Action Catalyst Blog

The Single Greatest Productivity App in the World

The Focus Funnel from Procrastinate on Purpose

 

Planning out your week every Sunday night is antiquated thinking.

Why?

Because the world has changed.

Things are faster now.

Things change faster now than ever before.

And you can’t solve today’s time-management challenges using yesterday’s time-management strategies.

Achieving the next level of results requires the next level of thinking.

It’s not that planning out your week every Sunday is bad necessarily; it just that being rigid to it, may not allow the highest level of productivity.

Multipliers recognize that we live in a world of rapid change and so we have to have a more flexible system that allows us to re-evaluate what’s significant more than just once a week.

Multipliers Think Differently

In fact, the Focus Funnel that Multipliers use seems to reflect a strategy that is more of “Perpetual Reprioritization.” That is, that they are constantly re-evaluating whether or not each second of their day is being invested into something that is the highest use of that time.

Multipliers will walk out of meetings.

Multipliers will cut unproductive conversations short.

Multipliers will turn down invitations.

Multipliers often don’t even seem to care about having a zero inbox.

And, Multipliers will intentionally change their mind at the last minute about what the next thing is that they’re going to do.

Why?

Because it’s possible that in any given moment new input has been received that has caused them to realize that the current thing they are doing is no longer the next most significant thing that they could be doing.

And so they intentionally decide to reshuffle their priorities based on the significance calculation – the thing that multiplies their time. That is, the thing that they can spend time on right now that will give them more time or results in the future.

Remember from POP, you multiply your time by spending time on things today that give you more time or results tomorrow.

If they should be in a situation where it becomes obvious to them that their current use of time is not going to multiply, then they will likely pull the rip cord, hit the eject button, and bounce as quickly as they can to their next most significant thing.

And they do it with no apologies.

Not because they are jerks but because they know that their highest value to other people is to be their highest self. And because Multipliers know that until they accomplish their next most significant priority – everything else is a distraction.

The Danger of Calendars

For most people their calendar just tells them what to do and so what makes it on their calendar is what gets done.

But to a Multiplier they don’t allow their calendar to automatically dictate what is going to get done. Rather they use “Perpetual Reprioritization” to decide what is going to get done.

You could even go so far as saying they throw out everything that has made it onto their calendar at any given moment and then they make each activity constantly have to fight to earn it’s way back onto the calendar!

So, while in the past, the great advantage of calendars has been that they help you to “not think” – ie. if it gets scheduled then when the time rolls around it just gets done.

Today, the great disadvantage of calendars is that they cause you to “not think”- and you must think!

You must think about the significance calculation. You must ask yourself “is what I’m doing right now going to help me get more time and results tomorrow?”

Scheduling something just for the sake of getting it done should not be the highest litmus test. And we often schedule things just so we can get them done and out of our inbox.

But that is just following a strategy where the highest goal is getting a lot of stuff done, being caught up, and having an empty inbox.

Multipliers don’t care about getting a lot of stuff done.

Multipliers don’t care about being caught up.

Multipliers don’t care about having an empty inbox.

Multipliers simply care about getting results.

And getting results can sometimes be completely independent and irrespective of those other goals.

It’s a case of “what got you here won’t get you there.” Because to not think is to put yourself at a great risk.

To not think is to endanger your future.

To not think is to risk losing one of your most valuable assets: time.

The Single Greatest Productivity App on the Planet

Which brings us to the single greatest productivity tool in the world…

It’s not a calendar.

It’s not a to-do list.

It’s not a software system.

And it’s not an app.

The single greatest productivity tool in the world is your freaking BRAIN!

It’s the ability to think and to perpetually reprioritize based on not just the urgency and importance calculations but the significance calculation. And it’s to use your brain to think flexibly based on a perpetually changing world of new inputs and new factors to decide at any given moment “what is the next best use of my time?”

Beware of conventional wisdom. The fact that it’s conventional by definition often means that it is not followed by the top 1% of performers. Conventional wisdom is the wisdom of the crowd; not necessarily the strategy of the wise.

Think about it.

If tips and tricks, tools and technology, calendars and checklists, apps and hacks were the key to productivity…

Then we would all be caught up right now.

But we’re not.

We’re further behind than ever before.

We’re stressed out more than ever before.

And even though we’re working longer, and faster than ever before somehow we’re still never caught up.

How can that be?

It’s because we’re running a race as fast as possible using every tool we can get our hands on in a great effort to get as many things as possible done in the shortest amount of time.

Multipliers don’t do that.

Multipliers don’t care about getting as many things done in the shortest amount of time.

Multipliers simply care about spending their time in ways today that give them more time and more results tomorrow.

In fact it almost always means doing fewer things. But it’s doing the more fruitful things.

The key is in identifying what those fruitful things are; not in accomplishing more trivial things faster.

And by far the greatest tool to help you do that is to simply slow down for a second and…

THINK.

 

PS If you haven’t yet, you really should watch my Tedx talk and buy a copy of Procrastinate On Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time for yourself and all your friends and family. 🙂

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