The Ultimate Productivity Hack: The Backpack Technique

Are you ready to learn the most potent productivity hack i’ve ever used?

Let’s do it and get you smashing it.

It’s a cold Monday morning here at Freedom Studios Melbourne where i’m super pumped to show you my all time favourite technique:

THE BACKPACK TECHNIQUE.

I’ve personally used this for the last five years to launch most of my major projects as it completely eliminates the laziness and self deception that happens when you run your own life (meaning, you don’t have a job or a boss to hold you accountable to get stuff done).

I’ll be using this proven technique to smash all the tasks that I currently have on my plate right now:

  • Interviewing and hiring a new administration assistant for the Freedom Studios
  • Weekly blog post writing and filming for you
  • Weekly production of content for our Secret Society Mastermind program (currently teaching information and physical product freedom businesses)
  • Prepare to take new applicants like you into the program in July
  • The successful launch of a new physical product business we’ve been building: Presence Stone

There’s things in this list I enjoy doing, sure.

But there’s also things I don’t.

So for me, the basic key is to be able to get yourself to do the things that need to be done so that you and your business ends up achieving the things that you want.

The truth is: whether it comes to a new gym program or building a business or anything that has a specific goal – the process is the same…

1. Have a solid plan from a proven expert
2. Execute the plan (do the steps) – NO MATTER WHAT

Now step one (the plan) is critical but it’s also where people spend most of their time: tinkering around with a plan and not actually executing anything to really get momentum and results.

How many times have you said to yourself “Ok this is it!” you’re FINALLY starting a new goal, be it build a business, or start a new gym program or whatever it is…

…and then FALLEN OFF?

This is because, as Tony Schwartz (productivity expert and author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working) says:

Human beings have an infinite capacity for self deception”

And if there was an award for self-deception I think I would win it every time.

I’m honestly naturally quite lazy and prone to talking myself out of things.

For me, there’s just so many excuses for not rolling up the sleeves, diving in and actually doing what needs to be done.

Sample Excuse List:
– I’m too tired
– Now isn’t the right time
– Maybe the plan sucks
– Nobody is going to buy it anyway

One of the biggest lessons I learned this year from one unexpected source was:

“Sometimes the things you need to do aren’t glamorous, they aren’t exciting, they aren’t passion filled flowers of blissfully fun delight – they are simply things that need to get done.”

The unexpected source I learned this from was a guy I met this year who is all about “Passion” and “Living your dream”.

He told me that “If you’re not excited or motivated to do your work every day then you should find different work.”

Sounds great right?

Wrong.

I’ve done some business with this “passion man” and he has failed, multiple times to deliver on a simple item that he said he would.

This basic ability: to execute and do what you say you are going to do – is VASTLY more important than passion.

It means that you develop the core ability to MAKE THINGS ACTUALLY HAPPEN instead of being a “head in the clouds talker guy” of whom I’ve come to loathe.

Think of how confident you would be in your day to day life if you knew that once you set a goal, you trusted yourself enough to execute the tasks necessary to see that goal come to life.

It’s what the famous General George S Patton calls a mans DUTY.

In this quote from him i’m going to exchange the word BATTLE for the words TASK EXECUTION. I don’t think George will mind.

[Task Execution] is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in [Task Execution]. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.
– George S. Patton

Fall in love with the PROCESS not the PASSION

The solution is to fall in love with the PROCESS not the PASSION.

The process of setting targets, and executing the tasks necessary to hit them.

That’s where i’ve personally found the love.

Whether it’s getting myself to the squat rack or getting myself in front of the computer to bang out this blog post – I don’t necessarily love doing those things – but I love the process of seeing myself GET THE THINGS DONE.

The two examples you see in the above video are a personal goal (the going to the gym) and the business goal of launching my very first Secret Society Mastermind training program.

Here at Freedom Studios we have over 500 clients all over the world who are building their own Freedom Businesses through our training program called “The Secret Society Mastermind” (SSM for short).

However we wouldn’t have this amazing community if I didn’t do the tasks leading up to this lofty goal of having hundreds of successful members.

See around six years ago I had my own Freedom Businesses and was travelling around the world running them happily from my laptop.

Friends and associates naturally got excited and started to ask me to train them on how they could do the same, plus i’d built a small little email list and following.

So an early mentor suggested I launch a training program.

The list of things to do to launch the first SSM program was crazy.

So many tasks.

So much stuff i’d never done before.

It was there I learned the “Throw the backpack over the fence” technique that I now use every day to get stuff done even if I don’t feel like it.

Using The Backpack Technique For Ultimate Task Execution Glory

In order to have a successful launch of my first businesses and also the first SSM program I needed to push myself outside my comfort zone and do tasks that I didn’t feel like doing.

The “backpack over the fence” analogy is drawn from when you were a little kid and you had a huge fence to climb.

You throw your backpack over the fence first, because we all know it’s tough to climb with the backpack on…

And then you can’t bitch out and not climb the fence because your backpack is over there and your mother would be pissed off if you came back home without it.

The result: you get your ass over that damn fence even if it’s hard and it hurts!

So in this case the throwing of the backpack was a simple email to my small list of email subscribers saying “Hey, we are doing a Freedom Business training in 2 weeks… who wants in?”.

Then because i’d thrown the backpack and told everyone…

I had to step up and do it or ruin my relationship with them and look like an “all talk no action” guy.

It worked.

We had our first program and now we have refined it over the years to proudly be the number one entrepreneur training program in the world.

SSM member Aladin threw the backpack over

The Three Step Backpack Technique:

1. Setup your task list in advance, when you’re in a clear objective headspace. I like Sunday nights.

2. Throw the backpack over the fence: Email your task list to an “accountability buddy” or even better, your audience or staff: subscribers, twitter followers etc

3. Have high pain stakes: e.g. $200 if tasks aren’t completed or destroying relationships if you don’t follow through

So for example when I was doing the first launch of my training course… I had to do a series of videos.

I sent an email to my list saying “Hey the first two videos will be out in 3 days!” then I emailed my accountability partner Dustin and said “Hey man I need to get 2 videos done by 10pm tomorrow or else I send you $200”.

The pain of not delivering on my promise and losing $200 far outweighed any tiredness, excuses or pain I had to go through to produce those videos.

The backpack was over the fence.

I grit my teeth and smashed through the work.

And my goals showed up in real life.

So never EVER forget: As Sun Tzu said… Know thyself.

You have an uncanny and unlimited ability to deceive yourself into thinking that everything is ok and that you don’t need to do the work now.

Time is ticking.

What if you could take that new business you are launching and do it in 3 weeks instead of 6 months?

Let me know in the comments below: What’s the one goal that YOU need to throw the backpack over the fence for?

And what’s your experiences with passion vs execution?

Looking forward to discussing with you below.
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29 Comments

  1. MeAndVR

    Reply

    Nice post.

    I have bought a Gear VR plus a Note 4 and registered the domain MeAndVr.Com.

    Originally I wanted to take part in the Oculus Mobile VR Jam, but the Note 4 was delivered too late (this weekend I will hold it in my hands) and compile errors have prevented me from meeting the screenshot milestone deadline without it.

    In a way I threw stuff over the fence. Now I need to figure out how to make the investment pay … and make excuses hurt even more / enough (throw the actual backpack).

    I just fear it is too early for VR successes. The plan was generating pre-crowdfunding interest and measuring survey replies the Lean Startup way and testing assumptions.

    So far I have not managed to lure a single person from Twitter to my Blog.
    There is a VR developer rush right now and many voices compete for attention.
    That messes up the process I wanted to fall in love with and execute.

    I guess I need a commitment that forces me to find an angle for better marketing (find that one area that I can be first in) or come up with a better product idea.
    Maybe I need to find a way to market / sell to developers. I did consider writing a development blog for a project so that I am forced to finish it, but it is pointless without a single follower.

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Good to see you took the first step,

      Now you’ve just got to commit, make the stakes high and make it happen.

      T

  2. Jaime

    Reply

    The 3 day FB bootcamp sounds awesome, looking forward to it.
    I am going to be totally honest, I knew Freedom Studios were capable of making the best entrepreneur training program, but now I am sure that SSM V is going to be THE one.
    2 months to go, already feeling the hype of glory.
    My goal now is to finish a 60 days perfection challenge that I am going to start in May with a series of tasks such as:
    –>0 alcohol
    –>1 hour of reading every day
    –>Exercise every day
    –>Strict Diet
    –>Minimum 4 hours of work/studying every day.
    To make this happen, I will have to “trick” myself into making executing a passion, celebrating the small victories along the way without leaving the path.
    Great.
    One quote to finish:
    “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action”
    Herbert Spencer

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Cheers Jamie,

      SSM has definitely evolved over the years into what is the number 1 entrepreneurial training course…

      I know you’re gong to smash your challenge, can’t wait to see you in SSM5.

      T

  3. Magnus Jakobsson

    Reply

    Great video Tim

    Defenitely important to having someone busting your balls and making sure you perform up to your potential as its so easy being your own boss and thinking you might as well do it tomorrow
    That might have been the only good thing about a DJOD, as you had to show up and do the work no matter how you felt. Here you kind of have to create that situation yourself and the ways you mention are truly great ways of doing it

    For me personally I have been working pretty hard most of the time, but it could defenitely improve alot just by putting that pressure on and having something bad to fear will happen if you dont do it

    Three things im changing:
    Wake up at the latest 8, Monday-Friday (Instead of setting the alarm 8, snoozing if it so happens and then go up an hour later or something just because i dont have a strong enough reason to go up earlier)
    Starting the day with the follow-up calls, 50/day~ 3 hours, or 250 a week as that is the most important task to bring in the cash (instead of just doing follow-up calls when i wake up and then get to a random number, or stop if i dont feel like it anymore)
    Getting an accountability partner here in Budapest to bust my balls and make me do shit i dont want if i fuck up

    Keep up the awesome content Tim,
    Magnus

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Glad it resonated with you Magnus.

      Get that accountability partner and make sure they don’t go easy on you.

      T

  4. Kevin

    Reply

    So in other words, discipline >Motivation/passion. I like it.

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Cheers Kevin

  5. Bart

    Reply

    I wanted to learn Spanish for a very long time, what did I do?
    I moved in with Chilean people who barely speak English 😛
    Now I want to start an online business, I took the shittiest job in the world but it allows me to listen to audiobooks ( how to build a business ) all the time 🙂
    So if I don’t end up doing what I need to do, I digress or feel uncomfortable.

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Nice Bart,

      That’s throwing the backpack over.

      Make sure you’ve checked out my last blog post – http://freedombusinessblog.com/7books/

      Might have some one’s you haven’t been through yet 😉

      T

  6. Filip

    Reply

    Hi Tim,

    GREAT content, as usual. Your 19 ways of eliminating BS is LEGENDARY.
    I read it at least 10 times (and continue to read it). I can see you have put in the hours of work to be better at writing and you definitely have talent for it.
    Specifically, I like that you don’t write high volume, but that WHAT you write is very, very on point and you write about stuff that matters. You write about the important stuff. (Which is very rare BTW, so thank you! ) You’re writing is really high level man, better than you believe I think!

    My challenge now is finishing my thesis for school! I don’t like it at ALL.
    But I CHOSE to write my thesis so I need to shut up and do it.
    I have already arranged a meeting with a friend to become accountability partners, hopefully this will help me because I HATE doing things I don’t like and this affects my work ethic pretty hard.

    If you had to give ONE reason to finish university as fast as possible and go ALL OUT on this work, what would it be?

    You rock dude!

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Hey Filip,

      Thanks mate glad you like the content. Finishing university will at least let you know that you can actually finish something and see it through to completion. This will give you the confidence to smash any other challenge you may face. Get it done!

      T

  7. Bence

    Reply

    Hey Tim,

    I have followed you since you had long blond hair and became bold. 🙂

    So you have changed a lot. Your appearance, language and vibe. As I now percieve you, you became more serious.

    I do not now about it is just for the marketing, or what. For me it shows less fun. My question is: do you live passionately and do activities just for the love besides executing the tasks for the result?
    Is it still accurate that your pure soul day activity schedule is around 80%? Is it possible?
    Or you fell in love with the 2dos (seeing yourself executing)?

    And how do you find the balance?

    My last question is that I have seen testimonials from people in Hungary. Can I contact them some way?

    Thanks for your answer in forward. 🙂
    Bence

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Hey Bence,

      I really appreciate the comment… let’s get to the answers.

      I feel like it’s more of an evolution than an abrupt change:
      – I’m older (31 now)
      – I’ve gone through the massive ups and downs of building a company (and still going!) which has shaped my current personality
      – To me, this is fun. I spent so many years running around the world with a laptop business and having adventures all the time. This is simply the new, fun adventure for me. I need a challenge constantly.
      – There is an element of conscious thought gone into changing the look/feel/vibe (marketing as you put it) but mostly it’s bringing my brand up to where i’m personally at right now. At this stage of my life i’m not as excited about running around the world with a laptop business (which of course our clients can do through our SSM training). I could do it any time I want though. I just CHOOSE to be doing what I’m doing now and that’s what Freedom Business is all about – choice.

      So because of this – I actually wake up excited and ready to go each day and I smash through the work… and have a lot of fun in the down time. I’m actually with my girlfriend up on the north coast of Australia at the moment on a freedom trip.

      We have a few people from Hungary in our program. However we don’t share member information due to privacy reasons. Hope you understand.

      Cheers

      Tim

    • Tom

      Reply

      I’m from Hungary too, hit me up at ‘dudartamas95@freemail.hu’ if you’d like 🙂

  8. Rob

    Reply

    Good Day Tim,

    Right now I am working on a fitness project and getting traffic to my Opt-In page. I have a set date, but the sooner I finish it the better in my eyes.

    There are times when I finish my exercise (practice is what I like to call it) and I sit down to type my thoughts from my experiences that day. I even find it pretty effective to jot down notes as I’m practicing.

    Fitness is my passion and I execute almost on a daily basis. It goes smooth for a bit and then I start noticing some diminishing returns. I’m tired because I truly need to rest my body, thus finding it difficult to complete task such as my project. At this time is when I feel it will reflect on my work. I want to give the best quality of information possible. Which in return I find myself becoming paralyzed and refuse to sit down and start typing.

    Throwing my backpack over the fence will push me to work on my project, but will the bumps and bruises be alright for my content?

    Appreciate your article Tim 🙂

    Ciao!

    Rob

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Hey Rob,

      Sounds like you’re already smashing it.

      As for the bumps and bruises… would you rather learn from someone who’s been in the trenches and who you can see has done the hard yards or someone without the “battle scars”?

      I know who I prefer

      T

  9. sedrick

    Reply

    Such a good article. I need to study my life insurance stuff, investing, and save my money for the course in July. 🙂 Build my list of prospects by meeting some new people daily at strategic places

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Thanks Sedrick,

      Keep at it and I’ll see you in SSM5

      T

  10. Julien

    Reply

    I do this all the time whenever I need more of a push to do something and it seriously works like nothing else. It’s crazy the amount of focus you gain when you do it. Simple, yet powerful.

    Awesome post Tim, love the backpack analogy you’ve given it. I’ll be sharing this post.
    Julien

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Cheers Legend. Love your work 😉

  11. Tom

    Reply

    It’s a really great content Tim, it really resonated with me. I just threw my backpack over the fence a few months ago, when I decided, at the age of 19, that I don’t want to go to a ‘safe’ university to learn stuff, so that I can get a DJOD. (In Hungary, that’s what you can do with a diploma). Instead I made a bold decision, that I will join SSM 2015, and that I will make a life that I want to be in.
    The next thing is to find accountability partners.
    Btw, this concept is a bit like ‘burning the boats’ don’t you think?

    Tom

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Hey Tom,

      Great to hear you’ve thrown the backpack, now it’s time to make it count…

      Find that accountability partner and get ready for SSM5

      Can’t wait to see you on the other side

      T

  12. Bonieky

    Reply

    Hey Tim, what’s the best solution for a business that sell services with ticket around $300 to $500 ? Ads straight to sales page with buy now button OR ads to landing page with contact form?

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Hey Bonieky,

      I would recommend getting the contact form information.

      Once you have their email you can guide them to your service.

      Always split test though

      T

    • Daniel

      Reply

      Hey Bonieki.

      It depends if it is an upsell to a previous front end product with a low barrier of entry (eg: priced under $10).

      You may be able to make sales directly after your prospects have purchased the latter. It also depends how good your copy is as well and if the prospective buyer perceives greater value in your offer than the price itself.

      My mentor taught me to drive traffic to a front end product using an army of affiliates (give away 100% comissions to affiliates, put a squeeze page in place before customers can access the product to ensure email is captured).
      Have an upsell in place ($17-$37), (also award 100% comissions). This entices higher quality affiliates to promote rigorously.

      So, what is the result for you? An email list of highly qualified buyers. Set up a backend campaign and sell your high ticket after delivering more value (for free) and most importantly, building a relationship with your clients using your story. If you do the latter right you can sell them your value at any price you see fit.

      A tip is to not promote a lot of affiliate offers (you will burn your client list) and to preferrably use your own products in the backend.

      I wish you the best with your endevour.

      Daniel

      • Daniel

        Reply

        Also, Bonieky, I forgot to add that you can promote affiliate offers if and when they are congruent with your message, you utilise a story and of course when they are of high value.

  13. Daniel

    Reply

    Hey Timothy, thank you for the video. These are great tips for productivity though it they will only be effective for people who have already made a level of commitment. I’ve found that there are a great number of people who do want to be successful, achieve their dream lifestyle and make a change however they procrastinate due to fear of failure, self doubt and other factors. These tips are inoculated when it comes to this psychographic as they will procrastinate with even these tips! Have you ever come across this with your clients?

    What I’ve found most effective is to ask targeted questions or empower them to become more self aware for the purpose of determining the cause of their problem. Unearthing that reason is paramount as it allows them to let go of what doesn’t serve them and empowers them to become the person they must be to achieve their goals. Often they have grown up with an aggressive/passive aggressive influence, have been bullied and have had the notion that they are not good enough instilled in them during their most formative years.

    Interested to know your take on this.

    Best regards,
    Daniel

    P.S: I love the theme you are running on this blog. Are you able to disclose which it is?

    • Timothy Marc

      Reply

      Hey Daniel,

      Glad you liked the article and you raise some good points as well.

      In the end it is up to the person to take action themselves, this is a technique I have used to successfully force myself into that action.

      Cheers,

      T

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