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Episode 45  |  11:25 min

44: How To Prioritize

Episode 45  |  11:25 min  |  11.15.2016

44: How To Prioritize

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This is a podcast episode titled, 44: How To Prioritize. The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Prioritization. Focus. Whatever you want to call it. Figuring out where to spend your time can be one of the hardest parts of working at a startup. David shares his approach to prioritization and why it might be time to accept that you will have more than one priority at a time. Two resources we mention on this episode: Stephen Covey's "Big Rocks" http://bit.ly/2fV188c The One Thing (one of our favorite books): http://amzn.to/2eXrB0q Connect With Us: Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. Come hang out with us at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com.
If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Prioritization. Focus. Whatever you want to call it. Figuring out where to spend your time can be one of the hardest parts of working at a startup. David shares his approach to prioritization and why it might be time to accept that you will have more than one priority at a time. Two resources we mention on this episode: Stephen Covey's "Big Rocks" http://bit.ly/2fV188c The One Thing (one of our favorite books): http://amzn.to/2eXrB0q Connect With Us: Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. Come hang out with us at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com.

Speaker 1: We're on a mission, we have permission. We need to drop some reviews for DG and Uncle DC.

Speaker 2: This is why this show is unscripted. I love it. Yeah.

Speaker 1: Let's do it.

Speaker 2: What are going to talk talk about?

Speaker 1: We're going to talk about something that I think about every day.

Speaker 2: What is it?

Speaker 1: Prioritization.

Speaker 2: Damn. Yeah. So we'll call this how to prioritize. So I was writing a couple quick notes because you sent me a really interesting podcast from Tim Ferris. And what's this guy's name? Charles...

Speaker 1: Charles Poliquin.

Speaker 2: Charles Poliquin.

Speaker 1: He's a G.

Speaker 2: He's a G.

Speaker 1: The uncle Charlie, right?

Speaker 2: Anyway, I just wanted to see like how big of a deal priorities crosstalk like it is.

Speaker 1: He's in his 50s, look at his guns, man. Those guns running alive.

Speaker 2: Shredded. He shredded. So I want to see, are we the only people that are thinking about prioritization all the time? So, I looked it up there's 26 million search results for how to prioritize. Everybody's thinking about this all the time.

Speaker 1: Way too many.

Speaker 2: So I want to start off like you... So first of all, you have a little framework for how you prioritize stuff, right? Yeah. Give us that rundown again.

Speaker 1: It's basically this concept from Stephen Covey or AK that also in the book. The one thing, one of our favorite books here at Drift, we give it out to everyone. And the way that I prioritize things is that I try to focus on big rocks, a single big rock to focus on each day. And all I need to get done in that day is that one big rock. And after that big rock is done, then I can fill in the rest of the time with small rocks or not. But you really need to get that done. Where most people, and this is why I don't like to do lists and we've talked about that, just run off a to- do lists where the whole to- do list might be 50 small rocks, one big rock. And they spend the week on the 50 small rocks that haven't moved them forward at all. But given the satisfaction of checking things off a list and they ignore the one big rock that would move them forward and whatever they were trying to do.

Speaker 2: Yeah or even just starting your day by answering a hundred emails, right?

Speaker 1: Exactly.

Speaker 2: You filled your-

Speaker 1: There you go, that's a hundred small rocks.

Speaker 2: ...And then all of a sudden it's 11 o'clock and you're like creative juice is crosstalk.

Speaker 1: It's done. You only have so much energy each day. So you got to prioritize and big rock. That's my way of doing prioritization, but beyond the big rock and what we're talking about and prioritizing here today is I find a lot of people struggle with having more than one priority, right? Or having more than one focus. And so certain people, we would just call them engineers for now.

Speaker 2: We'll just call them engineers.

Speaker 1: Random. Randomly. Random name. Let's just call them engineers, want to live in this world, this is binary world. They want to create this utopia, this binary world where they can only focus on one thing. And that one thing never changes. You know the-

Speaker 2: How many years in a row have you seen this happen?

Speaker 1: Every year that I've been on this damn rock. The world could be falling apart, famine, water shortages, no matter what, the Internet's down, whatever's going on doesn't matter. They need to focus on just one thing and they can't have more than one thing. And Paul Maker talks about maker's time and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so I have this colorful discussion with Elias, my co- founder here, maybe daily because he wants this world in some ways. But anyway, people struggle with this idea of having more than one focus. But in the world and where I go back to and I use examples like we need to be able to chew gum and walk. I use different examples throughout the day. Like you need to be able to do more than one thing. That doesn't mean you need to multitask. Multitask is something else. Where you're trying to do more than one focus item at the same time, which is impossible. Right? You can't do more than one thing at the same time. But once you've gotten that task done, that one task done, then you can work on another task that may be for a different focus area in your life or in your business. It's almost like saying," Hey, I'd like to create a world where I can only focus on one thing." But if you focus all your energy on health and none on relationships, none on work, none on energy and nothing else, that's not going to work. Or if you do the same thing, you focus on work only not in health, relationships, et cetera, it's not going to work. It can never work. They need to be able to balance multiple things.

Speaker 2: And the line that kind of spurred this whole podcast that you sent me was you're listening to this, the Tim Ferriss interview with Charles. And he said... He was doing a Q and A and somebody said like," Hey, if I could only pick one important factor between my sleep, my food and my exercise, which one should I prioritize?" And he basically just started laughing and he's like," Well, that's like asking me for optimal health, should I focus on my heart or my liver or my brain or my kidneys?" And this is exactly what you're saying here.

Speaker 1: He said it doesn't work that way.

Speaker 2: It doesn't work the way, it's both.

Speaker 1: Yeah. In that case, it's all of them. You need to be able to focus on all of them. But that doesn't mean you need to find a perfect harmonious balance between all those things and you have to be stressed out in your life if those things are not 33. 3% exactly balance. It just means that you need to be able to focus your attention on more than one of those things. Not necessarily at the same time but throughout your day.

Speaker 2: That's what I was going to ask you is, so it's multiple things but you're saying as far the big rocks are the one thing goes, it's that one thing check, then the next thing.

Speaker 1: Exactly. So it's single- threaded, right? For my engineers, we run in single- threaded here.

Speaker 2: I heard that's the future.

Speaker 1: That's the future. But so you're single- threaded and you're even multi- threaded is actually single- threaded, right? So, you're single thread and then when you're done with that thread and the thread is over, you start a new thread which might be in a different focus area. I think it just sets you up as we've talked about in the past. For stress to want to come to a priority or prioritization like framework that says that you can only have one thing. We can only focus on one thing. And that thing can never... It's not even the fact that it's one thing it's that people want that thing to never change. It can never change. Well, we said the most important thing is XY, and it's like," Yeah, but the world has changed since last night. Everything's going to hell. Like we're in a different world now." No, no, no. But yesterday we said this one thing and it's like," Yeah, should change this man." We got to-

Speaker 2: You got to be able to adapt, but don't you think that this all comes back to another common theme which we talk about is...

Speaker 1: Which one?

Speaker 2: ...aligning incentives? Right? And making it clear what your team's goal is.

Speaker 1: Yes. Ah, man. My nephew over here he's starting to come up a little bit.

Speaker 2: I take good notes.

Speaker 1: Damn.

Speaker 2: If only you could see me right now. crosstalk

Speaker 1: He's starting to evolve. He's right. It comes down to aligning incentives and a lot of times when people are struggling with multiple things that they're trying to prioritize, there's a misalignment between those things and what they might be prioritizing internally. They might be prioritizing something internally that they want more than those things. And so they're struggling with putting in those new items, into their basket of parts

Speaker 2: Or just let's look at... Let's use a business example. Right? If your company goal is revenue, getting customers, right. It'd be really easy to sit here and say," Yep. This is the only thing we're focusing on is revenue." But I think what happens in your example is that a lot of times people just don't back into how you get there. Right? And so you're like," Oh, so you're telling me that means I don't need to focus on leads and traffic anymore." And you're like," Wait, but if you didn't put them together. You don't get those customers without those crosstalk downstream effects."

Speaker 1: "DaveI don't understand. Yesterday, you said we only focus on revenue. What are you saying? We need to focus on signups too and leads? What, how can I focus on all those things? No, no, no, no, no. I can't focus on all of those things, man. You said revenue only. What's going on? Why is it signups? Why is it leads revenue? I don't understand. I'm confused." Because signups and leads lead to revenue. There we go.

Speaker 2: Same thing. Same connection to the stuff Charles was talking about between what's the connection between you being healthy and sleeping well and eating right and working out.

Speaker 1: And having a good mind and heart and liver. They're all connected.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. So what's our one thing about prioritization to give people, to leave this little podcast here?

Speaker 1: That they need to get better. We all need to get better at accepting that we have more than one priority in our life. And then we need to be able to bounce between those things. Again, when I say balance, I'm not talking about perfect even 33.3, 0.3, 0.3333% balance. I'm talking about at a higher level, right? If we zoomed out and we did it at a macro level, if we did it a year or lifetime, right interval. We would see balance there. I'm not talking about your day being in perfect harmony and balance and not changing every day because that's unrealistic. And that's a modern thing that we've kind of adopted that never existed in history. There is no such thing. There's no such animal that lives in that perfect bounds where nothing ever changes in life.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I mean even if your thing is you block off time to get work done at this time of the day. Does that mean that you can go completely radio silent on anything else that's happening? It's not, not realistic.

Speaker 1: Something might've change today and today you couldn't block it off. So, that's okay, tomorrow we go back to the habit.

Speaker 2: Right? Cool. So, that's a little episode on prioritization.

Speaker 1: All right. Holler at us. Five star reviews-

Speaker 2: Speaking of prioritization.

Speaker 1: Let's prioritize this in your day- to- day. Number one thing I want your help getting done today is I want you to call up your grandmother, your husband, your wife, your girlfriend, your boo, your friends,

Speaker 2: What's up, Liya? I hear you.

Speaker 1: What's up girl? Your cousins, that person, that guy that you walk past in the subway. I want you to holler at him and say we need to leave five star reviews with inaudible. We're on a mission. We have permission. We need to drop some reviews for DG and uncle DC.

Speaker 2: This is why this show is unscripted. I love it. Yeah. So let's do it. He said, leave us some reviews. Talk to your people. Crosstalk Say," Pull out your phone right now."

Speaker 1: Talk to that strange guy in the subway say," Come on pull up the phone, I know you got a phone."

Speaker 2: Oh, you have an Android? That's okay we're on Stitcher.

Speaker 1: That's okay. Just leave a review. Five stars only. We need to blow this up. We need to get the word out across the world.

Speaker 2: Seeking wisdom.

Speaker 1: Holler at us.

Speaker 2: We're out.

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