Skip to main content

Sticking with the System

Lesson 22 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

Sticking with the System

Lesson 22 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

22. Sticking with the System

Lesson Info

Sticking with the System

I've talked a lot about like, you know, the managing time management absent use task management, absecon use, but we've today we've covered idea management, which is a whole other element of your time management you've got a lot of ideas how do you figure out which wants to move forward on how do you figure out which one's toe put on the back burner or just toss aside altogether power paper and what it can really do for you? Maybe it's the ultimate app, you know, maybe it's the system, maybe it's gonna be part of your workflow and now we're gonna talk about sticking with the system so you know how many? How many? I just wanna find out how many smartphone aps do you have on your you've got an iphone, right? Also? Okay, how many aps would you say? Ballpark? Yeah, with too many. Not too many. Thirty. Thirty. Okay, it's, not about how many are do you use on a regular basis in terms of work flow like, uh, I see has ever known not too much on the phone now I'm just going to start using it wi...

th the pictures, right? I use harmony, focus on the phone, I used calendars a lot and I use reminders just to make lists I think they work for me on the nail of course you've got about five or six core components that are part of your work flow that's part of your system right? You're not throwing in anything else like we talked about lift a little bit of a lift but I couldn't stick with it too long and I said you know what? I'm just gonna try one habit a month okay? There you go so that so again you finding out what works right? What works within your system? What doesn't write so when I'm talk about sticking with the system um we end up getting a lot of laps coming our way and I've talked about a ton of them during during the past few days yes, I had a swell it's how to maybe use paper is part of that system but the trick isn't about what aps you're using or what services you're using its butt sticking with the systematic approach those systems that you put in place that foundation that tent I talked about from the first day right making sure that that's that's solid so that when you've always got that foundation to work off of now how many of you have read the book or heard of the thirty nine steps? It's a it's a rather old old book it's also movie was how alfred hitchcock did a film about it it's a mystery and the film was loosely based on the john buchanan novel um and the reason I mentioned thirty nine steps is that too john buchanan when he was writing it the thirty nine steps were indicative of the steps he saw when he was writing this book like he wasn't hot you he was sick and not doing very well and so that was like his trigger and he that was one thing that he he used when he was writing the book but in actuality the thirty nine steps in the book and the movie or something completely different the thirty nine steps in the movie where it was some criminal organization and a paraphrasing here um but it meant something very different teo offered hitchcock or he's putting it together as to how he would present those but the thirty nine is the key number there at thirty nine is the key number because thirty nine is divisible by three so for me when I'm breaking down how I wantto manage my systems I liketo have something that's that is quantifiable that is I can say okay look this is this is something I could do with span of like a three week period so I'm going to our or longer right? So three is a good thing to remember three is a number we all can remember um the other thing is thirty nine covers at least four days on either side of any month, right? So no matter what month you're doing right, you're going to get at least four days so if you start using a system on june twenty sixth, you're going to be able to carry it all the way over to like the first week in august, right? And the reason why that's important when you're when you're working on a system and trying to stick with it is that you're never going to get quite the full effect of how a system is working for you unless you gauge it over that extended period of time think about it when it comes to banking, okay, when you're dealing with your bank over the end of the month, get the service charges and stuff that that air there and when you're budgeting, you've got stuff that's coming into the end of the month of stuff at the beginning of the month if you budgeted if you looked at your banking and you're budgeting for for more than thirty days, you probably have a better sense. I've had a budget right cause you're taking into account the tail end of one month and the beginning of the next month and as well as a month in the middle right same thing with task management same thing with time management you're looking on either side of that one zone as well as the means own you're working on so many projects or stuff that you've come up with at the end of one week or the end of one month carries over into the main months you're focusing on so let's, say november, right, and then carries four days over until the next month, because a lot of these systems work on a monthly cycle or a four week cycle like a calendar. Daz, you're going to get a better sense of how it's working for you if you let it bridge over those that period of time because basically what you're letting you do is bridge over a three month period essentially right on either side. This is making a bit of sense to you guys. You guys could understand why that that carry over is important. You're going to get a sense of how well it's working for you at the end, basically throughout the whole course of that period of time, you're giving it a really good sense in terms of evaluation, not to mention any updates that may take place. You're giving a chance for that habit to build there's that old adage it takes thirty days to build a habit, right? It does it really foster it takes a little bit longer, the habit is there working out if you work out for thirty days, you know, I work out every day, but you're gonna start building that chain breaking, keeping that chain going, um my journaling habit is a great example of this if I only journal in that month you know that's great, but if I see it on others each side of the equation I'm preparing myself for the months to come and then I'm nicely like nicely coming out of that month without here's what's coming the next month and actually encourages you to stick with that system because you're investing a little bit more time in it and all that is this four days on either side of the month of course in february to march is going to be a little bit longer because it's a shorter month but that's what that's what that does is it gives you a real sense the problem with people in their systems as they see a shiny new app that comes along right. So, um let's use one that lets given example dugal keep okay, so google keep talking about everything a lot google keep shows up you been using every note for a long period of time? Oh, google keep has these new features you evaluated you take a lucky figured if maybe the idea of exploring google keep over every note is worth dealing. You get a sense of that by using something like the idea criteria I talked about in the earliest segment of the day you know what? I'm going to try google keep but you gotta try it for an extended period of time so that you know if it's gonna work for you or not okay, you have to weigh that we'll ever know it's working really great for me do I really want to give that energy or waste that resources or do that bought remember we talked about body clock off day one where do I want to put my energy? Where do I want to spend my time? So that's another valuation but knowing that you have to stick with it for thirty nine days that's a mental thing that's a mind set things right? That means oh, if I'm gonna move I'm gonna have to give this thirty nine days um I willing to give this thirty nine days thirty nine's a bigger number right? If I say I'm willing to give this a month one month one oh yeah one month's not that long I could do one month one month of your time is really a lot bigger remember time scales times big very big right? What can happen in a month is crazy for you, right? Unless your idea for that month is to try something new then that's great that could be part of it what did you say thirty nine that's a big number I could divide my head I can get my I can wrap my head around it but thirty now that's a lot of days do I really want to spend that time focusing on that new system? So give your system at least thirty nine days to stake now when I say that I want to make sure that we talked about this during lunch break to jennifer, you and I talked about it specifically about like, your system, how it's a bit of a workflow writes you say, hey, you know what paper I could get that can wrap my head around that, but I really let you, like, really like the idea of a digital task manager because you don't want to keep writing, you know, e mail this person, so maybe the bullet journal as an example isn't something that's going to work for you. So if you decide you're gonna jump into a digital task manager, you're gonna want to give it that time to stick, but you're already just starting to get used to using ever know properly, right? So you have to decide if it's a good idea for you to go. I'm going to jump into every note and a task manager or I'll stick with the familiar, that simple paper system that amusing, and I'm going to give every note thirty nine days to get by, to get my house in order and ever know for thirty nine days it's measurable it's something that you can act on and use and you can execute and then you've built something that's supposed simple and scalable, and then the next after, after those thirty nine days, you're up, you can say, you know what? That pain points go on, you know, email getting out your email system. I'm going to try for thirty nine days, I'm gonna let those subscription emails coming for another thirty nine days into us. Another account. Whoo! That's! Not good. You know, I'm going to create that new account. Well, that's great. I've got it. Now I can now, khun, you know, decide whether I want to keep that stuff coming in there or whether I want it. Get rid of that altogether. I'm going to stop you start task managing inside of me e mail application for thirty nine days, okay, but you have to give it that time. You have to build that now. How do you get through the thirty nine days? Well, first, I'm going to give you guys another acronym. Because I love the acronyms, they're easy to stick with, and we'll go to the chat room and a little bit and figure out if this kind of mentality of giving it a bit more time on avoiding the oh there's a new app that just came out and I should try it or a new device even better eso won is the acronym when he uses is now I've got a new a book coming out called the now year and the now stands for something for the counter but also said when I'm talking about aps and systems now it stands for something completely different and the end is does it fulfill a need does this app or this new component of your system but you want to change does it fulfill a need something that you need right now do I need to use lift to track my exercise? Do I need to put a spreadsheet and to ever know and get that system down because I'm still trying to work out how to make every network do I need to make all of my e mail do we need seven email accounts right now or can maybe I'll just add one right? So has to fulfill a need and that need has to be greater than what we're already working with okay oh is it obvious? Is it something that I'm going to see it go? Obviously this is where this goes obviously this is what I use this for right? You said we were talking about journaling right? You're journaling in right see that tree right now is obviously that's where your journal stuff goes right for me when I open day one what am I doing? It obviously I'm journaling but that's what it's for that's what I put in that's part of my work flow that's part of my system right uh we're talking about a different note books for ever know jennifer and I said you said well what if I want to do different hairstyles? Well obviously if I know that have created this notebook called fashion and insert the stack called fashion of notebooks and I've got a hair style no book in there well obviously I'll put it in there right? So if it creates if it's obvious and the reason you want that obviousness there is because I've already thrown how much at you over the past couple days nothing's really going to be super obvious that for upfront right? So you need when you're looking at a nap and you get that update in your process feed or an e mail or somebody says, hey, what if why don't you try this app? Well, do I need it? I don't have anything that really fulfills this is it obvious? I don't know man, I've been using every note for journaling for a long time it's not that obvious and then the w is the why you know you need it oh is obvious in the uae what what's the ultimate why behind using it if all three of those could be satisfied you know, and they're all interrelated, right? Then give it a go, we have to get to go for thirty nine days, you can't just give it a go for, like, a week or two, right? You have to have that mental idea that it's thirty nine days, because that's going to really impact the now as well, that that that need that obviousness, that why do many questions from here before I take it to the no making sense? I think so here, traditionally said, thirty days between nine days to get to you were more than that. It spreads it out, it's a little and again, thirty nine days is not a month, thirty nine days is at least five weeks, right? Actually, five and a half, when you can break that of that singular mode of saying one month because one sounds simple, right? I could do that as opposed to I can do those things right that's why everything shows up on your list? I can do that, I could do that, or I could do that, or I can oh, I can't do all these things, right, but when you're dealing with thirty nine things thirty nine days, the only way I could deal with these three things, these three thirteen day increments, right, so go ahead. For those applications that you don't use everyday teo somehow out of this thirty nine days toe thirty nine times, he needs to be in your workflow for thirty nine days. So for example, you're not going to use it if you're going to use lift to track your your exercise, you mean not exercise every single day, but that's a twice a week? Yeah, if you want to. And remember, when you're in pointing these things into your workflow, some of them are gonna be critical components of it, like ever note, maybe you're like a task manager, what you're going to use every day, but some are going to be a little bit, you know, like I f t t t dot com it's the reason I use it is I don't use it all the time. In fact, at this point, it's become automatic, but it fulfills a need. What need does it fulfill? It saves me time, so I have to grab testimonials off twitter myself. That's the on ly recipe I'm using right? Oh, is it obvious? Well, it is because it's doing it for me. So I mean, obviously if it saves me time and obvious, if it's do it for me, that's obvious. W why why am I using it? Why would I need it? Well, the automated process of grabbing testimony is that I would ever have otherwise have to find myself to save time right now I have t t t has a bunch of different recipes inside of it we talked about this like, um if after six pm on uh let's say everyday after six p m tell the women oh that I have my light plugged in to turn on do I need that will know it often we mow secondly, not eternal life's not really need doesn't feel need I don't need to add it like to me that that's that to me is an app that's a service that they don't need to add to my work flow because it's actually every time you do that you're gonna be taking time away right? So something like that like you can add little pieces to text expander a tax like you used it you use it every day without actually knowing that you're using it everyday but so if it fills a need for you right, the obviousness is built into the automation now why do you use it? Saves time don't have to think about it it's, it's, it's efficient and effective I just tried a little bit of for people who don't know what I I ft dt is that it's time for nick if this then that yeah, this happens then do that. Yeah, we're and basically, before we four rap, you're going to see it up. I'm gonna have a lot of descriptions of this stuff on my site, so you could have a sense of hey, this is what this, what this does, and then on monday they'll be like, a bigger, you know, broader explain there's also some links in the productivity ist workbook that show show that stuff as well. We're going to say something else or no, those in you have anything from the chat room right now? Yeah, well, I'm really interested in the thirty nine day method I had never really thought about that, you know, preceding month and following month, I've done some things for thirty days and tried it out, but this makes a lot of sense to me, and we've had some people in the chat room timing in about it. Vanessa fall says that I used a thirty nine day method when I found out I was wasting time on social media, so I went on a hiatus. Now I have a better relationship with social media, and I'm able to spend the reclaim time on other things that serve my clients and family. And sure mr says uh I like the thirty nine days I probably give up too early on this stuff now I only have myself to blame that I didn't stick with those thirty nine days and carl pieces something similar says its length and forces a limit so how many apt you can adopt I can't see myself adopting more than one new app in my work flow over a thirty nine day period yeah absolutely and the other thing is with the thirty nine the thirty nine steps those thirty nine days is that it also means you can remove things like vanessa sent for thirty nine days you can step back from social media for thirty nine days you could say you know what there's an element of my work flow that's been in there there's a bit of a pain point I'm going to remove that for thirty nine days and see if that's gonna work that increment is really powerful because again it does carry over into basically over a three month period if you really think about it so how else do you get through through the idea of of those thirty nine days? Well you're going to know pretty quickly if you're being disrupted or distracted but you may not know the difference between the two because some people say well disruption distraction they're the same thing and they're really not okay uh disruption is generally out of your control okay so destruction would be if the fire alarm went off in here right now that's something that we didn't plan on it showed up and we have to deal with it we have to act accordingly um another example and this often this stuff that you just cannot ignore and it's because it's fight or flight right like you know that kind of thing so does that's a disruption right disruptions air their jarring they cause a break and workflow that cause a break and flow but they're generally out of your control a distraction however are well they're well within your control all right and the reason people don't like to make that distinction is because when they can say things are disruptions then they give up that accountability and not everything's a fire alarm the phone ringing not a fire alarm it's an alert otherwise when you're looking at your phone it wouldn't say ring tone it would say command tone or order tone it's a ring it's you choose you get to choose how you want to acknowledge it again value right hey do I phone's ringing? What am I doing right now? I'm working on a proposal I've got an answering machine they can leave a message being notification email what am I working on right now? Oh I'm answering e mail right now, okay, I'll go back and look at it no notifications on email means no distractions so you can either continue to work through if you're processing email at the time and deal with the ones that have already come first in first out, and then your inbox gets smaller, right? Or you can decide how you want to deal with it. Distractions are well within your control. We talked about yesterday about notifications being on by default now, there's a reason they're on by default, obviously, that one of the main reasons is that technology companies, they want you to be able to test out all the features of the phones and of the of the of the software in the hardware, right, or in a lot of cases, people would forget to turn them on, right? So by default, there are right that way, you know, they're there, but you don't always have to know that they're there have to be aware that you can have them and use them as you shoes. So when I said yesterday, turn your email off, make it manual only the gas like, but that means yes, that means you're not going to be distracted doesn't mean you're not. I mean, justice doesn't mean you're not gonna be disrupted, right? Because an email is not a disruption, email is a distraction, okay, another distraction that's well within your control is the amount of technology you're using so if you have and we heard this in the chat room ah large number of aps that air getting in your way you have thirty iphone aps you've got installed let's say and summer conflicting with others or you've got like run keeper the pops up it goes, don't forget to go for your run today and you're like, oh, I wasn't even thinking about my run I'm going to notification center and turning that off because I don't want to hear it we're using an application like away find like I talked with our service where you can mitigate that distraction of email were only those e mails that you really want to have come through come through or changing your ring tone or your custom sounds so that when your wife calls or your husband your partner calls you go oh that's my husband that's my partner that's my wife, I'll get that right and we have a hard time with this because first off we like to think that mean disruptions or something that we have to deal with distractions or things that we've chosen to allow to steal our focus away, right? So you have to decide what what ones you're willing to control limits, boundaries, verses which ones you're not right this making sense is that something that you're enjoying hearing something like, uh he's right but that's that's one way that's how you get through those thirty nine staff those thirty nine days right when you when you look at your distractions when you install a new app you have control you installed it you're the one that did it so say how do I want this app to help me out how do I want this this paper to help me out how do I want this thing to help out with my workflow help me manage my time calendar notifications I generally leave on but by default they offer you remind a pop up reminder tenant it's before that to me is a distraction I'd rather know thirty minutes before so I can make sure that time is not so much of a factor for me so I'm not rushing out the door going out we only have ten minutes but by default on google calendar pop up ten minutes before so doing that front end work that stuff that you should do when you make that appointment or when you add that time when you schedule that block of time right remember you asked about the weekly review right? I saw you I said, well how do you get into that state where you can do it right so scheduled weekly review right scheduling and google calendar and then go to where it says you know, reminders and have that pop up happened thirty minutes before because then you've created this distraction right? You said hey now we need to get into this other mode I've got thirty minutes tow wind my other stuff down so now I can do the weekly review right? I've got a high energy phone call to make later, right? I've got appointment of meeting I'm going teo change that change the default to say hey you know what I need to take I need a no an hour before this meeting so I could go for that walk I can shut the computer and go for the walk so I can mentally prepare for that meeting you make those choices don't let them be made for you because like I said, I've said continuously but especially in the segment we were talking about you what systems to bring into play your system is going to be everyone system's gonna be different so why let the defaults distract you? Because that's what they that's what they ultimately d'oh okay, the other thing you can do teo make sure that those thirty nine days are effective and that you don't end up losing time and energy and space and bandwidth and all that stuff while you're working on his lower your learning curve so jennifer, we talked about this you said you know, maybe I'm just gonna take on every note to start really use paper to bandage my task that's lowering your learning curve right and we also talked about how uh you said well how do I do this with like how do I do this with ever know and I literally am able to give you an answer that would work for me right you know and you're like oh that might work and you may find another way right but because you're only thinking about that one app or that one component of your system or your workflow your learning curves lower you can focus on ever note if your learning asana you know you focus on asano if you're gonna learn to strike through system I really need to get the strike through system down or I'm having a huge deal with contacts how do what what do they mean to me I mean I've had a lot of questions about okay so is this the context or is this the cars that's a tagger if all you're doing is focusing on one or two elements of your workflow then guess where that focus can go where am I having a bit of trouble where am I having a little bit of thing adding value to what I'm trying to do technology is a great thing I love it I love the fact that we can do this and broadcast a whole bunch of people I love the fact that I get an e mail like that I also love the fact that I can answer it like that or like that I love that it gives me choice with all these tools you have options, you have options, right? Do we have anything in the chat room? Cali girl just had a interesting comment that she shared she said I knew that disruptions and distractions were two different things, but I didn't know the specifics on how they differed thanks for the clarification and I think just thinking about them in those two very different categories changes the way you react absolutely and some people will still say, you know well, disruption could be a phone call and like well, again, what value you adding to that right like a disruption on operator where somebody is working with like that could be considered a disruption right for some people but really it if you have control over that element it is a distraction and some people will rationally well, the phone ringing it's you know it's a disruption well that's because you're allowing it to be right really it's a distraction that you can mitigate yes and is interruption synonymous with destruction interruption? Well interruption no, because interruption is either or right like like if if the firearm was to go off right now, this would be interrupted, right? But it's something that we don't really have a sense of control over, right? Unless of course you're the one that set the fire but you know what I mean? But they wouldn't that that's an interruption distraction creates an interruption, right? But it's something they didn't have tio right? Like, you know, when we talked about the phone, if we're eating dinner and you having a great meal especially that socialization component we talked about right? You one of us great dinner with your friends, right? We're having a great lunch and you've got your smartphone there when the phone rings, you have a choice to acknowledge the phone for to acknowledge the situation you're in right now. If the phone's ringing while you're in that situation, then you've already created the distraction. But before you go to lunch, you turn off the phone or put it on vibrate or as my friend patrick grown is written about put in airplane mode it's not that that phone is now a brick, right, but you made it a brick it's not something that apple or or an end or you know or samsung you made it that way and the thing is you khun unbreak it really easily, right? You could make it back to what you need to be later, what you need it to be later, right not what we're doing right now, right? Have you guys ever seen that that, uh that game where would you go to a dinner everyone puts their smart phones in a pile on the table one after the other and the first person to reach for their smartphone pays the bill you've heard about it has anyone fallen victim to hit my friends do it, but they did they didn't do it csc and that's when you don't like ok, seriously then you're that that so that tells you something did you? Did you you played it with a game that I worked a job where we were travelling and we would every time the group of us would go to dinner we said all of our phones in the middle of that we would actually interact and have some quality time it works great did you win the game because I know it's a game where if someone reaches for it, they pay the bill in our case, we we didn't do the bill the bill part it was sort of just like a appear shaming thing, which is sometimes it costs more, but I mean that that's that's an element where you can start to throw that stuff out there it's like that stick thing, we're tied right? Like I mean, you could get to that point, but that's that's a distraught you mean when you're in that moment I remember doing up there was a social media camp up in victoria a few years ago and we're at this this this lounge and all of us had just finished and we're all instructors and everyone's doing this in a social setting by the way, the irony was not lost on me there like that did it to take a picture and I'm like guys, we're being social right now we're here in this moment like wire you mean you have this great opportunity to connect like like we are right now, right? I mean and I mean, like I said with the whole notebook thing, if you're writing something down in a notebook versus your smartphone there's a connection there and there's no disparaging about what is this person doing versus what they aren't doing are the in the moment are they not in the moment are they present or are they not present right? So distractions when you they take you out of that right? So but even when you when you start to throw these little tricks in and you start to focus on certain aspects of your workflow at a time, then you're lowering your learning curve right? And that game is an easy way to lower I mean that I'm having a problem managing distractions I know when I go in social settings I'll tell people about this game and maybe the pier shaming will be what what does it right? You said your friends didn't work for your friends right that they have no fear no remembers that um simplicity is it's objective right? So when we're talking about the thirty nine, thirty nine days we're talking about aps we're talking about systems I've introduced some systems today paper based we heard in the chat room that simple scaleable but for some people simple could be on the focus right simple could be ever note simple could be, you know, an app that combines all of them right simple could be I'm a coder I could build my own system and that's what's gonna work for me simple could be I'm going to use this yellow piece of paper and write down things in assigned contacts and do it that way simplicity is very subjective contact all this stuff could be subjected to a point, but we're dealing with simplicity you're gonna have to side what what can I handle versus what what I can't handle and maybe the task that goes and everybody's you know on everybody's list is bill you know the project building a workflow building work for build a system you know? And then you could say learn ever note is that gonna be high energy low energies that find a way to make it resonate with you because that's going to inform you about how simple it is to if it's going to take you a long time to learn something I'm guessing that it's going to be something that's going to be a bit of a pain point? Email email seems simple write email an email out but we've added so many layers to it it's not simple in terms of how you can manage some of this stuff but for some people that you know it's still in there it still ingrained like but I know how to do this so it's simple but how many more? But if you started to make simple changes forwarding those tasks to your task manager using the email address provided by the task manager or affording to something like evernote using that or something along those lines that's still simple right versus you know somewhere more complex thing that maybe I can dio maybe you could like full photo workflow I don't use light room I don't use aperture it all use I photo why? Well first off my my field the kind of photography idea doesn't warrant it and secondly, I don't have any interest that this point in time about learning about those things because to me it's not that simple whereas if you were up here and I was down there and you said, hey, you know, I use paper and pen to manage my task and I have no interest in, you know, our I'm gonna have a lot harder timeto to top the digital stuff. Right. So for me, this part's simple to appoint and for you may not be right. That makes sense. Okay. All right. And then the the final point. I want to bring up in terms of this before we jump into a bit more. Discussion is put workflow first before work. Remember I said about setting up your system, right? Setting up your foundation when you put workflow first, then you're going to create better work going forward. Okay, so the idea of all this information coming at you via email view, you know the television, but wherever via the internet, all that is information that's flowing at you generally at a very, very fast rate. There's a book called the information diet. Bye, clay johnson and it's. It talks about like going. He took a bit of a fast from getting information from different sources. Right? So bookmarks that's one of the reasons that a bookmark, right? Because I want to be very precise about what information I bring in because any information on bringing it on when you find a way to utilize in some way, but that that work came after the workflow, the place that I know where to put it. Right, so when you decide hey, this is my work flow my work flow is paper to omni focus paper too you know, just another paper like a lot like the larger paper task management system I'm going to use ideas to ever note that's my work float those three steps that's it great or if you say, you know, we talked about email and you said, you know how I'd like to use email, maybe that's the element of your workflow everyone's gonna have a different element of workflow, but once you establish that workflow that makes it easier to stick with the system too because it's part of those thirty nine days that work flows there that's that workflow has become a habit and it says work blow for a reason because you could it allows you flow get that workout and and that doesn't necessarily apply on ly toe work. I mean, work flow is the term, but I mean it's going to flow in so many other areas you've got that foundation there so you can shift from work too personal to what pam slim calls side hustle you know what I mean? Like you can shift easily when you have a workflow there that could help inform all of those areas right? And then you can create that better work going forward you guys understand what I'm saying okay do you have any any any thoughts so he like your workflow we talked about is basically on the focus email army focus ever now write those your essential elements for your work in calendar of course what do you want to be you jennifer your workflow at this point has been paper right? I think so don't don't look alike ah yeah I'm letting you know that's good that's good because there's something there that you can build up right simple scaleable right? You know what you can do with it now right now I think we discussed like having a cops everything notebook which I already have I've been putting from their task manager notebook and then digitally emails going into either that paper task manager or you know, listening to myself or into the evernote as information and honestly another way you could do it if you decide you want to keep the emails digital is for them to ever know and create a notebook called tasks you could I'm not saying that you should that won't work for me but maybe you're like you know what? I really want to write down all these emails so what if I create for a noble called tasks just a notebook and then I've got when it goes to my inbox because that's where it's gonna go and I look at it go this is a task I'm going to put this into my task notebook or and some people do this they'll create just a simple note it becomes a note and then you put it in a notebook that corresponds to so you can do it I'm not saying that it's it's not possible but that's gonna be your workflow right? And maybe at first you're gonna go now you know what I'm fine with just writing the email's down but then after you've built up using every night you're comfortable with it you've let it sink in then you go you know what? I'm going to try that now maybe I'll start to move some stuff in there right and then you keep doing that keep doing that all of a sudden you're like hey guess what I now I just have a capture notebook and then I have ever known and that's what I use and then you know what? I'm now going to use my calendar in this way because the calendar will also be part of it and you know what now I'm going to start using I'm going to start using multiple in boxes and emails that way I could make sure I could filter things a little bit easier before they even get to ever know you see what I'm doing it slowly building up and that's what I want everyone to walk I want everyone to walk out a walk away from this I'll walk out of here with the sense of I am going to be productive I'm not going to do productive because do productive means you've got thirty aps and you've got things all over the place and you're like, you know well I don't know where this goes you want to be able to say, hey, this is any email, this is where it goes this is a this is a task this is where it goes this is a piece of information this is where it goes and simple quick able to get into where it needs to be oh and and adding the value because that's where that stuff that's where the high high level thinking should be, what does this mean now what do I have to dio? What do I want to do? You know what you want to dio you don't always want to say it right? I wanna go skydiving I don't have time, right? I want to buy that really expensive bottle of bourbon I don't have enough money, you know? But you don't you can't write it down, doesn't you can't capture it, then figure out a way to make it happen, right? Right, so I put in a place that you can trust so that you know what this cask and I what did I want to do in here like if you capture it like, oh yeah berman are a skydiving at what was oh yeah, I wanted to oh, I don't have you know what I mean? Like you, it gives you the ability to make those things happen, but you have to have that simplicity that that simple system that's going to work for you is a basis is a foundation so that when things go awry and things get lost, you're not, you know, ask yourself what's the next action so what's the next actually go to my tent what we need to dio why don't why am I doing this? What does this mean to me right now? What about you, your system right now than paper, but not really it's all over the place kind of system I use one at least I used the emails as kind of task management I use ever not a little bit, but that reminders that they started having right now so I can now see that I need to pull everything in tow one place because I don't know what is where exactly sometimes I have won this in front of me, but I just forget about the other one that isn't somewhere else, so if I put them all in one place and wonder list is when I've used as well, now the reason I stopped using wonder list is it got too pretty they really did it got too cluttered for me there was too much call the girl was just too busy it looked too busy before even entered anything into it and that's just that's not for me for others it would be another another tip of course when I say simplicity is subjective eyes that ah lot of people what they'll do is instead of researching aps or you know, watching a program like this what they'll do is they'll go I'm going to download this app this at this that will download all the absent wants and then they won't get a good in any of them right it's like uh, you know, trying to do about five different workout routines or say, you know, I'm gonna I'm gonna I'm gonna be in a triathlon uh and I'm going to spend equal amount of time working on each of them is going to take a little bit longer to get good at all three where's if you say I'm going to get really good at running really good swimming and then really get cycling right? So you're you're basically what you want to do is get really good at one they'd see what you can add don't grab like thirty of them and say okay, how can I fit this in figure we again need obvious why now that's the now right what's gonna work for me right now

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Productivityist Progress Planner.pdf
Productivityist Workbook Printable Exercises.pdf
Productivityist Workbook v1.2.pdf
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike Vardy.epub
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 16x20.jpg
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 8x11.jpg

bonus material with enrollment

Paperless Organization Guide.pdf
The Way Of The Productivityist - A Manifesto.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


Mike's class was chock full of useful information on streamlining a to do list, digitally and by hand. His process seems pretty robust, and extremely well thought out, to provide maximum efficiency and success with the least amount of effort. Granted there is a learning curve, and one must practice to become proficient and use it effectively, but if you are willing to put in the effort there is a major positive impact on productivity. He goes through his favorite apps (he apparently consults with app developers) and why, which was exactly what I needed at the time. Some of his 2nd choice apps may now surpass the others, but he explains clears how to pick the best app for you. I'm a small business owner and I found the class to be quite helpful. Thanks Mike.

Pavel Voronenko

Very interesting class! I would recommend recording it as it based on apps' solutions and since 2013/2014 there are a lot of changes. Al least maybe some wrap-up session. Well done, Mike Vardy and Creative Live team! Jan. 04, 2021


Just finished Mike's course and it was exactly what I wanted and hoped it would be. Nuts and bolts, real life ideas and hands on ways to implement what he shared. If I dedicated the time spent on researching an organizational system on just USING the system, I would be a shining beacon of efficiency. Mike's class and materials helped me let go of the need aka obsession with looking for the Holy Grail of systems and just pick a combo and do it. Thanks, Mike, I'll let you know when I AM that shining beacon of effortless organization...or at least when I quit writing notes on my hand! Great course!

Student Work