Welcome to the third season of The Productivity Giants Series!
We’re so excited to start the new season off strong with our first guest, Jordan Taylor Wright. Jordan is a filmmaker, photographer, and founder of the production company Taylor Cut Films. He creates beautiful and moving commercial films for his clients and currently has an audience of more than 575k Instagram followers.
Based in Los Angeles, Jordan is certainly a multi-hyphenate individual. Known as a content creator to the stars, he has worked on music videos, documentaries, and digital content for artists such as Usher, Justin Bieber, J.Lo, The Chainsmokers, SYML, Trevor Hall, and more.
We talked to Jordan about his new book, the importance of a meditation practice, and why there’s no such thing as bad advice. Read the whole interview below:
What’s your number one productivity time-saving tip?
Don’t think about deadlines or expectations or judgment. The more you’re worrying, the less you’re going to get done. So, whatever it is that you want to achieve, it should be something that you enjoy doing and then it will come naturally to you. You’ll end up spending the majority of your time throughout the day doing it anyway, and you’ll also be doing it the most efficient way possible, because you’re not doing it out of necessity, you’re doing it out of wanting to do it.
That’s what’s really important about finding the craft, or the skill, or job that you love, because then it doesn’t feel like work. Filmmaking, writing, and all the different things that I do – I wake up wanting to do it. Or I stay up late doing it, because I enjoy it. It comes efficiently and quickly because I let it just, kind of flow through me. And it wants to be done. So, yeah, that saves on stress, worry, and anxiety.
Are there any indicators for you when you feel like burnout is happening?
We’re all essentially plants. And just as plants need sun and water, so do we. And I think that we can operate from our mind-body as much as we want to, and try to do daily tasks on computers and iPhones, and things of that nature, but it’s really important to have physical experiences with other humans and to interact with them. To be in nature. To focus on your breathing and allow yourself to, kind of, reset. Just as a phone needs charging, so do we.
So if you feel like you’re overwhelmed in your mind-body, and you’re starting to be worn down, just go outside. Maybe sit in the sun for an hour. Or go spend time with a friend or a family member that you really love, and allow that to be a nice, beautiful experience. Or just meditate alone, or just eat alone by yourself, and really enjoy it, without your phone being there.
All of the sudden you have a new perspective on the task that you were trying to do, and you don’t feel that weight anymore. Because we could put a lot of pressure on ourselves, but we are the indicators of how we feel, so if we want to apply that stress, we can. And there’s a way to learn from stress, and there’s also a way to learn from love and beauty and fun. So, yeah, nature’s an amazing way to do that.
Is there anything else that you typically ask yourself?
I ask myself a lot, is this something that I want to do? Is this something that is enjoyable to me? Is this something that’s representative of who I am and how I’m feeling? Those are all direct indicators of what you’re doing, because we are our intentions.
So if you’re doing something to make money, you’re never going to be happy. Because even if you earn all the money in the world, you’re just filling a void that is an external source of happiness, and you need to hold that happiness within yourself. So, removing decisions or removing opportunities that are simply made out of “necessity” – making money, or getting followers, or fame and recognition from other people. These won’t make you happy unless you already have that kind of love and happiness within yourself.
Know what truly makes you happy. I’m lucky enough that I enjoy writing books, telling stories, taking photos, and making videos.
What’s the biggest hindrance to your productivity? How do you combat that?
Judgment, and the notion of judgment of how people are going to perceive it. Or if what you’re doing is going to be successful. The easiest way to combat that is to remove your ego – if I’m able to remove myself from my ego, you realize that you’re just creating something from the essence of who you are. Then, you don’t worry – you don’t have any expectation of what’s going to arise from you. You realize you’re doing it because it feels natural and you love it. And then you’re making art that just feels in alignment with where you currently are.
Also, if you have any expectation of what’s going to result from your art or work – for example, if I decide to make a video with the wantingness of it having millions of views, and for it to generate a lot of money, then it’s not going to happen. And even if it does happen, if I’m not going to be happy from it, because I’m just going to strive for the next thing. There’s going to be a next metric for me to hit, and I’m going to end up just living a life where I’m racing towards a proverbial finish line that doesn’t exist. Then I’ll look back and be like, wow, I kind of just sped through this entire life, when the purpose of this life was to enjoy the journey. All that existence is, is present moment, and the present moment is happiness, and there’s bliss there.
When you lose focus, how do you regain it? What questions do you ask yourself?
The easiest way to regain focus is by centering yourself. If you don’t have a meditation practice, it’s simply focusing on your breathing, or stretching is also an amazing way to remove yourself from your thoughts. Any time you’re losing focus, all you’re doing is just getting lost in your own thoughts and emotions. So, to get to this centering based frequency of where we all operate from, it’s just living and removing yourself from your thoughts.
Being thankful is a very simple way to regain focus – just say, I’m thankful, in your own head, and then there are millions of reasons to be thankful. What that literally means is you are then full of thanks. Then, any worry or concern, or anything you were thinking about other than being in the present moment, suddenly disappears. You get to look at the current moment you’re in through a new perspective and a new lens.
In the last five years, you know, what new belief or behavior, or even habit, has most improved your life?
I would say meditating, and focusing on not thinking about my thoughts. In terms of what that means in a tangible practice, writing. Not typing – actually like physically writing on a piece of paper, because that’s muscle memory. Also, if you are clouded within your thoughts, and you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, pick up a notepad and a pen. Literally just write whatever you’re thinking, just let it come out.
What bad advice do you hear often?
There’s no such thing as bad advice, it’s just you have to realize that people are coming from their own perspective. And essentially, when you’re speaking, you’re speaking into a mirror. So even when you’re speaking to someone, you’re “advice.” Understand that you’re really just talking to yourself – it’s is an amazing notion to hold on to.
But, yeah, there’s a lot of people who think, you’ve got to “earn” into this life. Like the notion of “no pain, no game.” These kind of slogans that insinuate we need struggle in order to succeed are counterintuitive, because we are meant to be happy within every moment. And we’re meant to enjoy every moment. And that’s where success comes from.
You attract the frequency that you’re holding, so just hold that space. The happier you feel, the more you’ll be surrounded and see happiness. So, yeah, you don’t have to learn from pain and sadness and struggle.
What book has changed your life, and why?
Honestly, the book that I wrote. I know that may sound like a plug, but it’s not. I don’t do much reading. I watch movies and documentaries, and listen to podcasts. The book I wrote, Forever In The Infinite Now, honestly didn’t feel like it came from me – it came from a journaling process of me writing out my thoughts in order to remove myself from stress and anxiety.
What has the last 12 months taught you?
It’s taught me that life is cyclical, and to pay attention to patterns. Pay attention because you may think, wow, I’m so much different from a year ago, and you very much may be. But at the same moment, life happens in patterns, so the more you can notice the patterns of what you were doing, or how you felt and who you were associating yourself with, that’s the first step to mindfulness – just being aware of all of that stuff.
It’s amazing to look at where I was a year from now, physically and geographically, and mentally, and notice that I had the right intention. When you hold on to the correct intention, whether it is to love yourself fully so you can love other people as well, or to be thankful throughout the day, you grow exponentially. We’re constantly changing, so don’t want to hold onto something that doesn’t serve us.
Is there one key ingredient to work life balance?
There is no difference – your work should be your life. There’s no such thing as work. Just as your social media should be an actual extension and reflection of who you are, don’t put on a façade to the world, because then you’re going to end up with an identity crisis.
Your work should be your passion – your work should be what you love, and a physical manifestation of what you want to put out into the world. If you notice that you’re stressed at work, you’re not doing the right “job.” If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then find something that you do enjoy doing, because then you’ll be the best at it, and you’ll be the best version of yourself.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just be happy. Just hold a space and want to be happy. If you’re not feeling happy right now, then just know that you’re doing the best that you can. Find something that you love doing. Everything’s happening the way it’s supposed to, and everything within this moment is perfect. And the more you can just accept that and accept yourself, then you’ll release stress and anxiety and anxiousness, and all of these things that we’re kind of growing accustomed to. But, yeah, just accept and be thankful, and then watch as your world changes.
Taylor Cut Films Website: www.taylorcutfilms.com
IntentOn Website: www.intenton.io
Jordan’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/taylorcutfilms
Jordan’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaylorCutFilms/
Jordan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/taylorcutfilms