FindFocus https://findfocus.net The Ultimative Resource To Boost Your Productivity Tue, 04 Dec 2018 12:13:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://findfocus.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-FindFocus_Logo-32x32.png FindFocus https://findfocus.net 32 32 The Age Of Distraction https://findfocus.net/age-of-distraction/ https://findfocus.net/age-of-distraction/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 13:24:18 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2382 “In order to do anything that matters, we must first be able to give attention to the things that matter. Doing so has never been easy, but lately it’s become harder in new and surprising ways.” – James Williams  We live in curious times. It’s called the Age of Information, but in another light it can be […]

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“In order to do anything that matters, we must first be able to give attention to the things that matter. Doing so has never been easy, but lately it’s become harder in new and surprising ways.”

– James Williams 

We live in curious times. It’s called the Age of Information, but in another light it can be called the Age of Distraction.

a harrying blur of multitasking activity

While humanity has never been free of distraction — from swatting those bothersome gnats around the fireplace to dealing with piles of paper mail and ringing telephones — never have the distractions been so voluminous, so overwhelming, so intense, so persistent as they are now. Ringing phones are one thing, but email notifications, Twitter and Facebook messages, an array of browser tabs open, and mobile devices that are always on and always beeping are quite another. More and more, we are connected, we are up to our necks in the stream of information, we are in the crossfire of the battle for our attention, and we are engaged in a harrying blur of multitasking activity.

When we’re working, we have distractions coming from every direction. In front of us is the computer, with email notifications and other notifications of all kinds. Then there’s the addicting lure of the browser, which contains not only an endless amount of reading material that can be a black hole into which we never escape, but unlimited opportunities for shopping, for chatting with other people, for gossip and news and lurid photos and so much more. All the while, several new emails have come in, waiting for a quick response. Several programs are open at once, each of them with tasks to complete. Several people would like to chat, dividing our attention even further.

it’s a wonder we get anything done at all

And that’s just in front of us. From the sides come a ringing desk phone, a ringing mobile device, music from several different coworkers, a colleague coming to our desk asking a question, incoming papers needing attention, other papers scattered across our desks, someone calling a meeting, another offering up food.

With so much competing for our attention, and so little time to focus on real work, it’s a wonder we get anything done at all.

And then we leave work, but the attack on our attention doesn’t end. We bring the mobile device, with incoming text and email messages, all needing a reply, with incoming calls that can’t be ignored. We have reading material, either in paper form or on the mobile device, to keep our attention occupied. We are bombarded from all sides by advertising, asking for not only attention but our desires. We get home, and there’s the television, constantly blaring, with 500 channels all asking for yet more attention, with 500,000 ads asking for yet more desires. There’s our home computer, asking us to do more work, sending us more messages, more distractions, social networks and shopping and reading. There are kids or spouses or roommates or friends, there’s the home phone, and still the mobile device is going off.

This is unprecedented, and it’s alarming

We’ve come into this Age without being aware that it was happening, or realizing its consequences. Sure, we knew that the Internet was proliferating, and we were excited about that. We knew that mobile devices were becoming more and more ubiquitous, and maybe some people harrumphed and others welcomed the connectivity. But while the opportunities offered by this online world are a good thing, the constant distractions, the increasingly urgent pull on our attention, the stress of multitasking at an ever-finer granular level, the erosion of our free time and our ability to live with a modicum of peace … perhaps we didn’t realize how much this would change our lives.

Maybe some did. And maybe many still don’t realize it.

I think, with so many things asking for our attention, it’s time we paid attention to this.

It’s an Addiction

There’s instant positive feedback to such constant activities as checking email, surfing the web, checking social networks such as blogs, forums, Twitter and Facebook. That’s why it’s so easy to become addicted to being connected and distracted.

Other addictive activities, such as doing drugs or eating junk food, have the same kind of instant positive feedback — you do the activity, and right away, you’re rewarded with something pleasurable but don’t feel the negative consequences until much later. Checking email, or any similar online activity, has that addictive quality of instant positive feedback and delayed negative feedback.

You check your email and hey! A new email from a friend! You get a positive feeling, perhaps a validation of your self-worth, when you receive a new email. It feels good to get a message from someone. And thus the instant positive feedback rewards you checking email, more and more frequently, until the addiction is solidly ingrained.

Now, you might later get tired of answering all your email, because it’s overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. But usually by then, you’re addicted and can’t stop checking. And usually the checking of the email has positive reward (a good feeling) but it’s the activity of answering all the emails that isn’t as fun.

FindFocus was build to stop this addiction but it's not easy. (More on that in a future post). 

It’s a New Lifestyle

Being connected, getting information all the time, having constant distractions … it has all become a part of our lives.

Computers, at one time, were a small part of our lives — perhaps we used them at work, but in the car and on the train, and usually at home and when we’re out doing other things, we were disconnected. Even at work, our computers had limited capabilities — we could only do certain things with desktop applications, and while solitaire is definitely addicting, it doesn’t take up your entire life.

Not so anymore.

Computers are taking over our lives

And while I’m as pro-technology as the next guy (more so in many cases), I also think we need to consider the consequences of this new lifestyle.

Because we’ve created a new lifestyle very rapidly, and I’m not sure we’re prepared for it. We don’t have new strategies for dealing with being connected most of the time, we don’t have new cultural norms, nor have we figured out if this is the best way to live life. We’ve been plunged into it, before we could develop a system for handling it.

It’s an Expectation

Let’s say you woke up one day and decided you no longer wanted to participate in the Age of Distraction in some way … could you just drop out?

Well, you could, but you’d be up against an entire culture that expects you to participate.

A good example was when Leo Babauta announced that he was ditching email so that he could focus less on answering emails and more on what he loves doing: creating. That seemed fairly straightforward to him, but it turns out it drew quite a strong reaction in a lot of people.

Some applauded him for having the courage to give up email — indicating this was a huge step that took bravery, took an ability to break from a major societal norm. Other people were insulted or indignant, either feeling like he was insulting their way of doing things, or that he was some kind of prima donna or “diva” for not wanting to be available through email.

Interesting: the simple act of giving up email was either hugely courageous, or arrogant, because he wasn’t living up to the expectation of society that he’d be available via email and at least make the attempt to reply. Interesting, because just a decade earlier, many people didn’t use email and no one cared if they didn’t.

Being connected all the time, being part of this constant stream of distraction, is an expectation that society now has of us

And email is just one facet of these expectations. How high these expectations are depends on your job, who you are, where you work, and the standards that have evolved in the group you work with. But some people are expected to be available all the time, carrying a smartphone or other device with them, and to respond almost immediately — or they’re out of touch, or not good businesspeople. Others are expected to be available for instant messaging or Skype chats, or be on social forums or social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. Others need to follow the news of their industry closely, and constantly read updates of news sites.

Being connected all the time, being part of this constant stream of distraction, is an expectation that society now has of us. And going against that expectation is immensely difficult for many people — it requires courage, or a willingness to be an arrogant prima donna.

How did this happen? When did we opt-in to be a part of this? There was never a time when we agreed to these expectations, but they’ve evolved rapidly over the last decade or so, and now it’s hard to get out.

I’m not saying we should get out. I’m saying we need to rethink things, to change expectations so that the system suits us, not the other way around.

A Simple Question

Here’s a little exercise that might prove useful: as you read this:

  • How many times were you distracted or tempted to switch to another task?
  • How many times did you think of something you wanted to do, or check your email or other favorite distractions?
  • How many times did you want to switch, but resisted?
  • How many different things made a noise or visual distraction while you were reading?
  • How many people tried to get your attention?

In an ideal world, the answers to all those questions would be “zero”

You’d be able to read with no distractions, and completely focus on your task. Most of us, however, have distractions coming from all sides, and the answers to this little exercise will probably prove illuminating.


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How To Quit Facebook Addiction So You Can Avoid Getting Distracted https://findfocus.net/facebook-addiction/ https://findfocus.net/facebook-addiction/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 05:50:46 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2185 Do you find yourself unable to control your urge to get on Facebook?Are you ashamed by the amount of time you spend scrolling through your feed?Facebook is full of procrastination baitIt’s natural to have tendencies to procrastinate, and a main reason that Facebook is so addictive is because it’s designed to serve you an infinitely […]

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Do you find yourself unable to control your urge to get on Facebook?

Are you ashamed by the amount of time you spend scrolling through your feed?

Facebook is full of procrastination bait

It’s natural to have tendencies to procrastinate, and a main reason that Facebook is so addictive is because it’s designed to serve you an infinitely scrollable news feed full of procrastination bait. You’re instantly rewarded with funny memes, intriguing videos, status updates, and more.

Facebook is slowly sinking you into depression

Maybe you’re someone who likes to constantly share the details of your day, or comment on other posts, engaging in conversations that are adding little value to your or others’ lives. Social media allows us to be lonely, to engage in unsatisfying interactions compared to the fulfilling ones we truly crave to have in real life. Your brain is tricked into thinking you have satisfied your social needs, but in fact it’s slowly sinking you into depression.

Through social media we enable ourselves to seek validation in unhealthy ways, hoping for someone to like the picture of what we ate for lunch, or agree with our point of view. Instead we ought to be focused on the validation derived from our own personal growth and success.

Facebook_Addiction_Quote_1200x630

Facebook permits us to glimpse the lives of others, or join groups where we can engage with peers and mentors. You might learn something of use, or gain an insight, but more often than not you will find yourself staring at an unrealistic portrayal of another person’s existence, or a peer or mentor’s shameless self-promotions of success. This can be deeply depressing and un-motivating as you find that in comparison your own life seems boring and luckless.

On the other hand, Facebook appears pleasurable by delivering the neurotransmitter dopamine when we get a notification. You wonder if someone liked your post or comment, and when they do, it literally becomes an addiction; that’s destructive to our lives.

Facebook preys on our fear of missing out

Equally ruinous is the fear of missing out, since some might find themselves constantly refreshing their page as to not miss any interesting content, message, or interactions. It is the ultimate enemy of your Focus.

There are so many ways that Facebook is driving you to procrastination and addiction. You may find that willpower is not sufficient to combat this craving, so you need a powerful tool as your ally. FindFocus is a robust solution to this problem, and we will cover how you can use this life-changing software to block Facebook effectively.

Create A New Profile To Block Facebook

Open the FindFocus preferences, and you should by default be presented with the profiles tab. Click the + sign in the bottom left corner to create a new profile.

Find Focus To Block Facebook Addiction And Distraction For Success


Name Your Profile

You will need to name your profile and add a description. In this example the profile has been named “Block Facebook”, and the description reads “Stop Facebook Addiction” When you’re done click the NEXT button.

Find Focus To Block Facebook Addiction And Distraction For Success


Create Custom Focus Text

You’re then presented with the Focus Mode settings, where you should enter custom Focus text that will remind you to consider your priorities. In this example the custom text reads “Are you sure you want to get on Facebook? Focus on your productivity instead.” The unlock Delay option has also been checked and set for 2 minutes, so that 2 minutes must pass before Facebook is unlocked, but you may choose whatever duration suits you. When you’re done click the NEXT button.

Find Focus To Block Facebook Addiction And Distraction For Success


Configure Focus Pause Settings

You’re then presented with the Focus Pause settings. In this example we have chosen a custom text that must be typed in order to unlock Facebook, which we’ve made the same as the Focus Text from the previous page. The pause duration has been set to 5 minutes, and we have allowed up to 99 pauses to be made during the focus session, but you may choose whatever durations suit you. When you’re done click the NEXT button.

Find Focus To Block Facebook Addiction And Distraction For Success

Block The Facebook Website

You’re then presented with the Websites page. Click the + symbol in the bottom left corner in order to add a website to block. For the purposes of this tutorial we have of course typed in Facebook.com — When you’re done click the NEXT button.

Find Focus To Block Facebook Addiction And Distraction For Success


Complete The Profile To Conquer Your Addiction

You will then be presented by the applications page, but we are not going to be blocking any applications on your computer so you may skip it and press the NEXT button. Now your “Block Facebook” profile is complete and you can choose it when starting a focus session in order to effectively combat your Facebook addiction.

Find Focus To Block Facebook Addiction And Distraction For Success

Have a look HERE for more information about how to block any website that might be ruining your concentration and productivity.

Also, for some eye opening tips on how to create laser-sharp focus, maximize your productivity, and speed up your success, I highly recommend checking out the interview with entrepreneur Joanna Jast.

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Productivity Expert Dean Yeong Reveals Insider Secrets Stolen From Noah Kagan To Launch His Online Business While Working For Sumo.com https://findfocus.net/dean-yeong/ https://findfocus.net/dean-yeong/#respond Tue, 02 Oct 2018 12:22:58 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2171 In this interview you will learn how to prevent yourself from thinking too much, the secret method of highly productive people to overcome procrastination, and the most productive way to work online so you can start a business on the side... In this episode you will discover:The best tip on productivity from Noah Kagan (it's not […]

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In this interview you will learn how to prevent yourself from thinking too much, the secret method of highly productive people to overcome procrastination, and the most productive way to work online so you can start a business on the side... 

In this episode you will discover:

  • The best tip on productivity from Noah Kagan (it's not what you might expect)
  • How to balance thinking and execution 
  • Two ways to prevent yourself from thinking too much
  • Dean's favorite note taking app
  • Why Dean Young still has a Facebook account (Hint: it's not about social media)
  • How to overcome Youtube Addiction
  • The secret method of highly productive people to overcome procrastination
  • Why learning can prevent you from having success (and what to do about it)
  • The most productive way to work online
  • How to manage your time working full time and starting a business on the side?

About Dean Yeong

Dean Yeong currently lives in Johor, a southern state of Malaysia and writes about marketing, productivity, and better thinking at DeanYeong.com while working remotely as a marketer for Noah Kagan at Sumo.com.

The Interview

How did you end up working for sumo.com and Noah Kagan?

I started to write on my personal blog way before working for sumo.com. One day, I decided to reply to Noah’s email.

Long story short, I ended up working for him because he needed someone for his blog. A few months later, I was transferred to sumo as a platform marketer. Working for Noah Kagan and together with the team from sumo I learned a lot, and it’s been a great experience.

What’s the best tip on productivity that Noah shared with you?

For me, it’s important to focus on execution, but sometimes I take time off to think. I spent a lot of time thinking things through instead of doing things.

A lot of times I am worried because I think so much and don’t get anything done basically. When I talked to Noah about this, I was surprised by his reply.

He said it’s good that you think so much.

I learned it’s more about being confident with yourself, and being firm with what you are doing. What I learned from Noah is that it’s better to think and do the right thing, than to do the wrong thing without even thinking about it.

I always thought execution was king.

How do you progress from thinking to execution?

The key is to separate thinking and execution. I write a lot about this on my blog. It’s important to have a start and stop point for everything that you do. This includes time for pondering and time for execution.

What I learned from Noah Kagan is that it’s better to think and do the right thing than to do the wrong thing without even thinking about it.


If you are thinking about the problem that you want to solve, it’s good to have a stop point. You need to know at which point you need to stop thinking. When you get to that point write everything down and move on to the next phase.

What’s the best way to implement this strategy?

There are two different ways to implement this:

  1. First, you can tackle this issue in terms of progress.
    For example, when I think about what to write on my blog, I just write down everything that I have in mind. Once I recorded all the ideas for the blog post, I stop.
  2. The second way is to set a time.
    For example, you can schedule 30 minutes for a specific problem. After 30 minutes you will stop no matter how much progress you made. I write everything down and come back to it later.

Do you use any tools or apps to enhance this approach?

You can use pen and paper. I actually use notion which is where I have all my notes. I use these to write my blog posts about habits and avoiding distractions.

What’s the best way to avoid distractions and build better habits? 

The first thing to mention is that I don’t use social media. The only reason I still have Facebook is that I run Facebook Ads. However, I’m not active at all on this platform. I don’t have the Facebook app on my mobile phone. Basically, I only log into Facebook once per week on my desktop computer.

Of course, it’s easier not to use Facebook when you are not attached to it.

The only reason I still have Facebook is that I run Facebook ads.

Personally, I got drawn to consuming YouTube content compared to using Facebook or other social media channels. So, it’s harder for me to resist getting distracted by YouTube.

That’s why I utilize the same strategy I used for Facebook. I don’t have the YouTube app on my phone and I use a chrome extension to block YouTube on my browser for a certain amount of time.

This extension will block YouTube on weekdays from 6 AM to 4 PM. That means when I try to use YouTube during that time, the app reminds me that I’m not allowed to watch videos then.

Besides that, I turn off all notifications on my mobile device. Only one messenger app is allowed to send notifications.

What’s your side hustle when you’re not working for sumo?

Besides running my blog, I work on a course called “Focus Mastery." This product will teach people how to get focused and how to stay focused. Instead of working on productivity tactics this course will teach you strategies of highly productive people.

You will learn how these people get themselves back on track when they lose focus, how they approach their work, and how they manage their time.

What’s the secret method of highly productive people to overcome procrastination?

The most important thing is that they focus on high level goals. They know their high-level mission and what they want to achieve in life. They know what they want to achieve in a 3 to 5 year timeframe.

At the same time, they focus on low-level day to day activities. They never lose focus of the things they need to do right now.

To avoid procrastination you need to become really clear about what you want.

The next step is to practice self-awareness. Instead of beating yourself up when you procrastinate, you need to learn about yourself. Take the time to learn why you procrastinate and how you can avoid this the next time around.

One thing that a lot of people struggle with, and prevents entrepreneurs from achieving their goals, is Internet addiction.

Why is Internet Addiction A Big Thing For Entrepreneurs?

I believe it is a real thing; a bad habit that prevents progress. One thing I learned from Tim Ferris's book “the four-hour workweek” is to go on a "low information diet".

go on A low information diet

Focus on just-in-time information instead of just-in-case information.

I love entrepreneur stories. People working online are typically not wasting their time playing video games or watching nonsense videos.

We want to learn something but most of the time we go too far and learn something that is not related to what we are doing right now.

People working online are typically not wasting their time playing video games or watching nonsense videos.  We want to learn something but most of the time we go too far and learn something that is not related to what we are doing right now.

That is something more people need to acknowledge and work on. It means you only take in information that you need, to get things done at the present time.

What’s the most productive way to work online?

  1. Know what you want to do.
  2. Do it.
  3. Then, shut down your computer and enjoy your life.

If you are starting out, it’s easier said than done. You have to put a lot of work into finding customers through ads, organic traffic or reaching out to them on social media. For an online entrepreneur just starting his business, it’s important to focus on one or two key areas.

For example, focus first on revenue and secondly on getting email subscribers, that's where you start.

Don’t worry about how you will get traffic, how many social media followers you get...

It’s critical to pin down one or two goals that you can execute on.

Focus on a way that is proven to work

When you narrow down your goals, it becomes much clearer what you need to do. Of course, there are a lot of different ways to grow your revenue. Focus on a way that is proven to work from the get go.

One of the most common things in the beginning is to get email subscribers and build a relationship with those subscribers.

Once you build that relationship you sell your product afterwards. The important part many people miss is to find the right product market fit.

Find people who need your product and position yourself in front of them 

If you get product market fit, you solved half your problem. If you position yourself right you figured out the other half of the problem.

The last thing you need to do once that's accomplished is to put yourself in front of these people. That’s the easiest part because you can just give Mark Zuckerberg or Google some money to do this for you.

This is a long process. When I started my blog, I did not have a specific topic. My blog was about self-improvement in general.

Over time, I focused more on productivity, habits and psychology. I’m trying to find my own voice in this space and test different product ideas. I try to find out what my audience really wants and what problems they are trying to solve.

Trust the process

It’s important to trust the process. Don’t fall into the trap of changing your approach all the time. Consistency will pay off in the long run.

Is there a role model whom you really admire?

I have a document with pictures of people who inspire me in different areas of my life. For my work and career there are the following people:

  • Ryan Holiday
  • Ramit Sethi
  • Noah Kagan
  • Seth Godin

All of them have different characters, personalities and ways of working. I really like to learn from all of them and aim to become a combination of them.

What I truly like about them is that they are writers (except for Ramit Sethi, who created a lot of online courses as well). I consume their content regularly, read their books and studied their background stories.

How do you manage your time, working full-time for sumo, while starting a business on the side?

I spent a lot of time to test things out and learn about myself. I am also a big fan of having a morning routine.

Design a morning routine

Designing this morning routine is one of the most important things you can do (along with the routine before you go to sleep).

Between waking up and going to bed it’s important to know when you do your best work. Know the times when you get tired and when you are exhausted. Identify the times where you are most productive and schedule your work then.

When it comes to my side hustle, there’s something people need to realize. A lot of people try to find a way to have everything at once. They do not want to give up something like having time with their friends and family and other hobbies.

Something has to go

When I work on my side business, something has to go. When I try to put a hundred percent of my effort into my career and my side business, I have to cut down in other areas of my life. That does not mean these areas are not important, but don’t attempt to start three businesses at a time while trying to become a pro athlete.

Productivity Tactics Are Overrated

Instead of focusing on tactics aim to think at a higher level. Think about the mindset and psychology of productive people. Find out how they approach their work and how they manage their time. Find out how these people get back on track when they were off-track.

This is much more important then what kind of tea they drink or which to-do list app they use.


Just copying a tactic is a recipe for disaster.

Make Sure It's Working In Your Specific Situation

Match these to your current context. Take into account where you live, with whom you live and work together. If something works for other people in might not work for you in the same way.

That’s the reason why tactics are overrated.

You can try to copy them, but you need to adjust them to your life situation.

Just copying a tactic is a recipe for disaster.




Thanks for reading and listening to the FindFocus Podcast

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Thanks for listening and reading!

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Stop Trading Time For Money: A Candid Conversation About Starting A Business From Scratch  https://findfocus.net/starting-a-business-from-scratch/ https://findfocus.net/starting-a-business-from-scratch/#respond Fri, 28 Sep 2018 12:47:23 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2142 In this interview you will learn how to make money with the skills you already have and start a business from scratch that puts money into your pocket starting on Day 1 and the mindset you need to adopt when transitioning from being a freelancer to building a real business!In this episode you will discover:How […]

The post Stop Trading Time For Money: A Candid Conversation About Starting A Business From Scratch  appeared first on FindFocus.

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In this interview you will learn how to make money with the skills you already have and start a business from scratch that puts money into your pocket starting on Day 1 and the mindset you need to adopt when transitioning from being a freelancer to building a real business!

In this episode you will discover:

  • How to make money with the skills you already have (even if it's just lawn mowing) 
  • The new mindset you need to adopt when transitioning from being a freelancer to building a real business
  • How to turn a service into a product you can sell
  • How Mike suddenly was cracking the nut for customer acquisition (and made three sales from people he had never seen before) ...
  • The biggest breakthrough for Mike when he started to build his business
  • Why Mike never that it was possible for money appear out of the ether (until it happened)
  • An amazing success story (that did not involve going to motivational seminars)
  • How do you stay up-to-date without getting overloaded?
  • The biggest time waster for new entrepreneurs
  • The easiest way to start a podcast
  • The best way to start a business from scratch (that puts money into your pocket starting on Day 1)

About Mike Partee

After almost being evicted, laid off from a dead-end job in technical support, and utterly broken and defeated--Mike Partee found himself reaching out to every Podcast Editing Company Google could spit out;

Facing dozens of harsh "No's" and an orchestra of crickets.

Still determined to make something happen, the mantra became:

"If nobody will give me a job, I will."

Podcast Rocket was thus born as a Craigslist hustle, then a Fiverr account before starting this website. After many long nights, phone calls, listening to customer's needs, and faith...

Customers came out of the woodwork. Staff was added. Prayers were answered and Mike turned his freelance career into a successful business...

The Interview

I'm currently 21 and created this business called Podcast Rocket where we edit and do post production for people who run podcasts, like yourself.

I was just this nerdy kid who liked writing music on computers. I created techno music and stuff like that back then. That was in 2008 and 2009. I did that throughout my childhood and later on down the road, I started to look into entrepreneurship. I had a mentor who took me under his wing and I was enticed by the freedom of entrepreneurship.

If you fast forward to now, I basically just looked at the skill base that I had, which was music composition and audio engineering; I spent a lot of time recording bands or setting up rigs for people in live concerts and had this huge skill base in audio production.

Then I asked myself what does the market need?

The question was:

How can I match what I learned with market needs and create a business out of it?

That's how this business was born. The podcast editing world checked a lot of boxes.It was something I knew how to do.

I did not have to worry too much about it, I just needed to sell.

A big plus was that this can run remotely. That's where I am now a year-and-a-half later and really enjoy the progress I've made.

What's the difference between being a freelancer and building an actual business?

The number one thing is the mindset. When I started this business, the only goal that I had was practice in business.

Two years ago, I had nothing. I had a couple of failed projects and a few little things that nobody would be proud of.

I learned a lot from the mistakes I made. I learned what not to do.

That's when I changed my mindset. I had nothing to show for all the work that I'd been doing for several years.

I wanted to find something, just anything, that would work. Anything that would get me practice on business.


When I started this business, the only goal that I had was practice in business.   Two years ago, I had nothing. I had a couple of failed projects and a few little things that nobody would  be proud of.


Then there came to a point where that sort of belief or that mindset ended up not serving me.

I asked myself: If you're just practicing, when are you actually gonna start playing the game?

There was a certain point when I started thinking well beyond. Not just pay the bills and get practice.

The biggest shift happened when I decided to evolve from being a freelancer to somebody who is running a real business that has employees and a large base of customers.

A business that serves a lot of people. It's not just practicing, it's playing the game.

It's having that desire to really build a multimillion-dollar company and waking up to that vision instead of waking up and thinking, “how am I gonna pay the bills today?” That's been the biggest shift.


What were some of the things that you would not like to do again and that you would not recommend anybody to do as well?

First of all currently I have a productized service. That means my company basically performs a pre-packaged service that you wouldn’t fulfill yourself.

I would figure out what the patterns are, so you can turn it into a product and resell it on a larger scale.

This way it's a lot less custom, limiting the number of variables.

With that in mind, one of the things that I'd would 100% do, without a second doubt in my mind, is that if you're gonna be starting off in services, you need to hire sooner than you think you're going to.

You need to get out of the trenches of fulfilling all the work yourself and get to building out the systems.

You need to find the right people and design the processes. Get out of doing this service yourself so that you become the entrepreneur. Become the builder and work on the business, not in the business like Michael Gerber said in his book the E-Myth. It's an excellent book on this topic.

The next thing is to make sure that you're charging high enough.

If you are not charging enough, you will have a hard time to find people to fulfill the work.

This might get you in the same situation where I was with too much work I had to fulfill myself.

That leads to not reaching your deadlines.

You need to find the right people and design the processes.  Get out of doing this service yourself so that you become the entrepreneur.

 

You'll not have enough time to sell or people are paying you too little for you to be able to hire anybody else full-time.

Make sure that you dial that in correctly. You want to become the entrepreneur and not be a worker in the business.

How did you find your mentor and what have you learnt from him?

My first mentor was a guy who I met in the music world. I was about thirteen or fourteen.

Just as I said, I was just this super young guy, writing techno music on my computer. Just this weird little hobby. He was the only other person in town, in my city, that actually did what I was doing.

Eventually we ended up meeting and having a good chat about music, about workflows and about the creative process behind writing music.

I asked him, what do you do? Because this was a guy was a bit older and had the freedom to be able to go see me at like 10 o'clock in the morning on a Tuesday. This was not even conceivable in my mind because I thought everybody works a nine-to-five.

He said "I'm an entrepreneur. I run a web design business and I own 12 properties that I rent out to families." And I was like, Damn! If that's what you have, I want it.

And since then, we've become great friends. We're still really good friends too but he took me under his wing and showed me a lot of stuff that I'm just incredibly grateful for.


What would you consider your first major breakthrough when you were starting out?

I think the biggest breakthrough was probably cracking the nut on how to acquire customers.

That must be everybody's biggest problem in the beginning. You think, well, I've got this great idea, I've got this great product.

How do I actually get it in front of people?

So, the biggest breakthrough was just learning how to drive traffic to a site.

Learning very basic web design skills so somebody could find out what we're doing.

On top of that I was getting better on the phone. That means if somebody was actually interested in the product I would not have a nervous breakdown on the phone.

When being on a sales call, I could have a good conversation and be able to sell something confidently.

Learning sales has been the biggest breakthrough so far.

How did you get traffic to your website? 

I got the first sales from Adwords, which was ridiculous! It was like, I turned them on one day. When I woke up there were like three or four sales and I was like, how did that happen?!

Then I remembered, oh wait, it's just from Adwords.

Before that, it was a little bit of a longer process.

Before that there was a lot of persuasion involved. But this was just somebody who was genuinely interested in the service and decided to buy without even having to think about contacting me initially.

I got the first sales from Adwords, which was ridiculous!  When I woke up there were like three or four sales and I was like, how did that happen?!


The customer thought “He has everything that I need. I guess I'll just buy…”

I never really realized that was possible until it happened.

There's something amazing about just having, I guess, money appear out of the ether. 

If you had to start all over again today going to university or college, where would you start?

For somebody who is interested in entrepreneurship and young enough, I would say: Get off your butt, don't be lazy, cash is king.

Your ideas don't matter unless you can take something and make something out of it.

I almost got evicted before I actually got any traction with this business.

This is long time ago, granted.

I almost ended up going broke before I said: There's something wrong here. I need to actually make something out of my knowledge and talent.  

You gotta want it bad enough. It must hurt bad enough not to do it.

In the Fastlane Forum there is this amazing comic of three people going to a motivational seminar.

Two of them were just attending and this third one was thinking, 'I could do better than that' and sat down to actually write a script while the other two were just talking.

She put in the hard work, this character. And at the end you could just see she's having her screenplay presented at a fair and the other two were just watching her movie film.

If you pay attention this success story doesn't happen overnight.

It takes a long period of time. If you looked in the comic, you could see they are aging.

It doesn't take one year to change your life.

It can take a long time to realize the vision you're going after.

First you need to put in work.


What are the best tools that every entrepreneur needs to use and you use to get business?

FindFocus is a great tool to stay focused but besides that a tool that I use to stay productive is Favro, which is amazing!

It's similar to Trello but they went off and added these functions that Trello wasn't developing and innovating on. I really like it.

I've got this crazy set up that looks like inside the head of mad scientist to anybody else but makes a whole lot of sense. It works for me.

Favro is the tool that keeps me on track.

Besides that it's important to stay aligned with what you're doing. Make sure you are not just focusing on your business, but success in every area of your life.

I created a big spreadsheet…


It's basically a spreadsheet that tracks my level of success on a scale of one to ten in each area of my life and then on the X-axis, represents time.

With that spreadsheet I track in a graph, how much my life has objectively improved over time.

I've been using that for a couple of months now and it's been awesome.

I don't know if I'll release the template publicly. But it's been really revolutionary in being able to look at the whole picture and say, okay, where do I have to actually focus?

So, that's been really helpful as well.

How do you stay up-to-date without getting overloaded?

Be aware of things that you can improve and take action to improve those things. I know it's easier said than done. A big key to make progress anywhere comes from having awareness.

Be aware of the holes in your life and then seek out the answers.

That's the best way to stay balanced without being overloaded with everything that's going on.

Everything always comes back to awareness and attention. Just take a look at FindFocus.

It's an app to raise awareness when people are sitting in front of the computer, doing work, creating value for other people. It stops them from wasting their time on Facebook, YouTube or Netflix and stuff like that. 

Be aware of things that you can improve and take action to improve those things. I know it's easier said than done.

Click to Tweet

Where do you see entrepreneurs wasting a lot of time when they get started?

The biggest time waster is research. Everybody wants to think of every possible contingency. Just take action!

Make something happen today. If you can't make something happen today, then what are you even doing?

It sounds harsh but I've been that wantrepreneur that thinks he knows what he's doing.

Nothing matters unless you take action.

Just take a look a this podcast. Turning it into an article makes it more likely that it will get picked up by Google and other platforms.

It feels so much more fulfilling to actually create something that you can show to other people instead of saying “I read this great article.”

Make sure you are moving the needle every single day

Another tool that used is that from Andy Frisella and the MFCEO Project. There is an episode about the powerlist

This is a list you make at the beginning of your day, which says, here are my top three critical tasks that I'm going to do to make progress.

If I do these things, I win the day. If I don't do it, I lose. It's a really awesome episode.

Making sure that whatever you're doing is important enough.

Move those big rocks.

Which tools do you see are becoming much more important in the near future when starting a podcast?

In the podcast industry, I've noticed an overwhelming trend in start-ups coming out and allowing people to start podcasts a lot easier than it ever has been before.

The reason for that is that the dominant market players for a while now, has been some of these media house like Libsyn or Blubrry or Podbean and other companies who host media.

Then then they give you what's called an RSS feed that you send to iTunes or to any of the other syndication platforms.

The easiest way to start a podcast

Now there's an overwhelming amount of companies like Anchor.fm and a couple of other companies as well. It's probably the easiest way for somebody to start a podcast because then you don't have to worry about any of the RSS configuration.

You just set up an account, you publish your audio and it's basically done for you. That's been a big tool.

Besides that there are more analytics for marketers available. The only stats we've been able to get historically have been the download numbers.

With better statistics you can tell when somebody decides to purchase a product or decides to stop or start listening to your podcast. These stats are available for YouTube but you don't really have the stats for podcasts, yet.

You don't know if a call-to-action, for instance, was effective.

If you had those statistics to figure out how your users are behaving in the middle of your podcast would be great. That would allow marketers and people who run podcasts as the marketing arm of their business to really make better decisions.  

They would know when and where to place certain content. For example, when to put a call-to-action or if they should put the sponsor spot in the middle or towards the end of a show.

Better Podcast Analytics

It helps you make a lot better decisions on how to format your show.

That is been a growing trend as well.

I really hope that we can continue to innovate in this space, because it is so untapped.

A lot of people say that there's too many podcasts out there. I don't believe that for a minute...

I think that, there's so much more room for improvement in this area, and it's just a matter of time before people realize it.

Another example is this very podcast.

All episodes are transcribed and transformed into a blog post that people can actually read.

Not just a transcription that nobody reads.

It's the next step of content marketing where you publish something and then syndicate it to other places, whether its YouTube, or Facebook, or Twitter.

Stop wasting your time on research

Put things out there and just create. This is so much more fulfilling. Even if the first episodes of the FindFocus podcast were not edited, you can see the progress you make over time.

It's so much more fulfilling to actually create.

Everybody who tries to start a business should start creating something and stop consuming so much.

When you create you can improve along the line.

To get good at anything will take some time and practice anyway.

If you are starting out nobody knows about you. That's a good thing. Because nobody sees how crappy you are. But if you got some practice for a couple of weeks or couple of months you will improve a lot.

And then more people will see your content and hopefully buy whatever you are selling.. 

Everybody who tries to start a business should start creating something and stop consuming so much.


What's the best way to start a business right now? 

Make sure that what you do is relevant for your customer.

If you're just getting started in entrepreneurship, start with a service because you get cash flow from day one.

You are trading time for money. Then you can scale up and start buying other people's time and selling it under the guise of your brand.

To get started, simply find the closest person to you that you can help with the skills that you have.

If it means you have to mow a neighbor's lawn, then go ahead and do it.

It's just getting the practice of reaching out to people and performing these tasks for people.

It may not necessarily be as scalable in the beginning but it helps you learn the ropes.

You begin to notice some distinctions along the way.

If you are the guy who's an over-achiever then don't just stop there.

Instead of one neighbor go to the entire neighborhood or the entire city and mow their lawns.

That's how you build a lawn care business.

How do you transition from being a freelancer to running a business? 

How do you transition from that freelancer lawn mowing guy to having an enterprise?

When your have your freelance business up and running change your mindset from getting the practice to running of business.

You had practice with just going to your neighbor, you had practice just going to your entire neighborhood.

At what point are you gonna play the game?

At what point is it gonna be important enough that you decide that an enterprise is something that you wanna build?

Change the mindset. Once you actually start scaling up, find resources like the E-Myth so that you can start building out your processes.

Start reading more literature on hiring services in general.

Start looking into how to develop a culture, so that you don't wanna bite your employees' heads off.

Make sure you're hiring people for character, not for skill because you can have somebody that's skilled and be a pain to work with, right?

You wanna make sure that you're still enjoying the process on your climb up.

Those are just a couple of little pointers.

That's where I would start and that's how I would address both audiences of the person who wants to get started as an entrepreneur and the person who wants to grow up from freelancer to an enterprise.


Do not believe this whole create info products right from the start, help actual people, get feedback, improve along the way and then you have the foundation to build a real business.



More Information

Learn more about how you can professionally do post-production for your podcast at Podcast Rocket

Get a free quote there or call Mike on his cell phone.

If you want to know anything about podcasts or just liked this episode then the can just say hi if you wanted to.


Thanks for reading and listening to the FindFocus Podcast

Do you have some feedback you'd like to share? Please leave a note in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this episode on improving your focus and concentration, please share it with your friends by using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

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And, finally, please take a minute to leave us an honest review and rating on your podcast app.

It really helps us out when it comes to the ranking of the show and I make it a point to read every single one of the reviews we get.

Thanks for listening and reading!

The post Stop Trading Time For Money: A Candid Conversation About Starting A Business From Scratch  appeared first on FindFocus.

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Can A $2-Tool Make You A Millionaire? https://findfocus.net/two-dollar-millionaire/ https://findfocus.net/two-dollar-millionaire/#respond Mon, 24 Sep 2018 14:07:17 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2121 A few years ago Mark Zuckerberg spoke to a large auditorium of young entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. The already successful founder of Facebook shared his lessons learned with people starting a business who wanted to start a successful company as well.  According to this story by Ben Casnocha, there were two people in the auditorium who stood […]

The post Can A $2-Tool Make You A Millionaire? appeared first on FindFocus.

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A few years ago Mark Zuckerberg spoke to a large auditorium of young entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

The already successful founder of Facebook shared his lessons learned with people starting a business who wanted to start a successful company as well. 

According to this story by Ben Casnocha, there were two people in the auditorium who stood out: John Doerr and Ron Conway. If you never heard of them, they are both extremely successful investors in Silicon Valley.

It was not that they were much older than the rest of the audience but they were the only people in the room taking notes.

He concludes: 

Isn't it funny, that arguably the two most successful people in the room after Zuckerberg were also the only two people taking notes?

Ben Casnocha

a $2 discipline You Need to use daily

Recently I came across a story on the FastLane Forum, where one of the most successful members  raised the question if a $2-tool can make you a millionaire? 

He mentioned a story that 20 years ago, one of his mentors gave him a $2 discipline he still uses daily.

Even though this was before there were smartphones this discipline survived technology changes, strategy changes, and location changes.

The Magic Tool? A legal pad

His mentor kept one. (According to this story his mentor lived in the 2 block radius of Beverly Hills that every Californian is aware of, but most can't afford)

Million Dollar Advise:

There are two critical tasks for the legal pad


Task #1

When he meets with someone, he has his legal pad handy. He takes notes. When I was in pre-law, they taught me to take notes with a legal pad.


  • Split the page by drawing a line down the first 1/3 of the page.
  • Use the right 2/3 of the page to take notes (on whom ever is speaking) and use the left 1/3 column you made to write your questions so you can address them when the speaker is finished speaking.
  • Even if you don't want the notes for later (you might...) the discipline of taking notes helps you concentrate on the speaker, and/or helps you appear to the speaker as if you are concentrating on the speaker

Task #2

Every day, he uses a fresh sheet of paper as the "to do" list for that day


We all have many things thrown at us throughout the day... put them on the "to do" list


  • Put your milestone goals on the list
  • Put your "sh*t I have to do today" things on the list
  • Cross things off the list that you get done
  • Carry over things to the next day's clean sheet that have to stay on the list.

If You Aren't Taking Notes, You Aren't Learning

There's an old rule of thumb that if you have something really important you need done, ask for help from the busiest person you know. 

You can modify this rule a bit which leads to this conclusion:

If you want to identify the most senior, knowledgeable people in an audience, look for the people who are taking notes and asking questions.

The Best Money You'll Spend on Ads? Use Pen &Paper

Just a few days ago I found this email in my inbox from Justin Brooks...

I was sitting in the crowd at a super high level paid traffic seminar.  The speaker starts to say “The secret to how we’re profitable on $4 million dollars spent is simple pen and paper.”  He explains that he takes notes about what he’s tried and what didn’t work. I thought I was the only one who did this. So I asked some of my buddies who I know spend millions on paid ads, they all said they do this too.  It makes sense, any one serious about their craft is taking time to reflect, analyze, and track their results.  That’s just what a professional does that makes him or her a professional.

(Btw. this is an inbox that I only monitor every once in a while, because I don't have any newsletters enter my primary inbox) 

Use Pen & Paper When You Attended Meetings

If someone comes in for an interview, or for a business meeting, and they don't have something to write with and something to write on, he assumes (maybe correctly) that they are not organized.

f you come to a job interview, or a business meeting, and you don't have something to write with and something to write on, successful people assume that you are not organized.

This quick value judgment may or may not be fair, but perception is reality when people make judgments. . 

In my own experience this does not happen overnight.

Creating betting habits and becoming super productive takes time to develop. 

Why you should not use a phone to take notes 

Of course somebody you might think. I can use a phone app like Notepad on my iphone  or maybe apps like Wunderlist, Trello or Evernote. 

Another member of the fastlane community mentioned... 

 

If I were in a meeting and someone used their phone for taking notes, I would automatically assume that they were texting/browsing their email.

AndrewNC

Why Writing Works Better Than Typing

An article on LifeHacker mentions even more scientific basis for the superiority of physically taking notes because it improves your cognitive functions.

For example one researcher named Dr. Virginia Berniger, who studies the relationship of writing down things to learning, found that children write more, faster, and more complete sentences when they used a pen rather than a keyboard which was also men, which comes to the same conclusion as this author from the Wall Street Journal who noted that adults learn new symbols and graphic shapes better when they created them using a pen and paper instead of typing them on a keyboard. 

Always Capture Your Ideas

It's probably a great idea to capture ideas whether you use a smartphone or write them down on a note pad.

In my experience phone apps are great, if you want to keep track of new habits and calendar reminders. 

However, if you need to keep track of  a lot of tasks every day, with some description about each one, it's probably not that productive. 

A notebook gives you the flexibility to organize stuff the way you exactly like it

Other people prefer formatted planners like the Phoenix Journal

The best advise in the forum probably came from another successful entrepreneur.

He mentioned that he uses writes all notes and to-dos on a yellow legal pad on a clipboard on my desk.

Every morning he looks at the written notes and put the todos into wunderlist.

This way his to-do's are re-written and clear, and he can move through them in digital form.

All the notes from his notepad typically end up in digital form or shredded.

Writing them down first feels much more intuitive for a lot of people and comes with the additional cognitive health benefits.

As this entrepreneur mentioned 

The Legal pad is always the point of entry and being on a clipboard and yellow, its always the most noticeable thing on my desk and its mobile.

Conclusion

  1. Capture Your Ideas With Pen & Paper
  2. Plan Your Day Using Your Preferred Method
  3. If necessary transfer your notes into an app


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Stop Paying So Much for Advertising – PR Expert Dmitry Dragilev Reveals How to Get Thousands of Free Visitors to Your Website by Building Relationships with Influencers https://findfocus.net/build-relationships/ https://findfocus.net/build-relationships/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 08:41:45 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2094 In this interview you will learn how to go from hundreds of visitors per month to thousands within a few months, impress journalists so they naturally want to write about you, and learn how to leverage Quora to build these relationships in combination with a common sense email hack (that nobody uses), tune in now!In […]

The post Stop Paying So Much for Advertising – PR Expert Dmitry Dragilev Reveals How to Get Thousands of Free Visitors to Your Website by Building Relationships with Influencers appeared first on FindFocus.

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In this interview you will learn how to go from hundreds of visitors per month to thousands within a few months, impress journalists so they naturally want to write about you, and learn how to leverage Quora to build these relationships in combination with a common sense email hack (that nobody uses), tune in now!

In this episode you will discover:

  • The #1 rule for somebody starting out to build relationships with influencers online
  • A mistake you must avoid when reaching out to influencers (that everybody is guilty of)
  • How an innovative company made journalists write about them when everything else failed
  • The #1 question Dmitry tries to answer before reaching out
  • How you can leverage Quora to build relationships with journalists (and promote your blog at the same time with a sneaky "under the radar" hack)
  • The one thing you need to do with every email before you hit the send button
  • The exact software Dmitry uses to track his success
  • The biggest misconception about ads, and why you should probably not use them when you are just starting out
  • How to avoid feeling overwhelmed if you have to do everything at once
  • The #1 tool Dmitry uses to stay focused (including the exact apps he has installed on his phone)
  • A sure-fire way that leads to procrastination and destroys your motivation. (don't try this at home or in your office)
  • Why Dmitry gave up on Inbox Zero (+Martin's suggestion to manage the flood of emails)

About Dmitry Dragilev

Dmitry is the founder of Just Reach Out, where he and his team help small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs pitch and get press coverage from journalists and influencers who are interested in their niche.

  • In 2016 he built, launched and used PR outreach to grow JustReachOut.io from 0 to 2000+ paying customers in 8 months using PR outreach and content marketing.
  • In 2015 he used PR outreach to grow his personal blog form 0 to $150,000 in revenue in 1 year.
  • From 2012 to 2014 he used PR outreach to grow the startup from 0 to 40M pageviews before the company was acquired by Google in Sept 2014.
  • From 2009 to 2012 he worked at ZURB.com as the only marketer where he used PR outreach and content marketing to grow their daily traffic on site by 10X and their Domain Authority from 13 to 83.
  • From 2007 to 2009 he worked at Crossloop.com where the founder and he used PR outreach to grow the startup from 0 to 5M active users before it was acquired by AVG in Sept 2012. 

The Interview

How did you become a pR Expert?

I was part of a MBA program and the very first week I was in Silicon Valley I met an alumni. He was starting a startup.

I decided to join. I did not know a thing about startups at that time.

I worked for free for a very long time and my mentor taught me a lot about PR. That was his thing. He was the founder and he was into building relationships.

He was number 20 at LinkedIn and we did really well. I followed his advice and he guided me through the whole process. That’s how I figured out what to do.

I learned how to build relationships with journalists, how to pitch journalists. That was the kind of marketing we focused on. 

As a result we grew company to 5 million customers in less than a year. And within two years it was acquired.

I left and worked for another startup before the deal was done.

All the time I learned a lot of things from much smarter people than me, especially how to build relationships, how to get publications to cover you, how to write for blogs and get publicity.

And of course how to translate this publicity into customers.

Eventually I worked for another company where I managed to grow our page views from zero to two million page views in about two years in 2014 before the company got acquired by Google.

That’s when I went on to build my own startup.

I decided not to join Google and leave. Instead I built my own company in the PR space.

Public relations has been with me through the whole journey from being an unhappy engineer moving to Silicon Valley and now running my own startup that has about 5000 customers who are using or have used our platform in the last three years.

What’s the number one rule for somebody starting out to build relationships with influencers online?

When I just came to Silicon Valley I did not know anybody.

When I worked at the startup I did not know anybody.

My mentor told me you have to build relationships with people.

And the only way I knew to build relationships is to start talking to them with the intention to give value upfront.

That naturally has to be individualized.

Everybody has their own values - You want to provide value upfront

I always imagined myself at the conference and sitting next to somebody who is well known. Somebody you want to start a conversation with.

Usually I Google them and try to find what they said on social media so I can respond to something that they said. If you know something about that person you can give little bit more insight into whatever they were saying.

It’s easier to do that now with the web because everything is so connected. You can mention what they talked about or answer a question. You can give them a shout out and mention them.

When I worked at the startup I did not know anybody. My mentor told me you have to build relationships with people.  And the only way I knew to build relationships is to start talking to them with the intention to give value upfront.

It’s much easier to say “Hey, I just gave you a shout out” and gave you a bit of exposure for what you are doing.

Without the web this was a bit more awkward.

This is the type of relationship that I usually like to start with. I always think how can I impress them to a point where they will ask me what I do.

That was a big lesson learned for me.

A lot of people forget that we always ask ask ask. 

That happens by default.

  • All of us are busy. 
  • We have a lot of things to do.
  • We have big checklists and we see that we are falling behind. W
  • e are not executing on all those tasks.
  • We don’t have enough time.

We don’t have time to do these little things that provide value.

That’s why when we reach out we say:

“Hey you don’t know me but I see what you are doing and maybe you can promote me? 
Maybe you can do something for me?

This is usually a poor way to start a conversation.

Of course, I have been guilty of this and most of my customers are guilty of this.

This is why we changed our service.

Instead of just using our software we connect them with one of our PR strategists. They make sure that our customers are giving value upfront.

As you can imagine, this is a very hard.

When I want to build a relationship with someone I always think:  "How can I impress them to a point where they will ask me what I do?"

Case Study - How To Get Get Massive Press Exposure when everything else failed

Just before this interview there was a customer, whose company recycles waste from sunflower seeds.

When they press the seeds to produce sunflower oil all the stuff that is left over is usually thrown away.

This company takes the waste and they make snacks from it.

This snack has more protein then meat. It’s healthy for you and good for the environment, too.

When they started to pitch, they were just saying “look at our snack, look at our snack.”

Of course, this was not working.

We changed their approach.

Instead we created a competition and pitched a story where people submit their recipes on how to use this material to create different types of food.

You don’t just have to create snacks like chips, maybe you can create cereal out of it, or some other bars.

Create Value Upfront to make journalists write about you

So this competition started to draw interest.

It was very interesting to see what people would make from this material.

It was pretty much value upfront for the people who were participating in the competition because they were giving away this material for free.

It was a lot of work to create the challenge and to recruit people into it. But once they had people participating in it, it has become a PR story, that they could pitch.

This story is interesting to journalists who are covering this niche.

It’s just one example of providing value upfront.

Another example is this podcast. You create direct relationships with the people you interview and the people who are listening to it.

How Are You Able To Write, Publish And Pitch Four Articles Per Week ?

You can find all the articles on my website because I cataloged all of them. They are categorized by different types of articles.

The 1400 articles in the last 7 years that we are talking about consist of different types.

We have

  • actual articles
  • guest posts
  • podcasts
  • Quora and other platforms.

I have a team of five writers that work for me. They write for me as guest posts, that’s one portion of those 1400, a huge other one come from my clients. These articles got picked up by somebody else and that got picked up by someone else.

It always comes back to building relationships.  You have to do it and everything that I was able to accomplish in the past was the result of providing value upfront.

For example I might pitch an article to a blogger. Then he would write it and somebody else would cover the same thing and would link to the original article.

The 1400 articles include all of them.

Of course, I cannot write that much on my own, not even with five writers.

Probably not all of them are amazing but it’s close.

It always comes back to building the relationship 
You have to do it and everything that I was able to accomplish in the past was the result of providing value upfront.

I ask myself: "How can I be most helpful to that journalist?"

Maybe it’s promoting their article. Maybe it’s spotting a mistake or maybe it’s just starting a thoughtful conversation with them.

How Can You Leverage Quora To Build Relationships with Journalists?

First you need to find an article that is very interesting to you and your expertise.

That means you know a bit about this topic.

Then you go on Quora and find a question that is more or less what the journalist has written about.

Make sure the question has some answers in it.

Then you answer the question and your reference the journalist’s article in the answer by giving them credit. 

Try your best to write a really good answer.

You can take your answer and submit it to Inc. magazine, or Forbes magazine, or Newsweek. All of them index these types of things.

However, it has to be written in a specific format. There’s a whole process there and we help our customers through that process.

The most important thing is your answer and then you email the journalist and say 

Hey, I just gave you some shout out.
Would you look at it?
Did I do you justice?

It’s usually nice for the journalist to see that, so you might start a conversation with him this way.

A sneaky Way To promote your Blog when using quora

If you want to be innovative you can link your own blog in the same answer. Then you reference them in your own blog.

If you do it this way you are promoting your own blog, and at the same time you are promoting them.

I have done that before.

I would reference my own blog but I would reference the section that talks about their article.

So in Quora, you are promoting your blog and the journalist at the same time.

This approach is a bit sneaky and more complex to execute. If we you want to keep it simple reference them directly in Quora and email them.

There is a lot of other things you can do with SEO, but this trick really works.

How Can You Leverage This Relationship Hack?

You have to cherry pick the people you want to build a relationship with. Make sure that they are from well-known publications, people that you really admire. Don’t do this with everybody.

Try to go after two or three journalists and built your relationship there. See what kind of results you can get and if you are getting the exposure you were looking for from that publication.

Start there, but don’t make this the only thing you do.

If you are using Quora, sometimes you just pick the right answer and you do really well.

I mention your success story, where you got 1 million views in one simple answer with all my students. The same happened to another student who used reddit.

She got featured on the home page of Reddit. She caught a thread that got poor answers, wrote something and then it got traction.

What Is The Most Important Thing When Try To Reach out to An Influencer Via Email?

You have to read the email out loud before you hit the send button. Before you sent an email, read it out loud to yourself.

Ask yourself if you would respond to it?

When you write an email nine out of 10 times it’s usually not something you would say to that person.  Why would you put this into writing?  You don’t because it’s usually a bad idea!

Would you say this out loud in a conversation?

If the answer is yes and you are 100% comfortable that you would say this out loud to this person and not feel ashamed or uncomfortable then send it.

Nine out of 10 times it’s usually not something you would say to that person.

Why would you put this into writing?

You don’t because it’s usually a bad idea!

Just like with marriage or dating somebody…

How do you start a conversation?

You look for common ground and provide value upfront and impress the other person.

Which Software Do You Use to reach out to journalists? 

I use MixMax in Gmail which lets you see if somebody opened your email. That way you can see if your subject line is good.

The most crucial mistake when reaching out to journalists

They see that nobody is responding.

That’s my they want to send more emails.

Send your email 10 times and test how many people are opening it.

If nobody is opening your email you need to work on your subject line.

If everybody is opening your email but nobody is responding you have to improve the copy.

Use Mixmax or a tool like Ninja Outreach, to see if people are opening your emails.

Let the data be the judge of what you need to do next.

  • Do you need to improve your subject line?
  • Or do you need to improve the email copy?
  • Or do you need to improve the whole pitch itself?

Perfect that!

That is the best way.

You do not want to amplify a thing that is not working on a very small scale.

Where Do You See Entrepreneurs Wasting A Lot Of Time When They Try To Promote Their Business?

I see a lot of entrepreneurs try to use Facebook ads. They don’t know that need to have $20,000 to test and run experiments with and another $20,000 or $30,000 to really run the campaign. A lot of times this is what it takes to run ads effectively.

Of course, you get people to sign up with a smaller budget, but to really make your ads work you need a bigger budget.

You need a really good funnel on your homepage and your landing pages.

I see people jumping to ads with 500 or 1000 bucks hoping to get good conversion rates because they hyper- targeted their audience.

For Facebook you will probably need a lot more to really test. You really need to work on your conversion before you even start advertising.

A lot of entrepreneurs try to use Facebook ads. They don’t know that they need to have $20,000 to test and run experiments and another $20,000 or $30,000 to really run the campaign.  A lot of times this is what it takes to run ads effectively.

You need to figure out how people interact with your product

Real people that you have not paid to advertise for.

I see a lot of people trying to get exposure through ads but their conversion is not working or their product is not working right or they are on a budget and should use the budget more wisely.

A lot of people do partnerships and affiliate deals. That’s nothing I have gone into because affiliate deals never worked for me too much.

Affiliate deals might take away a lot of your resources

You have to invest time to write the copy, maintain the relationship and do the work for your affiliates. This can be really time draining.

There are many businesses that exist because of affiliates but as a business starting out you can get exposure by working with your first customers. You can use their stories to get exposure.

Being tricky with ads is usually not the best way of building relationships.

Being tricky with ads is usually not the best way of building relationships.

Doing affiliate deals where somebody is emailing their user base to promote you for some percentage of money is nothing I support.

It’s just like in real life

Try to imagine someone on the street with an ad trying to be funny and then sell you something.

This is probably not the way to build a relationship with your first customer.

It’s the same for some shady dealings where somebody says I introduce you to a bunch of customers.

On the other hand imagine you speak at a conference and talk about something really interesting.

Then somebody comes up to you and says.

I really like what you said. 
What do you do and how does this really work?

That’s how you get the customer who truly understands what you do.

for small businesses who are just starting out it’s very easy to get mixed up in ads

Online marketing is a huge industry and they’re probably making investments and money.

It’s just that I feel for small businesses who are just starting out, it’s very easy to get mixed up in ads.

Maybe there are other ways of doing things that are not so capital-intensive.

Of course even with ads you always have to put so much money and some things. For example you can do Google ad words and pay pennies for some of these keywords.

I’m not saying don’t do ads. Think about where you want to put your dollars, especially if you are a small business. You want to make sure you invest your money wisely.

I have been bootstrapping on my life. I have never taken a dollar from an investor because their mentality is very different from mine.

I liked lifestyle businesses. I do not want to 10 X my money in the next 10 years or thinking about getting acquired or sold somewhere.

It’s a different thinking that you sign up for when you take money from investors.

It’s always a tough question where to spend money but this is a place where I see where we young businesses wasting it.

PR and building relationships is free.

Think about where you want to put your dollars, especially if you are a small business. You want to make sure you invest your money wisely.

I believe entrepreneurs should use this opportunity much more because it’s helpful and works.

What Creates the Most Stress When You Try to Build A Business from Scratch?

The biggest problem is trying to do too much at once. I am guilty of that myself. You get lost in what your priorities should be. There’s so much to do…

As an entrepreneur you have to do everything. You have to build a product, you have to market it, you have to figure it out what to write, the copy for your homepage, take in feedback from your users, etc…

You are putting out fires everywhere every day

Then you look back one or two months find out that you’ve been running around.

If you have a small company you don’t have a huge team. You don’t have big board meetings and this stuff.

It’s useful to come back to the purpose of what you are doing and figuring out how you will measure what you do month to month and week to week.

  • Is it revenue?
  • Is it the number of subscribers?

It’s useful to have one metric

In my case it is monthly revenue.

Then see how your actions impact that number.

In your business is might be something different.

Have a goal that you are going to and all your actions should be aligned to that goal.

Everything you are doing has to be driving that goal.

I think it is important because it is so easy to get lost again.

Keep coming back to that goal

Keep reminding yourself about that goal and don’t’ forget to provide value first before pitching your company.

What This The Number One Tool You Use To Stay On Track In Your Business? 

I was using a goal setting plug-in from Brian Harris. All it does is showing you that number because it’s connected to your dashboard.

For me it used to be email subscribers. Now it’s monthly revenue.

Of course, these two are correlated because the more email subscribers you have the more money you will make. The plug-in was connected to active campaign.

Now I look at the matrix in active campaign because there’s one metric that I highlighted.

I look at that every week, so I see how my monthly revenue is changing.

The goal setting plug-in from Brian Harris used to be really helpful because every time I open a new tap in my browser this metric was showing.

You see that number staring into your face every day

The name of the plugin was LIST-Goal.

What’s the number one tool to be productive and stay focused?

I got FindFocus from you and keeps distractions away from my machine. I’m pretty good with focus actually.

For example my phone does not have anything on it.

I can show it to you. There are no apps. I don’t even have text messengers on my home screen. There is no email on my phone.

All I have is just calls, Google maps, the camera, an app for music and dual mobile, which is my two-factor verification tool, which you must have.

I completely disconnect.

I cannot even access email on my phone.

My phone does not have anything on it. There are no apps.  I don’t even have text messengers on my home screen.  There is no email on my phone. All I have is just calls, Google maps, the camera, an app for music and a my two-factor verification tool, which you must have if you run an online business.

Besides that I’m using Inbox When Ready. 

When you click on it, the software shows you all the emails in Gmail, so you do not see your inbox. I do not want to see my inbox because it is usually a giant mess.

It is the world’s to do list for you.

If you open up your inbox it shows you what the world wants you to do.

Of course you have your own plan. But that plan gets put on the back burner. All these burning questions and problems and issues in the world come at you through your inbox.

What’s The #1 Thing That Leads To Procrastination And Overwhelm For Entrepreneurs?

You always want to see what other people are doing.

You see fancy websites, how a company created traction, you see their growth numbers. Maybe someone raised $30 million or $40 million and a startup has 50 employees and next year they have 150 employees.

And you simply started with your 60 customers and next year you’ll have 160.

A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake to compare themselves with other companies

This kills your self-esteem.

You are looking at these bigger companies in your field and want to be like them.

These people make things happen. They are moving icebergs.

However, sometimes I get in there and think “No way!”

They are not any farther along than you are. You just have a different approach.

A lot of entrepreneurs try to imitate bigger companies and try to do what they do. This kills your self-esteem.

Click to Tweet

Somebody who raises went to capital needs to hire more people. Of course, they need to account for them so they create more stuff.

Other companies are not as focused as you are

A lot of entrepreneurs try to imitate bigger companies and try to do what they do.

They try to copy their service offer, copy their metrics, their growth process and their strategy.

There are so many of these articles out there on how to get your first 1000 customers and how to get your first 100,000 customers. How we hacked a referral program to get tons of users, how we increased our conversion rate by 100%.It might have worked for somebody else.It will probably not work for you the same way.

Just because it worked for somebody else usually does not mean it will work for you.

Maybe referral programs are something you should look into…

don’t waste your time looking at other companies too much

  • Don’t implement what somebody else has done.
  • Don’t envy it.

It’s just what somebody else has done.

It’s great that it worked for them.

A lot of entrepreneurs try to imitate bigger companies and try to do what they do. They try to copy their service offer, copy their metrics, their growth process and their strategy.   Just because it worked for somebody else usually does not mean it will work for you.

Another thing I see is that people waste too much time on email

I’m guilty of this because I use email all the time.

I am waiting for responses or only communicate via email. Because of that I want to be very fast in this area and keep it to inbox zero. However, inbox zero might not be the right approach.

It just makes you feel good because nobody is waiting on you. At the same time it does not mean that you are productive.

Even if you forget to follow up with somebody important it will make you more productive if you do not answer every single email.

At the same time I need to work on the actual product itself, like the search algorithm. If I’m using Facebook or Instagram and read all those comments on my posts and answer them I feel good about it. But when I finished that most of my day has gone by and I have not worked on my software at all.

So, I always come back and asked myself what is driving my revenue?

One conclusion might be that I let my goal of inbox zero go away.

Creator of the FindFocus Website and Distraction Blocker


Martin’s Side note 
On Inbox Zero

" An effective method that is recommended and used by Cal Newport and Dan Ariely is to prequalify you the emails you get.

It means you make it more difficult for people to reach you for example by adding a contact form where you ask people what they want.

Do they need a response?

How fast do they need a response?

You filter the incoming emails before they reach your inbox.

This leads to higher quality emails

Another method to keep your inbox clean is to unsubscribe from all your emails or create a different email for newsletter subscriptions.
"


Conclusion:

Remember:

  1. read that email out loud before you hit the send button
  2. offer value upfront
  3. always be authentic


More Information

Learn more about how you can improve your results with building relationships with case studies, and more at Criminally Prolific

If you need help to pitch journalists and get exposure from blogs, publications, TV, radio and influencers and share your story I recommend that you try Just Reach Out


Thanks for reading and listening to the FindFocus Podcast.

Do you have some feedback you'd like to share? Please leave a note in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this episode on improving your focus and concentration, please share it with your friends by using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Don't forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite app to get automatic episode updates for  "The FindFocus Podcast!"

And, finally, please take a minute to leave us an honest review and rating on your podcast app.

It really helps us out when it comes to the ranking of the show and I make it a point to read every single one of the reviews we get.

Thanks for listening and reading!

The post Stop Paying So Much for Advertising – PR Expert Dmitry Dragilev Reveals How to Get Thousands of Free Visitors to Your Website by Building Relationships with Influencers appeared first on FindFocus.

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The Ultimate Guide To Block Websites On Google Chrome (And Other Browsers) https://findfocus.net/how-to-block-a-website/ https://findfocus.net/how-to-block-a-website/#respond Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:12:18 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2025 Are you trying to stay focused, but finding that relying on willpower is just too much to handle? Do you start fresh every day, fail, then vow to start again to get things done.  Maybe it's time to learn "How to block websites on google chrome and other browsers"... In this post you'll learn about a new […]

The post The Ultimate Guide To Block Websites On Google Chrome (And Other Browsers) appeared first on FindFocus.

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Are you trying to stay focused, but finding that relying on willpower is just too much to handle?

Do you start fresh every day, fail, then vow to start again to get things done.

Maybe it's time to learn "How to block websites on google chrome and other browsers"...

In this post you'll learn about a new and counter-intuitive way to block websites with four proven methods (three of them are free).

You will not only learn how to ban distracting websites but to schedule your non-productive surfing hours so you can stay focused and get things done without missing the things you like about the internet. 

There are  4 ways you can use to block yourself from any website (3 are free)

  1. Make changes to the hostfile and restrict access to certain URLs 
  2. Use a browser extension that blocks websites for Google Chrome
  3. Use a free free and open source website blocker (with limited capabilities) 
  4. Use a professional website blocker  

Of course all of these solutions have their pros and cons. 

Read the article to find the right solution for you. 

The Main Reason to Restrict your Internet Access Or to Block Certain Websites

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to limit your access to various sites on your computer and on your mobile phone.

Studies show that that up to 40% of the population suffer from internet addiction.

Everyone has his own guilty pleasure sites and wastes too much time instead of getting things done and being productive.

Some people feel they are wasting too much time on Facebook but still need to use the business manager because it's part of their job.

Others are trying to pass the next exam or finish their thesis and want to use a website blocker for studying. 

Basically every expert on productivity recommends to Cut Out distractions

The main advantage you are getting from using a software or an app like that is that you cut options.

Knowing that you cannot access Netflix in the the next 5 hours takes out the decision out of your day because it's blocked. 

You don't have to resist going there any more because you KNOW it's blocked. If you block distractions you can use all your willpower to finish that boring task you need to do.

One, stop browsing… I know maybe you found me because you were browsing somewhere and I hope you make me part of your focus on your personal development, that I’m a purposeful part of your life, but I can tell you that overall browsing completely wipes out your focus and your willpower.

Brendon Burchard

The world’s leading high performance coach

All that browsing, all those tweets that you’re reading, those newsfeeds that you’re reading guess what?


Every time you’re looking at them guess what your mind has to do?


It has to make a decision, pay attention or not pay attention and that decision is costing you focal power and resources later on, even if you don’t know it.

The secret ingredient you need to use is something that researchers call Delay Discounting.

Delay discounting is a trick that's recommend by behavioral scientists.

Researchers found that the longer you have to wait for something (e.g. watching that funny cat video) the less it is worth to you.

Usually your brain chooses immediate gratification at the cost of future rewards. This is because immediate rewards trigger the older, more primitive part of your brain.

By blocking a site you give yourself some time to cool off and the promise of the reward is reduced.

Figure 1: Illustration of the Area Under the Curve. The maximum reward and the maximum delay were set to one. We then converted the indifference points to proportions of the maximum reward, and the delays to proportions of the maximum delay.

Source: http://journal.sjdm.org/10/91215/jdm91215.html

The researchers found that even small delays can dramatically lower the perceived value of any temptation.

In practice that means your urge to visit Facebook, Reddit, Youtube etc. or playing a game has only a short time to overwhelm your brain.

To choose the right website blocker you need to know if you want to block a website forever or only temporarily for a few hours each day.

As soon as there is any distance between you and the temptation, the rational part of your brain takes over

That's why the methods described below work to block yourself from your favorite websites work.

However, they are not created equal mainly for two reasons:

However, after an initial period that typically lasts for a few days or maybe a week, you probably fall back into the same old habits for two reasons.

Either because you know how to find a way around the solution to easily or you forget to block the url again after you disabled the website block.

To choose the right method you need to know if you want to block a website forever or temporarily for a few hours each day.

Method 1: Block a website in google chrome for FREE by changing the hostfile

Changing the host file is probably the most common advise you'll find if you google for any advise on "How to block a website". 

This solution is easy and fast. 

Unfortunately it's very easy to disable again and therefore not very effective.

Blocking the host file is no effective solution.  It ONLY works if you already have A LOT OF willpower.

To use this method is only recommend if you already have a lot of willpower and just want a little bit of extra work to access your favorite website. 

Here are the two methods explained in detail. 

How To Block A Website In 2 Minutes By Changing The Host File On Windows Computer

How To Block A Website In 2 Minutes By Changing The Host File On A Mac Computer


Method #2: Block a website on Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari By using a free browser extension

Using a browser extension to limit the access to distracting URLs is the preferred option for most people looking for a free online time management tool. This is the best solution for someone who just wants to gain a bit more control of his or her surfing habits.

Using a browser extension is a great solution if you need to block sites at work and are not allowed to install a fully functional native website and distraction blocker.  

Using a browser extension is a great solution if you need to block sites at work and are not allowed to install a fully functional native website and distraction blocker.

How To Limit internet access on google chrome using the most popular browser extension  

There is hardly any productivity article that won't mention StayFocusd. With more than 800,000 active users in 2018 this browser extension is by far the most popular extension in this category for Google Chrome.

You can customize StayFocusd so that it lets you onto restricted websites or domains for a specific amount of time each day while a countdown clock shows how much time you have left.

Add site(s) to block in the text box below, then click "Add Blocked Site(s)".  To block multiple sites, add one per line. Do not type the http:// If you want to block the entire site, leave off the www (i.e. cnn.com instead of www.cnn.com) You can use a preceding asterisk as a wildcard (i.e. *.com blocks all .com sites, or *foo blocks all domains with the word "foo" in them)

Unfortunately, there's one very obvious way to get around Stayfocusd, and that's to launch a different Web browser because since Stayfocusd only works in Chrome.

Hello Internet Explorer 🙂 

The best feature of is that can customize it is to enable it only on certain week days and specific times, for example as only weekdays between 8a.m. and 4p.m.

Stayfocusd has two more features that are responsible for it's success. With the nuclear feature there's no turning back (except switching to another browser).

The first feature is called  "The Nuclear Option."

Once you activate it Stayfocusd will completely block the sites that you want for the number of hours you set, regardless of the days and hours you've set as allowable surfing time. There is no way to stop the nuclear option once you activate it.  

reflect about whether you really want access to your unwanted websites

The second feature is called "Require Challenge." With this option Stayfocusd asks you to complete a very difficult challenge before you can make any changes to your settings that restrict internet access.

In order to "win" the challenge you need to type a word-for-word a paragraph, without making a single error (!!!)  This means that if you hit backspace or a capital letter where it should be lowercase, you have to start over. It's not possible to copy-and-paste the paragraph either because StayFocusd counts your keystrokes.

For most people this takes a few tries before they win the challenge. While typing you are forced to delay your gratification and reflect about whether you really want access to your unwanted websites.

It's even more powerful if you can change the text that you're required to type to something that can potentially make you more motivated to continue the project you are tying to finish. 

Block Sites Immediately With Leechblock on Firefox (and Google Chrome) 

temporarily block websites with Leechblock

The most popular site blocker for the Mozilla Firefox is a simple extension called LeechBlock (It's available for Google Chrome as well). Like StayFocusd the extension allows you to specify which sites you want to block and when to block them.

You can specify up to six sets of sites to block at different times and days for each set. You can block yourself within fixed time periods, set allow amount of time per hour), or use a combination of time periods and time limit (e.g., allow up to 5 minutes in every hour between 8am and 4pm).

If you want to use this net blocker extension to block a specific url you can use specified wildcards (e.g., reddit.com/r/all) and exceptions like reddit.com/r/nosurf) to  ban websites. Leechblock also comes with another feature called: The lockdown feature which you can use to block sites immediately for a specified time.

There's one very obvious way to get around any website blocking extention. Launch a different web browser.  Hello Internet Explorer :)


Control Internet Access on Safari (and Google Chrome) with WasteNoTime

block websites for a period of time for studying

Your best bet if you want to use an extension for Safari (Mac) is WasteNoTime which is "designed to help you manage your time spent on the Internet more efficiently". Like LeechBlock it's possible to block a web pages and limit internet access on Google Chrome as well.

Basically this web blocker software adds an icon to the Safari browser toolbar. If you click on the icon it will display a popover window, where you can see how much allowed time you have left, add sites to be blocked, and access the Settings.

The extension provides a status bar that allows you to monitor in real-time how much time you have left for accessing sites on the block list. This free productivity software allows you to add sites to the block list easily by clicking a couple of buttons.

The context menu allows you to add web pages to the block list while you are browsing. If I really want to concentrate on work WasteNoTime allows you to block ALL sites by adding a  * to your block list. For sites with a custom time limit, the global time limit applies. When either of them is used up, the site will be blocked.

Method #3: Block Access To Websites on Mac (But be careful and know It's limitations) 

This article would not be complete without the most popular website blocker for Mac which is called SelfControl and was downloaded over 400,000 from MacUpdate alone.

SelfControl is a free and open-source net blocker for macOS that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet.

The best part (apart from the fact that it's free) is that it's super simple to use.

Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start." For example: To block Youtube, you would add youtube.com to your block list. However, some websites have different domains for different functions, and you may need to block all of them to get it working fully.

Until the timer expires, the software will modify your host file and you will be unable to access those sites—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.

The software was created by a great guy called Steve Lambert how decided to make it open source. 

SelfControl is still a very powerful, and lightweight app that is used by thousands of people. It's probably the best website blocker for Mac if you don't want to spend any money on software.

Click to Tweet

However, some institutions like the Wharton University of Pennsylvania, don't recommend using Self Control because a number of their students have lost all their data after having to reformat and reinstall their Mac. 

SelfControl is a Mac application that some students install to keep distracting sites such as social media from interfering with school work. However, we don't recommend using SelfControl -- a number of students have lost all their data after having to reformat and reinstall.

SelfControl can permanently damage your system files 

Once preferences are set in the application, the web blocking software embeds itself in system files to prevent access. Even if the program is removed, the system files are damaged and require a reformat & restore.

I interviewed Steve Lambert, the creator of Self-Control and he explained that many people don't understand the concept of free (open source)  software:

Creator of The SelfControl App

Steve Lambert

Creator of SelfControl

One of the things we were talking about was being a customer and having expectations about software instead of being a participant and saying it would be really great if this feature was existing.

I pay you to code it.

Then I say, why don’t you pay someone else to do that? Shifting this expectation was almost impossible because understanding of open source software was just not there. I was saying you do it and people were just thinking I was a jerk.

But the good thing about releasing self-control for free is that it is way more popular than if it would be a commercial software. People downloaded for free and I hope they understand it as a gift and instead as of the product. I think, Self-control is useful for me and people can use it, if it’s useful for them, too. A lot of people understand it that way and use it because of that. And then they think: “Oh God this is so helpful”.


Open Source Problem #1: There is no customer support: 

Self-Control is open-source software. That means nobody is responsible for customer support. Of course there are some volunteers how answer questions on github, but for the most part the user has to solve a problem on it's own. 

And Steve mentioned in during the interview: 

Understanding of open source software was just not there and shifting expectations was almost impossible. I was saying you do it and people were just thinking I was a jerk.

Open Source Problem #2: The Software is not actively developed:

Self-Control is open-source software. That means nobody is responsible for customer support. Of course there are some volunteers how answer questions on github, but for the most part the user has to solve a problem on it's own. 

To quote Steve Lambert again: 

That’s the Thing With Free Software... It’s Been Years That People Wanted This Feature And No One Made It.

Of course SelfControl is still a very powerful, and lightweight app that is used by thousands of people. It's probably the best website blocker for Mac if you don't want to spend any money on software. 

The Best Free Solution To Block Access To Websites on Windows - Is Not Available Any More 🙁

The best free alternative for Windows is not supported any more.

I'm sorry there is currently no free alternative to SelfControl for Windows that we can recommend to you. The only one worth mentioning was SelfRestraint but the URL to the official website does not work & the source code at Github has not been updated for an extended period. 


Method #4: Use A Professional Website And Distraction Blocker

The #1 Alternative To SelfControl for Professionals & Productivity Experts

Browser extensions like StayFocusd and Leechblock do a lot of things right. They may help but a lot of people turn to a professional alternative because if you are using the host file blocking method or an browser extension it's too easy just to switch to another browser. 

The alternative to block websites on Google Chrome and other browsers is to use a professional website blocker like FindFocus 

FindFocus comes with all of the features that made browser extensions like StayFocusd and web blocking software like SelfControl so popular (without the downsides of messing up your files or being limited to one browser). 

The app was build to keep your system secure and uses an approach that does not use the hostfile or making changes to your operating system. 

However, once the app is running you cannot turn it off. 

FindFocus was build to reverse Bad Browsing habits

When you try the app you'll immediately get access to a membership area where you'll be introduced to a completely new way of using the internet.

For example with FindFocus it's possible to 

  1. Block distracting websites like Facebook, Youtube, Reddit and Quora throughout the day.
  2. White-list all the websites that you need to work and force yourself to unlock the Internet (for max. 10min per session) if you want to do a quick search on a site that’s not on your white-list.  
  3. Block email until 2pm, while still being allowed to send email without seeing your inbox in Gmail 

FindFocus is the only software on the market allows you to have multiple profiles running at the same time.


The truth is that most of us don't want to give up our flexibility.  That's the reason why most people "like the concept" of DEEP WORK and FOCUS but  slip back into bad habits sooner or later.

The Counter-Intuitive Approach To Productivity- Why Being able to bypass a website block will make you more productive

There are different options to block a website for a shorter periods. And many reasons to do so.

Maybe you are working on a blog article and need to do a quick research. Or there is something your wife asks you order some new shoes or something for the kids ASAP (I know, I don't want to argue with my wife :D)

The truth is that most of us don't want to give up our flexibility. That's the reason why most people "like" the concept of deep work and focus but than go back to the same old habits sooner or later, even after paying for a solution like Freedom.  

Let's be honest here. No matter what website blocker software you use there will always be a solution to bypass any internet blocker on the market. 

The best way to use FindFocus is to intentionally allow yourself to give into your craving and "pause" you block for short period of time.

After a couple of minutes the software will automatically start again and will prevent you from loosing hours on end in an OCD-loop.  

The idea here is that you know best, what's right for you, especially if you know the websites you need to block at work.  

Maybe you need to protect yourself with the "Fort Knox Mode". (It's called this way because just like with SelfControl, it's not possible for the average user to bypass the Fort Knox Mode). 

But maybe you just want to make checking your emails just a bit more difficult to and give an extra dose of motivation to stay away from it. 

How to temporarily block a website Without limiting your flexibility

The best way to use FindFocus is to make use of delay discounting. That means you intentionally allow yourself to bypass any website block whenever you want. 

This might sound crazy but it works. 

This works for two reasons:

  1. You don't have to disable the website blocking software completely
  2. You only allow access to a restricted site for a certain time period 
website blocking by url address

I found the best way around this is create and and adjust the software towards your weaknesses. 

For example, I still like to go to Facebook once in a while. However, I made it very difficult to the main website.

First, I need to type in a text without making any typos and then I have to wait for minutes to access gain access to the platform for five minutes. 

Maybe I'll do this once or twice every day, maybe even every hour.

Even while finishing this text, I went to Facebook. While I work I only allow myself to use the Facebook Business Manager.  

Block Facebook with FindFocus

After going through this procedure two or three times I got so annoyed and decided to finish the post you are reading right now

Never Forget To Turn On Your Website Blocker

As you can see in the screenshot, all grey profiles are running at the same time. That means you can run independent profiles for different purposes. 

For example if I allow myself to go to Facebook I still don't have access to Youtube or certain news sites. You can even that block websites and certain URLs forever.   

The best way to use FindFocus is to make use of delay discounting. That means you intentionally allow yourself to bypass any website block whenever you want.   This might sound crazy but it works.

permanently block a website With Blacklists

FindFocus has another feature called "The Black-List" that allows you to block websites forever.

While you can always can create a schedule to run 24/7 there might be some websites you never ever want to visit again. For example this could be useful if you want to block access to porn websites, gambling websites or any website that you think is 100% bad for you.

The blacklist is completely independent from any schedules you create. It's build in a way that have to wait a few hours or even multiple days before you can disable it. Be careful using the blacklist because you won't be able to close FindFocus if you use this feature.

Conclusion: Which Is The Best Software To Block Websites?

Obviously, I'm a bit biased here but all these website blocking methods work

In the end it boils down to your intention. 

  • Using the host file method or an extension is free and has no downside,however for many people it's too easy to get around
  • Using Self-Control is a great solution if you don't want to spend any money (andcreate backup of files) because there is a small risk that it might damage your computer system
  • Using a solution like FindFocus is obviously not free but gives you the highest chance to succeed in changing your bad online habits long-term.

Before you make a final decision, you can try FindFocus for free for 14 days and discover the method that works best for your specific situation.  

The post The Ultimate Guide To Block Websites On Google Chrome (And Other Browsers) appeared first on FindFocus.

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How To Create Laser-Sharp Focus? https://findfocus.net/improve-focus/ https://findfocus.net/improve-focus/#respond Wed, 12 Sep 2018 13:19:36 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=2002 Discover how to improve your focus and concentration, maximize your productivity, speed up your success with evidence-based strategies, and identify what specifically is not working within your current 'focus system' so you can increase your focus, whenever you need to and wherever you are, pay attention to this interview with Joanna Jast. In this episode you […]

The post How To Create Laser-Sharp Focus? appeared first on FindFocus.

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Discover how to improve your focus and concentration, maximize your productivity, speed up your success with evidence-based strategies, and identify what specifically is not working within your current 'focus system' so you can increase your focus, whenever you need to and wherever you are, pay attention to this interview with Joanna Jast. 

In this episode you will discover:

  • how to increase focus at work With a Cardboard box (and why your Colleagues might thing it's not a good idea) 
  • Why Mainstream ways to improve concentration and focus might work for others but not for you
  • The "Out the Box Way" That can you Use to help you to improve your focus
  • An Easy Way To spot focus Fails and how to access the root cause of all your problems
  • The 5 Why Exercise To Improve Focus Without Fail


About Joanna Jast

Joanna Jast is a writer, entrepreneur and self-appointed human nature expert who dreams of inventing a direct brain-computer interface one day so she can just upload/download knowledge and update her behaviour software in seconds.

In the meantime, while the appropriate technology is or is not being invented, she works on improving the existing ways of absorbing knowledge and adapting to change. She is refining laser-sharp focus strategies to help you improve your mental focus and concentration, boost your productivity and speed up your success.

If you know somebody who is working on brain machine like that, please let her know so she can make contact with you.

Joanna has a medical background in neuroscience and psychology as a doctor and psychiatrist who started to notice that her brain was not performing as well as it used to be, so she started to look into neuroscience and other solutions.

The Interview

What problems did you have specifically?

There were a number of problems I had with focus and concentration. 

Initially, it was just my inability to process information, for example, when reading scientific papers.

I was unable to remember what I’ve read. I was not able to use this information it in my conversations. Of course, this was not new to me...

It was the way I have always been but still… some of my problems were the result of technology.

I was going through a very stressful time, and things were pretty bad.

I had problems with my memory and my focus, so I started to look for solutions. I came across a book by John Medina called Brain Rules. I learned how all brains evolved and what is the optimal setup for our brain to perform.

How have you improved your focus and concentration?

I have been working on this topic for four years now, and I have learned to manage a number of problems. What I’ve learned is to deal with one specific problem. Once you eliminate this problem, you will be able to see clearly.

I still have problems with decision-making

Joanna wrote a couple of books about focus and productivity.

What Tools Do you use to improve your focus when writing a book? 

I have developed writing routine, which is heavily reliant on my environment. I designed my physical environment to strengthen my writing habits. One of the things I use to make me stay at my desk and keep writing and keep doing my research or whatever I want to do is to chain myself at the desk.

Of course, I’m not chained physically, but it’s harder to get up and leave then to stay in my chair. I have a short attention span and understand this problem very well. I also have a problem with delay gratification, and I had to address it.

I had to create a solution that would fit with my personality. I am actually very lazy by nature. If I am required to do something, chances are I’m not gonna do it.

That means all my solutions have to be easy to implement if I want myself to do something.

If I don’t want myself to do something, then I have to make it harder.

I designed my physical environment to strengthen my writing habits. One of the things I use to make me stay at my desk and keep writing and keep doing my research or whatever I want to do is to chain myself at the desk.


For example, I had a really effective set up in my previous house. When I was sitting down to write, I was basically stuck in a very heavy chair in the corner.

If I wanted to get up, it required physical effort. Right now, I’m sitting with my legs up on the desk, so it takes a few moves to get up as well.

These are little things that I use in my environment to keep myself at the desk. I need to manage my short attention span, which is caused by my difficulty to delay gratification.

This solution to overcome my instant gratification craving is not mainstream. I tried a lot of mainstream solutions and failed.

Instead, I use little rewards now and then.

For example, I use little distractions to keep myself focused. That means I allow myself to go on certain websites to soothe. You could block a website and still reward yourself with 5 minutes of Facebook. 

This might sound strange to you, but this is deeply rooted in understanding myself and my specific problem. I use distractions when I’m sad or anxious over a decision that I have to make.

I’ve tried all other strategies, but they don’t work for me. from time to time I go down and scroll the Facebook news feed or I go on YouTube and watch a funny cat video which lifts my mood. Once my mood has shifted I go back to work.

Other things I do is to walk away and have a drink of water, or I go downstairs to check my letterbox. Eventually I go to the balcony and check my flower boxes. I try to do things that have the potential to shift my mood.

Afterwards, I go back straight to work.

This system is pretty complex because I not only allow myself to do certain things that feel good to me, but I have measures in place that will not allow me to spend half an hour of watching videos on YouTube or scroll down the Facebook news feed.


All my solutions have to be easy to implement if I want myself to do something.  If I don’t want myself to do something, then I have to make it harder.

I use the system that allows me to do certain things but only within certain parameters.

For example, you could use a viral co-working service like FocusMate to make it more likely that you show up in front of the computer. This topic was covered in the episode “Stop procrastinating. Start producing!”

Then you could use FindFocus to allow yourself 15 minutes of your favorite website before it only allows the sites that you need for work.

What’s the first step to develop your ideal and personalized routine?

There are two things you need to do.

  1. You need to understand the nature of the underlying problem - the root cause of the problem.
  2. You need to understand yourself - your likes and dislikes - what works for you and what does not work for you.

That means you need to understand your personality, your existing setup, your current physical environment as well as your emotional and social environment. If you try to develop better habits because if you try to address something, your solution might help you but not always.

Understand your personality, your existing setup, your current physical environment as well as your emotional and social environment

If you do not access the root cause the problem will show up again. Your solution might work for a while, but before you know it you will be back to square one again. Sometimes it's about working smarter and finding the right time to work. 

If you apply a solution even if you know the root cause and adopted it to your personality but not to your context it’s going to be a problem.

Most people think it’s a problem with motivation. However, if your solution is not adopted to your personality, this will cause a problem.

For example, this could mean that your solution works but requires you to do something you do not enjoy. The less you enjoy your work the more difficult it will become.

If your physical environment does not really allow to implement your solution, you will fail.

Most people think it’s a problem with motivation. However, if your solution is not adopted to your personality, this will cause a problem.

Click to Tweet

Sometimes your social environment and the people you live with will make it very difficult to implement a solution that works for you. If your solution goes on their nerves, your solution will probably not last very long.

Another example is when your solution is very expensive, and you’d don’t have a lot of money then that’s going to be a problem for you.

To find a solution you need to understand the underlying cause and design a solution that is in line with your personality and your current context.

Sometimes your social environment and the people you work with will make it very difficult to implement a solution that works for you.


It’s important to be aware that your context will change of time. It’s worthwhile to adopt your solution to your changing lifestyle and environment to maintain your routine.

Your root cause might be hidden. Sometimes you might think it’s one thing, but actually it’s a completely different one.

What is the best way to improve focus and concentration?

The easiest way to get started is to conduct a self-analysis exercise.

Every time you realize you become distracted or something interrupts your workflow write it down.

  • Write down the time. 
  • Write down and what do you were doing.

It might that you discover that you always become distracted in the morning.

This could simply mean that you are not a morning person.

It might be other reasons, for example...

  • The time of day
  • The room
  • The people you were with
  • The problem is all newly around certain type of tasks

Start collecting data on when, where and how you become distracted

This might give you enough information to understand yourself, but I always recommend going a bit deeper.

The 5 Why exercise

This exercise is very simple.


It’s a sequence of asking yourself “Why?” five times in a row.

For example, if you get distracted you ask:


Why did I get distracted?

I got distracted because the room was noisy.

Why?

Because it’s an open space office.

Why?

Because that’s the way we work.

Why?

Because that’s what the boss said…

Why?

Because that’s the way we work here…

Usually by the fifth why you arrive at the root cause, or you realize that you are circling around.

How Do you find a solution to improve your focus?

What is really important to come up with a solution that you know is likely to work for you, and your given context.

That means even if you stuck in a noisy office ask yourself:

For some people, this might be noise canceling headphones.

I’ve tried them and the work for a time, but then they make me dizzy.

So it’s not a long-term solution.

You really need to understand what’s working for you

It does not matter how good the solution is for everybody else in the world. If you’ve tried a solution, several times and failed then don’t waste your time trying it again.

Find something else.

When I work with people, we look for creative solutions and try to think outside the box.

The better you understand your problem the easier this is.

To stay with the example explore options like

  • Can you move yourself out of this room?
  • Can you move the other people out of this room?
  • Can you work at a different time?
  • Can you switch positions?

People put pressure on you, so you have to understand yourself, your physical environment and your emotional and social environment.

Usually, they are more than two solutions. The more creatively you think the more ideas you will get. One of them might actually work. Don’t waste time trying things that have not worked before.

If your solution requires you to learn a new skill, or if your solution requires you to do something, you don’t like doing, or to give something up, it will cost you more. This will make it unlikely to work.

It does not matter how good the solution is for everybody else in the world. If you’ve tried a solution, several times and failed then don’t waste your time trying it again.

What else can you do to avoid getting distracted?


You need to understand yourself and your context.

If you work with other people, your solutions might be great, but they might not be great for others.

Make sure that your solution makes it likely to cause what you want to do and unlikely what you don’t want to do.


I’ve had people come up with solutions like working in the cardboard box. 

They did not have a room like an office, but they worked in the living room.

They did not feel contained enough in the living room and got creative:

What if I put a big cardboard box on the table?

It’s still the same room, the same table, same nobody else…

They just set up the cardboard box entered a different mental realm that was more contained...

However, a word of caution...

Putting a cardboard box into an open office space might not be the best idea when your colleagues would feel strange...


If you work with other people, your solutions might be great, but they might not be great for others.

It’s really taking on board all these aspects to find a solution that will allow you what you want to do without doing what you don’t want to do.

What tools do you use to increase your focus?

More important than any tools was to accept the fact of how I am. As I told you, I am lazy by nature. If your solution relies on your weakness, it’s much more likely to work.

If you have a crappy day, your solution will still be there.

rely on your weakness and not your strength

Relying on your weakness does not require any effort at all.

It’s about making your solution as easy to implement as it can be.

Creator of the FindFocus Website and Distraction Blocker


Martin’s story of losing 5kg with a simple decision

" A few years ago, when I was still working in a corporate environment, we went to lunch in the cafeteria.


Often times I would feel I don’t have any preference for the food (three different meals) that was offered.

Therefore, I came up with a simple rule:


  1. If I don’t have any preference, I will choose the healthy food.
  2. If I don’t know, which is the healthiest food, I will choose the vegetarian menu.

In the next few months, I lost about five kilogram without making any other lifestyle changes."


Well done, Martin. It’s exactly what I’m talking about. It’s important to note here that you made your decision before hand, and you stick with it.

Why motivation is never the problem (Even if you failed multiple times)

From my years of experience with myself and working with other people in conversations I noticed that if you have a problem to improve your focus, you have to try different solutions.

Motivation is not your problem.

You know you have a problem, and you’re motivated to solve it.

That means:

You either miss the point and did not get to the bottom of the solution, or you have failed to adopt your solution to your current context.


More Information

Learn more about how you can improve your concentration and develop laser-sharp focus at Joanna's website The Shape Shifter's Club


Thanks for reading and listening to the FindFocus Podcast.

Do you have some feedback you'd like to share? Please leave a note in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this episode on improving your focus and concentration, please share it with your friends by using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Don't forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite app to get automatic episode updates for  "The FindFocus Podcast!"

And, finally, please take a minute to leave us an honest review and rating on your podcast app.

It really helps us out when it comes to the ranking of the show and I make it a point to read every single one of the reviews we get.

Thanks for listening and reading!

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The Mental Health Aspects Of Focus & Procrastination You Can’T Afford To Ignore https://findfocus.net/mental-health-and-focus/ https://findfocus.net/mental-health-and-focus/#respond Tue, 04 Sep 2018 16:04:04 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=1944 If you want to build better habits, avoid procrastination, and learn a really simple exercise so you can increase your willpower, avoid procrastination and improve your focus, pay close attention to this interview with Ryan Engelstad.In this episode you will discover:The mental health aspects of focus & procrastination you can't afford to ignoreThe biggest challenge […]

The post The Mental Health Aspects Of Focus & Procrastination You Can’T Afford To Ignore appeared first on FindFocus.

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If you want to build better habits, avoid procrastination, and learn a really simple exercise so you can increase your willpower, avoid procrastination and improve your focus, pay close attention to this interview with Ryan Engelstad.

In this episode you will discover:

  • The mental health aspects of focus & procrastination you can't afford to ignore
  • The biggest challenge people face today when dealing with technology?
  • How should young adults deal with social media?
  • What’s the best advise if you struggle with focus?
  • A simple exercise to increase you willpower in less than 2 minutes
  • A great complimentary exercise to relax and restore your willpower
  • The best apps to improve your focus
  • How to overcome the biggest challenges for someone struggling with procrastination?
  • The exact thing you need to do if you procrastinate
  • How to avoid procrastination even if you do not feel like it
  • The best techniques to build better habits
  • The most destructive activities for mental health
  • What influence does technology have on our society, especially in the western world?
  • Should you delete our social media accounts?
  • A short case study that sums up the interview at the end


About Ryan Engelstad

Ryan Engelstad is an expert in mental health and a therapist based in Princeton, NJ writing about mental health and behavior change. 

About five years he was mostly doing group therapy in inpatient units both for substance abuse and also general mental health.

He primarily works with young adults and is an expert in mental health for about 12 years now. Over that time he started working with people who had problems with substance abuse.

This issue is a very difficult struggle that people have but it ties into focus issues as well. Over time he transitioned more and more to general mental health. We are helping people with things like depression, anxiety, family stress, job stress and school stress in Princeton. I have a lot of Princeton students and graduate students in high school that hope to go to Princeton one day.

That means they are under a lot of pressure in that environment. The students are coming to me to deal with some of those pressures.


What Do You Think Is the Biggest Challenge People Face Today When Dealing with Technology?


Technology is tough especially for young adults because they use it in schools as well. Often time it's a requirement in a lot of their classes. They are provided with laptops or tablets and it's expected that they use these technologies to work and to study. At the same time, it's the access point to all of their less productive uses whether that is social media, games and videos.

I get high school students who get tablets starting at the age of 13 and these students I expected to make the differentiation between you then this technology for work and playing around with it. Of course, playing around is far more tempting at that age and that's why it is big struggle for sure.

How do you think we are able to face these challenges and cope with them because it's pretty hard to resist Facebook, YouTube and all the services that are designed to be addictive?

When I work with my patients on this topic I make sure that they are intentional with the services and technologies they are using. For example, if they are on their laptop or their tablet I teach them to recognize why they opened it in the first place? If they opened it to do something relaxing or to do something fun, that's great (if they set a time limit).

If they can stick to that amount of time, there's no problem. On the other side, if their responsibility was to do homework or to study then it is an issue and might be a sign of internet addiction

If you find yourself getting distracted by social media or a funny video again and again have the mindset of coming back to your original intention.

When I work with my patients I make sure that they are intentional with the services and technologies they are using.

Of course the stressors that come with social media are the whole different story.


How Should Young Adults Deal with Social Media?

It often happens that people are mindlessly scrolling through their Twitter or through their Facebook newsfeed or nowadays use things like Snapshat, YouTube and Netflix videos where you do not even have to press a button to play the next video. It just starts the next episode for you without the need to make a conscious decision.

If you're opening Facebook ask yourself:   Why you want to use Facebook in that very moment?  Do what you wanted to do and then leave Facebook and do something else.


If you're opening Facebook ask yourself why you want to use Facebook in that very moment? Do you want to connect with a friend? Do you want to communicate with your marching band group or do you want to send a message to your mom?

Do what you wanted to do and then leave Facebook and do something else.

If you are using Twitter you are probably just looking for news or looking for what's going on in the world. That is fine but it is very easy to get distracted because it refreshes every five seconds. That means you are bombarded with new information, new things to read and to consume basically any time you open it.

That's extremely addictive and very tempting for people who - let's face it - in some cases want to avoid the work that they are doing.

Therefore, if you want to use twitter read the most recent article or the most recent spots story that's going on. Immediately close it afterwards and get back to work.


if you want to use twitter read the most recent article or the most recent spots story that's going on. Immediately close it afterwards and get back to work.

That's the same approach that FindFocus uses. The goal is to use the computer more intentional because it's still the place where most work gets done. Put your mobile phone in the drawer and use it as a phone. Instead schedule the times when you want to watch a video on YouTube on Netflix.

What's the Best Advise If You Struggle with Focus?

The best way to stay focused is to improve your mindfulness so you can be present in that very moment. This works for anxiety and depression as well. Typically, if you are depressed you are sad about something that is happening not where you are right now, maybe you are dealing with the relationship issue or maybe you are dealing with the loss of a job. It does not even have to be a specific trigger sometimes it's just a generic predisposition.

If you are struggling with depression or anxiety your focus is on the future. You focus on the things that could go wrong and focus on the problems that eventually could happen. You are not thinking about what is happening right now. Instead you are worrying about all these possible problems that you could experience.

If you want to improve your focus and come back to that present moment there are different mindful exercises that help.

My favorite exercise is square breathing.

This is a very simple exercise where you have your focus on your breath.

You inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds and then exhale for four seconds.

That is a very simple initial exercise to test yourself. If you have difficulty with this simple exercise it tells you a lot about your desire to check your phone or your desire to turn on the TV. If you cannot focus on your breath for two minutes you're in trouble. You will have a really hard time doing your homework or study for an extended period of time if you cannot even focus on your breath for two minutes.


This exercise has a lot of other health benefits as well and is recommended by some experts as the easiest way to increase your willpower.

A Great Complimentary Exercise You Can Do

Another similar exercise is called progressive muscle relaxation. It is a body focused exercise where you alternate between tensing a muscle for five seconds and then relaxing it for five seconds.

Don't let anything slip between the mindfulness exercise and the thing you want to accomplish.


This turns away your focus away from what you might be anxious or depressed or distracted by and on to your body. The other benefits this exercise has is that it will lower your parts and blood pressure. If you are able to bring yourself back to the calm and body focused place you want to go immediately into the activity that you want to be focusing on.

Don't let anything slip between the mindfulness exercise and the thing you want to accomplish.


Are There Any Tools or Apps That Help Increase Your Focus?


There are a lot of really good mindful meditation apps. The best ones are probably Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to all these apps.

Headspace comes with a very limited free meditations but they use a subscription model.

Calm is free but much more limited to the variation of meditations.

Insight timer is pretty good. It's basically free and links to a hold variety of mindfulness meditation. Some of these focus on things like anxiety and focus. However, you'll find somebody focus meditations there as well.


What Are the Biggest Challenges for Someone Who Wants to Overcome Procrastination?

I sometimes struggle with procrastination myself when I have 8 to 10 therapy sessions throughout the day because I have to take a lot of notes. If I don't do them right in that immediate moment and then I'm left with an hour or more during the notes at the end of the day when I should be driving home.

If you want to beat procrastination you need to recognize that procrastination is avoiding something that you perceive as being uncomfortable or painful.

In case of homework, you don't want to do it immediately because you had a hard day at school. Or for me as a therapist taking notes, I don't want to do this immediately because I had an intense conversation with somebody for 50 minutes and would rather like to relax.

It's okay to feel that way, but you need to remind yourself that by delaying that activity you will have more pain in the future.

Recognize That the Pain Is Not Going Away If You Avoid the Task

I remind myself it's okay to feel this way but I don't want to be stuck at the office for another hour at the end of my work day. Therefore, I do it right away even if it does take an extra five or 10 minutes after my session to really finish all that information.

It's the same thing with homework. Especially when kids come home from school the last thing that they want to do is sit down and do another hour or two of homework because they studied the whole day. Now they don't want to deal with more frustration, especially when they have access to their friends, to the television and to mobile phone. All these things that are much less painful.

All of us want to avoid this pain of discomfort but ask yourself:

Is that avoidance going to make that pain later easier to deal with?

In most cases the answer is almost always know. For example, in the case of homework they half to deal with that late at night after dinner, when they would rather be going to sleep.


If you want to beat procrastination you need to recognize that procrastination is avoiding something that you perceive as being uncomfortable or painful.

In his book Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely presents some scientific experiments that proof that all of us are really bad at estimating how we feel in the future. This is true even if we conceptually know about this human bias.

How to Avoid Procrastination Even If You Do Not Feel the Pain Right Now?


A good place to start is to remember the story "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens where Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by different ghosts of the past the present and the future. After their visits Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

You can think about a ghost like this which can tell you how bad things will become in the future if you don't change your behaviour. You can activate your energy and willpower and in some cases the anxiety might motivate you to procrastinate less.

Picture yourself in that future. For example, I don't want to be stuck at my office doing notes at nine or 10 at night when I would rather be driving home. Rather I finish them now so I don't have to deal with that pain and frustration later on.


Are There Any Techniques or Apps to Build Better Habits?

To build better habits and establish a routine and especially to deal with the pain and discomfort even something simple like a Pomodoro timer can be really useful. Often times you overestimate the pain. You think it's more intense than it really is. Breaking it up with a Pomodoro timer is something that is easier to commit to.

It's easier to commit to do 10 minutes or 15 minutes of homework as long as you can take a break after that. It's something you probably can handle because you committed to give yourself the time to check Facebook or twitter or to watch a YouTube clip. Maybe you want to treat yourself with the snake or go to the bathroom. If you convince yourself that you have that break makes the 10 to 15 minutes of work much more achievable.

To help you get started you can use a website blocker like FindFocus. In this app you can create a Pomodoro sequence and block distracting websites or only allow certain websites.

This will help you to commit and stick to you intentions.

promodoro_sequence


For example, you can allow your word processor to practice deep work or do the homework for 15 minutes and then allow five minutes for YouTube video. The best thing is that you commit in advance. That means after five minutes (or whatever you can commit to) the software will block YouTube again and you are forced to go back to work.


What Are the Most Destructive Activities for Mental Health?


The biggest problem for students, especially in terms of anxiety, is the tendency to do what is called catastrophizing.

Let's imagine you are worried about the homework that you have to do. Suddenly you think if you don't do the homework right now your grades will go down. Then you will have to do even better on the next exam but you don't. You worry about failing for the whole semester and you might need to take the class all over again. If you have to take the class again you won't be able to enjoy your summer. If I'm not able to enjoy my summer I might…

It goes on and on and on…

Catastrophizing thinking cannot only take you away from the activity that you are trying to accomplish. It can make you more and more anxious. If thinking into the future, especially the long-term future, is not motivating you to act it can paralyze you.

It's something you have to be aware of. You have to catch yourself doing this because a lot of the times we catastrophize is when we plan or organize things.

These activities should reduce our anxiety.

Unfortunately, this is the time when people get into the state where they would rather watch YouTube on Netflix for hours on end.

They don't want to think about all the things that could go wrong if they don't do the things they should be doing.

It's almost like a snowball effect

It's almost like a snowball effect of things getting worse and worse if we do not pay attention to where negative thoughts can take us.

The first thing you really need to be able to do is to catch yourself when you're thinking this way. It might be the moment you open Facebook or Netflix.

Look out for any physical signs. A lot of people have unconscious behaviors that they perform when they are anxious or the moment they give in to a distraction.

If you can spot these behaviors you can catch yourself a bit more easily. Oh I just noticed that I've opened Facebook again for 10 minutes…

Look Out for negative thoughts

What is bothering me right now?

Or if there's something I should be doing that I am avoiding?

If you spot these moments, pay attention to your negative thoughts. Are they leading you into the future where browsing Facebook is helping you to avoid that.

Think about something else as soon as you catch yourself.

That's the moment ideal time to do the breathing technique to become focused on your body or do a mindfulness meditation.


It's almost like a snowball effect of things getting worse and worse if we do not pay attention to where negative thoughts can take us.  The first thing you really need to be able to do is to catch yourself when you're thinking this way. It might be the moment you open Facebook or Netflix.

This will help you to go back to a place where you have the willpower. It will give you the energy to refocus on the work you want to do.

What Influence Does Technology Have on Our Society, Especially in The Western World?

Just yesterday I did the training on bullying with some students where technology is being used to hurt people. Whether it is fake news or just in the way people treat and talk to each other on social media. That is something to be very concerned of.

It's a big question that technology companies deal with very differently whether it is banning people who break the rules or use hate speech. There does not seem to be a solution yet.

However, on a local level working with schools outside of the technology sphere it is important to work with families and with kids so they understand how to best use technology. It's important to educate kids starting at a young age how to use technology in a way that is helpful as opposed to getting sucked into the negative stuff that is hurting us.

Especially if we look at the social media feeds of Facebook, Twitter & Instagram it seems everybody has the most awesome life ever. If you look at the bigger picture you see it's just a polished screenshot of their life.

Source: Youtube Are You Living an Insta Lie? Social Media Vs. Reality by DitchtheLabelORG Published on Feb 20, 2017


Maybe they cleaned their desk but the room they are sitting in is a complete mess. Of course, they don't post pictures showing this.


Should We Delete Our Social Media Accounts?

For people who have problems and are dealing with the negative aspects of social media I absolutely told some of my clients to leave Facebook or to leave Snapchat. Instead I recommend to focus more on text messaging where they can be really intentional and communicate with one person at the time.

It's much easier to have a civilized conversation instead of getting sucked into break group chats or twitter wars where you don't have any control over the conversation.

Sometimes, five, 10 or 12 kids all gang up against one kid. All day this poor kid is getting notifications from them, being tacked in memes and stuff like that. It can be really hard to leave this problem behind unless it deletes the app.

Ask yourself is the app or the technology use giving you more problems than it is giving you benefits. Take a step back and look at what you really need. If you need to support from their friends find a better way to communicate with them in a way that works for you.

For a lot of people, it's not social media but news in general that is the problem.

Don't get caught up in the news cycle

A lot of patience struggle with the news cycle. They are getting racked up watching them for hours on television or seeing it on social media. Of course, there's plenty of good news out there but you have to really look out for it. For example, you can shape your twitter feed to the positive stuff.

Unfortunately, people's natural tendency is to pay attention to sensational, scary and dramatic stories which often tend to be really negative. Decide what type of information you want to surround yourself with. Technology has the benefit that you can create whatever you want for yourself.

Ask yourself is the app or the technology use giving you more problems than it is giving you benefits. Take a step back and look at what you really need.

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An even better way than consuming positive stuff is to sit down and create things yourself. Maybe you like to write a novel or do a podcast like this.

Technology makes this really easy. For example, this podcast is hosted on a free app called anchor that makes it really easy to start a podcast.

It's much more fulfilling to create something them passively consume. Even if it's a great movie or new season on Netflix.

If you use a social media app like Instagram, use it to enhance your own creativity. Focus on what you can share with the world like pictures of meals that you are making are pictures of you and your friends doing fun stuff.

Have the focus on what you want to contribute positively instead of what you are consuming which is often negative.


Is There A Case Study Or An Example That Sums Up The Interview?


One of my patients had problems and was isolating himself.

A lot of people who have negative mental health issues tend to isolate themselves but they still have access to their phone and their computer and the television. So how much are they really isolating themselves from negative events?

In certain cases, isolating is perfectly fine as long as you stay connected to your family (which this client was).

We found ways for him to interact with the world. For example, he started having video chats playing card games with his family who lives across the country.

He connected with people he knew to play video games online directly interacting with one person that he wanted to interact with. He isolated himself from stressors at school and friends he had conflict with but replaced it with something positive.

Over time this guy found that he had a lot more control over the things that made him happy and the things that caused stress and enhance his anxiety.

For him it's consistently leading to positive results and positive days and weeks. Even if he is by himself in his dorm room he is still connected with the people he enjoys spending time with.

That's a great way to use technology.

What Final Insights Can You Share to Improve Mental Health and Get Rid of Procrastination?

It always starts with self-awareness. If you are listening to the podcast or read this blog post these are issues that you care about.

Find a way to track something that is important to you whether you want to improve mood or practice deep work.

Know how much time you spent working and how much time you have been scrolling through -Twitter or watched videos on Youtube and Netflix over the course of the week.

When you have that information whether you use an app like ResueTime for tracking it or a notebook like the Phoenix planner or may the one-page productivity planner use it. 

Review this information and find the small changes that you can make and see what kind of benefit you can experience from that.

Any first step starts with the ability to track data that might lead you to new insights and opportunities to improve yourself.

Awareness is always the first step to improve.

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More Information

Learn more about how you can improve your mental health by listening to Ryan's podcast TheBest Medicine or

Follow him on Medium @RyanEngelstad or 

Read his answers on quora


Thanks for reading and listening to the FindFocus Podcast.

Do you have some feedback you'd like to share? Please leave a note in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this episode on mental health, please share it with your friends by using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.

Don't forget to subscribe to the show on your favorite app to get automatic episode updates for  "The FindFocus Podcast!"

And, finally, please take a minute to leave us an honest review and rating on your podcast app.

It really helps us out when it comes to the ranking of the show and I make it a point to read every single one of the reviews we get.

Thanks for listening and reading!

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How to Overcome Porn Addiction? https://findfocus.net/overcome-porn-addiction/ https://findfocus.net/overcome-porn-addiction/#respond Sat, 01 Sep 2018 10:38:57 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=1907 Have you watched porn and you have this narrative in your head over and over again that this is the last time…I'm never going to do that again…yet you're still doing it? You cannot get anything done because you are so caught up in this addiction, then you need somebody that has been through it […]

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Have you watched porn and you have this narrative in your head over and over again that this is the last time…I'm never going to do that again…yet you're still doing it? You cannot get anything done because you are so caught up in this addiction, then you need somebody that has been through it to give you perspective.

That’s why in this episode, Hunter Otis and Martin Boeddeker discuss “How To Overcome Porn Addiction”


What's your background with a porn addiction?

I confess, I was horribly horribly addicted to pornography myself.

Addiction is not something that you just throw away and say hey it's over.

It's something you have to be cautious of for the rest of your life.

Otherwise you can easily slip back to those destructive patterns. It's something that I protect myself from on a daily basis. I had to really figure out how to overcome it because it was destroying the relationship with my wife.

It was severing our connection and I created a kind of a secret second identity for myself. I was one person out here for everyone to see and another person behind closed doors.

It was torture. It wasn't that my wife didn't like it. It was literally that I couldn't get anything done and couldn't do anything because I was getting so caught up in this addiction.

I had to figure out how to break that cycle for me personally. My wife has a private therapy practice and so we worked together.

We were trying to help current clients that she had because some of them were dealing with pornography addiction as well and sexual addiction.

After a while we decided to jump on this full time.

Her as a marriage and family therapist (now a certified sexual addiction therapist) and then myself as a mentor coach.

Addiction is not something that you just throw away and say hey it's over. It's something you have to be cautious of for the rest of your life.



We created a program to help people get through what we went through a lot faster. Instead of taking 5 years we try to get them there in a matter of months.

We teach them all the things that we wish we had known and giving them all the skills, we wish we had.

When Have You Noticed That Porn Addiction Was A Real Problem for You?

I knew deep down even as a as a teenager, I mean about10-15 years ago, that's it was an issue for me but I was so ashamed of it.

I couldn't even accept my porn addiction or even think about getting help.

It really became a problem after I got married.


The Illusion That You Won't Need Porn If Get Married

I had this illusion in my head that once I'm married or once I block certain websites my addiction won't be an issue.

I'll do that and everything will be fine.

I'll be able to be intimate with my partner and I won't need porn anymore.

What I discovered is that got worse.

I was terribly disturbed by that…

We started having kids and stuff and I said:

“Oh my gosh… This is not the type of person, I want to be…
I created a kind of a secret second identity for myself.  I was one person out here for everyone to see and another person behind closed doors.  It was torture. It wasn't that my wife didn't like it. It was literally that I couldn't get anything done and couldn't do anything because I was getting so caught up in this addiction.

Especially now I have three daughters.”

This hit it home for me.

I said to myself: I can't be doing this any longer…

This just not right… It makes me feel terrible… Something's got to go here…

It was probably right at the beginning of my marriage that I knew it was an issue. I just didn't realize I had an addiction.

As I started doing professional work, I realized that my energy and focus was being robbed from me.

I couldn't get as much done as I wanted to…

I was spinning my wheels or sabotaging myself. I said to myself: Alright, this can't happen anymore.

Of course, losing my relationship had a big influence as well.

When my wife discovered the lying that I was doing and the secret life, you can imagine it was horribly devastating for her. She felt like she didn’t know me anymore…

I said to myself: I can't be doing this any longer…  This just not right… It makes me feel terrible… Something's got to go here…


What Is the First Step That Someone Need to Take to Overcome Phone Addiction?

It’s the same as in Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step groups. You need to truly have the realization: “I have an issue and I need help”

Accept the reality that if you have an addiction.

If you notice that you have this narrative in your head over and over again that this is the last time…

I'm never going to do that again…yet you're still doing it. That’s a sign that you need help and probably cannot do it on your own.

That's the very first thing.

If you are struggling with addiction you need to reach out to somebody that can help and knows what you need to do.

Stop trying to rely on willpower alone and get real help.

If you notice that you have this narrative in your head over and over again that this is the last time… I'm never going to do that again…yet you're still doing it. That’s a sign that you need help and probably cannot do it on your own.

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If I had only one thing that I could say it's:

You need somebody that has been through it to give you perspective.

When you are wrapped up in an addiction… it's really an addiction to escaping reality.

You are living in this fantasy pleasure world and your perspective has been completely distorted.

You simply cannot see what other people can see.

To try to go through and rationally logically make sense of what's going on with you is not possible without an external perspective.

You are totally screwed up because you are living in a different realm.

Have somebody that can come in there and help you break the denial that you're in. You need to break that old broken paradigm and install a new one.

That is mission-critical. Otherwise you're not going to get anywhere.

What Can You Do Before Talking to Someone?

If you are really serious about overcoming porn addiction the fastest thing to do is to get help.

There's a lot you can do on your own but the reality is that those narratives and the neuronal pathways play a role in addiction that are so strong that you can do good for a day and then the next day you feel devastated. There are massive peaks and valleys…

Having somebody to help you through that narrative is totally critical.

Of course, there are plenty of people that get over porn addiction on their own but my view of sobriety versus real recovery and transformation has completely transformed.

A lot of people that are just quitting are not really recovering from their addiction.

They are just enforcing themselves to not act out.

They will often go into some other form of addiction like

  • Television
  • gaming,
  • or substances.

They say to themselves: I'm good. I'm not looking at porn anymore. But their underlying behaviour is not really changing.

Where Can You Find Someone Who Might Be Able to Help You?

A lot of times you can go find a therapist that's local. Unfortunately these therapists might not have any experience dealing with addiction, let alone sexual addiction.

Dealing with sexual addiction is tough because maybe you masturbate, maybe you view too much porn, maybe you use Snapchat to be texting somebody…

All these things are right at our fingertips all the time. They are constantly displayed in front of us.

So, how do you get sober? How do you get clean and stay away from that?

It is so challenging, that you really need somebody that's experienced


To try to go through and rationally logically make sense of what's going on with you is not possible without an external perspective.

There are a lot of therapists that can help a lot, but having specialized help is really important.

Our recommendation is to try to find someone who's a CSAT, a certified sexual addiction therapist.

If there is somebody local that has that education, then they are a great person to go to.

My wife has gone through this training and it's extremely intensive. You have to do a ton of work and fly around the world, four different times for week-long trainings. It's intense but you have to have a ton of supervision.

Go to someone, who has expert training from somebody who has been practicing this for a long time and really knows this stuff.

The training to fully understand this issue is incredible but it's totally necessary.

You cannot go into an extremely complex addiction like this and expect to succeed right away with helping somebody else succeed if you haven't done that research.

Have someone to support you

My biggest suggestion other than that is having someone to support you.

There are 12-step groups. For example, there is Sexaholics Anonymous. There are SA groups as well as a lot of churches that have 12-step groups where you can get integrated in a community.

There you can find people that are further ahead than you in the process. They can support you and give you insights. They can become a sponsor for you and accountability partner. The important thing is that you're not doing it alone anymore.

When you try to do it alone, that’s when your brain goes into crazy mode.

When you can't figure out what's up from down then you have somebody that can say: “Hey I've been there… I know what you're going through… Here's what you need to do...”

Therefore, my biggest suggestion is to find a CSAT therapist or a 12-step support group.

Otherwise working with us is of course in option but that depends on your financial situation.

Use Online Support Groups

There are also online resources like yourbrainonporn.com and that the NoFab-community on Reddit.

Do You Recommend to Talk to Somebody in Person Rather Than Joining an Online Community like NoFap?

Our own community at becomingpornfree.com is all online as well.

We actually communicate and speak with each other multiple times a week.

If you try to use technology and online communication you can use it for good rather than self-destruction.

Use technology as an aid rather than something that's made for instant gratification and self-defeating.

Technology is especially helpful if you're in a remote location and you don't have access to a group or to a therapist.

I think communities like the nofap group are a great place for people to come out of the dark and say: “Hey I've got problem” and unite with other people.

It’s all about finding what works for you. That's a big part of the process.


Technology is especially helpful if you're in a remote location and you don't have access to a group or to a therapist.

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Especially people that have addictions get into this All-Or-Nothing mentality.

It’s either all in or all out.

We make a small mistake and think:

“Now, it's all over… 
I slipped, …
I made a mistake, …
I had a relapse and looked at porn today, …
Even if it was only for one second you think:
I'm such a worthless piece of garbage… I'm such a failure…
I might as well go and look at more porn, …
When you try to do it alone, that’s when your brain goes into crazy mode.

Instead of using that all or nothing thinking try to let it be an iterative discovery process

You test something and if it works then great you do more of it…

Some people do great with just reading the things on yourbrainonporn.com

It’s awesome website and there is a great book has the same name. I highly recommend it checking out these resources…

Some people do fine with reading while others might find this is not enough for them.

If you need help it doesn't mean you're a failure or that you cannot recover.

It just means that you might need to try another piece in the puzzle that these resources are not offering.

That's okay. You just haven't discovered yet what works for you.

Keep discovering and trying new things if you fail.

In the book the Willpower Instinct Kelly McGonigal there is a chapter that’s called license to sin.

It talks about the concept that if we take a misstep then we give ourselves to engage in even more destructive behaviour.

Instead we might want to forgive ourselves.

It’s very powerful to practice loving kindness, compassion and forgiveness for ourselves.

Especially if you're an addict, you have a pattern of beating yourself up. That makes it really hard to forgive yourself.

Keep discovering and trying new things if you fail.

Does Porn Help You to Cope with Real-Life Problems?

When things get hard in life you are turning to porn rather than turning to real solutions.

Porn numbs the pain temporarily. Sometimes people that have the illusion that porn helps them to get some sleep or that watching porn helps them do to get their work done.

What it really does is numbing the pain.

Your pain is still there but porn is numbing it so you can function temporarily.

Some people cannot even function at all after watching porn… it depends on who you are.

Watching porn exacerbates the problem. When the pain comes back it hits you even harder.

If you haven't dealt with the pain it’s just covering it so then you need more porn.

Recognize that you need healthy coping skills.

If you been using pornography ever since you were a young kid, chances are you probably did not learn the coping skills that a lot of other people that didn't have an addiction and learned to face reality.

You need to learn not to turn into something that's destructive. There needs to be a focus on coping with pain and discomfort.

If you keep turning to porn; learning those other skills is completely critical!

What Is the Best Way to Cope with the Pain of Withdrawal?

There are many ways. It's an iterative process.

I can just share with you something that I do and something my clients do.

The best way is getting into a consistent daily habit.

For example, if you are religious or spiritual, you might want to create a super powerful prayer session and fill yourself with good feelings while getting rid of all the garbage.

If you are super ambitious right from the start, you’ll come crashing down eventually. It's not about those enormous peaks and valleys.

It's about getting started with something simple 

It’s about finding a little gold nugget first.

That means staying consistent with small habits like exercising for 30 minutes instead of going to the gym 4 to 3 hours. You go for 30 minutes and you just make those 30 minutes count.

One thing I have my clients do is to start journaling. They journal their emotions every single day so that they can let these negative emotions out and think about what they are feeling. They discover what's actually going on internally with them on a daily basis.

For 10 minutes they are just writing down things like:

  • I feel like garbage
  • I feel anxious
  • I stress
  • I feel insecure
  • I feel shame
  • I feel guilt,

They write down all the irritations, all the frustration and course the positive things as well, like

  • I feel peaceful
  • I feel calm
  • I feel relaxed
  • I feel aware,

These are serene loving things so that they really understand what's going on.

You'll find that if you are in a really chaotic emotional state, chances are good that you probably going to relapse.

Porn numbs the pain temporarily. Sometimes people that have the illusion that porn helps them to get some sleep or that watching porn helps them do to get their work done.

Get yourself in a better place and create some real time mindfulness.

Another thing I have people do is spiritual devotion. It does not matter whether you are Christian or Buddhist. Try to connect to something bigger than your little world.

Additionally, I have people create daily accountability like having somebody that they're reaching out to on a daily basis and report how their day went.

This keeps them grounded.

They don't need to worry about tomorrow and don't need to worry about yesterday. They just need to worry about the present day.

It always comes back to the fundamentals. Do the stuff that’s good for you and don't do the stuff that's bad for you.

you never really recover from an addiction

When you look at addiction our brain develops certain neurological pathways. There is no way to unwire your brain. You can only develop new pathways and develop new habits that replace the old ones.

That's why you never really recover from an addiction.

Your brain keeps the old pathways. They are just not used anymore but they're still there.

This makes it so difficult to overcome any addiction. Even if you have been sober for one or two years and relapse one time.

The reactivation of these paths happens really fast.

Here in Minnesota it snows a lot in the winter and I compare it with that.

Imagine A Path Through The Snow


That’s what your neuronal pathways it's like.


Every time you watch pornography you're taking the snow blower and you're just plowing out that pathway and clearing the snow away.


On the other side are the good habits like exercising, self-care rituals and all the good habits that you've done a little bit.


But these paths are smaller and the snow drifts blow over them.


Because you're not using them very often; they're not getting plowed out very much.


When you go to actually plow them out, it's really hard work because there's a ton of snow in there.


Then these thoughts come up and you think:

It’s cold out here…
This is really uncomfortable…
Look how much more work I still have to do to get this into place. I might as well just go use this porn path that's already been cleared a million times. It's so much easier.


Once you stop watching porn, the snow is drifting over that neuronal pathway of using pornography.


The snow piles up more and more and it’s getting more difficult for you to go down that path.


However, when you relapse it's like taking that snow plower and plowing it out. The path is opening up again immediately.


It is always there even if you haven't looked at porn for a long time.


If you're not careful and be aware of this risk, you will go down that destructive path again; especially with the constant exposure to sexual content in today’s world.


Are There Any Tools That Help to Overcome Porn Addiction?

A lot of times we go looking for a solution like website blockers and internet filters and stuff like that.

I think that using software like this is important.

But you have to be careful.

Limiting the accessibility of pornography by using a filter is really just another barrier.

It will give you another conscious moment, so you are able to say to yourself:

“Okay. Is this really what I want to do?”

It’s important to talk about this because you can always get around any filter. There is porn everywhere.

Take a look at your smartphone

I use my phone to call and text people. That's it.

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It’s a deadly weapon when it comes to pornography addiction.

You have such an easy access.

That’s the reason why I deleted all of my apps.

Literally all of them! The only things that I have on my phone are the standard apps that come with it. Apps like voice memos, contacts, the calculator and weather.

I use my phone to call and text people. That's it.

There are so many apps that present you with ads. If you click on the ad it will open a private web browser, that will allow you to search for everything.

The smartphone is a wiring nightmare fest for your brain

We are so addicted to this thing. The best thing that you can do is delete all your apps.

Access the internet through a computer.

Delete all the browsers and turn your “smartphone” into a phone.

It's going to be really uncomfortable if you do that for the first time but you will be amazed what will happen.

Personally, I've released this attachment to my phone. I leave it alone and hardly pick it up.

It's miraculous.

The amount of brain space you get back.

Delete all the browsers and turn your “smartphone” into a phone.  It's going to be really uncomfortable if you do that for the first time but you will be amazed what will happen.

Pornography is wrapped up in technology

That means if you are constantly looking at your phone at Facebook or other things other things like games and crave that little dopamine hit; it's going to be a lot harder for you to recover from pornography addiction. These addictions work on the same neuronal pathways.

I use FindFocus with the same intention. If I want to visit a website I force myself to type in a short reminder like

“Do I really want to quit working on my blog right now?”

It gets me this moment of consciousness and not going into the habit.

That's why FindFocus is so awesome because it's not about forcing you to not be able to access something.

Use FindFocus to block distracting websites and porn


It’s important to state the obvious.

If you really want to find porn, you will always be able to get around any software

That’s why it’s so important to get grounded and mindful and think about of what you really want.

Give yourself another moment, another opportunity to reevaluate your decision.

That's why FindFocus is awesome. It's creates this short state of mindfulness.

That will help you to make better choices that will empower you to consciously choose… rather than automatically go down a neuronal pathway that you don't want to go down.

What Is the Right Mindset for Somebody Who Is Get Started to Overcome Addiction?

The most important mindset is to “embrace the pain.”

It’s difficult but when you start trying to change any kind of behaviour it will make you uncomfortable, really uncomfortable…

embrace the pain

Then the alarm clock goes off in the morning and then these thoughts come up…


Everybody had experienced this with exercise.

You tell yourself:

“All right. Tomorrow I'm going to the gym. I'm done with this lazy crap. I'm going to get up and I'm going to do this and I'm going to gain a bunch of muscle. I cut down my fat and I'm going to eat healthy and all the stuff …"

Then the alarm clock goes off in the morning and then these thoughts come up…

Thoughts like:

“Man, you're so tired. You should just stay in bed… You know, you can just start tomorrow…”

Or

“You know what, you didn't sleep very good last night. You had a bad dream so you should probably sleep for another hour and you'll feel a whole lot better. You'll get a lot more done…

All these manipulative thoughts come into our head when you start trying to change your behavior 

This is called a narrative.

The narrative is immediately showing up. You will have thoughts in your head trying to convince you to continue to go down that neuronal path.

You have to embrace the pain of not giving in to these thoughts.

Changing your behaviour is going to expose your insecurities. It’s going to bring out the pain you've been numbing forever.

The only way to overcome that is to face it.

Lean into it and embrace the pain.

Understand why you're in so much pain and figure it out

Maybe it’s a biological thing because you've trained yourself so much. It does not mean that you have been abused in your past… (although most a sex addicts have).

It could just be that this how your brain wants to go.

Have compassion and learn self-love for yourself in order to soothe down that urge and that compulsion.

Embrace the pain that's the mindset that you got to have.

Otherwise you are not success to overcome your addiction.

Is It Immoral to Watch Porn?

I don't think pornography is a good thing. Research is showing that porn is feeding human trafficking and sex trafficking. Studies show that 20% of porn is produced with sex trafficked girls. The performers are sex slaves. That’s absolutely horrible.

If you're watching porn you have seen sex slaves which is disturbing to me. I morally don't agree with that.

However, watching pornography is more about you as a person and as an individual.

It’s about what you really want in life.

Do you want to squander your life and your time by just seeking this constant artificial pleasure or do you actually want to win in life and find true fulfilment?

Things like happiness, strength, creativity and self-mastery?

That feels way better, then a temporary orgasm to a screen.

Of course, it takes longer and it is harder work.

Looking at porn is easy. You just pull out your phone whenever you want.


If you're watching porn you have seen sex slaves which is disturbing to me.

when you embrace reality and really truly change, it's absolutely incredible

The whole world changes because you see everything different.

The world becomes brighter.

You feel more alive. That's what it's about for me.

It's about true fulfilment and happiness.

That’s our mission and I hope that we can help other people to see that, too.

It's not looking at porn because people think it is bad.

It is about really achieving your full capacity is a human being and to find true happiness along the way.


Ask Yourself What Do I Want

A lot of times, when we say what we want, we have that freaking evil thought that comes in and says:

“You can't have that. You don't deserve that. You are not good enough for that.”

This manipulative voice is always showing up when you say what you want because that's not who you believe you are.

Ask yourself what you want … truly and sincerely …

Ignore all those other voices that come in and get to the core of what you actually want. Be honest with yourself and tell yourself the truth.

Ask yourself: Is this Behavior getting me to that place or is it taking me away from it?

Be willing to do whatever you need to do to change your behaviour. Put down your ego and get help so that you can have what you really want in life.

It's totally possible.

Ignore all those other voices that come in and get to the core of what you actually want. Be honest with yourself and tell yourself the truth.

If you fail to do this it will be like Seneca, the Roman philosopher said.

You are like a ship in the storm being pushed around by the waves. It feels like you've taken a long journey but maybe you're just been pushed around in a circle and land up stranded somewhere.

About Hunter Otis

Hunter Otis is a certified and trained mentor coach, with a background in management, sales, and personal training. Hunter has a strong passion for helping people, but throughout his professional life was weighed down by addiction and trauma's of the past. Struggling to cope, Hunter's addiction was eventually exposed, and through relapse after relapse, he had to discover how to free himself and his family from the damage it was causing.

Through many hours of receiving his own specialized therapy, coaching, professional education, and personal implementation and discovery, Hunter now specializes in helping sex/porn addicts also get onto the path of true recovery. Hunter also works with betrayed partners to help them gain greater understanding of how this addiction works, establish boundaries around their partners addiction, and obtain the necessary skills needed to heal from the betrayal and no longer allow the addiction to run their lives.

More Information

You can find Hunter on Facebook if you look for Hunter Otis.

You can find him and his wife on their website becomingpornfree.com or email him at support@becomingpornfree.com.

He will respond to that personally. There's also phone number if you need help right now. Just give him a call and will chat with you and see if what he has offers is the right fit for you otherwise he will point in the right direction for sure.

Thanks for Tuning In!

Thanks so much for being with us this week. This interview was published as a video interview on YouTube as well here: How To Overcome Porn Addiction. Have some feedback you'd like to share? Please leave a note in the comments section below!

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