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03 - Killing 'Active' Communication So You Can Get Stuff Done

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03 - Killing 'Active' Communication So You Can Get Stuff Done

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Episode Recap:

Do you struggle to get stuff done each day? Russell talks about how to shut off active communication, switch to passive communication and how it can make you 200 – 300% more productive every day!

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Best Quote:

For me, for time management, for example – I want you guys thinking about this, too – how can you shift your communication? To set active communication, where you’re sitting there talking in dialog with somebody, to inactive, where they send you messages and you respond on your time, kind of how e-mail used to be. The tool that I’m using when I do that is Skype, for the most part. I’m still struggling to train some of people whom I work with on that, but that way you message me on Skype. When I am ready to focus on that project, I will find that thing, and I will respond back to them on that topic.

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Transcripts:

Hey everyone. This is Russell, and I am actually going in tonight to the office. It is almost nine o’clock at night, but I’m working a late night tonight, because sometimes that’s what you’ve got to do.

I’m going out of town tomorrow with my family and so I’m heading out to a late night session at the office to get some stuff done so I can take a couple of days off and goof off with family I’ve been thinking about something a lot today, and I’ve been ranting with some of the guys who work for me about it. I just wanted to get everyone’s perspective on this and put it out there.

When I first got into this business, one of my early mentors was Dan Kennedy, and I went through his time management course [laughs], which is different than most time management courses. If you’ve ever gone through it, he talks about time vampires and how to distance yourself from customers or anyone who wants to suck your time. For example [laughs], with Dan, if you want to get hold of him, you have to fax his assistant. Once a week his assistant collects all the faxes, puts them in a FedEx box and FedExes it to Dan.

When Dan gets it, he then writes his responses on the faxes and then shoves them back in the FedEx box and FedExes them back to his assistant. His assistant actually will respond back to each person who contacted him, so [laughs], if you’re going to ask him a question, it’s a two-week process. It may be annoying on your side trying to get hold of him, but it also makes you, when you ask questions, very, very efficient. That’s my biggest issue with phone calls. I hate phone calls.

You can ask anybody [laughs]. I hate answering the phone. The only person I answer the phone for is my wife. On the phone, everyone wants to be like, “Hey, how’s it going?” They try to catch up, and twenty minutes into this conversation, they finally get around to what they’re going to ask you. Then e-mail came around, and at first, the way e-mail worked is we just told people what we wanted, they responded back, and it was great.

But now e-mail has become so informal that to write an e-mail, I’ve got to go through this chitchat – the same stuff I’ve got to do on a phone call. It takes so much time and energy. Then text messaging came out. I love texting, because I can text people and the response is really quick. There’s a new app I’ve been using called Vox which is great, because I can Vox somebody and leave a message, and then when they get it, they can respond back to me. If I have time, I can respond back.

I really like that type of communication. I hate active communication, where we have to be actively engaged, because it takes me and you having to be stopping everything we’re doing at the same time to connect and have that conversation. It’s so inefficient for me. It drives me crazy. A lot of people ask me, “Russell, how in the world do you run twelve companies. How do you do all this kind of stuff?” The way I do it is because I don’t have inefficient communication.

My people on Skype – I try to train people I work with and it’s very difficult, because they don’t understand. If you’re on Skype and you message me it will be like, “Hi.” –“Hi.” –“Hi.” I will never respond back to a “Hi”. If they leave me a question, I will respond back with the answer next time I’m on, but I hate the active communication, because it opens up a door that wastes so much time. It makes you so inefficient. If I’m respond back to someone who skyped me, “Hi,” it would become at least a ten minute conversation, talking about the weather and everything else before we got to the point.

For me, for time management, for example – I want you guys thinking about this, too – how can you shift your communication? To set active communication, where you’re sitting there talking in dialog with somebody, to inactive, where they send you messages and you respond on your time, kind of how e-mail used to be. The tool that I’m using when I do that is Skype, for the most part. I’m still struggling to train some of people whom I work with on that, but that way you message me on Skype. When I am ready to focus on that project, I will find that thing, and I will respond back to them on that topic.

Text messaging is still great, because of that. Voxer, if you haven’t downloaded the Voxer app, it’s great. I can leave voice mail. It’s almost like a voice walkie-talkie text message. I text message somebody what I want to tell them, and they walkie-talkie me back when they want to. I encourage you guys to figure out ways to break up active communication and train your partners, your staff, your employees, into the inactive kind.

You will get so much more done. I set my day out, so I know, “Hey, today from this time to this time, I’m working on this business, or this project, or this, whatever it is,” and I only look at e-mails and correspondence and things related to that. I shut off everything else. I’m not perfect at it. I’m still getting better at it [laughs], but I get so much more done when I do that. It’s amazing. I promise you guys that if you will cut out active communication, cut out phone calls – you don’t call people.

Don’t do meetings. Meetings are the worst thing in the world. Do not do them, especially the “Got a minute?” meetings. If you’ve got a staff, then you know what “got a minute” meetings are. They always end up being eighteen hours long. Figure out ways to break up the active communication and turn things into passive communication, where you communicate back if and when you want to. And notice I said, “If.”

That’s a big thing. You do not have to respond back to everyone. I would say probably ninety-nine percent of my e-mails go un-responded. I’d say probably fifty percent of my Skypes go un-responded. Just because somebody messages me, doesn’t mean I have to respond back to them. I want to give you guys that permission as well, to understand that you don’t have to respond back to everybody.

Just respond back to the people that you need to communicate with for the project that you are trying to move forward at that time. If you do that, you will get so much more efficient. If you will train your partners, and train your staff, and train your employees to do that, you will become so much more efficient. I’ve got three partners right now that I’m trying to train on that.

They’re like the talkers who want to just get on the phone and hang out and network and talk, and I’m the opposite of that. We have this thing where they will call me, and then I will text them back. But that’s the way you’ve got to be. You’ve got to be so protective of your time, because people will dominate your time. They will devour it, and they don’t care. If you don’t care about it, people will run you over and so that’s my message today, for tonight.

Again, I’m going in at nine o’clock, probably planning about three hours of some awesome stuff, and then I’m going to go and take a couple of days off and party with my family, and it’s going to be awesome. I hope you enjoyed this. Again, if you like these podcasts, please leave your feedback.

This is brand new. I’ve never done one of these before, and I would love to hear some feedback, hopefully positives. If they’re negatives, please don’t leave comments [laughs], but if they’re positive, I’d love to hear your comments. In the iTunes place would be really cool and also at our DotComSecrets.com, for more information about us and how we can help your business.

Again, you guys, just take care of your time. It’s your only precious commodity that you have. Protect it. Don’t let people suck it. Don’t let people be time vampires and suck it up. Be very protective of it. I hope this helps. Thanks, everybody.

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