How to Achieve More By Noon - Dave Ruel

productivity Jun 02, 2021
Mark Struczewski, Dave Ruel

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Dave Ruel is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, international speaker, and the founder of Effic.

Mark Struczewski
Dave Ruel, welcome to the show.

Dave Ruel
What's going on, Mark? How are you doing?

Mark Struczewski
Hey, you know I love talking shop with other productivity nerds like myself. And we're gonna talk a lot of shop here on the show.

Dave Ruel
Yes, sir. Are you hyped up for Tony Robbins?

Mark Struczewski
Oh yes, this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, do not call me. I will be doing UPW Virtual for 12 to 40 hours a day, whatever, 54 hours over four days. I'm super excited about it. I'm all registered for it. But it's not here yet. I'm excited. I can tell you that I thank you for sending me a copy of your book. I don't know why I just held it up to the camera because it's an audio-only podcast. Dave wrote a book called Done By Noon, how to achieve more by noon than other entrepreneurs in a full day. And I like how you said at the beginning of the book, that people when they got Tim Ferriss Four-Hour Workweek, they go, wow, all that work? No, no, no, you don't have to just work four hours a week. He's talking about working smartly. You're talking about working smartly. And I think a lot of people agree with you. People like you and me get more done in just a couple of hours than people get done all day because we're intentional. We are very purposeful, which is the same as intentional. But we really want to get things done. And we have clarity. And I think a lot of people struggle with clarity. Because let's be honest, if you don't know what you have to do, the planning doesn't matter. Nothing else matters if you're not clear, correct?

Dave Ruel
That's right. And it's a good point you're making but you know, Tim's book, I think, you know, you, I think most people who, like give the book a bad rap as people who actually haven't read it. It's not about working four hours a week. It's a book about leverage. That's really what it is. Right. And that's really why we wanted to do with Done By Noon. The thing, like anyone who reads the title of the book, is going to say, it sounds like the Four-Hour Workweek but realistic. We stumbled on to the title Done By Noon because it's the name of the time, organization framework that we have. But we kind of realized that that was the name of a webinar that I had a few years ago to explain, you know, how to really manage your time, and, and the basics of the epic methodology. And we realized that the opt-in rate for that webinar was absolutely insane, like, it was actually really, really good. And that's why this became pretty much our most popular term and framework at Effic. And when we decided to name the book Done By Noon, because the thing is that it appeals to your most basic, I would say motivations as an entrepreneur, which is, you know, freedom. And, you know, I believe, pretty much most if not all entrepreneurs started their own business for that one thing: for freedom. And in the book, we divide freedoms, sort of freedom, into three freedoms, which are your freedom of time. So the ability to do things when you want, your creative freedom, which is to create what you want. And also financial freedom, because obviously, you want to be paid to work on what you love to do. And, and little by little, you know, as entrepreneurs, when you get in business, and you start getting some success, you drift from that freedom, for various reasons that we explained in the book. But, you know, it's all about reconnecting with that. And I think the title Done By Noon really appeals to that, that loss of freedom say, hey, you know, would be nice to be done by noon, right?

Mark Struczewski
So, yeah, well, it's interesting; you also sent me a copy of your planner, which I'll be fully transparent; I didn't use it. I'll tell you why. Well-designed planner. By the way, here's my thing with planners, I like a little part of this planner, a little part of this planner, a little part of that planner. And obviously, I can't get all the planners together and create my perfect planner. And I certainly don't want to create my own planner, because as you know, it's not an easy thing to do. So what I do is I am a big fan of the bullet journal, and the bullet journal is blank pages. And so I can take a line from yours and a line from this planner and line from that planner, and I create my own planner. I'd like you to talk a little bit about your planner, and about planning in general. When you write it down, so many people are going to their iPhones and their iPads and their note-taking apps and I think there's tremendous power in getting a pen and getting paper and actually putting your thoughts down there first. It becomes more real if you just get your calendar, rather than use your thumbs to schedule your day, it really does become real. Talk to us about that.

Dave Ruel
Yeah, you're right. And 100%. You know, I think I think people focus a lot on productivity, meaning just putting things together or jamming things together, and thinking that just a collection of hacks will make them productive. And always use the analogy of working out, you know, a collection of exercises, doesn't make a program, you know, there needs to be intention. And it's to be a reason why you're doing this exercise in a specific order. And the same thing, you know, with the way I would say, we have designed the planner is to have that structure, just like you would structure a workout, but that's there. I agree with you. I use digital tools, you know, Google Calendar, obviously, in the book, we talked about a lot about how to organize, you know that your schedule using Google Calendar, but the physical constraint of a physical planner, when it comes to managing your workload, that's important because like, you cannot go over your plan, there's, there's only a limited number of pages, there's only a limited number of space and of slots that you can fill daily. Right. And we, it's kind of an easy to, to implement a structure for entrepreneurs, I always say that, it's kind of the entrepreneur's brain on paper, if I could have the goal really to summarize how entrepreneurs work, where they fall, and what problems they have, and how to kind of take that all-around chaos in there between their two ears, and transpose that into a paper format. And that's what we've done with, with the Effic planner with the Effic methodology. And the Effic planner is the extension of that method.

Mark Struczewski
Well, very well designed. And I will tell you, one of the things I'm really a big proponent of is before we even talked about productivity, people have to understand their why. Because once you know your why, it feeds your goals. And I'm a big proponent. And there are actually statistics to back this up, I don't have the numbers in front of me that when you write your goals out every day, not think about I'm not like on December 31, your New Year's resolution. I mean, they have done studies that people who write their goals out every day on paper, number one, they achieve those goals, but they are more productive and more successful because they are focusing on their goals every day and instead I'm thinking about my goals. And so let's talk about the power of writing your goals down every day.

Dave Ruel
Yeah, you know, I think it's in the book we talked about talk a lot about self-leadership, right. And one part of self-leadership is self-awareness. So the ability to put your goals on paper, but also track them but track yourself as well in the process. You know, obviously, there's a big part of self you know, we put you know, a lot a big emphasis on self-care, you know, in the book in the planner as well but also on the weekly recap, for example, which is looking at your past week looking at how you know what you did, and what were your victories? What were your hurdles? Are there problems that you face and how you will get better next week? So that whole introspection you're doing every week, makes you more aware on how you operate as an entrepreneur, so obviously, looking at data, looking at yourself, is a key component in order to understand how you operate, but also and you said it right into, you know, the beginning is it's got to understand why you're doing things, you know, it's one thing to have goals and I think you know, it's important, no mandatory as entrepreneurs to have very clearly identified goals, but understanding why you're you have these goals, and I think a lot of dissatisfaction in the entrepreneurial space comes from the disconnection of our goals from our values and what we value as well really. More than often we feel pressured by the entrepreneurial culture, which can be can be toxic, we all know that. But also I talk about ambition appropriation is that by being exposed to what other entrepreneurs are doing much like social media is a great you know, is a great window. You know, your exposure window to demonstrate what you do, but we're going to take ambitions that are or are not ours, we're going to make them our own. Let's say you join a mastermind group and you say, Oh, you need to do this, and you need to do that. And you're going to join, you're going to take a specific online course, and it's going to tell you, that's the only way to do it. It's just not true. I mean, this is one way, and it's your way, you know, you talked about the bullet journal, because you have the self-awareness to understand what you reacted best to, and why and, and that you can have now a paper format to actually, you know, have it done. The thing is that a lot of entrepreneurs don't have that self-awareness, you know, when they get started, or even like experienced entrepreneurs because they were so busy doing that they never really stopped and to understand, you know, why, and there's no right or wrong. You know, that's why I talked about time, freedom. Also, I talked about financial freedom, and the reasons why, you know, there are always reasons why we're attached to something. And some people are very driven by financial freedom for a specific reason. Some other people like me, for example, my main freedom, the one that I seek the most is creative freedom, because I'm a creative guy. And I realized that every single time, for example, in my career where I was not able to create, always in a position to not create enough, I was losing, you know, I was not satisfied with my work, you know, I was losing my passion, I was losing my drive. And I realized that as long as I keep that creative time, alive daily, I'm going to be fine. You know, obviously, in business, there's not just creation, obviously, you have to run your business, you have to, obviously, take care of the finances, you need to manage your time, you need to manage a million things, but it's how well you can manage that, according to what you do best, but also your own ambitions, and what you truly want

Mark Struczewski
A couple of things I want to circle back on. So I don't forget them, I wrote notes. It's really important when you get to the weekend, and I love how your planner is set up. Saturdays are to reflect on the week you just lived. Lessons learned, mistakes you made, what do you need to correct, and then Sundays should be looking ahead. So a lot of people look at it, like all the weekend is, it's time to just, you know, kick back and binge-watch Netflix, you can certainly do that. But do take the time to reflect on your week on Saturdays, and plan on Sundays. And the other thing is about the bullet journal. To your point, it works for me, most people look at my bullet journal and are like blank pages, then it's not for you, you need something like the Effic planner because you need someone to guide you. I've been doing this like 20 years, so I can deal with the bullet journal, and I can use it. But if that scares you, or if you're just gonna go, because there are no prompts, what do I do, then don't do the bullet journal, go get the Effic planner, because you need someone to guide you.

Dave Ruel
It's like working out, Mark. Let's say we go to work out together, you're an experienced gym-goer and you know your way around., You know what sets you need to do based on your goals, etc. And someone who is brand new at it, it's gonna be like, tell me what to do. Now, give me a program that I can follow. And even if you're not there, I can follow it, right. And that's kind of the same essence, you know, that's, that's the, like, the area that I'm from, you know, that's that I come from the sports performance, I have a sports performance background. So that influenced the way that I operate as an entrepreneur tremendously. I always thought, you know, in workouts and sports performance, you know, with giving these analogies or with these analogies in mind in order to plan the way I operate as an entrepreneur and I realized that that's a way to do that works well, you know, with with with entrepreneurs, because obviously, we want to perform. We want to do it sustainably as well. You know, I think that's another thing. You see a lot of beginners who go to the gym, they're gonna start lifting weights all the time, seven days a week, and then realize that, well, how come I'm not gaining as much muscle as the guy who seems to be working out, you know, three to four times a week, but he's working like actually because he has the right program. He has a plan. He and he does all the things around well; it's well planned. He hasn't tried to optimize before he actually structured and you see that a lot too. You know, a lot of guys taking creatine, thinking they're going to build big muscles without working out. Guess what, it doesn't happen like that. You need to structure before you optimize and not the other way around.

Mark Struczewski
What's interesting, I read the part of your book about you know, you shouldn't do the same exercise all the time. And I felt kind of convicted because I'm a daily runner. So since August 29, 2017, I have been running at least one mile every day. I mean, I run every day for one to three miles. And I love running. But I listen to my body. So some days I run fast. Some days I run slow. When I'm doing UPW this weekend, I will run one mile in the morning before UPW starts. And I listen to my body. Now I probably should do other exercises. But I have this goal to run every day, at least one mile until the age of 100. I'll be turning 56 on June 21. So but I pace myself. People ask, how do you run every day? Well, it starts with day one. Then day two, then day 50, day 100. How do you get to be a better planner? You start planning on purpose. Day one, day two, day 50, day 100. So you have to start someplace. And I mean, you have to listen to Dave, you have to listen to me. You have to listen to Tony, you have to listen to Brendon Burchard. And nobody has all the answers figured out. What you have to do is you have to listen to all of us and go, okay, that resonates with me. And this resonates with me, kind of like an a la carte menu. I think people are becoming hoarders of information. They're listening to all the experts. And they're getting all the books, and they're getting confused because we all don't say the same things. And then like, they get overwhelmed, they don't do anything. Am I wrong on that?

Dave Ruel
No. 100%. And, you know, that's the thing we did the Done By Noon framework and the Effic methodology as a whole. We're giving some guidelines, we're giving you a framework, but that framework is flexible. Like that doesn't mean like free and that we showed like the question that we asked for Done By Noon is that if you would be done by noon every day, if you had to be done by noon every day, how would you structure your day, knowing that you cannot wake up at 2 am in the morning, so obviously, it's going to force you to understand, you know, how you work what you work on what needs to go, what needs to stay what needs to be optimized, and the way you're going to structure that within your day. That doesn't mean that you're done by noon and then done. Do you know what I mean? It's flexible, you can if you want to, I know for myself, like, technically, I'm done by noon, where all the things that need to be done in my business to make it grow sustainably and have good growth are done by noon. However, that's not the way I like it to be. I'm a creative guy; I love to create, you know what I mean? And for me, because it's an important part, that's the part of the freedom that I'm seeking. A lot of my time is made of creation, you know, I love creating, right? And that's the thing, it needs to be flexible, it needs to be adapted to your own context. And people forget about context. There's no way that something that works for me might work for you. The basis you know the basics, well, always, however, it's like it was no, it's the same thing with a workout. I know for a fact that if you do squats, bench press, and deadlift, you will get results because that's the base. However, that doesn't mean because I'm doing this fancy exercise this specific way because it hits my muscles because of my own biomechanics in a specific way, that it will work for you as well. Do you know what I mean? But that only comes through self-awareness. And by doing and you don't know until you actually do it. So that's why you have to do it in order to, to understand, and that's the thing with planning. You know, I think a lot of people over plan, you see a lot of people having very nice drawings, very nice and clean planners, but they spend their whole time planning and not enough in doing. Yep. And you got to allow yourself to be exposed to that, you know, you got to expose yourself to what works and what doesn't work and you will fail. And sometimes you will feel burnt out. And that's all part of the process. Do you know what I mean? The key is to realize that to understand to track if you don't track, this is when, you know, what should have been temporary becomes permanent is when the burnout that you're like okay, well now I understand it's been three weeks in a row, and my energy levels are low. And my drive hasn't been great. Understand why it's happening and making the changes instead of not looking at that, not tracking and, you know, keep keeping, you know, keep drifting. And the thing is more often than not, it's too late if you operate like that. So I think the more frequently, you're going to check in on yourself, the more frequently you're going to be realigning. And the frequency of alignment of realignment is key, in my opinion, for, you know, just overall fulfillment and productivity for yourself as an entrepreneur,

Mark Struczewski
Not to mention life happens. I remember a couple of months ago, we lost the internet. Somebody sliced through our cable. And I didn't have internet. So yeah, I was kind of not happy. And I wasn't very productive for the four days because, you know, I could, I could hotspot with my phone, but the speed is really slow. So life is going to happen, you're going to get sick, someone's going to have to go to the hospital, you know, things are going to happen. And if you go while I'm not done by noon, I have international coaching clients as you do probably as well. And you know, before noon, you can't say, listen, I'm operating by Done By Noon, so all my appointments happen before noon. And I'm so glad you said that that's not what you're saying.

Dave Ruel
That's what we're going to think if you haven't read the book, that's a problem, you know, and that's the same thing if you haven't read the Four-Hour Workweek, you're going to think that Tim Ferriss works an hour every other day. That's not reality, right? So you got to understand, as you said, things happen. And if you don't, that's the other problem, too, with productivity, I think a lot of methodologies rely on just a collection of tactics. And one thing, you haven't done your seven-step morning ritual, well, your whole day is completely messed up, you don't want that that's not the way you want to operate. Even for us, like, we have a self-care routine. And we're like, listen, you can make it a daily or a morning routine, the key here is consistency, you have to fit these items, through your day, it's like you said with running. The key is, not just to keep doing the same things all the time, the key is that you are consistent in the long term, and it doesn't matter if you run an hour or run for 15 minutes, you know that the goals that you have had your run today, and the consistency and over the course of a year, Mark will have run, you know, I don't know, 1000 kilometers, you know, maybe more, probably more actually. But you know, it's all about consistency. And that's how because your goal is to do it until you 100 Well guess what? It will, it's part of what needs to be done in order to live to 100 you need to be physically fit. So you know, all these things compound over time, it's like interest. And I think instead of being focused on the short term results, on short term gratification, you have to look at the big picture, that's actually the exercise that that's step number one in the methodology, you know, it's like, have the big picture, understand what it is. And from there, let's start reverse-engineering, to the actual action that you're going to be performing. It's not going to be perfect at first. But the more you're going to do it, the better you're going to be, the better you're going to get. And the more discipline, consistency, you're going to come to more success. And success is really when you're aligned. That's what success is, you know, it can be quantified by an amount of money. But more often, it's not. It's quantified as your direct alignment to your big picture, what you truly want, ultimately, and how well you are aligned, you know, and as if it's as close to zero degrees, as it can. Well, that's how you measure success because it's the shortest way to get somewhere isn't a straight line. And you get that with perfect alignment and knowing that it's never going to be perfect.

Mark Struczewski
Well, the book is called Done By Noon, how to achieve more by noon than other entrepreneurs in a full day. Now, if you're not an entrepreneur, most of my listeners are entrepreneurs, you can still get value out of this book. So don't say I'm not an entrepreneur. It doesn't apply to me. Yeah, it will apply to you. You want to get more stuff done. Go get this book. I have read it. I actually read the entire book. I can vouch for it. It's a great book. So where can we get the book, and where can we find out more about you and what you're doing in the world?

Dave Ruel
Yeah, so you can take a look at our website effic.co. That's our company website, donebynoonbook.com to grab a copy of the book, we're actually handing out free copies right now. We have limited quantities left for free copies. You can grab it on Amazon as well. And yeah, look me up on social media if you want to connect at Dave Ruel and I'm always here and available.

Mark Struczewski
I appreciate it. Obviously you're in Canada, because I can see the Montreal Canadiens jersey.

Dave Ruel
Yes. Big day yesterday, by the way, big day.

Mark Struczewski
Oh, did they win?

Dave Ruel
Yeah. So they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in game seven. So they're moving to the second round. Now they're gonna pay the Winnipeg Jets. And yeah, we're ecstatic. And obviously, my accent is probably betraying me. But yeah, I'm French Canadian.

Mark Struczewski
So obviously you weren't very productive during the game, but that's okay. You were productive during the day. I know when I watch sports, I'm not very productive.

Dave Ruel
The players that I watched yesterday were productive because they achieved the goal that it set for themselves, which is winning the series, and I'm super happy about it. I'm a Habs fan. I'm a Montreal Canadiens fan.

Mark Struczewski
But they weren't done by noon, obviously because they played at night.

Dave Ruel
Oh, no, they're not. Yeah, no. 100%.

Mark Struczewski
Well, they thank you so much for being on the show. Great to have you here.

 

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