When you get a dopamine hit from the false first step of simply buying a product or watching a video that you hope will help you, but you stop at that point without ever taking action or applying anything new to your life.


Things that will destroy your goals

In order to accomplish your goals you need: (1) a clear goal; (2) a winning action plan; and (3) consistency.

Take away or invert any of those things, and you’ve eliminated the possibility of succeeding at your desired outcome. Here’s what they look like when inverted: (1) unclear direction; (2) random acts of productivity / busywork; (3) distracted / trying something new but moving on quickly.

Things that will destroy your goals

What if you could only use ONE APP on your iPhone?

So this is a completely random but fun experiment… but what app would you pick if you could only pick ONE?

I know, I know. It’s an impossible choice. I’d be so torn between several: camera, notes, music, messages, tasks…

And, as nerdy as it sounds, I think I’d pick the app Things. (The to-do list manager.)

Things is not my most used app at all. But… it’s super fast, very easy to use and navigate, and very versatile. I think it’d work as the single spot to keep all my ideas, reminders, projects, tasks, notes, etc.

I think I’d prefer the simplicity and speed over the missing features.

If it was a different device — say iPad or Mac, I’d pick a different app. I’d probably pick Ulysses as the only app I could use on my iPad. And Notion as the only app I could use on my Mac. (Or I would totally cheat and say Safari on Mac.)

What if you could only use ONE APP on your iPhone?

The Mere Urgency Effect

Billy Oppenheimer put together an excellent summary of some pretty alarming findings from this research study. In short, when folks have a task list that is full of various “levels” of to-do items — some that are important, some that aren’t, some that are urgent right now, some that aren’t — folks end up prioritizing only the tasks that are urgent right now but are not very important at all.

(Inside the Focus Course, we have a simple framework for eliminating Urgency Mindset and the Urgency Effect for you and your organization.)

The Mere Urgency Effect

Margin reduces stress and increases productivity

I recently came across this article showing how stress rises when you’re in back-to-back-to-back meetings. But the thing that really stood out to me was how individual productivity doubled as meetings were reduced.

If you’re in too many meetings, it may be a symptom of a bigger issue. When there are too many meetings it means there is a lack of clarity and focus. And so meetings end up becoming a short-term, band-aid solution for trying to develop vision and strategy and get things done.

  • Make a decision about something
  • Make progress on a specific work task / project that requires real-time collaboration
  • Celebrate and connect as a team

P.S. Speaking of Margin… in a few weeks we will be kicking off our Margin Reset booster for the 300 members inside the new Focus Accelerator membership. ?

Margin reduces stress and increases productivity

Questions Matter

They say there are no stupid questions (only stupid answers). But not all questions are equal. A GREAT question can go a very long way in getting you to a GREAT answer.

Over the past year I’ve been compiling a massive document full of questions for life, business, and growth. Here are a few that have been especially helpful to me:

  • What should I keep doing that is producing good results in my life?
  • What am I nervous / anxious about right now? Why?
  • What should I stop doing?
  • What should I start doing?
Questions Matter

No system is perfect, all systems are helpful

There is no one-size fits all system for your tasks, time, and goals. But there are good things about different systems and tools that can help you.

A good system for managing your tasks, your time, and your ideas should hopefully include these elements:

  • Allows you to clarify your priorities and act in order
  • It’s something you understand and enjoy using
  • It allows you to focus on the right things at the right time
  • Efficiency: you’re able to do more in less time (instead of taking a long time to do very little)
  • Anxiety and stress are reduced (not exasperated)
  • You know if you hit the mark
  • It’s repeatable and sustainable

If I had to pick just two: sustainability and enjoyment would be at the top of the list. Otherwise, you’ll never use what you’ve got.

No system is perfect, all systems are helpful