What’s up, everybody, it’s Dave here from Profitable that tools, and in this video, I’m going to be doing something a little bit different for this channel. I’m going to be reacting to Tim Ferris’s latest social media post. So I got to admit, I was on Facebook this morning and this kind of stopped me in my tracks. I saw the funny looking dog and then I went back and read the headline, The Not to Do List Nine Habits to Stop Now.
And I clicked. I clicked in and found this article from Tim Forrest. It’s very Tim Ferriss in Nature. I’m a fan of Tim. I enjoy his podcast frequently, but I noticed something here. This was posted originally August 16th of 2007, and it’s twenty twenty one. As of the recording of this video, this was posted just four hours ago. He is still repurposing content that was made nearly 14 years ago. And you know what? It’s still working.
It’s still getting clicks. So I thought, you know what? Let’s take a look at this article. Is it something that you want to be doing? Is this a good social media strategy? Can you create just an awesome article and then actually have it stand the test of time? So let’s go through the top nine things to stop doing now, according to Tim Ferriss circa 2007. All right. So Tim leads off the article by saying that not to do lists are often more effective than to do lists for upgrading performance.
Now, I haven’t heard him say those types of things recently, so I’d be interested to know if he has different feelings now. I think often taking action is better than avoiding action, than not doing things. But let’s see what he’s got in store here. So the first one is do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers. Now, that is really interesting because technology is help this process along quite a bit. Right, because now we have spam risk notifications on our cell phones.
Of course, everybody has caller ID. If you even have a home phone, it’s built into that. So you kind of know who is trying to communicate with you at all times before you engage in the conversation. So I feel like this one is just kind of par for the course and it really became part of our culture. All right. Next up, number two is do not email first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It is still pretty relevant and good advice.
It says the former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day and the latter just gives you insomnia. So the idea here is if you wake up and you’re in a reactionary mode, you check your email, you see what problems are going on, and then you base your day’s output, your progress for that day on what is in urgent mode, what has to get solved right now. Well, now you’re not actually working on the things that were more important to you before these sudden problems came up.
So he says to get at least one critical thing done a day before you go ahead and check your email. So in theory, I think this is a great idea. In fact, I would love to say that I only check my email a few times a day. But, you know, as the little subheading here for the dog, I’m pretty addicted to my iPhone and I tend to check it a lot more frequently than I’d like to admit.
Don’t be surprised if you email me if you have a question and I write back kind of just like right away sometimes I’ll also just put it in the back burner and then never get back to it as well. So it depends on how like pressing the question is and how easy it is for me to give a complete answer. If it’s something I need to think about, then I’ll often kind of put it in the back burner and it might take me even like a week or two to get back to you.
All right. I love number three here. And I do remember him saying something along these lines inside of the four hour work week. His first book, it says, Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or any time. Now, this is a really difficult thing to balance, but I think it’s important. First of all, most things don’t need meetings. They don’t need zom meetings and email or illume recording something like that can solve 90 percent of interactions that you might have with your recurring customers.
That’s my experience anyway. Some people just like meetings. They like the social interaction. And it might be because it’s the only way they can actually connect with other people. And I get that that’s important. But for me, I try to avoid meetings at all costs. If I get an email from, let’s say, a company wants me to review their product, which I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, but I get dozens of those every single day and they always say, hey, let’s set up a call like, why?
Why do we need a call? If I’m interested in your product, I’ll review it. We don’t need to interact with each other. So it just seems like it’s you know, we need to respect our time, but we also need to respect the time of other people as well. So so he says here that if the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and the agenda listing topics, questions to cover, no meeting or call should last more than thirty minutes.
Request them in advance so you can best prepare to make good use of free time together. So I agree with all of this, as I’ve already said. But the problem is how do you pull this off without seeming pompous, rude, condescending? It really is a bit of an art to get people to value your time as much as you value your time, and that kind of leads into his next point here, which is do not let people ramble.
So he says forget. How’s it going? When someone calls, you stick with what’s up? Or I’m in the middle of getting something out, but what’s going on? So it’s really hard to walk this line while still being polite and not kind of coming off as a bit of an asshole. Right. Because what’s up? Or I’m in the middle of getting something out. But what’s going on is not the most friendly way to greet people, especially your clients who are depending on you to provide services for them and things like that.
However, I agree with the principle, right. I don’t want to hear necessarily about your entire weekend, you know, certain people that need that human connection and you don’t get enough of it through other places. We’ll talk to you for 20 minutes before they ask your actual question. So I think this one is also still valuable. You know, the content overall, you know, with four points in out of the nine point list so far, everything’s pretty valid.
The only thing that’s not is the unrecognized phone numbers, and that’s because technology is kind of taking care of it for us. All right. Now, number five, do not check email constantly back and check at set times only. This is really similar to what we mentioned a little bit ago. A number to do not check first thing in the morning or last thing at night. So I totally agree with this. Don’t check your email constantly. It’s harder to actually do than it is to just theorize and say, yeah, I’m not going to check my email very often.
I go through phases personally where, you know, I’m trying to follow a new productivity regimen and I’m only going to check email, you know, at certain times of the day. I tend not to stick with these over time because maybe I’ll be anticipating an exciting email and I’ll be wanting to reload the email to see if it comes and things like that. So, you know, it’s a good idea in concept, but I find it hard to actually implement for myself.
All right, No.6. I love this one, although it’s another one where you kind of have to walk the line in terms of not being rude. But he says do not over communicate with low profit, high maintenance customers. So he says essentially here to do an 80 20 analysis where you’re going to find the 20 percent of your clients which produce the majority of your income, 80 percent plus of your income, and then find the 20 percent of your clients that consume 80 percent of your time.
Usually there’s not any overlap. They’re usually the best clients. Take up the least amount of your time and the worst clients, the ones that are always scrapping with you for discounts or want to pay the least, they take up the most of your time. So it’s very interesting. You could he gives you some advice here on how you can change your company policies to deal with those people. But another way to do it is just to kind of start to phase those people out of your business altogether.
And I kind of tend to prefer that I’d rather keep a company small and profitable and efficient rather than just having a huge customer base, which you’re not really making a profit on a large section of your customers because they end up, you know, the profitable ones end up paying for the support time of the less profitable ones. All right. The next one, number seven here, do not work more to fix, overwhelm, prioritize. All right.
I like where this is going. Let’s go and read it. He says if you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. That’s a Stephen Covey thing where he’s got the fourth quarter. And I definitely recommend reading these seven habits of highly successful people. If you haven’t checked out that book, if you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing seems in urgent or important. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of letting little bad things happen, like return a phone, call late and apologize, pay a small fee, lose an unreasonable customer, etc.
to get the big, important things done. The answer to overwhelm is not spinning more plates or doing more. It’s defining the few things that can really fundamentally change your business and life. All right. I love this one. I think it is, again, totally relevant. A great example here of evergreen content, because almost everything in this article is still things that people need to work on 14 years later. So the word priority really should be something that you pay very close attention to.
What are your priorities? You can’t do everything. You can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t buy everything. You need to prioritize what is most important and what will get you the biggest results, the biggest bang for your buck, whether that’s your time, your money, your effort, things like that. You really need to spend a lot of time working on prioritization. Now, I would say another way to fix overwhelm, you know, other than just kind of cutting things out is to get good at hiring.
How get good at delegating. That way, you can even have someone in charge of the delegating to other people. And that’s really how you grow a company to a medium or large size. Over time, you’re only prioritizing things then you’re still going to run into. Bottlenecks, so I think prioritization is extremely important, but you’ll also need to learn about delegation. All right, moving on, number eight, do not carry a cell phone or crack berry 24/7.
So, again, 2007, I think the first iPhone came out in like 2008, I believe, off the top of my head. So this was at least right around the time of the iPhone launch before we really had true smartphones. So not carrying a cell phone was kind of a possibility. Not everyone had a cell phone. It’s funny that he refers to crack berries several times throughout the article here. He does take at least one day off of digital leashes per week, turn them off or better still, leave them in the garage or in the car.
That’s a weird thing to say. I live in the garage. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. These are nice concepts, things that have certainly been discussed over the last 15 years. But in practice, I don’t think Tim even really does this as far as I know. So he says, so what if you return a phone call an hour later or into the next morning, as one reader put it, to a coworker who returned 24/7 and expected the same?
I’m not the president of the U.S. No one should need me at 8:00 p.m. at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me, but what bad thing happened? The answer, nothing. So there’s a lot of truth there. But again, like some of the other things on this list, harder to implement than it is to just say, hey, do this. So I’d love to see more actual strategies other than saying, like, leave it in the garage, because that’s not good for your battery.
And what if your kids need you or your parents are elderly and they take a hold of you? You know, there’s reasons you want to keep your devices by. So luckily, we’re having new technology come out that helps us. You know, like the new iOS features that are coming out this fall will allow you to set different focus modes so you can block contact with with certain people. But still that other communication and I think that’s going to be really helpful for this type of message, which I agree with.
I just don’t follow really at all. All right. This last one, No.9 here says, Do not expect work to fill a void that nonwork relationships and activities. Should you see the text here, the formatting that kind of off, you must have like a stray tag instead of the XML. But basically, the idea is that work is not all of life and that you shouldn’t just be friends with your coworkers. You need to schedule your life and defend it, just as you would an important business meeting.
Never tell yourself I’ll just get it done this weekend. So again, a really great message. Not a lot has changed there. In fact, with more people working from home, I would say this is probably a bigger problem than ever, really setting up boundaries in terms of I’m going to work between nine and five and then when five o’clock, it’s I’m turning off the computer, turning off the laptop and just focusing on my family or socialization and things like that, that is a really, really hard thing to do when work is always just down the hall and available to you.
So another really good tip here and unfortunately hasn’t been solved over the last 14 years by and large. All right. So there you go. That is Tim Ferriss is nine things not to do that not to do list. What do you think? Is this still a viable list? Should he be posting this type of content almost 14 years after it was originally posted? I know for me I am jealous that he started fourteen years ago with great content that is even still, you know, digestible.
Fourteen years later. That’s a hard thing to do. Think about any of the videos I make. They’ll be super out of date in fifteen years. Nobody is going be watching a tutorial on how to use WordPress from twenty twenty when it’s twenty thirty five. So kudos to you for that, Tim. All right. So that is going to do it. Kind of a different style video for me. What do you think? Would you like to see more kind of casual content like this.
Let me know. Leave me a comment down below and I’ll see you in the next video.