Hey, Elevated Entrepreneur! Don’t you just love fresh starts, clean slates, and a New Year? While 2020 will be far from forgotten, I’m grateful for being able to turn over a new leaf and set new, inspired, and intentional goals for 2021. In today’s episode, we’ll be talking less about the accomplishments I want to achieve and more about the mindset and actions I’ll be doing in the coming year. You’ll also learn how I’m setting myself up for success using my 3-2-1 Method. Curious to know what it’s all about? Then let’s dive into the episode and begin!

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Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

Episode Highlights:

04:07 What the 3-2-1 method is made of

04:37 How I came up with the 3-2-1 method and why I believe it’s the key to success

04:43 Compartmentalizing my calendar

06:17 Using a planner in conjunction with my calendar

06:31 Learning how to manage my time better by planning the right way

08:30 Why following the 12-Week Year won’t work without the first 2 things

08:56 This really cool app I use to utilize my time more wisely

10:03 Do what you’re doing.

11:06 Why it is so important to focus on the task at hand 

13:11 How I’m instituting better email and social media discipline

13:19 An amazing concept that blew my mind on how to better manage my email workload

16:13 Introducing the idea of screen time by having all my apps turn off by 9:30 pm

19:51 How you can maintain an attitude of gratitude in your daily practice 

19:55 Realizing that you can be grateful for even the small things in life 

20:31 Affirmations and how they’ve helped me through this year

22:07 Shifting my mindset from “I have to” to “I get to”

23:27 The one thing I want to think about more of in 2021: Habits 

25:31 How to create better habits by starting with routines


On using a planner: “It’s a great way to be streamlined and to be thoughtful about what needs to be achieved on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly basis versus just showing up and dealing with the fires as they happen.”

“I want to get better at my ability to not work constantly… If you’re always working you don’t have time to appreciate your loved ones your friends, your family, you don’t have time to do other things that you like… Turning off on time is something that I want to make sure I do better in 2021.”

“I spent all of 2020 thinking about what makes for a good life, what makes me happy… But you know, I’ve come to realize at the end of 2020, it’s not about where I spend that life. It’s about who I spend that life with but more than that, it’s about what I do in this life, it’s about what I do on a day-to-day basis that’s going to make me happy and I control my happiness.”


Thank you for listening! I hope you enjoyed this episode and I’d love to hear your feedback. You can email me at hello@elevatedentrepreneur.fm and help me improve or if you have someone in mind that would be a great guest on the show, feel free to recommend them via email.

If you liked the episode, I appreciate you leaving a review on iTunes as it helps other entrepreneurs to find the show. You can also share the episode via Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and tag someone who you feel would benefit from the podcast!

Thanks and lots of love,

Dhiren Bhatia

[0:00] This episode of The Elevated Entrepreneur podcast is brought to you by the Cloudscape Care Package. This care package is designed specifically for retail and restaurant business owners. If you’ve got a retail or restaurant business or are considering opening one, then talk to us at cloudscape.ae, or drop us a line at hello@cloudscape.ae, and we’ll show you how the care package and all of its features including training, implementation and support can help you set up for success.

[0:28] Hello, hello, and a very big welcome to the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast. Thank you so much for being here. And if this is your first time, then you’re absolutely in for a treat. If you haven’t already, check out our website at elevated entrepreneur.fm where you can get access to all sorts of amazing content together with show notes, transcriptions, and as well as amazing links around the interwebs. If this is not your first time here, then you are also very welcome. And thank you for choosing to spend some time with me. Now before we go any further, I want to take a minute and tell you the elevated entrepreneur, how awesome you are. In fact, you’re not just awesome, you have phenomenal. And I’m not saying that because you’re choosing to listen to this episode. But because you are. And as the say in the movies, it’s the truth and nothing but the truth.

[1:28] However, sadly, we don’t tell ourselves these things enough. And if there’s anything you take away from this episode, I hope that it will be this remind yourself on how amazing and how awesome you are every single day. And that is the secret to success. And on the topic of success. This is exactly what I’m talking about. today. I’m talking about how I’m setting up for 2021. In the last episode, I talked about how I was wrapping up 2020. And here on I’m talking about what are the things I’m going to be focusing on and how I’m going to be focusing on those in 2021. I’m also going to tell you about the three to one method to success.

[2:12] So if you’re curious to know what I’m doing in 2021, and you’re curious to know about the three to one method to success, and stay tuned, grab your headphones, and help me cue the music.

[2:26] You’re listening to the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast, a podcast designed to help retailers restauranteurs and entrepreneurs simplify business operations and use modern technology to elevate their business. here’s your host, Dhiren Bhatia.

[2:44] So 2020 is coming to an end. And this is going to be the last episode of the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast here in 2020. And with that, I want to spend this time and this episode sharing with you the 3 2 1 method of success that I’ve created for myself, that I want to implement in 2021. So what is the 3 2 1 method to success, it’s actually a collection of things, and ideas that I have read about, learned about and even seen, all bought under one umbrella, which I’m calling the 3 2 1 method to success. So let me break it down for you.

[3:23] The 321 method of success is actually made up of the three things I want to do. The two things I want to say. And the one thing that I want to think. Now, these may not be about wanting to I’m already doing some of them, but I want to make a plan. And I want to execute these items more consistently. so that they become routine, they become habitual, and I become successful because of these habits. So what are these habits. So let’s get started with the very first one on the list, which is the three things I want to do or the three things I do. The first one is I want to get better at compartmentalizing my calendar.

[4:04] So I read about this blog post earlier this year. And I share that in the show notes about how you can be more productive if you decide to compartmentalize or even containerize your calendar. What that means basically is to be able to take the buckets of work and spread them across the days. I’ll give you an example. In my case, every Sunday, I do sales related work for Cloudscape. Every Monday, I do internal related stuff for Cloudscape. And on Wednesdays, I do a lot of work around podcasting. I’ve taken that a step further and divided the halves of the day and containerize them too. So on Wednesday, the first half of the day is designed for planning and strategizing about this podcast, and then the latter half of Wednesday is designed to be set up for recording. And obviously, nothing is ever set in stone if something urgent does occur. I have the flexibility and I reserve the judgment to let something overwrite something that’s already on the calendar or overwrite the block of time.

[5:09] I’m not necessarily talking about the task of doing it, but more the idea of this is the kind of work that I want to be doing, which is why compartmentalizing or containerizing is very, very important. And it has shown me success. And not only just me, but also my team members have seen great success once they decided to be more productive using this method. Now building on that concept is that idea of using a planner. And I mentioned in my previous episode, wrapping up 2020 that I started using a panel called the full focus planner, invented and made by a gentleman named Michael Hyatt. Learning how to manage my time better by planning is actually so easy, but yet very few of us actually do it. And the way this works is the way I’ve done it is I started with my yearly goals, broken them down to my quarterly goals, finally down to my monthly goals, which then tell me what I’m going to be doing on a weekly and daily basis. And in this particular planner, I created all of my actions, including my compartments, my containers, to form what Michael Hyatt calls ideal week.

[6:18] So I know exactly what my week is going to look like in terms of expected work, not tasks, but type of work. And then in those containers, I can get those tasks done. It’s a great way to be streamline and be thoughtful about what needs to be achieved on a weekly, monthly quarterly yearly basis, versus just showing up and dealing with the fires as they happen. And taking that step even further. I’m reading a book called 12 week year, the 12 week year premise is very simple. It says that you want to condense your year into 12 weeks, which is basically a quarter, because a year is too long. And a lot can happen in a year. The author of this book suggests that condensing a year into one quarter can be very effective, and helps you get things done in a much more faster manner. If all you have is 12 weeks, you know you’re going to be much more thoughtful and much more persistent in doing what you can promising to do. rather than waiting for a year, you start planning Now, you might roll around to September, October, and you haven’t done what you’re supposed to be doing. And then panic sets in.

[7:40] And then finally you’re rushing at the end of the year to finish everything up. So the 12 week year takes this particular idea of condensing a year to a quarter and does a really good job of explaining how that works and providing you the system to make that happen. But I do think that without the first two, which is the planner and the compartmentalizing that 12 week year won’t work, which is why I think that this whole exercise is a really good exercise to be but it needs to be done together. And along those lines, if I want to be so thoughtful about compartmentalizing containerizing, using a planner and also condensing everything into 12 weeks, I need to be really good at using my time much better. So one of the cool examples that I’ve done is I use this really cool app called text expander. So text expander takes big chunks of text and condenses them into a very simple shortcut, which I can then use when I’m typing out emails, SMS, or WhatsApp messages doesn’t really matter, because all I need to do then is put in that shortcut, and it will blow it up into that entire email thread that I want to send. Another example of this in Gmail is called canned responses. You save your routinely used email templates as canned responses, and then you just fire them at will. And text expander will actually give you a report of how much time you’re saving per week. And I can see my time go from one hour to four hours saved a week in just email. It’s how much time we spend on writing, drafting, proofreading emails. And this is just amazing, because now that’s four hours worth of work that I could do something else with. Now, that’s the first of the three things I want to do.

[9:14] The second one is this phrase that I learned, which I’m going to put somewhere on my monitor that says, do what you’re doing. How many times have you caught yourself thinking about 20 other things while you’re doing something at hand? How many times have I caught myself doing the same Oh my god, so many. I’m constantly thinking about something else while I’m doing something else. And that’s primarily because either I’m thinking about the image that I need to send or the calls I need to make or the proposals I need to create. All of those things are weighing down on my mind, which makes me lose focus and not pay attention to the task at hand. Another example of this is when I’m having dinner, I usually watch TV or I watch a YouTube video I listen to a podcast or I’m reading a book and I find that 10 minutes later foods done episodes done, but I didn’t realize what I had or I didn’t even appreciate the taste of what I had. Which is why do what you’re doing talks about, focus on the task at hand, get it done without thinking about anything else. Give it the time, respect it for what it is, and move on to the next one. After that. I learned this particular concept on a YouTube video by a gentleman named Ollie Abdo. And he talks about it and how we humans are not made to multitask. We’re not designed for doing multiple things at once, even though we try to, and we say sometimes we can. But we’re not cut out for doing that. Because we don’t have that attention span. Do what you’re doing is that bought in once or that I’m carrying forward into 2021.

[10:45] The third thing that I want to do in 2021, to be more successful, is turning off. Oh man, this is such a big item for me, turning off has so many different legs to it. And I’m going to walk you through all of them. The first leg within turning off is the ability to not work constantly. I’m always on my phone, I’m always checking emails, I’m always responding to people’s phone calls. And I’m also always working. And that I feel is a big detriment. Because if you’re always working, you don’t have time to appreciate your loved ones, your friends, your family, you don’t have time to do other things that you’d like, my wife and I, we love to go out for walks in the evening. But if I’m working or if she’s working, then we don’t do that we miss out on that chance. And this is why turning off on time is something that I want to make sure I do better at in 2021.

[11:37] So the first thing that I’ve asked myself to do is leave work at 530 get home while the sun still shining, and make some time to spend time with my wife also do the things that we love to do together, we recently started doing puzzles together, I want to be able to take my motorcycle out, go for a walk, do all the things that I want to do in a day so that I can better appreciate my life. The second idea of turning off is the idea of email and social media discipline. I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly replying to emails, because I believe that the faster they respond to an email, the faster work will get done. But I think that’s not true is it? The same thing with social media responding to Facebook pings, Instagram messages, LinkedIn messages, we’re always in this rush to reply right away, and things can wait. And that’s exactly the commitment I’m making today. I’m instituting better email and social media discipline. So I’ll tell you how I’m doing that. I found earlier this year, this amazing method called the stack email method. And I’ll put the link in the show notes.

[12:39] And it teaches you an amazing concept of how you can better manage your email workload by being very particular about how and when you check your emails, how you categorize your emails, it’s a free course that you can do within two hours, I can tell you, it’s been a game changer for me here at cloudscape. And my personal email as well. I stack email three times a day, you may or may not need to do it that many times or maybe more times. But it’s a great system made by a fantastic gentleman. And I highly recommend that you give it a shot in your own lives. And together with email, social media discipline, this is so so very important, especially if you watch the social dilemma series on Netflix, oh man, it was such an eye opener, we have no idea how we are being primed for constant dopamine hits, because of these multiple pings and messages that we keep getting. And we’re always looking for the next dopamine hit by constantly checking Instagram and constantly checking LinkedIn. So what I’ve done after watching that show is I turned off all of my notifications on my phone, which means I don’t get notified if someone sends me a message.

[13:49] And I don’t need to because I’m not in a rush. And nothing’s going to change. If I respond within five minutes, or within an hour. If it’s that important. The person should probably give me a call. And I think that two has been very, very critical in how I handled my day because I’m less distracted. I don’t know if this has happened to you. But if I’m usually writing an email and I see a WhatsApp message show up, now I’m distracted, I’m going to stop doing what I’m doing, get into the WhatsApp message, think about what I need to respond. And by the time I come back to that email, I’ve completely lost my original train of thought. And that takes time away from me every time that happens, which is why turning off all of your notifications, no matter how important they are, can help you quite a bit. And that comes under this idea of email and social media discipline.

[14:37] Now, I’ve taken this another step forward by introducing screen time. So if you’ve got kids, you know what I mean? screen time is how much time they spend on their phone. And I don’t think it’s only applicable to kids. I think it’s even more applicable to us adults. And that’s why on my phone, apart from notifications, all my apps turn off at 9:30pm means I can’t get access to these apps because the phone has now restricted them. Obviously, I can ignore the warning and continue. But now that’s a conscious decision that I’m making to move forward and continuously use the phone, nine times out of 10, I’ll actually appreciate the warning and not move forward. And I’ll just keep the phone to the side. This has been so important for me because it helps me focus on doing what I’m doing and also helps me to do the other things that I plan, which is like reading, listening to podcasts.

[15:30] So screentime, my friends, has been so nice for me, and I love it. And I think you can give it a try too. And if you use an iPhone, actually, all of the screen time settings will transfer over to all of the other Mac devices that you may be using. So my screen time settings will move from my iPhone to my iPad to my PC without me having to set them up again. Now, turning off also means if I have the time to do all the things that I want to do, that means I also can create some better routines. And one of the things that I’m going to be doing or I’ve already done, but I’m going to focus on better is my morning routine. So I don’t know if this happens to you. But the first thing that I do when I get up every morning is check my phone for emails and WhatsApp messages.

[16:13] With screentime enabled, I no longer have access to that. So I can actually spend the time on doing what I promised myself I would do which is going out for a run going to the gym, making sure I eat a good breakfast, do some reading, only then Am I allowed to take my phone and check messages, emails. And this is not causing me tension or stress and doesn’t cause me grief, because I’m not sure what’s happened. And everything can wait. I think that’s the key message here. Everything in life can wait. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this section, the three things I want to do. And the three things I promise to do better in 2021. So the first one was, compartmentalize and use my calendar and plan better. The second one was do what you’re doing, which is I want to focus on the task at hand and give it all the attention and respect it needs. And finally turning off, which means I promised to leave work at 530 no later than six, I want to make sure that I’m not working after hours.

[17:11] And I want to make sure that I give and do all the other things that I want to do, which is spending time with my family going out for dinner or going out for walks especially now the weather is much better here in Dubai, this is the time that we can actually step out and actually have a great evening out. It’s a pity when it gets wasted because I’m checking emails are working away. So let’s move on to the next section, which is the two things I want to say are the two things I say. In here. The two important things that I want to talk about number one is gratitude and affirmations. And you may have already heard a lot about gratitude and affirmations. But I want to tell you how they changed my life over the last year. Earlier this year, a really good friend of mine and my running mate Preet saagar, gifted me this journal called the man journal. I know the names funny, but it was my entry into journaling. As my accountability buddy, I promised him that I would make an entry every day. And what I realized is every day that I wrote down, gratitude, reason for being thankful, and my affirmation. I remember those days more vividly than I remember any other day, in this year. So let’s start with gratitude.

[18:26] What is gratitude? is it just an action? Is it just the idea of saying thank you? Or is it more deeper than that? It’s actually way deeper than just saying thank you. It’s the emotion that we all have within us. It runs so deep, because how many times have you caught yourself tearing up, when someone does something kind of they’ve given you a gift and you’re beaming with joy? Those are all physical manifestations of the feeling of gratitude. And being able to channel that gratitude by writing it down is a habit that a lot of researchers have extolled the virtues of and I started doing this earlier this year.

[19:06] You could start off by being thankful for the party that you went to or the drinks that you had or the car that you drive. But sooner or later, I’ve realized that it’s not about the big things in life that I need to be grateful for. It’s the small things in life that I need to be grateful for. It could be the sunrise, the sunset, the clouds, the way I slept, my bed, the food I ate, it could be so many things, and there are so many things that I am grateful for. But writing it down actually pushes me to look for those things now and I’m so much happier. And I’m so much more at peace because I’m grateful and thankful for all the things that I have in my life. And a big part of that also is affirmations. affirmations again, take on the idea from gratitude, where you are creating in your mind, a positive space. If you read the book, The Magic or if you read the book The secret and there are many other countries Summer books, they all talk about the same thing.

[20:01] The idea of affirmations is that you say things that are positive, to remind yourself and condition your mind to think along the same lines because we become what we think we are what we think, and thinking positive thoughts are key to being successful. Again, in my last podcast episode, I mentioned this book called limitless by Jim quick. And the main theme in that book is just priming your mind and conditioning your mind that you can actually do something. If you want more money, you need to tell yourself, you will make more money or you are getting money. If you want to be going to the gym in a more disciplined manner, you want to lose weight, you need to tell yourself how good you’re going to be looking on how good you look every day, so that it conditioned your mind and it Prime’s your mind so that you are ready to do what you were planning to do in the first place. Because otherwise, we think negative thoughts, and we ended up going down that spiral.

[20:55] So affirmations are super powerful, and super important to my success in 2021, I use a very simple affirmation every morning about how things are going well, and I’m gonna have a fantastic day. And also, I’m doing very well, I’m very successful. And it may or may not match the day, but at least I’ve started my day along the right notes. And I’ve primed my mind to think positively and deal with whatever that comes my way. And the second thing that I want to talk about in the two things I want to say, is this phrase I heard recently, on the video with Ali Abdullah, on YouTube, have two verses I get to. So usually when I record these podcast episodes, I get very stressed, especially if they’re solo episodes, I don’t think I’m really good in front of the mic. And I usually have all these self limiting beliefs. And I keep saying to myself, Oh, I have to do this, Oh, I’m so stressed that I have to make this show notes.

[21:52] And it causes me all of these unnecessary thoughts. But a simple change in phrase that says, I get to do this has changed my complete approach. And it’s, again about conditioning your mind. So in this case, I would say something like, I’m so honored that I get to record this podcast episode, I’m so thankful that I get to share this with you, which is why I’m recording this in the first place. And that is such a nice way to think about the task at hand. Because sometimes we worry about what’s next. And we put ourselves in a position where we’re not really happy about doing it. But if we change that statement, and we say listen, instead of have to, I get to, I hope that it will help you as much as it has helped me.

[22:37] So that’s the two things I want to say. Or I’m saying, and the last one in this list is the one thing, I think, Oh man, this is so big for me, and I’m glad that I can get to share it with you. I spent all of 2020 thinking about what makes for a good life, what makes me happy. And I’ve had multiple conversations with my friends and my family. We’ve talked a lot about life in Canada versus life in Dubai. But you know, I’ve come to realize at the end of 2020. It’s not about where I spend that life with. It’s about who I spend that life with. But more than that, it’s about what I do in this life, what I do on a day to day basis, that’s what’s going to make me happy, and I control my own happiness, which is why I’m so proud that I can share this with you. I think the one thing that I’m going to think about is habit is about doing small things again, and again. And again, because those become habit and habits define you and define me, I read somewhere that greatness is not achieved by doing something exceptional, or something large, it’s actually doing the little things again and again. And that’s exactly what I want to carry forward into 2021.

[23:54] So, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that you’ve enjoyed this, let me recap for you. We talked about the three things I want to do, which is compartmentalizing and using my calendar better using the planner, I talked about, do what I’m doing, which is making sure I finished the task at hand. Don’t think about other things and not multitask. The third one I talked about was turning off, which is making a commitment to getting home on time. And also not working after hours, turning off all notifications on my phone and also implementing screen time, which then allows me more time, like for my morning routine and my evening routine. The next thing I talked about is the two things I say are the two things I wanted to say. And I started this off by saying how important gratitude and affirmations were for me. And also this idea of has to versus get to.

[24:40] And lastly, I want to finish this episode with the one thing I want to think about more consistently which is habits, how can I create better habits for me in my life, and it starts again with just routines and doing them again and again and again. With that, I hope that you’ve enjoyed this quick episode about the 3 2 1 method to success in 2021 for me, and I hope that you might take some of this and use them in your own lives. Please do send me a message. If you’ve enjoyed this or let me know what you liked, or maybe what you didn’t like, I’d love to hear from you. drop me an email, I’d be happy to hear from you. Thank you so much for spending this time with me. I wish you a fantastic Happy New Year. And I hope that 2021 will bring you all of the success that you desire.

[25:30] If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to the Elevated Entrepreneur show at elevatedentrepreneur.fm or wherever you’ve been listening to this episode. And finally, if you would, please do leave the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast a review so that you can make it easier for other entrepreneurs to find this show. Thank you much love and I’ll see you in the next one.