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power of focus

Batch Tasks To Achieve More

One of the harshest realities is that creativity blooms when on rails. When rails don’t exist, time creeps into the entirety and productivity/creativity/momentum crawls.
You want a Trellis.
Think of your processes, structures and tools and as a trellis.
Without a trellis, your vines can’t flourish in the direction you want them to grow. A trellis allows the natural, innovative electricity to flourish, play and grow in the direction you need it to.
Todd Henry talks about putting in “rails.”
“It takes intentionality to interact with innovative projects on our very own time – [rails] don’t simply make themselves.” From the unintentional creative podcast episode #143, “Rails.”
Multi-tasking is a lie. Yes, an easy graphic may also only take 7 minutes to create, but what’s it interrupting? That interruption costs you everywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on what research you examine. The point is this: switching between dissimilar obligations acts like a multiplier for interruptions.
We will finish a week’s worth of labor for 1 consumer in four hours. But if you break that into 10 minute duties sprinkled over the course of the week, it eats up hours and hours of creative time. The same is true for you. If you disagree, you’re incorrect….
The answer: batching small obligations.
This image illustrates the amount of interruption electronic mail causes in your day. It’s quite clear what allows you the most time to focus on a single, innovative mission. Due to the fact that switching among responsibilities requires a minimum of 15 minutes of lost time, you may see how the first column can rob you of all of your day.
Taken from The 4 Hour work Week by Tim Ferris
The machine: What We Do
Allie and I (Adam) have distinctive ways of working (however they’re very comparable). Allie LOVES pencil and paper for her every day to-do list where I prefer to hold my to-do listing online and reachable from all my devices.
1. Seize All Inputs
I put the whole lot into Evernote OR Todoist. Ideas move in Evernote, reminders to go Todoist. That’s it. If I write something down that I need to take into account, I’ll snap a photograph for Evernote or set a project reminder to switch the notes to digital copies.
2. Train those you work with
I lately added a signature to the lowest of all of my emails alerting individuals that email isn’t the way to get me pressing facts.
It’s easy to get annoyed with others who don’t work the same way you do, so you must teach them. You may not count on clients, contractors, or buddies to read your thoughts.
3. Take control of your agenda
When I’m out of the city, I’m going to be harder to get hold of. Same for the weekends. Same for 11 pm. There’s a quantity of issues that must exist. At any given time, Jam has 10-20 customers in a large number of time zones and with various levels of need. The best way we can ensure they’re all satisfied and rocking and transferring forward is to make damn sure we’re working very, very efficiently.
Here are some suggestions:
I take advantage of Calendula to reduce the quantity of traumatic emails to and fro. Calendula isn’t the simplest way to do this, it’s simply the one I take advantage of. It integrates with Google Calendar which is the marvel Jam’s device.
I only make Tuesday & Thursday open for conferences. This doesn’t apply to consumer conferences or assignment conferences, but anything outside of this is pushed into Tuesday or Thursday.
I restrict the wide variety of conferences I have per week. Calendula makes this easy.
Not everything needs in-person meetings (few matters do). Phone calls have a tendency to be shorter than coffee shop meetings and more likely to stay on-topic. Emails work well for getting tweaks and feedback and approval. Meet when you need to, telephone call when you want to and email when you want to. Knowing what works and is most effective for you and your customers will improve energy, momentum, freedom, and extra innovative power.

4. Batch Small duties
I spend an hour every Wednesday reviewing and planning for financials. Jam spends 3 hours at the start of every Monday checking where initiatives are headed, what’s coming up over the next 7-21 days (not anything beyond that). I schedule 3 half-hour chunks to deal with email processing (emails then get shifted to a Todoist, mission control software program, or into Evernote).
You could see that I’ve already taken some routine duties that want to manifest and we’ve batched them into some precise windows. They’ll get sorted, but they don’t sneak into my day.
Also, we batch our customers’ small tasks. In preference to designing social media pictures every day for our clients, we batch them into their very own time each week. If a customer emails us 3 thoughts or portions of information a day all week long, that’s fine. We just set aside a bit of time, sooner or later per week to process all of that.
That is precious. It allows each purchaser to get focused, creative energy from us. It allows them to send us things whenever they want, but we do the images in our own time.

For more information here is our book:

The Power of Focus

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