Episode 361 | Planning for Better Productivity

Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike talk about how to plan for better productivity. Based on a blog post by Noah Kagan, they discuss some different tactics including organizing time by energy level and value.

Items mentioned in this episode:


Mike: In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and I are going to be talking about planning for better productivity. This is Startups For The Rest Of Us Episode 361. Welcome to Startups For the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Mike.

Rob: And I’m Rob.

Mike: We’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. Rob, I’m back, your coup failed.

Rob: Aw man, I was going to ask if you listened to the episode last week. That’s funny. Did you listen to it or did someone…

Mike: No…

Rob: You made it back. I figured I’d exiled you and this is my show now.

Mike: No, you know what, it’s funny because for whatever reason, it reminded me of the very first Micro Conf that we ran and the survey that I sent out afterwards. I don’t know if you remember this but the last question on the survey was who’d win in an arm wrestling match, Mike or Rob?

Rob: I don’t remember that.

Mike: You don’t remember that? 75% said that you would go down.

Rob: I would go down, yeah, well that makes sense. What do you think of the episode?

Mike: It was good. It’s probably always awkward to record something completely by yourself. I’ve listened to podcasts before where it’s just one person talking but I think there’s a lot to do with delivering content. Sometimes, it works out really well, sometimes it doesn’t. I think it depends a lot on whether or not the topic or the content resonates with you, and then there’s also the appeal of listening to the person who’s speaking.

Rob: Right. I did realize that I talk fast normally, but for some reason when there’s no one else on the podcast, I talk even faster. I just string the sentences together. I was listening to it at 1.5 speed and I was like whoa, you need to pause, dude, you need to have some space between the sentences.

Mike: Well, that actually also plays into when people are doing public speaking, they get excited and nervous. People tend to talk fast when that’s the case. But people, I’ve noticed, also talk fast when they are extremely knowledgeable about a particular topic because they want to get everything out as much as they possibly can.

Rob: Yeah, it’s like excitement and passion for this stuff.

Mike: Yeah.

Rob: That’s cool. Good, I’m glad you enjoyed it. What else is going on this week?

Mike: I’m in the middle of finishing up implementing [OWAF 00:02:20] inside of Bluetick in an effort to basically streamline the onboarding process because right now when somebody signs up, the first thing you have to do before anything else is set up a mailbox. If you’re using Gmail, it can be problematic at best. I’ve been getting on a call and essentially walking people through manually. It sucks. It’s not just that it sucks because I have to talk to them, the problem is that sometimes it doesn’t always work or you have to go into admin settings or each situation can be different based on how your G-suite account is set up or what admin settings are and which ones aren’t set.

It can be very difficult to figure out, and users will probably never be able to figure it out on their own. I’ve had a few go through and have no problems, but then there’s ones where settings were all over the place or they’re not an admin and the [OWAF] should just completely get rid of all of those things and just take care of it.

Rob: That would be really nice. That sounds like a nightmare when you talk on the phone like that, you can’t just have a single KB article or some type of walk through and you got to almost trouble shoot it, custom consulting just to get on boarded is pretty rough.

Mike: I do have a KB article for it. If I were to print it out, it’s probably five or six pages, which sucks. You can go through it, but I’d rather the person not have to. If that’s their first experience with it, it’s not a great experience. I really try to avoid that. Plus, I’ve had people who even I couldn’t get them on boarded because it just did not work. We couldn’t figure out what the settings was. Things worked for a little bit, and then Google has this algorithm in the background that if they think that it is hacks, it will just block access. You got to be kidding me, but [OWAFs 00:03:55] gets around that kind of stuff.

I’ve got it mostly working right now, mostly just going through some testing and making it so people can convert their existing mailbox over to using [OWAFs 00:04:05] instead of the app passwords that they have to use right now. But yeah, open to employ that out in the next couple of days and move on because that’s just been a nightmare.

Rob: It’s one of the few cases where you may actually have a silver bullet. Most of the time, it’s like oh, this is still not going to solve it. But if it actually does, that’s a big deal.

Cool, well I want to talk about MicroConf. We have save the dates for MicroConf Started Edition and Growth Edition next April in Las Vegas. Tickets are going to be available in the next few weeks. Mark your calendars now for Growth Edition is April 23rd and 24th, it’s a Monday, Tuesday. Of course, we have the Sunday evening reception on the 22nd. Started Edition follows that, much like last year, it is April 25th and 26th. If you are interested in hanging out with a couple hundred successful or aspiring to be successful bootstrap, startup founders, you can get on the mailing list at microconf.com. Historically, MicroConf has sold out pretty quickly. You will want to be on that mailing list if you want to get the first grab at tickets. In addition, MicroConf Europe is happening here in about five weeks in Lisbon, Portugal. Tickets are still available for that, microconfeurope.com.

Other than that, in terms of work, we’re doing a lot of scaling stuff. We have gotten out ahead, it’s so nice. Remember how several weeks ago I was talking about how cues and scaling were just a big issue. They’re perpetually going to be a big issue but we’re well out ahead of them now, it just feels like you have breathing room. Basically, I put together, it’s called a platform engineering team. It’s people, they’re just going to be working constantly on the scaling now.

Typically, every four to six months, we would turn our attention to it and then we go back to building features. It’s at the point now where we just have a staff of—it depends how urgent it is—between five and eight engineers who are just constantly going to be looking at how to 2X this and how to 5X this. We’re doing a chunk of it in a sprint for Black Friday, even though our volume is historically not gone up that much on Black Friday, we do just want to make sure that we can send emails very quickly. I think the other day, they 2X or 3X our email throughput with three, four weeks of work. They re architect something and they decoupled something, doing something asynchronous. You just slowly make those wins, that’s a big one. If they can 2X or 3X it again, we will be sitting pretty even based on our most pessimistic estimates of the volume that we’ll need to send.

Mike: That’s awesome. Sounds like things are firing on most, if not all, cylinders at this point.

Rob: Yup, it is good. It will be nice to get past that. We’re still working on features but we definitely have slowed feature development just a tad in order to make sure that we’re well equipped for it and then got some good stuff cooking for the end of the year.

Mike: Very cool.

Rob: What are we talking about today?

Mike: Speaking of optimization, we’re going to be talking about planning for better productivity. This episode is based off of an article that I read over on Noah Kagan’s blog at okdork.com, we’ll link it up in the show notes. It was a series of time management tips. We talk about time management tips a couple of times on this podcast but we haven’t gone in depth into anything in probably 100, 150 episodes or so. I’ve went back and made sure that we hadn’t done that recently.

I wanted to take some time and dig into a process that he outlines on this blogpost because the title of the blogpost is Time Management, Tips of Insanely Busy People. Because of a lot of the things I’m doing, more or less juggling back and forth between all these different activities for Bluetick, it’s been difficult to prioritize things properly and make sure that I’m spending enough time in a way that allows me to move forward in every direction as opposed to making too much progress in one direction and not enough process in others.

I took the time to actually read through this and start applying some things already. So far, this week, it’s actually worked out really well. I’m getting up early and reprioritized when I do certain things. What its helped me do is essentially helped me put myself in a position where I make time for the important stuff and then rearranged the time where I’m making poor decisions or my glucose levels are low and not able to make good decisions and push that off to times where I know that that’s more of a recovery time for example.

We’re going to go through this. The thing that jumped out at me the most in this particular article is that there was a line in there that said success is fundamentally about how you spend your time. If you think about it, conceptually, if all of us had the same amount of time in the day but some people are much more successful or much more productive than other people. Kind of want to take a look at this to see if there are ways that I can apply some of the stuff that we learned and wanted to share some of that stuff.

Rob: Indeed, let’s dive in.

Mike: The first thing that comes out of this article is the recommendation to list all of the different categories of work that you need done. There’s a screenshot in this article where he’d list out all the different activities that he does into the different categories. He’s got green for gym, salmon color for Sumo work, purple for podcast planning, recording, and brainstorming, and then he has grey for growth or learning or consuming, whether that’s reading, or podcast, or whatever. Then, red is all sorts of random stuff that he likes to do. His calendar is—I won’t say it’s completely full—but there’s a lot of places where there are areas of time that are blocked off for these different activities.

The basic idea here is to figure out what things you need to be doing and then categorize them and figure out what times of the day that you are spending time on those things. If you have five different things that you need to be spending your time on, are you actually spending the time there and what times of the day or what days of the week are you spending the time?

Categories might be marketing, engineering, or support. Another category might be your downtime, rest or recovery time, which is really winding down for the evening. That’s the way I look at it. Shutting down your computer at 7:00PM or 8:00PM to put you in a position where you can actually go to sleep at night.

Rob: Yeah, I think this is an interesting exercise to do. I’ve never thought—you have work in quotes, a list of categories of “work” you need to get done because you include sleep and social time and exercise. I think it is good to think about those things as something that you have to have on your calendar because although we don’t think of sleep as being a form of productivity, it’s something that allows you to be productive the next day.

I’ve never calendared something this specifically, I have done time blocking during the day where I’ve blocked out tasks to work on whatever it is, writing, or eating. I’ll put lunch in there or obviously meetings are time blocked, but I haven’t gone outside of my 9:00 to 5:00 schedule. I don’t time block stuff in the morning or after work. I don’t know that I would do that permanently, but I do think it could be an interesting experiment. It kind of reminds me of I don’t have a personal budget, but I did at one point. I tracked it for a couple of months and it gave me a decent sense of what we were spending. That allows me to have a ball park now.

That’s what I feel this would do, I wouldn’t want everything time boxed all the time but I do think doing this one or two weeks could give you a better idea about where you’re slipping and give you the discipline, that reminder dings and it says which task, that if you’re not getting stuff done, either you’re not giving yourself enough time, you’re not realistic enough about estimates, or maybe you’re getting distracted and it can be a reminder to get back on task. I like the discipline and just the idea of tracking everything for a period of time just to see what it actually looks like on your calendar and how it feels to work like that.

Mike: One of the things that I found when I was going through this was something that I haven’t done for a while now. Pay more attention or pay enough attention to exercising and going to the gym. Part of that was because my shoulder was all messed up for a while, but I also recognized that when the end of the day came along, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 at night, I lost the decision making ability to actually go to the gym. I would think about it and I would say no because I didn’t have the willpower to actually go to the gym at one point. It’s like I’ve been making decisions all day long, some of them were very difficult, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I think that a lot of people fall into that category, and I’ve done this myself in the past where after a hard day at work, you come home, you eat dinner, and then you sit on the couch and watch TV, but then you also snack which is a universal problem almost but you’ll sit there with popcorn or potato chips or something like that and you’ll veg out in front of the TV. You can’t stop yourself from eating those potato chips or the popcorn or whatever, and it’s because you don’t have any decision making capabilities left, you’ve lost the willpower.

What I do for example was I switched my schedule around and I put gym very first thing in the morning. The past four days, I’ve gotten up somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning and gone to the gym which is not normal for me. I do not do that, but I’ve actually found it very easy to get up and go to the gym first thing in the morning just because it’s the first thing I have to do. I’ve had a decent length of sleep, go to the gym, and it’s hard to discount going to the gym that early because I’ve made no other choices at that point.

Rob: Wow, that’s impressive. I have heard that exact thing that you slowly lose willpower during the day and that’s why midnight snacking and making poor decisions, buying things on Amazon late at night or whatever, are so much more common than when you have the energy.

It’s interesting, a big part of this I think is knowing yourself and how you work. There are certain times of the day where you are going to be more productive. The majority of people are most productive in the morning when you’re fresh. I find that I get a second wind often around 10:00PM and I used to work from 10:00PM to 2:00AM was when I’m ultra productive, like in college, at that time. That’s when I would do all my homework. And then even when I got out, I would write a lot of code when I was consulting and didn’t need to be in a day job, I would write a lot of my best code at night.

Over time though, having kids wrecks that. I learned to try to adjust back to mornings. I do think that knowing what constraints you have and knowing your own personal body clock is another big thing that you’re going to want to know before you start putting things on the calendar during the day.

Mike: One thing you mentioned there was doing code late at night and getting that second wind. I can do that as well but for whatever reason, you’re walking out the door and going to the gym at 7:00, 8:00, 9:00 at night, that takes a lot more effort and willpower for me to do it than sitting down and coding does.

Rob: I agree. I’m on the same boat.

Mike: I think that it’s partly because of how interested you are in what it is that you are trying to get as a goal. I think there’s a lot of things that factor into that, but I recognize that I was not going to the gym and it was because I was pushing it off until later in the day. I didn’t have the willpower to make that decision anymore. It really helped.

Rob: I’m actually reading a book right now called Sleep Smarter, 21 Essential Strategies for Better Sleep, or something like that. In it, he talks about how they’ve done studies and that exercising in the evening is actually not good, that it amplifies stuff and it can negatively impact your sleep. Some people say I exercise in the evening, it makes me tired and then I go to sleep, but the studies have shown that that doesn’t tend to be the case in general so it is actually better to work out—I think he said no caffeine after 2:00PM in general, and you get the most sleep benefit if you worked out in the morning. If you worked out in the afternoon, it was a wash. Then if you worked out in the evening, it was a detractor to your quality of sleep, so something else to keep in mind.

Mike: Let’s move on so we can get into some of the different experiments that Noah had gone through in this article. The next step is after you’ve listed all the different categories of where you think you should be spending your time, your ideal workload for the week, then track how much time you’re actually spending in these areas. It’s very easy to put yourself in a situation where you think that you’re spending an hour on something and you actually spend two, or three, or four because one we’re not very good at estimating our time, but two we’re also not very good at looking back retroactively on oh, how much time was it that I spent on that yesterday? Unless you’re tracking it right at that point, it’s very easy to mis-estimate how much time you’ve spent on something.

Rob: Mis-estimate? Remember that bushism, mis-underestimate? That was good.

Mike: Yes.

Rob: I think it’s really easy to go through your day on autopilot, and especially with ADHD inducing tools like Slack or Twitter or Reddit, if those are your jam. Even your email inbox. You can just wonder from thing to thing, checking them every 10 minutes, and that could be your whole day and you never get anything done. I think this entire thought process is a way to help you not do that and also looking at a calendar and actually slapping an hour on something and saying I only have an hour to do that, it’s a great way to force yourself to get stuff done and to focus. I think especially, I would pair this with my most productive times of day, I would pair it with a small amount of carefully titrated caffeine, I would have a playlist like deep focus or I have some punk playlist that I put on loop. I think that is the way you’re going to eek out the maximum productivity, but it’s the first step here as you’ve just said, becoming aware of where you are spending your time versus where you think you’re spending your time.

Mike: That’s exactly right. Once you have figured out where you are actually spending your time, you start to compare it against what your ideal time would look like so that you can analyze that and figure out where you need to make adjustments in order to improve it.

The first experiment that Noah had done was he went through and organized his time by what he called energy level. There were a couple of different things that he classified some of the work as. He has manager time, maker time, which he was talking about on this podcast before where manager time is you’re doing things that require management capabilities. For this type of stuff, you need anywhere from 30 to 60 minute blocks of time to handle that stuff. Whether it’s taking phone calls, or meetings, or checking email, or managing people, or doing certain types of planning work. Those are all essentially manager time.

Maker time, he says block off two to four hour blocks of this time so that you can really get into something. That includes writing, coding, any sort of creative activities where you need a couple of extra hours of uninterrupted time in order to work on it. If you’re interrupted, it’s going to throw off your schedule and you’re not going to be able to be as creative and be as productive on that stuff.

Rob: In my opinion, I’m kind of a self identified maker in general. I hate manager schedule, I’ve happened to have had a manager schedule for the past several years as I’ve been running Drip and I still do. When you’re a manager, you need to be constantly interrupted because you have to keep other people unblocked. You can’t make them wait 30 or 60 minutes to hear from you in general. But as someone who is strictly, since I was 8 years old, has been a maker, whether that’s writing books, writing blog posts, writing code, building things, I think the entire point of this should be to protect your maker time and to make it predictable and make it something that is deliberate and something that will not get interrupted.

The work environment these days, especially with tools like Slack, I’m going to say it again, I’m a little bit of a Slack basher. As much as we use it and it’s helpful, it is like being in a meeting all day with people. It has real pluses and minuses, obviously it improves communication for remote teams, but at the same time it’s just a constant interruption stream. I wind up snoozing. I’m snoozing Slack more and more. These days I’ll do one hour, sometimes I’ll do two hour blocks. I’ll tell people look, if it’s really urgent, you break my snooze. It’s easy enough to do that with just a click. All that to say, I think that maker time, it’s really easy in today’s work environment to lose your maker time unless you’re extremely deliberate about blocking, essentially snoozing or blocking all your notifications and then not allowing yourself to wonder off into the abyss of time suck.

Mike: One of the things I noticed when Noah was talking about the results of this planning exercise and going through this experiment where he organized his time by maker time versus manager time, you look at the proposed schedule that he wanted to do and it was very repetitive from day to day. There’s reading at the beginning and then morning rituals and then writing for several hours, that was his maker time, and then back to some manager time task. And then in a couple of places he had more maker time schedule.

But if you look across that, it’s very repetitive from one day to the next and it assumes no interruptions. It assumes that nothing is ever going to change in your schedule, there’s no other meetings that happen to come up on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning, and it forces everybody else to work around your schedule which I think depending on who you are, that can work in some cases and not in others.

Rob: Yeah, depends on how much control you have. I think if you are a founder or the CEO and you can dictate your schedule, I think you’re in a pretty good position. I think if you are working for a small startup where communication is fairly easy let’s say, or on an eight-person team and the culture is to just allow people to be makers, I think you probably have a pretty good shot at this. I have worked at places where that isn’t the culture, marketing driven cultures and sales driven cultures, I’ve worked at companies that are both. They’re all about this interrupt driven thing and it’s all real time.

The space that you’re given both in terms of time and in a lot of times in terms of how offices are set up are not super conducive to allowing you to actually create stuff, allowing you to have that maker time makes it really hard and you have to go out of your way to do it. It’s going to depend on how much control you actually have but I do think that odds are pretty good that if you’re a knowledge worker and either a founder or even just someone working at a startup, I would bet you could pretty dramatically improve your ability to carve out that maker time.

Mike: Something else that I found interesting about this was that one of the lessons he learned about this particular experiment was that how he spent his time was not necessarily how he spent his attention. I kind of draw an analogy between that and going to the gym for example where you can go to the gym and it’s time that you have to spend but you don’t necessarily have to pay attention very much when you’re at the gym.

If you’re just on a treadmill or elliptical machine or lifting weights or whatever, you tend to not have to pay that much attention to it. You just mechanically do those things, but you can listen to audio books or podcasts and things like that. One of the big benefits of that actually has been my ability to get through a lot of my backlog of podcasts that were queuing up that I hadn’t listened to that I wanted to but I just hadn’t really found the time because I was spending so much time doing all of these other tasks. I didn’t have the time available to sit down and just listen to a podcast, I couldn’t pay attention to it. I just didn’t do anything with them.

The second experiment that Noah had done in this was that he organized some of the different tasks that he needed to do by what their value was. I really liked the way that he separated out the different types of activities. What he did was he created this little spreadsheet that essentially classified all of his different activities as either $10 an hour, $100 an hour, $1,000 an hour, or $10,000 an hour activities. He categorized them into each of these by saying if it is incompetence activities, then that’s $10 an hour, these are things that you constantly encounter failure and frustration or conflict, you’re stressed out about them, you just do not like doing them.

Under those, he put things like running errands, working on social media, cleaning and sorting things, attending meetings, stuff like that. I think that for each of us, our list is going to be different for what is going to fall underneath each of those buckets. I think the point here is to make sure that you understand what the value of those activities is not just in your personal life and in your business but you personally. Because if it’s something you don’t like doing, you’re probably going to push it off, and then it becomes more of a cognitive overhead because it’s going to be in the back of your mind and it’s going to interrupt your thoughts when you’re doing other things.

Rob: And the next rung up are the $100 per hour tasks. Just as a note, Noah pulled this list from Perry Mashalls’ book 80-20 Sales and Marketing. $100 per hour tasks are things like solving a problem for a prospective or existing customer, talking to a qualified prospect, writing an email to prospects or customers, creating marketing tests, outsourcing simple tasks, customer follow up. It’s that next level up where you’re not essentially doing the work that is kind of one-to-one stuff but it’s either revenue producing—I guess some of it is one-to-one but it’s more about revenue producing or bulk stuff like writing an email to a group of prospects where it’s one to many and there’s some leverage here, or it’s like you said, outsourcing, which is something that is gonna really give you quite a bit of leverage.

And just as a note, Noah calls the $100 an hour work competent activities. It’s tasks where you meet the minimum standard but they cause you anxiety and they feel repetitive. I think that’s a good way to think about them.

Mike: The next rung up on the letter is the excellent activities which are classified under the category of $1,000 an hour work. These are tasks where you have superior skill and reputation but you don’t necessarily enjoy them, you just don’t have the passion for them. Under his list for these, these are things like planning and prioritizing your day, negotiating with prospects, building your sales funnel, creating pay per click campaigns, delegating complicated tasks, writing sales copy, other things fall into that bucket. Again, those tasks are specifically for him. These may move around for you.

Rob: And then the top rung of this ladder are unique ability activities and these are the $10,000 per hour work tasks that you can do. Noah defines them as tasks which you show superior skill, energy, passion, and desire for never ending improvement. I guess this is actually yeah, it’s Perry’s list and then Noah says he used a four tier system from Dan Sullivan to group them. He’s kind of combining the two things, the dollar per hour and then the rungs of the ladder, the incompetence all the unique abilities.

$10,000 per hour stuff may be things like improving your unique selling proposition, creating new and better offers, repositioning your message and your position, negotiating major deals, selecting team members, public speaking. These are really high value, high impact tasks that frankly, you’re probably one of the only people in your organization who is capable of doing them and they’re within your zone of genius.

Mike: What I like about Noah’s assessment of this is that it’s not important that you actually make $1,000 an hour or $10,000 an hour doing these things, but the relative value between the different tasks and those different categories, that’s the important piece. Those are the things that you need to pay attention to and make sure that you’re spending enough time on the stuff that would provide a heck of a lot more value than the things that are low value that perhaps you enjoy doing them but they don’t provide a lot of benefit to the business and they really don’t move it forward.

If you’re spending an exponential amount more time on support tasks, you really enjoy doing it, that’s greta but it probably doesn’t move your business forward because there’s other things that it is taking time away from that you need to dedicate some of that time towards.

Rob: What I’ve noticed is that if you’re a solopreneur, then it’s likely you’re going to start off doing all of these and then you slowly outsource the lowest ones on the totem pole. The higher you get up in this ladder, it’s harder to find good people at a cost that you can afford if you’re a boot strapper. What I’ve seen is that as my team grew and then post-acquisition, that it is so much easier with a, a larger team, and b, more resources, more money to be able to find people who can do these things very well and find someone whose zone of genius is outside of yours, who’s not a co-founder but actually hiring a director or a VP or a whatever who can really level up and do $1,000 an hour and $10,000 an hour tasks.

It’s pretty unique to find someone like that. It is very expensive. In general, it’s expensive. Obviously, you can find a unicorn somewhere, a diamond in the rough. These are things that are more of a challenge to do with a small team and/or a bootstrap team, but it’s still something that I think you should strive to do.

Mike: I think one of the things that Noah’s getting at in terms of assigning the dollar amounts to these is that it’s not necessarily how much it is of value to the business but if you were to do those things, what would you want to be paid for them, or what could you potentially get paid for doing those things? The $10,000 an hour work, you could potentially get paid a lot more for them versus the $10 an hour stuff. It’s stuff that you don’t like, it’s stuff that you’re not good at. Those are the things that you can mentally classify as oh, I need to outsource these, oh, I need to delegate these tasks to somebody else, not just because you’re not good at them but also because they don’t bring you any joy or fulfillment in your daily life. Chances are really good that you’re probably going to push those off to the future or just simply not do them. That’s where you get out of balance in terms of the amount of work that’s getting done in some of the different categories. Does that make sense?

Rob: I think it does.

Mike: Once you’ve classified all these different things and looked at the different ways you can cross section them, you look at when these different activities take place in your schedule and then adjust your schedule to fix what’s not working and then optimize what is working. If the things are not working, if there’s a balance that is completely out of whack for example, the activities you should be spending a lot more time on you’re not, those need to either get delegated or you need to dedicate the time to do those things. That could be by pulling away time from those activities that you really simply do not like doing or you’re not very good at. Take those things, offload them, outsource them, and move on to doing the things that you are really good at because you can provide yourself or your business a lot more value by doing those rather than those lower level activities that you just simply don’t enjoy.

Rob: Realize that Noah ran two experiments. One, he organized his time by energy level. The other one, he organized his time by the value. It’s a different way, it’s a different lens through which to view the tasks that you have to do. He had different takeaways trying both of those. It doesn’t come out at the end and say you should do one of these and the other one didn’t work, it wasn’t like that. I kind of feel if you’re going to do this that you should try both of them and see which one works better for you, but I also think just doing each of them will be a learning process for you to figure out which tasks you should no longer be doing, which ones are at your $10, or $100 levels, that you didn’t even realize you were doing. I think that’s a big part of tracking your time and running through these experiments is going to do.

Mike: I think if you’re really strapped for time, the title of the article as I said is Time Management, Tips of Insanely Busy People. He has a 80-20 version of the article at the bottom that you can go take a look at. It’s only a couple paragraphs. It gives you all the different highlights, and some of them we talked about in this episode. It’s a very interesting read, I would definitely highly recommend going through and taking a good, long look at this, especially if you’re strapped for time and find yourself juggling a lot of different things.

Rob: I think that wraps us up for the day. We have zero questions right now in the queue. No voicemails, no written questions. If you have a question for us, you can call our voicemail number at 888-801-9690 or you can email email us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from We’re Outta Control by MoOt used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for Startups and visit startupsfortherestofus.com for a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next time.

Mike: Isn’t saying you’ve got no questions kind of like announcing on Twitter that you’ve got no emails in your mailbox which is going to let people comment on it so then you get more emails?

Rob: I don’t know, but that would be good if people send us questions then we’ll have them for the next Q&A show. Man, we were doing Q&A shows every other week trying to get through those. It was pretty cool the volume of the questions that were showing up. I can’t remember the last time we’ve literally had zero questions in the queue. I think it may have been a couple of years ago.

Mike: Yeah, I think so. Oh well. Hopefully we’ll hear from people and we can answer more questions on the show.

Rob: Indeed.




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One Response to “Episode 361 | Planning for Better Productivity”

  1. Avraam says:

    Hey Rob and Mike, I’m your’s big fan, I want to say that your’s podcasts are awesome, I listen to yours podcasts 3 months, I have a question, how to build my first site with zero experience? How to choose a good niche website for earn money? And how to make a content that people will enjoy to read?