Will: The first step of planning your week and this is far easier to look at online or on a piece of paper than it is to describe, but I will run through it really, really quick. The first thing that I do every week, I do what's called, what I called "a dump or brain dump." I'll sit down and I will just take a big old piece of paper or I'll use the PPM software that I built at Pemble dot com and I'll just write down everything that I can think of for next week and I do It weekly because it's a small enough chunk of time to where I can get my head around it pretty easily, but it is a big enough chunk of time to where I am not going to spend, you know, most of time planning my time.
Will: So, you know, it takes an hour to do a good plan and it takes an hour to do a good daily plan, it takes an hour to do a good weekly plan, but if you are going to spend twenty percent of your Day planning your day, then that's just a waste of twenty percent. You've identified some of the stuff you should not be doing right now.
Will: So, planning a day does not make a lot of sense. A week is just a really nice piece of time for me. So, I'll do this dump and so if I am thinking about next week, I'll think OK, you know, in no particular order, alright. I've got to get the brakes fixed on the BMW. I've got to get to the city on Tuesday for a meeting with some of the TV guys. I've got to finish up some software. I've got to approve this thing. I've got to talk to a potential employee. I've got to do all of these things. I'd love to get some new blue jeans, you know …
Will: Anything that I can think of and I'll sit and go through anything that I can think of and there is nothing that does not belong on the list. There is nothing that's too trivial. There is nothing that's too gigantic; Everything just goes on this list.
Will: You make the list and that's the brain dump and then the next thing that I do is I go through and I sort through this pile of stuff that I've just dumped out of my brain and so the first step is dump and the Second step is sort and the next thing I do is I sort through the list and I'll try to throw things into one of three piles or if you will prefer a more sophisticated term, categories. I like piles.
Will: So, then what I want to do is I want to put things into one of three piles and the piles that I have are opportunities, strategies, or tactics.
Will: An income is quite simply an output. It's something that you want to be, you know, something that you want to come true. So, an arrival would be for example, you know, get the brakes fixed on the BMW or even better better or may be a better language of that income would be make sure that the BMW is safe for me and my family.
Will: Not a great big fancy earth-moving exit, but it's an output.
Will: A BMW that's safe for the family, alright, and so that's an exit. An example of a strategy would be a plan for example. So, outcomes have strategies and tactics and so, and again to describe this in this phone call is a little bit more complicated than it would be to draw it on a whiteboard or to look at it online, but an income has a strategy or many Strategies and a strategy has a tactic or many tactics. Tactics are just to do's.
Will: Pick up that pencil and carry it to the other end of the room.
Will: That's a tactical.
Will: Alright. What is it a tactical for? Well, maybe we want to get all the pencils to the other end of the room, maybe our strategy is to move all the pencils from one end of the room to the other.
Will: OK. The strategy is to move it. Well, why would we want, why would we have the strategy of moving those pencils to the other end of the room. Oh, well because our arrival is to have a clean room.
Will: Alright. So, our outlet is a clean room …
Kevin: A big hut of pencils. [Laugh]
Will: Yeah, right. We're going to build a gigantic hut of pencils.
Will: Pencils have figured big in our world somehow or another.
Will: I'll explain that to you someday, but move all the pencils to the other end of the room is a strategy, pick up that pencil and carry it over there is a tactical, for the outcome, clean this room.
Will: So, goals have consequences, strategies, and tactics, and so what I do is I figure out what are the things, you know, so make the BMW safe, that's an income. A strategy for that would be schedule a maintenance review for the BMW.
Will: A tactic would be, take the BMW to the shop. Another tactic would be, pick the BMW up from the shop. Another tactic would be pay the company that fixed the BMW once they fixed it, and so I've got all of these outcomes, strategies, and tactics, and I've got them just into piles, right? So, I may find clean the room as one of my opportunities and I'll throw that in the output pile and then make the BMW safe, that'll be another exit, and I throw that in the outfall pile, and then I ' Ll say move all the pencils that's strategy and I'll put that on the strategy pile, and then I'll say pay the BMW guy, that's a tactical. I'll put that in the tactical pile. None of these has to go in any particular order when you're just sorting through the list. Imagine yourself cleaning; Imagine yourself getting ready to do laundry, right? You've got light things, dark things, and colored things.
Will: Alight. And so, you just throw them into piles and it does not matter if you pick up, you do not have to pick up all the light things first, right? You know where the three piles are, you throw things in the pile, and then when you're done, you've got three piles. When you're done with the piles, you'll have a very small member of results because results are the big things that we want to get done this week. So, in this example that you and I are talking about, we've got two outcomes. We've got the clean room and fix the BMW. Those are our two outcomes. Now, strategies, we'll have more strategies than outcomes because an exit can have one or many strategies.
Will: Right. So, clean the room may include the strategy of hire a maid.
Will: Maybe we do not want to clean the room ourselves. Maybe that's a waste of our time. Maybe that's one of the other eighty percent things. So, hire a maid would be a strategy for getting the room clean, researching maid services might be a tactic for hiring a maid, right? So, get on the phone and call maid services, interview maids, hire, you know, and that's how we get a maid to clean the room. So, once we have our three piles sorted, we then refine the list by organizing things and figuring out which strategies go to which outputs and which tactics go to which strategies.
Will: So, we refine the list in that way.
Kevin: I see a lot of this is about leverage, right?
Will: Well, it gets to be about leakage right now.
Will: First, because in the first three steps of this in the dump, sort, and refine steps of this process, what we've done is we've figured out, first of all, what all we have to do and we figured Out what are the really big … what are the results that we want to achieve this week because I routinely do this and so in a week I'll have twenty, thirty, forty, fifty items on my brain dump list and every week No matter … I know how it's going to turn out every week, right? I am good at this. I know, but every week as soon as I finished the list, I get to the end of step one of the process and I'm like, "Oh, golly! I've got forty-three things to do this week. Do not have that. How could I possibly get forty-three things done this week? Who can do this? "
Kevin: Right, right.
Will: And that's where most people stop. They make up a to-do-list and they look at it and they get overwhelmed and then to protect themselves psychologically, they just kind of go into this mild form of shock and they shot down and they try to forget about it and they go On and maybe next week, they will come and check off one or two things on the list, but a to-do-list achieves almost nothing. A to-do- list just guarantees that you're always going to be in what I call tactical mode.
Will: If you have a to-do-list the most that you can hope for is that you'll get really good at carrying a pencil from one end of the room to the other.
Will: But you're never going to figure out that your real output is to have the room clean and that may or may not involve any of your time.
Will: Right. My arrival and so most people stop at the dump. They do not sort things into outcomes, strategies, and tactics, and if they do sort them into opportunities, strategies, and tactics, they rarely put them into a cohesive set of consequences and so like, so I'll start out with forty Or so "to-do's" if you will, or forty or so items on my brain dump list, and then I'll sort them, and then I'll refine them, and then what I find is that I get to the refined Part, I do not really have forty things to do this week. I've got three or four or maybe five outcomes to achieve this week.