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The Importance of Structure

Lesson 1 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

The Importance of Structure

Lesson 1 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

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Lesson Info

1. The Importance of Structure

Lesson Info

The Importance of Structure

Hi, everybody. Thanks for thanks for coming today. So this is time management one o one prioritize the right things and let's just get this clicker going. So we're gonna talk about a lot of things over the next three days. Basically, we're going to give you a bit of an overview right now, but first let's talk a little bit about me and how I got here. Heard how you guys out here made it to this spot today. So I want to kind of give you a bit of background on me, so I've not always been a time management type of person. I used to work for a large company so very much involved in middle management, eh? So I started to learn how to become more productive. I manage my time that was way before aps and way before those back, when we had to use, like the day planners and paper, which I'm going to get to a little bit later on white paper. Still very practical use for task management in time management. But what would happen is I started doing that. I found some other passions that were coming m...

y way so things I wanted to do outside, and that was comedy was talking teo, teo, even chris about this, like I used to do you know, improv and sketch, and actually, my troupe performed at san francisco sketch fast before, so I was trying to balance all that stuff, and what would happen is I wasn't very good at it. I couldn't get that down, so I started to explore productivity and time management, and what happened was, is that I got better at that. I realized that I wasn't using it to necessarily shift easily between those two life life situations, but I just got really good at learning about productivity, so I basically started tow to adopt those practices, and I decided to take my comedy to that level, and I created a site, a website. Ah, blawg, that basically made fun of all the productivity sites that were out there, the life hackers, all that stuff, and kind of poked fun at that, because what was happening is a lot of people. I mean, how many of you guys have red lifehacker and stuff like that? Now he has a lifehacker, you know, in all those sites, were you in tow spending a lot of time reading them, but they don't actually do much with, um, right, you're just like it takes more time than it actually helps you with in a lot of cases, so I created a site called f ing the dog now, I think was short for efforting I want to be clear about that, all right is short for effort, but it was a parody of david allen's gt d system was ftd is what it was for short. Now, I did change the name because, of course, efforting wasn't exactly what people thought that that that stood for so eventually became eventual ism, and I started to talk to people like david allen, who I'm going to touch on during this, this this course on other people, and what happened was, is he said, hey, I want you to start doing this seriously for my block can you write for for my sight? And I said, sure, why not? He said, just don't make fun of me on it that don't make fun of me, just do it, do it in the g t times, making informative, making, engaging so I said, sure, so I started doing that, and then I started writing for another site and another site, and then I became the managing editor of one of these sites I just talked about that was kind of maybe taking more time than saving you time, life hack, and, uh, all of a sudden, I became the very thing I was parodying. I became this productivity's specialist or as I like to say, productivity ist er because I was enthusiastic about it first was an enthusiast and then I've slowly morph into a specialist now people here obviously enthusiastic about it because three days in the time management class, which would you think I could get done in about four minutes, right if it is really the way but there's a lot to cover and I'm going to talk about the higher level stuff so you know, I have said you were saying that you're really into the higher like you're pretty good at time management already, right? So you're already you feel like you're you're well on your way, right? Right? So I'm going to talk with the higher level stuff throughout the three days, which is something you can't cover in four minutes I wish she could I'm going to talk a bit about, you know, email management, style's all that stuff in fact let's just go over what we're gonna talk about today s the day one we're going to talk about focusing on task and task management is one of the critical things when it comes to time management, a lot of people I get so caught up in the clocks and we see all these clocks here everywhere on dh don't I hope that doesn't freak out, but they're just they're there for for theming purposes is s o we're gonna focus on task and then we're gonna go beyond the to do list because you guys all keep it to do list right? You've got your check boxes and your things you write down every day and then you've got your list for tomorrow and then that's probably it right? Ok, so we're going to be on that okay? And then we're gonna go into aa section that I think is a real critical component of time management is calender management one o one basically so we're going to dive into that because what happens is a lot of people aren't using their calendars correctly andi I'm going to show you ways that you can start using them that will actually help you as opposed to freaking you ever out every time you look at them first thing in the morning day two we're gonna talk about building a workflow so I've actually got a talk about digital workflow paperwork for hiking merge those things together and I'm gonna have a special guest books duncan from documents nap here the the magic of the internet to talk a little bit about his his tools in terms of going paperless I'm going to talk about the power of contexts which is very important for those of you who are familiar with the gt and time management context are so huge they add meaning to what you're really trying to do and to that very very important to do list so going to get into that and then the longest segment of the course email management where we spend probably far too much time I get the chuckles yes, the internet is chuckling teo uh and then on day three I'm going to go into something a little bit more higher level idea management so how to how to take those those idea jennifer that you're talking about like maybe going beyond and finding rooms to fit those things in that you're not just spending the days doing productive and actually being productive and making those higher things higher level things happen we're going to the power paper because yep I got paper here got paper here I got a pen here we'll talk about that stuff as well how you khun use that in fact if you look the you guys here in the jet pens has provided pens and no pads for you guys so you guys can use them throughout the course of the thing and you will need to use them at one point on day three so keep that in mind don't don't don't leave my home okay write that down on your list right now bring pad on ongoing talk about sticking with the system so again we've seen a lot of aps out there tons of aps tons of tools, tons of systems we need to stick with one in order to really get it productive into manager time and tasks efficiently and effectively, more so effectively, so we're going to talk about that as well, but first, I want to talk a little bit about what time is time is time is big. In fact, time is so big that it they're fourteen different definitions of the word time and that's, just when it's used as a noun, when you think about it, like, I don't have time, remember that time when, you know, I'll get to that some time, you know, there's so many and the thing, but the word time is that it can be both singular and plural, right? So when we think about time, it's so so big, right, it's, very big, so when you think about it in those terms, how difficult do you think it is to control something that massive? We've talked about breaking things down into smaller compartments before you've probably read about that, but when you're looking at time, it's so massive, the year, the days, the weeks they're so huge, it's, hard to wrap your head around something that big, so what happens is, is you end up going inside of it, and you end up letting it kind of manage you instead, right? So when it comes to managing your time, you have to get beyond that. You have to get beyond that. That idea that time is so big, you have to start thinking about things in a little bit of, ah, different perspective. And when you talk about managing your time, it's, impossible, like the time that the clock is going as we're doing this right now, I'm seeing this seconds tick by. We're feeling the seconds tick by there's a there's, a new clock. I just read about this last night called the ticker and it's, a kickstarter project, and it's it's, a death clock, it's a death watch, and what it does is it actually counts down. It has this way of calculating how long you're going to be around for, and it isn't so much time you got left, make them, and the intention is great, right? Make the most of every moment, all that stuff, it also works as a watch, so you could use it that way as well. It's raised as of last night, almost one hundred thousand dollars on kickstarter to back it, and it's still got, I think, another twenty four hours to go, and they only asked for about twenty five k, um, to me, the intense great, but if we're focused on like on that, then we're not really focusing on we're focusing on quality we're focusing on trying to make these things happen in a way that may not be organic or may not be we may not be ready for because again, we're think about how much time we have left in our lives and for some of us that's going to be a long time for some of it is not going to be long but to me that that actually creates a bit of anxiety creates a sense of overwhelmed that you don't want tohave in your life what you want to be able to use you want to manage you and your energy now what do I mean by that? Well, when you think about it and let's let's let's actually talk and I'm sorry it's uh um james, I'm sorry, jeannie so energy is probably a big thing for you, right? You know, uh it's a big thing for everybody, but when you when you when you've gone through something like like you've gone through it's hard, teo like get up to those higher levels of energy, right? Um and a lot of people what they'll try to do is they don't gauge that when they're looking at their calendars or they're looking at their to do list instead all they look at us what do I have to dio and then when do I have to do it by often cases what they look at us when do I have to get this done by they put the wind first not the what and what that does is at least two quantity over quality right? So that's the combination of managing you and your energy there's a sense of awareness I mean I'm not going to go into like the whole maybe fru fru mindfulness stuff that a lot of people get into I do yoga and I meditate from time to time but I don't really im or meditate on like internally looking at my list looking at what I have to do looking at my bigger projects and kind of figuring out what I what I have not not not when I have time for but what I have energy for what resonates with me at that particular moment um again context are part of that but when you start managing you and you start managing your energy then you're going to start to by default manage time and you won't do it really well first because you're gonna need some tools and resources and we'll get to that over the next few days but when you're when you're saying that you've got these uh speedier you're for toastmasters and get your day job and you've got you say you have a family as well, right how many kids you have kids I know no kids okay, I got to on a year old a three year old and I work from home so I have to do all of this it sounds really hard how people do it with kids, you know, it seems really hard it's it's it's really interesting and that once that happens once you add something to your life like that, you really have to get good at this and I mean, a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs they don't they don't have that compartment toe work worry about necessarily right now sure, they've got, you know, they're friends and social life in that, but once you throw kids and family into the mix boom, it changes a whole bunch of stuff, so you have to get really good at this. That was a really good time to learn so that I'm going to focus a lot on that over the course of three days, I'm going to keep coming back to this message, ok? David allen um, big influence on me. How many of you guys have red getting things done by david allen? The arctic? Okay, how many of you got through it? Just okay want to one how many? How many? How many times have you read it, jennifer? Just once I've been meaning to read and write can't get teo found the time let's s o so the thing about david allen's get things done thie art of stress feet stress free productivity easy for me as he had didn't screw up productivity is but stress for me is one that I maybe I don't have much but this is a quote from him you can do anything but you can't do everything and we often get this mixed up we often say well I have all these things to do I'm gonna try to get as much done as I can because that's productivity's right that's getting things done is getting everything done when that's not the case but speaking to the book you said you never got through how far did you or did she get through it? Just let it go halfway but I use our money focus but just kind of both on that system yeah we're gonna talk about only focus later on today it's here it's one that I use as well but um my quite, uh real quick quiet where did you stop like where did you stop when you're, uh remember to kaan tex context so you're going ok good. So it's a demon allen's book basically he talks about you know, their every time you read it you're gonna get a different message out of it I've read it five times and it's not because I don't know the stuff anymore, I better doing this, but but I've read every time I read that book, I get something different out of it, and I'm going to talk a little bit about the methodology that people use. I just, uh, what we want to find out, maybe from from the chat room a little bit. I'm going to talk a little more to the folks that here, but how many of them are familiar with g t d or how many of maybe read the book? Do we have any anything from that yet? Or just a lot of comments here gotta have read the book, people said, reading multiple times. Davide moore says definitely need to read it multiple it's one of those books where you capture something in your head different every time like, for example, the first time I read it and we're gonna talk about capturing leader on that's. The big message at goddess capture capture capture second thing was the was the contacts component, so once you make it through the first time, then contacts resonates third time with the horizons of focus and all this, of course have sake operate david allen company, but nonetheless all that stuff, so the three times then I go back and I'm reading about, you know, then it could start taking some my own stuff some of my own ideas about the system so this is where the structure comes into play you need to get the book it's a great book to read in that it gives you a really solid foundation and it's not one a lot of people they have issues with it because they say you know so much it's overwhelming and david allen himself says it's not a system it's more of a systematic approach and when you think about it that way it's a lot easier to swallow because a system seems very rigid in a lot of ways right systematic approach is the approach like how you approach it because your situation is going to be very different than yours both here in and a home right, like you're all gonna have different ways to approach it, but if you have that structure that foundation to approach it with, then you're going to be better equipped to move things forward, right? So the importance of structure I can't stress that enough and I'm going again a lot of the stuff in the early days in the early part of this course I'm gonna do callbacks to again comedy career callback sperry very commonplace although probably not nearly as humorous this time around. Hopefully if I could make him engaging great but the importance of structure when you think about it from the idea of structure is key and that it gives you a framework to work off of so for example email is like a communication structure rebuilding a house you're not going to put the telephone wires in an internet first you're going put foundation and right they're gonna build a framework around it then you're going to start toe put the wiring and then you're gonna drive all that stuff but you have to go it has to be done in those steps if you put a really crappy foundation down and you're not going to be very stable especially here in the west coast right so you have to structure is so key because it gives you something to come back to it gives you something to go to and that's that's what that book gives you an in fact a lot of product to the approaches give you do we have do you have anything with regards to yeah, we have a few comments here lia williams says the g e d gt gt system did resonate with me different strokes for different folks I've set numerous clients up with it over the years and flip belgium says I fell off a little bit I used pieces of it and created my own system my system's still needs a lot of tweaking to work smoothly and greg d says most people fall off the g d wagon sooner or later funny it's true because to keep that system going there there are a lot of compartments to it and that's why I like the idea of like adding certain elements of your own a system to it you're gonna tweak it you're going to find ways that is going to make it work for you and some people won't even resonate with with certain aspects of it and others really will so here's some of the time management methodologies are quite commonplace of course david allen's getting things done system stephen covey of course you know the seven habits of highly successful people you know and I'm going to talk a little bit about one tool he uses in particular which actually was a tool somebody else more famous than him used before him we'll get to that little bit later tony robbins which that was actually the first one I used with his he had it was called the tom of your life system that he had and then it became it was like opa I think is what it was called and then it became rtm which is like rapid time management I can't remember exactly what the what the name of it was, but it was really helpful because it it gave me some structure toe work off here's the more famous person that used the matrix before stephen covey was describing dwight eisenhower I don't know if you guys know who he is apparently used uh canadian I don't I only know prime ministers so I'm sorry uh but there's a lot and and the and so on is all of you like you're going to take certain elements of differ in systems and you and I actually take different elements of each of them and put them in not just what I use what I'm going to pass on to you guys for the next three three days and that's what's that's what's key is is it's not about time management as a whole it's what your time management and like we heard from the chat room different strokes for different folks I mean there's definitely a commonality amongst the strokes that you're going to find throughout it systematic approach is, you know, some kind of structure some kind of foundation that's what your time management is going to be all about so your time is we're gonna try to focus on we'll talk about camping how many of you uh just you guys were going camping before camping like in a tent and stuff like that for you it's different. Okay, well let's let's let's talk a little bit about it. So when you go camping what's the what is the first thing that and I'm gonna take into you guys here what's the first thing you wanna do you pull up to your campsite it's an empty, barren meadow with maybe some force behind you you know campfire area where you can what's the first thing you're gonna do when you drive up there but then you're gonna pitch your tent right all right, so that's let's draw this and I'm gonna try to make it so that and I'm not a good much like I think laura said this on one of course I'm not a great artist so here's the uh here's the tent right okay and uh so that's your tent right now everything else is kind of set up along here whips everything else is kind of set up along here is such you're over it now the reason you want to set up your tent is why why do you want to put your tenant first by the way like, is there a particular reason our way to come back to you? No one gets this on every time I've done this this metaphor no one somewhere to go back to that's exactly right you have some place to put your stuff right? You mean your cooler khun go in here, right? You're sleeping bags whatever again not really a great artist all that stuff that's what the tents for now why now? Why do you put it up? Uh and the fact that it's a place for you to go like what? What could cause you to go to your tent when you need something, we need something that place you go back to, you know, like right, right? Inclement weather yeah, because they're camping when it like, just starts pouring down rain pacific northwest mean, it rains a lot even you know, we don't get much snow where I'm from by the way in camp little known fact but we get a lot of rain eso yeah rain you could have like a like a moose or something that comes along is gonna be a bad drawing of a moose too, but looks more like an elephant, but anyways you get I mean you have a wild life mean anything like anything that puts you out of your comfort zone, you can always go back to your tent and that's what a task management system is for you it's a tent it's a anchor it's a place where you can go when things aren't working right when you when you're lost when you're when you're out of touch when you like when you get stuck in email when uh fire alarm goes off you have to leave the building when your phone rings because you didn't turn notifications off and you lose track of where you're supposed to be when you lose focus when you're put in a place that takes you out of where you know you want to be or where you're supposed to be that task management system and I notice I say task manager's not time interest was shifted here a bit but tat that that tent is where you can go you can always call I'm going to go back to my tent you're going you're gonna ask something beginning right backto mean eyes funny when I was doing background work up in victoria for movies everyone the common thing is backto one right back to one everyone backto one that's what that is like it's back to where you know that you can start again right um or continue forward so that means that that that analogy often works for a lot of people obviously you guys kind of got it jennifer did you you go camping no yeah okay good, good, good, good. How about you do we have anybody in the charms like I never go camping wouldn't give me another example we had a ton of people following along they were right there with you said when it gets dark with fossil mayweather said if there's a bear even if there's if there's a bear so yes he received the wildlife it's it it can happen so when it comes to this kind of thing that's what that's what that access and the thing is we all have different tents right mean two man tent form intent whatever there's so many different ways you can some people use like those crazy little one man tense that although fit is themselves so everyone's gonna have something different, but it's there, we all have it. The only thing I often hear when people when I ask them what's, the first thing they pitch to go where we put the beer in the lake first, then we pitch the tent and that's, the other reason you pitch the tent when you first go camping, because if you have the beer first and then you try to pitch the tent, you're not nearly going to be a cz effective, right? Or when you try to pitch it in the dark, or if a bear is coming, you're going to be is effective, right? So that's, another thing right is that you want to be able to do it at the right time. You want to do that? What I call front end work, you want to be able to say, hey, uh, I've got the ability to set up my tent now that's gonna work for mei over the long term, which is when I get the to do list stuff. We talked about that a little bit later, it's going to definitely reflect on the fact that so this isn't just about it to do list, this is actually more about it to be list honestly or the y to do list but you need to have that ability to get that structure, that foundation that tent up in a way that allows you to use it properly without fear of it collapsing on you or without without fear of it not working for you the way you need do the work for you. Okay. All right, now you guys air anyone who's ah, I think it's one of the bonuses for sure is my is my manifesto my sight productivity's dot com uh and I called the way of the productivity ist so this is like about zana's I get well this stuff um and so what this is is basically ten tenets that I use when it comes to being productive and efficient and effective with my time and my tasks. So the first one that I think is critical is don't fight your body clock. Now, how many of you out here are early risers? One too you're like I e no, I'm more productive in the morning, but I hate waking up. Ok? So you say you're in that weird spot about like, I'm going to fight my body clock to make sure I get up early because that's what I'm supposed to do okay, well no, but I mean, how many of you read in our any articles that they say, you know what, night owls they're awesome you can get so much more done when you stay up late you rarely see those right? You always see I mean sorry, laura the most successful things people do before breakfast I mean great I mean, maybe you have but it could be after dinner right? Like so the idea of fighting your body clock to say hey, I want to be more productive I want to manage my time I mean especially on like where well where we are right now on the west coast were already three hours behind the east coast, right? So if they're up at five six shouldn't we be up three right? Well, exactly it's c and this is why time management is more about you and your energy and less about the clock right? Because the world is much smaller now in terms of how we can communicate I mean, look, we're broadcasting to like everybody right now, right? Well, everybody that's on here but we can't but we can reach very, very far but it's not, you know, currently nine thirty everywhere else and that's the thing right? If you focus on you know I need to get up early to be more productive to get better use of my time, then you probably taking your energy and allocating it to a place that isn't going to be beneficial for you right off the top especially when you've had something happen to you that that is less than desirable or or you have kids when you have kids true story uh have kids they like to get up at night when you're sleeping and they they don't care what time it is kids are great if you want to know how to manage tasks over time hang out with a three year old because three year olds cannot tell time they liked clocks they liked the sounds they make they look pretty they learn numbers off clocks right? But they have you ever tried if you try to get kids ready for school in the morning they're not they're like watching tv or they're eating breakfast or like I gotta finish this thing first when they get to school once they start to go through the schooling system like, well all of a sudden it's the bell rings time to go to the next class recess being being we then time starts to become more of a factor, right? We start to understand that a bit more that concept starts to make sense to us, but when outside of that they're all about task a friend of mine um and this is definitely related to tow the body clock because kids again their body clock is very different than ours because it's really not attuned to anything other than what they want to do um a friend of mine in victoria, we're talking, we're having a lunch and he said, you know, one thing that he does with his wife, who works a lot of hours and she traveling a lot and he said, you know, when you get home, what you sit down with one of her kids for five minutes now, you know how long five minutes are, but your kid, like our kid does sent all he knows is that for that period of time, you're giving them one hundred percent focus and that's what they want, right? That's what your tasks want that's, what your items on your list, that's, what your ideas want, they want one hundred percent of your focus because then you're going to be giving the quality that they deserve, right? Whereas if you say to a kid, you have only got five minutes and you're like half doing other things, that that mom, mom, theyjust want that, so I mean, for those you don't have kids think of your tasks as your kids, maybe that'll help, I don't know, but I mean, the point is, is that when it comes to your your body clock, if you're if you're focusing your energy on getting up early just so that you could be the early bird gets the worm and you're finding that it's not work for you don't don't do that I'm a night owl I stay up till honestly one of the morning most most times and that I think it stemmed from when I was doing improv and sketch and stuff like that because that's how my my brain kind of went is it's like oh, you know you do a show on your call kind of buzzed and ready to go, you know, being here this early today it was kind of like a wo okay, I got to go to bed early tonight how me and my brain won't shut off I've got tactics and tools that'll help you do that by the way, how to shut your brain off when it doesn't want teo, we'll get to that a little bit later, but but, uh, if you're a night owl fine that's fine, just do what the early bird would do the night before, right? Because it's it's it's irrelevant the clock the clock doesn't really matter in that point in time, right? So you're that you're the I don't know what I am, which is great that's actually not a bad place to be your sort of sam was a sort of it was like I could do both where you earlier I actually thatyou and night now because most of the time I planned better in the night, but because I have antonia quinn, steve, like my time, I would be sleeping like last night. E I got five this just to catch the bus on. Time to come here, I think three buses to get here now, but I think the time management I'm trying to get to the position ofthe light the bus that leaves my where I stayed, right six nineteen I live in marine, by the way, the ok, so and I have to connect with the next one is six twenty one idea to stop to be able to take the weather called the financial district bastard going well, another one from town to get down to here that's three that's a lot of thanks for taking care I'm trying to, but I understand what you're trying to say about having more like qualitative rather than native and that's and that's. What I think way start to focus too much on get up early, get the and I mean, for some people again when it comes to body clock stuff it's again about energy, right? Like it first thing in the morning, I'm not doing the stuff that's high level because my brain isn't awake, I'm not able to do I don't mean a lot of writers first in the morning, right? I mean as an author you think mike you're up in the morning writing no that's later that's after and the reason that works for me on this is for anyone whose parents out there you know, wherever I am there uh you know my wife is the early riser in our house right? So she was the one I actually woke me up today to make sure I got it ah, but she's the early risers so we do a shift thing right? We're at two p m two a m um actually about three a m that's when her shift begins my shift ends so if the kids wake up if our young one wakes up before three a m that's my job if it if it happens after three m it's now on her and it works well no, not everyone's gonna have that situation right and I'm sure some people in the chat room we're probably gonna have some things to say about that um but basically what it boils down to is we've worked out again it's a systematic approach writes like hey, you know you're her strength is in the morning my strength is in the evening let's make that work and you and you can find ways to do that with or without a partner if that's how you're going to be able to manage your your time and your tasks without fighting your body clock do we have anybody in the chat rooms like like night owl is amore there? Absolutely we actually had a comment from dumb that, um excuse me and w p that was saying my current career choice doesn't like my body on saying, you know, just something you think you should change your career over is it something you can work with? I think I think that's something you can work with provided that you and I'm going to talk a little bit later and I think it's in the second segment, um, I think it's a third segment about about managing, like, heavy lifting days like, like some of those tactics because there are days where I'm not doing the author stuff and I'm doing daddy stuff, and I think that that's where an element, the tactic and approach that somebody in that situation could take because when I left my job, my full time job, I mean, when I started to do this stuff, I was getting high five figures, five weeks vacation, you know, full paid benefits, and I dropped down to, like, part time like I didn't quit out, right? Because I knew that I had to have that that foundation, that that place where because I mean, no foundation in that case would've meant no home for my family, right? So you can make clearer, more conscious choices and have better awareness when you're doing when you're managing your tasks and your time in a way that allows you to kind of have that oh, this makes sense, you know I can do this now we're not crowding yourself with so much to dio or you're cramming a whole bunch of stuff in tow one day because when you cram too much into a day no matter what time of day it is, your awareness is is not where because you have no room you have no room teo toe work john cleese, who I just saw in victoria he just did his first katie and tour has this great quote, he says there's two things it's not quote so much, but as ah sis approach, you need two things to be truly creative and creative doesn't have to be necessarily an artist or whatever it could be in business, right? Or, you know, when you're developing stuff for your software company, right? Like I mean there's certain elements of creativity that everyone employs, he says. You need two things time and space one of those won't d'oh if you have all the time in the world but no space, then you're crowded your cramps you have no room to breathe, you're not able to move, you feel like you're so you can't create your best stuff now, if you have all the space in the world, but no time, then you're rushed, so again, you're just pushing stuff out the door, right? Not not putting necessarily most quality, like we talked about into it, so but if you have both that's the sweet spot, and when you have that in mind, you could do stuff like, say, okay, this career isn't necessarily working with my body clock right now, so how do I mean, how do I give myself that time and space I need okay, maybe I can't maybe I'll take smaller steps for this other thing I want to dio or maybe I'll take smaller steps to change my body clock, and when I say, don't fight your body clock, what most people will do is they go okay, I got to get up at five a m I normally get up at eight, so tomorrow first day five a m is that my one for five am? How often does that work? One day to day, maybe three days, then after that you're like, oh, I can't believe do it incrementally small steps, member times big, so set your clock fifteen minutes earlier, then another fifteen minutes early and make it incremental small steps to move forward rather than huge steps because you're not gonna be nearly a zachary if you take a big step forward, your balance is going to be a little bit off, but if you take like smaller steps more precise, you can make those decisions a little bit more concrete. Lee was there anything else that was mentioned? It there? Yeah, we have a comment from a j says I hate getting up early, but love being awake and alert early. Unfortunately, without giving up lots of sleep, they rarely happen together, so maybe the incremental wake up for him would work well, absolutely, absolutely do you have any suggestions for people who work with teams from different time zones like you're working on the west coast? You have people on the east coast yaar of asia, and they have meetings at like times we talked about setting boundaries a little bit later, but yes, there there there are certain instances where you're going to have to say the boundaries for people that you're working in different time zones with and that's a big challenge for anyone, whether they're working for a large corporation. And we talked about this on the twitter prod shat that was doing yesterday where someone said, you know, it's all well and good to do this, but when you're at the mercy of somebody else's whims, how do you do it? Well, you know the world is getting to a point where we can start to make some of those decisions incrementally like we're saying so you can start to say hey look um I'm going to set these boundaries I'm going to respect them first and then I will ask you to respect him as well and I'm going to talk a bit more about that later but yeah, there is that's an issue that a lot of people come up it's like well, I have like five different when I worked for life hack for example they're based in hong kong, right? So they're like now luckily for me that was nighttime so it didn't really impact me all that much but when I do my podcast mikes on mike's with michael schecter uh he's in brooklyn, right? So he's three hours ahead so when he's wants to record the podcast it's just after dinner for me so his kids are in bed my kids are still up so we have to try to make that work right and there's certain instances where you say okay, here's the boundaries and willing to set here's what we can do here's the limitations of what we've got going on versus you know, no, I'm not willing to do that an example of limitations that I've heard er I think based right here is neil designing your based right here in san francisco um mike montero and I heard this story believe on the on think merlin man who's again a big influencer of mine from forty three folders dot com he he mentioned this and I think it might have been mentioned in one of the other five by five podcasts as well but mike montero um mule design they they only have six clients ever and when they're done with us if someone says hey, I wanna have no like that's their limit that's their boundary and if you're working as an entrepreneur you're setting yourself up for certain things you have to set a limit you have to set a boundary say you know what? No I can't do that because my friend patrick grown I'm going through a lot of court singer but but my friend patrick grown author of enough has said you know saying no is saying yes to other things right and that's that's that's key so we'll definitely get dime or into that threat of course um so push through urgent to get two important now when it comes to that uh I was saying, you know how I'm a night owl, right? So where do you think my important stuff gets done at night time after the kids were in bed because that then my distractions are mitigated in my disruptions or generally mitigated right talk about that a little bit later as well but in the morning when my energy is is starting to climb that's when I'll push through the urgent stuff and I don't have very many urgent things that come my way because I've dealt with them in a different space before that which I'll talk about we talk with the eisenhower matrix, but the urgent stuff if it gets there, get through that first pushed through that and generally when it has become urgent it's either something that someone else has given you that says, hey, this is urgent important so somebody maybe from another time zone when you wake up in the morning like, oh, I should do this right now, you know or something from the night before because you're not checking e mail first thing in the morning we'll get to that too, but we're from the night before you're like, okay that's urgent and you do that now when you push through that stuff that frees up bandwidth that frees up your brain to do that really big thinking this stuff where you can come up with those great ideas and how do I move that eddie, how do I find social time? I want to plan a big party that's important to me, but you know what? I should probably move along first that's urgent you know, something like that how many guys have lawns here? We'll have a live along and it grows nonstop but pushed through the urgent to get to the important that's that's. What I use another people say, push through your important to get to the urgent. No, because the important you want to spend more of your time line. It should always. The important stuff is about quality of the urgent stuff is about quantity.

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