#180 – Proactive Productivity with Thanh Pham

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Episode Summary

Has your productivity taken a nosedive since the pandemic hit? Working from home can be a hard balancing act to pull off. Are you trading your health for wealth? This is one of the topics near and dear to my heart since I sacrificed everything for the sake of being productive until I burnt out. My guest and good friend, productivity expert Thanh Pham, trades stories with me on how we both walked that tightrope for so long and overcame those obstacles.

We discuss lots of tips and tricks to maximize your efficiency. We talk about working hard and the need to be able to recover even harder. We talk about how we set ourselves up to succeed every day, whether our environment or mindset… and how for many, those variables feel like they’ve been turned upside down having to work from home.

Streamlining your day can be much simpler than you realize. The struggle is real for many people, and this episode will help you redefine what productivity is and how to work smarter, not harder. It is time for you to be proactive with your productivity, and discover how to be more productive to get out of the grind.

Thanh is the Founder and Managing Director of Asian Efficiency. He is considered one of the top thought leaders in the productivity industry and has been featured in Fast Company, Inc.com, Forbes, Huffington Post, and The Globe & Mail.

Enjoy this episode with Thanh Pham.


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This transcription was made by using Otter.ai so it is not 100% accurate.

Krisstina Wise [0:00]
Welcome back. This is Krisstina Wise your host and this episode I interview Thanh Pham, Thanh is the Founder and Managing Director of Asian efficiency. Tim is considered to be one of the top thought leaders in the productivity industry. He’s regularly featured in publications like Fast Company, inc.com, Forbes and Huffington Post. on a day to day basis, he’s responsible for executing the company’s mission and helping people become more efficient. In this conversation, we talked about hacks for staying productive while being stuck at home. He gets great advice for amping up output during these unprecedented times. So if you’re feeling a little less productive than you’d like your wish to listen in, I picked up a list of tips to improve my day to day performance. I wish the same for you. Please enjoy my conversation with tan fam. Thanm is so good to bleep be here with you today. Thank you for being on the wealthy, wealthy podcast.

Thanh Pham [0:54]
Yay. I’m so excited to be here and so good to see you as well and to kind of catch up and talk about stuff too.

Krisstina Wise [1:00]
I know so offline, we’re talking a little bit about COVID. And and how that’s kind of played into either one of our lives. If there’s been anything like a, like a big takeaway for you, I’d say both personally and professionally, has there been any underlying lesson or takeaway during this time that if it weren’t for this time, you just probably wouldn’t have seen it?

Thanh Pham [1:22]
You know, for me, I look at everything as if it has a spiritual purpose or a lesson behind it. And as we were talking about this offline, before we started recording, I was talking about how this is a great time to do a massive reset, just reevaluate what’s important, what’s not, who we spend our time with, or because now we have to be very selective about who we spend our time with and, and just reevaluate what we actually do for a living, or do we actually love our jobs or do we want to change what we do and maybe follow a different passion. And so there’s a lot of positives that come with what we’re dealing with right now too, and get our major one that I’ve seen That has been directly impacting my life, my business and the people that I serve. My community is the whole work from home idea, because that has always been there. People have always been working from home, especially in the last over, like, what, 1215 years now. I’ve been working from home since 2009. And it was always out there. But now that the bubble kind of pops because of the whole pandemic, everyone was forced to work from home, a lot of industries and a lot of people who kind of resisted the change to work from home, were now forced to work from home. And once this whole thing is over, it’s going to change how we do business is going to change how we conduct ourselves and how we work. Because a lot of businesses are going to be remotes or virtual, a lot of offices are going to be closed and a lot of people maybe like the idea of working from home a lot more now I can see how they can be productive as well. So there’s so many positive changes that come with this and I’m really excited for everyone that is on the work from home train because as you and I both know, we You both work from home and there’s so many benefits that come with that. And now that everyone kind of had a taste of it, I hope that they see that it’s something that they can do as well.

Krisstina Wise [3:09]
Well, let’s talk about this I know this is a little bit in your wheelhouse because you are a predict productivity guru genius and, and so let’s let’s just use this as a good place to talk about that. Let’s talk about if if someone is new at home, and this might become a little bit I don’t like the word new normal, but if it becomes a little bit more of the normal to work more at home, where do you think people are inefficient and maybe that environments not set up in a way to be most productive or produce those that flow or that that outcome when might be wanting? And then what can one do tips wise to make that more productive workspace?

Thanh Pham [3:53]
When I first started working from home, this was back in 2009. I begged my boss at the time to allow me To work from home because I was commuting every day for two hours between Pasadena and West Hollywood. And I was just so sick and tired of that commute. So I begged him to allow me to work from home because I was reading articles about people doing this and how much time they saved and how much productive they were. And so I begged him, I begged him back then he said no, so many times, so one day he caved in, he said, okay, Tim, I’m going to allow you to work from home one day a week. If everything goes well, you can do it in state, stay home, stay at home for one day a week. But if you’re not, you’re gonna have to come back to the office and never talk about this ever again. Is that okay? Deal. So I started working from home and I was so terrible at it because I was so used to having an office I was so used to having like, a certain desk, a second monitor, having my co workers there. And I felt really out of place. I just felt so out of my element. Even though it was my own home, I felt I felt it was so challenging to focus and be productive. And it wasn’t until I started to move around a lot and start to experiment a lot when I kind of realized that Okay, there’s actually a few things that you really need, if you want to be productive working from home and one of the major ones, is having the right setup. Because if you don’t have the right setup, it’s kind of difficult to be truly productive working from home, right. So the analogy I like to give to people is, you know, if you want to work out and go to the gym, depending on your goal, you need the right kind of equipment, right? If you want to lose weight, you probably want to use like a cardio machine, like an elliptical machine or a treadmill or something like that, and get your heart rate up, right. And if you want to put on muscle, you probably want to lift heavy weights. And you want to use free weights or dumbbells, or like a squat rack or anything like that, right? So depending on the goal, you have to use the right equipment. And if you’re, if you have a specific goal, but you don’t have the right equipment, then it’s kind of hard to actually accomplish your goal, right? So if you want to lose weight, but all you have is a squat rack and a bunch of free weights, it’s not as effective compared to having a treadmill and vice versa. And so when you’re working from home, you kind of need to have the right tools in place as well. Right. So one of the things I was talking about is one of the best things you can do is to get a second monitor when you’re working from home because it makes you so much more efficient. And the other thing I was talking about is, when people perceive you on camera, your background or your backdrop makes a big difference and how people perceive you, right? I’ve seen people working from their garage, and you see that’s completely cluttered. It looks unprofessional. And imagine meeting a client or doctor that you do telemedicine with, you see them working from their garage, and, you know, that doesn’t make any sense, right? And you lose a lot of trust and authority when when you have something like that going on. So one of the best things you can do is invest in a backdrop, right. Another thing is you want to make sure you have a great wireless headset because I that’s one of the things that I think a lot of people are on their estimate because if you do have a wired headset, you don’t have a lot of freedom of movement. You’re kind of stuck to your desk the whole time but but It’s nice to be able to walk around and just freely talk and catch up with people and, and so on. So there’s, there’s so many things you can do and invest in. And another thing I would always recommend for people is to have a standing desk because we are sitting way too much. And when you’re working from home and sitting the whole time, it’s it’s not good for our body, for our posture, and everything of our health. So that’s one of the best things you can invest in as well. And then there’s a few more items that I was talking about. But those are some of the things I would start off with.

Krisstina Wise [7:29]
All right, I love that. Now, you’re a single guy. So it might be a little bit easier to do this. Do you have any recommendations for those that are married or may have kids at home and they’re, you know, they’re wanting to set up a workspace?

Thanh Pham [7:46]
Yeah, when it comes to like having kids at home or having a significant other partner, there’s a lot more things you have to take into account, right. And so a lot of clients that we serve are in that situation, and for them, it’s the first time when they’re at home right now. with their kids, they’re all the time, right? As long as they’re the off before, and now they’re at home. And now they have to, like homeschool them or like, be attentive to them all the time, right. So if you do have a significant other or a partner or roommate, you want to be very attentive to them. And one of the things I was talking about is communicating your schedule to them so that they know, hey, if I have to record something at 11, could you maybe take the kids out to the park? Or could you make sure that they’re quiet between this time and that time, right. So it’s really important for you to communicate your schedule, so that one, they can accommodate you, but also to that you can accommodate them as well knowing what their schedule is like and how you can work together on something like that. And so if you have the possibility of having a separate office, that’s perfect, and that’s great. And we’d definitely recommend that. If you live in a smaller space, you got to make the most out of what you got. Right and one of the best things you can do is Making sure you have a designated area for you to for you to work. Because when you are working from home, work and personal life starts to blend in quite a bit. And it can feel like you’re always working and can feel like you’re never turned off. And when you’re at home, and you’re not used to working from home, it can feel like you’re just like relax the whole time, right? Because usually that’s your safe space for you to relax, and do nothing else. And one of the reasons I always tell people is when you’re working from home, you want to make sure you dress up for work, because it’s kind of like a routine for yourself and in a way for you to signal to yourself to say, Hey, I’m here to get some work done to be serious about what I’m doing. And oftentimes, when we go to office, we have a dress code, you know, we have that routine of getting ready we have that commutes we have those sensors and triggers in place to say, Oh, I need to go back to work and actually get some stuff done. When you’re rolling out of bed. You don’t really have that you kind of miss that routine or way of getting yourself ready. That’s why getting dressed in the morning. so important. That’s why having a morning routine is so important. Because then you’re basically telling yourself, hey, by the end of this, I’m getting myself ready to get some work done. And those are things that I want everyone to really pay attention to. Because even though they sound so simple, working from home is is actually pretty simple. Once you kind of know the few things you need, like the equipment and the kind of like the routines and how to deal with other people in your home, because everyone can do this.

Krisstina Wise [10:30]
Yeah, that’s it. You know, that’s a good point. Somebody like you, I’ve worked. It was COVID wasn’t a big shift. I mean, it was shift what a business model and things but as far as working from home and all my products and services are online, so it wasn’t it wasn’t a big change there. But it is funny when you say getting dressed is that I guess a big part of my life even though I worked at home. A big part of my life was coffee meetings and was still meeting, face to face or getting small group together or said there was a reason to actually get up and do coffee meetings or something in the morning or afternoon so I’d get up and get ready for example for those even though I worked at home, and now since that’s not really happening, and I don’t it’s just like get up throw the hair in a pony I’m in my workout clothes because I’m going to go work out either before or after. And it really does shift the energy a little bit I guess, you know, there’s even a little bit of that Wait, like, oh, when I when we’re out of this, I’ll get actually put on jeans and a T shirt and maybe you know, put a comb through my hair or something. But you’re right it I guess it’s a good practice like no treated as though you know this, you’re going to work one way or another, like, what would you do? It is a different energy to really get into that business energy that I’m dressed for. And I’m in the part this is the role I’m in. And I guess I didn’t really think about it that way.

Thanh Pham [11:50]
One of the things that always stuck with me, there’s something I learned from Brian Tracy and his books and one thing is He always talks about is the way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. So start it right, you’ll have a productive day and started poorly, you’re going to have an unproductive day. So if you start your day feeling negative or feeling triggered or feeling like, you know, you’d have a positive outlook on your day, by the time you sit down, it’s just so difficult and challenging to get focused and to be productive, right? versus starting your day feeling all excited, you have so much energy, your focus, you know exactly what your goals are, you know what to accomplish, what to go after, when you sit down at your desk, it’s a totally different energy, right? And that’s what we’re trying to mimic essentially. And so having something like a routine of you getting dressed and getting ready, it’s kind of like a mental trigger for ourselves as a Hey, we want to get into this mental space. And this is something I’ve just seen in my personal life all the time. Like if I just roll out of bed and just wear my shorts and pajamas and T shirts. I’m so relaxed, and there’s certain work that I can definitely do still, but it’s not quite the same level of commitment and Energy compared to like, hey, let me wear a shirt right now, right? Like I’m wearing a shirt right now, I want to come across a certain way I want to feel a certain way, right. And I know if I do my hair, then everything else usually comes together. But if I don’t do my hair, then nothing else usually follows. Right. And for some women that I’ve worked with, like, they have to just put on foundation or just do their hair real quick, and then that’s the trigger to do everything else. And so you just got to find what that trigger is for you to kind of like, get yourself put together because then everything just usually follows and then, you know, you’ll do your morning routine, your your, your engagement with how you show up for work changes. So find that one thing that really, you know, triggers you to kind of get started that way.

Krisstina Wise [13:41]
Yeah, I love that. Let’s talk a little bit more about working from home even now. I’m like I said that there’s the work at home, but it’s even more so one. I’m working harder than I’ve worked in a long time just because you know, things change and yada yada yada but there’s also there’s nothing else to do but work so I just I have my office space but then I take my computer to my bed and I take my computer to my sofa and I take my computer to my outside patio and it’s just I just realized like I’m not really turning off like I normally do in a way it so there’s not there’s not really a distinction between work and home that I’ve been decent at so what do you have any recommendations right now? Like truly as we’re more or less stuck more at home and and not having some of these interruptions? Do you have certain like, is that it like okay, your workspace is at your desk? So don’t bring your computer to your sofa? Or how do you what what type of tips do you have to to separate work from home a little bit in this time where it’s just easy to work constantly?

Thanh Pham [14:54]
Yeah, I feel the same way. And when this whole thing started, it was definitely a challenging part. Have your daily routine, right? Because there’s nothing else to do. Typically, we could have just like, left our home and go somewhere and go out for lunch or dinner. And now we can’t, we’re in very limited capacity. And the only thing left remaining is just working, right? Especially if you’re an entrepreneur or you have your own business, there’s always more work to be done. Right? There’s there’s no endless supply of anything, you can literally work all the time if you wanted to. And one of the things that I’ve discovered if you want to kind of like, depending how you look at it, like some people consider work life balance, some people consider it as like being just, you have to be imbalanced for a while to accomplish certain things, right. But one of the things that I’ve discovered is that if you want to be really consistent with your productivity, and just having high performance and lots of output, it actually is really beneficial to have a schedule, and then have a very specific cutoff time as well. So you can say to yourself, hey, I’m gonna start working at five or at six or seven. And so when you introduce that cutoff time, you Know that Okay, once I hit this, I need to first of all get everything done before then. Right. So by shrinking almost our available time, we’re forcing ourselves to get work done faster. It’s kind of like having a deadline, right? Whenever we have a deadline, oftentimes, we will actually get more stuff done because we know we need to have something accomplished before a certain date and time. So if you have like a daily cutoff time for yourself, instead of like working the whole time, the whole day, whenever you want to, you can kind of fill in the gaps by introducing your cutoff time you’re forcing yourself one to get everything done before then, but then also to you try to introduce balance there as well and know that Okay, once it’s past five, or six, or seven, whatever time you set for yourself. Now it’s personal time. So now I can do some of the hobbies, I can focus on personal things. And you don’t have to worry about Oh, did I do this for work or just needs to be done for work, because that will be tomorrow, or you’ve already accomplished that so you can kind of put yourself at ease So creating your own schedule and then having a specific cut of time cut off time, something that I’ve discovered is really beneficial for you to be able to say, Okay, I’m not going to work the whole time, I need some personal time as well, you know, I need to have some time for recovery for some sleep. Because one of the worst things I’ve done is taking my laptop with me while go to bed. And then still checking email and you know, there’s like, you get there’s always more emails to check, right? There’s always email, more emails to reply. And the worst thing is when you go to bed, and you just reply to an email, you’re like, oh, man, I wish I didn’t read this but I still have to reply to this or I can’t go to bed now because I have to reply to this first before I go to sleep and then your brain starts to go 1000 miles an hour and then it’s so difficult to sleep. Whereas if you have like a nice winding down routine, you know you drink some tea or CBD drink or whatever, you know, flavor you want to use to get yourself ready for the night. You’ll sleep so much better and you’ll be so much more productive the next day. Like that’s an option. I would rather take then You know, trying to be all stressed before, before you go to bed.

Krisstina Wise [18:03]
So true getting that one email like checking that last game of for bed. It’s like, oh, man, I didn’t I don’t want to deal with that right now. So I’ve learned that when the hard way. Well, let’s, let’s switch gears a little bit now. And let’s just talk about high performance and productivity. So from your work and coaching, what do you notice between what are the differences between those like at the top 1% performance and productivity and then everyone else what’s what’s the difference between good performers, you know, doing good overall and those that are really just high performance? Totally different numbers? What’s the behavior difference? What’s because I’m guessing it’s a fine, it’s, it’s, it’s just a few things or maybe fundamentals or what is that gap?

Thanh Pham [18:51]
I think there’s a few things there that I’ve seen. The first thing I would say is integrity. And when people say I’m I’m going to do something and I’m going to get it done before a specific day and time. When you have that type of integrity, then you will do whatever it takes to get that particular thing done. Right. And I’ve seen high performers when they make that type of commitment, and they have that type of integrity, they will get it done. Either way, you know whether they have to work on the weekends or whether you have to stay up late, whether they have to make certain sacrifices or do something that they consider uncomfortable, right like calling someone past nine o’clock at night or something because they need to get something done. For a lot of people that’s very uncomfortable. But if you are committed to something, you will do whatever it takes to get it done. And so having that type of integrity for yourself, I think is so important, which is why you’ll see a lot of people use a calendar because the calendar represents integrity and a lot of ways because you’ve you said I’m going to be there at three o’clock you’re going to be there three o’clock, not five or six or whenever you want to know you got to be there three or you if you scheduled for yourself to work on a particular topic. Ask at a specific time. That’s a commitment as well and right. And if you want to keep yourself in integrity, you would follow through on that, right. And so that’s why a calendar is such a useful tool. And when people have trouble using a calendar, it’s oftentimes like an integrity challenge that people have with themselves. And so that’s something I would always encourage people to look into for themselves. And that’s one trait I’ve definitely noticed. I’d either thing is, I would say energy. And what I mean by that is not just like spiritual or mental, but really physical energy, like the highest performers are exercising on a regular basis, right? They’re sleeping pretty well. They’re focusing on recovery. That’s, I think one of the biggest areas of productivity that is not often enough talked about, right, whether that’s sleep or taking time off or being imbalanced that way, or you’re going to dishonor doing a cold tub or an ice bath or anything like that. Whatever it takes for them to feel their best oftentimes is The biggest difference between you know someone who’s like, Okay, I’m pretty good compared to someone who’s really elite and the best of what they do, right. So if you look at all the top CEOs, they all exercise on a regular basis, because when we do business, it’s a sport in a way, right? It requires stamina, it requires a level of focus. If we are tired all the time, or health is not good condition. It’s so hard to run a business and to be focused and to pay attention to the details. So getting regular regular exercise, sleeping enough, you know, eating healthy for the most part, right, like, don’t get me wrong, I love you know, desserts and chocolate and everything else. But if I eat, you know, a healthy diet that I can conform to for most of the time, I can perform so much better compared to when I’m feeling sluggish and tired and lethargic from just like eating the wrong foods or just eating too much. Right. So those are two things I would pay most attention to.

Krisstina Wise [21:57]
Yeah, that’s great. And then There’s also so where do you where’s that balance in the sense of, I would. So there I’d say there’s an old me and there’s the new me. And the old man nearly killed myself because I mean, I was Queen of productivity, I was Queen of efficiency. I was Queen of output, in the sense that I just I mean, I treated my body like a machine just more output, more output more output. Really, this narrative is more output means more money, more output means means fill in the blank. And then just realizing for me, that isn’t really about productivity. Meaning Yeah, I need to be productive. But also it’s the game’s not productivity. I think it’s it’s more it’s more what is what our intentions what’s the flow with CO creation, what are the objectives, how does that fit into my definition of what matters and it really being connected? To win win for me when productivities just kind of the, the mindset and it’s not No, it’s just productive for the sake of producing meaningful, or something that matters or XYZ, but it’s, it’s moving the needle forward to desired outcomes or desired futures. It’s not just about more, more and more. So how do you kind of what’s, what’s that line between the two for you? Or how do you talk to that? Because, to your point, a lot of high performers I know they, they, you know, we do focus more on recovering these different pieces now. But I know a lot I mean, they’re trading their health for Well, that’s what I did. I mean, I traded my health and I literally nearly killed myself for I would say over productivity, and over pushing and over overachieving in every aspect until I just couldn’t do it anymore. So where do you coach to that that that fine line of of dairy is a place maybe too much is too much?

Thanh Pham [23:59]
Yeah, I think One area that people confuse a lot is More time equals more productivity or more time or being busy equals more productivity. And if we just work work work all the time, we tend to think that when we get the better results, we get more of what we want, right? And the, the example that I always give is, you know, you if you created a piece of art, a piece of like, let’s say, a painting, right, you could do that in eight hours. You could also do it in 80 minutes, right? But nobody today really cared how much time it took you to get there. If you got the results, right. That’s all people really care about. Right? So where it took 80 hours, eight hours or 80 minutes, time does not equate to results or outcomes that you’re looking for. Right? So when people talk about like, don’t work harder, work smarter. I mean, yes, that makes a lot of sense. But I think what we also have to keep in mind is the goal because if we are just endlessly spinning our wheels, And not working towards something, right? Then we can expend all this energy all this time, but not go anywhere. It’s just like driving around about us driving in the circle the whole time, you can go really fast. If you’re not going to a destination that you wish to go to. Right, then you’re wasting a lot of resources there. So one of the other things that we talked about when it comes to high performers is they’re super goal oriented. And I think that challenge that especially entrepreneurs have is that once they hit a goal, they’ll just continue to redefine the goal. And then that that milestone just gets further and further and further away, and there’s never an end. There’s never a way to celebrate and say okay, I accomplished this right now. I’m just gonna take a break or recover from this right and celebrate and just be present and just review what I learned over the last few weeks or a few months and then make adjustments as needed. Whereas most entrepreneurs will just continue to go go, go, go, go go because they just want to move on to the next thing to the next bigger thing. And there’s this like, satisfaction That just never can be satisfied. Because there’s always something bigger and better, right? a nicer car, a nicer home, more money in the bank accounts. And I think once we start to really sit down and say, Hey, what is the goal? Right? And how how does this relate to

happiness to satisfaction and to what this possibility might be for me for my family, then if we have more clarity around that, then it’s easy to say, Okay, this is the definition of done, right. This is what we were shooting for. Once we hit it, we’re going to do this, right and not just move on to the next goal immediately and say, Hey, you know, we’re going to expend another year or another three years, because we start to realize more money doesn’t equal more happiness. Right. And I think some of us had to learn that the hard way. I definitely definitely did. Because I was equated happiness with money and the more money I made, the more happy I would be right and every time I made a certain money, Stone and and hit that. I realized, Oh man, this doesn’t feel as good. You know, I know, I need I need $100,000. Now let’s go to 500,000, then to a million you go, now it doesn’t feel as good, you know? And then once you hit that milestone, oftentimes you just go, Oh, I didn’t know, you know, once you see that number go up to 100 I remember when I first hit a million dollars in revenue, I went, Oh, that’s it? Oh, I thought it was gonna be happy now, when nothing actually changed, right? And so we want to get really clear on you know, what does this actually mean to us? Right? And once we hit that goal, what does that allow us to do, and actually use that right and so not just move on to the next goal to the next goal to next goal because that’s the trap that entrepreneurs oftentimes have is just just move on to the next goal, the next one, the next one, then they just never stop and then they feel burned out and they they kill themselves over, you know, pursuing something that doesn’t give anything more than what they already have and realizing, you know, that Pretty happy and everything that they’ve always wanted is already there, but they’re just not utilizing it or seeing it or evaluated. Right. And that’s why I think this time right now is such a beautiful time. Because it makes us rethink, you know, what are what are our goals? What do we actually want to do? How do we actually want to spend our time and people know constantly on the logical level that time is one of those things that we can’t get back. And now that we have a little bit more of its, we are actually more conscious now I think about Okay, how do we actually want to use this? How can we best utilize this because I know I’m not going to get any more of this once this whole thing goes back to normal, right? We’re not gonna have love this time anyway. So how do we best use this now and also going forward and more money or more bigger achievements, more x y&z that might be superficial, a lot of times, it’s not going to give us more of what we truly want. And, you know, for many of us, it’s quality time with our families, right, spending time with them being able to create memories together. learning and growing now is one of the best How to do that right learning taking on new courses, right? Whether it’s from you or from someone else, there’s there’s so much beautiful and great material out there and now’s the perfect time to pick that up and learn and grow from there. So those are some things that I think people just like really have to you know, spend some time thinking about it’s just classes not always move on to the next goal. Let’s just appreciate what we have now. What kind of possibilities that opens up for us there.

Krisstina Wise [29:28]
Yeah, I just well said and and so much, so much what you just said the one thing that you said that was really big for me was just that is as entrepreneurs as you know, those that let’s say high achievers, were successful, we build we grow. That’s really the nature of an entrepreneur. Anyway. It is so easy just to go to the next go the next go to the next your point thinking is somewhere at that next quote unquote level, that’s where I’ll feel different. That’s where It’s gonna feel easy. That’s where it’s gonna feel like, oh, all of this was for this. But there’s just the next there and there’s the next there forever to your point. If there’s not a narrative around what is meaningful, why does this matter how much is enough? Wow, let’s pause and celebrate we hit a really big milestone that took a lot of effort and coordination and unless celebrate and let’s be joyful if that accomplishment let’s just pause and sit there and, and cheers what are the cases and just take a day to sit in the feeling of how good it feels that it took? That wasn’t easy, yet, but it’s just the next the next the next so you said a couple words you said pause right now that word. This word it’s a forced pause in a way that it can be a force pause that is negative or it can be forced pause like wow, this has caused me to reset and relook at things. And then you said the word celebrate and How often do we celebrate?

Thanh Pham [31:03]
At house?

I don’t think very many people do that, right. Even if we accomplish a really simple goal, we don’t really pause and celebrate that we just move on to the next big thing, right. And I think the other thing that really resonated with me as I’m just sitting through this myself and thinking about all of this is that oftentimes, many of us don’t understand the consequences or the price that we have to pay in order to just continue to go to the next goal or to the next level, quote, unquote, right? Because we like, I think it was Michael Jordan who said, like, winning has a price, right? He was so obsessed about, especially as I’m watching his documentary, like, he’s so obsessed about winning and taking anything that he can to make sure that you compress the goal of winning a championship, right? But it comes at a price. Right? Whether it’s like not spending time with his family, not showing up for rehearsals for his kids, right. And these are the price, or things that you pay for when you’re so obsessed about, you know, accomplishing something, right. And many of us are not aware of that until it’s too late. Right. And then I’ve dealt with a lot of clients who are super high achieving, we’ll just go go on and on and on and on. But then the price that they pay is not seeing the kids on a regular basis, right? Not being ever Herschel’s not seeing them growing up or being able to drop them off at school or creating memories together on the weekends, because they’re just going No, I want to accomplish this goal. And then later on, when they accomplish the goal, they realize, wow, this was totally not worth it. I would rather have, you know, even though I made all this money, I would rather spend more time with my family with my kids. And we have to be aware of the price that we’re willing to pay to accomplish some of those things. And if it’s just about money, you start to realize you actually don’t need that much of it to be you know, happy to get most of the things you want and need Right. Like if after you buy your first Rolex, it’s kind of like, okay, that’s nice. Like, I kind of did that, you know, I don’t need another one, right? Like, I kind of know what it feels like now, it’s actually not that much difference, right? And you just move on to the next thing, right? And you start to realize, oh, man, a lot of things actually don’t matter as much as you think they do. Right? Whereas quality time with family and friends and, and having meaningful relationships. So those are things that actually really matter. And oftentimes, many of our clients don’t really realize this until so much later. And they kind of paid the price. And they wish they hadn’t. So I really want to encourage everyone who’s watching or listening right now is like, what is the price that you’re paying right now, in order to accomplish the goal you want? And are you willing to do that and if you are great, but at least be conscious of it of that price that you’re willing to pay? Because there are sacrifices to be made if you want to accomplish big things right now? Are you okay with that?

Krisstina Wise [33:55]
Yeah, yeah, right on I’ve always called that. Yeah. The cost being what’s what’s the cost of that outcome and everything has a cost and cost is even bigger than price many times we let’s say if I the price for a mastermind let’s say it’s $10,000 that’s the price but the cost might be 20,000 by the time I put in flights and my time and the the opportunity costs and everything else so yeah, things usually have a big price tag they have a big have a big cost associated and if we’re oblivious to that, for me, I mean, I my price my cost was my health is being in that game into my body just couldn’t do it anymore because I wasn’t paying attention. I just did. I thought I was invincible that way. So big, big, big cost in times of the cost of trading my health for wealth, but also the the actual cost to get my health back was was very substantial. But yes, that’s such an important message.

Thanh Pham [34:55]
Yeah, I went through a really stressful period where I was just so focused on growing my business that I gained literally 22 pounds in the span of three months, and I would look and I looked unhealthy, I didn’t sleep much. I had like, baggy eyes. And I was sleeping maybe like two, three hours a night. And, um, but I was so obsessed, right? And did I accomplish the goal? Yes, but it came definitely at a certain price. And after that, I had to hire a personal trainer, I had to like, take some more time off, I had to learn how to like, actually sleep six, seven hours, which was very difficult. I had to give up a lot of weekends to be able to catch up again, on a lot of different things. And so, you know, I think there are definitely seasons in life. I think that’s a real thing, where seasons where, you know, we are working more where we are so goal focused and oriented and we want to be able to have that a little bit of imbalance to accomplish what we want. But then there’s also seasons where we slow down and just relax and kind of recover and just like want to ponder a little bit and not work as much. Right. And I think we all have that, whether it’s for some people it’s like quarter by quarter, for some People’s like a few years, I think this this time we’re in right now is kind of like a force, pause force, slow it down for everyone. Because I think in the last session for me in the last 10 years, like everything has been booming in a way where you can just keep going, there’s always new places to go to new things to accomplish. And, and now with that we’re in this forced pause for everyone. It’s kind of nice to be in a season as well, where we can just like, Oh, we can actually slow it down a little bit. Everyone’s kind of like on the same page when it comes to that. And I think those seasons in life are also important to recognize as well.

Krisstina Wise [36:32]
Yeah, somebody said, it made me think, what do I guess maybe what is little silver lining and all this in a way is that many times you don’t feel you can pause because you might lose your edge or you might lose, you know, this, this little competitive out there. And it’s like, you have to stay in that energy. And now everybody’s forced. And so it’s like, I can pause a little bit because everybody else is in the same pause, that it’s been nice. Just experience what that feels like to take off some of that pressure, that self imposed pressure that we put on ourselves. I was like, Oh, that’s this is what this feels like, I like this feeling a lot better. I don’t like being in that pressure, that high pressure cooker game, you know that. It’s so external, you know, 70 we let all these external forces that allow us, that causes us to feel that pressure to put more pressure on our science bill more time to be more productive to get that edge to, you know, to compete to compare all that external validation, the more money I feel better, it’s like everybody, we can’t even show off our Rolex watches right now. So I don’t need a Rolex what’s the point?

Thanh Pham [37:30]
Exactly, yeah. And also, there’s just so much less FOMO right now because no one is going out. Right? And there’s and people are showing off less as a result so you don’t feel as inferior or an all that different stuff that comes with that. And so, right now, it’s a great time to look within ourselves and see okay, what’s actually important to me right now, right and not compare ourselves to others because there’s not on anyway, so you don’t have to so we’re relearning in a way what that was like before this whole social media thing started and and a lot To compare ourselves to others, when in the past that was, yeah, I think people have always done that, or keeping up with the Joneses and everything like that. But now with the whole social media, that’s so easy to do. But it also leads to a lot of like mental health challenges that come with that. And I think with right now, with what’s going on, we don’t have to deal with that it makes it a lot easier not to have that outside pressure, as you mentioned, or having that FOMO of missing out and, and all that stuff. And so I think one big takeaway for people here is, you know, this is one of the best times to be in to really reflect and use this time for ourselves. And if you’re not using that, I would encourage you to start looking within yourself, right. So start reading a couple more books, learning something new, like a skill, taking a few courses that you would otherwise never take, because this is one of the best times to do that.

Krisstina Wise [38:48]
Yeah, right on. Well, just to wrap up with it with one more question here, changing it a little bit the direction What do you have some favorite productivity tools or technology Is that that really help on the more, you know, productivity efficiency side that people may or may not be aware of? That could be very helpful.

Thanh Pham [39:09]
Yeah, there’s so many productivity apps, right. And I’ve probably tried like hundreds of them over the last 12 years now. And this is always changing as well. But a couple apps that I think really stand out is one is something like calendly, which allows you to book meetings with people very quickly. I’m sure a lot of people have been in situations where that, you know, they’re trying to book a call with you or a meeting with you. And they email you say, hey, Christina, are you available? Monday? You go, No, but I’m available on Tuesday at Two, and then they go, No, I can’t do that. But can you do once and they have this whole email chain of going back and forth, right and waste a lot of time. So one of the easiest ways to address that is by using a booking tool such as calendly. So you send them a link, and then they can book a meeting with you based on your calendar availability and it’s hooked up to something like Skype or zoom, and it makes it really easy Being quick. So that’s something I would always recommend people. Another one is an app called focus booster. So this is kind of a focus app. So what you do is you enter in one particular task that you want to work on, and then we’ll set a timer for you. It’s kind of like a pomodoro timer. If you’ve heard of that before, some people might have heard of that, where you set a timer for, let’s say, 25 minutes. And then after that is on you take a quick little break. And so it forces you to focus on one task at a time. And once that break is over, you go back at it with another 25 minutes or whatever time duration you set for yourself. And the beautiful thing about that app as well is that it allows you to track your time for you so pretty graphics. So you kind of know what you worked on and what days and how much time you spent working and not. So focus booster is one I would recommend. And for those who have a hard time concentrating, maybe you know you’re like me if you go to your browser you type in F and you hit enter or return immediately goes to Facebook and before you know it you know you’re gone for an hour sometimes Like freedom dot two is an app that allows you to block websites and apps on your phone during specific parts of the day. So you can say, Hey, don’t allow me to go to Facebook, between nine and three. Right? So we’ll block it for you both on your phone and your, on your computer. And so that way, you’re kind of forcing yourself to not get distracted that way. So even if you try to go there, it won’t allow you to do that. So a lot of people find that helpful as well. Because if you don’t have a lot of willpower, or you get easily distracted, this is a tool to kind of remind you to go oh, you know, I actually can’t do that. Anyway. Great. And then slowly, you just start to condition yourself to not to go there anyway. And so those are three tools that I found very helpful.

Krisstina Wise [41:42]
Yeah, they all serve a unique purpose. I like that a lot. All right. Well, Tom, thank you so much, what a what a really timely conversation and it’s just fun to have an opportunity get to know you. We’ve known each other we’ve been in similar circles, but I’ve never really had a moment just to sit down and get to know you a little bit. So this has been is a real honor for me to have this time with you. So thank you. To wrap up just a few questions that I like to complete my podcast interviews with. The first one is if you said, Hey, Christina, if you really really knew me, you would know that. This is tan San Christina, if you really knew me, you would know that.

Thanh Pham [42:21]
If you really knew me, you would know that I love hosting dinner parties. I love hosting people just having people come together and connect and talk about stories and really getting to know each other as humans, as beings as people. And that’s how we initially got connected and met each other is over a dinner party that I hosted with my friend, Tim, and something that I dearly Miss right now, because we can’t do it, but it’s something I really cherish. And if you really knew me, that’s something you would know.

Krisstina Wise [42:52]
That’s awesome. All right. Tell me a brag moment. Tell me something you’re really proud of that most people don’t know.

Thanh Pham [43:00]
Whew, if

I’m really proud of, you know, when I was six years old, my parents saved up enough money as first generation immigrants to send me to the United States for a summer to visit my grandparents. And I had such a great time going to Olive Garden, McDonald’s and Universal Studios that as a six year old, I said, Oh my god, I want to live in America, right? Because I was growing up in the Netherlands at that time. And so I set a goal when I was six years old to move to Los Angeles in 12 years later, when I finished high school, I actually accomplished that goal. And that’s one of my proudest moments.

Krisstina Wise [43:35]
Wow, that’s awesome. Dang. All right, one final question. And I like to complete by doing a little myth busting. Is there one big, bad myth out there that you’d like to bust?

Thanh Pham [43:48]
Oh, my gosh. Okay. Yes. So the biggest myth that I see when it comes to productivity is that people think multitasking is a good idea. You see it on resumes or job descriptions, they’ll say hey, multitaskers are preferred or you have to be good at multitasking, what they’re really saying is we would like you to be really productive. That’s what we’re looking for. And multitasking actually does not exist. Because our brain can only focus on one thing at a time. And it’s called single tasking. The brain can only literally focus on one thing at a time, because that’s how it’s designed to do things. It’s one of the reasons when we try to multitask, what essentially is happening is our brain is switching focus very quickly between things. And when we do that, we tend to lose focus, our mistakes, number of mistakes that we make go up, right, and we are much slower things and accomplishing them. It’s one of the reasons why we don’t want to be people to be texting and driving at the same time. Because when that happens, accident rates go up significantly, right? It’s because the brain cannot focus on multiple things at once. It can only focus on one thing at a time. So don’t focus on multitasking, what you’re really trying to focus on is just doing one thing at a time. If you do that, you’ll be infinitely more more productive than trying to multitask.

Krisstina Wise [45:02]
All right, that’s why we need this apps. Tim, thank you so much. You’ve been amazing and I appreciate your time. I appreciate what you do in this beautiful city of Austin, Texas, bringing great people together and, and making introductions and your parties, your energy, just your life forces really beautiful. So thank you for for who you are and what you do.

Thanh Pham [45:26]
Thank you for having me.

Krisstina Wise [45:29]
If you’re inspired by today’s show, and you’re the kind of person who likes to help others, there are some easy ways that you can help me. First, please subscribe to the wealthy, wealthy podcast by doing so. It helps both of us. You’ll never miss an episode and it helps me and my ratings. And if you’re able to leave a review, hopefully five stars even better. Finally, if you think your friends and family would enjoy the show, I invite you to share the wealthy wealthy podcast with everyone you know if you have Any questions I’m here you can email me at support at wealthy, wealthy calm, and I may even use your question or suggestion for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want to be motivated and inspired more regularly connect with me on Instagram or LinkedIn at Krisstina wise, that’s Kr ISS. Ti na, wi SE. I believe we are all on this journey together towards finding our sovereignty and freedom. And I’d love to be part of your journey. I’d love to help you and especially on the financial side. So learn more at sovereignty Academy calm as always, thank you so much for listening and being part of the wealthy, wealthy community.

What We Covered

[1:15] Has there been any big lessons or takeaways from this time?

[3:29] Talk about how to be productive if working from home is new to you.

[7:35] Do you have any recommendations for people that are married and or have children?

[10:30] It is amazing how this pandemic has shifted things, I never thought something like getting dressed as if you were going to work could shift the energy of a day so much.

[13:45] Do you have any recommendations on how to separate Work and Personal time working from home?

[18:18] What is the difference between the top 1% and the average person when it comes to productivity?

[22:00] What do you coach to the point of trading productivity for your health? How do you ride the fine line of being productive and not burning out because of it?

[29:30] One thing you said as an entrepreneur it resonated with me. That is to take the time to celebrate your wins. We seem to be always caught up in the next thing, that next thing is when I will take the break. Except for that next time never comes since we are always moving on to the next thing without any celebration.

[34:00] Let’s talk about trading wealth for health and how that impacts your life.

[36:32] Let’s talk about how these current times have forced so many people to slow and reevaluate life without seeking so much external validation.

[38:55] What are some of your favorite productivity tools and or programs that you recommend?

[42:00] Hey Krisstina if you really really knew me you would know that?

[42:52] Tell me a brag moment

[43:39] Tell us a myth you would like to bust.


“The way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day.”

“When you have that type of integrity, then you will do whatever it takes to get that particular thing done.”

“One area that people confuse a lot is More time equals more productivity or more time or being busy equals more productivity.”

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