How To Become Twice More Productive And Get Stuff That Matters Done With Thanh Pham From Asian Efficiency

What you will learn

  • How to get rid of the “getting started” paralysis.
  • How to build up the motivation needed to get stuff done.
  • How to get back to focused when you get distracted.
  • Getting rid of “emergency emails” that kill your focus.
  • The 2 simple tools you need to double your productivity today.
  • How to plan things in advance and keep yourself accountable for it.
  • Establishing your break policy (and 1 trick to make yourself stick to it).
  • Balancing work and personal life for self employed people.

If there’s one skill that you should work on on top of your online marketing skills when you want to grow your own online businesses, it’s efficiency.

Thanh Pham


Because if you are more productive you can get more done in less time, overtake your competitors and eventually take over the world (muahahaha).

In all seriousness though, I’ve decided to do this episode on something a little different because of all the emails I receive. A lot of you guys have a decent idea of what to do but struggle to get started.

It’s fairly common to just get stuck because of the amount of work you have to do to start a new website/online business. That’s why I invited Thanh over.

Thanh is the founder of Asian Efficiency and in this podcast he shares a bunch of very actionable tips on how he built a 7 figure a year authority site revolving around the topic of productivity.

He also shares his very basic, very easy system he recommends to newbies who are getting started with productivity. All the tools in this system are free and it’s kept very simple so you don’t get lost with it.

​I’ve personally learned a ton from this interview and will start applying the calendar trick as soon as this week.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Full Transcript

Welcome to the Authority Hacker podcast, the place to learn incredibly actionable marketing tips to dominate your niche. Now your host, Gael Breton.

Welcome guys to another episode of the Authority Hacker podcast. In this episode I’m very honored to have Thanh from Asian Efficiency, he is the managing director over there, and he is both, an internet marketer and a productivity expert. Now the reason I asked Thanh to come over is not just because we used to work together in the past, but also because I receive a lot of emails of people talking about their problems and so on, and one of the big things is a lot of people know exactly what they need to do but they can’t get themselves to take action and to get stuff done. And so I thought that inviting a productivity expert that also works in the field of internet marketing would be extremely useful to a lot of you guys. So, Thanh, welcome to our podcast, can you just introduce yourself and what you do a little bit?

Thanh: Hey Gael, thanks for having me. I’m really excited to talk to you today, and share some of my stuff with everyone. So for those who don’t know who I am, my name is Thanh, I am the managing director of Asian Efficiency, one of the leading productivity websites, and what I do on a day to day basis is basically help people become more productive at what they do. So I work with a lot of people who are very successful already at what they do and they usually just want to become better and more efficient at what they do. So that’s really my goal and hopefully with this podcast I can help you out with that as well.

Gael: Cool, I’m looking forward to being more productive, as you know, I’ve been quite messy in the past. But, I just wanted to ask you why would one want to work on his efficiency? Like what is the point of it and the productivity, why would you want to do that as an online marketer?

Thanh: Well everyone has different goals, so some people for example- a lot of people I work with, they do awesome things already in lives, they are hedge fund managers, they run a company, they do like online marketing and things like that, so they already do amazing things and they often get like so distracted from doing all the stuff that they are really good at that they just feel like they are trapped. And then, there is this other group of people- they want to do amazing things but they don’t have the time to do them or they don’t have the focus, or the self discipline to do them. And I help those people as well, and I think it’s important to realize that everyone can be productive, it’s just a matter of you finding sort of the intrinsic motivation to get it done. So, a lot of times people will know what they to do, but if you don’t have the real like purpose behind it figured out or you don’t know why you want to do this, then oftentimes it’s just knowing what you want to do is they are really wanting to do something.

Gael: One thing I keep seeing from people emailing me is they seem to be like paralyzing getting started because it seems like they are lacking a little bit of organization, like have you been helping people just to maybe not necessary start new companies but new projects within the company etc, have you seen like this stuff help with that?

Thanh: Yeah, a lot of people are having trouble getting started. And there is a couple of reasons for this, one is they have so many things in front of them, that they often do not know where to start. That’s a really common problem, it’s kind of like paralysis by analyses, like there is so many things that you can do that you just don’t know where to start. So whenever that happens, I always tell people to eliminate things. That’s like the easiest way to get started, so if you have ten things you need to do, just realize that there is one or two things that are really important. Those are the things that are going to make a big impact, like I’m sure you’ve heard of the 80- 20 rule, like 20% of the things are going to give you 80% of the results. Another way to look at it is if you have so many things to do, just look at the one or two things that you actually need to do. So, another way to reframe that in your own head is if you have ten things to do, how can you eliminate like 8 or 9 things so you come to the one things that you need to do. Right? So if you have ten things you need to do, look at that list and say to yourself, ok, what’s that one thing that I know that I cannot do right now, or that it just doesn’t make any sense doing right now, so you eliminate that. And then you look at the next thing- can you do this, yes or no? And as you work your way down, you start to eliminate things you just can’t work on or don’t want to work on, or like isn’t even necessary to get done, and then you’ll end up maybe like 3 or 4 items and then it’s so much easier to sort of prioritize what you need to do, and then pick the one thing where you need to get started. So that’s one thing I would mention to everyone that’s listening, it’s to just start eliminating things from your list, from your life, so it’s really easier to choose what you need to do next, so if you have trouble getting started- that’s one thing I would recommend.

The other thing is sort of more of motivational thing. Oftentimes like I mentioned earlier, we don’t know why we want to do things, for example, one of three people in America want to write a book. But, why do you want to write a book? What’s the why behind it? And if you can figure what is the why behind you want to start an internet company, what is the why behind starting an affiliate marketing campaign, or what’s the why of doing this webinar, or whatever it may be- if you can really figure that out, then getting motivated to do something is much easier. So, an example is if you have a family, oftentimes you want to be able to provide for them, right, so maybe the reason you want to start doing internet marketing is because you can make more money to provide for your family, and if that really is the case for you, then if you can just like keep that in the back of your head every time you start doing any sort of work when it comes to internet marketing, or online business, then getting started is just much easier. So, those things, start eliminating stuff and then figure out the real reason why you do the things you do will just make everything a lot easier.

Gael: Do you have any trick to like help people remember why they are doing things and give them some motivation when they are like you know, it’s easy to remember now when we are talking and we are relaxed but when you are in front of a big task and you are kind of like “oh my God I just hate doing that”, is there any way of visualization or something you use to maintain a level of motivation?

Thanh: Yeah, so what I do is I actually keep a whiteboard next to my desk, so whenever I am at my desk, I can see this huge whiteboard that has like three goals, I’ve written down. And so every day, when I am standing at my desk I always see those three goals, and so whenever I look at them, I know, “Oh yeah, this is the thing that excites me, so I’m going to do this.” For example right now, one of my goals is to really get into the best shape of my life, so that’s written down on my whiteboard, so every day when I look at it and I don’t exercise, I feel terrible, right, when I don’t do it. The other way is like when I look at it especially in the morning when I look at the board and it says “being in the best shape of my life” and it has like visual diagrams of it, then it motivates me as well to look at that. So, then I start planning my day and figure out, “ok, this is the thing I need to do, I know I need to exercise today so let’s make sure I prioritize this part of my day.” So having a whiteboard works for me but there are different things that work for different people so some people like to have for example a mind map that they look at every day, so this is something I used to do as well- every day before I start working I would open up my mind map that would have all the things listed I want to accomplish. So whether these were goals, or reasons why the things might purpose, whenever I looked at them I just kept reminding myself of all of these things. So that by the time I star working, I was 1) very motivated already, and 2) I knew exactly what I need to focus on. So even though people might be emailing me, calling me, texting me, telling me what to do, we get so much information nowadays that it’s sometimes just really hard to prioritize. But, if you remind yourself every day of what you need to do, what you need to focus on by having this simple list in front of you every morning, then you’ll know how to prioritize and what to focus on. So, using a mind map is easy, a lot of people use Evernote as well to store their notes and that’s really useful as well, so whatever works for you- some people use pen and paper and write it down every morning and that works fine as well, as long as you remember it every morning to look at this list, then that’s ok.

Gael: So it’s almost like you need to take these goals and you need to make them another interruption in your life but this is a positive interruption, so you get interrupted by people walking in asking questions, and notifications on Twitter, or whatever it is and then like you probably want to have it on the wall somewhere as you walk out the office or something. So that’s kind of interrupted but that’s reminding you of the good things you need to do, right?

Thanh: Yeah, we get so carried away nowadays, like there is so many things vying for attention, that we just easily forget what we need to do, what we need to focus on, like if I don’t look at my goals every day, then if I open my email inbox, I’m pretty sure there is like ten million things I could do then, based of that, you know. Or if I talk to you and you have all these crazy ideas I could be like, “Oh yeah, I’ll totally do this” and then I get carried away but then I lose focus on what actually is important.

Gael: Yeah. Talking about focus and everything, you’ve been both, internet marketer and studying productivity a lot, so like as internet marketers specifically, what are the main issues when it comes to motivation, organization, that you’ve observed throughout the years?

Thanh: I think the main thing is keeping everything in your head. So, whenever you are starting campaign or starting like a new project, especially as an internet marketer, there is so many moving parts, you have like headlines, you have like landing pages, you have like split test, you have like traffic sources like there is so many moving parts and that’s one of the things I used to struggle with and I see other internet marketers struggle with as well, because there is so many moving parts you have all these things in your head and then it’s really easy to let things slip through the cracks. So the first thing you really need is to write everything down so that it’s not in your head. So, if you are using different traffic sources, write down all the different traffic sources, write down the things that work in there, that don’t work, the things that you need to do, the things you shouldn’t do, so you almost organically start to create almost like a check list, right. So, the first thing is really start writing things down and do not try to remember everything. Because- you imply won’t. The other thing then is as the internet marketer, oftentimes you are the only person working so you are oftentimes the bottleneck of everything. Like, if you are not working, nothing is getting done. So if you have the funds the funds I would highly recommend bringing someone on board to help you organize your stuff. Whether that’s maybe coding up the landing pages, maybe it’s finding the images to test, or sending up split test whatever it is that you are not good at, try to find someone as soon as possible to work with you on that. So that you can really continue to focus on what you do best. And I see oftentimes that those are the two major areas that need to be improved.

Gael: That makes sense. And you were talking about planning things and writing them down- does that take the form of a journal or is that a to do list or like how does that work in real life because there is many ways of writing things down.

Thanh: Yes, so when I meant writing things down, one part of it is as you come up with ideas then make sure you have like a system setup where you can capture them and put them in, so like a popular program for this is Evernote. Everyone uses Evernote, it’s an amazing app and it’s really easy to put stuff in there, so as internet marketers you always have ideas for headlines, or you have ideas for testing, or different images you want to try out, like all these things, you should put into your Eevernote or whatever app you are using so that later on you can look at it and say, “ok, this is a good idea” or “this is a bad idea” or “let me try this now”. So that’s one thing. As far as planning goes, that’s a little different for everyone, like personally I plan every quarter so 4 times a year I plan like 3 months ahead. Now, I know this doesn’t work for everyone and it takes a certain methodology and approach to do this, so one thing I always recommend for everyone else is to just plan one week ahead. And that’s the simplest thing to do, so what I recommend is for people to plan their week ahead on Sundays. So on Sunday before you start working on Monday you want to plan ahead and say, “Ok what are 3 things that I want to get accomplished?” And just write those 3 things down. And then whenever you start working on things, just look at those 3 things and figure out, “Ok, how can I do something that will get me closer to this goal, mini outcome that I have?” So an example of this is maybe on Sunday night you are saying to yourself, “I want to have one campaign up and running, so that means I have a Facebook ad up, I have some images that I want to test and I have a landing page that is working. And that’s all I need.” If that is your goal, you should break it down to 3 simple things and then just work towards them every single day and then repeat it again on Sundays, if you didn’t complete it on Friday, you just tweak it a little bit so that you know on Sunday you are going to continue what you didn’t finish last week. So if you can do that every single week, and just iterate from there, you are going to make a lot of progress. And so doing a one week bulks is a really easy way to get started.

Gael: yeah, 3 months I think is a lot, especially when you get started on your project so you have an established company, that is still going t be around in 3 months and you know it is a proven concept and so on, for the people that are getting started I think a week is probably a lot easier, it’s also a lot more flexible. I guess you agree, right?

Thanh: Yes, absolutely, like we have like an established thing going on and there is like a certain rhythm of things that are happening, so planning 3 months ahead is a lot easier, but if you have nothing and starting from scratch, trying to plan 3 months ahead is like trying to predict the future, like it just doesn’t work. So just make sure you can do it on a weekly basis and then everything else will sort of take care of itself and as things come your way you’ll be able to know what you need to do every single week.

Gael: Yeah, that makes sense, I think that’s a good system. Now, I just wanted to put you a little bit in a hypothetical situation here- imaging that you are working on few sites but they are not necessarily very big, not to a point where you are with Asian Efficiency at this point, but you have absolutely no productivity in place, no calendars, no to do lists, no cycles, no tools setup etc. What’s a basic setup you would recommend if you are not an expert in productivity, so I know you use very advanced tools and so on, but they can be a bit overwhelming for newbies, so like what would you recommend to someone, let’s say on a Sunday they just decided they want to improve their productivity, how would you set that up in a very basic way?

Thanh: Ok, so there are basically 2 tools that you will absolutely need. One is a calendar and the second is a place where you keep your notes. And those are just the two main things I want you to focus on. So first thing is the calendar. So on your calendar you would basically want to schedule whenever you are going to be working on certain things. So if you know that you have free time on Sunday night to work on your projects, then you should schedule in your calendar to work on that. So what you basically do is you book an appointment with yourself, right. So you’d say “On Sunday night at 6 pm I’m going to be working for an hour and a half on this project.” And then the whole week if you don’t have time, at least you can look forward to this date and time, so you can really work towards this, because I know everyone is really busy especially if you have a day job, you have to be able to balance that out between your personal life and then your side projects and so on. And for people who already do this like full time or self employed, it’s also a really great way to just get focused time as well so that if you want to say to yourself “between 10 in the morning and lunch time I will be able to get x amount of work done.” Then just book an appointment with yourself and stick to it. So that’s one thing. First, make sure you get a calendar and schedule times when you are going to work on something.

Gael: Any particular calendar you recommend?

Thanh: Well if you are on the Mac the default calendar works. Personally, I use an app called BusyCal which is a little bit more advanced, but I like it because it integrates with Google calendar which we use on the team and also with Apple’s calendar as well. So it integrates with those two. So that’s the app called BusyCal. So you can find that-

Gael: I’ll put it in the show notes.

Thanh: So that’s one. If you are on Windows, I’m sure there are other great calendar apps there as well, if you are on IOS the default calendar app works as well. So, that’s one. Number two is the place where you keep your notes. So the app I sort of recommended earlier is Evernote. It’s like the simplest app to use, it’s the one that works on most platforms, it works on Windows, Android, Mac, IOS, so you’ll have it in sync with whatever you are using. So, use this to store any thoughts you might have, and then keep a note of the things that are working, not working, things you need to do, and it’s just a really easy way to get started. Like normally I don’t recommend to do list to everyone, because some people just don’t like to do lists or they don’t know how to use one, but just to get started, I would just recommend using Evernote and just writing things down every single day as you try to remember stuff as you want to do things and just keep things as a record.

Gael: Do you have a blog post or something on Asian Efficiency on how to organize your Eevernote account?

Thanh: Yes, so if you go to and you search for Eevernote we have a bunch of topics that will help you with that.

Gael: Cool, we’ll link to that as well so people can just go and check the show notes on Authority Hacker and there will be a bunch of links. Is that the two main things you would set up only to start with?

Thanh: Yeah, I think that’s a really good way to get started, I could recommend other tools and other things you need to do but if you are a complete novice, then I think those two tools aren’t overwhelming and that’s where you will look at most of your gains anyway, so for those of you who are low beyond that then I would recommend it to do list but that sort if depends on which platform you use.

Gael: Yeah. I actually use a tool called Wonderlist, that’s like on probably every platform, I know you use only focus which is more advanced but I let you guys check these two out but yeah, I agree it’s a little bit more advanced and it can be complicated in terms of management because you need to review it every week and so on. Ok, how do you manage breaks? Because I know people might have problems with focusing for a long time etc, and how do you manage your breaks, so you don’t just end up watching 3 hours of You Tube videos when you are suppose to be working?

Thanh: That has definitely happened before. So, guilty. But I think one thing that really helps is having an accountability partner, so having someone there that keeps you on track has really helped me and I realize this doesn’t work for everyone, but I’m sure you’ve noticed working with Mark and me working with Aron- if Mark tells you “Hey, why didn’t you get this done?” you are going to be like, “Oh, oops, ok, I need to do this, I can’t watch this video right now” right? So having an accountability partner is really helpful so if you can find someone like that, that would be great. But that’s a really nice thing to have if you can. Now, without it, managing breaks becomes a little bit more structured in a sense that you can do it multiple ways; 1) you schedule them in your calendar. So basically what you are saying is between 9 in the morning and lunch time I am only going to be working and then between 12 and 1 that’s when I’ll have my break. And then the rest of the day I’ll be working and then break- work- break- so that’s one way to do it. If to have the flexibility to dictate your own day like that, then I would recommend that, because that will just keep you very consistent in terms of the results you are going to be delivering. Now if you are more of a creative type of person, that’s a little bit more challenging because then you want to keep working whenever you are high on creativity, then what I would just recommend is just to set a timer. So typically we can’t really work more than 2 hours straight, so having a 2 hour limit on anything you do will sort of keep you in check. So sometimes you know, like when you are really creative and you are in flow, that session usually does not last more than 2 hours, right? And so if you can set a limit on that then you will automatically make sure that you get enough time to relax, to have downtime and to rejuvenate so you can focus again whenever you need to. Now specifically when it comes to managing your breaks, whenever you can set a time limit on that as well, so I know for example when I have lunch, it’s never more than an hour. Like if I do I know I’m slacking. If I’m on the weekends, I have the mindset of– during the week, I just work as hard as I can so that I can relax on the weekends guilt free. So that’s one way to approach at this wall. And this works more if you have a structured week, Monday through Friday, so if you have the possibility to have a structured week like that, than managing your breaks becomes less of an issue because you know that on Saturday, Sunday you can just relax and do whatever you want to do as long as you work really hard Monday through Friday. Not to get carried away, some people and especially me int he past, it was really easy to just get distracted by things, so I always what I did was put strategic reminders on my calendar and this is a really cool trick that you can use right now, is basically what you do is you open your calendar and then every hour you have an alert popping up that says, “Are you focused?” So, every hour as that alert goes off, you’ll know, if you are in the middle of the break, you’ll get reminded to get back to work. If you are not doing anything at all, you get reminded to get back to work. If you have been working for way too long, then you will get reminded to take a break as well. So having that strategic reminder set up every day for maybe in the beginning for a week to test it out then you’ll eventually get better at it and over time it will just become really natural on how you manage your time, your breaks and so on.

Gael: Cool. That makes sense. I just wanted to ask you going back to the accountability partner, like do you guys check on each other regularly or like how does that work between you guys?

Thanh: Well yes, we talk every day so that’s easy and like I mentioned earlier we have sort of priority setup so we know what we need to do, every single week, so it’s really easy to say, “Hey, did you do this” or, “Did this get done?” And if the answer is no, you know, we automatically feel guilty, so we know we need to do it. [laugh] We don’t even yell that often to each other or anything so it’s just a matter of “hey did you do this, yes or no”, it’s always yes or no answer, no excuses.

Gael: Yeah, I can’t imagine Aron yelling, but yeah. I wanted to ask also, it’s a little bit tied to that- procrastination, it is also very present when you are an internet marketer. I’ve certainly been a victim of it way more than I should have, like what are some little tips that you can give to people to try and avoid it? They transform the break into just the big procrastination period, you have the reminder thing, but are there other things that you could suggest?

Thanh: Yes. So, when it comes to procrastination, there are different ways that you can tackle it. So one thing– and everything sort of circles back to purpose, the why behind you do things. So, the way I like to see things is how can I set up my environment so I am always reminded of the things I need to do. So that’s why I have a whiteboard here, because even if I am procrastinating around my apartment, then whenever I look at it, it will remind me that I need to be working. That’s why I have strategic reminder setup so that even if I forget, I will always get reminded that I need to be doing something more useful. So how can you set up your own environment, so that it’s almost like it’s inevitable, that you have to do something. Right? So instead of relying on your own will power and thing about drumming up the motivation to do something, how can you set up your own environment so you are always reminded of it. And so, if you have a strong enough goal and a strong enough reason why you do things you do, then it will motivate you, every time to get started and then procrastination becomes less of an issue. Like there are techniques that you can use to sort of overcome that and my favorite technique is what I call Solar Flaring. So what that does is basically what you do is you say to yourself “I will just”, those three words, “I will just- do this for 5 minutes.” So I will just write a post for 5 minutes, I will just write this headline, I will just make this outline, I will just set up this landing page. So when you can say that to yourself and have this trick in your head that says I will only do this- then especially if you add it for just a couple of minutes, so you say, “I will just do x for 5 minutes” then oftentimes you will just get started on that thinking that you will just do it for a couple of minutes but oftentimes what happens is you have the motivation again, and then you have the momentum that you are having and then oftentimes you don’t want to stop because you already doing something and then you just want to continue to work on that until you finish. So just tricking yourself by saying I will just do x for 5 minutes, will just be good enough to get started and then everything else will usually take care of itself.

Gael: Yeah. That makes sense. Actually, I picked another trick from you blog actually. It’s a tutorial where you basically have a category for procrastination, so when you become lazy and you catch yourself being lazy, you have a list of very easy tasks to do. So for that would be like growing my twitter account by following a 100 accounts or something and I can literally just like I could almost run a TV show and do that on the side in the very lazy way but that gets me starting doing something, right. And then I see some results and that is like I see 20 people following me back and like starting talking to me or something, and then I’ll be like oh, that’s great and I just get a reminder of my motivation and then I just shot down the TV show I start writing something. So that’s like basically having a list of lazy tasks has helped me a lot with that. Not sure if that’s the best approach, but that’s one that worked for me.

Thanh: I love that one. I call it my lower energy tasks, so whenever I am tired or whenever I don’t feel like doing anything big, or important, if I look at this low energy task and it says change my desktop background or something, then that will just give me going and then everything else like you said, will just follow.

Gael: Yeah, that worked for me but I agree on the “I will just do thing”, I tried it, it’s probably going to get me do things that are a little bit more useful during this time. But one thing as well that happens all the time obviously, is you always have emergencies come in, people need something right now, or they just send you a message or an email and they are like, “Hey, I need this right now, it’s very important”, it’s always very important, right? And, how do you deal with that and how do you either politely say no or you just handle it?

Thanh: So I think there is different types of emergencies, so if your kid is in trouble, then that’s a different kind of emergency than “hey could you review this report”. So the first thing we need to see is what kind of emergency is this. Is this like critical or is it like nice to have? So if it’s critical, then you want to attend to it right away. So what I usually do then is whenever I am dealing with such an emergency, I will write down in the notes whatever I am working on right now, so if I am for example on my computer and there is an emergency coming up and I need to leave my computer I will write down in my notes and this could be in Evernote or whatever app you are using, then I would just write down, “Hey I was working on this report, this is the line I was last focused on here is one thing I need to do next.” And just like really quickly, in 30 seconds I would write down what I need to do so that I can deal with the emergency and then when I come back, I just look at the note and then I’ll know right away where to get started again. So that’s one thing I would really recommend, it’s just take 30 seconds to write down what you were working on and the one step you need to take next to get this moving again. So this doesn’t take more than 30 seconds but it will help you tremendously whenever you get back to it because oftentimes, when we deal with the emergency and then come back to work, like we oftentimes don’t know what we were doing or where we left off. And so having that written note down, is really useful. Now if you have an emergency that is kind of nice to have done or dealt with then oftentimes you have to learn to say not to hat, and for some people that’s really scary, but it’s just something you have to get used to doing because you have to understand that your time is limited and in order for you to deliver the most results to your company, or your team, or to your own benefits, and those people around you, you have to be able to say no to certain things, so what I like to do is usually just have a script in my mind that I can always go to. So that whenever the situation comes up, I will know what I need to say, so for example simple thing you can say is, “Hey, I would really love to do x but right now I’m really busy doing y for reason z.” So for example, “Hey I would really love to do your reports but right now I am really busy with generating these reports for the boss, because he needs them by the end of the day.” So having that simple formula right there, will just make it really easy to come up with something whenever the situations calls for. So that’s one thing I would just try to remember is like this one script that you can use, and just say that out loud. And then oftentimes you will think that people are going to hate you or that people are going to be upset at you but like, it’s actually the opposite, people are going to respect you more because you are willing to say no to things. So when you get set up that boundary for other people, they will start respecting your time and then over time people will bug you even less. So, that’s not an easy thing to do, it’s just something you need to learn doing over time.

Gael: I’m going to ask a very personal question- do you sometimes lie to save your time?

Thanh: Oh absolutely.

Gael: Me too. But it’s just like as you said, your time is limited and it’s precious, especially interruptions are very annoying I guess. I’m not going to ask you a question about that but getting back to a task after long interruption or something is difficult. So, yeah, I understand why you are doing that. I have like one less big question I want to ask you , before we close that down, and that’s about being self employed in general and balancing work and personal life, because it’s easy you can work whatever you want, but if you don’t control yourself that means you are working all the time and you are kind of stressing out all the time about everything you are working on because it never stops. So, how would you- or how do you balance that?

Thanh: The way I personally balance it is by just setting certain boundaries for myself, so for myself, I have this rule called “No Work Saturdays” so whenever it’s Saturday- no matter how important it is I will not work. And that’s just a personal boundary I’ve set for myself. The other days, that’s fair game but I know on Saturday I do not work on anything. So that’s sort of my day that I always know nothing related to work will ever be on my to do list or be in my consciousness, like Saturday is for my own personal pleasure. So that’s an easy way to get started because if I don’t do that I can work 24/7, 7 days a week. And that’s not what I want, I’ve been there, I’ve been burnt out and it’s not fun, and it just feels like grind almost when you go through that, especially over long periods of time. So setting up boundaries for yourself is just an easy way to get started. So, maybe for some people it’s a different day or maybe it’s a different hours even, like some people might say, you know what, I need to work on my site projects on Saturdays but then Sunday night is when I don’t do anything. And that’s fine too, as long as you can set the boundaries for yourself, that’s when you know that whenever you have that time, or that day coming up you know you won’t be working. Definitely set boundaries, otherwise you’ll end up just working whenever you want to and that’s not always a good thing.

Gael: Yep, I agree. Is there anything in terms of basic productivity for online marketers that we didn’t cover in the questions I’ve asked?

Thanh: Not that something comes on top of my mind right now.

Gael: Ok, so I guess I’ve done an ok job at it. So, ok, so we’ve been talking about all these basics and stuff, now obviously we could not cover everything about being productive in this podcast that is like 40 minutes long, so where do people go to learn more about productivity and what you guys do?

Thanh: Yeah, so we run a website called, and this is website is all about how to become more productive and efficient, so if you liked this podcast and you want to become more productive, we have all the resources for you available so you can go to I would recommend you subscribe to out newsletter where we will send you all the valuable tips I have talked about today and give you reminders and the things you can do right away to get started and be more productive. So definitely check it out,, and sign up for our newsletter.

Gael: Yeah. There is a ton of free information over there so even just going through the blog it’s a lot of stuff. What do you guys do really well is you highlight the key content that people should check out when they get started like on your homepage, so that’s quite easy if you just want to ease into that world. This is actually an authority site as well and some day we should make a podcast about this but today I really wanted to make it about productivity. Thanh, thank you so much for joining the podcast, if you have one last word to our listeners, otherwise I’ll just close the podcast?

Thanh: Yeah, thanks for listening. I really appreciate your time and attention and I hope this was helpful.

Gael: All right, cool, thank you Thanh, thank you guys for listening, I’ll see you guys next week for another podcast episode and have a good weekend.

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