Mental Health: 3 Mindfulness Tools & Technology In Sales
How To Use Technology In Sales To Enhance Mindfulness AND Work Less
Mental Health requires a lot of things. In this episode we talk through some mindfulness tools, how to use technology in sales, and how to reduce the amount of time you spend working on sales. That’s right, work less, be more productive, and spend more time doing what you want. If you’re a small business owner or a sales person who wants to work less hours and be more productive, this episode is for you. Technology in sales calls and tracking is helpful but too much technology in sales can easily be a detriment. It’s time we talk about mindfulness. Learning how to use technology in sales is the also difficult, and in this episode we talk about how to do all of this.
Technology in Sales and Tools for Mindfulness – To Support Sales People
How you use mindfulness and technology in sales is a little up to you, which is why most people struggle with it. Today we speak with Rob Krecak, with Humans First, who knows a thing or two about being mindful of our time. Keeping track of your time is one thing, but having mindfulness, tools and using technology to help manage all of those issues while in sales (or as a business owner), is not an easy task.
Our guest helps us learn more about possible tools you can use, how to think about time, managing other people’s expectations, and why Lane’s emails are constantly being ignored by Rob. Ok, that last part isn’t exactly true, but is part of the conversation on how to manage other people’s expectations related to your time.
If you’re a small business owner or a sales person who wants to work less hours and be more productive, this episode is for you.
More proof that this might be a good idea for your company: https://apple.news/ASLTivR0KQH-zfYpWdA3Cyg
A Little About Our Guest:
Rob is a thrill-seeker, self-professed nerd, question asker, voracious reader, competitor, keynote speaker, and business builder. When he first got his Wall Street job as a sell-side equity analyst out of college, he thought he’d made it. After buying everything he wanted on his wish list, he realized that he still wasn’t happy. He listened to his deep-down desire to help more people by leaving finance to eventually own three Anytime Fitness health clubs, four uBreakiFix cell phone repair stores, and a tech startup.
As someone vulnerable to technology’s addictive hold from a young age—video games and Facebook in particular—Rob is on a mission to help individuals and companies reduce stress and get back time to master their careers and lives. He founded Humans First to provide a one-of-a-kind consulting experience that analyzes people’s efficiency and energy by paying attention to their technology mindfulness. Rob thinks there is always something to be learned from everyone, and lets his curiosity guide conversations. In his spare time, he likes to do CrossFit, better himself through reading, travel, and spend time with his wife Niki.
NOTE: Some links may be affiliate links, which means we get paid a commission when you purchase, but it the cost remains the same for you.
Music: "Clydesdale Funk" by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.
All right, this episode, we have another guest. And this guest is going to be talking about efficiencies essentially, right? And technology and mindfulness about technology and how we stay focused in sales. So, Lane, what did you get out of this episode, so people know what they’re getting into this one.
I learned why you never respond to my emails, I learned how important the eyes are in communication and how technology is affecting that.
Yeah, and I learned a little bit about, everybody’s heard of time blocking, but he talked about a way of using it a little differently than I’ve used it. So, if you’re a salesperson who says, hey, I’m doing everything I can, and there’s no more time in my day, are a business owner who says, my days are packed, and I’m working, you know, 10-11 hours a day already, this episode might be for you. So, take a listen. We’d love to have your feedback.
Alright, welcome back, everybody to The Slow Pitch. And I see Lane over there. How are you doing Lane?
Fantastic. How are you Stay-Puff?
I’m doing well, Stay Puffed… Lane has been calling me Stay Puffed today. And I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s been maybe something I don’t know. But anyway, whatever it is, we have a guest today. Today, we have Rob Krecak. And he is with Humans First. And Rob, say hello. I just wanna make sure that we’re all good here.
Rob Krecak 01:13
Yeah, well, Lane. And Rob, thank you so much for having me really appreciate it. And really grateful for the opportunity to chat with you guys today.
Yeah, and we appreciate you stopping in. So, the reason you are here is you have a company or companies that humans first. And what you do is a little bit interesting. So why don’t we have you just kind of give us a quick 20 to 30 second “here’s what I do” in general. And then we’ll dive into some of the stuff that you and I maybe can chat about in depth?
Rob Krecak 01:38
Yeah, absolutely. So, I’m a consultant and technology, mindfulness expert. And our mission here at Humans First is to help humanity understand how technology impacts mental health, relationships and productivity at work. And one of the main things I do is I guide companies to efficiently transition from a five-day workweek to a four-day workweek with no loss of productivity or profitability. But I also want to help people use technology in a way that serves them well.
Yes, and I think that’s what fascinated me the most. Alright, so you’re telling me we can work instead of five days, I can work four days a week is that is that really truly possible?
Rob Krecak 02:13
It’s not only… let me just say a quick story about one of my clients, she took our initial client survey that I have my clients take, and she met with me for two hours. No, she was incredibly open minded. And she took every single suggestion that I had. And we checked the screen time on her phone a couple of weeks later, and she had saved over 40 hours of screen time per week. So, she literally saved a work week of time per week, not just a day. And so that’s how powerful this stuff can be. If you’re really open minded.
Alright, so let’s get into a little bit of the nuts and bolts here because we’re you know, we’re talking about salespeople, there’s a lot of technology that we try to use to make our jobs easier. And, you know, we think it’s he’s making our jobs easier, but what’s the reality and probably not. So, you know, let’s talk a little bit about how a salesperson or somebody that just owns a business, hey, I’m trying to make my stuff happen, I’m trying to sell, you know, walk me through some of the things that people would want to do at first to get into this process of really thinking about their time.
Rob Krecak 03:13
Yeah, so I mean, there’s so many things, but here’s this statistic I would give you. So, let’s pretend you’re having an amazing day at work, you’re just crushing it like everything’s going well, you’re getting a ton of stuff done, everything just seems to be falling into place. That’s a psychological state called flow. And here’s what the data shows us, when you’re in flow, you’re up to 500% more productive than when you’re not in flow, which means you can accomplish more in two hours, and you could in an entire day, if you weren’t in flow. The problem though, is that when you’re in flow, and you get interrupted you, it takes 26 minutes to get back into flow. And the average person though, is checking their email and slack once every six minutes and gets a smartphone notification once every 15 minutes. So, you’re doing the math, and obviously, the average person is never ever in flow, which means they’re never nearly as productive as they could be. Not to mention that when you’re in flow, not only are you way more productive, but the way you feel psychologically is so much better, you’re less stressed, you’re less anxious, you just feel better, too for lack of a better way of explaining it, you just feel amazing. And so, like you’re more productive, you feel amazing. And you do higher quality work, like that’s incredible.
And so just so I’m understanding to flow is you’re in the work zone, right? You’re in the zone, right? It’s kind of like I almost didn’t picture it like you know any pick any sports analogy, where you’ve got a Michael Jordan who’s just or whoever they can pick your star, who is just never missing and always on and they’re just like in the zone. That’s what you’re talking about by flow, right?
Rob Krecak 04:45
So, exactly. Actually, the concept of flow doesn’t just it’s not in for work. It is also very common in athletes, but it could also be any kind of performer right like a dancer or a somebody who gives a speech who’s a performer on stage like all those Any and all of those professions can get into flow and almost everyone else can as well in their profession.
And you’re talking about technology. So, you know, Lane’s got a little bit of experience in technology and technology world, let’s say. So, Lane what? How does that make you feel? Like, hey, you’re a technology guy. And what you do, does that make you feel uncomfortable?
To have less technology or more technology?
Well, I mean, like, you’d have somebody telling you listen, what do you think about like…
I sit at a computer all day, every day. And, you know, I’ve got Teams yelling at me, I’ve got it got Outlook yelling at me, I can recognize what you’re telling me telling me is flow. I’ve seen it with myself very few times. So, I kind of fascinated to hear how we can move towards eliminating some of those distractions so that we are more productive.
Yeah. And the other thing to know, too, just so you know, Rob is, is Lane and I, maybe six months ago, had a contest, who could stay off Facebook the longest, and we bet each other a beer, actually probably a beer tab.
Yeah, it was a beer tab.
Yeah. And so, we better bet. And it was like we lasted for a long, like neither one of us wanted to let the other win. I felt like I did not have wasted time that I used to have. Yes, I translated from let’s say Facebook to another platform sometimes. But I also found that when I did that, I also was conscious of it. I was like, okay, can’t go to this. So, I’m going to that now. I’m like, this is not the benefit that I’m looking for. Yeah. So, I would do it less often. I would instead you know, whether it be you know, if I was at home, I would be watching a movie or watch a show or something like that, where I’m trying to relax, right? But at work, it’s a little different. And it’s like now I’m not surfing Facebook, or some social media platform. I’m now actually working on what I’m supposed to be working on.
Rob Krecak 06:45
It…Yeah. So another statistic for you, the average person in America spends two hours and 14 minutes a day on social media across all platforms, and so is literally…
Rob Krecak 06:56
Every day average. And that’s average. So, you know,
Rob Krecak 07:00
…like, three, four or five hours, most likely, right? And so there’s literally a part time job, you know, to be on social media. And again, like, do I think that social media can be useful for certain things? Absolutely. It can connect you with people, it can help you with your business, but you don’t for the average person, you definitely don’t need to be on there two hours and 14 minutes a day. And so, like my challenge to listeners Is this what if you did this, what if you just simply cut your usage in half, I’m not even saying, you know, get rid of it, cut it in half. And then you spent that extra hour per day that you have doing things with the people that you love in person, like going to dinners or lunches or even giving someone a phone call that you haven’t talked to in a while. If you did that every day and spend an hour with the people or maybe your spouse, hey, have some quality time with your spouse on the couch, just chatting about your day, right? I guarantee you that if you spent that hour a day with the people you love, instead of spending it on social media, you would feel so much more connected and supported and loved, and so much more joy in your life. But people just don’t think about that. It’s so easy to just go home from work and scroll online or…or scroll because we’re tired or exhausted or we’re bored or whatever, a million different reasons. And that’s just not, you know, humans aren’t designed to do that. We’re not meant to stare at a screen. We’re meant to connect with the hearts and souls of other people in this world.
Yeah, there’s a lot of value in that, I think and just substituting what would be the screen time with real interaction with people and so on. I got to believe that pandemic though, kind of disrupted you a little bit because you with Zoom and everything else having that change? Did you see or hear about people having a struggle to get back into the people mode? Or?
Rob Krecak 08:39
Oh, 200%, right. Like,…I actually, one of the concerns that I have for society is just that, you know, we did the Zoom thing and the pandemic thing for so long and I totally understand why we did it. It was necessary, we needed to do it. I’m not saying we should have changed anything. It was just what it how it is right? But what I’m worried about is I talked to people now and they’re like, yeah, I just got so used to being on Zoom that I just kind of want to do a lot more things on Zoom. And it’s like, Well, again, what’s interesting to think about is a lot of times what technology you’re trading convenience for something else. So yes, technology makes our lives more convenient. Absolutely. It’s more convenient for me to go on someone’s Facebook page and comment on their post instead of calling them but is that really what’s best for me in the long term? Like if I if my if my best friend and I cease to talk on the phone or see each other in person and just correspond through Facebook? Is that really what’s best for our relationship? Probably not.
That’s true. That’s a valid that’s about and I think, you know, they think about what you’re describing in terms of Zoom and now we’re wanting to just do more of that…like to me in a sales process. meeting in person is so much more effective than meeting via Zoom for sales just because you can feel where they’re said it you can there’s a whole other interaction layer in there.
Rob Krecak 09:56
Well, another thing that’s interesting, you’ll have so much data for you because I love data. I’m such a nerd, right? So, the psychologist did a study about, and they asked people in different ways through different mediums, hey, could you do me some sort of favor, right? It didn’t doesn’t really matter what the favorite was. But what the data showed was that the more personal the way that the favor was asked, in other words, like, if I asked you a favor face-to-face, the likelihood that you would do the favor for me was like 80%. But the likelihood that you do a favor for me, if I asked via email was like 20, or 30%, or something way, way, way lower. And so, the point is, is, and again, like not, this is, you know, it depends on the situation and the person and the offer and everything. But in general, the more that you see someone face-to-face in person, if you’re a person in sales, and you ask them the same offer in the same way, it’s way more likely that you’re going to get the sale in person than if you did it over technology. Way more.
I you know, and I believe that too, because I have a friend of mine who was in the roofing industry, he would run into permit problems. And he used to call and get on the phone with somebody, and they try to figure it out. And then they’d always get a push back. And they would tell him, Well, you know, you gotta go fix this, and do this and do all these extra things. And he goes, and I started to figure out when I went in person, it was so much easier. They were like, well, what if we just did that, and they started problem solving for him. So, the in person thing, very much more valuable. And I think would from a sales standpoint, I find that to be very much the case, because you can have a very good meeting in person, but a good meeting and Zoom, but you’re not getting that same, that same walk away of wow, I think we really connected on either side.
Rob Krecak 11:36
Well, do you mind if I talk a little bit about the psychology behind what’s happening with Zoom? Yeah, cool.
Let’s do it.
Rob Krecak 11:41
So, what’s interesting is, and I’ve read entire books about sales and this, right, like the way humans transfer emotion from one to another is very interesting. So, the humans have the most, that we’re the only species that has very tight skin on our faces awesome, like chimps, right? And, and so what that serves as an evolutionary purpose is to communicate way more information with our faces than with any other body part, specifically, the area around the eyes here, right? Like we the most communicate the most information is communicated with this area. And when you’re on Zoom, even though yes, you can see someone’s face, what’s happening is the cues are not the same. For instance, unless I’m looking directly at my camera in here, I’m you can’t see my eye contact, and then I can’t see you, right. And so, it sounds, it sounds sort of weird. But like even that very small difference. And also timing differences mean that we don’t connect the same over zoom compared to in person. And because then we don’t connect the same, our brains don’t know how to interpret the signals exactly, because like, we’re not used to that. And so like, what I think might be anger might be, you know, sadness, or something else, maybe not that extreme. But the point is our limbic resonance, the way that we connect isn’t the same old resume, even though it’s a very good platform, compared to being in person. And that leads to all these kind of subconscious psychological impacts that we don’t even understand are happening, but they’re happening, you know, every time you Zoom.
Oh, that explains why if I go grab a beer with Lane, he seems pretty pleasant. But, when I’m on Zoom, he looks angry. Maybe I’m just misinterpreting. I don’t know.
Rob Krecak 13:26
What are your thoughts on all that stuff, Lane? I’m just curious what your you know, as a technology guy, what do you think about that? The Zoom stuff?
Yeah, I’m actually going to relate to what you were just talking about what the eye contact, all I’ve got a…he’s almost 20 months old. And I’ve what I’ve noticed, growing up with a baby and a toddler through the pandemic, is I feel like these kids are going to be much better at reading emotion, because they can only see our eyes, it amazes me if we’re out and about, we’re still wearing a mask from time to time, he will look at me and he’s looking at my eyes, and he knows I’m smiling. And he smiles. He can’t see my mouth, but he can see my eyes. So, it’s interesting. So, I think it’s really interesting. I’ve noticed that quite a bit. And to hear you say that, especially around our eyes, that we pick up a lot of that communication, and that that that really resonates. And I can see that that in that face-to-face interaction, you really do need that direct eye contact and have that clear visual.
Rob Krecak 14:20
Well, one thing that’s interesting that I think the listeners might find helpful is in my or some of my research, I actually have researched a lot about like Autism and other you know, conditions right. And it’s very difficult to prove this, right, because, you know, if this was proven an entire, you know, trillions of dollars in market cap value would be wiped off the face of these technology companies. But it’s theorized that heavy screen use, especially for kids under three can possibly be causing autism. But the other thing is let’s pretend that the kid is themselves isn’t even using screens whatsoever. But let’s say that the primary caregiver is right. So, what you said, you know, let’s pretend that it was 50 years ago, we didn’t have cell phones. Well, you know, you know, the kid would be taken care of like normal, and you just, you know, you’d look at the kid when you’re nursing it and taking care of it. But now think about this, if the caregiver, or the a lot of them are the person that spends a lot of time with the kid is using their cell phone a lot, let’s say they’re looking at their cell phone half the time and looking at the kid half the time, because the kid’s main way of communicating with you is through the eyes and he sees that your attention is diverted somewhere else half the time, they can see, they can sense that as a threat, right? Because they’re not feeling as connected to the caregiver. And that can have a whole bunch of implications for the child’s development that we don’t even get, we’re not like even thinking about these things are aware of them. And so even the caregiver using technology, not the kid directly, can impact the child’s development.
And that is, and I think Lane, it was interesting to you mentioning that, you know, if you during the pandemic, especially when you have a mask on, he could read your eyes as a smile or not. I remember when the pandemic started, we were in public, and we would be talking to people, and somebody have a mask on. And I had a hard time understanding where they were at emotionally somebody on the other side, because I had to learn how to read the eyes, I also noticed that I particularly would start to over exaggerate my eye movements, my facial expressions, more than I used to because I wanted to make sure people understood what I was trying to convey. And I never I’d never dawned on me until you just said that, that that was something that I think all of us adults who have been around for a while have to learn. And here you have a child who is getting used to somebody that had a mask on, who started to learn that and may be more in touch with that visual cue than maybe some other kids that were born 10 years ago, kind of a thing. Maybe true. Maybe not. I don’t know. But I also know that from now on whenever you’re nursing a beer, I’m not going to look you in the eyes, alright. So, Rob, when we talk about business owners and people in sales who are working, I mean, you’re running a business, you’re part of a business, what? That’s a lot of time, effort, work, everything else. I mean, I gotta tell you, when I first hear I’m going from five days to four days, and I’m hearing how you’re doing and I’m like, Yeah, okay, but I’m just gonna end up adding more stuff to do for me, and I’m just gonna take the extra time that I have and work on something else. Isn’t that what we’re gonna do?
Rob Krecak 17:22
Well, certainly you could right, like, if I if I somehow magically, like did something for you and gave you 20% better productivity, you could for sure just work more, right? I mean, yeah, but what I think is happening. And again, this is why I’m a big fan of reducing the total number of hours worked and just working less is, and I can kind of, I can kind of tell you psychologically, what is happening, that I ended that I think would help illustrate why I’m a big fan of reducing the number of days work. So, every, not every single time, but most times that you interact with technology, whether it’s checking your email, a notification on your phone, something else, you know, some kind of thing like that. It activates your sympathetic nervous system. And this is the fight or flight system that keeps you alive. So, 50,000 years ago, if a saber toothed tiger attacked you and your family, your sympathetic nervous system amps you up, because you either need to fight that saber toothed tiger or run away. And so that can be good in very limited durations and in very limited instances. But what happens is, when we interact with technology all the time again, for instance, once every six minutes, we check our email and Slack, we’re activating that sympathetic nervous system all the time. The huge problem with this, though, is that the sympathetic nervous system takes at least 30 minutes or more to fully down regulate. And so what happens is, throughout the day, the average person is checking their technology, so so much, it’s amping up our nervous system, and it never gets a chance to recover or down regulate. What that does is that increases the stress hormones that we have cortisol, adrenaline and a bunch of other ones. And you know, in a one day is that going to kill you? No, but over 10 years, if you’re doing that to yourself, This is why I know somebody one person that a friend of mine, he’s had three employees in the last month, go to the emergency room for stress related problems, three, and he doesn’t have like thousand person company, it’s a small company, people don’t realize that these things that they are doing throughout the day, in terms of checking their email all the time, and constantly switching back and forth between all these tasks. Not only are you it’s super unproductive, and you’re not accomplishing nearly as much as you could, but it actually is the stress like it’s the root cause for I think, for many people of their extreme anxiety and stress and burnout. And it sounds very counterintuitive but if you can actually single task, focus and do one thing at a time, do a very high quality job, not only do you accomplish more, you’re way less stressed and you just have a much better day and I know that that seems like a leap of faith for people but I started doing that for myself and the amount of things that I was able to accomplish was exponentially more, it was magnitudes more.
How do you do that? I mean, it’s great in theory, like, how do I focus on one thing? You know, running a bit if I’m a business owner? Yeah. How do I do that? Because it’s like, all of a sudden, I’ve got an employee comes into, oh, I need this now. And okay. And I’m going to deal with a timecard punch, right? Yeah. And then I’ve got a client calling me and say, I want to add this to my project. And then I’ve got like, how do you? How do you do that?
Rob Krecak 20:28
Yeah, so I mean, that like, this is kind of, you know, like, the answer to that question is sort of all the things that my company does right for you to help other companies. But I can give you a couple of things that I have found very helpful. And, you know, anybody can implement it’s, it’s not hard. I mean, again, this woman, one client of mine implemented all of them in two hours, and she saved 40 hours of time. So you know, you can do it, it’s just that you have to have faith in the process or trust the process. But by the way, Harvard Business Review did a study of 100 different productivity hacks, that it was a survey of over 1,000 people, this productivity hack was the number one thing that people found most helpful or successful. So you know, even if you don’t believe me, I feel like this has some pretty good data behind it. Time blocking your calendar is essentially allocating parts of time in your calendar for specific things. But when I say that, it’s not like a meeting between you and I, it’s a time where I am dedicating that to do the most important thing for my day, and I specifically block it off. And the most important thing, though, is that you structure the rest of your technology use during that time, so that you’re not distracted. So here’s what I do, for instance, during that, and by the way, the way that I’ve accomplished this for myself is this every day from 8am to 11am repeating forever, on my calendar, I have a block of time that says GSD, which stands for Get Shit Done. So that’s my focus. So during GSD time, here’s what I don’t do, I don’t check my email, I my phone is on automatically actually, and do not disturb. So I don’t check my phone, I don’t schedule calls, I don’t schedule appointments, I do everything humanly possible to protect that time. So that the and then what I do, I know that you can see this on the you can see those who are listening, but I put the most important thing that day on a post it note, I write it on a physical post it note and I put it in front of me and then I work on that thing from 8 AM until 11 AM until it’s complete, you know, and I put on some good techno music, like, listen to high, you know, high energy music. And like, you would not believe if you really did that, how much more you could accomplish. It is insane.
And I think that fits with what I’ve heard out there. A lot of people have said, time blocking is a big deal. One thing just from my perspective, what I would recommend too, is when I ran a large retail operation at one point, one of the stores I ran was of $60 million business. And it was there was like five to six hundred people there at any given time at any given time…but over the course of the day, you would end up with having time where you would think you would be productive. But then lo and behold, you know, Joe from this department walks in, I have a problem with this. And then and it’s something I shouldn’t even be dealing with, let’s say right, even though it is you know, it is what it is. But I also have to be available, right. And so those problems came up from a personnel problem, right? That that I have to deal with. Using the time block, what I would do is I would post every Tuesday at 10am, for two hours, I would be in my office, you need me, I’m there come talk to me. I also did on Friday, we at that particular location or business, they made us work like eight o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night. It was like, get ready for the weekend kind of an attitude. Well, that was nice and it actually made Saturday’s a lot easier to do because the crew in the evening would be a little more productive because you were there… I could find better ways to use my time though. So what I would do is on Friday evenings, at eight o’clock at night, I was in my office and I said I’ll be there at eight o’clock at night for the last hour. You come talk to me if you have a problem. And then I would do the same thing every once in a while for the overnight crew, I’d come in early or whatever. And that solved that problem. I would do that. So the first three weeks, three, four weeks, maybe at the most people would show up. And at one point I had, you know, one on my chair and one outside in the hallway waiting and then you know it was kind of rotate through. But after about a month of that no more.
Rob Krecak 24:19
That’s fantastic Rob that you know, I call that concept office hours, right, like I hold office hours at certain whatever certain time and days and times per week and I absolutely think that’s a really helpful practice. The other thing that I that I find though is that when people say well like what about you know what if there’s an emergency and you know, you kind of alluded to this most quote emergencies they just take care of themselves when people realize that they just have to do their freakin job and you know now you know like you have limited availability.
I’m going to stop this conversation right now. If you’re finding value in any one of our episodes, we want you to share it with somebody else. Just tell somebody hey, go listen to these guys. This has been good One second, give us a review. Tell us what you think. And the third thing, hit that subscribe button so that you always get updated. Every time we release an episode.
We’d really appreciate it. Now back to the show. We talked about four day workweeks. This isn’t for 10 hour days, this is for eight hour days.
Rob Krecak 25:19
I, you know, I understood, that’s where we’re headed. But I think that’s important to point out to people is, I’ve worked, you know, 40 weeks in the past, but those were, you know, 14 hour days. And so you’re still putting 40 hours in, but you have to, to actually save yourself that value of a day is that’s pretty big.
Rob Krecak 25:36
Yeah, absolutely. That’s when I save a four day workweek, that’s also maintaining the same pay, right? I’m not suggesting we cut pay for people, it’s you work for eight hour days, you get the same amount of vacation, you get the same amount of pay, you just have to work smarter, not harder. Oh, by the way, I realized I didn’t connect something for you earlier, because we were talking about stress and cortisol, and you know how your nervous system gets amped up. The reason that I suggest that we have a four-day work week instead of five instead of just working more is because that three day break, that gives our body a much better ability to fully recover, to fully down regulate our nervous system to relax more. It affects our mindfulness. What’s interesting is I read an entire book about this phenomenon, and this happening to police officers. And so police officers will typically work you know, maybe like they’ll work a full day or, you know, a 12-hour day like three days in a row, and then have four days off. And so that exactly the exact same thing that I described earlier about nervous systems getting amped up, it happens to police officers who are walking, or working the neighborhood and walking a beat every week. And what happens to them is it takes them 24 to 36 hours to fully recover, because they’re so amped up from their job. And so if you take you know, we’re basically taking what we learned from police officers, and then applying it to the white collar world and again, I’m not saying the nature of the work is exactly the same, but what happens to your body. For a lot of people, it’s similar, and we really just need time to be away from our jobs to let our body and mind recover.
And would you say that people think they’re better to deal with it than they really are. In other words, they think they can deal with it and handle it?
Rob Krecak 27:20
Oh, I mean, what here’s what happens. So I worked a I worked at Wall Street job out of college, it was a 60- very demanding 60-hour a week job. I was a sell side equity analyst, I researched medical device and pharmaceutical companies, really great company, I love the company. But the culture in that company is just that you work long hours, you’re literally like looking at your email constantly, like you never close your email window at all the inbox and never close it. And what I and again, like I wish I you know, I wish I had known everything I knew now back then. But what I didn’t realize is I started losing my hair. And this was when I was like 24 years old, because I was so stressed out, but I had no idea or perception that I was stressed out whatsoever. But it was happening. And I was you know, it’s such a long day, such long days. And I did that for five years. You know, that stressed me out and cause me to lose my hair.
Yeah, trust me, I know the feeling I’ve been there. I used to work 80 hours. That’s why I have no hair left. No, I get I get the… the requirements to work long hours. But if you can get the same amount of work done in a shorter amount of time. Who was it I was talking to there was somebody I was talking to who said they found somebody… They wanted to fire somebody… And they were wanting to fire somebody because they were constantly doing stuff outside of like, not doing their work stuff visually, it looked like they weren’t doing the work. And it was bad for the whole group, if you will, that that department and the leader, that department said I have to get rid of this person because it’s making our department look like we’re just messing around. But the reality was, when we talked about it a little bit, we found out that person was getting all the work done. It just had extra time. It just didn’t know what to do.
Rob Krecak 29:03
They were just so good at their job and made everyone else look bad. And they didn’t want us… they didn’t want to admit that they couldn’t work as well as that person. That’s what was really there to me.
Exactly. And, and somebody said, well, why would you fire that person they’re doing they’re actually way more effective. Why would you have them teach everyone? Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so that’s what they instead of firing this, this person, they actually retained her actually fired somebody else because they were the one that wasn’t getting their job done. And they needed more time. And it actually was like it’s an efficiency thing for the one person. Why would you take all these extra steps to get this stuff done versus and when you think about it from a business owner standpoint, you that’s who you should be rewarding, really, right. They’re the ones doing the stuff in the most efficient time. If they get to all the stuff done and they got a little extra time, honestly, they get all this stuff done…and then some and they have extra time and they they’re going to stay happy because they’re doing things that are extra fun for them solving crosswords or whatever it is that they were doing, hey, 10 minutes here 10 minutes there, yeah, it’s gonna cost you but you’re also way more productive if you gave her an extra thing. She’d get it done like it, give her more work, she’s she’ll figure it out, and at the same time, give her the time off that she deserves because of it. I think that this totally seems like a no brainer.
Rob Krecak 30:17
Well, and you know, a lot of people still ask me like, I still, you know, we talked a little about flow in earlier and all that stuff. And they’re like, well, what have you know, what if I can’t get into flow or whatever? I’m like, uh, yeah, fine. That’s, I get that. But let’s like, again, let’s go through some numbers, right? Because I’m still like, people are still skeptical. Like, I don’t believe that you can get 5 days worth of work done in four days. And but like, here’s how the numbers play out, right? So the average white collar worker today sends and receives 126 emails. And so if you’re taking two minutes per email, that’s almost exactly four hours of your day, literally half your day. And that’s just email that actually doesn’t include Slack. That doesn’t include meetings, that doesn’t include anything else, like the other activities related to doing your job. And so, you know, like, let’s say you have four hours of email and two hours of meetings per day, that only leaves you two hours left to actually do the activities for your job to do. Yeah. And so like, how on Earth is the average person supposed to get their job done in two hours? Well, that’s crazy. And so if you think about it, then if you can just let’s say cut email volume in half again, I’m not saying like reduce it by 90%. If you cut it in half. That’s over one work day per week, right there.
Yeah. One… One little tip I use Wednesday, Wednesday is unsubscribe Wednesday.
Rob Krecak 31:27
I look at my emails, what do I have that comes in? I don’t I shouldn’t be getting and it’s not like, here’s the thing, it’s one of those… There’s a fine line. I know the business owner, they’re sending this information out. I don’t want to be the one that’s going, “I unsubscribed1!” but I can sort it into a folder and then look at when I want to look at it. But they don’t think I unsubscribed.
Rob Krecak 31:46
Well, yeah, let me give you a little hack for that actually automates that. So one thing that I do is, at least in Gmail, I will, instead of sorting, and manually, I’ll create a filter. And I put it into a folder that says zero urgency. And then once a week, I go to the zero urgency folder. So then those emails don’t even have to hit my inbox. And I’m not overwhelmed by them. But they’re still there. And I can access them and search for them. And I can read them. And so that kind of bypasses your inbox while still, you know, maintains the relationship. And then you get to choose when you go and see those emails, not they don’t get to choose because they’re in your inbox all the time.
Yeah. And that’s, that’s a good use of time. And it’s a good use of technology. That right to me. Yeah. So you’re using the technology to do what you need to do to make your life a little more rich and better all the way around.
Rob Krecak 32:33
That’s exactly how I define technology, mindfulness Rob, if you use technology in a way that serves you instead of you being enslaved to it.
That’s perfect. Lane, any other questions?
Now I know exactly where I’m at best just to go and why I never hear from you anymore.
Yeah, I don’t even know who Lane is. All right. Rob, you know, you’ve got some really cool stuff. I went to your website, I’ve looked at some of the stuff that you do, and, and just talking to you the first time I spoke with you and now today speaking again, to me, there is so much value in what you’re describing and trying to get people to do.
Rob Krecak 33:12
That’s why I wanted you to come on to this is one of those things that small business owners need. They need to hear this. They all think I’m too busy for this. I’m too busy for that, that you’re not, if you’re out there listening, and you’re thinking, hey, I’m a business owner, you don’t get it. Trust me, I get it. I’m a business owner, too. I have I have employees, I have problems just like you do. I have fires that show up out of nowhere, it gets done. And I know you know what Rob said earlier, too is you have an emergency. Guess what happens? If you weren’t there? What would happen? If your team can’t figure that out on their own, then you know what you need to do find a fire to give to them. If there’s a fire, take care of it, guys. See what they can do? Make it a learning experience. Teach them so that next time when the fire shows up there on it. Not too long ago, my wife and I had to take a vacation out of the country. Do you know how nervous and nerve wracking that is to leave your crew to do what they need to do and you’re not even available at the same time zone. And they nailed it. We had a Zoom call once during the week, because we had to with a client it was a big client that we just started with and just before we went on vacation, and we said let’s do this real quick. So we did the Zoom, but our one of our key employees, she ran the meeting. We were there. But she ran the meeting and she nailed it. We inter spliced a couple of questions, but then she took care of it, then we’d have to worry about it again. And that’s, that’s to me. What you have to do as a business owner for those of you that think you’re so busy, you can’t do it. You can. You can
Rob Krecak 34:40
Yea, Rob. That’s really interesting you say that. I used to own three Anytime Fitness health clubs and for ubreakifix cell phone repair stores. And a quick story, my wife and I met each other, I was living in Milwaukee at the time she was living in Denver, and we met like things went super well. And so when I was you know I’m probably gonna have to move out to Denver. And I also just happen to want to sell my four cell phone repair stores at the time. So, I entered into an agreement to sell them, I got this nonrefundable deposit, which was substantial, like, oh, amazing. So, I was waiting and waiting, this transaction didn’t close. But my wife and I were kind of like we had signed an apartment lease here in Denver. So, I moved to Denver, thinking that the transaction is going to close and everything will go fine. Well, a couple weeks later, it completely fell apart. And so, I ran for retail stores from 1,000 miles away for a year and a half, because I had out of necessity. And so exactly what you’re saying like it is totally possible if you think outside the box to do these things. And I guess the thing that I hope that I can emphasize to listeners is that all the techniques that I’m saying they’re almost all guided by technology, they’re enabled by technology. And so, you actually don’t really have to rely very much or at all on willpower, you can use technology, like you were saying earlier in a way that is helpful to you kind of like bumpers on a bowling alley. They provide some guidance. But you know, you still have to do some things, right, but like they provide enough guidance where it allows you to work and do your job and to communicate in ways that are helpful for you, but it still just provides a little bit of structure for you and the way you use things. And that, to me is why this is so powerful, because there’s almost no willpower needed once you get the setup right.
Totally. And you know, the bumpers on a bowling alley is a good analogy. I mean, I also think that’s how Lane scored his highest score…That’s neither here nor there. But yeah, no, you’re right, is it the guidance is what you need, because and I think when you’re working in technology, or you’re working with social media and other things, just having something that says, oops, you’re not supposed to be here, you’re supposed to be there. I mean, there’s all kinds of technology out there, there’s Pomodoro timers, there’s, there’s automations in your phones that you can turn things off, so you don’t get disturbed. All those bumpers are there. They’re all there. Just you have to set them up. And if you don’t set them up, you’re not using them. Right? Alright, so to wrap this up, how would people you know, if somebody wanted to contact you get a hold of you? What’s the website they can get a hold of you’re looking up on?
Rob Krecak 37:16
Yeah, absolutely. So, you can find out more information about technology, mindfulness, and the four day workweek on my website is HumansFirst.us. And then one other thing that I just wanted to offer listeners to The Slow Pitch Podcast is a free 30-minute technology, mindfulness consultation with me. So, all you need to do to redeem that is just email me and mention this podcast and I’m happy to set up a call with you. My email address is Rob@HumansFirst.us. Just email me there and we’ll set something up so I can help you with your technology, mindfulness.
That is perfect. If you are listening, and you are not sure that you believe any of this stuff, trust me, it does work. There’s plenty of techniques and technology pieces that you can set up. And you may think you have all the best stuff, take advantage of this, this is a great opportunity for you to have somebody that knows what they’re doing, knows what they’re talking about, and can get you a good analysis of what you what you still have in front of you that you could still improve even more. So, Lane, do you have any other comments?
Yeah, I was gonna say one last question. So, if we’re able to bring this to a four-day workweek, how to get us to three days?
Rob Krecak 38:22
You know, I honestly, I totally think that’s possible. If people are focused on outcomes and not on time, if they’re focused on productivity, and not on trading dollars for time that that is 100% possible.
Rob, I really appreciate your time and chatting us through this and getting us an understanding of what you do, but also like helping business owners and salespeople who are like, I don’t think I can do any more than I can or that I’m doing already. There are opportunities there and hopefully they will reach out to you. But we really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
Rob Krecak 38:53
Yeah, thank you guys really appreciate the opportunity. I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to speak with you both Lane and Rob.
Our pleasure. Until next time, everybody Slow Down and Close More.
Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW. That (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Questions@TheSlowPitch.com Slow Down and Close More.
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