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Our podcast co-host, Augusto Pinaud, has been coaching clients on productivity for many years, and devised a tool that he uses with them to help overcome managing the high-level goals in conjunction with lower-level projects and maintenance/administrative activities of daily and work life. In this week’s episode, Augusto goes into detail on what his tool, Impact Journal, is and how to use it in your personal productivity system.
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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
And Welcome back, everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m Ray Sidney Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:22
I am Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:23
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:24
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:26
Welcome, gentlemen, and welcome to our listeners to this episode. We have a treat for you today where we’re going to be focusing on the impact journal. And if you don’t know what the impact journal is, then you’re in the right place. So Augusta Pinaud has created the impact journal, which is a method for being able to a method and kind of a document for being able to help you facilitate focusing on your goals. And so with that, I’m going to actually turn the microphone over to Cousteau so he can kick us off and explain A little bit about what the impact journal is. And then we’ll get into the conversation.
Augusto Pinaud 1:04
They impact journal is one of the tools that are part of the Connect invisible dots framework, you know, and I created this tool, really in reality to us our response of what I was hearing from my coaching clients and the concept of impact. When I show this product or when I do presentations, I always begin there was a definition of what impact is because that’s really what this journal is about. And impact is nothing else than the effect of influence of one person thing or action on another. What I notice on my own system, as well as the system of my client, coaching clients and people even highly productive people that I know it is that is really hard for people to keep focus on the direction of the impact they want to realize. So the impact journal is nothing else than a tool to keep people engage with where do they want to go?
Raymond Sidney-Smith 2:06
I’m interested on behalf of the listeners for you to kind of flesh out for us. What was kind of the, you know, as you were working with clients, and trying to devise the impact journal itself, if you could explain a little bit about what it what it does, in terms of the the, the reading part itself kind of explains the backstory, but if you could summarize a little bit of the backstory, not the backstory, but if you could summarize a little bit of the method itself, of what people are doing throughout the day, with regard to the impact journal, and the structure of each of the impact journals, journal entry days, and then we can kind of discuss from there.
Augusto Pinaud 2:53
Let me begin for what was what was looking on the impact journal, what I found Is dairies I grew up with people who have no What do they want to go on? They have it written down on a review with a certain number of allegedly. Okay, and there is the rest of your task. The problem is that towards the end of the day, or when you say okay, now this is the time for me to make an impact. I’m full power, I am mentally ready. I have time. Let’s go and now you open your system. And if this will be a movie, you will hear the bird. Okay, everything went went down. Because the problem is we have mixed all those tasks that are important, that are going to create that impact with everything else we have in our lives. That’s a problem. second problem is when you only have a little bit of time to create that impact and in the perfect world. We will have hours of hours and the reality is most people I work with. And I know, don’t they have little windows on Windows little windows come, the more we can able to pick out of that impact, set them closer we’re going to get to that. So because of that, I start helping people identifying those three things to where do they want to go where those impact priorities and goals were so they could have them easily to access. And finally, what was the rest of their daily and maintenance task and everything else that need to happen in their world? By the way, the three of them are important. But what I found is that most people have only two of them. They know where they want to go. And they have a set of tasks. Lewis Carroll’s famous for saying if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. In theory. What I have found with my coaching clients is when they don’t know where they want to go, they evaluate opportunity a with a set of criteria as opportunity B with a criteria that will fit better with opportunity B. And the same thing with the rest of the opportunities. And then they wonder why they are confused? Why you start working with them, get them clear, where do they want to go? When the opportunities arrive, and they can evaluate against a set of centers that they have defined, it is much easier to define which one of those opportunities belong where I remember the first time I show the concept to somebody, and the answer of this person, person appreciate a lot and was Wow. What happened to me is I didn’t want to see the system. And the reason this person would not see the system where he has these pockets of high impact was because they did not want it to see all the things that were nagging at them. Hey, we all have Okay, we all have the lightbulb that we haven’t changed because has not been priority has not been a strategy to do it. But that doesn’t mean that when you open your productivity system is not in there. Yeah. You know, the things that you didn’t want to do the things that you are ignoring the things that you conveniently forgot. And because of all those things, what happened is we tend not to open our productivity system. What this distinction does is allows you to be able to open and find what are the things that are priority that aren’t going to get you close to those goals. In a Wayne Gretzky, the Canadian hockey coach used to say you missed 100% of the shots that you don’t take. If you only have 20 minutes a day to make impact. And you don’t take those shots. Guess how many? How much percentage of those you’re going to miss the second Part of this is what Brett or what was what create this empire journey. You know we have in the productivity world what I call the Stephen Covey’s school Stephen Covey was famous for say you figure it out what is your mission in the world and go down until you get to buy bread? And then you have what is what I call the David Allen school, David Allen, is exactly the opposite way say no, no, you figure it out that you need to buy bread and then go up until you identify your mission in the world. And that is great, except that things have changed so much on a such high speed that for most people, that system fall apart. What I have identify working with clients is that falling apart happen around every 13 weeks. So what the impact journal
claim is, let’s define your direction your where your priorities are. For the next 13 weeks, unrevised him daily. What happened when you start looking at those goals daily is the reticular system activate, and you start looking at opportunities that otherwise you will have missed. It’s an exercise that takes five minutes. Okay, maybe seven. And E’s really make a significant difference.
Art Gelwicks 8:23
You’re talking and it’s interesting that you mentioned Lewis Carroll, because that kind of goes along with my question. This process of reflection, I’ve seen it in in numerous cases where it can become rabbit holes, getting locked in on a specific set of challenges or a specific set of goals or ideas that you have for the future. And you wind up not moving out of that particular rabbit hole to encompass everything that you need to. How does the impact journal help mitigate that, avoid that or deal with it?
Augusto Pinaud 8:57
That is a recent you have the tree thing sorry. Just Still need to do the third things, the maintenance tasks, you still need to cook food, buy food for your dog. I know that what tend to happen with that you get stuck is you feel you’re not making progress. You are not getting close when you separate and you create that portion. Where did you see all the things that you are making impact when you review, you know what you are doing? regarding those goals, what you start looking is a different set of opportunities, how to get close to that not saying it’s easy to get to those goals. But when you start making a distinction between everything else and the things that are important. What you start looking is ways to move forward. When you revise them every 13 weeks, what happened is now you instead of making the goal for Okay, I’m going to accomplish x you can go into much smaller, much smaller goals. Do you know that in 13 weeks you are going to review and evaluate against those goals? Do That means you’re going to make everything you plan in 13 weeks, every 13 weeks, well, I have not been able to. Okay, but but what he’s going to be to produce for you is that you are going to be putting the dots a lot smaller, a lot closer, when you think, you know, on a rocket going to the moon 90% of that trajectories of truck. What allows the rocket to to arrive to the moon is the fact that they are checking every once in a while, often enough, okay, where they are in regard to that goal to that trajectory, and then make the adjustments. That’s exactly what this daily impact journal allows you to do. When you are no We are going to cover in a moment. What is the difference? You know, when you go and look into the morning pages as well as the night pages there’s a morning or night. Why? Because they’re there you are in different moments in the morning, the morning, usually you are, I’m ready to push the day. Okay, in the night, you are now in a more reflective mode, what work today, what I need to do better tomorrow or the same. But those two different pages, what allows you to do in my experience is break from that, Oh, well, I’m now stuck in here. And I say tell people you know, it is important to that you know, which are those goals, but also to understand that those goals can change. The other reason to try to keep it for 13 weeks is that now you have a good set of data to decide. This is a goal that I really want to pursue. This is going to take a lot more time or this is a goal. I changed my mind. I don’t want to. One of the things sadly many times happen with these goals is people set the goals. Okay? I mean much less than 13 days those goals are forgotten. If you don’t review them often, what happened is more urgent, louder things will crop into your brain and make you forget about those. A perfect example is the gym. Try to go to a gym on January 15 versus January 27.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:32
My question for you is what’s the Compare and contrast between doing the morning pages and the night pages with them? The impact journal, the impact journal All told, what is the exercise like for folks who are say GTD, yours who are doing a weekly review? And those are who are doing the impact journal do those work together and or do they work in, like, does the impact journal in essence, replace the weekly review? How does that work together?
Augusto Pinaud 13:01
No, they don’t, they don’t and and the weekly review or any other methodology that you want to use for productivity will start work these will just keep this will allows you to keep your compass calibrated. This is not to go into the little detail did the impact journal is not designed to go into this tremely small detail. Go on buy bread, no is to keep you on the compass calibrated during the big thing. So when you look into the morning page, did you start the day with inspiration, then you continue with gratefulness? Why? Because I believe that the more grateful you put in your life, the much better outcomes you see then you go to what we call the where, what are the three things that are the most important in your personal life? What are the three things that are the most important on your professional life? Why? Because as you define those opportunities come and you have this sixth To evaluate against, you are always evaluate against the same six things. One of the things that I see often on my coaching is people come and evaluate opportunity a with one set of criterias and then opportunity B show up the next day and then they change the criteria. So portunity b sounds way more appealing and then they are confused. Yes. When you know, what is what I called aware, what are those criterias What are those things that are your guideline? And, and the impact journal allows you to work into that and define what they are. Then you go to what I call the goals and objectives. Those are what you want to accomplish on those 13 weeks. And finally, you know, what you want to accomplish? What is a longer game? What do you want to accomplish in three years one of the things that has been really interesting for me since I start coaching on this is When you ask people, what are your goals for the next 12 months they come with our short list. When you ask them what is their goal sorry, it was a long list when you ask them what is their goal friend is next three years, they come with this really, really short list. So, when I started looking at that and begin to research in that, I found that people tend to under estimate what they can accomplish in three years, but they will overestimate what or everything that they will accomplish in 12 months. So they will come with 20 projects for the next 12 months, but they will come with five in the next three years. And more interestingly, when you do this exercise with many of my clients, what I have found is the goals that they want to accomplish in the next 12 months are not part of the three year process. There are completely different things. So what The input journal will allows you to do is to calibrate that. So when you get to that weekly review, now you can go into the rabbit holes of each one of those projects.
Francis Wade 16:11
So let’s say I have I have listening very, very keenly because I have a morning routine and that routine. And then it looks like elements of what you have in your morning page and your evening page. So basically, on my own, decided that these are the actions I take in the morning, and I fill out the form, it’s a little bit similar. And here’s the one that I do in the evening. It’s a bit different because in the evening, I do the Grateful exercise just before going to bed. And that’s based on research shows that if you do that you sleep better. And I found that that definitely works. And in the morning, I do many of the same things that you’re talking about, but there’s a few differences but I wonder if you could speak to it, particularly the ones I don’t don’t use. I don’t I don’t do that. Morning attention. And I’m just putting it in for the first time. So I’m actually going to do it this week to see what it’s like. But what’s the benefit of doing the attention? what’s the what’s the What does that allow you to do? That’s distinct,
Augusto Pinaud 17:14
that allows you to do two things. And actually, that attention part came out of the out of that weekly review. Many, many years ago, what I when you started, the more you are into this process, you know, the more the more effective is test routine. And what happens sometimes is you wake up and your brain is somewhere else and what you want to make sure you capture where their brain is what your brain hates, you start doing, you know, the gray phones near the dog, the dog, the dog is going to Yeah, that may not never make it into your impact, but it’s where your attention is. And it is really important to know where your attention is. Because the more if you right now are doing this exercise or You’re doing an impact task or an impact project or Hey, you book The next two hours to do something really important, but your attention is the scatter you are going to lose our means the opportunity to make a really strong impact. What happened when this is as you start doing the process your brain is start going on fire in in other places audios, do you need to do this is that capture? Well, there is two options. Option number one is you stop doing this process. Go back to your system and figure it out is that capture option number two is use that little corner of the page and make sure you write it down. So when you finish the morning page, you can go and check what was what had your attention as you were doing this and make sure that you begin there that you properly take care of capture plan or do if there is you know, hey I needed to put the food on the dog because this morning I changed my routine I didn’t then go there. Not Get down and continue with your life. That is a recent of that allows you to keep your attention to this much better attention to this
Francis Wade 19:11
by by by capturing where your attention is right now. I hear you seeing it allows you to give your full attention to whatever it is you really want to put it on.
Unknown Speaker 19:24
Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:26
It’s one of those things that like I I sometimes have a client who is going to be very, I don’t know, distracted during a particular you know, meeting and I will ask them in very GTD style to capture everything on their mind at that moment. Just take the few minutes. You know, sometimes it takes five minutes. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to capture everything on their mind, just a mini mind sweep so that they can just park that stuff and come back to the room virtually or physically and now be fully present for the meeting. And the That sounds to me like what you’re doing with this attention exercise.
Augusto Pinaud 20:04
That is exactly that is exactly the principle. Because the last thing you want to do is just fill the form to fill the form. And this is not a forum, this is a tool for you, to give you an additional push to where you want to create impact.
Art Gelwicks 20:19
So how do you go about getting someone to feel like this is just not another to do that they have to do?
Augusto Pinaud 20:27
What happened is for most people taking the time to look at those calls don’t happen. Okay, and when you start looking them happen and when you start taste, they start seeing that they pay attention to aspects you know that they may have missed opportunities that they have missed. Okay, everybody’s getting opportunities every day. The problem is, a lot of people shy from their stay don’t know how to evolve with them, when they start looking how they’re getting closer how they’re getting higher on that hit, or that percentage hit we were defining early when I quote Wayne Gretzky. Okay. Wow, they are wild. You know what one of the goals I had a client who I have given a permission to share this and when when he did the exercise the first time that was his point, I don’t I don’t need another thing. I say that’s fine. I understand it, but trust me on this one, okay. And we set a period of time where that was going to work and if that didn’t work, then we let it go. Okay. And his first thing in his list was being the light of Christ. Okay, that was his number one second one was his family. What he discovered in the first three weeks of doing this was that he was now looking at the income on his life. From that perspective, how fine if I go and take this meeting, how that is affecting those things that I’m saying are more important for me. He had a big dream about that first being the last light of Christ. And it was really interesting because in eight months of him doing the impact journal, okay, a massive opportunity regarding that came to him. And no, I have nothing to do with that, obviously, what the reason that opportunity came to his hands is because he his particular system was paying attention and when the right opportunity happened, he was ready to take on in his words, I will have missed that opportunity not because it was important or not important to me, because I, I will have thought that I did not have the bandwidth to take it. And when I when the opportunity came, he said was that evaluate what was on that where, where were the six important things It was an easier decision for him like that. I had a client who they’re on there, where was her health? Okay. And as we start working on this as a coach relationship, okay, and we start looking at wasn’t, it wasn’t really long I don’t remember it was but it wasn’t the first weeks. This person came in really, really exciting to our coaching sessions and I run today and I, you know, surprise it. I thought you said run was one of your favorites activities. And she was Yes, but I had not run in seven years. And those are the things that this journal produce. It’s bring you back to with where those important things and when you start looking them consistently you start looking where you are letting The basis of your life are other things that may not be as priority take over the things that are your priority.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 24:08
And so you want to you want to walk us through the functional pieces of the of the impact journal the morning page and the evening or the night page and and how those pieces kind of work in compliment for those parts of the day.
Augusto Pinaud 24:22
So as I said, the impact journal basically has two kind of pages the morning page and the night page and the morning page, you know, start with quote, being spider doesn’t matter where you pull the quote, can pull it from the internet, it can be stocks, it can be anything, okay? It can be religious quotes, doesn’t matter what inspired you. But that is the first thing getting to that inspire but then list three things that you’re grateful for. And so I tell people try not to use the same tree every day. Try to change it because as you change it, you’re going to start noticing what are the good things on your own. Life one of the things that I discover with the night page is my some of my days begin to change. You know, sometimes I got home and it’s a terrible day, you know? And we all do that we all have them. But when I start looking at the gratefulness of that day, even though it was difficult, I discovered, you know, what no, many times was not that the day was awful, was that a portion of that day was awful. And I had allow that portion to tank the whole day. So when you start looking into that, now you start seeing worse No, that today, it’s really bad. It was like this event went wrong. And that started changing your perspective on how everything is and how everything goes when you start looking. You know, at the bright side of the things, it’s not that the negative doesn’t happen, but he’s now you’ll give them the right proportion and the right attention. have given all the attention. And as I was we were discussing the night page. It’s more a closure and it is organized in a different way. So first start, where do you want to go? Take time reflect that? What are the goals and objective for those 13 weeks? What else do you want? You know three be what you want in those three years. Doesn’t matter. That is crazy. Let it come in. And then again close that day. With that gratefulness. And what are you tracking? What habits are you tracking? What are you trying to get better and you’re trying to work 30 minutes are you trying to Hey, stop drinking coffee after 5pm? What it is are you trying to go to bed early? What habits are you tracking? And are you tracking them daily? The impact journal per se, start with that three day process and when I coach clients that’s where whiskered that’s the first part before we even really start talking on a start coaching What are you know, I told them they need to go they need to download the impact journal or or get the paper version and work into those three days by themselves before we even start working. So what are those three days so they one is make a list of your personal priorities, have fun. Do not limit yourself after did you make this list and try to envision and imagine what it means spend time on edge and then try to cut those priorities to what are the three most important things on your life. One of the things I noticed is people tend to focus more on the professional or the personal, you know on the connecting visible dots. The first pillar is a pillar of totality. You are one Both are important. If you are not well, on the professional side is really really hard to be well on the on the personal and the other way around. If you’re not good on the personal it’s really really hard to be good on the professional. True there is people who their professional life shines on their personal is chaotic. It’s true, but it’s usually because they don’t know what are those priorities they have on one or the other. They have just simply block so spend that time to have fun. It is really interesting for me when I work with coaching clients how much they have a stop looking for fun. You know what makes you happy? What is the things that you do is walking is right and he’s singing doesn’t matter is to buy his bicycle. Where is that? Where is that priority? And don’t aim for an object. Aim for fulfilling what is the feeling you want. To accomplish
the reason sample said many times that people are well I want to get you know, a nice, comfortable, great, what is what you want? Do you want a convertible? Or do you want the freedom you want the air, kind of kind of another kind of vehicle? Do you need a $60,000 convertible or you need a $5,000 convertible. When you focus on the motion, you may discover that there are things from the $60,000 convertible that you don’t need, or you don’t want and that you can recreate it maybe with the $5,000 convertible, but that only going to happen when you are really clear. What are those priorities for you. Then the second day we do the same, but we do it now into your professional and career priorities. And again, have fun. What is what do you want to do? You want to be the CEO great, the CEO of what? What kind of CEOs You want to be don’t limit yourself, get a really clear image of what that is. And again, after you make that list, you know spend time with each one. Really what is what you want to feel with that. And after that, then go and try to pick the top three and finally, we go into making the list of goals for the next three years. So I said, I have said was day one and two, don’t limit have fun. Here. I want to go to Europe, hey, I want to visitation I want to do this or that. Then figure it out. After you make that long list of magic things you want to see in the next three years start making them smaller. What did you need if you said I want to go to Asia, I want to go to Japan. Great, what do I need to go to Japan to figure it out how much money I really need for that, okay, then make that project for the next 13 weeks. I’m going to study all that I can have, what do I need to define so I can be in Japan in the next three years. Keep that going to Japan, into what I want section of journal and move the other project for the next 13 weeks. Have fun. What you’re going to discover when you start doing that is that paying attention to that will show you other opportunities that you may have not innovation. You may get the opportunity for work because happened that they need somebody who go to Japan to do a project that may short your trip on your plan a lot long a lot. That’s one of the things that most of the clients who have been Keeping the impact journal has discover. Hi, I had a client who came in first thing they said is I need a new job. I said, Fine. Let’s start on the impact journal. No, I don’t need to go to the impact journal. I need a new job. And I say that’s fine. Let’s go into the impact journal. So we did the impact journal and at the end of the day, this person is still in the same company just understood that the role this person had had changed and she has grown up. So she was after she did the impact journal and discover how much he care and love about the company what she did. She started envision how she could change that role to the role that she really wanted. Work on 13 weeks increments and after a little bit of time, she was in that role. But the only recent this person was able to accomplish that was he was daily looking That she even had a title that didn’t exist. Did the title match by the way? Was it roll she had no, but everything else does. She wasn’t really worried about the title don’t match. But the important thing is all that you wanted to have and feel with that role. Chico that’s where the impact journal power comes. Most people, if they do call setting, they do goal setting in December beginning beginning of the year. So they tried to look into these great images that I’m going to be by next year. I’m going to be this. It’s too long.
In 2020, December 2019, you will have told people that they need to plan for months of months have been inside of the house because of COVID-19 Okay, nobody will have planned for that. Even if you will have come from the future in a DeLorean. Most plans, even the people who is tracking those some of those plans are already out of the window. Most people lose them by December 5 by January 15. Then if you are not looking at them and you don’t remember what they are, how would you suspect that you’re going to accomplish them? By December 2020? Most people will not. That’s where the power of the impact journal comes. When you start doing that, you start getting more and more and more creative about those. Do they change and you adjusted? Yes. That’s a reason is every 13 weeks because what happened every 13 weeks, just sit and see how close you are. Why have you moved and what is still relevant is find that they change. But what I have discovered over time is most people don’t work 13 weeks on a row and their goals, when they start experimenting that they start looking at the power of those goals, because in many cases they have been able to see some of those come to reality. In some cases is the first time they seen them in reality.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:30
So there’s so I, I’m curious about the person who is who’s probably feeling some sense of this may help me but they’re still resistant to doing the work right sitting down by themselves to do the work. What thoughts do you have for them to be able to kind of overcome the feeling of potentially resistance to the process and also setting aside time When they already feel time scarce,
Augusto Pinaud 36:04
let me start you know, sharing the on the connecting visible dots there is what I call the pillar of abundance. And one of the things we have is that our definition of time. It’s wrong. When you look at everybody’s definition of time, and my definition of time was that for a really, really long time, when you ask people what is their definition of time, people define time as deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand not playing for are abundant. If you look into a dictionary, that is the definition of scarcity until we look at time, instead of defining time defining scarcity, we are never going to be able to do any of the things
Unknown Speaker 37:00
Time is something completely different time.
Unknown Speaker 37:08
It’s the measurement between A and B is a measuring between a point at a store and a point that ends.
Augusto Pinaud 37:15
This is a process that takes five minutes or less. Do you have five minutes grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the first cup of coffee with yourself on a pen and paper. Computer. I do it on my iPad with Apple Pencil. Doesn’t matter how you do it. But that is going to give you it’s a clarity of what the day is going to be. Try it for a week. Write down where you are. Try it for a week. Because what’s going to happen in a week is when you move during five days, in the sense of where did you want to go. You will not go back when you look at your goals on for five days straight, you look at what they are, and you review what they are. And you start seeing progress, even in some cases more progress than what you have seen in the last couple of months. You are going to see where the power of this is on you’re going to stay you know on the pre show, we were talking about relativity. And Albert Einstein define on when he was asking explained relativity, he used to say, when you’re courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red hot sender a second seems like an hour. When you start working on your priorities on what is important for you, how do we really make your heart shine you are going to start seeing that relativity in work, you’re going to start seeing how that time is key and important for you. Can I make you go? No. Can I coach you on it? Yes. But at the end of the day, you need to decide if it is important for you to accomplish those goals to follow those goals. But the impact journal is is a tool tool to help you get there. And it’s a tool that is going to allow you to keep on track as you get there.
Francis Wade 39:35
I think there’s also a straight A straight benefit from being investing the time to do the journal in the morning. Which is that it says it sets a certain amount of time throughout the day. In other words time that if I do my I do my process early in the morning, I think it saves me money. maybe an hour of mistakes, an hour of the motivated, fooling around on the internet an hour when my energy drops, and then it takes time to get it back up. I think if I do that, well in the morning, if I shape it up the 15 minutes it takes saves me maybe half an hour to an hour later in the day. So I think there’s also to answer his question about how do you have someone think about how do you convince them to try it, if they’re on the edge is to say that it’s, it’s a timetable. You’re trying to insert a certain level of clarity and motivation early on in the day, so that when the day gets difficult than you would normally lose a certain amount of time. You don’t lose that time because your investment saves you. I think there’s also that
Augusto Pinaud 40:53
not only that when you review those goals in the morning, Francis and an opportunity came in the middle of the day and somebody comes to you I said, Hey, did you want to do this? Now? You have. So Fred, what you’re trying to accomplish that is also going to tell you quickly? And if that’s something that you want to embark on, or? Nope, thank you very much. Um, we already set for the day.
Art Gelwicks 41:18
I think that I think you’re hitting on something really critical there, it goes to the fact that this is a process and a tool that’s empowering you to say no to things that do not fit with your goal plan. Those, you get this stuff that flows across the transom, and all of a sudden you’re being compelled to, okay, I’ll do that or Okay, I’ll take care of this. Well, you’ve already established the things that you want to do. you’ve established the criteria for it and being able to fall back on this mentally even if you don’t hold it up in front of someone and say, hey, it’s not on my goal list. It’s not part of my impact journal. I’m not going to do it. You have the mental cognizance to be To say, you know what, this just doesn’t jive with my plans. So I’m going to say no, and be okay with that. That’s a big step for a lot of people.
Augusto Pinaud 42:12
You have that one and you have one even more important, you are going to start seeing opportunities that you may have ignore. Because now you will be able to see how that opportunity may affect directly those goals. Because there is a two part of that is you there’s things you need to stop doing. But there are things you need to do. Reviewing data is going to allow you to see both secret with clarity which ones are the ones you say, as you said, Thank you, but no, thank you. But also, you know what, yes, I should go and have lunch with this person because that will help me tied up with my goal. So those things, having the ability to start getting clarity on those two fronts is really, really important.
Unknown Speaker 43:04
I was I had I had a thought,
Francis Wade 43:07
which is that the practice I use to make a gratitude exercise interesting is I refuse to write the same gratitude item or the item that I’m gratitude. I am grateful for twice, not twice in a row twice at all. So I have a game last step I put that I enjoy. I’m grateful for my wife’s curry goat. So I can never put curry goat again. I got to put something different. So it forces me and pushes me to look in the areas of my life where I perhaps I overlook the am grateful for but like other than that I put down one thing that I’m grateful for shoes. You know, that’s its own. Stupid but but you know, I know people who struggled to have shoes and who to have one pair of shoes and or two pairs of shoes. I you know, one of the one of the this is gonna sound weird All right, but one of the gifts I have a living in Jamaica is that I live among people who are who are, are, as you’d say in the States on the privilege, really on the privilege like living in shacks on the privilege. But and I say I say it’s a benefit because it keeps me very close to what’s important, but it also makes me very grateful on a regular basis for the things that I otherwise would take for granted. So forcing myself every time I do the list every every night, to never ever repeat an item causes me to pause sometimes sometimes I You know, I don’t do a very good job. But that’s because I’m tired. And it’s the last thing I do before we went to bed. But the search that stops being my tracks because I can’t, I have to go looking and thinking about what I’m grateful for. And I find I found that useful as well. I throw that in there because when I did the old way, I would just keep rattling off the things I was repeating from day to day and that was kill the exercise because then I lost the freshness.
Augusto Pinaud 45:28
I advised when I coach people, I don’t introduce that element until the second week. There I let them the first week Hey, if you want to be the next two weeks grateful are the same three things fine, write them down, because the problem I found is a lot of times people have never before take the time to write down that they are grateful. When I began doing coaching, and I began adding that gratitude component that was one of the things that Honestly impressed me that there is people who have never write down I’m grateful for fill in the blanks. So, because of that when I do the coach in the first two weeks, I don’t intervene on what it is and then after the second week, then I start trying, okay, let’s try to add new things. Let’s reduce, you know, the repetition. Let’s find new things that we are. If you talk about these three things today, then let’s go and repeat it tomorrow. Let’s find something new. But little steps because one of the things with this like any other thing that you want to change is you’d want to make small changes. It is the small changes what produce the big results. So you want to make sure that you do a small changes and you do them consistently.
Francis Wade 46:58
I agree at the The It’s hard to explain to someone I think the the momentum that you get from making gratitude lists, for example, is difficult to describe to someone who has never started them. I do a poor job of explaining it people because it’s experiential rather than kind of logical, but it’s very it still works anyway. You know, even though you may not, I can’t sell it to you, I can’t explain it to you and I can’t describe it very well. I think the the, you might say it’s a discipline, but that kind of makes it sound like a chore rather than a privilege. But the privilege of, of being present to what you have in your life that you otherwise would overlook, I think is is unique. And I think a lot of things in the gratitude journal, or the gratitude list that I make The impact journal that you have have that kind of cumulative effect that people can’t quite see. The benefit has to be experienced rather than explained so to speak. One thing I think that’s particularly useful for is going through what we’re going through hearing this pandemic. My my observation is that people people are there’s a lot to be caught up around right now, especially know that that that other racial strife has has rear kicked in and just that just adds to everything that’s going on. And the whole world is focused on on what happened last week. And the killing of the fella by the cops in Minneapolis, and these things are terrible that are happening in the world. I think we could all agree they’re unwanted. We did not ask for them. To some degree, they were unexpected to nasm the pandemic. But I think the the discipline of that you’re up asking people to get into with the impact journal is, from a business point of view as these terrible things happen. They open up opportunities, at least for business. So if we keep it just in terms of business for the sake of simplicity, they open a business opportunities, but those business opportunities are very hard to identify if you’re not being reflective on a daily basis, if you’re not sticking to your goals and asking, okay, what’s my 1313 week goal? Okay, what’s the what’s the rule I want to take on? I want to be an awesome husband. How does that fit into that? If you’re not asking that question, at least every day or frequently, it’s really easy to get sucked into all of the the latest headlines and the debilitating Nature of them under the helpless feelings that often go with them. So the reset that you’re asking people to make twice a day, I think is what can save you from, but months, maybe years of just getting a last, you know, people who turn on the news every day and watch it on television or they have the news on television running in the background every day. I don’t know how they do that. But I have a suspicion that it’s a, it takes them away from what they really want. And I think the impact journal is a way of seeing, at least here’s an attempt to move you towards what you really want. And maybe you can even see business opportunities and other things that you that are actually beneficial that are happening these horrible times, maybe the impact journal, maybe you can see them if you just stick to the impact journal and build up just enough momentum to keep it going for a while. Maybe
Augusto Pinaud 51:01
when people ask me, you know, will how I know he’s going to work sometimes? Many times I tell them okay, let’s let me look for a moment to think on the following exercise. Okay? Because this has happened to any of us, you go into what I call the what if town, okay, so you are going to do something and you start doing what if, what if? What if this happened and then you go down, okay, what is your starting vision, the worst of the worst of the worst of the worst and go down into a spiral and there is nothing good out of that. You know, that’s, that’s one of the first and larger things that produce sadness. So imagine for a moment that instead of doing that exercise, you start doing what if up, what if what you are doing is going to work? What you’re going To feel and go and do the exercise the opposite way. When you start feeling that positive emotion coming to you. That’s what that gratitude daily will do, but in a consistent basis. So you can drink the clay one time, or you can drink a little bit every day, and see how you can see further and further and further of that good things that are happening in your world.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 52:32
We’re coming up on our time together and I wanted to just from all of us kind of poke at the notion of how someone who may be struggling with identifying those big impact goals can determine them, in the sense that some of us are naturally inclined toward planning and future thinking and surmising What perhaps our mission or vision in life is, and some of us are not. And I don’t particularly that’s not a moral, you know, accusation. I think some of us just have it and some of us just don’t. And the goal is to be able to help those who don’t find it. What are some ways in which you have either yourself determined high level goals, high impact goals, or how you’ve helped others determine those?
Augusto Pinaud 53:30
What I tell my coaching client, if you have never, you know, don’t start on the grandiose goals. Start on the little ones. You know what, for the next 13 weeks, I’m going to floss one teeth, not all of them, one teeth. That’s going to be my goal for the next 13 weeks. Because for a person who hasn’t been looking at goals and things for all his life, yeah, they can Go maybe grandiose. But if it’s something that is new for you Don’t go, don’t go I’m going to bring world peace. No, no, go into what it is on your world that you can do what you know what I’m going during the next 13 weeks. Okay? I’m going to floss one teeth during I had a client once have one that was during the next 13 weeks. I’m going to sit in my car and breathe for nine minutes before I go home. That’s all it was nothing grandiose about it. He wasn’t going to conquer the world. He was going to brief for nine minutes. So if you when we are inclined and the people that I’ve been doing this for a while, it’s easy to think on big things but if you are not done that before, wait, don’t go to the guarantee. Go what will make And in fact, right now, you know what, I’m going to get ready my coffee machine every night before I go to bed for the next 13 weeks. So that way for the next 13 weeks when I wake up in the morning, the coffee machine is ready and I just need to turn it on.
Unknown Speaker 55:19
Understand it’s a little thin.
Augusto Pinaud 55:23
But it’s those little things done consistently. What produce big impact. We tend to think on the big thing. No, no, no, let’s go to that small change that will produce big impact.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 55:43
And I would argue that the reality is, is that just like with habit development, you know, William James, the father of I guess, modern psychology. You know, he talks about the notion of the goal is not to develop the habit, the goal To be good at whatever you’re doing, that gets you to the habit. And I think that many times we focus so much on some terminal outcome, that we forget that the process is to live now and enjoy what you’re doing right now. And in doing something like the impact journal or any other reflect any other reflective practice, the goal is to be able to identify the skills and activities that you can enjoy doing. You know, the The goal is to be involved in what you’re doing. And so something like whatever the practices, whatever the thing is that you want as the outcome, you have to actually focus on the things that you are going to do to get to the outcome and become really good at it. And I know I frequently talk about skills mastery, in my own work with folks. And I’m, I’m frequently taken aback by the ability for people to really get into a state of flow. Once They identify the skills and activities that really help them get better at getting better. And it’s really remarkable to watch people go through that transformation. So I think that something like the impact journal is really, really powerful in that sense. We appreciate you educating us a little bit more Augusto about the impact journal today.
Art Gelwicks 57:20
I just really have to recommend that people take a look at this. It’s one of those uniquely placed tools, that for a lot of people, I think, if nothing else can open your eyes to another way to address this challenge we have of being productive.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 57:40
Definitely, absolutely true. That productive reflection is something that people don’t do enough. And I think that the more they can, the better they’ll get at actually being in productive activity. All right. With that, thank you again for sharing the impact journal with the audience. And this is is the end of our time together today, but it’s not where the conversation ends. If you have a question or comment about the impact journal, feel free to visit our episode page on ProductivityCast dotnet. And there on the podcast website at the bottom of each episode page, you can find a comment field, you can leave a question or comment we’ll be happy to respond to those. If this is your first time with us, please consider adding us to your favorite podcast app. If you click on the subscribe tab on productivity cast net, you’ll see the instructions to follow us and get episodes downloaded for free every time a new one comes out. While I’m discussing this, if you have a topic about personal productivity, that you’d like us to discuss on a future cast, please visit productivity cast dotnet forward slash contact, you can leave a voice recorded message or you can type us a message and we’ll maybe feature you in a future episode. I want to express my thanks to acoustic pinout Francis Wade and our gal Wix for joining me here on productivity cast this week and every week you can Learn more about them and their work by visiting ProductivityCast dotnet as well. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith and on behalf of all of us here at productivity cast, here’s your productive life.
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.