Dan Ahdoot: Admit to Your Weakness to Defeat It
The actor & comic found that taking the self out of self-discipline made life much simpler
Here at Freedom, we frequently find ourselves inspired by the people who use our product.
From Academy Award-nominated screenwriters, bestselling authors, editors, and journalists, to developers, illustrators, designers, academics, and entrepreneurs – the Freedom community is packed with curious, creative, and passionate go-getters.
We love to share your stories because we believe the best way to solve the problems we face at work in today’s world is to learn from those who are living those experiences daily– and thriving while they do so!
Meet Dan Ahdoot
Dan Ahdoot is a standup comic, actor, writer and producer based out of New York City and Los Angeles. He is a national headliner who is a frequent guest on The Tonight Show, and is currently acting on Netflix’s Cobra Kai. He has been on NBC’s Bajillion Dollar Propertie$, Showtime’s Shameless, Comedy Central’s Workaholics and Disney Channel’s Kickin’ It.
As well as having a diverse writing career – he wrote the Lionsgate feature film Public Disturbance – Dan is host of the #1 food podcast in the country, Green Eggs and Dan.
Being successful in not one, but multiple careers requires some dedication and focus, so we were delighted (but not altogether surprised!) to learn that Dan uses Freedom to help him stay productive. We sat down with him for a quick chat to learn how he stays on-task, the motivational power of shame, and why he thinks Hell might involve an excel spreadsheet!
What came first? Writing, comedy, or podcasting – and how did you get to where you are now?
Standup came first, then writing, then podcasting. All the while, I loved food. I decided to combine food and comedy, and thus “Green Eggs and Dan” was born!
At what point did you realize that tech was taking a toll on your productivity and time?
Oh. I realize it all day every day. I’ve always said that when we die, God is going to present us with an Excel spreadsheet of all the time wasted on social media, next to all the things you COULD’VE done had you been focused. That would be worse than any inferno Dante could imagine.
How do you stay motivated and focused on a daily basis? Do you have a routine, process, or place that helps to get into a productive flow?
I’m pretty scatterbrained. I wish I could say “I wake up, have my smoothie, mediate, free write, then do what needs to be done.” But in reality, I wake up, make a coffee, and have it in bed while I scroll through garbage apps.
Also, I think meditating is dumb. It’s never worked for me. Freedom, however, is the most effective tool I’ve found at getting me to ACTUALLY do work.
How do you incorporate Freedom into your daily routine?
I use Freedom when I have SERIOUS work to do. I love that it takes all the discipline out of being disciplined. You press a button, and that’s it. Restarting your computer to override the app is by far the saddest thing you can do. Shame is a good motivator.
Being in the public eye, how do you find a balance between being connected and overwhelmed?
It’s tough. I’ll try to post & ghost once in a while, but it keeps creeping back in. The only effective way to override the system is to have no system to override. That’s why Freedom works so well. Rather than trying to be disciplined, using the app is admitting your weakness and cutting it off at the knees.
As someone who wears multiple hats, how do you prioritize what tasks, activities, or people get your time each day?
I’ve gotten very good at saying no, which helps me focus way more. I’d love to say yes to everything but it leads to being a slave to other people’s time. I usually make a to-do list and try to crank through it as fast as I can…
How do you stay motivated and focused while on tour?
It’s very difficult. But the Freedom app has been a godsend. When I get to the hotel, it’s usually the first app I open, and the last app I close, just before I steal the small shampoos and check out.
What is one small shift that you have made about the way you spend your time that had the largest impact on your quality of life?
I’ve tried it all, and the only thing that has worked for me is the Freedom app. I’m not blowing smoke. It’s just for me, nothing is more effective than turning everything off so I can finally focus.
What do you do outside of your work routine that helps you stay productive?
Like I said, I hate meditating. But I love clearing my mind. Every morning I hike 4 miles. That primes the pump to get great work done…
What projects are you currently working on that you are most excited about?
I just finished writing my first book for Crown Publishing entitled Undercooked. I was SUPER behind when I discovered the Freedom app. It helped kick my ass into gear and meet my deadline. It’s not rocket science – stop using time-sucking apps. It’s super simple. But simple isn’t always easy. Freedom makes it easy.
To learn more about Dan and keep with his latest projects you can visit his website and find him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Don’t forget to tune into the wonderful Green Eggs and Dan podcast, too!