I recently gave a talk to 400 location-independent entrepreneurs about how to actually get stuff done.

Included were exercises in how to audit your life, separating out your profession, obsession and decompression, and the perfect repeatable day method I follow to make more of my days.

Afterwards, the questions and comments were interesting. Some people were really excited to apply the structure and could see how it could work for them. Other people told me it would never work for them because their brain simply didn’t work like that.

One person asked about apps. Productivity apps. Airplane mode wasn’t enough because he could just toggle it off. He wanted me to recommend apps he could use to block websites so he didn’t get distracted and procrastinate.

My answer?

See your brain as an app. See your mental strength as an app. They are far more powerful than some mechanism where your phone shuts down for 60 minutes at a time.

I believe that relying on external tools is a crutch for actual willpower. It’s papering over problems. If you can’t stop picking up your phone, work out why. If you can’t focus on your work, question if it’s the work you should be doing anyway. Find out what you’re afraid of.

Figure out the real problem, because the solution will be within your self-awareness and intention.