How the $#%@ Does Ryan Seacrest Do It?
(This post originally appeared on Inc.)
There’s busy. There’s super-busy. And then there’s Ryan Seacrest.
This week, it was announced that Seacrest will join ABC’s “Live” morning TV show as an executive producer and co-host along with Kelly Ripa. It was a smart move. Seacrest is a pro – beloved, personable, funny, genuine – a true crowd pleaser. But many are wondering just how he can add these duties to his already packed schedule. And believe me, it’s really packed.
Each morning, in addition to his new gig hosting “Live,” he will also continue his nationally syndicated iHeartMedia radio show (the first hour, where he overlaps, will be pre-taped, and then he will run to a studio to finish the rest). That seems stressful enough. But Seacrest is just getting started. Besides the daily TV and radio hosting gigs, he also hosts E! Entertainment’s Live from the Red Carpet – which broadcasts from the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes – and hosts the annual New Year’s Eve show from Times Square. Seacrest is also executive producer of Keeping Up with The Kardashians, Shahs of Sunset and Shades of Blue. He began a very successful clothing brand in 2014 and is soon launching a skincare line. He is a spokesperson for Ford and has had prior deals with Coca-Cola. He is the chairman of the nonprofit Ryan Seacrest Foundation and an active investor in many companies, including Pinterest, ATTN: and DigiTour Media. In addition to all that, he speaks seven languages, has written four books on ancient Etruscan pottery and frequently competes in Iron Man competitions around the globe.
OK, that last sentence isn’t true. But would it surprise you? Probably not. The guy is a freaking machine. He takes hard-working and productivity to new levels. How is this possible? Is there an evil twin? Does he get no sleep? Does he consume massive quantities of Adderall? Not at all. He is just super-focused and incredibly organized. He personifies the phrase: “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” His tactics, which I learned from reading a lot about him, are educational for any business owner or manager.
For starters, he’s an early riser.
People that tell you they “work best in the evenings” are probably not as productive as others. It’s just math. More time is needed. Seacrest wakes up at 5AM. I share this trait with him. This morning, like every morning (except weekends), I dragged my sorry butt out of bed at 5AM, showered and am sitting here writing. I’ve done this now for about ten years. I imagine that Seacrest, like me, has mornings where he doesn’t feel like getting up at all – but he does. He’s got a full agenda and needs an early start. It’s just busy-person math: to pack all the things he needs to do in a day, he needs to simply have more hours with which to do it.
Seacrest genuinely enjoys being busy.
He relishes in his busy-ness. “I’m 100% better with a little bit of controlled chaos,” he told Billboard.com. “I just know if I have three things to do, or nine things to do, I’m just better at them if I have nine.” Some people like to play golf, go to movies or take naps. These are normal people. But busy people like him – and like me – just enjoy being busy with our business. We are grateful that we are busy, that people actually want to pay us to do stuff, that we are in demand, that we are relevant.
Consistency is key.
Very busy people like Seacrest are not just organized; they’re consistent. They like structure. They’re not set in their ways, and they’re always open to change. But they have a schedule that they stick to, even if it is different every day. For example, Seacrest makes it a point to carve out time for exercise. “I treat all of my workouts as if they are an executive meeting,” he said in this GQ article. “Once they’re in the schedule, they’re locked in.” I do the same. I say to myself that this morning I will sit from 5AM to 7AM and write. And that’s what I do, without distraction. Then I move on to the next task scheduled in my next block of time.
He’s an imperfection-ist.
In the above GQ article, Seacrest also admitted that he’s “…completely impatient. It’s one of the reasons I manage to get stuff done all the time. I like things to get done quickly.” Seacrest seems to have realized that the world is never going to be a perfect place. There is certainly an enormous need for perfection and that demand provides opportunities for the likes of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. But for the rest of us, things just need doing. Sure, I plan. But in the end, I execute not fully knowing if my plan will work but willing to take that risk for the purpose of moving things forward.
Finally, you’re not going to like this one.
Seacrest, like all very busy and organized people, was born with the gene. “I knew I could control one thing, and that is my time and my hours and my effort and my efficiency,” he said in this Oprah.com article. “I would get up and go to high school. After high school, I would play sports – not great at them – but I would play sports, and then I would go to a radio station and intern until midnight at night and then get up and do it again.” Is your teenager like this? Yeah, yeah, mine neither. This is nature, not nurture. You either have the DNA, or you don’t.
If you don’t share these traits, don’t stress about it. You can improve, but you’ll probably never be a guy like Seacrest. There are few like him. Hey look, I’m sure you’re talented at many things. And besides, do you really want to be stuck in Times Square with a bunch of drunks and Jenny McCarthy every single New Year’s Eve?