Show #390: Procrastinate on purpose with Rory Vaden

Show #390: Procrastinate on purpose with Rory Vaden

Multiply your time and procrastinate on purpose. And, as you’ll hear in a 20-second clip right after you hit play for the show, Rory says time management isn’t logical, it’s emotional. And there is the crux for why we seldom do it well! He lays out some heavy paradigm shifters that, I vow, will help you finally…not manage your time (Rory states that you can’t!), but multiply it, once and for all.

Welcome to Ziglar Show #390, and today we learn why we should sometimes procrastinate on purpose, and how to truly multiply our time - and it’s counterintuitive to almost 100% of time management counsel! Rory Vaden is our guest, and he truly rocked our paradigms in a massively beneficial way. Here, let me give you a 20-second preview:

Today you’re going to hear about the concept of time management in a drastically new perspective, one that resonated with me in a huge way. As you listen, if you have thoughts, ideas, questions, concerns…ask us! Ask Tom and me. If we’re stumped, heck, we’ll ask Rory to chime in. Go to and leave a submission. You can write it, but if you leave an easy audio message, we may play it in the new Q&A show. Again,

So, if you don’t know Rory Vaden…you need to. He’s been involved with Ziglar a long time, but he’s a true success story.

He’s a Self-Discipline Strategist and his book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall Street Journal, #1 USA Today, and #2 New York Times bestseller. As an award-winning entrepreneur and business leader, Rory co-founded Southwestern Consulting™, a multi-million-dollar global consulting practice that helps clients in more than 14 countries drive educated decisions with relevant data. He’s also the founder of The Center for the Study of Self-Discipline (CSSD).

Rory is the world’s leader on defining the psychology around modern-day procrastination, called Priority Dilution™ - in fact, he coined the term. He speaks and consults on how to say no to the things that don’t matter, and yes to the things that do. His client list includes companies and groups such as: Cargill, The Million Dollar Roundtable, P&G, True Value, YPO, Wells Fargo Advisors, Land O’Lakes, Novartis, and hundreds more. His insights have recently been featured on/in: Fox News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc, Fortune, and the New York Times.

He is a regular contributor for American Express Open Forum, Huffington Post, and The Tennessean, and his articles and insights average more than four million views every month. Additionally, he hosts The Rory Vaden Show, which is the only nationally syndicated weekly radio show for “movers and shakers in the world of business™.”

I highly encourage you to go to and watch his videos, and for the topic we’re covering today…“How to multiply your time.” It’s his TED talk, that’s been viewed coming up on 600,000 times.

You can also get the book we are referencing today, Procrastinate on Purpose.

So here you go, Tom Ziglar and I, live with Rory Vaden:

So, Rory, you’re not new to Ziglar. You’ve spoken for and invested in Ziglar a good bit. But it’s our first time to have you on this show. Thank you for giving of yourself again.

>>Listen to the show.

You know well the Ziglar slogan. How do you wish to inspire true performance in the listener’s life today?

> > Hear Rory’s response on the show.

So your latest book is titled Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time.

You did a TED talk, and it’s from this that I crafted today’s interview. Folks, go to YouTube and type in “How to Multiply Your Time | Rory Vaden.”

It’s been viewed over a half-million times in just 10 months.

Before we dive into the meat of this incredible topic, I want to ask about you. Your performance. As humbly as I can say, I get a lot of accolades for these shows, from listeners and from those we interview. No one knows how much time I put into preparing for each one. I write 2-3,000 words per show in scripting it out.

I often talk about Zig. Of course, he had a natural gifting toward presenting. But I’m passionate about pointing out that he studied and worked and perfected his skill like no other. Was he the best presenter? We don’t know. We do know that he was the best student.

Rory, the presentation you gave was nearly flawless. I’m a great music fan. I think I could write good songs. But creating the music, the melody…is just beyond me. I revere it. It’s not a gift I have. I can understand writing the content for your talk. Your delivery…was just amazing. But I’m guessing you hit that stage with more than just a cursory preparation; that you prepared. Am I right? Will you share the story of sweat and effort that went in to it?

> >Hear Rory’s responses on the show.

“There is no such thing as time management. There is only…self-management. You can’t manage time; time continues on, whether we like it or not.”

This just struck me as incredibly elementary, but also one of those dramatically brilliant, radically paradigm-changing statements.

Like all the weight loss strategies. Ultimately, 95% of the issue, no matter how you cut it, will boil down to taking in fewer calories than you burn. Now, finding a strategy that works uniquely for your style is relevant, but it will only be to get you to do…what everyone else has to do. Fewer calories, more movement, and the right foods.

It sounds like you’re bringing us a similar truth. While time management techniques may be relevant, they are all ultimately strategies to get us to do what we all must…manage ourselves?

>> Listen to Rory’s responses on the show.

Next, you bring us to the issue of prioritization. And you rock us with another statement, “Prioritizing doesn’t create more time.” Which is so akin to your first statement, “You can’t manage time; time continues on, whether we like it or not.”

Again, this is easy to nod your head to, but folks listening…seriously. Take this captive. Rory is changing our entire perspective here. Rory is pointing out how we are all grasping for solutions to a symptom, but we’re not addressing the root cause.

Is that a fair viewpoint, Rory…that you saw all these symptomatic efforts and realized we are all missing the crux of the issue?

>> Hear the show.

You go on to say there are ultimately two options regarding prioritizing, “Do things faster, or do more things.” And then, “You can’t solve today’s time management problems with yesterday’s time management thinking.”

I generally think that while times change, the issues are still, ultimately, the same. But here…you caused me to pause and contemplate. The age we’re in now is…immediacy. Things that used to take a month now take a minute. Managing time with so many limitations long ago WAS different than managing time now, where there are so, so few time limitations.

We don’t have to wait for anything. I’m 45. I remember when we had to wait for…everything. These three products come to mind:

  • Movies were only at the theater
  • Music; we had to go get it at a music store
  • Books; we shopped at a bookstore

Now I can get them all instantly, as quickly as my fingers can type and make an order, and the amounts are limitless…more than I could watch or read or listen to in multiple lifetimes.

So, if we can have nearly anything immediately, it brings us back to your initial issue of…it comes down to us managing us. We’re completely unfettered. Do you, to a degree, feel like with all the limitations of time taken away in regards to waiting, like we all have an eating disorder and we live in binge mode, and we’re trying to manage an illness?

>>Listen to Rory’s comments on the program.

Now you point out people you call Multipliers.

  1. Urgency, how soon does something matter?
  2. Importance, how much does something matter?
  3. Significance, how long does it matter?

Multipliers ask, “What can I do today that will make tomorrow better? What can I do right now that can make the future better?”

“You multiply your time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spend time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow.”

Wow, Rory! It made me think of physical fitness. There is nothing I can do today that will make me stronger, faster, thinner, or more flexible…today. But I can do many things today, that will help me be stronger, faster, thinner, and more flexible…tomorrow.

So to a degree, Rory, are we talking about maturity? Delayed gratification?

>>Listen to Rory’s comments on the show.

Multipliers use next-generation time management and realize it has much more to do with what you don’t do, than what you do. Whatever we say no to today creates more time for us tomorrow. Anytime you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to another.

OK, Rory…I’m going to veer into a sensitive lane. In your experience, as you’ve researched and studied this area of time management…how much of our addiction to doing so much, to busyness, to staying constantly overwhelmed time-wise…is due to…using it to avoid two things:

  1. Doing something truly great, which is risky and scary;
  2. Just stopping and being at rest and having to risk looking ourselves in the mirror and coming to grips with reality?

>>Listen to the show. Eliminate Automate Delegate Procrastinate on purpose

There is a difference in waiting to do something that we know we should be doing that we don’t feel like doing, versus waiting to do something because we’re deciding that now is not the right time.

Wow. That is truth in my world. I do both, and need to stop doing the former. But the latter…I often let my email inboxes get near 300 messages. I’d do better to decide what isn’t important enough to deal with and just delete it up front. But I’m unsure…so I let it go. Finally…once a quarter or so, I start from the oldest and work up…deleting 75% of them that by then are, obviously, not important enough to mess with.

But I love your distinction. To filter it by asking:

  1. Am I waiting to do something that I know I should be doing that I don’t feel like doing,
  2. Or am I waiting to do something because I’m deciding that now is not the right time?

Is that a literal filter you use? ‘Cause I’m surely going to from here on!

>>Hear what Rory has to say on the show.

Rory, thank you.