Ever wonder how some business leaders are so productive?
They are incredibly busy, yet accomplish what they want in less time than many others. As a Professional Organizer, I’m lucky to meet many inspiring individuals who fall into this illustrious category. In this monthly Q&A segment, I am pleased to share their valuable tips on what makes them so productive at work.
This month we talk to Lucas Roberts, President and CEO of Macinhome Consulting Inc., to learn what makes him organized and successful.
What are the biggest time wasters in your life? What do you do to manage them?
The biggest of them all is doing things I already know how to do and am very good at. I try to catch myself in the moment, and I ask myself “Is this the best use of my time? Could someone else do this if I teach them well enough? Could I write a document, checklist, process… or make a video so I don’t ever have to do this again?” This keeps me vigilant.
I also once every few days take a step back and look at things from a birds-eye view with some journaling. I look to see what’s the actual best use of my time and what I could do to keep innovating, while also empowering my staff to get better and better. My top three resources for this are The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, Getting Things Done by David Allen, and The One Thing by Gary Keller.
Tell us about your everyday “essentials” for business? (e.g. Mobile phone, apps, virtual assistant? etc.)
Actual phone calls to speak with and care for people. It is too tempting and easy and lazy to send a text. Beyond that… Siri for many most common tasks (I just made a video about this), Slack and Basecamp for team chat and collaboration, Vonigo for our client scheduling and invoicing, the great VA team at It’s Your Time (itsyourtime.ca) handling our phone calls from clients.
A gold mine of self improvement tools from the incredible entrepreneurial curriculum and coaching staff at ESP (executivesuccessprograms.com). OF COURSE my Apple Watch, iPhone, and top of the line MacBook Pro 2016 Retina with Touch Bar that turns any park or beach or coffee shop into an office. My own version of the Pomodoro technique that I learned in ESP for daily time commitments… Like 15 mins per day on X task. Bookkeeping, task management, blog writing… I do many of those daily disciplines. I use the Streaks app that syncs with my iPhone and Watch to keep track of them all.
How do you manage and organize yourself electronically (online, mobile phone, computer)
When I need to do something or I commit to someone to do something it goes into a Note in my Apple Notes app that syncs beautifully to my Mac and iPhone. This is called my Capture Tool which I learned from a couple Landmark friends who teach the Mission Control method.
A few times per day I move things from my Capture Tool either into my calendar to actually commit time to those things, or into a Google Sheet where I track and prioritize each item. Within that spreadsheet I also look at other options for getting that item done, like if I should delegate it, make a video, write a process, etc. The daily 15 mins a day focused on that is huge. When I set that timer, NOTHING gets in my way. I made a video about that too.
How do you organize and file your paper information?
I don’t. Stacks and piles and somewhat-organized chaos. The actual important things go into a “these are important” pile that will then get lost amidst other piles. When I truly need to do or be aware of something I’ll take a photo of it, it syncs from my phone to my Mac in 3 seconds through iCloud Photo Library, and I put actual steps and dates into my Capture Tool and calendar. I don’t trust paper.
What’s your top tip to staying organized & productive?
Get in reality with how much time it actually takes to stay organized and proactive in your life. For me it takes a solid 30-60 mins per day just to look at and think about my tasks, commitments, next steps, and calendaring. ESPECIALLY when I think about how to delegate things. Thinking takes time, and often takes journaling to get it out of my head into something workable.
I also use youcanbook.me that syncs with my calendar so other people can just pick times within my web calendar. Totally eliminates the back and forth of when are you free, sorry I’m not free then, bla bla bla. Bonus: It also eliminates the people who weren’t serious about wanting to meet with me. If they don’t follow through with the web booking then it wasn’t that important to them. I also block off big chunks of time so no one can book with me at certain times in the week. This keeps me proactive and creative during those times.
What do you do to achieve work-life balance?
I stay vigilant and aware. I keep checking in and take care of my “big rocks“. I ask my girlfriend what she would change about our relationship and then put time and work into that. I notice if my body feels weak or hurting, and get help from a trainer or design a 15-minute workout for myself to address it. I make time to lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling, or to binge watch an entire season of something. I also journal and ask myself important questions. Real men journal.
Lucas Roberts is the President and CEO of Macinhome Consulting Inc., a full-service Mac IT consulting company headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. Macinhome is a team of experts highly trained, certified and experienced in all things Apple. From networking to syncing to security to usability, their squad is standing by, ready to jump into action when you need help.