Sharing my learnings from the book, Not Today by Erica & Mike Schultz
Not Today by Erica & Mike Schultz
Ari Schultz was an extraordinary baby, beginning life in a pitched battle against heart disease. The same year, his parents launched their business, and they had to keep it going strong, even while living full-time at the hospital for months on end. For the next five years, Erica and Mike Schultz learned how to balance the demands of their jobs, commuting to the hospital, and spending time with their growing family—along the way, noting the tricks and techniques that allowed them to get work done, even while living in the cardiac ICU and later through heartbreaking loss.
After reflection and recovery, Mike and Erica codified their method of coping and working, and set out to study the work habits of extremely productive people. They discovered what extremely productive people do differently than everyone else, and went on to create The Productivity Code—a new approach to productivity that has helped tens of thousands of people manage their time for greatest effectiveness, fulfillment, and happiness.
Now, Erica and Mike reveal the 9 Habits of Extreme Productivity along with easy-to-apply techniques in this book
- Mike and Erica Schultz have had more reason to lose focus than most of us. For years, they juggled running their own ambitious business with caring for their seriously ill son, Ari. But they managed to pull it off. The book will teach us some of the habits that Mike and Erica learned while they kept up that extraordinary balancing act. Because extreme productivity really can be learned.
- Imagine not just running a business from a hospital waiting room, but doing so while your infant son is fighting for his life down the hall. How could you get any work done at all? Yet during this period, Mike and Erica rebuilt their business and they had 2 more children.
- they did some research into productivity. they identified a group they called the Extremely Productive, or the XP, who had notably different work habits from everyone else, which allowed them to get far more done.
- they started to look at time in a whole new way. For them, TIME became an acronym, with each letter standing for a different category.
- T is treasured time – it’s the time that’s most special to you on a personal level
- I is investment time – generates returns that exceed the work you put in – just like a financial investment
- M is mandatory time – time doing the day-to-day things you feel you have to do, even if you don’t want to
- E is empty time – wasted time
- 1st habit in productivity code: being driven (recruiting your drive)
- make sure your target is something you’re motivated to achieve. Then plan how you’ll do just that.
- Write your goals down. Then break each of these down into months and each month into individual weeks. Finally, decide on what you want to achieve in the year and then break that goal down into manageable chunks spread across the smaller units of time. This makes it much easier to reach your targets.
- Tie that to a sense of why (Without purpose, you’re just going through the motions, but with it, you’re driven enough to accomplish almost anything), and not just how and what, and you’re off to a flying productive start.
- 2nd habit in productivity code: ignite your proactivity.
- how you structure individual days
- Start by filling your daily calendar with investment time activities. Then, within that schedule, prioritize your Greatest Impact Activity, or GIA. This is the activity with the biggest long-term return on detailed, concentrated effort.
- 3rd habit: reengineer your habits
- identify unproductive, empty-time habits and upgrade them.
- Changing your environment can be useful, too. Look around you and think about what aspects of your surroundings do and don’t help you concentrate. Fix them – find somewhere else to work if you need to.
- 4th habit: obsess over TIME
- Obsessing over your treasured, investment, mandatory, and empty time means figuring out where every single activity in your day fits within that structure. Then make sure that your priorities are reflected in your daily routine.
- take treasured time. Increase investment time. Minimize mandatory time. And, as much as possible, eliminate empty time.
- 5th habit: say no
- If someone asks you to do something that doesn’t fit with your priorities, have the courage to say no.
- 6th habit: play hard to get
- about concentration: distractions are everywhere for us these days
- block off time for dealing with issues that arise, and devote the rest of your time to your own schedule.
- your TIME is your own. It has to be.
- 7th habit: get in the zone
- discipline. Block off what Mike calls a sprint – 20 to 90 minutes set aside for productive work. Then try a relay, which is four sprints in a row with short breaks in between. Time your sprints with a stopwatch
- 8th habit: have energy to stay in the zone
- a productive session in the zone, you also need sufficient energy. they sustain their energy levels for longer, and not just with chocolate bars. Energy is a triad of mind, body, and spirit. To have enough energy, you need to nurture each of these elements.
- Encourage your mind through positive self-talk, and give it a break by minimizing decision-making.
- As for your body, eat nourishing food, get enough sleep, and exercise
- spirit: if you’re taking treasured time and doing meaningful work, you’re well on your way.
- 9th habit: right the ship – no matter what life throws at you
- engage not your free will, but your free won’t
- Start by identifying your bad habits. dig in and tell yourself no.
- breaking down large tasks into small ones. Micro changes make a huge difference, not just in achieving your goals, but in improving your outlook.
- make a contract with yourself.