The most common objection I get when I talk to people about daily exercise is that they just don’t have the time. I understand that. In today’s world, our attention is attacked in all directions and that’s why I went through Free to Focus, section by section, in my Dad Body Daily live stream. Over four days, I walked through each part and explained how I had applied the lesson to my life.
Read on for a summary or check out the links below to watch each episode.
How to get more done in less time Part 1
How to get more done in less time Part 2
How to get more done in less time Part 3
How to get more done in less time Part 4
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Free to Focus is a productivity book written by Michael Hyatt in 2019. What sets it apart from other productivity books is that’s it’s not really about doing more in the time you have, it’s about focusing on the right things so that you can get the important stuff done.
Hyatt starts off by stepping back and looking at the world we find ourselves in today. Information is no longer scarce. Information is everywhere and inundates us constantly. What is scarce today is attention. A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
This attention poverty is incredibly costly. How much time do we spend focused on actual, meaningful work rather than frivolous things, like checking email or mindlessly scrolling through social media?
So with that backdrop, Hyatt explains that his approach to productivity is not about getting more things not, it’s about getting the right things done. To do that, you need to Stop, Cut and Act.
Probably the most important section of the book, the Stop step is likely the most resisted as well. Most people don’t think they can stop. There is simply too much to do. But as Hyatt explains, discovering what you really need to be working on is the key to productivity and to do that, you need to create a vision.
Hyatt goes into an interesting history of productivity, which emerged out of factories where the entire concept was about improving efficiencies so that a factory worker could produce more products in the allotted time. It was really about turning people into robots, faster and faster robots. But this doesn’t apply in the modern workforce. We’re not just mindlessly making widgets anymore.
He walks through a detailed system for building a vision and learning what really matters and where you need to spend your time. In this step, he goes into incredible detail on how to find out what you’re truly good at and should therefore focus on. Eliminate distractions and drudgery and stick to the things you enjoy and do well.
He also spends some time on explaining the important of taking care of yourself through proper diet, sleep, exercise and recreation
While the Stop step is likely to get the most resistance, the Cut is bound to get the most objections. Everyone thinks they can’t cut anything. Everything has to be done and done by them for it to be right. But as Hyatt explains, the world only rewards contribution and if you aren’t contributing what no one else can, then you aren’t going to be rewarded.
He starts off with a comprehensive discussion on how to say “no” and reminding us that a “yes” to one thing means a “no” to something else. We have limited resources, limited time and we just can’t do everything for everybody. He even has a helpful section and just how to tell people “no” and cancel current commitments in the kindest way.
Next, he goes into great detail on how to automate tasks through technology and systems on how to delegate tasks to other people. Automation is important, but learning to delegate will be a game changer to anyone that hasn’t learned it.
The last section, entitled Act, is all about the nuts and the bolts of planning and getting things done. Hyatt talks about how to plan an ideal week, batching together similar tasks or tasks that take place at the same location. He talks about how to prioritize tasks properly by planning your upcoming week. And he explains how to remove distractions so you can focus on your work.
I should say at this point that Hyatt’s company also sells a planner called the Full Focus Planner, and this section describes that planner exactly. You could use the book to create your own version with a regular notebook, but I’d recommend the planner. It’s great, convenient and I’ve been using it for years.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone along with the planner. If you read through it, and follow the suggestions, you will get more done in less time. When you get the planner, just start out by filling in the daily pages and then gradually fill in the worksheets as you go through the book. Before long, you’ll have yourself a highly effective productivity system in place.
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