New New Internet Speaking | Tim Ferriss

the common characteristic of the people who had the most time and the highest income is the ability to single tasks so single tasking being the opposite of multitasking so to identify the critical few objectives separate them from the trivial many and focus exclusively on one of them to completion without interruption because the default mode in especially a web 2.0 user-generated universe and I would include email and user-generated is it’s very easy to simulate forward motion without accomplishing anything and you cannot possibly as much as we like to think so organize and consume the information that is presented to you so the only option left is to cultivate this selective ignorance where you act on the most important things so I want to hit a few concepts a few findings that you can apply immediately and then we’ll jump into QA so the first is a concept you may be familiar with called the 80/20 principle hence you could look at a company like Ryanair which has some ridiculous number like 1.4 million dollars of profit per employee okay there’s a related principle called Parkinson’s law which I’d like to explain briefly and then people can can play with it Parkinson’s law indicates that a task will swell and perceived importance and complexity in direct correlation to the time that you allot it okay so we generally think that if I have more time I’ll do a better job this is very very seldom the case so there are actually two ways that you can identify the critical few and separate them from the trivial many number one is to do an 80/20 analysis with the metrics that you’ve chosen and then number two is to limit the time so to use very short deadlines so in essence you’re limiting the tasks to very few to limit the time invested or you’re limiting the time invested to force you to focus on the critical few decreasing inputs and increasing output I think is the easiest way to frame how we want to look at time and there are a few ways to do that but one of the one of the key variables as information intake so you can either consume information or you can focus on production you can really can’t do both at the same time it’s a one-way street before you look at delegating you can automate but related to both of those is taking the most time-consuming tasks so there will be some that remain and really defining the process ok now this sounds like gobbledygook tech business talk and I’ll put it into concrete terms most people check email in very very specific ways and email being one of the most time consuming activities they’re afraid of of outsourcing that are delegating to someone else because I’m the only one who can check my email well the fact of the matter is I get somewhere between four and five thousand email a week okay so it’s I’m pretty sure I’m at the top of the room here or at least towards the top and I have multiple email accounts and multiple people helping me but one of my key assistants has a document called Tim Ferriss processing rules and this is a working document of explicitly how I check email so I had to take my internal process and define it and put it on paper what am I looking for how do I decide which I reply to which I delete which I postpone how do I archive and she has essentially a step-by-step guide to my cognitive process for processing email she receives 90% of my email goes through it and then each day we have a call at 4:00 p.m. where she’ll have the name of the person company affiliation what they want me to do all the rest are details so those are the three top disqualifiers I’ve taken a task that would take me well over a hundred hours a week and it drops it down to less than five minutes a day I listen to her voicemail as I’m typing out the email she numbers each of the to-do items so I just do one do this to do this three do this okay and that’s not limited to CEOs