FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY & SUCCESS

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August 20, 2019  

CHOICE PARALYSIS - Episode 33

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/support-one-more-year-of-film-pro-productivity/x/6579725#/

Hello and welcome to this SPECIAL INBETWEENISODE of Film Pro Productivity, the podcast which helps film professionals and other creatives to live a more focused, effective and HAPPY life. My name is Carter Ferguson and this is EPISODE 33 – CHOICE PARALYSIS

Intro

Steve Jobs once said “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. Unquote

One thing that is particularly true of many creative projects is that they don’t work to a known blueprint. We find ourselves often overwhelmed by the myriad of choices we could make to turn our dreams into reality. We find ourselves often overthinking our options or decisions about our careers or our finances. Have you ever spent so long thinking about a decision that by the time you make it, the opportunity has passed you by? That is what we will be talking about today.

Prioritizing which I spoke about way back in episode 10 is an essential skill if you are working towards being more productive, but several times recently I have found myself in a situation of ANALYSIS PARALYSIS. That is the state of over-thinking about a decision to the point that a choice NEVER gets made.

Have you faced analysis paralysis before? Do you tend to overthink your choices, to the point where you feel paralyzed and don’t make a decision? If you recognise this in yourself then listen up as this week I’ll be talking about how to overcome it.

Anecdote

I have been floundering a bit with this issue in recent weeks on how best to move forward with the show.

Season 2 and its subsequent promotion was immensely time-consuming for me you see and I have a real feeling of apprehension in moving forward as the commitment of time and mental energy which this podcast requires is significant.

Toiling with the uncertainty as to whether this show is worthwhile has undermined my confidence and with that wooliness of thought, I’ve been struggling with how to proceed. In my choice paralysis. I have been digesting and deliberating all of my options:

  • Should run a crowd funder to pay for the second year of hosting or just bite the bullet and pay for it all myself. It would be a lot less bother and would mean that I could really get into season 3 instead of toiling over inbetweenisodes like this one and the substantial work that’s involved in crowdfunding. What if no one gives any money? Then I’ll have wasted even more time on stuff that doesn’t further the show. If it does work though it will save me a few quid and the campaign in itself will promote the show.
  • I’ve also been considering how I can reach the people, creatives and film pros who will actually want to engage with and benefit from the show... I’m thinking about whether I should push the show onto Youtube too – to try and reach a bigger audience. The social media conversion of followers to actual listeners or subscribers is absolutely garbage at about 1% so I don’t want to spend quite as much time on it as I did last season - but by converting it to YouTube I’m creating another huge pool of work form myself. Many podcast gurus say podcasts shouldn’t go on YouTube as it waters down the potential subscriber list on podcasting apps but they also say promote where the audience is and I have a feeling I’ll find you there.
  • Next, I have struggled with episode lengths and format choices, even trialling a mini-episode length which caused further confusion for me if I’m honest but which I’ll likely roll out in some form for a few episodes of season 3.
  • Beyond that, I’ve also found difficulty with the most basic of podcast elements like deciding on what I am actually going to talk about. At the moment I have so many topics on my board that if I had the time I could create 2 new seasons but with bills to pay and other creative projects and business projects on my mind, I also need to keep earning money…
  • There’s also a voice in my head that says quite often - you don’t have time for this - If you don’t create a new season you could work on your imminent business affairs, on promoting my fight direction work, on writing the first draft of a screenplay, on selling old kit on eBay to raise additional funds and the list goes on.

You get the point - I’ve been getting distracted again and again and again and I’ve been paralysed by the choices before me.

Lesson

Choice or *Analysis paralysis is the state of over-thinking about a decision to the point that a choice never gets made. You face analysis paralysis when you…

  • Are overwhelmed by the available options,
  • Over-complicate the decision when it’s supposed to be quite a simple one,
  • Feel compelled to pick the “best” and “perfect” choice, thereby delaying any decision until you do your research, or
  • You feel a deep fear of making a wrong move, hence stalling yourself from making any decision, in case you make the wrong choice.

If you want to learn more about simply prioritizing things then please listen back to episode 10, but if you are paralysed in any of the ways listed here, then listen on.

Celestine Chua presents 8 tips for dealing with Choice Paralysis on personalexcellence.co which I’ll link to in the show notes. Here are a few pieces of advice from that article:

  1. Differentiate between big and small decisions. If the decision isn’t going to make a big difference a year from now and there are no serious consequences that will come out of it, then it is a small decision. Spend as little time as you need to nail this. Then, let go.

If however, the decision will create major impact after a year and there are serious implications from making the wrong choice (such as marrying someone you don’t love), then it’s a big decision.

For everything in between, give it some thought but don’t let it drag on for too long.

  1. Identify your objective. Every option has its pros and cons. Without knowing your end objective, you’ll forever be debating the relative pros and cons of each choice without a meaningful conclusion.
  2. Perfection is not the key. “Moderately okay” is. Unless you are dealing with a life-altering decision like who to marry and what career path to choose, perfection is not the key. Your goal is to pick a moderately “okay” choice in a fair amount of time, and then move on. Please listen back to my episode on perfectionism (episode 5) for more advice on this.
  3. Eliminate the bad options. When you have too many options, it clutters the decision-making process so list all the available options. Then, eliminate the bad ones.
  4. Get a trusted opinion. Consult someone with insight into what you’re asking about. Get expert advice from specialists who know what they are doing. It helps cut through the noise, get the information I need, and make the right choice. And this si something I find myself doing more and more these days, despite my frugal upbringing, pay and get expert advice from specialists who know what they are doing.
  5. Channel your energy into bigger goals, If you often face analysis paralysis with little decisions, here is my question to you: What are your goals for the next few years? Is there any goal you are procrastinating on? Work on them instead. As you shift your focus to the higher-level goals, you gain more experience and become better at making good decisions quickly.

Nelson Mandela said “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

I quote this as before I could deal with my difficulty in choices I had to deal with the uncertainty of purpose which has been undermining my drive. I’ve revisited my reasons for doing this show and recommitted to them. Even if this show just helps one person out there and makes their life better as a result, then I believe it is worthwhile.

Denis Waitley said “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”

With that in mind, I moved forward to solve my choice paralysis.

Summing Up

I need to work towards summing up on this episode and with that, I’ll remind you once more of Parkinson’s law – and it’s something that Celestine lists too. The law states that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” so your work will take however long you allow it to take.

If you set aside 15 minutes for a task, it’ll take 15 minutes. If you set aside 30 minutes, it’ll take 30 minutes. If you don’t set a time limit, it may take forever!

A time limit alone could help you to make a decision if you are ever stuck in choice paralysis.

Call To Action

Your call to action today is to tackle something which has been stuck in a limbo of choice. Use Celestine’s tips to tackle the problem and move past it.

Ending

This is the second of 2 special episodes which I’ve put together to promote the IndieGoGo campaign to raise £500 to pay for the hosting packages and some marketing for year two of this podcast. Please help by spreading the word on social media or by buying one of the perks which include the opportunity to sponsor future shows. You can find the link to the campaign in the show notes and I’d be eternally grateful for your help.

Now - take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’, join me next time on Film Pro Productivity.

  • The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu
  • You can view the show notes for this episode on the official website filmproproductivity.com
  • You can follow my personal account on Twitter and Instagram @fight_director or follow the show on Twitter @filmproprodpod or on Facebook @Filmproproductivity
  • Please support the show by subscribing, spreading the word and leaving an AWESOME review.

References:

 

Thanks: A Himitsu Music: Adventures by A Himitsu https://www.soundcloud.com/a-himitsuCreative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music released by Argofox https://www.youtu.be/8BXNwnxaVQE Music provided by Audio Library https://www.youtu.be/MkNeIUgNPQ8 ––– • Contact the artist: x.jonaz@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/ahimitsuhttps://www.twitter.com/ahimitsu1 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgFwu-j5-xNJml2FtTrrB3A

August 18, 2019  

THE LAW OF SINGLE HANDLING - Episode 32

INDIEGOGO LINK - https://igg.me/at/filmproprodpod

Hello and welcome to A SPECIAL EPISODE of Film Pro Productivity, the podcast which helps film professionals and other creatives to live a more focused, effective and HAPPY life. My name is Carter Ferguson and this is Episode 32 – The Law of Single Handling

Intro

This is the first of two special episodes which will be released to support my crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to support this show for one more year. Details of how you can help will be given at the end of the show.

Zig Ziglar says that “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”

One of my earliest episodes, episode 3, is all about prioritising because it’s such a fundamental part of what improving our productivity entails. The law of single handling links very much to another topic I covered in Episode 10, Multitasking.

Season 2 of this show and its promotion was so immensely time-consuming for me that I have a real feeling of apprehension in moving forward into season 3.

I’ve been so indecisive in how to move forward that I’ve ground to a near halt. In the end though, out of urgent necessity, I have had to pin my resolve to the sticking post and almost literally tie myself to a laptop for a few days to get things done. There’s nothing like an imminent deadline to jumpstart you from inaction back into action again.

Lesson

Adam Sicinski on MasterMindMatrix.com says

“You will maximize your performance and potential only when you discipline yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on your single most important task from inception to completion without distraction.”

That is the law of single handling.

Only in this way will you effectively optimize your output and productivity.

  • Pro-level Basketball coach Bob Starkey says “The ability to start and complete your most important task determines your productivity more than any other skill.”
  • And that MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE is only possible when you concentrate single-mindedly on the task—the most important task, and you stay at it until it is 100% complete.

You see picking up a task, putting it down and coming back to it several times, dramatically increases the amount of time necessary to complete it.  

Picking it up the task but REFUSING TO PUT IT DOWN UNTIL IT IS DONE enables you to accomplish vastly more in a shorter period of time than you ever thought possible.

By disciplining yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on the most important thing you could possibly be doing, and then by completing that task, you increase the quantity, quality, and value of your output substantially.

And the good news is that every time you complete a major task, you experience a surge of energy, enthusiasm, and self-esteem and can BUILD THE HABIT of disciplining yourself to concentrate single-mindedly until the task is complete.

With this the all-important habit of task completion ingrained on your mind you program your subconscious mind to look forward to major tasks because you know how good you are going to feel when you have completed them.

Summing Up

So single Handling is perhaps the most powerful of all time management techniques. It can increase your output by as much as 500%. It can reduce the amount of time you spend on a task by fully 80% —by the very act of launching into the task and disciplining yourself to stay with it until it is complete.

Call To Action

You cannot do everything, but you can do one thing, the most important thing, and you can do it now. By setting goals and priorities, and then by selecting your most important task, you can dramatically increase your level of productivity and output.

Vince Lombardi said that “Success demands a singleness of purpose.”

So today’s call to action is to utilise the LAW OF SINGLE HANDLING by selecting your most important task, getting yourself organized, and then working on it wholeheartedly and without distraction until it is complete. Do this over and over until this habit of single handling is firmly entrenched. Increase your output by the 500% which Single Handling creates.

Ending

This is the first of  2 special episodes to promote the IndieGoGo campaign to raise £500 to pay for the hosting packages and some marketing for year two of this podcast. Please help by spreading the word on social media or by buying one of the perks which include the opportunity to sponsor future shows.

This episode was completed in a single sitting, and it was difficult to ignore the phone, the social media, the people who I know passing me by in the coffee shop where I’ve prepped it, but I managed it by single handling.

Master this and you will be more powerful than you can possibly imagine – and yes I realise I’m bastardizing a quote by Alec Guinness in Star Wars.

I’ll end with the words of Alexander Graham Bell

 “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Now - take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’, and join me next time on Film Pro Productivity.

  • The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu
  • You can view the show notes for this episode on the official website filmproproductivity.com
  • You can follow my personal account on Twitter and Instagram @fight_director or follow the show on Twitter @filmproprodpod or on Facebook @Filmproproductivity
  • Please support the show by subscribing, spreading the word and leaving an AWESOME review.

References:

Thanks: A Himitsu Music: Adventures by A Himitsu https://www.soundcloud.com/a-himitsuCreative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music released by Argofox https://www.youtu.be/8BXNwnxaVQE Music provided by Audio Library https://www.youtu.be/MkNeIUgNPQ8 ––– • Contact the artist: x.jonaz@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/ahimitsuhttps://www.twitter.com/ahimitsu1 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgFwu-j5-xNJml2FtTrrB3A

August 4, 2019  

WHY IT’S OK TO GIVE UP - Episode 31

Hello and welcome to Film Pro Productivity the podcast which helps film professionals and other creatives to live a more focused, effective and HAPPY life. My name is Carter Ferguson and this is EPISODE 31 – WHY IT’S OK TO GIVE UP
 
If you Google why you SHOULD GIVE UP ON STUFF you’ll get a thousand hits that say the exact opposite - the message is strong and positive and seemingly sensible – NEVER GIVE UP – but this is not a black and white issue - there’s nuance here – You’ve already caught the episode title, and I say – let’s just wait a second here – and talk about this.
 
I mentioned in the last show in I’m waving the white flag and giving up on my passion for filmmaking – that is directing and producing films - AS I’VE HAD ENOUGH.
 
The amount of time and energy and money I have given to other peoples projects on which I have been invited, manipulated or otherwise drawn into, and on which I have been treated very poorly has gotten ridiculous. And many of these have never even seen the light of day.
 
And my own projects have been fewer and further between and have regularly been short-circuited as I’ve been let down by many of those that I put faith in - to the point where I find myself again and again - financially, mentally and creatively SPENT and no further forward for the effort.
 
To end this little rant I must also mention the complete waste of time that goes with interacting with the funding bodies in the UK, but that’s going to get a whole episode to itself in season 3 so I’ll leave it till then. In short, it’s a death to creativity following that path.
 
And I’ll frame this by stating that I am very passionate about filmmaking and making stuff that matters or is creatively interesting or fun or entertaining or all of the above. I’ve been passionate about it for years, and it’s been my main creative drive for at least the last 10 - but that passion has cost me dearly. I’ve got nothing much to show for it. A lot of awards yes: but in the grand scheme of things, seriously folks, they mean nothing at all. I’ve worked with some great people, and have had some fun and some creatively rewarding experiences and I am certainly proud of many of my films - but when looked at in the cold light of day the bad experiences far, far, FAR outweigh the good.
 
I’ve given up on a few friendships too - because some difficult, aggressive and manipulative people are just too abrasive to my life. Not having these people, no matter how talented or they are or how long I’ve known them – not having them in my life far exceeds the benefits I ever had from having them there. Every day I breathe a sigh of relief as I can be in control, without fear of the phone call or text that will manoeuvre my time and energy and wallet into someone else’s dreams or ambitions.
 
And I’m not the only one giving up on things. One friend of mine left a group she’d been working with for years as her priorities had changed and another gave up on screenwriting, a field in which they are both expert and experienced as he felt that the odds were being stacked against them – and for the record – I think they were too.
 
Lesson
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” — Seneca
I list these examples to highlight that NEVER GIVING UP on something is romanticized in today’s culture, especially for creatives - but making the decision to give up on things or people you care about deeply about in order to get yourself back on track - is essential and often ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
 
Time and again I talk here about increasing our self-awareness, of working ON your life and career at the same time as you find yourself living and working IN it. Self-analysis, though, is a great weakness of the creative, as romanticizing our work often blinds us to truths that would enable us to move on. It stops us from finding happiness and leads us into a headspace where we are no longer in control - FROZEN WITH AN INABILITY TO LET GO because we fear we may be perceived by others, or perhaps even in ourselves as failures. This is an extremely damaging place to be.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “It’s never too late to become who you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.”
If you dig deeper in Google you’ll find some advice on this topic. LARA RUTHERFORD-MORRISON wrote an article for bustle.com which I’ll link to in the show notes called 8 Times That Giving Up Might Actually Be A Good Thing.
She says -
  • If you know in your heart that something is not going to work out.
  • If you don’t want a thing (or person) any more.
  • If pursuing your goal is making you really, really unhappy.
  • If the only reason you haven’t quit already is because you’re worried about what other people will think.
  • If the only reason you’re sticking with it is because you don’t know who you are without it.
  • If pursuing this path, or staying with this person, is preventing you from going down a road that would make you happier.
  • If your inability to accomplish your goal is making you hate yourself.
Or
  • If the idea of giving up floods you with relief.
Then maybe it’s time you let go of that particular goal or dream or project or person, and give up on it.
 
MORRISON goes on to say that giving up doesn’t always make you a bad person, or failure, or a deserter, or whatever bad thing you’ve been telling yourself. Sometimes giving up means that you are someone who is mature enough to know when to cut your losses and move on, someone who has the bravery to protect your mental health, someone who is willing to take the risk of changing course.
 
Summing Up
 
I’m not saying that when you hit a bump that you shouldn’t persevere and I’m going to be tackling that topic in another show which will focus on Resilience, but I wanted to introduce to you today the possibility of a new way of thinking. When you consider everything, you must truly consider GIVING UP, and yes sometimes that might mean giving up on a dream, or a relationship or something else - that’s life– but it’s not the end of the world.
 
And we all have something in us that allows us to dream big, but we can get caught up in the vision or feel of the dream and that can stop us from seeing the bigger picture and re-evaluating our goal, or our dreams. It’s a positive mindset trap and that stops us from proceeding and succeeding with those goals.
 
I’ve given up on filmmaking in order that I can achieve other things, but I fully expect to revaluate my situation again and return, having had a holiday from the problems which will allow me to return with a freshness that could change everything.
 
Call To Action
 
Your call to action today is to take this opportunity to re-evaluate your situation – your dreams and relationships – and to seriously consider giving up on something or someone that’s holding you back.
 
Ending
 
Thanks again for tuning in to Today’s show. I hope that I’ve been able to help in some small way. You can help me still by spreading the word about the show. If you’re listening you could perhaps take a screengrab of it and put it out on social networking. With your help, the show will live on. I’m still planning a crowdfunder to pay for year 2 btw – so watch out for that in a few weeks time.
 
I’ll end today with the words of Napoleon Hill who said “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”
Lao Tzu said “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
Now - take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’, give up on something or someone that’s been holding you back and join me next time on Film Pro Productivity.
 
• The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu
• You can view the show notes for this episode on the official website filmproproductivity.com
• You can follow my personal account on Twitter and Instagram @fight_director or follow the show on Twitter @filmproprodpod or on Facebook @Filmproproductivity
• Please support the show by subscribing, spreading the word and leaving an AWESOME review.
 
References:
 
Thanks: A Himitsu Music: Adventures by A Himitsu https://www.soundcloud.com/a-himitsuCreative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music released by Argofox https://www.youtu.be/8BXNwnxaVQE Music provided by Audio Library https://www.youtu.be/MkNeIUgNPQ8 ––– • Contact the artist: x.jonaz@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/ahimitsuhttps://www.twitter.com/ahimitsu1 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgFwu-j5-xNJml2FtTrrB3A