[Podcast] Ep 52: Minimizing Distractions to Maximize Focus

Jeff Greenberg is a master trainer that travels worldwide teaching editors how to become NLE ninjas and he drops knowledge bombs like nobody’s business. He is an author, educator, consultant, and Zen film geek. If you are not familiar with Jeff’s work, you need to get familiar with him if you hope to become a top level post-production professional.

In today’s episode we discuss how to train yourself to get into the creative zone when you need to as opposed to waiting for that moment to happen organically. We discuss the role of sleep, how to minimize outside distractions, how to organize your thoughts, and plenty of other ways to train yourself to focus when you need it the most.

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Topics of Conversation:

  • How Jeff and I met at Adobe Premiere Pro World Conference in 2014 and how meeting him has inspired me to continue building Optimize Yourself
  • Jeff’s background working in post-production and how he’s gained 50 pounds over the years because of living a more sedentary lifestyle
  • The most common challenges for new editors and assistants and how they can be overcome
  • My experience working as my own assistant editor without a mentor and the importance of having a mentor
  • How the number one way to achieve your goals is to establish your “why”
  • In this industry it is a badge of honor to see who can get the most done with the least amount of sleep and why this is an idiotic way to live your life
  • How sleep deprivation destroyed my memory and ability to complete simple tasks
  • You are not a “night person” even though you may think so
  • The basic supplements that neither Jeff nor I ever skip in the morning
  • How to overcome inertia and build momentum with your health
  • Using Evernote to manage information. Keep everything out of our brain so you make more space for creative thought.
  • Using the GTD method to conserve brain energy and organize your life
  • Using the Pomodoro technique to maximize creative energy throughout the day and get yourself in the zone on demand
  • The black holes of e-mail and social media and how to manage e-mail newsletters
  • Managing your schedule, phone calls, and appointments with YouCanBook.Me and social media with MeetEdgar

Useful Links:

Editor’s Retreat

Bulletproof Coffee


FiP Podcast “Supplementation 101” with Dr. Edison de Mello 

My blog post about my most recent experience with post-production burnout

Emergent Task Planner

Parkinson’s Law

Spark App


Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, the show notes were prepared by Natalie Boschan, and this show is executive produced by Kanen Flowers. We are a member of the THAT STUDIO podcast network.

The music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Dorian Cheah from his brilliant album ARA.


Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, and the creator of the Optimize Yourself program. Zack helps ambitious creative professionals and entrepreneurs overcome procrastination, depression, and creative burnout so they can get sh*t done and achieve the most meaningful goals in their lives...without sacrificing their sanity in the process. If you’re interested in learning how to better manage your time, your energy, and develop ninja-like focus, download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”