The Tools of Productivity
Let's, take a look at the at the tools and what I'm going to ask you to do, and if we could throw a question out to the global audience, this would be my question for all of us to think about what is it about your organizational tools that frustrates you or slows you down? What is it about the tools you have access to that individually help you move through the day, be productive, track things? What is it that frustrates you or slows you down? I'm gonna walk towards that flip chart, and I'm going to get from a couple of here, but hopefully they'll give it some are already coming in. We'll have time on task frustrates you are slows you down. What are some things about your current organizational system that either get in your way? Or just tony operability? I just don't think that I fully understand that capacity or capability of some of the tools of music, and I feel like there's ah, redundancy at times, so the of the actual and I'm gonna put blank here the tool, the system by phone, ap...
s and different branded, uh, software online and on my phone, I feel like I'm double duty sometimes, I mean, I've talked to people who have spent considerable hours of their life downloading, experimenting and then deleting an organizational app that was supposed to help them be more productive I see those is a little bit different in the way I look at it this top one is what does the unit by itself and I'm kind of doing this right what does that handheld device what does that notebook with penn? What does that email or website system? What does it do that I don't know it does I tell a story in my book a couple of years ago now but I woke up one morning and I had overnight gotten like eight e mails and the subject line was the same it was f w de colon workflow audit and what had happened is from around the world that morning a very prolific writer had written a blawg post he sent it out to the whole world and the subject of his email was workflow on it and immediately eight of my friends from around the world had forwards jason did you see this and what it was is when I get somebody toe watch how I work they will be able to drop in an idea that I didn't know I didn't have I'm going to share a couple of these with you before we leave today the second one then is oh my goodness you know we're in the silicon valley you know, the birthplace of a new app there's a new app for that for something so those two I'm going to take what were some other things that you could kind of immediately come up with and you think about your organizational system, what you've got in place gets in your way slows you down frustrates you, I he pretty much said what I was going to say that I use a pc and ipad and a phone and I'll make a list or project on one and doesn't work on the other one yada yada yada you think? Yeah, it just takes up a lot of time think that was the word tony you use like how does it all connect? How do I how do I get it to work together? I think I anything else it's actually being in marketing it's the marketing spin of always you can upgrade to this you can replace with that what you have seems to never be uh what sort for, um the right thing it's you can always upgrade or you need to get rid of something or you're not efficient and you're being told, oh, this will solve all your problems it actually creates more and that's what I'm in this conundrum of you got to move to mack well, the learning curve for that is pretty steep for windows users why would that make my life better and it's the pain of switching worth it? Are you a few floor eyes frustrated by the tools that they have crashing, such as their ipad outer? Andi also feeling legally, boots says, I feel like I have too many and then also julie w has a hard time choosing a system that works for the way that that she thinks, and then also going back to your comment, julie says it's about learning the tools and taking that time to learn the things changing so fast. Time to learn so there's a lot, a lot of information out there as we get into what these tools could do, what I want to dio as I'm going to jump up to the top and ask a simple, not easy to answer question, which really is how do you track it? All these show up to me as the things that I would use once I have something to track once I have something to write down once I have something to keep up with. So the marketing part of it, which is this, says it's supposed to be easy, this is supposed is supposed to make my life easier. I'm always looking what's the it. That it is supposed to do for me and really it comes down to the tool that you're using today are simply to capture to gather, to collect those things the way we set up this creative life, I asked for clipboards for everybody because I was kind of steering you towards this let's start from here well, when I'm thinking of tracking there's really four things I need my system to do so for those of you watching online, let me ask you to write these four things down there's four things I would need that system to do the first one is to give me the option of saying yes or no do something so what's that gonna look sound or feel like it's gonna look sound or feel like email text messaging, phone call someone handing me a note someone sending me a letter? Yes, no as anybody else have a ah recycle bin or trash bin next to where they process their mail. All right, the mail comes in is like stuff stuff doesn't even make it to the you know, there's certain days of the week where are our trash bins are actually on the end of the street where we live and those couple of days there's stuff that doesn't even make it down the driveway no, no, no, that leaves us with what I've said yes to now I gave the example before of opening the email closing it marking it un red that's the indicator that I said yes to something so the next factor that I need to take a look at the next thing is do I have to do something with what I've just said yes to or do they have to do something that I've just said yes to my gonna hand this off to a team member um I going to do this myself now hold on we're not talking about dropping everything and making that happen because that leads me to the third flow now or later so for example tony when I think about this second one the aps generally speaking when I think about productivity performance I think about time management list making what they're doing is they're building a system to try to answer that third question now or later that's all the reason that I would email myself yes sir yes I have an idea I can't do it now I'm going to email myself it goes into my email system when I get back there at least I could swipe through it oh yeah I forgot I email myself there's some of us that are old enough in the room anyone remember calling their own voice mail wait we had right like called from home to work or from work to home looking there's the blinking light oh somebody called it was made oh, yeah, the water, the plants, and it was right there was awesome. It worked that leads me to the fourth one. Do I track that activity that I need to take? So I tracked that thing that needs to be done, or do I trust that it will be handled? And this, to me, is where the whole thing evolved just completely disrupts itself, because using these four prompts, I can radically simplify whatever system it is that I'm trying to create. I've seen people pull out a word document, have two pages next to each other, and they just start answer the questions them later me later delete the ones that I trust left with the ones I have the track. I mean, I could give you a couple of just drop ins, those of you who do let me see, show hands on, and then, if we could just get a couple of yes is from the online community who has emailed himself let's, let's, let's see it, who has set himself on email and idea here they send that email into themselves. I would go into your email system and immediately create a rule if you've done this and the rule would simply be, if I email me, move it to a full, they're called my actions. Right now I land in there in my inbox is a bunch of e mails from people from around the world could be clients could be friends could be family could be whatever but this other little folder these the ones that I came up with these the ones that I said, hey, I need to send these to me let me go a bit deeper who's ever sent an email to someone and then b c seed themselves has anyone ever done this right? Just kind of keep a track of that thing okay? Who's ever gone into their scent items scrolled through their son titles to figure out who they need to follow up with anyone ever done that one all of a sudden I can start to use this model I send something to you, I need you to take an action later and I'm gonna track that to completion ibc see myself now in some email systems you're ready for this I can actually tell the email system if I send me an email but my name is in the bcc move it to a father called follow up now I'm just trying to drop in a couple of specific examples about how I can do this process right here because it is a process when I think about tools when I think about gear when I think about that that productive day, I'm really looking at what is that person's process system, map and how those two things come together and always, always, always I'm going to shy away from recommending an app or a system or a specific tool I would much rather spend time discussing their overall approach their process of doing those things I mean, talk about process talk about approach my question to the audience and those of you tuning in on line is what do you use your mind for? Is it to remember to review to react because I want to use a system built on that process and again, I've seen this done with the tools that you're holding right there in your hands hear the things I don't want to have to think about until later oh all right that down I'll put it on a post it on email myself so that I can use my mind for and for this room addressing the more I've had people tell me I I would love it if I had a little bit more time each day to think and I always ask I was like, well, where you going to get some time to think and their answers are sometimes all wake up early tomorrow I'll stay up late tonight and then I start to look at the the sustainability factor I've ever had this thought that two duis that you think of are simply interruptions to your workflow a lot of times people think interruptions come from the outside, but think about this one when I'm sitting there looking at my email or I'm in a meeting or I'm on the phone and I think of something that's, not about the email, the meeting in the phone has ever happened. Anybody right? You start thinking of something beyond what you're doing right now that interrupted you. And so what I want to do is I want to build a system, and I always put this in quotes. For now I want to build a system that can keep up with me for some determined time period for the start up your tony, your web like website launched today, let's, see if we can look at building based on your process a system that's one, two, three months into the future does two things for me. One it allows me to commit I'm all in on this too it? No, I'm going to maybe spin out of this. The system that you build is simple in nature. For me, I'm building a system that really answers one question. What do I need to see later? I'm going to combine a couple of things for you going to drop this in and I know it's late in the afternoon those of you who are online with us those of you were here if you think about this we start to connect the different topics from today remember when we started talking about the verbs of your work and we tried to minimize those how far if you can we get by with I came up with here the six things that I can do that for me relate to achieving my more professionally I looked through a day and I'm trying to figure out how many phone calls can I make today how many e mails can I send today? How many articles can I draft today? What can I review today but all of those air in service to for me creating and presenting now for yours it might be a different top two of which you may have that bottom section but notice as those e mails start flying in as you talk to that co founder as you have that conversation with a business partner everything starts to fall into in my head. I have that image did anybody ever ever have ah flour sifter remember that we poured the flower into that thing and you sifted the floor if you haven't done this it's sze old baking technique and I feel like I'm sifting to get the good flower leaving the chunks that I'm not going to use my organizational system just needs to answer the question what do I need to see later? And I'm into simplicity I shared with you my six verbs essentially my to do list if you want to call it that my to do list is made up of six verbs I like to bunch those together alphabetically so that I can see all the things I have to review at once I can see all the calls I have to make it once I can see all of the things I'm I'm I need to email at one time and that was just one alphabetical list and when I say I've seen people do this in a microsoft word document I have another element of that what do I need to see later is some kind of a callin during system and again I'm going for simplicity jody and I found that with our calendar spread across our personal lives a race traffic lawn is part of my life I travel is part of my life jodi ran ah women's networking group for part of her life we had they went eight calendars that we could add something too now it was fascinating is when I could see all of that is kind of that kaleidoscope all of that together it started acting as a filter of what I could ignore I'll give you one specific example raced triathlon, usually those air on sundays. Before we had this kind of a system put into place, the process was I knew I was racing and I might or might not tell jody and jodi knew that she was building our business and she might or might not tell me that she was talking to a client and next thing we knew, she had booked a speech on friday and a travel day on sunday for another workshop on monday on the same weekend that I had a race, the system that I need to build is what do I need to see when I love taking a look, tony, I put it up here for twelve weeks ahead in this case where we are right now in the year that pushes you through to the new year, when you're watching this online, you just take us through the next quarter. So what is it that I need to see over the next one, two or three months when I get back to my office when I'm sitting down with that particular client? When I'm thinking about that project that I'm working on, I often talk about the limited resource is toe what gets in our way of being productive, maybe what gets in our way of reaching those ideal day. And one of them this time absolutely hands down. In fact, if you could write something down for me, grab a piece of paper, grab a pen just right down there the number ninety six those watching online ninety six there are ninety six fifteen minute blocks of time in a day tomorrow when we come back together mid morning, I'm going to talk to you about why fifteen minutes is so important, why I'm such a believer or in blocking my day out to take a look at if I had a free fifteen minute block? What does not want to have to think about having done? I definitely definitely when it comes to managing time, I want to take a look at the interruptions what's getting in my way those of you who work with other people do you have anybody who comes and asks you for a minute anybody have this? Do you have a minute? And what I'll do is I'll start a process where off to the side of your desk on a three by five note card or a post it a note inside of your iphone. I'll put that person's name on top of that three by five note card or that posted or that note, and when I think of something to tell that person when I think of something I could interrupt them with actually write it down and then how this works the process of it is that person calls me emails me or comes into my space and says do you have a minute we talk about her or his one thing but I've collected two or three more to discuss in the office environment that I spent quite a bit of time and people are measured at one hundred eighty to two hundred twenty interruptions per day that's one hundred eighty times people coming in do you have a minute? Thank you they walk away up do you have a minute? Thank you. And then they walk away do you have a minute and then they walk away and then you go ask them do you have a minute and you and we won't get it down we will get it down to zero but what if we could bring it from one hundred eighty to one hundred twenty the next thing that I would talk about his managing focus I mean gosh, how fast that goes and how context based it isthe who's ever had the experience where they had a print out some pdf some file some pages and they took those pages to a conference room by themselves they close the door and for an hour they just studied those materials anyone ever done this and you have your version of it because you know I need to focus in on this than context reins focus it rains it's so important to that whole piece we talked earlier about those tracking of the daily activities where did I win today I'll talk a little bit tomorrow morning about some of the habits I have around journaling of writing things down at the end of the day you thought the thank you card was interesting wait till you see tomorrow what we can do to end of the day for ourselves you all know we have different kinds of work one of the introductions to that that I shared was the transaction, the relationship building and the opportunity development if we just took that on as we're getting ready to leave this afternoon think to yourselves over the evening when you're back with your family your friends skype you your colleagues what will you be doing work what work will you be doing? That's transaction base that's relationship building bases, opportunity development than the third limited resource well, this is a fun one by quick show of hands who on the message boards going blow upon this who are my morning people so raise your hand my morning people in their great who are my afternoon people afternoon you kind of kick in and then late night sun goes down and that's when you kick into gear fascinating now have you ever worked with your opposite that's amazing you got someone who's an afternoon that's when their shine and then you have someone who's a morning that's when they're awesome so the morning person comes in at seven thirty seven they're banging out e mails and then towards the end of the day that three o'clock call league kicks in and boom it's like they just woke up what happened? So I'm going to say you may want to study your sleep. The research that I'm reading is that in the work place and this is america workplace that's so I'm spending my study that's where I work the most in the workplace sixty to eighty percent of the people that you meet with our underst leaped, they define that as one hour less than what their body needs now that's subjective because everybody needs a different amount, but what they're saying is people are showing up to work and they have been they're exhausted, so study my sleep and how that does you know, when we started studying this, I kicked some things out of the late day and and I won't share specific examples publicly because then people think that they should do that, but I stopped doing some things late in the day that I think looking back, we're keeping me up a little bit later those of us who were the morning people I saw a couple of notes pop in there man you know, I know for me that if that morning is impacted if I don't get some of those big things done in the morning it's tougher later in the afternoon experiment with nutrition you know here creative live those of you watching online I hope you've been breaking as we've been breaking to get in that fuel as we go from section to section and then something that I think we talked a little bit about before the break was taking a look around at what's causing the stress that acute stress I want that stress that comes up and gets me focus and gets me engaged what I want to be careful of is that chronic stress when someone says they've been thinking about something for more than a decade if that's getting in their way if that's keeping them up at night if that's frustrating them we want to see how we can move out of that space so if I were to drop a seed of thought for this afternoon and I know whenever I talk about systems and tools sometimes people are looking for what's the app what's the tool what's the gear should I do this platform or that platform? I hope what you'll study from this is to go out to go out there and study and upgrade upgrade may not be going to the next version upgrade me have someone watch what you do is you do it let me get one more quick example and then I'm going to turn to see if there's any questions that I could dive in and I will give a couple of examples if if I get pushed on in that way but let me do this one how many of you have jobs where answers you give toe? One person could be used to another department, another group or another area let me do it this way who's ever gone to their scent items called? I know you've done this bright gone to your sent items copied content that you typed to someone and pasted that in and typed it to someone else sent that to someone else has anyone ever does something like this? So I'll do a couple of connections one over in my email system I've created customs signatures so any time I'm typing an email to someone right before I click send my question is might I ever type of those words in that order again? And if the answer is anywhere on the shade of yes, I stopped and google I can do this and all the systems I can do this and although it is create these custom bespoke signatures the statistic right now that I'm reading his twenty sixteen by twenty sixteen eighty percent of the people we email back and forth by twenty sixteen they say will not see their email on a computer screen it's all going to be on mobile devices eighty percent of it. I'm already acting as if it's twenty sixteen I told you that sweet spot for me is sixty, two hundred twenty months out in the er it's always fun like which platform do I mentioned? I'm just going to say in a platform, but in the platform that I see the most right now the subject line, I get five words in the body of that email I get sixty five words so what I'm thinking of emailing someone? I'm just pretending that they're only going to see it on the hand held and so I put the five best words I confined in the subject line up with sixty five best words I confined in the top of the body before they have to scroll now on a hand held device whatever handheld device you have, how many you have the spellcheck activated so that while you're typing it will recognize a misspelled word and it will do its best it's best sometimes it's best it will do its best to help fix that anybody have that one? So what I did is I went in and I have amended the internal dictionary inside of my handheld devices so that when I create misspelled words, they're really just key word combinations those misspelled words create entire paragraph blocks of text the closer and closer you get to your event where you're having people come together and the sponsors and the vendors and the people on the sign ups and this and that that you're going to find that there's probably ten, maybe fifteen of the same emails that you're receiving. So what I've done is I've created on my desktop computer, these signatures that aiken simply plug and play and on my handheld device, you and I could sit down, tony, we could come up with the eight questions that you know, people are going to ask you about study abroad saver we know those questions, I want to be able to answer those using the system that I've got does that first one make sense about why I spent some time up there where I said the capability of and why when I got that email from eight of my friends who we all read the same email from that one popular writer where said workflow audit, the best thing that I can give you is to go get someone who knows a little bit about what you do upto watch you do it and they're going to come in and give you a tip give you attack to give you a tool that you may not have seen, what can I say or talk about or describe that would make this a little bit more clear or easy stress is new for me so is that working people that worked good under pressure or what you're referring to? So for me, it's the the good stress I'm involved in my more I'm heading into an ideal day the project I'm working on isn't direct alignment with my so that and I get an email that invites me to a conference or a meeting that's just on the periphery the stress that just got caused if I wasn't in this day if I wasn't in an ideal day wasn't working one of my so that's and I wasn't at my best I might say yes to a little bit above the other thing that I I think of when I think of good stress is this the stress of focus it's why in a way people who procrastinate if they continue procrastinating through their career the higher and higher and higher they get eventually at some point it may get them I've seen it happen because up to that point the procrastination put them at a level where it was due tomorrow the stress of that cleared everything away and they were working on the what thing? The good thing when I think about bad stress can talk about that one for a little bit when I think about bad stress it's the stuff that keeps on coming up it keeps on coming up, it keeps on coming up and I don't spend that little bit of time energy or focus seeing how to get rid of that and with fastening is the bad stress isn't ever it's not a cute it's not powerful enough sometimes to make us change, you know, toni's ah, cross fit, dude. So you understand health and wellness, and when I showed that slide up, there were seven hundred seventy two pounds. I don't think you knew that story, and you're like you hundreds every two pounds, the bad stress that caused that weight gain and that that sid entry lifestyle for me back in the nineties, it just kind of slowly happened over seven years. It just kind of I didn't wake up one morning and go from a size thirty two, a size thirty six that took seven years. By the way, that would be the fastest way to fix things. I mean, can you imagine? Go to bed one night you wake up. Tomorrow is booming. Whoa! I make a change now good stress comes in, so I'm going to make a change now. And vocabulary and wording. You may have different words for this. This is how it spins in my head.