Aug 12, 2014
Welcome to the SuccessLab Podcast episode #14. In this episode, I’m in The Lab with Paul Blais of the Doubt the Doubts podcast and The Potters Cast podcast. He is a serial entrepreneur who launched the podcast and blog as a way to inspire and encourage others to pursue their dreams by getting over the doubts and fears.
Highlights from the interview:
Find Paul at:
Weely Biz Hack:
Time management and productivity regularly comes up in our SuccessLab mastermind group. It’s a common struggle, and it’s easy to see why. We have so many distractions in our day-to-day lives, couple that with the entrepreneurial mind, and it’s a wonder we get any work done. For me, I’m continually coming up with ideas, some of which I get really excited about. I’ll make an outline of how to bring it to life, end up with mile-long list of tasks, start in on a few, but then the overwhelm sets in and I start to lose steam or become frozen.
A while ago I came across a process that has really helped me focus. This process is one Warren Buffett lives by. Incidentally, around that same time I was introduced to the book, “The ONE Thing,” which is absolutely amazing (I talk about it entirely too much on this podcast!). The idea of both Warren Buffett’s process and “The ONE Thing” is to focus your energies on your very top priorities and avoid everything else at all costs.
Warren Buffett’s process starts by identifying what you want. Make a list of the top 25 things you want to do in the next few years or over the course of your life. Don’t limit yourself. Just allow yourself to write things down as they come to mind.
From there, and this is the tricky part, you have to choose the top five from that list that are the most important to you. When I did this, I went through the list a few times, starring the ones that were most important. From there I selected what was my #1, #2, #3 and so on. It might take a little while, but it’s really an eye-opening process. Once I had these, I then moved them to a fresh sheet of paper, so I could focus on them. I actually printed each one off and have them above my computer in my office so I have a daily reminder.
Once you’ve got your top 5, you’ll build a plan around how and when you will make these happen. Start with the big rocks (the goals or milestones you need to hit to get this done), then fill in all the little pebbles (the tasks that need to be done to achieve those goals and milestones), then list out who might be able to help you. Who can you delegate things to?
Remember those other 20 on the list? Those now make up your “Avoid at all Costs List.” This may seem counterintuitive, because they are things that are important to you and that you want, otherwise you wouldn’t have written them down. It’s only natural to try to find time to work on them as well, but doing so will only add to your distractions. Focus on your top five. Once those are achieved, then revisit your other 20 and start the process over again.
It’s very freeing to go through this exercise and as I mentioned, eye opening. Things you thought were important, might not make it to your top five and the ones that did might surprise you too.
Action Item: This week’s action item - go through this process. List out the 25 things that are important to you then sift through that list until you have your top five. From there, and this is where the book, “The ONE Thing” comes in, schedule time on your calendar weekly or daily to work on your top 5 priorities plan.
Quote of the week: “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” ~ Warren Buffett.
Next week we’re in the lab with Mikey Campbell from Apple Insider. We talk about trends he’s seeing, what he thinks is on the horizon for Apple, and how entrepreneurs can get their news in front of him. I’d love to know how you’re doing with your action items, please leave a comment here or in the SuccessLabr community.