AMY PORTERFIELD: Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Today I’m going to share a few breakthrough moments I’ve had in the last few weeks thanks to one man, Michael Hyatt.
You see, I’ve been taking his course, Free to Focus. Oh my gosh! It is so good. If you haven’t checked out Free to Focus I’m telling you I think every entrepreneur should go through this course. That’s how good I think it is.
But today’s episode is not all about his program, Free to Focus. It’s really about finding your own freedom and really digging in the make sure you are working on the projects that will not only move your business forward, but will actually put you in that genius mode, that area where you are firing on all cylinders.
You know you’re doing the right work because not only are you good at it but you’re passionate about the work as well. We’re going to get into all of that inside of this episode.
As I mentioned, I’ve had a few breakthroughs of my own and one of those breakthroughs I creating what Michael calls The Ideal Week. That’s really the bulk of this episode today. We’re going to talk about how to create your own ideal week.
There are some things we need to get really clear about before we actually dive into designing your ideal week. We’re going to cover it all in this episode.
I think this episode is a perfect followup to a recent episode I did with accountability expert Carey Bentley. In Episode #174, which I will link to in the show notes, Carey went through the different layers of accountability. That episode was so good. She was just really insightful around finding accountability in all that you’re doing.
We also went over some mindset shifts, limiting beliefs, that might beholding you back from actually completing the projects you really care about. I think after clearing your head in that episode and them moving on to this episode I think they work really well.
In this episode we’ll talk about strategy and process and some tools and resources as well, all around finding more freedom in your business.
I want to bring some magic your way because I feel I have been hoarding this little secret of Michael’s program, Free to Focus. Again, I want all of my students to dive into it and just start to work smarter in a way that creates a business you absolutely love.
I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s bring on our guest.
Amy: Michael Hyatt, welcome back to the show.
Michael: Amy, I’m delighted to be with you.
Amy: I’m so excited that you’re here. This time I want to hone in on your new passion, almost a crusade, to help people free up distractions. I noticed that when you talk about your course you don’ t call it Productivity Now or anything like that because that’s not really what it’s about. So what is this mission really about for you?
Michael: It’s really about helping people find freedom. What I noticed was that a lot of productivity models are kind of based on the 19th Century industrial idea of how we can be more efficient and get more and more done. That’s why, when people have all of these productivity software packages and smartphones and all of these things that are supposed to save us time it doesn’t actually save us time.
It actually eats into our time so that we’re working more now than ever. My passion is how you can use productivity, but productivity that leads to more freedom, and really freedom in four specific ways: the freedom to really focus, to do that deep work that moves the needle in your business or your life; the freedom to be present so that when you’re with the people you love you’re really there and not thinking about work, or when you’re at work you’re not worried about something you left undone at home; then the freedom to be spontaneous.
For me, when my grandkids come over I want to be able to drop what I’m doing, spend time with them, and not worry that something’s having to pay the price in my business. Finally, I learned this in Italy this summer because the Italians do this, they call it the “Sweetness of Doing Nothing”, but I call it the freedom to do nothing.
Amy: I love that.
Michael: That’s the kind of freedom I’m after and productivity is the means to that end. It’s not the end itself.
Amy: The sweetness of doing nothing. I need to remember that. Those Italians know what they’re talking about, right?
Michael: I’m telling you. I fell in love with the Italians.
Amy: I bet. Did you absolutely love that trip? I know you just went for how long?
Michael: We were there for three weeks.
Amy: Three weeks.
Michael: Every year I take a one-month sabbatical where I completely unplug and don’t do any work. The only thing I posted to Facebook was my pictures from Italy. We were in Italy for three weeks, mostly in Tuscany, and we just did a whole lot of nothing and we just loved being together and enjoyed the Italian countryside and drinking the amazing wines and eating amazing food. I gained three pounds but it was worth it.
Amy: It was worth every piece of that, definitely. Okay, so here’s the deal. You also talk about productivity in terms of four zones and how you want to live your life in one particular zone. Tell me about that.
Michael: I have something called the Freedom Compass and this is kind of the foundation of my course, Free to Focus, and really the foundation of how I think about life. If you kind of imagine a four-quadrant diagram where one axis is proficiency and one of them is passion.
The things you are not proficient at and not passionate about, the things that are kind of just the grind, I call that the Drudgery Zone. Too many of us spend too much time in the Drudgery Zone with things we don’t like, don’t enjoy doing, and we’re not very good at.
If you turn this four-by-four matrix at 90 degrees it actually creates a compass. The Drudgery Zone would be Due South. The opposite of that, things where you are passionate, you love doing, you enjoy them, time seems to just flow and you could do it forever because you’ve got a lot of energy around it and you’re really good at it, it delivers the results in your business and in your personal life that make life worth living, I call that the Desire Zone.
There are also two other zones. That’s due north. If you look west this is where you’ve got passion about something but you’re not particularly proficient at it. That can be the Distraction Zone, the realm of escape, where we go when things get kind of tough or when we’re not really focused. For some people that’s social media.
If you have to use social media in your business, great. But for a lot of people that’s kind of a place to go to escape. Then the opposite of that, east, is the Disinterest Zone. This is where you have proficiency but no passion. For example, because I was in the corporate world and, more recently as the chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, I had to get pretty good at the financial aspects of the business.
I don’t have a finance background but I got really good at reading financial statements and making presentations to investment bankers and all of that. I could do it. I was good at it. But I had zero interest.
The problem is that when you’re in the Disinterest Zone you get bored. The secret to really moving the needle in your business and your personal life is to figure out your Desire Zone where you really have passion and proficiency and try as much as you can to either eliminate, automate, or delegate things in the other three zones. Does that make sense?
Amy: It does. It leads me perfectly into my next question. I want to talk about creating your ideal week. But I know before we get there we have to clean up some of the messes in our lives, some things that are just not helping us move forward in a way that gives us instant momentum.
I thought we could highlight each of those key components you cover starting with eliminate. What’s the right way to eliminate the overload we all feel?
Michael: It’s really interesting. There are a lot of people that are into productivity. I don’t want to step on any toes here, but they are into something called “getting things done”. There is a very popular book by David Allen. David is a good friend of mine. I’ve used that methodology for more than a decade and it really can work.
But we did a survey of people who had read the book and attempted to implement it. Only about 25% of the people were continuing to use it. So we ask why?
Here’s what they said, they said their list just kept growing. Secondly, they spent more time managing their list than actually getting the work done and, third, as a result they felt overwhelmed. They got up in the morning and had a to-do list that already made them feel like they had lost the game. Then they went to bed at night, even if they had completed ten out of 15 things on their to-do list, they still felt like they had failed.
The whole premise of eliminate is that there is some stuff that should never be on the list to begin with. The problem with GTD, from my perspective, is that it doesn’t provide this filter. The filter is the Freedom Compass that we just went through.
What are those things that are in the Drudgery Zone that need to come off my plate? They don’t just need to be done not by me but they may not need to be done by anyone. So, what are the meetings that I’m still attending or the reports I’m still generating or the work I’m still doing because it’s familiar but it really doesn’t need to be done by anyone? Those are the things to eliminate.
The problem, Amy, for people like you and me that are entrepreneurs that are business owners, if our businesses are growing we’ve gotten rid of the things that were in our Drudgery Zone maybe a year ago but now we have new things in our Drudgery Zone that we need to get rid of.
We have to constantly be evaluating what we can eliminate. It’s the pruning process. For anybody who grows roses or any other kind of flowers, pruning is a key component in creating healthy, beautiful flowers. The same is true for your life.
Amy: I’m glad you brought up the idea of pruning because as an achiever it’s very hard for me to give up anything that could be driving the business forward, even just a little bit. You talking about eliminating stuff actually makes me very nervous.
Michael: It does for a lot of people. This is kind of where there is a faith component that has to come in and almost an abundance mentality that you have to believe that if you prune it will come back stronger than ever. I’m looking out my window right now at a whole wall full of hydrangeas.
These things are huge and the blossoms are just falling over because they are blooming like crazy. But in about two months we’ll prune those things down to about two feet tall. We have to do that in the face, in the confidence, that they are going to come back stronger than ever next spring.
The same thing is true. Here’s something that happens to a lot of entrepreneurs. They have a client that’s paying the bills. Maybe they are a high-profit client. But they are also a high-maintenance client. They are sucking all of the air out of the room, all the resources out of the business, everybody’s trying to keep that client satisfied, and they really can’t be satisfied.
Here’s the key thing, it’s taking time away from those clients that are high profit, low maintenance that could really drive your business forward. The courage and faith comes in in firing that high-maintenance client so you can give your best resources to your best clients and really advance your business.
Amy: That’s so very good. With the concept of eliminating, I’ve heard you talk about saying, “yes” to the right things and saying, “no” to the wrong things. I want to dive a little bit deeper into this idea of saying, “no” more often.
I’ve talked about the power of “no” in my own podcast. Episode #152 was how to really make better decisions by weighing all of your options inside of your own business. I really like your take on the idea of “no” because you encourage us to create a positive “no”. Can you talk about that and some of the components that go into a positive “no”?
Michael: I think for most of us who are recovering people pleasers, I would put myself in that camp.
Michael: Right? Amen. I don’t want to disappoint people. So I had to figure out a way to be able to give them a positive “no”. There was actually a book I read on this topic and it was very helpful. I modified it a little bit but here’s what I do. I always want to start when I say, “no” by affirming that person, my relationship with that person, and honoring their request.
Here’s a common thing I get. I know you get it, in fact, I just made it of you recently, but people ask me if I can endorse their book. I want to be able to say to them, “Wow, I’m so honored that you asked. Thanks for asking. Awesome about your new book.”
Whatever it is, start with the positive. Then what I want to give is a very firm, very clear “no”. I say, “Unfortunately, due to the demands of my time (or due to my current commitments) I’m unable to do that.”
I don’t say, “Maybe I can do it later,” or, “Maybe I can get to it.” I don’t hold out any hope. I draw a clear line in the sand. I promise you, people appreciate that.
If we’re not careful, instead of actually responding to that person and giving them a clear “no” we either let it sit in our inbox and don’t answer and the person pesters us and then we get angry and then we kind of respond in a way that’s not equal to the request and say something we regret.
A lot of bad things happen from that. So the best way we can answer it is to just go ahead and give them a “no”. I’ve had people write back to me and say, “Thank you so much. I can handle ‘no’ but what I can’t handle is not knowing.”
Then I finish it with something positive. Yes, no, yes is the pattern. The yes positive in that particular example would be something like, “Man, I can’t wait to read the book,” or, “I’m looking forward to the book,” or, “Good luck with the book,” or sometimes, I ’ ve created these with email templates, and I talk about this in the automation section, how can you
take the requests that you get on a routine basis, create an email template that follows that pattern, and is really helpful to people.
It is kind of your best thinking if you are in your best state, respond to that person, and still say “no” but still give them something helpful like maybe direct them to a blog post or a podcast episode or a book you’ve read or a course you have or something that doesn’t just leave them in limbo but gives them a next step. That’s the yes, no, yes; positive “no” formula.
Amy: That’s so very good. I absolutely love it. So now that we’ve talked about eliminate and the positive “no” the next step you teach is to automate. What is one tip you can give listeners to automate different areas?
Michael: Mos t people, when they think of a utoma t ion, think of technology. Technology is actually only one type of automation I teach in the course. The first one, and I think the most important one, in fact before we got on the show today you were talking about this to me, that is to create rituals or routines.
You no longer have to think about the sequence, something happens, you’ve just got something that sets you up to win. I kind of call these the core four rituals but I recommend a morning ritual so when you get out of bed in the morning you’re doing the things that nurture your soul, that prepare your body, that get you in a place of peak performance so that you an really be productive during the day.
Then I talk about a work-day start-up ritual so that when you get to the office or get into your work area there is a set of specific things you can do to sort of clear the deck so that you can really focus and do the deep work on things that are going to matter.
At the end of the day, a work shut-down ritual so that you kind of have a clear boundary to the end of the day so that you can tie up the loose ends so that you don’t drag that stuff into your evenings so that you can’t be present with your family over dinner or spending the evening with them.
Finally, an evening ritual because the best day starts the evening before. An evening ritual sets you up for a productive next day.
Amy: I’ve got to give a shout out to your Full Focus Planner which is your physical planner that I am obsessed with.
Michael: Thank you.
Amy: I got everyone on my team to get one as well. I bought them one because I want us all to be on the same page and using the same type of system. Again, a big shout out to your physical planner. But, in it what I love is that you actually give a space to first just write out those rituals and make sure that we know what our morning ritual is and our evening ritual and then this work-day startup and how to end your day.
To me, Michael, that has just changed everything.
Amy: It’s like I get to ease into the morning instead of seeing what email I got, I need to get in Slack, who called me, or whatever it might be. There is none of that. I feel you are changing lives with these morning rituals and these startups and the way to kind of end your day.
Michael: Oh thanks.
Amy: It is so very good.
Michael: The reason we created a physical product is, and I’m a totally digital guy, for years I was all digital, but the problem is if you want to put yourself smack dab in the middle of the realm of distraction try to do everything digital.
Michael: That’s why I like a physical planner. Part of what we do in there is to help you identify your big three for the day, what are your three tasks that absolutely have to get done, what your schedule is, and for most people, we are getting reports from thousands of people back on it now, it’s giving them a simplicity and focus to their day they never had before.
They are not feeling overwhelmed. They are getting to the end of the day knowing that if they didn’t get anything else done they got the three most important things done and they feel great about that.
Amy: That’s so true. And then at the very end of the week you have a few pages where you get to evaluate how the week went, what worked, what didn’t work, what you need to pull over into the next week, and then you help us plan out our weekend.
I know this is a side note and not really what we were talking about, but we plan out our weekend so we actually have rest and relaxation and the weekend goes how we want it to go.
Michael: It’s so important. I’m glad you brought that up, Amy, because I want to talk about it. The whole course, the Free to Focus course, starts with a module of three lessons called Stop. Usually when you think of productivity you think, “Go! I’m on the go. I want to get in the game. I want to do it faster.”
No, I’m just saying to blow the whistle. Let’s stop the madness. Let’s evaluate what we’re doing. What is it that we want? That’s really where we think about freedom. Where are we now? Then there is a lesson on rejuvenation.
How do we take care of ourselves so that we get the rest, refreshment, reflection, relationships, all of those things we need in order to be the best version of ourselves? I can tell you when people work all week long and they work through the weekend eventually their focus suffers. Their productivity suffers.
When you’re not getting the rest you need I can prove it to you scientifically you are not going to be as productive as you otherwise could be. So, getting rest is important. But here’s the problem for business owners and entrepreneurs and leaders. They get to the weekend and they don’t know what to do with themselves.
They just tend to drift back into work because it’s familiar. They get the sense of being productive. So I said, “What if we took the initiative to be intentional about our weekends and actually plan it,” so that we don’t go into a weekend with no plan and drift back into work.
Instead we’ve actually got positive things that express, where we can enjoy that freedom, and not have to work. Boy, I hit the ground on Monday having a weekend like that in a completely different state of mind than if I had worked through the weekend.
Amy: Michael, I work so many weekends. I don’t work the whole weekend but I am always dabbling in something related to work on the weekends. Since this planner, I thought that I wanted to totally shut that off. That’s a bad habit that I don’t want to get into and I definitely see a difference.
Again, kudos to you on that planner.
Michael: Thank you. Thank you.
Amy: It’s fantastic. Guys, I’m going to link to the Full Focus Planner in the show notes at http://www.amyporterfield.com/177. I want you to check it out, especially at the time of this recording we’re going to move into the new year soon. It’s a perfect way to start the new year. Anyway, let’s get back to it.
We talked about eliminate. We talked about automate. Now let’s talk about delegate. You say you want 95% of your activity to be in the Desire Zone. So, how does delegating help us get there?
Michael: There are certain tasks that don’t need to be done by any human and those can be eliminated. There are certain tasks that have to be done but they can be done either by machine or almost in an unconscious way, and that’s automation.
There are some tasks that have to be done by a human but it doesn’t have to be you. That’s where delegation comes in. This is challenging for a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs because, let’s be honest, we tend to be micromanagers.
Nobody can do the job as well as we can and another common excuse I hear is that it takes longer to explain it than to just do it myself. But if you want to see incredible exponential growth in your business, if you want to see exponential growth in your sense of freedom and your sense of control, you have got to delegate.
You’ve got to figure out the few things, for me it’s just a couple of things (actually three things), that are in my Desire Zone and then make a point of getting rid of everything you haven’t eliminated or automated that’s still on your list.
The wrong place to start is with your resources. You say you can’t afford anybody else so you aren’t even going to think about it. Wrong. The money doesn’t show up until you have the vision for what you want to do with the money.
Nobody ever comes to me and puts a big pot of money down and says, “See if you can spend this wisely.” It doesn’t work that way. But, when I get clear on the vision for what I want, and in this particular case I am asking, “What are the things you would delegate if you could delegate?”
Forget about the resources and then just trust that somebody somewhere at some time is going to show up to do that. Getting clarity is the most important thing first. Then your mind will begin to go to work about how to resource it.
That’s how I try to get people to think about it. Delegation is huge. It is one of the most important aspects of growing your business. I thought when I left the corporate world I would be a solopreneur. That just sounded kind of romantic until I realized I was booking my travel. I was working through all my email. I was trying to find the FedEx box and I had no clue as to where it was.
I was spending all of this time in my Drudgery Zone on things I hated. That’s not why I was put into the world and those are not the things that are going to advance my business or give me the kind of life I want to live. I’ve got to be able to delegate.
Amy: So true A lot of my listeners are just starting out so they might have a ten-hour-a-week VA but not much more than that. What if that’s the case? What’s one small step they can take right now to delegate more?
Michael: That’s exactly how I started. When I left the corporate world it was just me, overwhelmed. I thought, “Gosh, I hate to spend the money for a VA but maybe I can afford to get one,” and I started with five hours a week, literally.
I hired an agency and did it five hours a week. That lasted for two weeks and I thought, “Oh my gosh, this freed up five hours for me to focus on income producing activities.” What if I went to ten hours a week?
I did that after two weeks. Then after a month I went to 20 hours a week. I was getting a significant return on my investment and I’ll tell you a funny story. We had a mastermind a couple of years ago. It was one I was leading.
One of the guys in the mastermind said, “You know, I’m doing all of my own web development. I’m okay at it. I’m not great at it. I can hack through it but I just can’t afford a web developer.” One of the guys said to him, “How much do you think you make an hour?”
I don’t remember exactly what the number was but let’s just say for the sake of argument he said it was $150 and hour. He then asked a question, “Would you pay a less-than great, maybe average web developer, $150 an hour?”
He said, “Heck no! Absolutely not!” Then he said, “You already are.” And that’s exactly right. For a lot of us, whether it’s bookkeeping or some of these other things we are paying a very, very high price because we’re paying ourselves and there are certain things that only we can do.
Generating income is the place we need to be focusing our attention when we’re in the beginning stages of our business. That’s why delegation is so essential.
I don’t believe in going into debt for it. I don’t believe in stretching yourself too thin. But I do think you’ve got to have that list of things you will delegate at your first opportunity. I like pushing my VAs and continuing to give them more and more higher level stuff. They can do a lot more than you think.
Amy: That’s so very true. That’s a great lesson. They can do a lot more than you think. As entrepreneurs it’ s so easy for us to hold onto everything. We think we know the best way to do it. That’s not true. I love your example of the web developer. It’s so very good.
I think we’re ready to get into creating our ideal week. So what’s the concept all about and can you break down the different stages that go into the ideal week?
Michael: Yeah, absolutely. Let’s say that you know what your activities are in your Desire Zone and this is a journey, it’s not going to happen overnight. But you are going to increasingly do more things in your Desire Zone and fewer things in your Drudgery Zone.
The way you do that is that you schedule it. What gets scheduled gets done. The concept of the Ideal Week is this, if I had total control of my calendar and total control of my commitments how would I like my calendar to look?
Before I did this, and I’ve been doing this for more than a decade, I would have meetings showing up at all different times during the week. I’m an introvert so that means it takes energy when I’m in a situation in a meeting.
It seemed like I would just get focused on some work that was really taking serious think time and I would have a meeting. It would yank me out of that zone where I’m trying to think and be productive. I would go have the meeting and it would take me a while to get back into it again.
I thought what if I batched my meetings so that there were only days I would take meetings and other days that would be completely free to do client work and really do the things in my Desire Zone. That was a huge breakthrough.
That’s what I suggest people do. Think of time really in three different categories: First of all there is front-stage time. This is when you’re performing and doing the things that generate revenue or deliver the results for which you were hired, if you’re working for somebody else. That’s front-stage time. For me, right now, talking to you is front-stage time. I’m performing.
Back-stage time is everything you do to get ready for that front-stage time. In our case, Amy, it would be preparing a slide deck for a webinar or going to a conference, like Score, where we learn better speaking techniques or anything that’s the preparation that leads us to give better performances when we’re on front stage.
Then there is off-stage time. Some people don’t know there’s any place that’s outside of the theater of work. We’ve talked about that plenty here, but the off-stage time has to be built into your ideal week.
With those three kinds of time, how are you going to map out, in a sort of batching way, when your front-stage time is going to be, when your back- stage time is going to be, and when your off-stage time is going to be.
I just create a simple, weekly calendar template and then literally go through and put in the blocks as though I had 100% control and had no pre-existing commitments. Does this make sense?
Amy: It does. It’s so good.
Michael: I actually theme it. There is time I have, for example, I have the themes like front stage, back stage, and off stage (specific days are given to those things) but then if you look at the horizontal look of that the mornings are pretty much personal time and then I have work time through the bulk of the day and then I have evening time for family.
I have all day Saturday an all day Sunday for my off-stage time. Most of that’s family but there is church and other things that go on during the weekend too.
Once you get that it gets very exciting. It was huge for me as an introvert to move all of my internal meetings to Monday and all of my external meetings to Friday. That left me Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to really focus on either back-stage or front-stage, but the things where I was uninterrupted and could really do the deep work that was going to matter.
Again, that was huge. Once you get that ideal week the next step is to share it with your team so that they can support you and they aren’t unwittingly undermining you. Then, also be easy on yourself and realize, even for me, as I said, I’ve been doing this for more than a decade, I very rarely have a week that actually matches up to my ideal week.
There is always some twist. But without that it would be chaos. It gives me a pattern or template, something to work toward.
Amy: That’s so very true. I want all of my listeners to see my Ideal Week just to get a sense of what it looks like. So I went through Free to Focus and Michael gets into all of this in so much more detail so you really make some good decisions and ask yourself some smart questions to move into the perfect, ideal week for you.
If you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/177 I will actually have a graphic there of my ideal week so that you get a sense of it. But I’m curious, Michael, with your ideal week do you spend more time in the front stage or back stage?
Michael: Actually, I spent the most time in the back stage.
Amy: That’s what I was thinking. Me too.
Michael: I’m preparing. If I do a webinar like I will be doing for Free to Focus here in a couple of weeks (I don’t know the time this is going to be released, but it’s soon), I’ll spend a ton of time in the preparation but then, obviously, a webinar is a very short performance. The preparation is probably 7-to-1.
Amy: Yeah, for me to as well. So I wanted you guys to see an example of that. My final question here, Michael, is around this ideal week in the sense that I created mine and I gave it to my team. I actually spent hours doing this. I was with my project manager, Chloe, and we chose a weekend to do it so we wouldn’t be disturbed. I know, we are getting away from that.
Ironically, we made our ideal week on the weekend. We mapped it all out, for me personally, and then I went right into a big project with a tight deadline. I feel my ideal week was a joke. It just melted away and wasn’t even there.
I’m guessing that I know it’s never going to be perfect but there’s got to also be a sense that this becomes a habit or you’re very intentional. I definitely feel I easily just moved away from it. What do I do about that?
Michael: I think the key, Amy, is really to give to your executive assistant as much control as you possibly can. Where I get into trouble is when I start to run my calendar.
Amy: Good point.
Michael: Here’s what happens, I don’t know, this probably doesn’t happen for you but what happens to me is if somebody asks me for a request, again, as a recovering people pleaser I want to say, “yes” and I usually won’t pay attention to my ideal week because I’m trying to accommodate them and I’m not keeping the context in mind of everything I’ve got to do.
If I let Jim, my assistant, do that he always looks as a reference to the Ideal Week. If someone is requesting a meeting and say they are going to be in town on Wednesday and Thursday and want to meet with me while they are there he says, “Oh man, you know, he’s already committed on those days. Is there a possibility you could meet on Friday.”
Then they say, “I guess I could stay over and have breakfast with him.” Jim is pushing things into those parts of my ideal week that have already been allotted for those kinds of activities. I would never do that. I would feel like I was being too high maintenance.
Jim doesn’t have any of that. He doesn’t care.
Amy: I love that. I love Jim’s way of handling it because it’s so much more productive than if I were just to take it over. So that’s a really great point. Now I said we were going to wrap it up but I do have one more question. I was thinking about how you run your business and the different systems and processes that you use.
I was also curious about your favorite productivity tools. I know in the beginning we talked about all of these tools that could actually turn out to be a distraction for us. But I am assuming there are a few that are really valuable for you.
Michael: Yeah, there definitely are. I will say this, the calendar is kind of the hub of everything. In my company we use Google Calendar but I use a Mac and I use a program called Fantastical. It’s got some other features I really like and we have layered calendars and all that.
For my task management, even though I use a physical planner, I don’t try to keep everything in my physical planner, I use a hybrid system. I use a task management tool in order to store all of my tasks. But only three of those are going to make their way into my Full Focus planner for today.
I’m currently using, for a long time I’ve used Nozebe. I still love that program. But some of my team is using Todoist. So that’s the one I’m using right now. I’m going to tell you a little secret. I got to ask this in our private Facebook group for Free to Focus the other day, if you eliminate, automate, and delegate you are not going to have that many tasks to manage.
You’re not going to have these unbelievably long lists and multiplication of lists. Your life is going to get a lot more simple and, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter what task manager you use.
Amy: I agree.
Michael: You could use a legal pad.
Michael: It makes a huge difference.
Amy: That’s so very true. Well Michael, I want to thank you so much for joining us and I can’t let you go before we talk about your upcoming free master class, The Seven Deadly Sins of Productivity: The Hidden Habits Undermining Your Performance and How to Change Them.
I am going to be on this webinar live. I cannot wait until you do it. So tell us a little bit about what we’ll learn because I want my audience to sign up and learn what I’ve been so obsessed with lately, diving into all of your strategies and systems.
Michael: Here’s the deal. There are a lot of things that we’ve learned about productivity that are actually keeping us unproductive. For example, I’ll just give you one of the deadly sins, thinking we can skimp on rest or skimp on our meals. We think we can work through lunch because we have to say focused on “this thing” or we will get up a couple of hours early.
That’s counterproductive. I go into that in depth. One of the things that I do in the webinar that I think is really helpful is I go to the science. What does science teach us about productivity? There has been a lot of work done on brain science, about our own psychology, even our physiology and how that helps us to be more productive.
So many times we’re working against the science and it makes us less productive, more overwhelmed, more discouraged, and we feel like a hamster in a wheel. My commitment is to help people get off that hamster wheel and start making real progress where they have some air to breath.
They have breathing room where they feel they are in control and are experiencing freedom.
Amy: Perfect. You guys, you’ve got to sign up for this. It’s absolutely free. Michael’s going to be there live. It’s at http://www.amyporterfield.com/focus and it will take you directly to his free webinar. Michael, thank you so very much for being here today. I absolutely love having you on the show.
Michael: Thanks Amy, you’re always a delight.
Amy: So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I have. I absolutely love talking to Michael. I want to remind you that I have posted a snapshot o f m y ideal w eek. If you go t o http:// www.amyporterfield.com/177 you will see my ideal week.
Here’s the deal. It took me a few hours to create it and I used Michael’s program Free to Focus in terms of the principles of eliminate, automate, delegate. But there are also some special nuances he teaches in the program to really nail down your ideal week, a week you’re actually going to stick to and you’re going to find a lot of freedom with.
It is very individual for each of us but at least you will have a place to start if you see my snapshot and then you can build yours from there. But I highly recommend his program, Free to Focus, because it has helped me immensely, even beyond the Ideal Week, just how I approach my work, the decisions I make, what I say “yes” to, what I say “no” to.
I’ve really changed the way I’m approaching things because of this program. He’s going to talk about it in his free webinar so go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/focus to go to his free webinar. Even if you don’t want to sign up for his program watch the webinar. You will have so many takeaways and insights to help you build more freedom into your business that you don’t want to miss it.
Come on, who doesn’t love a free webinar by someone like Michael Hyatt who I know has spent hours and hours preparing so that no matter if you buy or not you walk away feeling excited and inspired and driven to take action. Those are my favorite webinars to get on and I will definitely be there too.
Got to http://www.amyporterfield.com/focus and you are good to go.
Alright guys, I can’t wait to connect with you again next week. Next week’s episode is all about what’s working right now with list building and social media. We’ve got some good episodes coming up and I can’t wait to share them with you. I’ll see you here again next week. Bye for now.