Intention: Dan Miller on intentional use of time and five year goals – BTTDL010


Dan Miller is the author of the widely acclaimed 48 Days To The Work You Love, No More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom Meets Passion. He hosts a weekly podcast that is consistently ranked #1 under Careers on iTunes.

Dan works to integrate your dreams and your passions into your daily activities. If you’ve ever buried your dreams in an attempt to be “practical” or “realistic,” Dan will show you how embracing those very dreams is the most practical way to enjoy life and achieve the success you’re looking for.

Covered in this episode:

  • The morning is “The rudder of the day”
  • The opportunity cost of a doctoral thesis vs. writing 48 Days To The Work You Love
  • Intentional use of time
  • Budgeting time in advance
  • Long uninterrupted focused blocks of time
  • Fighting distractions
  • Common Areas of Self Sabotage
  • The past doesn’t have to be chains around the ankles of your future.
  • Creating 5 year goals and actions steps
  • What would success look like for you 5 years from now? 3 years from now?
  • Putting regular deposits in the 7 areas of achievement
  • Donald Miller Storyline
  • Living life writing your movie
  • Creating inciting incidents
  • Jon Acuff Quitter Conference
  • Al Andrews
We need to do some things to break the monotony of the boring life we describe. - Dan Miller @48DaysTeamClick To Tweet
Do something to break the routine of ‘sameness’. - Dan Miller @48DaysTeamClick To Tweet

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  • JD Sutter

    Absolutely loved this episode with Dan. The information he shared really inspired me to think more outside the norm. It also challenged me to take control and to “write my own story” rather than just let life go by. Thanks for a great show!

    • Erik Fisher

      Love it. You heard me in the episode share about my dying belief in the word ‘impossible’.

      • JD Sutter

        Absolutely! I completely agree.

        I really like your new site layout, by the way. Looks great!

  • Kacey

    I’d love to get in the running for a copy of Dan’s book, Wisdom Meets Passion. Hearing Dan describe his morning routine really reinforced the fact we have to be intentional about how we start our day (making sure to get in all the important stuff like exercise, family and reflection time, etc.) because how we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. I also really like the idea of envisioning what success would mean to me and then working backwards to meet those goals.

    • Erik Fisher

      ‘The rudder of day’ is so important. Another key piece for me has been to be able to recover from a poor morning, and make an attitude or perspective change midway through the day.

  • Clark Ausloos

    Erik, are there transcripts of the podcasts? there are so many great points that I want to not only hear them, but read them and put them into practice in my own life. Thanks!

    • Erik Fisher

      I would love to have that available, but there just isn’t a reliable ‘insert audio file -> receive text file transcript’ software out there yet. The other option would be to pay someone to transcribe it, which I can’t really afford, at least not yet. Unless someone out there knows of someone who wants to do that… :)

      The best I can suggest at this point so far is to listen to it more than once.

    • jlbudd
  • JD Maberry

    Hi Erik – Great show. So many good little pieces that I can put to work right now. The segment about living life like you are writing a movie is heavy.

    • Erik Fisher

      That is a huge takeaway. Living with the end in mind. Looking back from the end with no regrets.

  • Tammy Helfrich

    Great episode! I love Dan’s suggestions. I loved how he talked about uninterrupted blocks of time. I am so bad about this, as I am constantly doing multiple things at once. I listened to this show right before I got on a plane today. Having just heard that, I focused the entire plane ride on writing. I got a first draft of a children’s book done. Wow! I am so excited, and am going to focus on blocking out uninterrupted time. Thanks, Erik and Dan!
    P.S. The book sounds great and I’d love to win a copy!

  • Gretchen

    I liked budgeting time in advance. Excellent productivity tip.

  • jlbudd

    Erik, I have five children three of them are at home and in all of
    the great things that were said my biggest take away I get is how
    important it is for us to help our children not to be reined in by the
    rules we’ve let life put upon us, and how we need to teach them to live, that they can really do whatever they want to do. so what they want to make
    a towel cape that’s okay. Who are we to tell them they can’t do that.
    It amazes me
    how much I personally am controlled by the rules I’ve let life put on
    me. Thank you for the podcast.

    • Erik Fisher

      There is no word ‘impossible’.

  • Wade Wingler

    Loved hearing Dan talk about blocking out his schedule and turning off distractions. Good stuff that I strive to do as well!

    • Erik Fisher

      I’m still working on this myself!

  • Anne-Sophie

    The biggest nugget of gold of this interview, which was awesome BTW, was the concept of blocking out blocks of time for only one thing. My days are filled with all kinds of different to do items, mostly because I like to shake everything up. But I can totally see how staying with one thing ups your productivity by heaps and bounds.

  • Anne-Sophie

    One more thing I just remembered and loved is how Dan sees all the people being diagnosed with mental disorders. As a girl who suffered from social anxiety disorder, depression and anorexia (and a host of other stuff), I totally agree with him. Yes, it sucks, but this is not a reason to sit back and pity yourself. Instead, it’s a challenge that you can overcome and that’ll only make you stronger, gives you a better understanding of yourself and the world and gives you a huge sense of empowerment.

    • Erik Fisher

      Awesome takeaways! Don’t forget to Retweet the tweet in the shownotes to enter to win.

      • Anne-Sophie


  • Jon Buscall

    Interruptions are dangerous ! That’s what I took away from this (excellent) podcast). I found myself wondering “Why don’t I turn the ping off from the You’ve Got Mail” on my Mac. I’ve never done that, yet it interrupts me so often throughout the day when I’m juggling all the tasks I do.

    First thing I did after listening to the show when I got to my desk was turn that interruption off!

    • Erik Fisher

      Confession: I’m still horrible at interruptions myself. Trying really hard to figure ways to proactively protect from them even now.

  • HomeFitnessGeek

    I am so glad that I bumped up this episode past at least 24 hours of podcasts in my queue. Confession: I purchased 48 Days to the Work You Love many years ago (probably not long after it was published, when it was available at Costco). I have read it a couple of times. I have listened to Dan Miller’s podcast for quite a while, too. Dan has taught me a lot about work, life, and myself, but here’s the confession… I haven’t acted upon the information nearly as much as I should. Today, I am starting my 48 days countdown (again?) and my first goal is uninterrupted blocks of focused work, as Dan suggests in this podcast.

    • Erik Fisher

      Rock those blocks!

  • Lake Champlain Life

    Great podcast! Reminded me of Steven Covey’s habit ‘Begin with the end in mind’. i’m new to your podcast Erik, and have thoroughly enjoyed your guests and the content. Thank you! Tom McHugh (

  • Moneek Langston

    This was my first time tuning in to your podcast. I really enjoyed the wisdom of Dan Miller(subscribed to his podcast as well). As much as I complain and say “I’m not a morning person” as an excuse to start my day at the last minute possible, I agree with his morning routine. It makes sense to start your day the way you want it to run-in control. I find my days are filled with nothing but emergencies and it gets to a point where I feel stagnant. I have no drive or passion to give the rest of my day. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • Erik Fisher

      Thanks for listening! I’m glad to have helped me an encouragement to you.

  • Ben Dempsey

    I think this episode was one of the best thus far Mr. Fisher. What stood out to me was his thoughts on self sabotage. Very enlightening. I have heard great things about his new book and I would love to receive a signed copy to add to my collection. I recently reread 48 days. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to next weeks already.

  • Christopher Battles

    Thank you Erik and Dan.
    The distractions stuck out to me. I have had Facebook notifications off on my phone for a long time, but I went in and turned off most things on my phone. I will see them when I open the application. Good questions and answers.

    K, bye

  • Deanna Richardson

    Biggest take away…don’t fail to dream.

  • Kerry Stith

    I’ve been following your podcast since the first episode and enjoy it immensely. I’m a huge fan of Dan Miller & really enjoyed this episode. Dan has talked openly on his own podcast about his struggle with ADD like tendencies and his penchant to reach for shiny objects yet he manages to discipline himself to be very productive

  • Douglas Gold

    Amazing podcast! I have about 4-6 podcasts, that I listen to regularly…this is top of my list right now….great work Erik. I really enjoyed Dan Millers discussion. I took away the all important aspect of avoiding interruptions while holding conversations…and how it takes lot more time to get back into focusing on the conversation at hand. Especially the technology interruptions(email alerts, and texts!!)

  • Jeremy Gulley

    Biggest take away: Don’t live in the past

  • adambedenbaugh

    I’ve been a fan of Dan Miller for awhile. I actually first heard about him when I was deciding whether I should complete a PhD career, which I was very unhappy in, or not. I’m now working in a slightly different field and love it. The biggest take away for me was that he had to pick between writing a thesis and writing his book. It reminds me that something can be good, but just not good for me.

  • Jesse Lahey

    Erik, another great episode — you are knocking it out of the park!

    A question that’s somewhat off-topic … would you mind sharing how you got your Oct. 16 tweet to appear in the post above? I think that is a great feature, and I wish more blogs would do that to make it easier for people to share.

    I remember you and Cliff discussing it several months ago on Podcast Answerman, but the episode I heard put more emphasis on LiveFyre, and I didn’t pick up the specifics of how to implement a Twitter RT box like you have above.

    • Daniel J. Lewis

      Hi, Jesse!

      In WordPress 3.4 and later, you can paste the URL to a tweet into its own paragraph in a page or post, and WordPress will automatically import it. You can get these individual URLs by clicking on the timestamp for the tweet you want to embed.

      • Jesse Lahey

        Hi, Daniel! Thanks — very cool!

  • Zuriel Garcia

    Great episode. The most memorable part was about how the story of my life is not only starring me, but directed by me as well. I also like where Dan went through his morning routine – I live by that as well.

  • Greg Wiley

    Biggest takeaway: Live intentionally through active dreams written in the story your write before it happens.

  • Melissa Tarbet

    There were many take aways for me but the main one was to write a movie script for my life and then take the necessary disciplined steps to make that script happen. I am inspired to recast an updated vision for my life going forward and getting to work on it. Thanks for a great Podcast! Well Done.

  • David Winter

    Erik. Your podcast is so rich and challenging. THis episode in particular inspiring. Thank you for leading this ion going discussion.

  • gus26

    Love Dan’s description of how he sets his schedule to be productive, especially with regard to how he blocks time for specific tasks, and how avoids distractions.

  • Melitsa Avila

    Uninterrupted blocks of time as a mother it’s always seemed an impossible dream with little ones around. Instead of hours and hours I should be more nimble and use the time I have depending on holidays and time in school. I loved this especially turning off everything. Needed to hear it today! Would love to win this book.

    Great show.

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  • Eric Dingler

    With no added drama to this statement… While listening to this podcast I had a dream/vision for the future. I seriously now know the direction I’m headed. Life changing episode for me today. Thanks Erik and Dan for sharing this.

    • Erik Fisher

      This is why I do it. Thank you for this feedback!

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  • Jason Allen White

    I like how Dan Miller writes all of his blog posts for the week in one day (Mondays for him).