This is a continuation of last week’s blog The Value Of Being An Extremist. This week we’ll be focusing on the most common things that can drain your productivity and what you can do about that.
Common Productivity Drain Holes
- Doing the wrong work
- Poor priorities, ranking, organisation
- Not know where the money actually comes from
- Some things should not be done. Some things should not be done now
- PROCRASTINATION IS BEST AT CERTAIN TIMES
- Others’ urgencies VS. your agenda
Failure Environments (VS. Success Environments)
- Workplace VS. Social Club
- Absence of needed resources
- Not conducive to efficiency or effectiveness
- LOSS OF ABILITY TO FOCUS
Here’s your most common productivity drain holes. Number one doing the wrong work altogether. A lot of people don’t know where their money comes from so they’re doing low money work. It’s surprising how many people don’t know where the money is in their business. They may have opinions, they have ideas, but they do not have facts. And that means more often than not they are doing the wrong work.
I start asking math questions. How many calls? How much is it costing us to generate a call? What is each call coming into the office costing you? That’s simple math, ad budget, PR budget, everything you’re spending out there in the marketplace divided by the number of calls you get– now we know how much each call cost. My next question is conversion percentage. How many of these calls get converted to appointments? Which obviously tells us how much it cost to get an appointment. And then how many appointments turn into clients?
Which gets us to cost per sale, which is where we want to get. What’s your call-to-appointment success rate? What are we doing about the people we don’t book appointments with? Now there’s the big opportunity.
Second big productivity suck, your environments. For me it’s donuts. Candidly, like anything else, if I made that my life’s work, and dedicated all my mental and emotional resources to creating disinterest in or aversion to donuts I know how to do that. And I know the NLP stuff, I know the pressure points stuff, I know the visualization stuff, but here’s a truth for all of you: no matter how much willpower and self-discipline and motivation you have, there is a cap. You’ve only got so much and what you choose to spread it around on and use it on ought to be important. For me this is too difficult a hill to climb, it will suck up too much of those resources, and take them away from more important things so it’s easier just not to put myself in a Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s easier for me to just try and stay out of the environment. I just try not to go where they are right in front of me.
Your environments are full of temptations; everybody has their own problem with this. For you it might be your iPhone, for me it’s donuts. You’ve got to know what it is, you’ve got to be in a place that is conducive to what it is that you want to accomplish.
There are now resources for your internet addiction. I’m serious. There is a thing now called Rescue Time, which is an online time management tool which you can pre-engineer to nudge you back to work. When it catches you at YouTube, you can tell it only let me be at YouTube for three minutes and then shock my testicles. That’s actually how it ought to be read in my personal opinion, but it doesn’t to that. It just shuts down YouTube and beeps at you or something. Or you can block the internet altogether for a pre-set period of time so you can manage to actually work on your computer without running around the internet.
Common Productivity Drain Holes
- Poor, undisciplined work habits
- Lack of preparation
- Too often starting from scratch & blank state
- Disrupted rhythm (VS. clumping like activities together)
- No-appointment access
- Unscheduled work activities
No rules & no training for those who you interact with
- Reluctance to making demands on others… to be perceived as tyrannical, arrogant, unreasonable – reluctance to be criticized
- Tolerance for Time Vampires
- Inability to say No or “This is UNACCEPTABLE”
- Standards, procedures, process (VS. random or situational)
- Incompetent and/or ineffective people around you
- Emotionally needy people around you
Three, poor undisciplined work habits. Lack of preparation, all sorts of people show up unprepared. They get on the phone unprepared. They go to meetings unprepared. They go to conferences unprepared. Who am I trying to meet? Go to their website or their Facebook site, get their picture so I can find them when I’m in a big crowd.
I have more, but these are my three basic schedules. I have an official calendar that we let people see. We don’t let the whole world see it, but we let people I work with see. I have weekly to-do list, monthly and daily and most importantly stuff that’s assigned to a date with start and stop times. Stop time real important. Most people have a start time for a call, but they don’t have an end time for a call. They have a start time for somebody coming in their office to meet with them, but they don’t have a stop time for somebody coming in their office to meet with them. And then the daily script, here’s how the day is going to go hour by hour by hour, minute by minute by minute by minute. If I’m doing copy writing today and I’m doing a sales letter for you and I’ve allocated 9 to 11 for it, it has to be because something else is scheduled to start at [11:01].
Common Productivity Drain Holes
- Cheap & penny-wise, pound-foolish; unwilling to buy time – Insufficient value of your time
- Mental & Physical fatigue and burn-out – The sense of slogging through mud because you are slogging through mud
- Staying stuck VS. Swift Sword – Unproductive SITUATIONS rarely improve/usually get worse – the willingness to EXIT is essential
We’ll finish with some cool rules for you.
Best Extreme Measures I Know
- Schedule and script your daily activities
- Minimize discretionary time
- Play to your strengths
- Immunity to criticism
- Reputation for intolerance for being screwed with
Best Extensions of Productivity
- Replace manual labour every way you can
- Leverage of …
- Well-chosen and properly prepared prospects (Role of superior marketing)
- Avoid one-and-dones
Here’s my approach, the three biggest things to extreme productivity. Number one if I’m going to go to work, by God I’m going to work. I want to use every minute, I want to squeeze every drop of juice I can squeeze out of it. I’ve done it at everything I’ve ever done. Speaking engagement? Man, if I’m going to go speak I’m going to scheme. What can I do before that engagement to make it as productive as possible? What am I going to do during it? What am I going to do after it? Can I squeeze in a meeting with somebody else? Scheme, scheme, scheme, scheme, scheme.
The script is, everything by appointment with yourself. Lunch break, there’s a timeframe for that on my daily scripts. There’s a start, there’s a stop. And then there’s another thing starting. Tight time allotments.