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The Art of Less Doing

Lesson 10 of 19

Creating Solutions to Your Challenges

Ari Meisel

The Art of Less Doing

Ari Meisel

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Lesson Info

10. Creating Solutions to Your Challenges

Lesson Info

Creating Solutions to Your Challenges

The important thing there is again if a problem presents itself the solution may already exist but if it doesn't you probably can create it a lot easier than you think I have none of those skill sets that I talked about but I was able to get what I wanted in a very short amount time with very little money so I want to make a few more points but is there any questions on that anyone yeah okay so I do want to have a little more at five so I use five or all the time it's actually like one of my guilty pleasures in a way because things were just five dollars and they have a feedback and ratings on five are also but you kind of except that you know if the quality is not greater everest five dollars and you see what happens but I've used it for things like getting the traffic to the website and one of the ones was like get five hundred life's on your facebook page and when I created my first facebook page for less doing I did that because whose gonna like a page with zero likes you might as ...

well start off with something right and that kind of primes the pumps uh the problem was a great one so when I switched over the word press which I was really reticent to dio you know I keep talking about it just do it but I was on post rhys and I was happy that is very simple platform and switching over the word press was like, really daunting, but I jumped in one night and I did it and I got to like three in the morning and I was almost done, but there were like three things that I just could not figure out and I went on fire on that pay this guy fifteen dollars and he had it solved in like, an hour and a half on it was done and it's great and I've gone back to that guy several times and what's cool about that is because it's five dollars I don't waste my time anymore like sure, maybe I could figure out which plug in is not working or maybe I can figure out why that's not showing up right or I could just go to the guy and say it's five dollars like, you know, fix it it's kind of amazing. The other thing that I have done is and this is speaking back to what I was talking about about integrating all those different services is if you for example, with all my podcast thing and stuff and all the blogger post thing when I record a interview, I put it into a dropbox folder, zap your sees that and sends it to fancy hands and tells them to go to fiver and by two gigs, one of them is the guy who will take all your audio clips. There's, a guy for five dollars, will take various audio clips and put them together and then re master it. So he takes my intro and the theme song and the interview thing and my recording piece and the outro. He puts those all together and then re masters it into one perfect piece, and then they also buy a gig where someone will transcribe twenty minutes of audio for five dollars and that person trans. And if any of you have any experience with transcribing it's, usually more like a dollar a minute orm or if you're lucky, I mean, or if you're lucky, it's a dollar a minute it's usually a lot more than that. So the fancy answers and buys that and the fiver people go to work. So a few days later, it's done it's put back into drop box because that's part of the instructions that the fancy hands assistant gives through the fibers to then uploaded directly to drop box. So when that happens, then zach pursues that again because it's in a different folder, and then it sends another email to fancy hands that tells them to post that new interview to soundcloud and to my block. So basically, all that has to happen now is I have to interview someone, which is that unique skill that I know not that I'm a good interviewer, but it's, the thing that only I can do and that's recorded and then I don't have to think about it again, and that is being the brick breaker all I'm seeing is at that point is the confirmation that fancy has been assigned, the task, the purchase that comes through from fiver and then the log post. So I'm going to get into this a little bit later, and we'll talk about finances tomorrow, actually, but a lot of people have a lot of things that they I want to say and can say, but they don't necessarily have no the processes in the ways they're going to get them out there efficiently, and I am not a good audio engineer, so when I used to have to edit this stuff myself, I was basically doing one podcast every two months when I began, and now I can do two or three a week because all I have to do is spend those twenty or thirty minutes interviewing someone really enjoying the conversation. So do you recommend actually doing the task first yourself, okay, and how long do you think we should be doing that for? A month like let's say I want a start a podcast how how long do you think I should really know the process that way when I handed over to someone I know it's done right? Sometimes you just do it once, you know? Honestly, I mean, okay, if you're not, unless you have to learn how to do it, you know which you may but there's so many good resource out there to figure that especially smelling podcasting, but yeah, you go through it once and then you know the process, then you can describe it and if you describe that process someone and they don't and they come back when I have a question that you can't answer, then maybe you have to go through it one more time and then we'll start with optimizing it first. Yes, ok, right, so I could have been like, yeah, go to soundcloud and then go to this and, like, go back and forth on these things, but then you look at that you're like, well, that's like a big jumble li mess, so if I can look at that and say, well, okay, this is a logical first step and this is a logical second step and maybe I need to show someone graphically how they do this, I'll take a screenshot that kind of thing okay, yeah, so and podcasting is ready example for that because it does get kind of complicated and it pulls in a lot of different skills if you really think about it like that. So uh yes however can you specifically asked for a job to be done or oh, you mean something someone doesn't have out there? Yeah, yeah, there is a section in the lower right side of the website where you can request gigs but I mean, yes, you absolutely can but I have found there is like such a wide range of things people will do for five dollars oh, and by the way, speaking to some of the questions we have before some of the five or stuff you can actually get done in person. So there are people who are like I will distribute one hundred of your flyers on the campus like you get that or I will stand on the corner of rodeo drive and something and like take a picture with your website like there are people who will do that on fiber for sure. So it's one of the ways you can actually get stuff done kind of internationally and if you want as someone asked for a picture about times square I would almost bet that there's someone on fiber who will take a picture of something in new york for you anything come in yes there's a little clarification around I mean obviously people see you as a role model first of all they do I mean you're giving your opening our minds expanding the potential but we'd love it or they would love and I guess we would to teo hear what your work week sounds like but not with the appointments like give us maybe a little snippet like a little clear if you want my work yeah wow okay well it okay so I start my day at four fifteen most mornings mostly because that's when my twins wake up my wife tends tio stick with my older son who we moved to a new house now or do I mean for those who are on parents this is going to be really boring but basically we're you know sleep not sleep training but we're acclimating everybody so a sum point that usually my twenty three month old ends up in our bed so my wife kind of stays with him and I end up sort of working with the twins working with the twins and at the moment they like to get up about four fifteen which is not so bad for me because I'm used to construction hours and I've always kind of gotten up early so I like early hours actually there was an article recently about how a lot of ceos from big companies were up really really early but none were at four fifteen anyway so I usually started out for fifteen and I'll be with them pretty much up until about eleven o'clock in the morning most days is family time and eleven o'clock is usually when my older son takes a nap and then that's sort of when I start my day to be honest so I time things like that purposely and because I've gotten in that rhythm I don't think I could do really effective work in the morning now I mean if I had to I could but realistically I pushed things to the afternoon and that's when I'm really ready and really awake and it's important to realize since we've talked about timing the fact that I wake up at four fifteen in the morning I have a very different circadian rhythm than someone who wakes up it's seven or even someone wakes up at five thirty it is very different so the person who really wants to take a nap at three in the afternoon that hits me around noon on a normal day but that's really when I just start to get going in my work flow so there's sort of ways toe hack that which we'll talk about and well in this more butt so eleven o'clock comes around and I have eleven to as I said before my work week is at eleven to three and I really do try to stick to that as much as possible so eleven to three is when I'm doing podcasting interviews that's when I'm talking to coaching clients that's what I'm planning for different things it's not what I'm doing any sort of creative work when I'm writing or anything like that that is strictly for when I'm interacting with other people and of course I should've mentioned this before but there's going to be those people who just can't talk to me between eleven and three some days no matter how long we wait but that's okay, make the exception you know, if ninety five percent of your stuff is in that corral, then that's fine, then you can make the exceptions as you need to, so then about three o'clock, then it's really sort of back to family time for may and we either do what we need to do out going shopping for things or taking the kids out to the park or what we need to dio we always have dinner at home unless they were on the rare occasion that we're going out to see friends because we like to have people over a lot of go to their places, but we've pretty much always cook at home and then once everyone's asleep again around eight o'clock or so that's when I sort of do the creative work donated to do that's when I work on perfecting my processes and that's when I start to work on writing new block post or writing new books or coming up with new ideas for podcasting and video recordings and that kind of thing and that rhythm has worked very well for me, and I've just found that toe work now on specific days, like I said on friday at ten a m that's when I deal with paperwork a lot of the times and the reason for that is as I'll get into tomorrow about going paperless, I am essentially paperless at this point, but I still get maybe five or six pieces of mail or paper per week there's no point in me having to deal with those minute to minute basically or day today as I get them, I'd rather just let those kind of build up to friday in the morning and then deal with them them so friday ends up being sort of a paper work day and honestly, there's really very little difference to me between a weekend and weak um it all sort of blends into one, so I stick to those schedules a lot on saturdays and sundays basically, so if you wake up at four and you work for us but time when you sleep, I don't know I have to ask one of myself trackers uh well, we are going to talk about sleep the organization later too, but I am fortunate that I'm someone who has been able tio not only already sort of naturally use leslie but um basically been able to compress the amount of sleep I get you can sleep more efficiently that's the best thing that I can say now we'll get into a lot of detail about that tomorrow but uh sleep is sort of inversely well university I'm sorry it's related very much to the recovery that you need everyone needs sleep don't get me wrong and you are hurting yourself if you're not getting proper sleep but proper sleep means something very different from today and I'm fortunately I can say that you know I'm not going to work out today because I didn't sleep well, you know, so that's something that you can you should do the people who who have working out every day that part of the schedule and don't change that depending on how they've eaten or how they feel or how they slept that's dangerous so you know, I work out probably once a month uh at this point and that's fine for me at this at this level, you know, I've done iron man, I've done all these different things that is the place where I am comfortable this point and one of the benefits of that is I actually do need less sleep because I have less to sort of recover from and also the fact that yes, I'm doing work at eight o'clock at night and I'm working later on things and that doesn't mean I'm staying upto one in the morning working. But the work that I have placed for myself at eight o'clock at night and beyond is enjoyable work, that's, creative work, it's a it's a time speaking in the wells point before where I can take advantage of the down sort of the trough in my day and the energy level because I do have less energy of that point of the day and I, my mind is probably started looking sluggish, but because of that, I really am able to be a little bit more creative because I'm less likely than say to myself like, oh, that's, a stupid idea. No, I just write it down and see what happens, whereas the fact that might, you know, hard core work days between eleven and three is that four hours in the middle of day, I have a pretty big buffer before and after to sort of get ready and to also come down from it. So again, requiring a little bit less sleep to recover from what has happened, yes, and how to find out how much sleep is enough for me. Are for anybody yes and I'm sorry to keep saying this we are going to get into that in a lot of detail tomorrow and the well in the section but that does go back to the child tracking that we were talking about before you really can't learn those patterns pretty quickly actually we're gonna we're gonna hit that whole question in the chat room from andrew andrew kev, who wants to know you previously mentioned that you came from working eighteen hour workdays and construction? What was your secret to success in making such a broad career transition into what you're doing now? Well, I could say that I probably wasn't successful when I was working in teo I mean that's the thing I've been working eighteen hours a day and religion really was I was sick a lot I was still having to deal with paper itself, but in retrospect I realize that there were a lot of things that I missed a lot of idea not like experiences but ideas that I could have taken advantage of and marketing opportunities and all these kinds of stuff that if I had had a little bit more of a clear head and a little bit more focus on taking care of myself then I really could have done better so now keep in mind too I didn't just go from eighteen hours to going three hours obviously that an end keep in mind also that because my work day is three hours a day that's the time that I'm interacting with other people I'm working all the time honestly because I like what I do and because I like checking my email and that that is work you know every time I check my email and deal with something I am but I'm not on the phone with somebody I'm not having a meeting with somebody during those times because I'm controlling my world as as I've talked about so uh the shift was a little gradual you know, obviously thie eighteen hours went very quickly tow like twelve and then from there then I started to sort of you know get it better and better and veteran as you optimized these things you start to do that naturally you'll start to realize that there are these pockets of time that are better to do things and you can pack so much more in it really it's a real statistic that that the average u s worker I don't know about other country of the average u s worker is forty two percent of productive today so just think about that realistically if they're forty two percent productive in today so let's just say forty percent to make this easier and you've got a uh let's make it an eight hour day justo make that easier as well so if they're productive three point six hours per day well, I spread that out throughout the entire eight hour day when you can impress that into a time that makes a lot more sense, you know? And maybe that means that the person who's doing facebook for the first hour of the day should be doing that at home, you know, there's all sorts of sort of ways to look at this, but if you're looking at the actual work product, most people in your office are not doing more than four hours work in the given day, so it really does it sort of translates well, I'm actually told me that about I was asking her mom, I really want to know what you do it work, you know, and hopefully she's not watching but or her boss, but yeah, I was kind of the average u I really think he work a day and she was probably four hours she feels like she doesn't have much to dio so yeah, right, so it's there's this this challenge that people have that they think well, so before even getting to that there's, all sorts of companies that have shifted more of a telecommuting model and plantronics is I love this plantronics makes the bluetooth headsets and a lot of other things their newest headquarters is on ly big enough for sixty percent of their employees so they're really pushing people who work from home, and they don't have dedicated offices so they could do that kind of thing, as I said before, thinking that even two people can be in one space for the same eight hour period and be expected to work is insane, it's just insane because it doesn't work that way, there's just no way to make that work, and I'm not saying that everyone should be working at home, either. There obviously is a benefit to that sort of social interaction, the accountability and pushing people, but you have to find those times you have to find the right time to do that. I mean, to be perfectly honest, a five day workweek doesn't make sense for a lot of people, and if you gave someone given task to dio and you had them do it in the office that in your head, and do it in a home setting, what they could do it on their own time, I don't think anybody would be surprised to see that they were probably more productive doing it on their own time. And speaking to that also there's been a lot of research into the way that we used to sleep, and this is really interesting in terms of how our bodies kind of work and want to fall into particular patterns, so apparently before electric lights I made it so that you could basically create the sun whenever you wanted teo people slept in two phases by physics sleep and what that meant was that they would go to sleep when the sun would go down that have dinner and then they sort of wind on go to sleep and then around noon or one in the morning to whatever was a lot of them would wake up for an hour or two and this was really this is like a known thing people would have their beauty sleep and then they would have the second sleep it was called and in that two hour period a lot of people would cook for they bake for the day they would have sex, they would pray they would go talk to neighbors like they were active and then they go back to bed and get their second sleep. So the idea of getting a tower blocks of sleep is actually fairly modern. Ah, and it is you know, I'm going to talk about bio hacking tomorrow, but when you turn a light on and off ur bio hacking because you're telling your body that it's daytime and it's nighttime you really are so this group of researchers did a study and they took several I think it was college students and they put them in darkness fourteen hours a day for a thing with for a month and all of them within a few days, naturally fell into this pattern where they would go to sleep, and then they would just wake up in the middle of night for a couple hours to be very lucid and awake and aware and active, and then they would go back to sleep because that was what sort of a natural body clock wanted to dio. So if you leave someone to their own devices and there are whether they're home or not, but you leave someone to their own devices, you give them whatever time they need to do a given task, you're going to naturally fall into a pattern where you were going to do that at the right time for you. Now, obviously, all of us can't just go on like an outward bound personal journey and figure out when we need to do this stuff, but that's, what all this other stuff is for this kind of self tracking because we don't have the luxury to just wait and figure out what that time is. But unfortunately, this is where you have that problem or people end up procrastinating because they feel like they have to fill the void on its parkinson's law that says that work fills the space given to complete the work, so if you get but if you give yourself eight hours to do something that only requires for yeah, you're going to fill that space, but you're not going to fill it with work like my little bit of a rant for that, are you have a quick question about how long you self tracked before you begin to sort of find your own rhythm and the timing for how you do what you do? So some people confined it very quickly. It really depends on what kind of work you're trying to figure out, so if you're using something rescue time, within a few days, you're going to know what your patterns are. Honestly, if you weren't like if you if you start tracking on a monday with rescue time by friday, you're gonna have very actionable insights into how your week has been spent and you're going to see that you've been spent. You know you spent this hour surfing the web, and then you spent fifteen minutes on excel and you know if you break it, if you haven't our task to do on excel front since it ends up being an hour and you did fifteen minutes in this pocket between eleven a, m and twelve, and then another half an hour between twelve and one let's, say, and in the last fifteen minutes, between one and two for instance, the odds are and this is over simple. Finally, the odds are that you could get that entire hour done between twelve and one, which was that period in the middle of sort of like law of averages, but people are like, well, you know, I have to sort of figure this out, I don't have I don't know how much time is going to take me where I have all day to do this, so why not just kill this home with other things? And as soon as they get bored, they switched tasks so you'll have actual insides right away in terms of how you spend your workday in terms of circadian rhythms that gets more into the sleep tracking stuff, and again, you can find those things pretty quickly. I'd say a week is pretty much a good amount of time to be able to get a lot of this information down and start to at least change things and see what happens and begin to understand that cause and effect brilliant, brilliant. So basically what? What I want to drive home with customization is that we see these problems come on up and there's that old expression that entrepreneurs were people see problems are just opportunities, you can all see opportunities now in the problems that you face on a regular basis and where the solution maybe okay, I can optimize this or I can automate this the solution may actually end up being like I can create a solution for this or I can have someone created solution for this and I don't expect people to be aware of everything you could possibly do to fix these things but what you can say yourself is I think there might be a solution and that's when you start to look for this stuff you know I need software that does this does this exist? Maybe you can ask commercial system I need a product that does this gosh wouldn't it be great if this thing existed and if it doesn't exist maybe you have the next great business idea and the fact that you've cleared your mind and enable yourself to sort of see the the light means that you actually can take advantage of this up and maybe help other people in doing so it really does work that way so sort of wrapping up with that it's basically choosing on work week is about learning your bio rhythms and learning the way that you best operate within a given day given week and given month and you know I said that that goes beyond morning person I've person it takes into account your hormones it takes into account how you've eaten and how you slept it takes into account your seasonal affective disorder if you have it or not you know some people do things better in the winter and I'm not saying you should push something off six months but uh some people are just better in the winter there better in cold climates and other better on a rainy day you know there's plenty of people who were hardly tell you that they can only write poetry on a rainy day or whatever it might think or I should only you know go outside and read on a sunny day or whatever might be so choose your own working is not on ly about learning those things about yourself and learning those biorhythms and learning how you best use your time but then again about owning that time and making it so that the people around you whether they know it or not comply with the way that you want them to work with you and knowing that even if you were in a nine to five job and you have a boss who you have three bosses that you can still use these tools and even if it's just the simple matter of realizing that these are your tools not their tools and then the customization is about creating those solutions there are always going to be problems but I guarantee you that if you stop for a second think about it you will be able to come up with a solution and even if you can't make it yourself you can get it and with all these resource that we've been talking about.

Class Description

Get ready to learn a proven way to optimize your productivity. 

In this course, achievement and efficiency expert Ari Meisel explains a systematic way for accomplishing the things you need to do so you can open up more time for the things you want to do. You’ll learn to optimize, automate, and outsource both personal and professional tasks. 

Ari will help you identify which tasks are monopolizing your time and help you build strategies to make those tasks less time-consuming. Ari will also cover simple strategies for getting through everyday responsibilities like errands and paperwork more quickly and efficiently. You’ll also learn about applying the same level of efficient prioritization to your personal life, including how to approach health and fitness in a more streamlined way.

By the end of this course, you’ll be on your way to an easier, organized, balanced way of living.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Optimize Automate and Outsource Everything.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

Book Excerpt.pdf


Ratings and Reviews

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WOW - I only watched the intro video (about 1/2hr in length), and already I'm completely blown away ... I'm definitely buying this course! Already a huge fan of Evernote, (lol - stone tablet!) but the other websites also seem very useful. And if it's a matter of the best parts of the movie are all in trailer - I will be back to let you know!

Amy Cantrell

Lots of great info! I love the concept of getting ideas out of your head, leaving your mind open to new ideas, and using Evernote to keep ideas and notes organized. The email tips alone could be worth the price of the class. Creating your own work week, tackling difficult tasks when you are at your best, making smart use of your time, progress begets progress, all good stuff!

Gina Bégin

I've already recommended this course to a number of people and followed up with Ari's team to go even further — though, sincerely, there is so much incredible depth in this course that if you're just starting out or in the midst of optimizing your workflow and cleaning up your "plate" of tasks, you will be blown away. He discusses great ways to use automation (IFTTT, Zapier) and how to make better use of Evernote, tricks to ... well, pretty much increase productivity in every aspect of life from health to work. I research this stuff all the time, but had no idea there was so much more out there. Well done, Ari.