As I am gearing up to review Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Effective People in Fatherhood for the Rest of Us, the first habit being proactive, I am reminded of a podcast I heard, by Rory Vaden – the Catalyst.
I was listening to Rory as he spoke about this concept that you could multiply your time… I was excited… not just because of the concept and the idea, but also because I was a client of his group at the time, South Western Consulting… and this was a module that I was going to be reviewing with my coach… it was about to be taken from general concept, and it was about to be customized and applied to my personal scenes… this was exciting stuff!
So what is the idea itself?
According to Rory Vaden:
“Most of us manage our time the same ways: by writing to-do lists and prioritizing the items on those lists. We decide upon our priorities by assessing the relative urgency and importance of our tasks.
But there’s a third criteria considered by a group of people whom Vaden calls “time multipliers”: significance. Rather than asking “What’s the most important thing I can do today?”, time multipliers ask “What’s the most important thing I can do today that would make tomorrow better?”
You may find yourself asking, “Well how does one become a “time multiplier”?
From the coaching I received, it was to ask these four questions:
Question #1: Can I eliminate this task?
Essentially if you are able to say no to a task you are able to open yourself up for another, thus multiplying your time.
Question #2: If I can’t eliminate this task, can I automate it?
This one was revolutionary for me – I was able to take a number of my tasks and build tools for them – I utilized PowerShell to batch send emails, to scan files, to create tables and queries to daily tasks.
I created automation using Autoit in windows that allow me to at the very least stop performing the same mundane tasks time after time.
And of course, I was able to automate a number of excel functions which over the course of these past few years have saved me so much time it is beyond multiplied… its got scientific notation.
Question #3: Can it be delegated, or can I teach someone else how to do this?
Here was another mindblower…you are probably very good at what you do and you figure that that is most likely the reason you are around… but how much more could you do or what new tasks with new skills could you do if you could teach someone else or have some else do some of the work that you do?
Figure over the long term whoever you offload the task to will be able to master it just as you have.
Question #4: Should I do this task now, or can I do it later?
The short version of this is called “procrastinate on purpose” whereby Rory states:
When you procrastinate on purpose, you’ll eventually decide whether to eliminate, automate or delegate the task, or you may find that it’s risen in significance, importance or urgency, compelling you to do it.
If you are a father looking for a group of diverse fathers with the intent on being the best father that they can be, check us out in Fatherhood for the Rest of Us.
If you are looking for more on Rory Vaden here is a link to his TedX speech where he covers the time multiplier concept.