Last week I was talking to a friend about his personal productivity kit, i.e. how he can take all the power-ups at his disposal and build a roadmap for success. The way I start this process with members and clients is with a simple question…
What is the outcome you want to achieve?
When you start with the ending it’s easier to reverse-engineer the roadmap. You can leave many of the tools in the kit because they don’t apply to the outcome you’re seeking.
My friend’s answer was simple: “I just want to get things done so I feel like I can relax”. Mind you - he knows all the tricks, has all the tools at his disposal, and still feels this way (which is something we’ll unpack in another email).
He’s not alone either! Lots of people have a clear understanding of productivity concepts but have trouble implementing the lessons day by day so that they can get things done and relax.
The quick and dirty answer is a prioritization problem, rooted in the 4D power-up that helps with effective task sorting. But here’s a simpler way to frame the outcome of “get things done so I can relax”. There are 3 options when you have a lot to do…
Do Less, Do More, or Delegate
Do Less: simple but really tough to implement for productive people. You need to have a real conversation with yourself about all the things you’re doing and which really matter. When you define the low-impact tasks, simply do less of them.
Another tool to deploy here is time-blocking: protect a specific window of time each week to do the necessary but low-impact tasks.
Do More: again, simple. Just do more, i.e. work more to get things done. Only should be used as a short term strategy in the service of high-value projects. For example I will do more in the weeks leading up to the next launch of my course, or if there’s a big video to publish.
Delegate: if this is an option for you, it’s ideal. Delegating work to others on your team, in your company, or to an assistant is the true 10x multiplier (1) for getting things done. Automation can also play a role in delegating automatic tasks to apps or bots.
Out of these 3 options I always recommend start with doing less. It’s super scary (still is to me) because we’ve convinced ourselves that everything little detail matters. In some ways that’s always true, but you’ll drive yourself to burnout focusing on it all day every day.