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Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? Do you struggle to stay focused and get things done, especially when you’re juggling multiple priorities? In this episode, Eric Dingler, a successful digital nomad entrepreneur, shares the four key strategies he uses to stay organized and productive, even with a busy travel schedule and ADHD.

This episode is for you if you’re a busy entrepreneur or freelancer who is constantly feeling stretched thin. You’ll learn practical tips and tricks that you can implement right away to improve your focus, streamline your workflow, and achieve your goals.

By listening to this episode, you will learn:

  • How to create a customized calendar that works for your unique lifestyle
  • The secret to mastering your to-do list and avoiding email overwhelm
  • A simple morning routine that sets you up for success
  • How to stay focused and motivated, even when you have a million things going on

Listen to the entire episode to discover Eric Dingler’s four productivity secrets and start taking control of your workday today!

Message Eric “CEO Journal” to learn how to get a copy for yourself.

Check out Nozbe

PLUS: This week’s leadership tip of the week: Lead yourself well to earn the right to lead others well.

🌐 Resources & Coaching:

📬 Questions and meetups: [email protected]

Are you traveling or planning to travel as a family?  If so, explore the Digital Nomad Family Podcast at and connect on Instagram:

Ready to boost your online presence? Check out In Transit Studios (Eric’s Digital Marketing Agency):

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Subscribe to the podcast today for an easier digital nomad lifestyle!

Chase big dreams, lead with courage and safe travels! 🌍✈️

#DNEPodcast #DigitalNomadLife


Full Transcript

Eric Dingler: Today, I’m going to pull back the curtain and talk about how I organize myself to get things done. I’ve tried pretty much every method and tool out there for focus and productivity, and I’ve kept what works and kicked to the curb. What didn’t? So if you want to hear what’s working for me as far as productivity goes, keep listening. If you don’t want to hear, well, stop listening. Welcome to the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast. My name’s Eric. I’m going to be your host. And I help digital entrepreneurs organize their online businesses for revenue, profit and location independence. Now I want to talk about four things. I’ve got four things I want to cover here, and I wouldn’t say they’re in any particular order, but I am going to try to describe them as I go down through them in a way. Today. I’m going to pull back. Well. Today, I’m going to pull back the curtain and talk about how I organize myself to get all the things done that I do. Now, I’ve tried pretty much every method and two out there for focus and productivity, and over the years I kept what worked and kicked to the curb. What didn’t? So if you want to hear what’s working for me in everyday life, real world, running a business, traveling full time, launching a new international nonprofit, all the myriad of things I got going on this podcast, coaching others to to live a location, independent lifestyle. I got a lot of things going and I need to be structured to be productive. So if you want to hear what I’m doing, what’s working, then definitely keep listening. If you’re not interested in all. Thanks for listening to the intro. You can stop listening now. I’ll see you in the next episode. Welcome to the Digital Nomad Entrepreneur podcast, everyone. My name is Eric. I’m a full time digital nomad traveling around the world with my wife and four kids. And I help other entrepreneurs, other online business owners optimize their businesses for revenue, profit and location independence. Now, today, what I want to do is I’ve got four things that I use to keep myself organized and focused. And I would say that I keep to these things about 85% of the time. And when I do, things are great. When I don’t, things get off course. And I have to bring back now. I wish I could stick to this 100% of the time, but I’ll be honest, I have ADHD. I am a serial entrepreneur. I’m attracted to start a new things. I don’t like following systems, I like building systems. I like leading other people to follow systems I’ve built. But I don’t actually like repeating the task following systems and things like that. It’s not that I don’t think they’re bad, it’s just I feel like I’m allergic to details and to me repetitive task become that. And I just I’d rather be off chasing something new. Starting, starting something new. It’s, you know, it’s just it’s just how I’m how I’m wired. And I think a lot of us are wired this way. It’s it’s why we’re here. It’s why we’re trying to do our own business and and have freedom from, you know, having have location freedom and financial freedom and things like this. We we have big dreams, big picture, big, big desires. We see we have a picture for a big future. And and we like starting things, but we often struggle with keeping through. So to be just totally honest and transparent, yeah, I keep to these things about 80% of the time there there are these are the four things that I can say I have done for many years now. In between, I have tried all kinds of different things. I’ve tried all kinds of different techniques and and things like that. But these four things are the things that I keep coming back to and really keep me focused. So first off, I’m going to start with my calendar now. I’m not going to share a whole lot of detail on this because honestly, I reorganize my calendar about once a quarter and I like it, especially when we relocate. Now that we’re nomadic, when we relocate, I’ll often readjust my calendar to where ever we are because time zones may be impacted, activities we want to do, local culture, things like that, you know. So my, my calendar has to adjust, but I have to maintain my calendar. And I have learned that there are a few things I put in my calendar. First, I, I kind of use a block calendar and that probably isn’t nothing new to you having block calendar, things like that. But for me, I rearrange the blocks regularly, you know, about about every three months or so. So for me right now where I’m at, a couple things that that don’t change too much is I generally start at about 6:00 in the morning. A lot of times wake up between, you know, 530 and six. But I really try to stay in bed until right up to six. I try to go to sleep by ten. We generally go to bed at my wife and I go to bed at nine and, you know, watch Netflix or, you know. Whatever streaming we’ve got going on at that time. But I really try to get a solid 7 hours of sleep. I used to be able to function on a lot less than that, I feel. But the older I get, you know, I’m going to be 50 next year. I just turn 49 and I realize I need my sleep. I need my sleep for my body to recover, my brain to recover, to be just in prime working condition. So I start at six. Now I’m a person of faith and I like to start my day off first thing first, and that’s with a cup of coffee Okay. I got to brew the coffee. I’ve got to get the coffee going. And why I got that coffee brewing. One of the things that I used to do that I don’t do anymore, but I was reminded of this yesterday, helping one of my coaching clients who is struggling, getting just getting going on this initial organization stuff And, you know, he’s really great at setting a plan, but then he forgets that he has set the plan. That was me. I see the same thing. And so I told him that for several months I had a morning affirmation statement that I would read. It was a half page piece of paper, front and back, so a fool. So it could’ve been one full sheet, but just the half page just fit better in the cupboard. But it was printed off, run back, and it was something that I just read every morning as the coffee was brewing. And for me it started out with some scripture passages I’m, you know, fearfully and wonderfully made. You know, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me to do the things that crisis called me to do. So there is some mishmash of some scripture verses there. But then I would after reading some of those, I would also read through the mission, vision and core values. Now, at this time I didn’t have my business, I was leading organization. So I read the mission, vision and core values of that organization because I had set those, you know, it was it was a church we had planted and started. And so it was still the entrepreneur side of me living that out. But I had to read those every morning because I didn’t I wasn’t talking about them every morning. Now I talk about my mission, vision and core values every week. I talk about them every week with my team and our weekly leadership team meetings and one on ones, and even often with my 1 to 1 coaching clients, helping them set their mission, vision, core values and living that out. And so those things became second nature to me. It, it just became what I thought about and, and what I immediately went to believed in. And the last thing I would read on that, by the way, is we have seven family core values. And I read through our family core values and doing that day after day as the coffee was brewing first thing in the morning, laying that pathway down. I those thoughts became my new go to thoughts when when I came up to a hard time when I came into a struggle when suddenly a meeting was canceled, I didn’t sit there and think, oh, my gosh, I had this hour of free time. No, you know, I had a sense of urgency to accomplish big things. So I had time for family in the evening. And so I would immediately go to my plan and look and just take advantage and and work in to work on work on something that I had on what I would call my someday list. I still keep a some day list, the list of things I want to do someday and any time I suddenly have a magic free hour, I’ll go to my Sunday list and tackle one of those things. And so my mike, I had to do that. So that was something I did for a season. And like I said, I brought that up with one of my coaching clients this week and I wanted to share that that that with you for that. But back to my calendar. So my calendar starts at 6 a.m.. For for me, it’s, you know, personal Bible study, prayer, worship, personal reflection. While I do pray over my business and for my business and for my team. This isn’t a work thing, but it is. It has found a foundation foundational way for me to start my day at seven. I have breakfast and at 730 I start prospecting for an hour. Now, two weeks ago, I didn’t have prospecting on my calendar. We had a salesperson. And we in the last two weeks, we have kind of rearranged things. She was showing better skills in project management and not just better skills, but a greater desire for that. She really wanted to step into that. Sales wasn’t doing it for like she like she thought it was going to it just wasn’t her thing. Really thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t. And that’s totally okay. But she’s a fantastic project manager and I hate managing projects, so I take some of the project management off my my plate and have given it all to her. And really, we have starting to do some project management that we weren’t doing because I hated doing it. And so we’ve let her that and I’ve stepped back into the sales role. Well, with that I had to rearrange my calendar and now I have that golden hour of prospecting. I’m not doing meetings. I’m literally using that hour every day, 5 hours a week. I work 5 hours a week to set meetings. Like, that’s what I need to do. I need to set meetings for initial discussions, and then those initial discussions turn into our sales meetings. And so that’s what what I’m doing now up to this point, I have looked at email and looked at social media. I’ve just been getting myself centered for the day, having a good, nutritious, healthy breakfast, low enough with some protein, and then going into an hour of prospecting. Then that brings me up to 830, and there I jump into my morning routine, which I’m going to talk about here at point number three. But this is point number one, my calendar. So those that is my my morning. What is that from, you know, 6 to 9, my first 3 hours. That gives me through my first 3 hours of the day. And then from there, I’ve got standing meetings with my clients. I’m standing one on ones with coaching clients and different standing project time blocks. And then three days a week, my family and I, the six of us, we go to a gym to work out together. So I’ve got those three blocks of time on there for family time, and then I work up to 5 p.m. and a 5 p.m.. I’m I’m done now. Again, that hasn’t happened every day. Today it is as I’m recording this. 541 Menno So I miss my 5:00 then. All right, that’s that’s fine. That, that happens. I don’t I, I like working. And so I’m doing this because I like working, but as soon as I’m done with it, I’ll call it a day and spend the rest of the evening with my family, and then I’ll be back at things tomorrow. So I love my calendar. It’s so important to me. I like having a block calendar that I can play around with. But I’m telling you right now, if you go to set up a block calendar, the first thing is you’ve got to put on. There are the big rock priorities sleep, health, family. If you’re a person of faith, you know your faith need, you know, that needs to be reflected on there. I’ve got time block off on mine to paint. I’m a painter and I love to to to paint. So I’ve got, you know, time on my calendar blocked off for that because I want to protect that and I want to to do that. So that’s my calendar. Next up, number two is an app called nods. Be nosy be I use nods be for oh my gosh. I don’t even know how many years I should have tried to look in the app and see if it said how long. But I’ve been a I’ve been an OSBI user for ten plus years. I’ve tried all the other to do list management I to do as then you know, I’ve tried using the native things built into Google and my my, you know, I’m a complete Mac ecosystem, you know, and I’ve got a mac, an iPad and iPhone, Apple Watch. So I’ve tried using all of that. We have a new project management software called Hive. I tried using that. I just always come back to A.B. It’s so simple. I absolutely love it. I’m not going to go into explaining how I use it here. That would be really tricky. And this audio version. If you would like to see a video of how I have Naseby set up because I use it a little bit different than how they have it set up. But I’m still on. I’m on the free plan. I’ve been on the free plan for probably 15 years. But if you would like to see how I use it and keep it so simple, then let me know. But not be is my to do list. It keeps me totally organized. One of my favorite features about it is as I’m process my email, I check email once a day. As I’m processing my email, I follow the the the GTD, getting things done system. It’s really kind of the one project management system that I’ve kept the most of. I don’t use all of it, but I, I use a lot of it. And when I go to process my email, I ask myself really quickly and it’s something even I have to ask myself anymore. It’s just it’s second nature. Now, as soon as I look at the email, you know, I am able to immediately decide, Can I just take care of this in 2 minutes? I do this in 2 minutes. I can. I just do it. If I can’t do it in 2 minutes, then I can I delegate this, you know, kind of is there someone I can delegate this to? If I can’t delegate it, then I then I ask myself, can delete it? Is it something I can just delete? If it can’t be delete it, then I defer it. And to defer it again, I, I use google. I just hit I have keyboard shortcuts turned on f for forward. I hit in for not has b that fills in the rest of my email address for nods b I hit tab twice that drops me on to the top of the message box period spacebar and I type in the task title. You know take care of this by variety, you know pay so-and-so on the 15th follow up with Peter on this project do I rename it because the subject lines don’t always make sense as an item on my to do list to do list I hit tab into it drops down to the end, I hit enter and it’s gone. I mean, I take my hands off the keyboard and then I immediately the next email is there and I decide, am I going to open it and do hit reply and do it in 2 minutes so I do it. If not, do I need to forward it to somebody, my team, you know, I can afford it to somebody and you know, just get rid of it. Do I need to delete it? You know, if so, I can just I just hit y and it’s gone. Or if it’s I need to defer it, I send it to Nas b. And that’s it. And I do that once a day in the morning during my morning routine. In fact, that’s number three on my list for the first one was my calendar. Second was not. Week three is my actual morning routine. Now my morning routine for me. Like I said, I don’t include breakfast and a workout. We don’t generally do workouts early in the morning. I don’t even include my prospecting. That’s how my morning routine. That’s just. That’s just my morning. My morning routine is actually a recurring task that opens A.B every day and I do that now at, you know, what is it on my calendar, 830 my time and I’m actually going to you can’t see this, but I’m actually going to go and open this mornings And so my morning routine very simply, the first thing I do is I check my calendar and I set alarms on my watch. Literally the only thing I wear where my Apple Watch for is to find my phone if I if I’ve lost it. But but really, the only thing I wear it for is alarms. I set an alarm 10 minutes before every single scheduled event on my calendar that day, because if not, I will totally forget and miss it. And so I actually have a whole series of alarms on my phone. I’m sorry. I’m I watch, you know, that that, you know. Eight 2859 2950 1020 1050 because almost all of my meetings are the 30 and 50 mark. And I just go down to those and, and I turn them on. Then after I make sure I have all my alarms set up, then I go to our task management system hive and I answer any questions that my team have. I want to make sure that I’m not a bottleneck. I’m not keeping them from getting anything done. So I go and check messages with my team and check in with my team, and then I have my email and it even says in here, in my task, you know, email, do delegate, delete, defer you. And it’s just a reminder like this is what I’m going to do. I’m not getting sucked into, you know, the email void. I’m just doing this. Then I go look at I keep a running list of tasks, assignments that I’ve handed off to my team just to see if there’s anything I need to check in on, you know, anything like that. So it’s anything we’ve talked about in a leadership team meeting, other one on ones. I’m just checking in. I’ve got a running list on that. I open that, look at it and then when I’m done with that, the last thing I do is I organize Nozomi for the day and then I mark my morning list is done. And so that’s that’s my morning routine. It’s very simple. It takes me about a half hour and I don’t check email again for the rest of the day. Now, I can do that now because I have a team. All right. I used to when I was a solopreneur. And if I was a solopreneur or now, I would still check my email more often. I, I would check my email three times a day, first thing in the morning, right after lunch and just before leaving for the day. And so those were what I had to do when I was a solopreneur. But now that I have a team, it’s not so crucial. We have other ways for people to submit support tickets and stuff like that. So I no longer have to keep up my my email for that kind of stuff. All right. Number four of how I keep myself organized and productive is my SEO journal. Now, this isn’t a journal I write in every day. I don’t sit down and you know, dear diary, today was a tough day. It’s not that my my SEO Journal is a series of questions that I answer on a recurring basis. Some questions I answer them daily. I do look at them, I, I, it’s kind of like I had it set up. So it kind of is like the dashboard I envision, like the dashboard of a car, you know, you can look and see your gauges, you know, are you, you know, low, medium, high. And I look at six primary areas, you know, how am I doing right now in my and with my relationship with God? How am I doing with my relationship with my wife? How am I doing as a parent? How am I doing as a leader with my team? How am I doing, you know, focused on our clients and how is our financial health like? These are the things I’m looking at. Oh, I’m sorry, there are seven. And what’s my physical health? How am I doing? My physical health, my eating well, my getting excited by standing up enough for my sitting with correct posture. Like these are things I look at every single day and I just look at them real quick. And then I have some questions that I value that I ask myself once a week, questions I ask myself. Once a month, once a quarter, once a year. And I have this all set up in a way that I come back to. And these are the things that really help me say focus. And then in there, I’ve got where I keep my my quarter, my focus for the quarter, you know, what am I really doing? And then I break that down from, okay, this is what my priority is going to be for the quarter. If that’s the case, if I want to end this quarter with with this goal in place, then I ask my self the question what what needs to happen for that to be true? And I write that down and then I say, well, what needs to happen for that to be true when I when he’s happy for that to be true. And I end up with this list and I then divide them out by the month. And and that’s what I use to set working priorities. Now, I know that was a lot. And again, you’re thinking, dude, I can’t envision that. I do get asked a lot about my CEO Journal. It’s something I started doing several years ago when I first was entrepreneur in the marketplace, when I left ministry, full time ministry, and started doing marketplace entrepreneurship full time. I started doing this. I was doing the same thing as a pastor, but I didn’t call my CEO journal, so now I call it a SEO journal. And I used to just it was really something I would do. It started just one day a month and I only had an hour. I was so busy building websites, selling websites, taking care of all of the accounting, setting, you know, client support request. You know, I was a solopreneur, I was doing everything and I couldn’t get my business to move forward. I was kind of stuck and I was in this like feast and famine and up and down, you know, and it was it was just, you know, it was it was well, it was no fun. I mean, it was brutal. I didn’t like it. And so I started setting aside an hour a month and going and working on my business. And then that hour after just a couple of months, very quickly, I prioritized it to a day and I would take a day and go set aside. And then it became a half a day a week, and then it became a day a week. And now I have time every day that I do this because it’s super, super important to do that. I wanted to be a CEO, so I had to start acting like one. Now I couldn’t I’d grow into it. I couldn’t go into it, all right. And I didn’t want to get hired to be somebody else’s CEO. I wanted to be the CEO of my own company. So to do that. So if you would like to know more, if you would like to have a copy of my CEO Journal questions, it’s not fancy. It’s not a bound book. It’s it’s not going like that. Then, you know, I’ll. I’ll get you set up with a copy of it. Just message me. You can do me on social media. You can send me an email. Just message me, CEO Journal. Or if you can text a U.S. a number, you can text the USA number 7579965567. Just text that CEO Journal and I’ll connect with you and get you set up on that. So that’s that. So those are the four things that I’m doing now. All of this, if you are a regular listen to the podcast. You know, I talk about leadership every time this right here is leadership. This these four things. This is self leadership. You can’t lead a team until you lead yourself. Well, nobody wants to follow a follower. Nobody wants to follow a hypocrite. Okay. So if if you are thinking that you can lead a team under the the philosophy, do as I say and not as I do. You’re going to have a bunch of losers working for you and you don’t want that, so you have to lead yourself. Well, I’ve said it once on this podcast. I’ve said it a hundred times as I had all the time. Your leadership skills is the capacity of your business and it starts with self leadership. You have to lead yourself well. That’s what these four things are. So today’s leadership tip of the week is, you know, nobody wants to follow a hypocrite. Lead yourself well to earn the right to lead others well. All right. Lead yourself well to earn the right to lead others well. And if you have any other questions specifically about having a remote business, a digital nomad type business, even if you don’t want to travel, you just want to have the ability to be location independent Then let me know your questions you can go to. On my website Danny podcast dot com. You’ll see right up there a number of you can text or call. Leave a message. In fact, it’s the same same number. You messaged me about CEO Journal 757996556, seven. And if you’ve made it up to this point of the podcast, I wanna say thanks. I want to ask you to do all the nice things. And that’s leave a rating and a review and subscribe wherever you’re listening. Spotify, Apple, you know, Amazon, you know, all the places the podcast is. Wherever you’re listening, you know, subscribe, do, do all the nice things in there, you know, subscribe, follow rate review and wherever you’re listening from. Share the podcast, you know, share it out. Let people know. And if this is helpful, you know, come back and listen to it again. Pick up some more nuggets from that. Oh, right, my friends. Well, that’s all I’ve got today. I look forward to reading your review and an upcoming podcast episode. Episode. Until next time, chase your big dreams. Lead with courage and safe travels.