Productivity

Table of Contents

    • Principles
    • Outsourcing
    • Email
    • Creativity
    • Software & Services
  • Principles

    • Focus on what gives you energy and outsource the rest.
      •Once you frame the question in terms of “how would I…?”, it is entirely possible to stop tolerating most of life’s annoyances and eliminate them altogether.
      •Avoid checking email if you don’t have time to deal with the problems, to avoid ruining relax/decompression time.
      •Expect small problems. Life is full of compromises, and it’s necessary to let small bad things happen if you want to get huge good things done. There is no escape. Prevent all problems and get nothing done, or accept an allowable level of small problems and focus on the big things.
      •What you do is more important than how you do everything else, and doing something well does not make it important.
    • Make goals 90 day max. Confidence is the natural byproduct of incremental improvements that we can perceive.
      “Fortunis Audaces Luvat” – Latin phrase meaning fortune favors the bold.
    • Calendar/schedule everything and stick to it.
    • Delegate things that can be done 80%  correctly
    • You learn and absorb 10x more when it’s something you want to learn and you’re really interested in it. Instead of something you’re forced to learn.
    • Pomodoro technique: give your brain time constraints. 42-18 is an example.
    • Reliable way to enter flow state: service others
    • Use email message filters to achieve inbox zero by bucketing or deleting recurring emails.
    • Goal setting vs. habit setting: When we make goals, it may prompt us to feel as if we can’t be happy until the goal is achieved. Moreover, we may feel like a failure if we didn’t achieve the full goal (even though it was arbitrarily made). Instead, focus on getting started, consistency, incremental actions, and setting up the right habits. This the perpetual consistency of taking action, albeit not fully prepared for the goal, is what distinguishes highly effective people.
    • Just get started. Before we start, we visualize the hardest parts and daunt ourselves. After we start, we feel compelled to finish the task.
    • Divide your tasks into urgent important, urgent not important, non urgent important, and non urgent non important. Most people spend time on urgent important and urgent non important, most most of the results and productivity are in the non urgent important quadrant.
    • Ejaculation frequency is inversely correlated with energy, focus, and creativity.
    • Strategically give yourself time constraints to become more productive in that allotment (countering Parkinson’s law).
    • Use to-do lists wisely by cautiously adding things to the list. We feel overwhelmed / stressed out when we see all the things we cannot or will not accomplish.
    • Flow State: 500% increase in productivity in this state. Flow precedes focus, so find something that causes you to focus and is a bit risky or challenging (physically, emotionally, intellectually, etc.)
    • Self-Empowerment: Positive reinforcement: tell yourself and believe you can do x, you are an x person, etc. If you believe you can’t do x or can’t be x person, your limiting beliefs will manifest in reality. Your brain is always eavesdropping on your thoughts.
    • Don’t check email constantly, but rather a few times daily.
    • Prioritize your work and spend time on what matters most (think 80/20) instead if trying to do everything. Don’t work harder, think harder.
    • We have a limited decision making capacity. Set routines, limits and delegation. Don’t spend too much time evaluating options, and never evaluate before you can act.
    • Read faster for better focus if your mind is drifting.
    • Use expected values with decided percentage chance of outcomes to evaluate options and make decisions.
    • Automate: focus on things that give you an ROTI, return on time invested. Will it take 2 hours today but you will save  time after a month or so.
    • Never focus on more than 2 goals/projects at a time.
    • Efficiency and Effectiveness
      • Do an 80/20 analysis of all the tasks/steps required
      • Simplify down to only the most important
      • Automate all steps that can be via technology
      • Degate the remaining that can be
    • Hyperactivity vs. Productivity — 80/20 and Pareto’s Law
    • Do play or something exciting after you work hard or get a business win, for sustained motivation. The power of play. Link play and work.
    • Look back on where you had huge progress and identify what you did to achieve that. Then come up with ways to boost that probability. Eg networking event.
    • Outsource or automate anything you do repeatedly or with some regularity.
    • Avoid distractions. Doing a quick check of email or something away from your task reduces your cognitive performance for 30 mins. Anti-deep work.
    • 3 things computers can’t do that make us valuable, unique and irreplaceable
      1. Oral communication.
      2. Initiate action
      3. Make decisions.
  • Outsourcing

    • The first rule of any [technology used in a] business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
      •Give your accountant power of attorney to sign specific checks (for tax documents, etc.) on your behalf.
      •Outsource travel using very specific emails to virtual assistants with documented preferences, availability, etc.
    • Two questions. What can you and only you do (personality, calls/meetings, network, etc.)? What can you get someone else to do?
    • Hiring
      • Invite them to your job app, the best people are working and busy. Look at their rehire rate. Ask to speak with past clients. Skype interview. 
      • Can outsource the hiring as they screen and interview for you.
      • First hire should be executive assistant. Then a project manager ( high in fact-finding and attention to details). Then a sales director to get bigger better accounts.
        Employees should be profitable with 90 days or you set expectations, etc. wrong. Have them tell you how to accomplish that. What are the systems and processes you will create? You can pay for their expertise and so you don’t have to train and manage.
  • Email

    • Link all accounts to main
    • Automate email by having them do one of 5
      • 1. Respond with canned response
      • 2. Label/folder it (label as urgent or of interest).
      • 3. Can use IFTT for real time updates from urgent folder via txt message).
      • 4. Delete
      • 5. Unsubscribe
  • Creativity

    • Play, do absurdity, make something today.
    • Procrastinating on an idea or problem a moderate amount allows you to incubate ideas and nonlinear thinking to optimize your creativity and ideas.
    • Mix two ideas together for a new idea.
    • Play the what if game, ruminating of what if this or that were possible.
    • We have the most theta brain waves (optimal for creativity) right upon awakening and right before we fall asleep. (This is why writers often write deep into the night)
    • Exercise the idea muscles: Come up with 10 ideas (doesn’t have to be business ideas) on a regular interval to promote the neuroplasticity for creativity/idea formation.
  • Software & Services

    • Remote Control Mail: scans and emails your mail
      •Visa Signature card and certain credit cards have concierge service to help book reserve and find things (e.g. hotels) for you for free.
      •Shypp to outsource shipping
      •Amazon Mechanical Turk (mturk.com): popular and powerful crowdsourcing platform for simple tasks that computers cannot perform (yet), such as podcasts transcribing or text editing. There are also companies, like CrowdFlower, that leverage Mechanical Turk (and similar tools) for even more elegant solutions.
    • Improve Phone Quality for Verizon iPhone (HD Voice + Wifi Calling)

      Step 1: Enable HD Voice: Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Enable LTE > Voice & Data
      Step 2: Settings > Cellular >Wi-Fi Assist: On
      Step 3: Enable Wi-Fi calling: Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling: On
      3rd Option: buy a network extender

    • Mac
      1.Run AdwareMedic every month – free and efficacious adware eliminator
      2.Check Activity Monitor to see how much Memory you have available
      3.Laptop Battery: let it run down to red then charge up. Do not keep charged at max or else you ruin the battery life.
    • Buying a large monitor has been proven to improve productivity.
    • ifttt.com: automate certain activities, such as, if you post on twitter, it will automatically post on FB.
    • ummy video recorder
    • Scheduleonce.com
    • Calendly: great scheduler to eliminate back and forth.
    • Ifthisthenthat.com to send triggers and notifications to your team.
    • Can walk and dictate books/content and use Dragon app to drag in MP3 voice memo and transcribe. Then edit.
    • Use 2 factor for all important accounts. Check at twofactorauth.org
    • Turn off Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. from linking/syncing to your computer (hard drive) which will slow down your computer.
    • Virtualstafffinder.com: outsource the hiring as they screen and interview for you.
    • Text Expander, which saves my fingers and keyboard, by allowing me to associate custom keyboard shortcuts with frequently-used sentences I type. For example, Alt+P will automatically write the sentence “Great question! I can answer in a future podcast if you ask your question via audio by going to…”
    • FastCustomer: Who likes waiting on hold? With FastCustomer, you log in, say whom you’d like to talk with (for example, your bank, your cell phone carrier, or your insurance company), and as soon as someone is available, a customer service agent from that company calls you. I don’t know how the magic wheels work, and I haven’t asked. All I know is that I rarely sit on hold anymore.
    • TaskRabbit: Where college students, recent retirees, stay-at-home moms, and young professionals seeking side gigs—literally the people in your neighborhood—are dying to get your grocery shopping and other time-consuming to-dos done for you. (Yes, you can do background checks.)
    • Fancy Hands: This is where you can hire a virtual assistant to plan personal travel—flights, hotels, airport shuttles, etc.—using the miles from various airline rewards programs that I keep at AwardWallet.com. Of course, you could have that virtual assistant perform a huge variety of other tasks, too. A similar service, and the creation of your own virtual assistant “team” is offered by my friend Ari Meisel at LessDoing.com
    • Fetch and Operator: Fetch and Operator are just two examples of websites that do all your shopping for you. You simply download the free app, tell them what you want, and they go find it for you at the lowest possible price
    • Miles from various airline rewards programs that I keep at AwardWallet.com.
    • Storage, documents, email, spreadsheets: G Suite
      Mobile email: Gmail
      Calendar (MacOS & iOS): BusyCal
      Contact management: Full Contact
      Team communication: Slack
      Project management: Basecamp
      App prototyping: InVision
      Design: Sketch
      Screenshot sharing: CloudApp
      Team password management: 1password
      Functionality flowcharts: OmniGraffle
      App analytics: Firebase
      App downloads & reviews: appFigures
      Todo & Notes: Reminders & Notes app (iOS default)
      Email and document proofreading: Grammarly
      Mobile document scanning (save as PDF to Google Drive): Scannable
      Document signatures: Hellosign
      Conference calls: UberConference
      Audio editing: Logic Pro X
      Video conferencing: Hangouts
      Encrypted chat & calls: Signal
      Newsletters: Mailchimp

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