Instant Focus: Get One Productive Hour (on Command) and Finish Every Task You’ve Been Putting Off

What if there was an easy way you could not only...

  • Improve your presentation, speaking, and product creation skills?
  • Create more free content, get yourself more free traffic and figure out what your audience wants?
  • Get in the habit of completing all your tasks in one day?

But at the same time, actually knocked out the most important tasks in your life -- even the ones you might have been putting off?

This is a technique I've been using for at least 5 years. It's really weird (but easy) to do, and it it's something I use every time I keep procrastinating on a task I want to do, I choose to do, but just can't "bring myself to do..."

  1. I resize my screen small enough to only have one window open (usually 1024x600)
  2. I close any distracting windows including Gmail, Twitter, or Facebook
  3. I RECORD THE SCREEN using Camtasia Recorder (you can use Screencast-O-Matic for free), narrate, and "tutorialize" the task that I've been delaying
  4. I upload that video recording to YouTube with a linkback to my site to get some extra traffic

For example, today I wanted to publish my book to Amazon CreateSpace. But there are many forms to fill out and lots of tweaking involved.

I had to get it done. I didn't want or need to get it perfect, it just had to be submitted!

And here's me fumbling around on Amazon CreateSpace, submitting my first print book:

I call this the "Camtasia Babysitter" -- because you're recording the screen, it keeps you from pausing or getting distracted by other windows or alerts.

What's one task you could perform, that you know you "should" do, that you "want" to do and even "choose" to do... but now you can record the screen to make sure you finish it?

Filed in: Productivity

Comments (26)

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  1. Several years ago I might have said “no way” but I KNOW you use this – and encourage your students to use it as well. One of my safety nets is doing this – but uploading as private or limited access. That way I’m still doing the accountability, but not necessarily sharing it with the world. After all – don’t we have an “image” to uphold? (I’ll bet I can hear your answer on THAT one!)

    Thanks for sharing this – and particularly screencast-o-matic. That has been a GREAT addition to my arsenal.

  2. Lynn Pierce says:

    Great idea Robert! I would have never thought of that myself. Now the question is, can I use screencast-o-matic to do a video on teaching myself how to finally do screen capture videos? I hate to admit after all these years, I’ve never done one.

  3. Steve Frew says:

    Very good idea, and you turn it into either a traffic builder or another product or bonus. I definitely need to try it.

  4. Ralph moore says:

    That is an excellent idea Robert. I have been avoiding video for some time due to my affinity for writing, but this is a great way to come up to speed on the process without worrying about the results.

    I can create a few videos whether I upload them or not. I look forward to checking out Screencast-O-Matic. Thanks!

  5. Jenny Dunham says:

    What a novel idea, Robert! I can certainly see the value in doing this. However, the challenge for me would be actually creating the video tutorial. Like some of the other commenters, I have never created a screencast tutorial either. 🙁

  6. Robert Plank says:

    Hi Jenny,

    1. Go to and click the “Start Recording” link

    2. Plugin a USB headset (I use the Logitech ClearChat) and make sure it’s recording in full screen

    3. Click the “Record” button and start going

    4. Hit Alt+P when you’re done recording and click the button to upload to YouTube. Make it PUBLIC

    I see you have a site that sells private label rights. I know that for me, something I always had trouble with was setting up the sales letter, download page, payment button for the PLR I just purchased. That will be your 1st screencast tutorial ever.

    So pick one of those products in your library, start recording, set it up, and you’re done. Maybe tomorrow record a 2nd video showing how you get traffic to that webpage you just setup to get some sales.

  7. George Kedourie says:

    Bl**dy Good Idea!

    Plus it will help me to more quickly get to grips with my just-now-upgraded Camtasia 8

    Was just doing battle with the Amazon DVD setup process.


  8. Robert Plank says:

    Hi George,

    Once you’ve recorded your CreateSpace DVD video, make sure to post it to YouTube, come back here and paste the link in the comments.

  9. Steve Miller says:

    Nice tips Robert.

    Looks like a great way to get things done and build content, all at the same time.

    Steve Miller

  10. Phil Cullum says:

    Focus doesn’t come easy. I have admiration for your overcoming the problems and accomplishing your task. I will be trying these tips myself. I had not heard of Screencast-o-matic before.


  11. Roger says:

    Hey Robert and Thank You so much!

    Since my time on the ‘net is limited, I’ll download the SoM application and use it when I’m not able to get a good connection.

    I’m sure this will severely lessen my “down” time and create much, much more productive time.

    Thanks again,


  12. Brad Dixon says:

    Hey Robert,

    Thanks so much for the idea. This is a great way to add content, video youtube juice and so much more for my cutomers. Killing two birds with one stone. Love it. Keep the ideas coming always learn something great from.


    brad Dixon

  13. This is a very novel and useful idea to be productive and get tasks done. Thanks for sharing. I’m certainly going to give it a go. I already use screen-o-matic -great tool and very easy to use.

  14. Brian says:

    Great idea…it’s something that I would never have thought of doing. Sometimes I’ve got so many different ideas and projects all going on at once. Recording the screen, and holding yourself accountable is really a must to staying on track. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Tim says:

    Great idea, can’t wait to try it out,good use for my yet to be installed Camtasia Studio 8.

  16. Brandon says:

    That right there is the type of stuff that makes the difference between success and failure… Turning a choke point into a lead generating result driven jam breaker. Thank you so much for sharing this, it has given me a whole new approach to problem solving.

  17. Bryan says:

    Very interesting idea…I can see the quality of the work you can get done when you’re recording it.

  18. Wow, Robert. Never thought of the video as an accountability tool. I love doing the video tutorials. They help my clients so much. So now to bite the bullet and do the hard things with Camtasia watching. I should get my four tasks done in no time!

    Your videos help me know I am not the only one tweaking things as I go.

    Theresa 😎

  19. Appreciate the comments. It gives me some great ideas and one of the things that I have the hardest problem with is focus. At times it seems that I can’t get anything done, jumping from one thing to another.
    Great ideas. I am going to do this and know it will work out for me. All I need is that one hour once in awhile that will make or break me.
    The good thing is that I’m in this for the long haul and will never quit. I will be a success story and want to bring many others with me.
    I will prevail and you’ve given me another way to do just that. Thanks. I also want to start writing posts like this as I have some great ideas.
    Thanks for a great Post1
    Morris Murphy (Murph)

  20. John says:

    Brilliant Robert! Sometimes a little “benign babysitting” can be a great help.

    Thanks for the terrific tip.


  21. DigitalDave says:

    Thanks – I get it. Now, I’ll implement it…Oh Wait, Should I Wait for Your Next Video?


  22. Phill says:

    Interesting idea never really thought about using video in such an unusual way, but being a prolific procrastinator will give it ago and see what happens.


  23. Laurie Mills says:

    Sure is a pain when the lack of Focus rules. Definately your idea is a life saver. Very greatful for your insight with this problem, thanks Robert.

  24. I think there are less people commenting on this blog post is because if they acknowledge it to anyone that they have read it, they have to actually use this method, which, by the way, is brilliant. As soon as I read it I did it: I am really bad at understanding written questions (dumb? lol?) so I went and recorded myself filling out a form that I hadn’t been able to fill out. As soon as I had my students’ imaginary eyes on me, I became smarter, by a lot, and completed the impossible task in a reasonable amount of time.

    Then I learned to create slideshows with music across slides…

    I have another project that I have been not doing, actually making inspirational slideshows to generate new traffic to my site. That is next. I have already got my brother to gather pictures for it…

    I have no idea what is the ideal rhythm, that is what I am going to experiment, publicly, until I get it right.

    And this is what I am talking about: once you have this method: you are on the hook.

    Judging from MY students’ attitude, they are not getting that the only place one can be happy and satisfied and feel alive is ON THE HOOK… Especially if you put YOURSELF on the hook.

    Thank you Robert.

  25. Erica says:

    Now THAT is innovation! Definitely going to try that. Thanks for the tip.

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