Daily Limitations & Managing Energy
You know, my real hope is that a couple of these ideas land on fertile soil. In the morning session, we talked about that acronym of the I d e a little e stands for experiment, and so if there's one of these elements of the productivity portfolio that we're building, that is more interesting to you, I think within five or ten days you can practice with it, and as we just talked about practice, it makes a lot of things I grew up and I was told that practice makes perfect since then, I've learned that other things that practice makes it makes comfortable, it makes normal, it makes accepted, and when I think about what I do that's acceptable, it comes from just making that comfortable. And so as you leave this program, as you kind of think about, how do I apply this? Because day to really was all about working in collaboration with others, and when I wrote the book, your best just got better. I wanted to do two things very specifically, one thing I wanted to do was to put in the reader's ...
hands, emanuel, and really it was a manual things that I wish I would have known, so we're going to talk today next we're going to talk about element number ten, which really explores three, but in detail one of our most limited resource is in fact, I wrote a whole chapter in the book just on this one limited resource that we're going to spend a lot of time with in this session, and as you're thinking about the kinds of things that get in your way of being productive, the things that you head into the morning with a plan and a lot of us have had a plan, you know, who's ever made it to do list got the excuse or made to do list who's ever re written that to do list, put another piece of paper who's, ever britain and big block letters their to do list right today, I have to have you ever made a stop doing list? This one came out of nowhere for the first time I heard it. I really surprised me when someone says, jason, I see you have a nice, clean to do list, it's always up to date. Have you ever thought about looking at what you're doing and scratching things off that you need to stop doing? Because I found that the on ly way I was really going to free up these limited resource is the only way that I was going to be able to do that was to actually take some things out, not because I didn't care about them, not because they weren't important, because, frankly, I didn't have these resource is so before I go to my sheet, I'm going to go to the white board and I'm gonna ask the audience in studio here to help me out when you think of a day when you think of going through that day, what are the things that you know are limited that actually block you from doing everything that you wanted to get done or to move on in that day? So give me a moment to think about that as I hiked back here towards the white board, but let me just see if I get a sample list here and and what we'll go through that so we're just kind of go around the room, so one or two time, jackie energy, attention, interruptions, collaboration people, other people, I'm gonna connect really fast this interruptions and other people, how do you talk to yourselves when you have little conversations upstairs cycle? Who is that? And what did they just give me? Right? Tony, I think you had a no actual resource is paper. So those the tools you up with resource is re sources and tools. And so again, you know, kind of think to yourself the filter here of what gets in my way of being productive as a resource and energy as a almost a renewable resource time as a almost non renewable resource and I'll share with you through the day a couple of my favorite techniques couple of my favorite tools wondering from the online audience did we have any other resource? Is that people listed besides the ones that I got up here I would like to check in just to see no, I think so I would like to unpack for you today in no particular order although I'm going to end with the one that I have the most to talk about but a couple of those resource is that really rise to the top? I know that through the day my energy is limited and again whether my co founder is a morning person or an evening person whether they're in this time zone or that time zone energy through the day it ebbs and it flows I feel fortunate, very lucky sometimes I get to work with people who work collaboratively and globally so I have clients of mine that sit in new york but they have teams in argentina in singapore and they're trying to work out what's the best time of the day and what are the best setups for that? For me, it's the question of what impacts my energy? What impacts whether I've got the energy I need to go through that day another resource that I know was limited and this goes there's this one flies for me sometimes, but it's that focus and I use the analogy I sometimes talk about a digital camera in the auto focus mechanism that it has inside and another some purists out there and they've actually turned off the auto focus because they want to have that experience of using their eye to capture what it is they want to capture me I kind of give that over to the automation but what I find fascinating is as as well as a camera can auto focus by default it's auto blurring and this was something I just showed up in my journal one day it's like how does the camera no what to blur sure I showed us what to focus on but then there has to be some code or some technology or something inside of it that says hey let's blur this part think about now your email in basket you know what to focus on how do you decide what the blur and by the way that connects directly back to my energy there are some e mails there some requests there some ideas I should not think about if I haven't eaten right that day there's some things that I should not even let into my mind to roll around if I didn't sleep well last night because I'm no I'm not at the top of my game and then the third one of course is time why would I want to do they want to take one of these at a time and kind of get from you and then share with you some of the some of the known quantity but how I can maximize each one so let me jump over here and just ask them to put a list next to this one so there's our limited resource is from the audience what are some things that you do to manage your energy? What are some things that you do that either give you back the energy you know you need or the things that you do that use that set you up for the energy that you'll need for that thing I'm just going to kind of pop around the room we'll start with tony we'll go it's got like four hands of one times we have plenty of people susie and then joshua and then whoever here you go tony sure you gonna share it so I can write it seriously I could write it uh my nutrition plays a big role of my energy levels for the day on I've experimented with diet anyone around you that you have that has noticed the when you do that right versus when you do that wrong uh I have to say yes, uh, diet and then sometimes I have really early mornings coaching cross it and uh if I ate wrong the day before a little bit sluggish in the early morning uh if I hadn't eaten a good breakfast in the afternoon and might not be a cz energetic tony uh oh, yeah, I say people notice every day what I so appreciate about that, is it is it? Remember day two is all about the collaboration it's all about the collaborative, so as I'm thinking about each one of these, I always want to throw a question out to you that is going to include other people, and so we've got that nutrition one eye combining things I have to do with things I want to do. So specifically, I've been reading at the gym, on the exercise, eichel or on the treadmill, and it gets me to read, and it gets me to exercise or not pay attention to how long I'm exercising and thinking about stopping, so I just keep reading and keep going, which accomplishes two goals there's, several global conferences that I attend or tune into, but they've more and more like creative life. They've started publishing those recordings of the presentations and every now and then, if it's one of those recovery day workout it's or if it's just a long walk, I'll put in that audio or I'll put that video up on top, and what I love about yours is like, I know that my recovery work out. It's not going to be an intense one but it's going to be the movement one and if I can combine something in there I get that double benefit the mental stimulation, the mental energy and then that physical side the physical part on the other side. Similarly, I've been using podcast now on the subway rather than music uh to get some benefit on commute you know it's interesting because as we filter in that next resource that I'll talk about his focus if I look at these I could probably very easily put them in the focus column that's why I we start with this one because what I'm looking for is what are those things that actually bring my energy up so that I focused differently so that I engage in that in a different way? I was thinking your previous light there um what you're managing my one of my limited energy resource is energy but also the um so I tried to I have a lot off conflict around me these days in the the communities that I'm trying to work with their future people who don't understand the work and this is where I was going with yesterday about the cross cultural aspects and communication and so my limited energy I tried to savor that by engaging more with people who actually understand the work and and encourage the work so that it actually boost my excitement and my energy around that work rather than dampen the excitement and energy so it's sort of both, you know, avoiding um or staying away from like he was saying, you know, what do you take out of that list and what do you add more time for people whose support that word my making sense to me one hundred percent but I live in this world so you know, for the benefit of just thinking this out loud from my own perspective is one of the things that we talked about was that replacing a habit instead of trying to change a habit so in the case of working out while you're reading an article or working out while I'm watching a video cast, I didn't do one or the other I replaced listening to music while I was working out with a video now do I do that every time now because there's some workouts that are so intense and so engaged that I don't want to be distracted. I remember years ago I hired a running coach to work with me over a couple of months and when we showed up at the track you know, I was all kind of nervous and excited I don't if anybody's ever work with an athletic coach, but they're supposed to be much better than me at what their coaching me and and he had me do the warm up run and then he videotaped me come across that lasts fifty, eighty meters four different times we went over his laptop he plugged in the computer we played those thirty seconds over and over again and the one thing he told me says jason, your face is too type was clenching my job for the next eight weeks we met once a week the on ly thing we worked on was relaxing my face while iran those kinds of events I don't want to have that simultaneous let me listen to something let me see if I can learn something let me see if I can add something in that in itself was energetic enough so it's really setting myself up for that ability and again these things that we're talking about I could very easily put in the focus column, but I'm always finding what is it that my energy does that takes away or adds to the focus that I want to bring in big one for me is managing to manage my energy I have to manage my environment um I'm a very kinesthetic person I'm also probably pretty a d d I know him, but one of the things that I do is I have at home workstation like you described the two monitors and that helps with productivity, but I've realized that I have a significant drop off and I've only found this out through experimentation where around noon if I don't get out of the house or get to an office a co working place or a coffee shop that second half of the day is shot for me switching the environment going to a place where their stimulation around me helps me reset and reengage and essentially filled that energy tank back up for the health second half of the day and it doesn't matter if I start at the coffee shop and go home or the office or whatever it's just the idea that for about four hours I need to be in place and for another four hours I need to be somewhere else I shared a little bit yesterday around this idea of kind of future casting and one of the places that I get to play with organizations is what will the workplace look like in five, seven or ten years and one of the things joshua's I here it is I see a movement were already there in some instances especially here in the bay area but I'm seeing a movement away from time towards times and what I mean by that is I'm moving away from working ten hours a day toward working two hours a day four times what I've just done is I've taken two hours out of that ten hour day I've put it down in the eight but if I could take something from the athletic world and apply it to the productivity world, we understand the idea of intervals I can go hard for a little bit, and then I need to relax a little bit, and then I can go hard a little bit, and then I can relax a little bit, and when I come back from one of those, relax those that re engagement process seems to go up kind of goes back to something else I was talking about early this morning with habits it's the time of doing the habit versus the times I do the habit and on the front side, when I'm looking to engage a new habit to practice the new routine, I'll actually do it less time and more times through the week, as opposed to trying to find a block where I can practice that for anybody who's in a content creation, you know, if if content creation for you I had always meant and I'm just kind of doing a demographic profile here, a paper or a test or something to deliver to someone because they assigned it to you. But now it's a whole new world now you're creating content for a community that turns to you. That difference for me was huge, and when I realized instead of trying to sit down and crank out three hours worth of cramming for that next content piece, what could I do over the course of a week to come back into that four or eight or twelve twenty minute times and one of the things we're finding about that recalibration that interpretive that that interval training is I really only need to break for a moment before and come back strong? I mean literally all set my little time or for fifteen minutes I'll go hard on something all break for four or five minutes then I'll come back for a half a knauer and then I'll break for two or three minutes and I can come back for fifteen minutes and in that one hour block I can actually get more done at those those those heavy uses I think my energy but it blends right into my focus I mean, the more energy I have, the more focused I could run, the less energy I have, the more distractible I am. I give the example yesterday if you ever been reading a book reading a book reading a book and you get to the bottom of page and have no idea what you just read, my eyes moved across the page I was there somewhere and it wasn't about the time I spent over the focus that I brought to the table so we're on this one we took a look at what assist you with energy let's take a look at what assists you with focus what are some things that you do to enhance your focus? And for example, joshua, you talked about you're changing your environment, and I was kind of putting that on the energy side. Let's, take that a little bit further. So a couple of things that you've seen me go one and then two, it helps me to focus better. Like I worked intently than I have to take that break and do something so I could come back and focus better. I'm combining a couple things in my head. One is what you just shared with something I worked on with a client, actually here in berkeley, in the bay area. What we did is the small staff. He had twelve people, thirteen people in his company, he and twelve people. And over the week before, I came up to meet with him for a few days, I had him use a three by five note card, just one of those little note cards that you buy. You see them in college to write papers or study for tests, and what he did is he wrote each person's name six people in six people, and over the week, he put a little tick mark for every time someone came in and asked him for a minute, you have a minute, and then it was a conversation and what we did is we studied that when I got there well, it turned out that there was one person on his team of twelve people one person that had interrupted him twenty seven times that week with do you have a minute now that's not right or wrong it's not good or bad I mean their collaborative working environment he's an architect for getting six people need to come in and give them the information that he had what we start what we looked at was now that we've tracked that over a five day period you're getting interrupted twenty seven times from this one person what could we implement that would break that down maybe to seventeen maybe to twelve when I was thinking of what you were saying I was saying to myself it could be interesting as an experiment at the end of today look back and ask myself win did I break? I mean today's been especially for you run johnny has been an interesting day because the traffic of coming over for on the bridge and you came in and the rush and then we had the break, but it wasn't long enough and you're kind of going through that day saying, wow, I had a break here in a break here in a break here and then I can combine that with the third one that will talk about what happened in that time and once I start to objectify this, I mean, I tell you I'm such a fan of papers and pen I just I'm a fan because when I see that in my own handwriting, I can I can do something about it or with it so we have this this concept of taking of break time focus, okay, that was awesome. So, um let's, let's go kind of this way around and I was going to write down the ones that I hear I'm very the media that I'm working with. So sometimes if I know in the day I'm going to be dealing with audio video, e mails or creative thinking time, I don't wantto put all my reading time together, I'll do it in a chunk and then I'll give myself a break by handling my audio thank you, I go somewhere where I can't get online, I sometimes at home I'll turn off the internet, but I'll choose a cafe or go to a library where I don't have there's no internet access and it is it's different, you know, for me is I go, I I can't look that up online, you know, I'll stay in this for another when I taught high school on test days on exam days on composition days, I would always ask my students to take an extra one hundred twenty seconds from the point they were done I'd say just give it another one hundred twenty seconds fascinating if if they stayed in that line every now and then something else would show up what I hear here's this is almost forcing you to stay in that thing, right? Yeah for me I've learned how to cue focus with something else so for me when I sit down with a cup of coffee cup of coffee equals it's time to work so he almost just immediately puts me in that mindset because there's something else that's skewing that focus to happen jackie and I'm sure for me movement helps me focus so I work on a lot station so I haven't tried no that's a desk and that's how I work so I'm walking ten miles a day but I'm getting lots of stuff that and for me it's defining the task I mean I have to do is but if I have, you know bookkeeping client calls I need to make that specific tasks that are discreet. So but am I in voicing the month of a am I calling these specific three clients with these specific topics and that so I can stay focused mine's a little similar to that I was going to say it like an outline you know uh the things I need together I do a lot of writing and grant writing so focus the outline off the paper I'm supposed to write for the grant proposal I'm writing helps me focus seems like we've got these tools with about thes things that we can reach in and use my opportunity your opportunity is to make those extremely conscious now we're talking about right before the break we talked about those habits and those routines mentor of mine named marshall, he wrote a book actually, but he's been saying this to me for years, he says, jason, what got you here may not be what takes you to the next level actually outlines twenty behaviors that leaders exhibit that get them promoted that get their company found that get them funded that get them the the acknowledgment that they've created and he says here's, how those twenty behaviors if they get high, higher, higher might actually dis service that my we wrote the title and I've written about this one for a couple of years, so he wrote about what got you here won't get you there. What we're going to play around with today is who got you here may not get you there, and I know that as we head into this afternoon, I'm going to push some buttons on a lot of people I'm sure that the online world is going to have some commentary about this because I'm actually going to study those five to six to seven people that are around me the ones that over the years have supported me have been there for me, and then I looked around go, wow, maybe they can't get me to that next level. Maybe I need to invite someone new. And I remember when I share with you a little bit this morning about the influencers. I don't need to know them necessarily. Anyone have ever had the experience where some part of your community, a friend, a colleague, a partner, someone they mentioned, a book title or an author or a speaker or a conference. And then the next day here it work and someone says, hey, there's, this book title or author conference and then you're standing in line at the coffee shop and someone talks about the book or the author of the you know, like, what is going on to me, that's, just the universe saying, hey, jason, probably need to know about this even though you might not have time or the budget or the energy to give to it. It's coming at you, I think that has a little bit to do with focus