TBC: How I Work - For Easily Distracted Founders

By Jason Yeh
May 23, 2024
Listen on Apple Podcasts

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host launches a new series called "How I Work," exploring strategies for productivity.

Jason delves into the challenges faced by founders, such as digital distractions, and shares his personal approach to combatting them.

By disconnecting from the internet during certain periods and utilizing a digital notepad like the remarkable device, he emphasizes the importance of carving out distraction-free time to boost productivity.

Join him as he shares insights and invites feedback on navigating the demands of entrepreneurship.


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TBC: How I Work - For Easily Distracted Founders

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host launches a new series called "How I Work," exploring strategies for productivity.

Episode Transcript

Hey guys, welcome to this episode of the back channel. In today's episode, I actually want to kick off a series I've been thinking about and ruminating on something that I want to lightly call how I work. Essentially. I've had a lot of founders talk to me about trying to get more stuff done, trying to be more productive. And it turns out they have a lot of similarities. They share a lot of idiosyncrasies that I have weird things that I struggle with. Um, similar ways of processing things. Which makes sense, because I was a founder too. I was a venture backed CEO. And so, um, there are different founders out there that relate to the way I think about things and the problems that I have. And so I'd like to start uncovering various strategies [00:01:00] that have been very helpful for me, sharing them with you all so that you can apply them to one, getting your stuff done around fundraising, but overall your business in overall life. So. In today's episode. I want to talk about the idea of digital distraction and how much havoc it wreaks on me. And one of the strategies that I use. To combat this. So what is this all about? Well, uh, for people that have a ton of different responsibilities that pull them in a ton of different ways, they're deep in IC work because they're the founder and CEO, but they're all also the head of sales. They're also the head of product. And also the janitor. Well, it's just a reality of life that you're going to have to get a lot of different things done. Layer on top of it. If you happen to be describe it, however you want, add highly distracted, have some sort of, emotional blockage around getting stuff done. There are a lot of ways to describe this. If those things resonate with you. Well, then you are probably in a world of hurt [00:02:00] when it comes to how digital distraction impacts your ability to get stuff done. So one thing that I have done throughout my career has, is, has been to look for ways. To remove digital distraction. When I was a venture capitalist, I had a lot of emails to process. That's kind of the job. It's constantly processing emails. And one of the challenges around constantly. Processing emails. It was more and more emails and more and more communications coming in. To pull you away from the work that you need to do. So one of my strategies was I would look for different periods of time where I could have my computer. disconnected from the internet. I would literally have the wifi turned off and my phone on airplane mode. Usually what that meant was going to sleep. Turning my phone on airplane mode, my computers wifi off so that when I woke up the first couple hours of my day, I had my computer. That had no access to the internet, couldn't get [00:03:00] any incoming notifications. And I would just sit down and process email. It really did work like a charm. I would power, power through as many emails as I could before I finally was like, Ooh, I have to turn on the internet. I have to see what's going on. I have to see if anyone's contacted me. ​[00:04:00] Now there are a couple of downsides to that. The first is. It feels a little bit unnerving to be disconnected, especially if you have family, if you have people relying on you, people trying to get in touch with you, um, people could get worried. So that part of it is tough. It meant staying away for a certain period of time. Was it hard to do. And the second was that on the flip side of that. It was too easy to cheat. You could just turn wifi on and you were done. Right. So I think that's a good strategy. You should try it [00:05:00] out to give yourself some time and spAce. The upgrade to this idea of having a device that you could actually get stuff done that isn't really connected to the internet, or at least connected to notifications. Has been. This. This is a remarkable pad. It's essentially an E ink digital notepad. That is connected to the cloud so that it can be synced with your devices. But doesn't have email. Doesn't have web browsers doesn't have any sort of comms platform that can ping you. And because of that, it is just the most amazing device in the world. For me, what I do is I try to have periods of time where the only device that I'm allowed to have is my remarkable device. And because of that, it becomes a great companion for when I'm trying to get creative work done. When I'm trying to get real planning done. For me, that means I put my phone and computer way as early in the night as I can. A lot of times, it's not that early, but sometimes it's as early as 7:00 or 8:00 PM. And from then on [00:06:00] the only device I'm allowed to have is a remarkable device. It is pun intended, remarkable how much. Stuff I can get done how much writing I can get done and how much planning I can actually get done. When I don't have any digital distractions. And the next morning when I wake up. I have my remarkable pad next to my bed. I can sit up. I can. Consider everything that I woke up feeling I can journal a little bit and then I can actually get into my day thinking about the stuff that I need to get done. Without actually being distracted by incoming notifications, email inbox, the temptation of going to espn.com. So my first episode of how I work my pieces of advice around. Being productive. If you are highly distracted, if you have many different responsibilities. Is to be able to carve out some time that is completely disconnected from the internet in order for you to get stuff [00:07:00] done. One way to do that is turning your phone. Uh, on airplane mode and your computers wifi off, but the upgraded version is defined a digital notepad, like the remarkable device. There are other competitors that work as well. I promise you if writing physically and doing this sort of creative work is a big part of your life. You'll love this suggestion. This is not a paid for advertisement. I just liked this approach to getting work done so much that I wanted to record an episode. I hope this was interesting to you. Leave me a comment, send me a message. If these types of insights were helpful for you, I think it will be helpful for a lot of founders out there that are trying to fundraise and get a lot of stuff done. If it's not, maybe I'll change course, but for me, I think this is really fun to do. I guess that's this episode of the back channel. I'll see you next time and maybe I'll see you next time for an addition to the, how I work series. So, yeah.

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