Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Lifeline for the Overwhelmed

Free to Focus - A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less - Michael Hyatt (Baker Books)

If you are anything like me, then you on a seemingly never ending quest (no, quest is not too strong a word) for the right system to organize your schedule, collect your important notes and research, and your big ideas.

I have a leaning tower of of notebooks, journals, planners and binders in a variety of shapes and sizes teetering on the corner of my desk; each chock full of brilliance. Be it great research, winning ideas, and tons of executable plans all in search of a direction. On the floor next to the desk is the oversized, multi-pocketed, back pack that I need to haul it all around.

What's missing is a coherent way to organize and focus all of the myriad stuff into a real plan and EXECUTE on this stuff. One of the biggest issues is often actually finding what is where. The leadership stuff in in one black journal, book research is in an identical book, then there is the marketing stuff in the leather bound notebook and the communications plans in the Moleskinne. Oh, and I am drafting this review in the green canvas bound journal. In short, a mess.

While the term productivity can conjure the image of guys in cheap suits, with pocket protectors and a stash of red pencils all looking to chop staff; in reality-productivity is about making the best use of your time. This kind of productivity i snot about just doing stuff, but doing stuff that matters. While many folks have taken a stab at developing a productivity system, it is my belief that leadership guru Michael Hyatt and his team have clearly put time, energy and experience into the development of the Full Focus Planner. This not something that looks or feels like a first take on a planning system.

Now Hyatt has taken things to the next level with the release of Free to Focus - A Total Productivity System to Achieve More by Doing Less, which not only fleshes out how to maximize the impact of the planner, but also everything that goes on around it in both your business and personal life. This is not to say that the book wouldn't have an impact as a stand alone - without the planner.

I was struck by the amount of emphasis Hyatt rightly placed on cutting, eliminating and setting boundaries around your time and how to better hone in on only the most important stuff. Hyatt does not sugar coat the fact that for this to work to it's full potential it will take some heavy lifting. If you accept and buy into the change process at the heart of this, the results will speak for themselves.

I think that while there is some flexibility - this is clearly not a pick an choose proposition where you can take the bits you like and leave the rest. Like I said, this is a system based on experience; if it's in here it is based on proven practice. If nothing else, the system will help bring a focus to some of the roadblocks - real, imagined or self-created that are standing in the way of your success.