home?
Heather Pearce Campbell 06:12
Well, and I’m sure there’s so many angles. And there’s so many ways that these productivity problems show up in our lives, right? Even this year. Like I think for me, I can say personally, the start of every year, I feel whether I want to or not a lot of like activation energy and a lot of like momentum at the start of the year. And for one reason or another the last couple of years, I’ve had to slow that down and be like, oh, I need to just kind of like ease into the year and even 2023, which I have a lot of hope about the number of times I’ve had conversations at the start of this year where people are like, I don’t know what it is. I’m just still having kind of a hard time digging in. You know, and I think we have a lot still to learn about ourselves when it comes to productivity.
Demir Bentley 06:58
Yeah, you know, the thing about us is that we’re not robots, right? I think but it can be very much appeals to our logic brain, and especially people who live over there and their logic brain. But even those of us who don’t like when we occupy those moments of our life where we’re like, I’m going to sort of plan then I’m going to follow the plan. And a good place to start with your productivity is to concede that we are emotional creatures who have the capacity, once in a while for logic or logic, right, we have these brief windows of logical capacity, right? A lot of I think what differentiates our community and our methodology is enrolling people emotionally, in what their plan is and what they’re doing, and making sure that they’re playing a game where they see the payoffs coming quickly. Because nobody will really play a game for very long, if they stopped believing that they’re going to get payoff from that game.
Heather Pearce Campbell 07:50
It’s so funny, because my sister sent me a thing we talked daily, and she’s like, one of my best buds, she sent me a thing about and I’m an Enneagram, one, right for people that understand the Enneagram. And then I’m also a Capricorn. And I just laughed so hard, because it was like, basically, what self-care looks like for an Enneagram. One, and it was like, make that checklist. It was all this stuff about getting organized, like make sure you have that clean house. And I was just laughing because of the truth of how I feel when that stuff is handled, versus when it’s not handled. There’s a part of me that really wishes it wasn’t true, but it’s a true story. Yes. And do I longed for more of those moments where I could just like really sit and do nothing? Yes. Like, does that feel so romantic to me to just like, sit on the porch and like sit in the sun and have a cup of tea? Yes. How often do I do it? Not that often.
Demir Bentley 08:44
You know what’s funny is I see with a lot of my clients, there’s this flip moment, usually in midlife, but you know, sometimes little earlier, sometimes a little later, where we find sort of strategies and tactics that really serve us in our like, first part of our career and our youth. And I call it the like the original power source. You know, if you think about that as like fossil fuels, it was like, Oh, that fuel, the Industrial Revolution all the way into the information revolution, right? It’s like, there was a lot of human history that was like powered by like fossil fuels is dirty, polluting fuel. But then you get to a point where you’re like, okay, not judging what it was, but what got us here won’t get us there. Can’t do it for another 100 years.
Heather Pearce Campbell 09:21
That type A energy is not going to serve you well.
Demir Bentley 09:24
And there’s always this moment I see with my clients where they just whether they acknowledge it or not, is what the power source that had gotten them to where they’re at in their life. They can’t continue to operate that way. And they need to find a different way of operating. And it’s a very scary moment because you’re already very used to operating in a certain way. You’ve got your what I call discomfort zone, meaning you might not be so comfortable in it, but at least it’s what you know. But then what’s starting to happen is the externalities of the way that you’ve worked, have started to build and build and build and build and build and the match of the style that you work plus who you are today is less appropriate, meaning a lot of people were bulldogs in their 20s 30s. And they would just run through brick walls to get work done. And it worked really well. But of course, they had the energy of a 20 and 30 year old, right? The stamina…
Heather Pearce Campbell 10:11
You’re talking to somebody in her 40s. Right. So I’m in my 40s. And like so many people, I’m sure that crossed your path, dealing with like healing adrenal fatigue, right and low thyroid and like the way that this physically shows up in our body, all this pushing?
Demir Bentley 10:27
Yeah, it’s like push, push, push, like run through walls. And in your 20s and 30s, you’re like, I don’t know, it just seems like, forever. And then, of course, you’re not committed to a serious relationship. Your parents aren’t aging, yet, you don’t have a lot of the drama and difficulties in your life of like, ailing parents and disease and like health setbacks, and kids and all that stuff. So then as you start to get to that level, all of a sudden, you’re like, a, I don’t want to work like this anymore. Because all of the self-worth that I derive from that. Like, I’m more confident in myself, and I don’t need my work to define me, I’ve already achieved a certain level, I feel the confidence. So now that’s going well, you’re not doing it just because you need people to believe that you’re, you’re badass, you’re like, I know, I’m a badass, I don’t need to work anymore to prove that I’m a badass. So you become more secure in yourself, which ironically, was a part of your power plant that insecurity that need to prove yourself was a part of you working all of these hours. Well, now that you feel that security and you feel like about us, all of a sudden, you’re like, why am I working this hard. But now you’ve created a business or a reputation or you’re in a job with that really does still demand you to work those hours, but you’ve got a husband at home, and you’ve got kids, and all of a sudden you’re looking at everything about the way that you worked. Plus, all the externalities have been building up, and little by little, you come to the conclusion, you’re like, I can’t work like this anymore, I need to do something different and probably not just a little different. I think I need to do something a lot different, which is very, very scary thought a lot of my clients are breadwinners for their house. Right. So it’s a very scary thought when the majority of the money that comes to the house is coming through you. And now you’re gonna rock the boat and try to operate in a different way and maybe get some hours back. And there’s a lot of feeling like, am I gonna lose my job? Am I gonna lose my clients? Like, is life gonna get worse? Is it worth rocking the boat? I know, I’m miserable. But maybe you should just stay here in this…
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:15
Maybe I should just power through you.
Demir Bentley 12:18
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so unfortunately for me, when most of my clients come to me, I always say, unfortunately, the last stop on their train. Like they’ve tried everything they’ve tried to push through, they’ve tried to ignore the signs. They’ve tried like to nibble around at the edges of the problem.
Heather Pearce Campbell 12:35
Fix this little thing over here.
Demir Bentley 12:37
Yeah, you know, when you’re like, I’m just gonna reach a little bit further into this wood chipper, and then it grabs onto you and like, pulls you in and just like grinds you out to the other side. And so many of my clients like they have been through the meat grinder by the time I get a chance to work with them. And the one thing I’ll say that’s nice about that, is having tried everything. They’re totally convinced that they need help, right? That’s the great thing is they’re very coachable. They’re like, I have tried it. I’ve been through the meat grinder. Like I’ve gotten chewed up and spit out. I’ve done everything I knew how to do. Okay, now I’m willing, like, show me something different? Because I shouldn’t figure it out myself.
Heather Pearce Campbell 13:11
Yes. Oh, my gosh, it is like a doctor story, right? Like the doctor analogy works in more ways than just one. Totally. Yeah, yeah. Where do you typically start with people who are in the phase because I love the way you describe it. Like the externality is building up in that recognition of like, oh, my gosh, it may not just be like, oh, I need to tighten this screw over here. Like maybe you got to rebuild the whole system. Maybe you need a different machine, like maybe like, a unique set of this crotch rocket or whatever. Right? So how do you start? Is it a mindset piece? How do you shift people to the space of being open to the system to the whole news?
Demir Bentley 13:54
Yeah, and this is like, so much of like, what I love that I don’t really geek out with my clients, because they just want it to work. They don’t care how it’s designed, but I love experiential design. And my whole approach is that it really doesn’t matter. Because if you pulled any thread in productivity, it would probably unwind the knots, right meaning of yarn. Does it matter where you start? On one level? No, it’s all gonna get you to the same place eventually. But for me, as an experiential designer, a lot of it is about creating willingness and self belief and rebuilding that confidence and show people this is working. So the number one way that I stage how I work with people is what is the smallest thing I can teach them that gets them the biggest, most disproportionate fast result so that I can get some buy-in from them to do the next thing that will give me the buy-in to do the next thing. And so yeah, there’s some stacking of people are like, Oh, you must have designed your program in this way that’s perfect and indivisible, and what do they call that in law like non separable?
Heather Pearce Campbell 14:56
Right, joining separable.
Demir Bentley 14:58
Joining separable is everyone all be like, listen, we’re not defusing a nuclear bomb here. It’s not like if you cut the green wire before the yellow wire, the whole thing is going to blow up. But the truth is that anything you’re excited about working about and you’re working on in your organizational productivity, go for that. Because you’ve got willingness, you’ve got excitement. And that’s probably going to lead to the next thing. We built the lifehack method. Because the problem in productivity is that there’s not too few ideas out there. There’s too many. And so it’s almost like you went to a bike store and you think, oh, would it be nice to buy a bike and they say, You know what, I’ve got everything you need have a come on out here, and they take you out back. And there’s this giant dumpster full of bicycle parts. And they say, there you go, whether everything you need is right there. And you’re like, this is not really what I meant. Like, I get it, everything I need is there, but I don’t really want…
Heather Pearce Campbell 15:47
I want to build my…
Demir Bentley 15:49
pieces together and figure out how it all works. Like could I just, I don’t know, like buy a bike and write it out today. And with all the books and blogs and ideas. And I say this with so much love in my heart, because I love the personal development space and all of my peers in the productivity space. But often the formula for being successful was take a very, very small idea and blow it up into a book. It’s not integrated, you know. So you get something like the Five-Second rule by Mel Robbins, incredible book, you should absolutely read it. She’s a genius. But then it’s sort of like, where do I use that in relation to my calendar? How do I run my day like it almost feels like they’re sort of all floating out there. And this sort of a more of a blob. And it’s your decision like to try to figure out how to put it together into an integrated systems that you can write it like a bike. So when we created the lifehack method, it very much was how do you run your week from Monday morning to Sunday night? in graphic detail? Like this is exactly how to do it? Is it the only way to do it? No, I’m sure you can skin this cat in like 100 different ways. But we’ve just created a way that is very deeply like integrated the mindsets, the tools, the techniques, the technologies, in one way where you can sort of get on it like a bike and ride. So when I’m getting people into that, this is a very long answer to a very short.
Heather Pearce Campbell 17:01
No, I love it. Because I’m a visual person, I think it really helps for people to hear a visual version of the story.
Demir Bentley 17:07
So my entry point is always about what’s the smallest thing I can do to get somebody the biggest results so that they’ll go, Whoa, that really worked. And what that ends up being is showing people that what they thought they knew about planning the week is actually completely wrong. And that there’s a totally different standard for planning your week. And once I get people planning their week, like we have a five-step process, it’s super simple, a junior high kid could understand it. But once we get people following that method, within a week, within two weeks, all of a sudden, they’re coming back and they’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what was that feeling that I want more of that? That feeling right there? Can I have more of that? If we got a free webinar, and we get like side note for all the marketers out there, we were doing webinars, and they didn’t work and they didn’t work and they didn’t work. And one of our mentors was like, what is the best thing that you could teach somebody? Like if you only had an hour of somebody’s time, and they would never coach with you again? What would you teach them? And we were like, oh, okay, well, we would teach them this. And that’s our winning two week webinar, it really hits all the marks for us spiritually, and intentionally. It’s like, great, even if you take the webinar, and you never like worked with us ever again, and you never see us ever again, you have gotten reliably the best information that we can give you. That’s amazing. Also, from a business perspective, it’s a little bit of like, try it, like give them a little bit of something free. It’s like a drug dealer. It’s like, here you go, you can have the first little bit free and get them addicted to it, and come back with that feeling of like, oh my god, I haven’t felt like that in so many years. I need another taste. Give me another taste. And then we talk about the full lifehack method and going through the full process of renovating your productivity.
Heather Pearce Campbell 18:43
I love it. So walk us through the basics for people that are not familiar with your approach to winning the week. How does that begin? First of all, I love it. Anytime somebody says, you know, basically, you’ve been doing it all wrong. Like my learner self is always like, we’re like, Okay, tell me how you’ve been doing it all wrong.
Demir Bentley 19:00
When we went to write the book, one of the things my intention behind that book, whether we succeeded, and I’ll let you be the judge, but like, when we went to write the book, I wanted it to be I said to myself, I want somebody to put this book down and look to their spouse in bed and be like, I thought I knew what planning my week was. And I had no idea. Like I had no idea now because it’s way more complicated actually, because in so many ways, there is an order of operations meaning an order that you need to plan your week. And there’s sort of bases you need to round the mentioned like a baseball analogy, where it’s like you can hit a great fly ball, like right in between the defenders and you’ve got this huge thing but if you don’t touch second base, you don’t make it you don’t get around it to home right so it’s like you do have to touch your bases and often what happens because we’re emotional creatures is that we have a lot of fear and anxiety around planning and it’s not irrational fear and anxiety. A good planning process is actually a really pulling all of the dead bodies out of the closet, all of the skeletons out of the closet and looking at them in one moment. So It’s not imagined, like it is a tough moment. Like you have to have a lot of courage and you have to really steal yourself.
Heather Pearce Campbell 20:07
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Heather Pearce Campbell 21:56
Totally. It’s like getting real with yourself about your diet like oh, maybe I should just start tracking like how much am I actually eating? Right? That’s a painful process for a lot of people.
Demir Bentley 22:05
But seeing it and seeing what you’re actually weighing. Yeah, absolutely. Like you have to have courage to do that. So this is the process that we take people through. It’s a four-step process. And of course, it’s in the book Winning the Week, which is still 99 cents on Amazon. So we’ll make some money from it. No, like we try to make it a no brainer. We don’t control the pricing for Audible. It is on Audible. But since we can’t control the pricing, it’s still like expensive. Oh, so apologies. But unfortunately, we can’t change that.
Heather Pearce Campbell 22:34
And sell books, I’ll say worth it, even though it’s expensive.
Demir Bentley 22:38
Oh I did it myself. You know?
Heather Pearce Campbell 22:40
I love that. See, I love it. Yes.
Demir Bentley 22:44
So what’s interesting about that, and we go in, really we open it up and really peel the onion in the book. But really, it’s simple as the first thing that we do. Step zero is remove the resistance because the one thing that people don’t realize that they have that’s really sabotaging their planning before they even get started is that when you’ve been avoiding your planning or having bad results from planning, or just feeling a lot of anxiety and fear for planning, year after year after year, your animal brain your reptilian self has a lot of resistance around planning and has squarely put it in the negative bucket. I don’t like this, it’s not good for me, it makes me feel bad.
Heather Pearce Campbell 23:19
Makes you feel like you have to climb a mountain before you even start.
Demir Bentley 23:22
Exactly. So one of the things that we talked about in the book is how we have a technique for removing the resistance where we actually make the planning process or reward in and of itself. Carrie and I went to Paris, we tell this great story in the book about how we went to Paris and had the best pre-planning session of our life. And my wife was like just offhandedly like God if I could pre-plan like that every week like, Dude, I mean, I would love to do it in Paris every week. And that really clued us in. So actually every week, we go to a really fancy cafe here that’s like Parisian vibes, we treat ourselves to a really fancy brunch. And so what that’s doing is removing the resistance meaning, although that anxiety and fear is still there, it’s greatly mitigated by the fact that we’re really treating ourselves to a planning spa, where we go in. We’re at this cafe, we’ve got the amazing croissants and cappuccinos and we’re just like sitting there really luxuriating in this time. And it’s a date for us. Like, feel free to call me a loser. But I’ll tell you what, for a parent of two getting away even to pre plan and go to brunch. That to me is like Oh, seven clever layer of having for me. I got an amazing, so that’s step zero is remove the resistance. Step one is learn a lesson from the past week. This is a step that a lot of people skip is that often they try to bury the dead bodies of last week I’d like in the woods and just nobody. I just don’t want to look at that, that was a disaster. But really what we want to do is do a post mortem every week and be like, what went well, because we often were so negative, we don’t realize we did do things well last week. Let’s do more of that this week. what didn’t go so well. Great. What would we do differently to mitigate that in the coming In a week, and actually really extract the lessons of last week and bring them into this week. So that’s step one. Step two is to choose a priority and hopefully a leveraged priority. What I mean by leverage is you’re choosing a priority. That’s something that you can do that even if you have just a little bit of time to do it, it will make everything easier in the future, right? So something where it’s like, Yes, I have to do this, yes, it’s going to cost me two or three hours. But every single week, every single day in the future, it’s going to make things easier, quick example of that, when we’ve had our first child, I was in charge of her in the morning, I would go into the kitchen, it would take me literally like 30-35 minutes to make a cup of coffee, because I didn’t notice but we had put the coffee stations, like everything to make coffee was spread all over the kitchen. If you’d done like a time and motion study, you would have seen me have to go to every single drawer in every single place in the kitchen just to get one cup of coffee. So I gave my baby to my wife and I was like hold this baby for a second. And when it took me 25 minutes to just consolidate it all into like, one place one coffee station right next to the kitchen. Now I can get a cup of coffee made in 15 minutes. So that means like, every day, seven days a week, I’m saving 15 minutes a day. Now, it’s interesting, because it’s not like today, I was like, Oh, this is the 15 minutes that I saved myself from that. But I should because every day, there are 15 extra minutes in my day that I would have been bogged down ready to, it’s a lot of people but it’s just rearranged the coffee station, it’s not worth the time and I’m like 15 minutes every day, let’s start stacking those if everything you did got 1% better, if you brought a radical intention for the next seven days in your life, every interaction I have everything I touch, every thing I do in work, everything is going to become at least 1% better. You would be surprised how quickly that doesn’t just go linear, it goes exponential because they start to feed upon each other. So that’s step number two is set a leverage priority. Step number three is check in on your time supply. So a lot of people say calendar versus to do lists. But what is the calendar actually represent? A calendar is a model a really damn good model actually a really representative model of your time supply. If we were thinking about this as a business, and what you do selling your time and you are the output. I mean, what do businesses do? What’s my inventory? What’s my demand, right? And if you aren’t managing your inventory demand, right, these are classic bungles in your business. That means that you make a whole series of mistakes by not managing your inventory, right? You make a whole series of mistakes by not managing demand in the right way. And so why would it be any different with us, it’s actually not only not different, the difference with the business is we only have 168 hours, whereas a successful business can create more inventory to sell. We don’t, we’re stuck. 168 hours, really like let me cut that down. Frankly, if you talk about your good hours, you really have 20 good hours in a week to do the real work with which you want to succeed in your life. Right? So a lot of people like 60 hours, 160 years, that doesn’t sound bad. I’m like, Okay, well, let’s start thinking about your good hours, the hours where you can really produce, you’ve got like, strikingly few of them. So when you can get 15 of those 15 minutes of those bad is huge every day. I mean, do that in 100 different ways in your life, all of a sudden, you’re feeling a real sense of relief. So managing your time supply is about going to your calendar and scanning your calendar for the next 14 days and being like, Is this accurate? Because so many people have things on the calendar that shouldn’t be, there’s things that should be on your calendar that aren’t there’s ways to optimize your calendar that you really haven’t optimized. There’s things that are coming out, you’re like, Oh my God, my kids volleyball game, I didn’t even see I didn’t remember that I had that like these things that are like they’re there. It’s not like you just haven’t really got them into your consciousness like, Oh my God, that’s actually there. What do I have to do for that thing, right? So that’s step three. Step four, as we move over to your time demands, as represented by your to do list. So a lot of people like to do lists to do lists, what is your to do list? Actually, it’s a model of the demands on your time. It’s a place where you can model out and manage everything that everybody else wants you to do and everything that you would like to do for yourself. Pop quiz that for everybody who’s listening, does that ever actualize? No, there’s always way more that people want you to do and way more that you want to do than would ever fit in your week. So then you get into ruthless triage, what you really have to do in step four is ruthlessly triage the demands on your time so that you know you’re only considering the highest yielding bids for your time and the ones that are really going to get you the best return on your time investment. I always say to my clients, if we can accept and mourn the reality that we can’t do everything and we can’t be there for everybody. Then the next best thing is to know at the end of the week that we allocated our time to do the most good. Sort of like a triage doctor. Like if you’re a doctor on the frontlines of a high casualty war. You’re not going to be able to treat everybody, I’m sorry, and it sucks and you want to treat, that’s why you became a doctor is to treat everybody. But once you get over the fact that you will not be able to treat him and COVID is like right behind the so a lot of people in the medical community know exactly what this felt like they had to face this recently, where you’re like, I only have four ventilators and I really have 10 people who I would put on a ventilator, and now you’re making the decision of where can I do the most good with the resources that I have? And it sucks, but that’s life. And the sooner you can get into that place and say, Okay, it’s not all gonna get done, because so many people approach their to do list with the attitude of how do I make it all happen, you’ve already lost, it’s not all going to happen. What you really should do is approach with that much more sober attitude of I won’t get this all done, how can I allocate my limited time and resources to do the most good in that frame?
Heather Pearce Campbell 30:49
Even that shift, I just want to pause on that shift, though, because I feel like especially in the entrepreneurial space, and myself included, I get consistently really optimistic about what I think I can do. And it’s like, at this point, I recognize it’s a full on personality flaw.
Demir Bentley 31:07
Magical thinking, we all have it. It’s magical. Thank you, like, well, maybe I’ll get lucky. Maybe something that normally takes me five hours.
Heather Pearce Campbell 31:13
I don’t even think, maybe I’ll get lucky. I keep thinking like, oh yeah, I got this. So it’s really important. But I love the reframe of like just the pre acceptance of like, okay, I won’t get all of this done. Because I think it does a couple things. One, it gets you to reevaluate your process, but to the self inflicted, like, guilt party or whatever you want to call it about not getting it all done, right. I think so many of us can live too long in that space.
Demir Bentley 31:42
It’s about expectations, right? If you go to a movie, and everybody’s told you that that movie is amazing, you are already working against the fact that your expectations are sky high. If like everybody says the movie was bad, you might be like, wasn’t that bad. Now you’re being lifted by that low, low expectation. When you go into your weekend, you set even an implicit expectation of, I think I can get this all done. You have set this sky high, like standard for what winning the week looks like, like, Yeah, but when you set an expectation of like, Hey, I’m not responsible for getting everything done. I’m only responsible for allocating my time in the best way to do the most good. And you can have a pretty crappy week and still look back and be like now that like, yeah, it sucked. There were a lot of explosions. But when I look back, and here’s the standard, let me empower you with this. If you look back, and you say, if I could go back and do it again, like if I could get a second chance to do this week and not change anything necessarily that happened to me, there was just a second chance to maybe do a different strategy. If you say to yourself, I don’t really see what I could have or would have done differently than there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be like, Jonathan, if there’s nothing you could have, or would have done differently than you allocated your precious resources in the best way to do the most good you can and you just sort of say, well, that’s the brakes, I’ll move on. Right, that’s a new standard of winning the week that I think is something that anybody can win. Even I had a client who had this really intense it wasn’t COVID. But it was like an intense flu that laid them out. And they said, You know, I thought it would get no work done this week. But I actually got four hours of work done this week. And I feel like considering the week, four hours was like me being a hero. You know, like, I was literally thinking I was the opposite of rogue person in the world, because I’ve really got smashed. It’s about how did I perform in the face of what I was challenged by? And then how did I allocate my precious resource in that case, only four hours a week. But she looked back, I was very tangible, and very leveraged that four hours and actually made a difference, even though it was a very small amount of work that I did, right? And there’s that feeling of like, yeah, this crappy week, I was laid out, I got sick, I didn’t feel good, like so much bad happened in the week. But I think that’s the wrong way to frame it. Because every week, something bad’s gonna happen. And some are gonna be worse than others. I think victory is how did I show up? And how did I allocate my precious resources to do the most good in the face of what I was facing? And then when you change it to that’s then you look at yourself being like, actually, I think I sort of kicked ass.
Heather Pearce Campbell 34:06
Yeah, it’s great. I still think and I love the reframe because I think all of us will get more not only energy, but forward momentum, recognizing it’s a little bit like the gratitude practice. Everybody knows now, like, scientifically, gratitude has been studied, we understand that when we focus on the good, it’s better for our brains, it’s better for our lives. It’s better for our health, right, blah, blah, blah. So this is like a real obvious example of that. But how do you still get people to shift because I think that people conceptually go, oh, yeah, okay, I get this. But where the rubber meets the road is how to actually set the right priorities right.
Demir Bentley 34:47
This is sort of what we do to a certain extent in the we have a free live training that’s on our website. I’ll direct you guys to it later because it’s completely free. And one of the things I wanted to do is I didn’t just want to tell somebody how to plan their week. I wanted to try to leave, give them with a sense of I’ve got to do this. Now, if this is as good as it sounds like it is, I’ve got to do it now. And the good thing is you don’t really have to do it much to see how effective it is. I’ve had people come back to me and be like, I really stumbled bass ackwards into your planning process, I really did not do everything right. And I still had a much better week the next week, because planning is one of those things where you don’t have to get it perfect. Like any planning is better than no planning, right? This is not something where it’s binary, where you do it perfect to get the result or you don’t do it perfect. And you don’t, it’s very like incremental, where like anything you do is so much better than doing nothing. So you can be really crappy in the beginning and still be like, Oh, my God, this is working. It’s really working right? It’s almost like going to the gym like you don’t have to be like Mr. or Mrs. Olympia. To get a result in the gym, you just have to go to the gym, you go to the gym, you start getting results. So that’s one thing. And then the book, I really tried to dial that up to like 1000. In the book, I really wanted to explain my story. You’ve talked about getting from 80 hours to two hours, I really wanted to dive in and explain to people, how did I stumble upon this? What’s my unique perspective on it? Every chapter in the book, I really wanted to get people to occupy this place. Of course, what I love about TED Talks is this like what I call a new common sense, you watch a TED talk, and you previously thought about something one way and 15 minutes later, you’re like, I will never think about that again, the same way again, for the rest of my life, like I am permanently shifted now. And so at every stage in every chapter, I really wanted to take something somebody thought they knew, and flip it and create a completely new common sense where they’re like, even if I tried to could never go back to thinking about this in the old way, again, so that by the end of the book, people were like, rate, and I really want us to hammer this like, this is something I can slam the desk on. There really is nothing as leverage in your productivity as planning your week. I’ve worked in this for 10 years I’ve played with all the technologies, all the techniques, all the mindsets, they’re all great in their own way. But if you’re looking for that 80-20 or that 90-10 or that 99-1, right, that leverage where you’re like, this is the smallest thing you can do to generate the biggest positive force in your productivity hands down. It’s planning your week in the right way. And hopefully what we want to do is with our free resources in a 99 cent book, show you…
Heather Pearce Campbell 37:21
How do I get immediately after this? FYI, I know I should already have it. So out of respect for our time you’ve walked us and I’m just going to recap the four steps right step zero on first of all, I love that you have a step zero because it acknowledges the relevance of that part of the process and where it fits. Remove the resistance, right step one reflecting backwards on the week before learn a lesson from the past week, what went well. Step two, choose a priority, hopefully a leveraged priority. I love that concept of leverage. Step three, check in on your time supply. And step four, check in on your time demands, right? And then on that step in particularly, I love the phrase ruthlessly triage.
Demir Bentley 38:04
Yeah, and we will get into this but there’s a step five that’s married the two together. Calendar is your to do list and really don’t just have your open hours and your to do list and keep them separate. At some point, you need to say, okay, if I’m gonna do it this week, it needs a allocation of time, let’s put it on the calendar. And a lot of people balk and say, Oh, it’s me. That’s overkill. That’s too much. And I’m like, Well, how’s your life working right now? How’s your productivity?
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:28
You actually want this thing to get done?
Demir Bentley 38:31
Yeah. Do you want to feel powerful and be in control of your time? Do you feel like that now? If not, maybe we’ll try something that’s a little bit different from a little bit outside of your comfort zone that maybe seems a little bit extreme. But once you do it, I promise you’ll be like, Oh, crap. Yeah, this is worse. It’s absolute worst.
Heather Pearce Campbell 38:46
Totally, no, I see it. Of course simile works, I have to actually do it now. And I know like, I really want to hear because we should have started with this. But I love that we’re here now. Do share with us the 80 Hour Workweek, I want to hear some of your personal story and the big why behind productivity and why you have now built a life around training others how to do this, because I know there’s a big something there.
Demir Bentley 39:13
Yes. So first of all, you need to know about me that although I’ve always like known that I was like smart. I also was the kind of person who would work 80 hours a week to get 40 hours of work done. So there was a lot of I can relate to motion without movement, like I was the kind of person who just splashed around in the water a lot to just make a couple feet of progress. But I just sort of optimized into that. And I was like, I could work harder than the next person with no regard.
Heather Pearce Campbell 39:36
And I’m curious where that came from? Is it because part of it I think there are some people who are just like high energy people, they have a lot of activation energy and it can go different directions, right? I think some people are the like, I work hard and it’s just the story that I have been told about what it takes is like you just have to do hard work and it’s not like necessarily the most thoughts for hard work, the little bit of that, like…
Demir Bentley 40:02
I definitely gave myself the busy badge, right? The truth is that I really suffer from lack of focus. I didn’t have radical clarity. Nobody taught me in high school or college like, nobody teaches anybody how to manage my time and how to move myself towards my goals. So I also wasn’t empowered by the right systems or tools, in the lack of that I just took massive action. And I’ll give myself credit, hey, I mean, there’s a place for massive action in life. But there’s also such a thing as overkill. And I got to the point where I actually got a chronic stress related illness that I got three surgeries for that almost killed me, my doctors were like, You need to stop working, you’re working 80 hours, you need to work 40 hours. And I’m talking about next week, not a transition, like you go into the office next week, to go right down the floor. So I went home, and I remember it and I tell the full story in the book. But I remember just by going through this wash of like, emotion, you know, like denial first, like, that’s impossible. I’m working in the IRS. How can you just ask me to like cut my hours and a half. This is crazy, right? So the first was like denial and anger and like, and then the second was just like, I just remember taking the long train ride home and just being so furious, I got so mad, not at them. But just, I was like, I’m not going to go down like this. Like no, like, this is it. I think for a while I was in that? Well, this is the end of my career, but very quickly, it was like no way. Like, I’m gonna figure something out here. And I went home and I did what I call my very first real planning session. And the reason I say that is because I thought I was planning before by simply glancing at my calendar with like, magical thinking and glancing at my to do list. And so I would sort of like try to like tap on these things and assume that I had done a planning, what I really did, knowing that I had to get from 80 hours to 40 is I ruthlessly triaged, I went into my calendar and started just cutting things out, nope, can’t go to that meeting, can’t go to that meeting. Can’t go to that meeting.
Heather Pearce Campbell 41:50
But I’m curious what industry were you in?
Demir Bentley 41:53
Finance. I was in finance. So for me, it was about the intensity and the intention to finally face up to these things that I had been sort of, out of whistle past the graveyard in my pre planning, like, just like run out of the planet, you know, just like not really embracing it. Like, let’s look at this calendar and be like, Oh, it looks fine. Right. Let’s get into this to listen, start making smart decisions. No, just sort of like, oh, magical thinking, right? Yeah. And certainly I never married them together, right. And I didn’t even know what leverage meant at that point in my life. But that next week, I got down to 40 hours. So first week was at 240. And that became this wait a minute, wait a minute, if you’d given me a million dollars, I would have told you that I can cut my hours down to half in like one week. And that started getting me on this path of like, well, then what else is possible? And into that space? Almost like magically I read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, which talks about outsourcing to VAs. And within a month, I went under two hours effectively by just outsourcing my whole job. I just wrote SOPs for everything I did. So a lot of what I did was mechanistic. It was just same thing every month making the sausage in the same way. I was like, I hired like three CFA certified people from India. And I was like, great. I’m making $250,000 a year, you’re happy for me to pay you $25,000 a year. And I heard three of them. So it’s like, would I pay $75,000? A year out of my 250? Yeah, to work two hours a week like, yeah, absolutely. So I made that trade, and went under working to. But what was interesting about that is not only was that not the end of my career, it’s the beginning because I freed up so much free time, that now I started doing interviews on Bloomberg interviews, on Fox Business News, like I started going out and increasing the profile of the firm and becoming an MVP for the firm. And I built a new data set that sold for multimillion dollars in the firm. And so started becoming a rockstar at the firm with all of that. So what’s funny is looking back, the firm would have from a legal basis like no, a lot of break, they would have given back to a break, like do not pass go, oh, it would have I mean 100% violated every policy, no demand on that. And yet, I still feel great about it. Because actually net there, there are multi millions of dollars, because there was work that I did that I know they sold for 10s of millions of dollars after that, that that was only possible because of the time I made available. So a lot of people are like, don’t you feel like a bomb for doing that? Like no, actually, I feel like I gave them a gift. Like they made so much money off of me. It just also happened that I got my life back. Now since then I’ve gone on and become the productivity guy in my own company. Now my new philosophy is for good hours. And it’s derived from the principle that I asked myself, and I won’t get too deep into this, but Carrie and I basically we filled up our coffers for retirement. So our retirement coffers are full and we could retire at any point starting three years ago. That got me to a point of saying okay, I don’t have to work anymore. So if I had a billion dollars, how much would I want to work? And the answer for me was four good hours to me. If I could go and apply myself to something I care about, that’s challenging and fun, for three to four hours a day, even if I had a billion dollars and had no reason to work whatsoever, I would still want to work three, four hours a day. So that’s what I work, I work three to four hours a day, and we’ve got a seven figure business going on eight very soon, it’s great. And now we’re gonna start homeschooling your kids. And one of my next vision for myself is to be an eight figure entrepreneur who homeschools their kids to show people you can do or at your own ticket, whatever you want to do
Heather Pearce Campbell 45:28
Well, and based on that, I’ll just reflect what I’ve reflected on before based on the fact that our education systems generally around the world are based on the industrial era, they no longer serve so many of our children, and so many of us, and so why not make a different choice?
Demir Bentley 45:48
People should know that my mom is a school teacher. So I have so much care and love for school teachers and like what they do and who they are. And I love them so much. I mean…
Heather Pearce Campbell 45:57
My kids are in public school, but still I recognize the failures of the model.
Demir Bentley 46:02
The model, the people are amazing. The model, I would say, is even feeling down like they deserve better.
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:08
All the participants are sacrificing in order to participate in a system that is not working for everybody.
Demir Bentley 46:14
We’re gonna do a lot better in the coming decades. I’m sure of it but for now, I’m sort of like, okay, making our own decision. Plus, it just seems cool. It just seems cool to be like, because so many entrepreneurs, the story is to be a seven, eight figure entrepreneur, you need to sacrifice your family life and you can’t spend that time with your kids and you couldn’t do things like homeschool your kids. And so what I love about that story that really tickles me is like, I would love to just put a sledgehammer through that and just be like, I don’t know, there’s this one guy who’s doing it.
Heather Pearce Campbell 46:41
Like, I know. Look over here, folks. Yeah, totally. It’s so great. Well, oh my gosh, I feel like I’m just gonna say it, we need like a part two, or three or four conversation, right? To do it, we got the tip of the iceberg. And it’s awesome. And I hope if you’re listening, you are sprinting to get that 99 cent book or the real version, if you’re like, I tend to be it’s not great for the environment. But I really love a paper book and writing notes and revisiting like the really important stuff because you can create like your own cliff notes version right in the book. This is the kind of thing that sounds like people could benefit from that approach. If you’re listening, I want you to sprint over and get that I will be and I love that you recorded your own audio that’s awesome. pumped for that. For the folks that are like, Oh my gosh, I need to go connect with Jimmy or I need to go follow him. I need to go start consuming some of this stuff and really rethinking my approach. Where would you send them?
Demir Bentley 47:39
Yes. Okay, so I’m gonna stand by what I said earlier, what we do on our website is we send you to a masterclass and our philosophy is the masterclass is it’s free. And this is what we would teach you if we only had an hour of your time, and we would never coach with you ever again. And so go to lifehackmethod.com That’s lifehackmethod.com and you’ll see our free masterclass and you can sign up for a time it is on this topic, the winning the week topic how to plan your week successfully in 30 minutes or less. So if you’re like some of the people like ooh 99 cent book and other people like gag me, I don’t want to read a whole book. So for those people who are like No, give it the cliffnotes go do the masterclass frankly even if you get the book do the masterclass because it gives you a little bit more of a different format to absorb some of the information. It’s all packaged into sort of like an hour long, masterclass training. So there’s really no reason I would love every single person who is listening here to go take our free masterclass, and then check it out. And at the end of that masterclass, as everybody does, we do tell you about what we do and what our services are. But we also tell you who it’s for and who it’s not for. So we’re very honest about like, Hey, this is who could be thinking about this and who could be succeeding with this. We’re very upfront of like, you shouldn’t take it. You shouldn’t use any of our other services if you look like this because it just might not be a good fit or might not be the right time for you. So yeah, check it out and check out that hour long masterclass at lifehackmethod.com.
Heather Pearce Campbell 48:57
I love it. Awesome. We will have that link. Anything else that you want to share? Just in case you’re on social or anything? Go check those out, folks. You can find them at legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast, find Demir’s episode. And there we are. It’s just such a joy to have you hear I know that anybody who goes and takes even one step in the direction that you’re talking about will really be served. What final thought would you like to leave folks with today?
Demir Bentley 49:22
I would just say that productivity is upstream of a lot of the things that you care about. So I get this a lot where people say, well, productivity isn’t more important than my relationship with my kids. I could not agree more 100%. Your relationship with the kids is so much more important than your productivity. But if you’re not getting stuff done at work, and you’re coming home with a cloud over yourself, where you’ve got that stress and anxiety of not performing the way that you need to at work, or you can’t make the money that you need to where your business isn’t succeeding the way that it needs to, try to have a great relationship with your kids with that hanging over your head. I think about productivity as sort of like it’s that power plant. Upstream that could pollute the downstream river and create a lot of damage. So the cool thing is the opposite is then also true is if you can enhance your productivity, you can be more organized more productive, you really create a lot of downstream results in your life you never could have imagined, like caring for yourself better having an opportunity to sit on the couch or just listen to a record because you have the time to do it. Being able to be with people you love and sponsor the relationship. So I’m not here to tell you productivity school. It’s not it’s boring as bricks.
Heather Pearce Campbell 50:30
It’s cool when you talk about exciting, yes, I think of it as like a hose that’s pinched off or something that’s got somebody’s foot kind of standing on it versus like, opening it up to full flow. And it’s huge. So I’m so grateful for you. I thank you for coming on here today and sharing your wisdom and your experience. And I know people are going to be following up on this episode, myself included. So I look forward to being in touch again very soon.
Demir Bentley 50:57
Awesome. Thanks so much. Bye, everyone.
GGGB Outro 51:01
Thank you for joining us today on the Guts, Grit and Great Business® podcast. We hope that we’ve added a little fuel to your tank, some coffee to your cup and pep in your step to keep you moving forward in your own great adventures. For key takeaways, links to any resources mentioned in today’s show and more, see the show notes which can be found at www.legalwebsitewarrior.com/podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast and if you enjoyed today’s conversation, please give us some stars and a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast so others will find us too. Keep up the great work you are doing in the world and we’ll see you next week.