I had the privilege of attending Russell Brunson’s Traffic Secrets event last year, and it was there that I first heard the phrase “Search vs. Interruption.” It’s Russell’s way of talking about a marketing topic that many of us know as…
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
Or sometimes called…
Content vs. Direct Response Marketing
People like Gary V. and Neil Patel lead with content. They invite people into their world by creating value and leveraging organic traffic. From there you might level up into their paid offers.
Russell Brunson and Dean Graziosi are industry leaders in outbound or direct response marketing. This is where you’re interrupted with paid ads and drawn into a funnel, even when you weren’t planning on it. You weren’t actively searching.
In one case, the prospect is actively searching for information and runs into your content (which leads to your paid products). In another case, your prospect is scrolling on social media and gets interrupted with ads that lead to a funnel.
This is not going to be a blog post about the differences between the two types of marketing. What it is going to be is (hopefully) a MASSIVE productivity aha! about how this schema in marketing works with productivity too.
First off, at the bottom of this post is an article I read about productivity and your phone. It’s a long article and totally worth the read, and I found myself implementing a bunch of the hacks in it.
However, what I recognized is this…
To become more productive, it’s important to build your daily routine around the concept of search… not interruption.
Most of us don’t do this. We love interruption. We have the typical *bad* interruptions like social media. We also have *productive* interruptions – like… calendar reminders! These are good right? Alarm clocks do the same thing. Interrupt our activity to get us to take action.
So I’m not trying to demonize the idea of interruption… because there are times when it’s necessary.
But if we developed search based routines, we’d avoid a crap ton of interruption.
Here’s the idea…
In the article I mentioned, one of the things he describes is the idea of using folders for your apps, and also removing badges (the little red notifications). That’s because if you open your phone and see a 45 next to your inbox, even if you were opening your phone to turn on some music or use the calculator, you probably had to resist the urge to check your inbox (or maybe you didn’t resist and went down a rabbit hole).
If you put your apps in folders and remove badges, then there’s nothing interrupting you. You will have to SEARCH for updates, notifications, messages, etc. which means, unless you’re actively looking for it, you won’t see it.
Now let’s expand this to think about in other ways.
How many of us use notifications on our computers too? I know I have it on for Facebook, for Slack, for Voxer… heck even for Trello! I am using the notifications to dictate where I look and when, which is interruption based.
What if I restructured all my work to be search based. At first, I’d need reminders yes. But eventually, I would learn how to use all these apps without the buzz of interruption all the time.
What if it started with a simple checklist? That checklist is all the places you check during your prescribed “admin” time. So for example, at 12pm and 5pm EST everyday, you would check…
- Your Trello Boards
- Your Slack Channels
- Your Voxer Messages
- Your Email Messages
- Your FB Groups
I know people do this with email, but there are so many other communication channels now – that we have to carry this idea over to them as well.
Another question to ask yourself is this:
What would your day look like you had NO REMINDERS and had to actively search out anything and everything you were going to do?
Think about that for a minute.
- No calendar reminders. You’d have to open your calendar and actually look.
- No Facebook notifications. You’d have to pick the groups and places you were going to check for updates for.
- No Slack messages. Which channels would you go in and read the happenings on?
Then ask yourself this next level question…
If I received NO INBOUND messages at all for one day – no comments, no emails, no Voxers… WHO would I actively reach out to? WHAT would I actually do with my time?
Then… once you’ve answered those two questions honestly, compare it to your actual day. Are you talking to people you would never reach out to? Are you checking and answering things that aren’t something you’d proactively go after?
If there’s a huge disparity between what you’d do “in the wild and left to your own devices” vs. what you’re responding or reacting to on any given day, then that’s a sign that your productivity should become more SEARCH based.
This works for battling shiny object syndrome too. I can’t tell you the amount of times I got sucked into massive amounts of head trash because of something SOMEONE else said, did, wrote, posted, etc. It would derail me for hours.
- If you want to JV or do an interview, who are YOU going to choose? Is it the same people that are reaching out to you day in and out for requests for interviews?
- If you want to learn from someone, who are YOU going to buy from? Is it the same people that are cluttering up your inbox and your newsfeed now?
- Or, what about a slightly off-kilter customer service inquiry on email that then has you re-evaluating your entire business model, value ladder, and material because of a criticism you didn’t even see as an issue?
I’m not saying that these things don’t have their time, place, and value, but if we take our cues from the most successful people on the planet, they have entire teams of people managing ALL the interruptions, and only allow those interruptions to make it to their desk at a prescribed time.
We do need feedback. We need new ideas. We need new people.
But we also get to control how and when and where that information comes into us, and if we ask ourselves… how do I become more search based, vs. interruption based… we’ll go a long way towards better time management and staying on task with the goals that matter to us.
Here’s the article I read —> How to Configure Your iPhone to Work For You. Hat tip to Cathy Olson in our Marketer’s Heart Facebook Group for the find. It’s really good.