Have you ever had a conversation with someone and left overflowing with new insights? You think to yourself, ‘This person is invaluable, I can’t wait to apply what I learned and speak to them again!’ That’s how I felt after this week’s CWK with Dave Crenshaw.
The CEO of Invaluable, keynote speaker, author, and man behind LinkedIn Learning’s #1 most popular course of 2020 humbly shared with us his expertise on productivity, work-life balance, overcoming ADHD and more. Get ready to take notes as you dive into the convo.
As a productivity expert, Dave has a close up view of other’s work habits. I was curious to know what productivity trap he sees people fall into most. “The myth of multitasking,” he shared undoubtedly. Apparently, the myth is that it [multitasking] even exists, not whether or not you can do it.
He explained multitasking is actually a lack of focus and an attempt to do multiple things at once which is actually impossible and it keeps us from success. “There are a lot of people who have the capacity to do great things but their inability to choose one thing and stick with it is the reason they are frustrated by the lack of progress.”
After debunking the myth of multitasking Dave explained what’s actually happening is we are switch tasking – switching our attention between multiple things. For example, I have your attention as you read this blog, but I lose you when you stop to check your email.
Another pierce to productivity is back(ground) tasking – completing mindless or automatic work in the background. This could be someone completing a delegated task or a running printer.
The cost of switch and back tasking are longer work times, less accuracy, more mistakes, more stress, and possible harm to your relationships.
According to Dave, budgeting your time trumps to do lists. In fact, he says to do lists are the absence of control! “You can start with a to-do list but don’t operate from it because you will get blown around with the winds of the day and whatever grabs your attention. Scheduling, committing and then working on tasks is far more productive and you’ll reduce switch tasking which will in turn save you lots of time.
He shared three simple tips to calendar blocking and budgeting your time effectively:
1. No double scheduling.
2. Only work on tasks that are calendared.
3. Make a conscious effort to not do anything else during that time.
Outsourcing work can be an entrepreneur’s best friend. If you’re looking to hire help use Dave’s fool proof technique to find the right person for you.
First, choose and pay up to three people to do an ‘audition task’. Then, hire the one whose work and personality you like most.
“Hiring this way is much less of a risk because I already know so much about the person before getting into it. Then it’s just a matter of creating systems that work for us,” he shared.
The hustle harder mentality most live by creates unrealistic standards. Dave stands by having fun and hustling. In his book, ‘The Power of Having Fun’, he implores us to take breaks, enjoy an “oasis”, and come back to work refreshed. He puts this advice to work in his own life by taking July and December off yearly!
He challenges us to calendar block breaks this week, then measure our productivity, creativity, performance, and wellbeing. “Don’t take my word for it, test it,” he says.
Having fun and hustling doesn’t mean no structure. Dave has a document called ‘The Dave Voice’ that shares insight to his assistant on how to answer emails, questions, and comments when he is not available.
This system is genius because it takes the burden off of him to be present for every task and lowers the risk of him being misrepresented.
P.S. – My assistant, Shelby, and I will definitely be stealing this idea!
Much of Dave’s work includes coaching others, I wanted to know if he sought the help of coaches as well.
“I have one to one accountability in the areas of my life I feel need improvement. So, I have a business coach, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a dietitian and a physical trainer,” he says.
He shares accountability keeps him on track especially when he doesn’t feel like doing what he’s supposed to, which is totally relatable!
Exercising with my son in my new home gym
Learning what I want to do most
Listening to ‘Conan O’brien Needs a Friend’ and Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out podcasts
I would help others be open to receiving new information rather than blocking it out because it doesn’t apply to them
Homework: Watch my Time Management Fundamentals course on LinkedIn
Do you have big dreams? I know you do if you’re reading this. But maybe you don’t know where to start, or you do know how to start, just not how to follow through (I might be guilty of that). Mitch Matthews is the host of Dream Think Do podcast and is on a mission to help others achieve their dreams. He gives real actionable advice and strategies to make dreams a reality. So if you’ve felt stuck lately and need a little motivation BYOC and pull up a chair.