Hustle Hard Interview Project: Daniel Ha

HHpost

DanielHa

To celebrate my 32nd birthday, I started the Hustle Hard Interview Project. Each month for the next year, I’ll be interviewing one Hustler who embodies a skill or a quality I admire. I hope to uncover some gems that bring me one step closer to being a fully-formed adult.

#5: FOCUS

I went to San Francisco to talk with Daniel Ha, co-founder of Disqus, the online discussion and commenting platform that I use on this blog. He ended up giving me ADVICE THAT WAS SO MONEY, it has profoundly re-shaped the way I approach my goals and impacted how I spend my time. No joke. This 26-year-old dude schooled me. And changed my life. He didn’t pay me to say that. Unless you count a bottle of water as payment. Then he totally paid me.

EJL: I started using Disqus shortly after I started blogging, so I can’t say that I was making an informed choice, but I’m relieved and happy I chose Disqus. Y’all have been amazingly responsive and helpful each time I had a question or an issue. It’s made me wonder Who are you people? 

DH: My longtime friend, Jason Yan, and I started Disqus our junior year in college. We came up with the name Disqus first, and then started to build a concept to service online communities. These communities were part of the original promise of the internet. We wanted to help shape what the future of internet conversation was going to look like.

EJL: Settle something for me. It’s pronounced “discuss,” right?

DH: Right. It doesn’t bother me when people mispronounce it. We’re probably the ones saying it wrong. But that doesn’t bother me either.

EJL: You and Jason dropped out of school to focus on Disqus. At 21, I can’t imagine that you were taken seriously by everyone. How did you not let that affect your hustle?

DH: I was around a lot of people who were like-minded. The “young and inexperienced” excuse didn’t work because a lot of folks were in the same place and still went on to do great things. I’ve held on to some advice that Alexis [Ohanian], one of the founders of Reddit, gave me early on. Even if other startups have better resources or smarter teams, the one thing I can control is how hard I work. I can just want it more. I shouldn’t let the fact that someone else worked harder be the reason I didn’t succeed.

EJL: Since 2007, you and your team have built up Disqus as a network that reaches over 700 million unique visitors and sees almost 5 billion pageviews each month. CNN, NPR, and The Atlantic are just a few of the company’s major clients. Talk about big things poppin’. How did Disqus grow so quickly?

DH: We took a scrappy hustler attitude with Disqus. Anything we didn’t have or we didn’t know, we just applied pure unadulterated hustle to it. We talked to people one at a time until we got something going. Everyone here has different personalities, but we all hold the same values. I don’t think about success as a beginning, middle, and end. It’s about pushing hard and pushing through.

EJL: How do you manage to stay so focused while responding to client needs and connecting with the people in your personal life.

DH: When I’m working, I make sure that I’m doing things of value. Adding worth instead of just feeling busy.

Sometimes, when you think you’re hustling, you’re spending a lot of time on tasks with depreciated return. I can spend 10-12 hours a day doing something, but at the end of it, do I know what I just did?

It’s important to identify what you really want to do. Don’t work off of a To Do List. Work instead off a Tactical Requirements List. If, at the end of the week, you don’t finish one or two main goals while you did 40 or 50 other things, then you weren’t really successful. Maybe you slowed someone else down. Maybe now, you have to find a different way to do your task.

You can spend the bulk of your time on trivial minutiae, but it’s really only a small handful of things that matter.

Whatever trajectory you’re on, you know it’s important when not doing those certain tasks forces the next week to be a completely different week. Always look at the big picture.

*Daniel’s last answer ranks among some of the best life and focus advice I’ve ever gotten. Since this interview, I have been mindful about just “keeping busy,” and making sure that my time is well-spent on the people and the goals I believe are important.

Wallflower Giveaway

wallflower

wfmagentadahlia

I was thrilled when Yury, one of the founders of Wallflower offered to send over a 5 FT TALL MAGENTA DAHLIA (valued at $135 each) for a giveaway. So when I opened the tube from Wallflower and found not just one but FOUR magenta dahlias, I was beyond stoked. I can’t wait to post pictures on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress) of the toast Yury also sent, which I plan to display in our dining room.

Four lucky winners will each receive ONE magenta dahlia.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with your best tips for productivity and ways you stay focused. Only comments left on THIS BLOG POST qualify for the giveaway. I’ll announce the winners next Monday.

Let’s be friends on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page and on Twitter (@ElizabethJLiu). You know, in case you feel like taking a break from all of that productivity.

 

Commenting Guidelines:

Leave your thoughts below and I'll holler back at you with a response. PLEASE DO NOT POST LINKS TO PRODUCTS OR SITES within the body of your comments. I edit/delete them. If you'd like to link your comment back to your site, just sign up for a Disqus account. It's quick and easy. I promise.

 
  • Random the high end hobo

    My entire to do list is “absolutely necessary to avoid the looney bin, long my job, or becoming a non-high-end-hobo”. So I guess that qualifies as tactical requirements???? That’s how I focus.

    That and lots of caffeine.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I hear the looney bin is worse than prison. So I would say that your tactical requirements list is pretty solid.

  • Roo Ciambriello

    Wow, that last answer was incredible advice. I find that there’s always going to be work to do, so hustling late night doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve accomplished what I should. Smart guy right there.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I try to get that one last task in late at night and that’s usually when shit hits the fan. And I usually have to do it over again in the morning. Totally not worth it.

  • http://siebee.wordpress.com/ Corin

    I read an interview – the details of which I have totally forgotten – with a woman who was attending Harvard while also starting and running a successful business when she was still in her early twenties. When they asked her what her secret was, she said that instead of spending the hour or two procrastinating that most people do throughout their day, she worked. Simple as that. It’s a good check when I feel my attention start to wander or I find myself procrastination (i.e. – 80% of the time).

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I have re-read your comment like 10 times. Mostly for inspiration and motivation. Which I need on a daily basis. =)

  • Brittany Rae

    I loved this interview. I am glad you are doing the Hustle interviews but I get sad because it isn’t your wit on the screen but theirs.

    I am a giant procrastinator when it came to school, etc. I still have dreams that I haven’t attended class all semester and I am rushing to finish all the homework in time. I have been out of college for 8 years. Shocker.

    In life, however, I am so overly efficient. I try to streamline everything. Every day I use my day planner and try to master plan things. I know I do need to let go a bit more because I tend to get unpleasant if something doesn’t go as scheduled.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I am RELIEVED that I don’t have to pretend to be witty once a week and let these other people really shine who ARE really witty. =)

      Are you an electronic planner user or paper? I used to use the Franklin Covey system but that bitch was so expensive so I’m just using different apps on my phone now.

  • http://www.imprettysurethat.com/ Becca (aka SMC)

    As always you find enlightenment in what others might pass up as trivial. The best results for productivity is to have one single dedicated goal in mind, and it doesn’t have to be “the big picture.” Setting smaller goals/steps to get to the “big picture” is perfectly acceptable and promotes a sense of accomplishment. After all, you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time…….. unless you like choking, then by all means……..

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Another great thing for productivity is to have a friend who lives in San Diego who loves you enough to check in with you every single day when you are doing something really hard and really daunting and she just keeps you in check and gives you all kinds of support and encouragement. And you wonder how the fuck you got so lucky to have her as a friend.

  • http://twitter.com/AwkwardlyAlive Awkwardly Alive

    First of all – That guy is baller and mega inspirational.
    Okay, now onto my entry:
    When I have to get shit done, I work on the reward system. In other words, I tell myself that if I spend an hour doing laundry and dishes, then I can spend a half hour sitting outside and playing with my dog, reading, or watching an episode of New Girl before I get back to being productive. This way, I don’t feel totally exhausted throughout the day, but I’m also not being a total slug either. The key is sticking to that. I do my best to not go over on the time limit with either task. It actually makes me get stuff done way faster than I would have if I just dedicated my entire day to chores.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      The thought of watching Hardcore Pawn for half an hour also gets me through some of the most mundane chores too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t feel like there was enough of an incentive to scrub the baseboards.

  • http://profiles.google.com/anerdnamedjen Jennifer Folmar

    I have a few approaches to getting shit done. I was in a funk last year and one of the ways to coax myself into taking care of business was to break a week down into everything I needed to do every day, and just go point by point. Wash clothes, dry clothes, fold clothes, put clothes away. wash dishes, put dishes away. cook dinner. etc. If I had everything done at the end of the month, I could get a reward I’d had my eye on, usually something like a massage or a pedicure or new clothes. Now that I’m doing better on the day-to-day, I’m working on bigger shit like balancing my checkbook, fixing my car and being a good spouse-type.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      First, I’m so happy to hear that you are doing better. Being in a deep funk can be so life-altering and life-hindering. On the worst days, there is literally nothing anyone can do or say that can get you up and going. I love the idea of breaking everything down point by point. Sometimes, the best way is the simplest way.

  • heidi schlehlein

    I tend to get overwhelmed when I have a lot to do, so I just write down the next three steps to get a project done, and it helps me to focus on what really needs to be done, not the whole picture which is overwhelming. Those wallflowers are cool! and this post has some great advice- spending time wisely is smart smart smart

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I used to get so overwhelmed with a long task list that I would cover up the bottom half with my hand. That probably makes me sound really mature.

  • Amy

    I can only be productive when I’m in my ‘work space’ and free of distractions like kids and phones. I also pop in earbuds and get lost in the project I’m working on. When I have 5 clients waiting on photo session editing to be done, I have be productive or else I lose business. I never think of things in terms of ‘to do’, just things I am doing to completion, then on to the next.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I find it’s easier to do a task when someone else is depending on me. Otherwise, I have a huge problem with motivation. Or maybe it’s laziness. I also work best in my own work space with no distractions. I don’t know how anyone gets anything done at Starbucks.

      • Amy

        Me too! And I go to Starbucks when I WANT to be distracted, lol.

        • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

          With so many seasonal CDs and mugs to look at, who can even be serious about work. Let’s be real. ;)

  • Rebecca

    I stick to the “turn on music, get shit done” philosophy. I cannot concentrate on anything unless there is music playing, and it can’t just be any old music. It has to be up beat, or rap. Anything sad or slow causes me to stop what I’m doing, as it causes me to be bored. I also try to do things in small spurts to keep my focus, taking breaks after a bit, I’m not one of those people who can do marathon sessions!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I had to make a list of upbeat songs for household tasks because when an emo song would come on, I would get all sad and then want to sit down and think about sad shit and that’s how sometimes socks don’t get washed for a week. Ooops.

  • Skye

    I need a to-do list to keep me focused and on task. I like marking things off! Than I feel like I accomplished something

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Sometimes, if the tasks are really hard, I use a little notepad instead of my phone app. And then when I cross it off, I make sure to press down really hard with my pencil for extra satisfaction. Wow, that makes me sound like a loser.

  • http://www.pixiedustbride.com/ Mindy

    First of all, I love Disqus. Second, my productivity tip is to make lists. I write down (old school) ideas as they pop into my head when I working the day job. Then at night I bang out my list, and I tell myself I have to get everything done BEFORE I can start drinking, for extra motivation and productivity.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      lolololol. Alcohol is an excellent motivator. I’ve tried to do things a little tipsy a few times, and that…well, that didn’t end well.

  • Heather H

    I’ve found that if I make a to-do list that’s prioritized, and then make a completed list, it reinforces the fact that I’ve completed things and also keeps me on task. My biggest problem with focus is getting motivated, so I have a playlist that’s mostly rap music.. Because how can that not make you want to get up and move?

    Also, stepping away from electronics and computers helps me. I’m forever checking twitter and my email. Walking away and keeping the music on keeps me from getting distracted.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      A completed task list? This is genius shit. I have it set up on my phone that once a task is done, it is gone. And then I have no idea what I’ve accomplished so all I see are the tasks that I still have to do. Which feels pretty defeating sometimes.

      I have tried to step away from the computer a few times. I felt like an arm was missing. I hope there is help for this.

  • Are You Kidding Me?

    I think some planning (mentally) helps me get at least one thing on my to-do list done most days. If I tell myself I’m going to get X, Y, and Z completed, and things come up that interrupt, I usually try to get at least one of X, Y, or Z done, so I don’t feel like I’ve been slacking all day…

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Sometimes, I psych myself out just THINKING about getting X, Y, and Z done. So I try not to think about it TOO much before I start the task. Of course, this kind of poor planning and lack of forethought also gets me into a shitload of trouble.

  • http://twitter.com/ezza_bee Erin

    I make lists and give myself mini-goals and rewards. I try to get my daughter involved too. We spin a wheel on the fridge to see which room in the house gets a little extra TLC beyond basic tidying each day. It’s the only way I get it done, and it’s always fun to get an easy room.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I would totally do this, but weigh the wheel so that it only lands on the easy rooms. I missed the point of this, didn’t I?

  • Kim

    I’m in the business planning phase of starting a farm. Not wanting to sit behind a computer is a big reason I wanted to farm in the first place. But guess what? I’m totally stuck behind a computer right now! I’m trying to stay inspired to stay productive. Read about other farms. Review my family/farm goals. If all else fails, I go feed some cows or throw some more hay in the chicken coop to remember why I’m really doing this! I always seem to come back fired up to get this thing worked out.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      This is some fascinating stuff, yo. I don’t want you to reveal too much if you’re not comfortable, but can you tell me if you’re on the east or west coast? My daughter’s dream is to someday own a ranch, and it seems like such a HARD and labor intensive goal to have, but totally worth it at the same time. I admire you. You got some big balls.

  • http://fearlessfibrowarrior.blogspot.com FearlessFibro

    I know it sounds cheesy as fuck, but I do what my heart tells me is right. Since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, I got dumped into therapy. That chick taught me Mindfulness meditation, which has, over time, gotten me to tune into my heart, mind and body better. Consequently, I avoid toxic assholes, and situations that suck my energy.

    See? Cheesy as fuck. But, effective.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Girl, that ain’t cheesy at all. That’s smart as fuck. So smart as fuck. I have been feeling under the weather lately and usually, I just try to suck it up and go on with my day, but I decided to just say Fuck It today and not get out of bed. So here I am, in bed, at 3:20 pm. I think we all need to listen to our bodies and our hearts more.

  • Heather

    I stay focused by eliminating distractions and saying NO. Not always easy but effective!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I only learned how to say NO a few years ago. It has changed my life. And freed up a lot of time. And kept me from grumbling nasty shit under my breath about the people I was doing things for that I didn’t want to be doing.

  • Tabitha W

    I love the advice about meeting your goals and not just being busy. Today I am going to set a goal and go beyond being busy. Great interview!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      GIT IT, girl. xo

  • afashionfiend

    Love Daniel’s thoughts on productivity. I make weekly/ monthly lists however, don’t add the ‘to do” part. I organize the tasks by priority and deadline. It has been a successful way of keeping my mind on tract and being productive.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I used to put easy items on top, but found that by the time I got to the really important tasks that required any real effort, I was already too tired and cranky. I like your idea of organizing by priority and deadline. SOLID.

  • Amber Holt

    I would never pay bills, make meetings or appointments if I didn’t have my iCloud with reminders. That shit keeps me on the straight and narrow!

    As sad as it is when there’s something that I really need to get done I get an AMP Energy, put on some music and get at it!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I live in fear that something won’t get iClouded. That thing is an absolute savior for me as well.

  • Monique

    I have made Siri my best friend. I ask her nicely to remind me about everything. Pay my bills, hustle in the morning when she reminds me I need to leave in 15 minutes, never miss an appointment or forget my sons book bag on Tuesday mornings. They also transfer to my iPad. I have also learned that exercising has also helped in staying productive and focused. It is so easy to fall behind.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Siri and I get in fights all the time. She refuses to understand me and I become abusive by tapping her on the table. Like that helps anything. Well, it helps my anger.

      I recently cancelled my gym membership. Perhaps I should get that back.

  • http://physicalpossum.blogspot.com phyposs

    I love the iCloud and it’s reminders for appointments and bill paying. I also use Cozi for my shopping lists and the husband’s TO DO list. It is much easier to train your dragon when you can email or text items to him, makes for much less nagging.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      “Train your dragon”

      I am literally laughing out loud. By myself. Looking like a lunatic.

  • Kristyn

    My number one rule for staying focused is to get enough sleep! I’m useless when I’m overly tired. Also, always remember, “Haste makes waste”! Slow down, take a breath, do one thing at a time, make lists, notes, take the time to keep yourself organized!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Sleep? What’s that? ;)

  • vsin

    If i really want to stay focused I get my butt off Facebook (heh). Seriously, I have to throw myself (psychically) in the middle of the project and eliminate all other access to distractions. This is harder done than said. When I was sorting a pile of clothes, I created a moat of clothes around me in a room without a TV, internet or cell phone.

    It also depends on what it is. If it’s a big house chore, I prepare myself mentally for when it’s going to happen so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I also book it as an appointment in my calendar so I know it’s going to happen and make sure it happens before the deadline (sometimes it’s the second deadline). I also reward myself with something if I get X task done (because I deserve it!). A big tip I learned is to break things down and give myself REASONABLE amounts of time to get each item done. Looking at each step one at a time instead of the whole thing all at once, so not to get overwhelmed by all the time and energy a larger project will take.

    I’ve tried other things… music distracts me (i can’t stop dancing and want to sing) and I can’t be too close to the kitchen/food. Making lists are fun but I’m not great at follow through and then by the end I’m feeling too overwhelmed by the list. Not that I won’t make a list, after all, creating a list is a great way to procrastinate! However, I make a different kind of list, not so much a to-do list as it is a “don’t forget this because I have a bad memory and will forget” list.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Wait, what? It’s possible to get off FB. Does it hurt? Will I cry?

      Also, moat of clothes? Best laundry tip ever. Because I hate folding that shit with a vengeance and the only way my family might ever have folded laundry is if I literally wall myself in with the clothes and my only escape is to sort and fold.

  • Laura Bezzeg

    To really stay focused you absolutely cannot multitask, although it feels great, it actually reduces your productivity. Each of us has a time of day that is best, usually early morning or late at night. Use those times for your most difficult or most important tasks.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      TOTALLY agree here. I have met some people who are productive at all times of the day but I can’t really tell if they are lying about this or I should just push them in the face for being so awesome. I have about a 17 min window after I send Harv and Cal off in the morning when I am most productive. And that’s about it. The rest of the day is me just trying to remember to breathe and eat.

  • Clara Yeung

    Honestly the only way I can focus is by eating snacks. Anything from chips, fries, carrots, yogurt, dry cereal, crackers and cheese, and even canned corn. Food is life. What other excuse do you need?

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      You must have the most awesomely stocked cupboards ever. Can I come over?

  • Paula Morales

    Coffee. Coffee. And more coffee! I’m most productive when I have the apartment to myself. No distractions. No tv. Music works better. I stick my head phones on and listen to what ever music that is going to keep me in my creative state of mind. And if its the dishes that I need to be focusing on then I break out my bottle of rum! That flower is awesome!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Oh my gosh, YES. I am so happy that someone else finds it most productive when everyone gets out of the damn house. Sometimes, when I have a task that requires a lot of mental focus, I kick everyone out and tell them to get a sno cone or something. For 5 hours.

  • Hope Good

    Wow, I love that interview and philosophy! When I know i need to be in the zone, I try to apply the 55/5 plan. I focus on my task for 55 minutes and try to knock as much or all of it. When the 55 min is up, I get a 5 min break to re-focus and begin to shift into the next task with out feeling like I am just grinding away.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      You love the interview and I love you. WHO WON THERE?

  • Keri

    In order to stay productive and on task, I have to organize myself with lists on pretty, bright post-it’s. I will usually have my Maxwell Station on Pandora streaming while I get in the zone and methodically finishing my tasks one by one. What I enjoy best is being able to cross out items on my list, complete it & then make some origami to with my used post-it’s. The best part about it? I get to decorate my desk with cute,colorful origami while also giving me a reason to stop working for a moment. :)

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I used to get those plain ol’ yellow Post Its because I thought the pretty bright colors would be distracted, but that’s totally what I needed all along. Something NOTICEABLE. Also, I am insanely jealous of your origami skills. I tried to do that a few times and it just looked like a balled up Post It.

  • Kelz

    I currently use coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Usually with a side of chocolate.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Sometimes I drop a few pieces of chocolate into my coffee. And then eat some more after I’m done drinking the coffee.

  • http://www.quiet-mind.net/ Adrianne

    Awesome interview, although now I feel really lazy. As far as staying focused goes, I give myself rewards. Yes, that’s right. I can sit on the computer for hours, but if I need to get something (like cleaning the house) done, I’ll set a timer for an hour and get to work, knowing I can sit on the computer and laze around when the timer goes off. If I’ve got more to do, I’ll set the timer for 30 minutes for my reward. Also, I make daily to-do lists on a great little iPhone app called Awesome Note.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      So happy you suggested Awesome Notes. Thank you! I’ve been trying out all sorts of diff apps for that! Also, I love rewards too. Especially if they involve sugar.

  • http://inpursuitofhappiness.net/blog Miss Britt

    I just read a similar tip about avoiding busyness on a minimalism site. It’s like the universe is trying to tell me to quit screwing around. My best productivity task: don’t multi-task. Focus on one thing at a time.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Multi-tasking is the devil. Especially when you suck at it. Like me.

  • Alex H.

    Make sure to always keep the long term goal in your sights. Don’t let the mundane day to day, seemingly irrelevant things stop you from seeing what you really want to accomplish.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      SO TRUE. My husband says I obsess way too much over the small details and small dramas/tasks in my life but I asked him “Isn’t that what being anal retentive is all about.” I thought he was going to say, “You? Anal retentive? No way, Jose!” but he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

  • M

    My best advice (and current strategy) is pretty simple: don’t sit down. Literally and figuratively. Literally, I find that if I’m sitting down, I don’t accomplish much, except blog-reading with the exuberance of a velociraptor on crack. Figuratively, “sitting down” means resting, and while rest is also important (even to cracked-out velociraptors) it also means you’re not getting much done. I find that this philosophy tends to work with my kids as well (except instead of reading blogs, they play video games like Zombies Attack and Monster Mansion), which clearly indicates that either genetics is at work here, or that I’m actually onto something.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Totally, totally, totally. As soon as I sit down…um…like right now, I lose all momentum and I “just don’t wanna.” I think I get way too much “rest.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/bram.dehaas.3956 Bram de Haas

    My best tip for productivity is to put on a pair of really good headphones and play classical music from Spotify or another source where you don’t run out of new music. A lot of classical music has just the right intensity to keep you going but doesn’t distract.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      My daughter swears by this! Ok, now that two people have given classical music a thumbs up, I might try it out. I’m sorry I’m cheating on you, rap music.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dena.a.fowler Dena Atkins Fowler

    Wonderful interview, wonderful advice. I guess I would say, set a goal, an attainable goal, and give yourself credit. It is so easy to look at all that didn’t get done or all that is left to be done and become discouraged. Be honest with yourself, but also give yourself credit for what you did do.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Amen. I don’t break my goals off into smaller bite size tasks. I just have the one big looming goal that taunts me every time I look at my list. Now, I break things up and give myself credit when I do a smaller task. Or if I just attempt to do it. Or I just think about attempting to do it.

  • mommyonthespot

    No To Do list? That just blew my mind!

    Well, that was the one thing that does keep me on task and organized. Having said that, I do keep in mind that it is flexible and not written in stone.

    Sometimes, when I feel that I am falling inte trap of being busy and not staying focused, I set a timer for 30 minutes. And I stay on task until the timer goes off. I work well with deadlines.

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I feel like it would only be right to admit that I am responding to this while I have the timer set for one hour to do house chores. This is why my house looks like it got robbed. Every day. Every damn day.

  • LNassau

    The best way for me to stay focused is to set limits for each goal. And, stay off the internet!

    • http://flourishinprogress.com/ Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      But…the internet is my best friend! Totally kidding. Ok, not really.