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How busy CEOs, Moms, and Teachers get so much done

I learned the secret of how all busy people manage to stay busy and never seem to get tripped up.

It’s pretty simple, but it works no matter who you are and what you’re doing.

Have you ever thought about how a mom of 3 kids is able to handle every obligation thrown her way day after day?

Or why it seems like some people are able to accomplish anything thrown their way, despite being thrown curveball after curveball?

I’ve thought about it. A lot actually. And while I’m going to teach you how to put it into practice in your own life, being a highly productive person can be boiled down to one simple concept: You have to know what to do at any given moment.

I’ll teach you how to always know your next step.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

Moms are people too!

Growing up, I used to cause havoc everywhere I went. Breaking stuff, setting stuff on fire, and just causing overall general excitement for myself and anxiety for everyone else.

I was never destructive just to be destructive. Instead, it was really just curiosity that never let the people responsible for me get a good night’s rest. I’ve apologized to my mom a few times by this point for the worrying I’ve caused.

And despite all the worrying nights, she still did everything she was supposed to and we luckily made it out of there in one piece.

No matter how much I drew her away from her other responsibilities, she knew exactly what she had to do at any given moment. So if she had to set that down and switch from work mode to family mode, she was able to section those parts of her life off and ensure that she was fully present at any given time.

The key to never missing any deadlines, failing any responsibilities, and doing everything you say lies in two fundamental concepts for handling anything that enters your life: Immediately capturing anything important, and addressing them when it’s due time.

That’s it!

Done.

Well, there’s of course more than that. There are dozens, if not 100’s of systems out there to help ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

And with all systems in existence, the 1 factor of overall effectiveness comes down to how much friction goes into using it.

If it’s hard to use, you’re not going to do it. Simple as that.

So it doesn’t matter if your system is as intricate as your insurance policy or as simple as an inbox and some sticky notes, your system is only effective if it quickly captures important things that enter your life and reliably stores them for later. Bonus if it keeps them separate until you’re able to process them at a later time.

Did your mom have a set system for doing mail or paying the bills at the same time?

You can bet every teacher has a system to manage the different topics they’re expected to teach. It would be highly ineffective to get a basic education without having a system to follow.

And the highly dynamic CEOs who oversee a broad array of responsibilities. The only way they’re able to address every company leader demanding their time is by intentionally approaching tasks in stages, rather than all at once.

A true professional is someone who understands that no one can be everywhere at once and has created systems in their life to account for that.

After years in the Unites States Marines actively seeking the best system to help me manage my inner chaos, I learned how to make any system work.

It’s not perfect, but it’s clear and easy to use.

Here are two universal ways to easily handle the important things in your life.

 

Quick Capture – You have sticky notes, right?

Today’s world is a fast-paced, distraction-filled place where it’s incredibly easy to lose track of what you were just doing. (How many tabs do you have open right now?)

One concept that stands out regarding time management is the concept of “Quick Capture”.

If something enters your life and you’re not able to address it right then, capture any important details, store it in a reliable system, and process them when you’re in a more convenient place.

While this technique seems simple, very few people take the time to put it into practice.

And it’s not just about saving time. The true benefit of getting in the habit of quick capture is being able to smartly capture ideas and tasks when they come up and being able to immediately drop it from your mind until you’re in a better place to think about it. This means you’re not only able to get to it when you have time, but you’re also able to get to it when you’re the most effective.

How it works:

As mentioned, quick capture is the process of instantly recording ideas, tasks, or information as soon as they occur. This can be on a sticky note, a napkin, or in a digital system like Notion or Apple Notes. No matter how you record it, as long as it’s recorded as soon as it happens, it’s captured and you’re 10 times more likely to remember whatever you captured.

The quicker you capture an idea, the less likily you are to forget it and the more mental space you have to get back to what you were just doing.

The whole idea is to stay intentional about what you’re doing so you can give everything the attention it deserves.

And the real power of quick capture comes from the next step, batching activities.

How To Batch Your Activities

I started by writing in-depth about baking cookies and batching activities. Long and short of it, you bake cookies in batches, not one at a time. It would be an incredible waste of time to bake it one cookie at a time.

Instead, I think a better example of batching your activities is meal prepping and how you (ideally) manage your email, and how you tackle your shopping list.

  1. If you’re cooking on Sunday night, you might as well make some leftovers so you don’t have to spend more time cooking later.
  2. If you check every email that comes in as it comes in, you’re wasting an insane amount of time compared to checking your emails at set times throughout the day.
  3. Have you ever missed someone and had to go back to the other side of the store to get it? It’s much easier to get everything in the same department while you’re already there instead of have to go back.

When you combine quick capture with batching your activities, you’re able to accomplish so much more than the average person who addresses things as they come up or never again.

 

 

 

 

 

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