Last time, I shared with you the steps beyond ‘the four things’ formula that Helen Raptoplous talked about on the call. They were, taking consistent action on your regular tasks, scheduling blocks of time to work on bigger projects, and dedicating a day or two to for planning, ideas and systems.
Personally, as we went through the call, I found Helen’s presentation of the information a little confusing and overwhelming. Robert Plank’s explanation of his system was way too simplified when I first heard it and so initially I didn’t get it; but when you do get it, it’s brilliant in it’s simple effectiveness. Helen’s method accommodates all those other things you need to do in business beyond the 4 Things.
What I did like about Helen’s call was that she stopped 3/4 of the way into the call to get people to brainstorm all the projects on your plate, all the things you’ve started or programs/systems you’ve bought. She then suggested you choose one thing to focus on. As Plank says often, it doesn’t matter where you start, just start. Thinking and researching and mulling things over or waiting until all the ducks are in a row just delays you further and ends up in loss of motivation and overwhelm as you add more things to your plate! All those other things will still be there later. And if you picked the wrong one, then you can always change, at least now you know.
After choosing one, Helen recommended we decide on four things to do tomorrow (one task has to be related to that project).
Then we needed to simply start that list of four things, doing one until it was complete before moving onto the next one.
Finally, we were asked to list the things we needed to do consistently.
This application session within the call was a great idea but it was too ambitious for the time allowed on the call to do it. The idea was good but it can only be a practice session to give people a feel for what they need to do and to motivate them to take action after the call on completing the practice outcomes.
It would have been better to have said something like “You probably have a ton of things on your plate or that you’ve started or intended to. For now, just jot down three that come to mind. [allow a minute]. I invite you to take time after the call to finish this list and review which one project to focus on. For now, choose one of the three you just wrote down that is the highest priority for you of those three. [Allow 15 seconds]. Now, what are four tasks you need to do to get that moving. [Allow 30-45 seconds]. Just look back over those four things and make sure they are tasks that can actually complete at one sitting.
Then I would have recapped for them the need to sit down and brainstorm all the things they have on their plate, to list all the daily/weekly/monthly things they need to do, to block out three periods to work on bigger projects and finally to schedule in the 1-2 days monthly to plan/idea/systems.
In the next session, I’ll complete this series on being more productive by explaining the key ingredient to make it work well.