Transcript - Ai Generated
Introduction and Excitement for the Return of the Podcast
[0:19] Well, hey, I'm super excited to be bringing the Effective Teaching Podcast back for everyone, whether you're watching it on YouTube or whether you are listening on your device as you're driving to school, et cetera, wherever you are, I'm so excited to be bringing this to you.
I've taken a bit of time off since February, it's been a long time really, about nine to 10 months that I've been absent from this podcast, but I'm hoping to really make it up to you by bringing you some really good quality episodes and I'm gonna be releasing three a week over the next five weeks to try and catch up on some of the episodes that you guys have missed from me This year really because I want to help you to become more effective Okay I've been working on my own effectiveness over the last while the reason I took the time off was so that I could be Focused on a particular task that was right in front of me.
Importance of Focusing and Managing Distractions
[1:11] And so I focused on that. I've got myself sorted. I've actually become more effective in the process as I have learnt to better manage things as I worked on that project and so I'm hoping to share a whole bunch of things that I've learned with you and, throughout this process. So I hope that you're excited, I hope that you're ready to get stuck into things.
Today I'm going to be talking to you about the 20-second productivity rule which is a rule that I found.
[1:37] I think I read in a book somewhere at some point, I then made a note of it somewhere and I've been going back through my notes I'm like ah yeah that's I've been using that in my processes and I think that everyone would benefit from it.
And the reason why I'm going to talk about this 20-second rule is because today.
[1:54] In our society we are getting more and more distracted and we're not really identifying the fact that by being distracted generally it actually means that when we try to be focused we really can't be.
We actually struggle a lot to be focused when we need to be because we are so distracted all the time and this is mostly because we have our phones on us all the time and so we are responding to messages as soon as they come in, we're responding to emails as soon as they come in, when we line up to get coffee rather than standing there being you know distracted and looking around at our scenery for a while we pull out our phones you know and we start scrolling social media and this is training our brains to be distracted it's training our brains to not be able to focus when it needs to whenever our brain thinks something is hard or thinks that we're a bit bored it automatically starts looking for those distractions and these aren't things that have to be you know from the outside pushed in upon us we're not talking necessarily about you know, the kid who knocks at the door while you're trying to get work and wants to talk to you or the phone call from your wife while you're trying to get some deep work done.
That's not that's not the problem that we're addressing with this rule.
Introducing the 20-Second Productivity Rule
[3:05] This rule is about helping us to develop our ability to be self-controlled.
[3:12] Around distractions and I'm sure that you like me find yourself when you do in the middle of doing something you might go Oh, I'm just gonna check this right or I'm just gonna do this instead.
You might find it harder to focus for extended periods of time on what's called deep work and you can listen to previous episodes where I've talked about deep work what it is how it all works but this is a rule that I'm going to ask you to apply to yourself just try it out for the week right and see how it goes at helping you to retrain your brain away from needing distractions away from constantly needing to be entertained and so we are seeking here to retrain our brains away distraction.
Okay so let's now enter the 20 second rule.
Now this 20 second rule is very simple to apply. Basically what it is is when you catch yourself wanting to go to a distraction.
So when you're going, when you're queued up to get your coffee, when you're you know sitting in the passenger seat of a car maybe or when you are hanging out with, some friends at a cafe or you're waiting for your friends to show up at the cafe, rather than being distracted and pulling out our phones and scrolling social media and looking at what we might want to look at, maybe going to go to our emails and have a look at that, which is often my distraction is I go to my emails, I open that up and I have a look through them.
[4:34] So rather than doing that, when you feel that kind of idea when you go to reach for your phone, the rule is basically that you have to put in a 20 second barrier between you wanting that craving and you giving yourself the satisfaction.
And what it does by doing that is you're separating the craving from the actual you know satisfaction at the end of it.
And so rather than so I might be writing a program and then go oh I'm just gonna go and check social media and see if someone's replied to a post I put up earlier right and so you pull up your phone you scroll right but instead of that instead this time you're going to be writing your program you're gonna feel the distraction need and go right that's okay for me to want that but I'm going to wait 20 seconds before I do that and keep working for 20 seconds instead.
And what's going to happen is one of two things either as you get back into your work you're going to forget about checking your phone and you're going to suddenly get an extra half hour to an hour of deep work done on that program.
[5:37] The other thing that might happen is that you might still be wanting to do that but because you've put in the 20 second delay right from when you first started to that when you go and check it it helps your brain to, disassociate the want that you originally had from your fulfilling it and you can if you like start to even expand this 20-second rule and you create a minute or something before you can actually go and check it but it's just about separating the craving from the satisfaction you're retraining your brain so that's not looking for those distractions all the time when things get hard it doesn't start searching for those other things to do when you're bored, it doesn't start searching for other things to do.
And there's lots of research actually that's been around that shows how us being distracted or our constant need to be entertained and constantly, you know, we don't have, boredom time, our brain doesn't have downtime where it's really not doing anything unless you happen to go for, you know, a walk by yourself, you know, even.
[6:35] Kids talk about these, unwired walks, right, unplugged walks and I'm just like, that used to just be a walk, right, we used to go for walks and we didn't have earphones in, we weren't listening to music or listen to podcasts or whatever while we walked.
And I'm not saying that you shouldn't listen to podcasts, but you just need your brain to have a time when it's not doing anything or when it's hard it can keep focused and keep doing those things.
And if we are constantly going to our distractions. We're actually setting ourselves up to not be able to get quality work done in a decent amount of time.
We're actually going to get distracted, we're going to get 20 minutes of work done instead of an hour and a half.
All those things happening because we are constantly distracted.
We're constantly seeking those things.
And so during the 20 seconds, right, getting back to work.
You don't just sit there for 20 seconds, right, well unless you're waiting at a coffee shop line, right?
In which case, really try and do the whole wait between where you are on the line and when you get to the front. Just try not to look at your phone the whole time.
[7:37] That is training your brain and helping set yourself up. If you want to, you can set a timer, for example. So you can go, I've got this craving.
I'm actually just gonna set a 20 second timer before I go and check social media or check my emails. And that timer can go off and remind you, oh, that's right, I've gotta check my email.
That's okay because there's this different stimulus then that's bringing you back to, I'm gonna check my email, I'm gonna check social media and check that post, see if someone's actually answered it so I can use that information for what I'm doing.
You're just separating it from that initial craving and you're bringing out that spacing and you might wanna, I would generally increase from 20 seconds to 30 seconds to 40 seconds to a minute.
You know, you wanna really expand that time so that eventually when you feel the craving, you actually, I'm gonna wait until I'm finished this task that's in front of me.
And that's the key thing, because we want to be developing our ability to be focused and to be getting deep quality work done when we set that time aside.
And this is very simple, very, very simple strategy to implement.
[8:38] But it will help you to retrain your whole brain and help you to then become more productive when you're sitting down trying to get that marking done.
You're not going to get up and go, I'm going to go and pour myself a drink now.
I'm going to go and get a little snack while I'm working I'm going to go and you know all those constant small interruptions that happen to us while we're marking something or while we're writing feedback while we're designing our units of work we're looking to really shift away from all those distractions so that we can be focused and get the work done essentially in less time because we're more focused.
Achieving Flow State: Getting in the Zone
[9:11] And that focusing just massively improves it allows you to get into what's called flow and flow is that state where you're kind of in the zone if you're a PE teacher or into sport at all being in the zone right where you're just like oh yeah and anyone who's done any kind of creative thing and I would say sport is creative all those kinds of things right you get into a state if you're writing right you get into a state of writing where you're like I can just you can just keep going right and time seems to kind of fade into the distance because you're enjoying yourself so much and that happens when a task is challenging enough but yet also you know it's you're enjoying it and it's still like it's a challenge that you're overcoming right and that gets you into that state of flow and then you can roll on and that can be you know creating an artwork it can be playing a sport it can be found in so many different areas as we do things either with our hands or with our brains and this simple hack is helping us to get into that state of flow better, to stay in that state of flow so that we get the work done at a greater level.
The Simple Hack to Stay in Flow State
[10:13] It's going to be higher quality work because we're less distracted and it helps us to really get deep and focus for longer.
[10:20] So that is the end of this episode. I hope that you enjoyed it.
I hope that you take this tip and you go and apply it. I'd love for you to let me know how it goes.
If you start to do this this week and go, actually, this is really helping me or maybe you go like, this is pointless, I just keep going back to it anyway.
All right, let me know but I have found this really helpful for me in switching away from Constantly checking my emails or constantly going and checking something when I'm meant to be doing something that's hard And so this has helped me a lot And I sure hope that it helps you a lot as you are working on your work.
All right, that's it for me for today. I will hit you with another episode probably in two days time because we're aiming for three episodes a week right now So let's catch up some of those episodes this year.
I hope you're enjoying it. Thanks so much for listening to this episode.
I'm super excited to see how it impacts you and helps you to become a more effective teacher.
If you'd like to learn more about how I can help you in that process, head over to www.teacherspd.net and then you can find everything there.
If you want to subscribe, there'll be a button in the top right-hand corner to hit subscribe so you get notified with emails and all the rest of it but otherwise, thanks so much for listening. Here's to an effective week as a teacher in your classroom.