Member Spotlight: Jeremy Redleaf
I’m a filmmaker and entrepreneur. I tell stories and build communities that give people permission to be their weirdo selves. My shingle, Brackets Creative, is the mad science lab for all these projects including OddJobNation (An internationally recognized job site for the underemployed), 3rd Street Blackout (A feature film now available for rent and purchase that I co-wrote/co-directed/produced and co-starred in) and CAVEDAY.
My secret day job is that I’m a voice artist. I’m the chords behind several television networks, commercials, video games, hold buttons and did a character for many seasons on Sesame Street.
What is CAVEDAY, and what inspired you to start it?
CAVEDAY is an full day, facillitated event where you get to practice doing deep, distraction-free work. We remove all impediments to procrastination; you surrender your phone and gain the ability to work longer and deeper than you thought possible on a Sunday. And you’ll even, gasp, have fun.
I was struggling to find more than an hour at a time to write. I thought was just a hacky, slow writer, but it turns out I don’t get into flow until hour two or three. I was just never hitting achieving lock-in. CAVEDAY was born out of desperation: how do I find the time to get to deep work done? I had to raise the stakes, so I started doing solo cavedays. They were effective, but lonely. I brought on board Jake Kahana and Molly Sonsteng to help me figure out what it’d look like in a group setting. And it appears we’ve tapped into something, our events in NYC always sell out and we’ve got requests coming in from all over the world.
How do you hope to see Cave Day expand over the next few years?
Our mission is to improve quality of life by improving quality of work. We want to see both freelancers and companies taking CAVEDAYS all over the world. The most important ideas and innovation require deep work. In our judgement, people aren’t religious enough about protecting their time. We think CAVEDAYS are the solution.
What are your tips for being productive?
Surrender to the fact that we live in the age of the stimulus overload and that distracted times call for heightened measures. Go off the grid. Use a blocker like Freedom to shut down the things that pull your attention. Don’t task-switch; there’s a concept called attention residue; researchers have found that jumping from thing-to-thing actually makes you less efficient.
For the month of May, I've been deleting FB, Twitter and Instagram apps during the week. I still allow myself to be on them, but I have to use the mobile web version, which is a terrible user experience across this board. The result: less overall usage, better work and more peace of mind. #annoyyourselfintobetterhabits #caveday
What are your favorite apps at the moment?
Ham - It auto-fills your entries for the Hamilton lottery. I’ve never win these things, but the seamlessness makes it easier to believe!
City Mapper - Great for traveling to new places and in NYC, it brings together Google Maps and Citibike docks in a delightful way.
What has been your most memorable experience while using Croissant?
At BOND Collective Fidi, they have Cookie Fridays. There were a ton of leftovers and they insisted I keeping eating cookies and, well, I’m a people pleaser.
I co-run a secret society where we invite strangers to dinner. My partners and I have been doing it for over two years and have had brought over 125 people together. I’ve been known to hand out an invitation or two while I’m logged in on Croissant.
Photo credit: Philip Van Nostrand