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In this second part of our two-part series this week of ProductivityCast, we look at the ideas behind the book by one of our regular contributors, Francis Wade. Perfect Time-Based Productivity (2nd Ed.) is for the person who has already begun their productivity journey. It focuses mostly on task management and we talk about the ways we can gain greater insight into the way each person manages his/her tasks in order to find the best areas of improvement.
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In this Cast
Show Notes | Perfect Time-Based Productivity
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
Perfect Time-Based Productivity: How to rescue your peace of mind as time demands increase (Second Edition) by Francis Wade (Amazon)
Perfect Time-Based Productivity – A unique way to protect your peace of mind as time demands increase (book website)
Fixed versus growth mindset – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, PhD
Discussion of Mindset at Productivity Book Group
Howard Gardner, multiple intelligences and education – infed.org
The Age-by-Age Guide to Teaching Kids Time Management
Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, et al.
Make It Stick – Productivity Book Group
Productive Failure in Learning the Concept of Variance
The 12 Important Life Skills I Wish I’d Learned In School
Raw Text Transcript | Perfect Time-based Productivity, Part Two
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
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 0:24
I am Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:26
I’m Francis Wade.
Art Gelwicks 0:27
And I’m Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:23
Welcome, gentlemen and welcome to our listeners to this second part in our conversation we’re having around the book, Perfect Time-Based Productivity, the second edition by our very own Francis Wade, I’m going to pass it over to you, Francis to tell us where we left off kind of a recap of our last episode. And and then where we left off in the conversation, and what we’re going to be talking about in this week’s episode.
Francis Wade 0:49
Well, last time we talked about the fact that today’s learner or today’s young person, let’s put it that way. People who are younger than we are, are left to their own devices. develop their own productivity system which they do they start doing somewhere in the teens and unlike us authors with gray hair they have very few signposts very few very little guidance especially with respect to the the smartphones that they’re using. And with less guidance it means that the systems they self develop end up having some gaps when they get into their let’s say their late teens and early 20s this stuff development business is true for everyone but but for the today’s user today’s learner today’s person entering the point is there’s less signposts and less guidance than there has been in the past and or hypothesis was that as a result, they need a way to evaluate themselves which is what they do anyway, when they take a training program or pick up a book is that they go through a period of self reflection to see okay, where am I with respect to what this book or this person or this training is recommending and we had just gotten to the point where I shared a an evaluation I had done in under the guise of playing a game. So I shared the fact that a couple months ago, I picked up a esport called Swift, which is basically a bicycling training program online, which you attach a trainer to Bluetooth transmitter, it transmits the signal to your laptop, which then transmits the signal to the game which links you up to races and rides with hundreds, thousands of people all over the world. So you’re essentially pedaling on your bicycle on a train against some resistance. And you’re watching people go by you and you’re catching up with groups, but it’s all happening on the screen in front of you. And it’s feels extremely real, as I shared the last time and it’s, it, of course, makes you very, very fit and the proof of the pudding has been my own writing. So I’ve gotten measurably fitter since playing this game two months ago and The guys on guys who I ride with in my club are telling me that Yeah, looking much stronger and I feel a lot stronger yesterday I rode had a six hour ride and had no problem doing it. And so the thing is working, it started with a just kind of a lack because I didn’t know where it would go. But the programmers have found a way to give me an experience that translates into real time fitness on the road, you know, where I where I do the man riding, I guess. And the idea, which is I guess, the one that is just an example of is that there’s a way there are ways to use software to either evaluate or and or to train and or to gamify and or to give someone this immersive kind of experience. That’s not just about having fun, like a typical game might be but actually results in a real skill. You know, I think of flight simulator, and what it goes for would be pilot It actually does build a real skill. So that’s where we left off is what role does the digital world play in developing real skills, I guess we’re going to tie it back to productivity skills. And then
Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:12
what Francis is talking about is right in line with a lot of the game design discussion that we’ve had in past episodes, but I think it’s really important to circle back to this on occasion, which is to recognize the importance of certain types of components of game design, that that really engage us all in the learning process. And really, let’s let’s remove game design and just say good learning is built on some fundamentals. One is what’s considered, basically, lateral thinking, and we’ve talked about Dr. Edward de Bono’s work here with six thinking hats and that kind of thing, but in essence, interlaced learning, in my perspective is very akin to lateral thinking. Which is the idea of taking multiple, that’s actually wrong. So scratch that. So I like both of these concepts. So I like the idea of interlacing your learning. And what that means is that in in when you’re trying to learn you are taking different parts of the subject and learning them out of out of order. And the idea is, is that if it’s easy, your brain automatically stops learning if it’s difficult your brain attempts to rise to the occasion. Challenge is what makes us motivated challenge is what makes us learn human human civilizations. Humans as a as a species, we are, thankfully, who we are because of our ability to face adversity. And it seems as though that’s also the way we best grow. That’s how how we were best, you know, able to go from where we are to where we want to be. We embrace challenge and I think frequently what people want to do is find the path of least resistance. But when it comes to learning, it doesn’t actually work that way. And so what what we want to do is we want to be able to have challenge. And that means don’t try to learn things in order, don’t go from Part A to part B, Part C, yes, you won’t understand Part C, or part f as well, until you circle back around to the material. But the science clearly bears out that when we learn out of order, we actually learn we understand it better. We also have to make mistakes and get immediate feedback. If you learn something and you don’t make a mistake in the process of learning that thing is you will learn it less you will actually retain it less than if you actually learn it, make a mistake along the way, get corrected quickly and then come to the end. You will actually have learned it better. You will retain it better, you’ll comprehend it better. There’s this better learning experience by virtue of you going ahead and having made mistakes and Again, that that tertiary part is actually immediate feedback. So as you’re learning, you need to be tested, you need to be, you know, you need to, in some way, shape or form, you need to be able to show that you have actually learned it. And that forces you, it’s kind of like accountability, generally, it’s the idea that you have to be held accountable. And that that very nature of being tested in some way, shape or form forces the accountability. So from my perspective, I think that these are, these are game design principles. These are also learning design principles, whether that’s pedagogy or andragogy. This is how we best teach. And it turns out that those are also really really great mechanisms for teaching us the habits of productivity, teaching us the skills of productivity, and making them so that they become a part of our system that works as a part as opposed to a part of our system that then just falls by the wayside inherent in the idea of a habit but not necessarily inherent in the skills of productivity. And so that’s kind of that piece. And so then if we, if we move forward, my my go to, for all things is great onboarding in the tools. And I’ve really enjoyed some of the ways in which productivity tools have attempted to onboard the user. And you know, you have these like, you have these tours, you know, it takes you on a tour of the of the software initially, and most people just kind of click through those really quickly because they just want to get to the interface. And what I recommend to everybody is to slow down and actually follow those tours, do the things that it’s asking you to do. I know this with Evernote, Evernote, walks you through the you know, a multi step process to create your first note and to you know, name your notebook and, you know, created, you know, create something with the Web Clipper and you know, just things of that nature where they walk you through this process, and yet we all get very impatient And we just want to get into the tool and to use it, when in reality, there is a learning process that’s frequently skipped. When we should be taking the time to actually learn how to use the tool. I just
Francis Wade 9:12
uploaded something to the show notes that supports productive error making in learning, productive failure in learning the concept of variance, some actual tests that are done in the classroom. The idea that it’s it’s better to throw someone in the deep end who can’t swim, hoping they don’t draw, but, but they’ll immediately learn something about swimming as opposed to sitting them down in a classroom when saying, okay, here’s lesson one, lesson two, lesson three, and so forth. But there’s a whole lot of, um, a whole lot of science behind the idea of learning from failing this kind of immersive experience. And what gaming or what digital digital experience allows for is learning without consequences. So, for example, you know, flight simulator, it’s, it’s free A lot better to learn in a flight simulator, that you you don’t have certain skills that would cause a crash scientists to actually learn it, you know, by doing it for real. But that’s a that’s a very it’s a deeply scientific principle that is very, very few I think very few trainers actually try to put in, because it’s so difficult. And if you don’t have digital skills, you’re not able to, it’s really, really hard if you don’t have a like a programming background right now anyway.
Art Gelwicks 10:26
Yeah, that was that’s gonna be my question on this. I mean it and I’m not disagreeing at all that failing fast is a great way to learn and to master tools, considering I fail fast all the time. Why does no one do this? I can’t think of a corporate environment or a business environment anywhere that does this approach. If you if you suggest, well, I don’t see I don’t know if I agree with that, though. Because if you talk to any organization, and you say, yeah, we’re just going to give your people the this platform, this set of tools and let them figure it out. Oh, no, no, no, no, there’s entire segments of organizations around change. Manage, and it turns it into this massive production exercise where there’s certain expectations around the skills that you’re going to develop to roll this out. And it’s going to take six months to get it in everybody’s hands and why does Why is there if this is such a solid scientific principle, Why is no one doing it? And if someone is I take it back, but I haven’t heard about it
Raymond Sidney-Smith 11:23
well, so like if you think about the change management models, and there are multiple models that exist, which is, which is kind of that’s probably part of the problem, which is, you know, you you go through this process of figuring out what the needs of the organization are just generally all of the models do this, right. There’s a an understanding of what what the needs of the organization are, you concept and design the change that you want to, to enact within the organization. you implement it and then you do post basically a debriefing and the the goal of learning within that the actual change on the people side that doesn’t actually get fleshed out except by the person who’s doing the teaching, the coaching, the training. And so it’s their methodology that really needs to be better developed. And I think I still stand on my, on by on my laurels here, which is, which is to say, I wonder what the etymology of sitting on one’s laurels are. I presume that’s a Greco Roman thing, anyway. But the idea here is that I think those people do not have a proper anthropological method. They’re just coming in and they’re like, Okay, well, this team needs to know how to use Excel better, or, or Visio. And so they come in and they teach technique, and they teach features, and they don’t actually teach in a way that people learn. And I will, I will note that productivity Book Group, discussed a book the way back when Let me see if I have a date. I don’t have a date on this book. Productivity Book Group discussed the book make it stick the science of successful learning and I highly recommend it to everyone who is interested in this area. It is a very dense book, it’s, it’s written not so friendly to a popular audience. But the book is actually really, really helpful. It’s written by multiple authors, and they all pull together all of the latest research on sorry, here I have the data 2016. So, so make it stick the science of successful learning, it really helps survey the various aspects of what helps to make a book sorry, what helps to make learning stick how do you actually get retention comprehension so that so that and recall so that students anyone, whether that be children or adults are able to actually learn truly learn, and it does a really great job of explaining some of these core components and I think it’s on the trainer’s heads, not necessarily on either od which is organizational development. Leaders or change management professionals who are tapped typically consultants brought in to make that stuff happen. The goal is that it’s two tiers down. It’s the it’s the who’s teaching? And are they capable of teaching in a way that helps an adult learner truly learn? And are those adult learners motivated to learn many times, that’s part of the problem is that they come into the room and you know, someone has told them that they have to do something, but they’re not necessarily bought in to the idea that they that they
Art Gelwicks 14:31
do. Well, part of that is because in most of those adult learning situations, they’re not measured on retention and reputation. They’re measured on immediate application, but yet, that’s not what they’re being taught. They’re being taught here’s all the parts of the engine, and then they go back and get measured on where they’re driving to.
Francis Wade 14:48
Yeah, that’s it. That’s That’s right. That’s that’s a big feeling. My point of view, I think the you’re asking for examples, I think the army, most of the military, they train through Through feel basically by feeling First they put you in a safe environment like boot camp or whatever. Or they they do practice, they spend the whole time drilling and practice, do practice runs of what might happen in the real, the real, real combat and you learn, you know, they have these elaborate after action reports or after action meetings where they sit down and analyze in depth what they just practiced and what went wrong. And that ethos of practicing hard under a simulated situation, learning from it, and then carrying it forward is one of the things I’ve read that when military, I guess military officers make the transition to civilian life, they’re amazed that this does not happen in civilian life, and they can’t understand why that’s that’s how I first heard about it.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:47
I would agree with you. That’s a great example and that it’s not done in the civilian world.
Augusto Pinaud 15:52
The other element to consider that applies to not only fortune 500 but small businesses. The fact that the people is not looking to advocate towards a future, to learn towards the future, but to solve a particular issue, whatever the issue is, oh, we need to learn how to do macros in Excel. Well, why? No, because we need to solve this problem. Therefore, when you go and train the people, you don’t train the people towards How can we use this knowledge or this piece of information more, it’s really teach on a one time and suddenly there is a significant amount of people on those environments who has been used are trained to use a piece of knowledge once and then discard the piece of knowledge. You know, we don’t evolve and see how we can use the same piece of knowledge more than once. That’s one one big issue because, yes, we do the training just would teach the people but the people get that knowledge to be used on that. box with those whose specific set of conditions and in many cases, don’t learn to think how can I use the same knowledge on other pieces or another boxes that then make that teaching and that knowledge,
Art Gelwicks 17:14
you know, really hard to, to be significant for the organization that say a lot of that still comes back to the measure. That’s how this stuff gets evaluated. If you take somebody who’s coming out of college, and you put them into a work assignment in college, they’re being folk, they’re being guided in most cases, and especially at the high school level, to gather information, stick that information in your head returned that information back when asked and in some cases, maybe apply that information. But when you transfer that person into a work environment, now it’s, well, I don’t care how you get there. These are the tools you have, you will use these tools better, worse or otherwise, this is the end result you have to get to figure it out. And I think that’s where the failing is because honestly that figure it out. is what we should be teaching them back in high school and in college. Because we all know the corporate environment is not going to change. They’re always going to be operating this way. It’s just the way they do. They’re, they’re not that enlightened. So how do you set somebody up for success? You teach him how to take this limited set of stuff, and find that solution based on that limited set of stuff. Every time I think about this, all I can think of is Tom Hanks in the movie, Castaway, he had nothing and he had to work with what he had and find solutions to the problems. We’re just not teaching that.
Francis Wade 18:33
And I agree with you. We are not teaching God we’re not teaching that many levels. And and it is a big, big problem. You know, it is not solved with the tools we have is how we are going to solve it. And if you don’t know then go and buy a new tool, even that the organization may have plenty of tools to to solve the problem. And now there’s a move to bite sized learning which is an argument that learning something complex can happen in you know by watching a five minute YouTube video, the companies are unwilling to invest the time and create the immersive environment and the right kind of elearning and the right kind of self reflection and self knowledge and evaluation. They’re totally unwilling, not totally, but by by and large, unwilling to invest in that.
Art Gelwicks 19:22
Okay, but wait a minute that there’s something to be said for small chunked up learning. And the reason why I say that is is because if big learning worked, we’d be doing it all the time, it’d be very successful at it. That’s not happening. You know, I’m, I’m somewhat of an amateur car guy. And I don’t know what I do without YouTube anymore, because when it comes to changing the starter on a Jeep Liberty, I’m not going to go through a four hour eLearning course on how the 3.8 liter engine was designed to get to that piece of the course I want that piece of information. It’s a procedural mechanism process that I can look at, I can understand and then I can apply Why does that have to be any different than when we think about a major platform? Like oh, I don’t know office 365 Why do I have to spend you know, three days of training when I can go through if the training is set up right and if we think about this properly and say, this should be effect and result driven training, therefore, to get to this result, you need to know these following thing and put them together in this order.
Augusto Pinaud 20:27
I was saying because you are not you are not not you are not doing five minute YouTube video. And then going out and putting in front of your house. I repair all kinds of Jeep liberties, okay. That’s one of the big difference.
Art Gelwicks 20:41
Well, no, but that’s, that’s okay. But that’s, that’s it. That is a big difference. But we’re also talking about something, then that is a very small segment of people, people who go out and train and focus and become experts in a particular field. Yeah, I totally get that they have to learn everything inside out in sideways but that’s likely Less than 1% of the population for that particular topic area, the other 99% are going to look at that and go, that’s too complicated. That’s too difficult. I’m not going to bother with I’m just trying to understand why. Why does it have to be so heavy? I mean, when when I’ve rolled out platforms with companies, you’ll have like multi day rollouts and things you know, learn this stuff, do this stuff, no, use cases, something simple.
Augusto Pinaud 21:26
I agree with you when you talk to people who are looking into the learning. The problem with that I have found with what you’re saying and agreeing with you, is what the company thinks is if we throw the people into the water, they are never going to use all this with whistlin and stuff that we have just put in this platform. So let’s block three days out of the organization and they are going to learn and I agree with you. Most people will learn a lot more effectively if you put it into little bits and pieces, but also is statistically, okay. Most people doesn’t matter. We’re talking about small businesses or large corporations, Don’t want to learn the really the percentage of people who learns after they exit school is so tiny that it is a problem for people, for corporations and for businesses. To that, to that learning, one of the problems with E learning and learning inside of many of these organizations is the people do not is not interested into acquiring this knowledge. I mean, looking I look at us on the podcast, and we’re always discussing about new learning new thing, but I understand at the same time that this is an exception, and it’s an exception that if I may say, based on what I’ve been experiencing with my kids, is start at that age. Okay? It’s not It’s not even forget about pause. Did the poor habits start at that age when, when you need to when you have, you know, the kids who are in the perfect time to learn and they don’t want to learn why I’m going to learn that. I don’t recall. I’m sure I say it but I don’t recall as a kid saying why I’m going to need to learn that I was a sponsor anything you could teach me at that age, I will have tried to learn Judo and have not anymore.
Art Gelwicks 23:25
You never heard me and algebra class.
Augusto Pinaud 23:30
Hey, you get you get 505 plus plus x equal to y and then you figure it out. What How much is it grocery bill? That’s not how it works.
Art Gelwicks 23:39
That’s why we have Excel. Just to be clear, okay for kids like me from algebra class who couldn’t work out anything. But this is where I kind of get back to this whole thing and you hit a key point that somebody deploys a solution or let’s, let’s keep it in the personal context, we choose a tool. We take something like Evernote or notion or OneNote. It’s like okay, I’m going to use this And we feel like we have to use some people feel like they have to use every feature in there to derive the value of what they’re investing in that particular tool. Now, if it’s something like OneNote, it’s free. If it’s something like Evernote or notion there’s a cost tied. So you’ve got all these features like, well, I’m paying for it, so I better use it. Well now scale it up to something like a small business level where you’re paying maybe a couple thousand dollars a year or corporate level where it’s a couple hundred thousand dollars. We’re paying for it, you’re going to learn how to use it doesn’t say that there’s any value to using it. And that’s where I struggle with this. We are not teaching people how to be critically analytical when it comes to is this necessary. Do I need to know this?
Augusto Pinaud 24:43
I agreed with you 100% the thinking is exactly what you said Oh, if I’m paying 20 then I need to get 40 out of out of value. Well, I will argue with this. What is the what is the 40 how you are going to measure these 40 because the problem is not that you want to get our return from the investment you do fine. That’s good business practice. Okay, the problem is you, I see a lot of people arguing that they need to get that, okay. But they have no system to measure that they just want to get a value, they just somehow want to software to say, Hey, you know, somebody should cut code on the back of that software and say, Hey, you have used this software for 20 hours now, did you get your return on investment? Because that’s, if you don’t have any measurement, I will how you’re going to get out of the software? Well, that will work well.
Art Gelwicks 25:35
And that’s where you start into this process from from the get go and say, Okay, what is going to make this successful? What is my success criteria on using this in in a business environment? It’s what’s the success criteria for investing in this particular platform in a personal thing? How do I know this is helping? Or how do I know it’s how am I going to be able to tell that it’s helping me and that’s so often a question that we don’t ask. And again, we’re not Teaching anybody to ask that question, you know, is this thing going to make things better for me, we think back to the circle this all the way back, we go back to the PDA’s PDA’s were great palm pilots were fantastic. What was the first logical evolution though of a Palm Pilot, a trio that had wireless connectivity. Why? Because at that point, we recognized that there was a cap as to how much it could give us we weren’t going to get any more benefit without being able to connect Well, we have to be able to look at those anything we’re doing and evaluate with the same type of criteria. I can use my paper notebook and it can be really helpful for me and how do I know it? Is it being helped is my success criteria basically, that it gives me warm and fuzzy feeling? Well, honestly, it might be but we don’t quantify any of that. And we’re not teaching anybody to say think about where the end is. Where is this trip taking you if you don’t know where you’re going? Why leave the house.
Francis Wade 26:55
I think that’s a great point. I think it’s to try to tie together productivity and corporations, I think what what’s happening in companies is that they’re not asking that question about the endpoint, and they’re not being honest about the inputs that they’re getting in terms of students. So there’s they’re put in the shownotes a, an article I read about the top 10 things they really should have taught you in high school, probably you probably have seen lists like this, where people should learn how to manage money, mental health, this one says, dating wholesome car, it has time management, but the raw material the 25 year old is joining a company doesn’t have a whole bunch of core skills. And obviously, for the organization to succeed, they need to have them but what’s not happening is just as I said, companies aren’t staying at the strategic level and saying, Okay, everybody needs to know what a good meeting looks like and how to lead one if you’re the facilitator. Okay, let’s let’s call that a core skill. How do we how do we have people develop those skills over time, so that they go from being novices to being very, very expert, then even beyond where they could teach other people just a simple question like that isn’t being asked or answered, it’s just being treated as if it will happen somehow by some kind of osmosis or magic or just tell someone they need to get better than they need to go and find out how well what does better look like? What measurement is he or she talking about? And then where do I get the training that would take me to that measurement? So it I think that’s an example of the poor approach that’s being used. And it’s no surprise that we’re not getting results as a as a as a consequence. I think productivity too tight back to all sort of main area of focus is just but just another example of what happens with meetings.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 28:44
What’s the value that we can bring to listeners as a relates to either a core part of what we’re talking about in this discussion, sort of like, what should a business professional listening to this episode do as a consequence of a system that’s clearly failed them from the get go. It sounds like and without us getting back into that conversation to a corporate environment, a corporate culture that I argue is the reason why deep learning doesn’t happen to Cal newports credit, when he talks about deep work, I frequently actually think about it from the perspective of deep learning, not from from the perspective of deep work, I think, I think he’s off the mark on that. Very much so because he’s an academic who spends his time in an ivory tower. But the, the real true value is actually in, in his method is actually in deep learning. And I think that if we can, if we can provide listeners with a way for us to understand productivity through the lens of using these tools that we’ve been talking about the strategy then they can walk away with something that is tangible and actionable. And what is that? What is it they can do today? Besides make it stick? I recommend everybody to read make it stick.
Francis Wade 30:09
Well, what is it that folks could do? Leaving today’s episode? If I go back to my experience with with Swift, I’d see if our assumption is correct. And the funding is in place, let’s let’s assume for the sake of argument that the company has realized at a high level so the CEO realizes that I have a problem with certain skills so that the decision to invest has already been made. Let’s say that the convincing has already happened, and the money is there. So let’s let’s just assume for sake of argument that that’s true, then they need to look to create these digitally enhanced, immersive environments like flight simulator or Swift, in which a novice can come to realize that there are novice and there and therefore start the self evaluation and the self knowledge it used to be delivered. In a classroom in three days, like art said, you know, by the end of three days you realize, okay, but no one has the time and the inclination for that any longer. It needs to happen quickly. And the quickest way that that I think we’ve seen is to throw someone into the environment, and have them feel so fast that they become a hungry learner after 1015 2030 minutes, and the digitally enhanced environments for learning seem to be a way to do that. So to direct so that my advice is to direct their attention to creating these environments for all of all of the all corporate learners, everyone who works in a company, it’s just a matter of what skills and what what experts do you want to work with on
Raymond Sidney-Smith 31:48
so that you can create effective experience I work with 99% of my time in and around small business and they don’t have the kind of midsize and enterprise price level budgets, and also just sheer numbers of people that they are attempting to facilitate a more productive environment. That is labor productivity. And what I really try to suggest to all small business owners is to understand the difference between labor productivity and personal productivity and how to actually build both of those. Ultimately, what happens is that when you teach individual productivity, personal productivity skills to your people, they end up having greater and better collaborative skills, soft skills, and therefore greater labor productivity. And so that’s number one is figure out how you’re going to do that, and then do it. The then the flip side to that is, if you’re going to teach personal productivity, many times budget is an issue and what I did in my last company, and I’ve brought that over into this company, although working fairly small. So it’s not particularly as as rigorous as it was in my prior company. But the idea was, was that we would send one to maybe three people to a conference or to a training. And the requirement is that we would pay for it. But they had to come back and teach it to everybody else in the company. And so we had a standing meeting for when people went to go do a training, then they would come back and there would be a scheduled timeframe say they would have two or three days after returning. And whoever wanted to it was was mostly optional, sometimes it was was plenary, but most of the time was optional for people to come and spend. It was either a lunch period or some other period where those people would come back and they would then teach the highlights of what they learned in that space. And they always shared it was also a requirement. Everybody would share their notes, conference materials and whatnot into our, our shared document portal. And back then we were much simpler company. So we had just a, a single shared drive where all of those things were saved. This was, you know, early 2000s. So, you know, it was very, very simple. And they would share all those things into that into that folder on the shared drive. And so everyone had access that if they wanted to go deep into that particular topic that was learned or the topics that were learned at a conference, you could say to the people who went, hey, do you mind us spending some time learning about what you learned about and what I found is that the interdepartmental learning the fact that the persons who went to the training, then had to teach what they learned and then sometimes had to coach further on what they on what they learned to somebody else in the company who hadn’t been there. All of that turned into a collaboration that was outside of transactional work and lead to greater cohesion of the team and to Actually, as far as my statistics were concerned, my metrics were concerned, it was actually because of that, that we actually had a more efficient work being done. People were really stepping up to the plate, because everyone had very defined roles in my particular last company, if you were bad at what you did, people noticed and, and the business suffered. And so once we started doing that, we saw this exponential growth in the people. And then the business started to do really well in areas that it wasn’t doing well before. And that was really the only thing that it changed. So I highly recommend that if you’re in a small business environment, or if you’re in a team environment within a large organization, the idea of learning something, learning something and then teaching it to your peers can be a really great function. And it could take up a lot of time if there’s a lot of conference going and a lot of workshop going so you have to do some limitation on it. But if there’s some core things and core elements that you’re trying to teach to people send people to training and then have them come back in. And either you know trainer or coach people internally on it and you’ll find that that person becomes a go to resource for that particular thing
Art Gelwicks 36:09
for me it sandbox I have found, no matter the size of the organization’s small, large doesn’t matter if you provide people safe spaces to try what they’ve learned to try what they’re learning with no negative impact. If they fail, they are more likely to try and to practice. So you will find your people who are earlier early adopters and mid adopters much faster that way. If you are if it’s a technology deployment, great, then one of the earliest questions you should be asking is how do we set up a training environment? How do we set up a testing environment? Excuse me? How do we set up? Can people set up their own spaces to try if it’s something like SharePoint, for example that I deal with all the time I tell everybody say look, if you’re going to be working on building a SharePoint site, set up a sandbox, do your play with it. Go in there. Create good See things, try things out, see how it works, see how it lays out. Because every time you go to something that other people are going to look at, you’re going to want to make sure that your skills are solid enough that you’re going to be comfortable working in that public space. And you learn that in that private space. So, setup sandbox,
Augusto Pinaud 37:16
my recommendation is hard recommendation, because I believe every organization should have a learning plan. And a learning plan that applies to improve people and promote people inside of organizations that I understand. It doesn’t happen for many factors, but but I really recommend that create your own if the organization doesn’t have it fine created your own, your own learning where you’re going, what you need to learn to go on to get where you want to go. And if they’re going to say in you’re in charge of that organization, then build it so that way you can get there.
Francis Wade 37:52
Yet I just add to what Ray said in terms of sending someone a wait to come back from a conference or a learning opportunity to share it. I think that The interactive methods are the best. So the the individual coaching, like he said, or the live teaching, and then add to that recording the conversations, the coaching conversation so others can learn from them, come back with videos of the event put together quizzes based on the content that is developed that is shared, anything that can make the content interactive. For the person who is learning it can make it more sandboxie. And more, more likely to stick.
Art Gelwicks 38:34
I’ll just say if you find someone, especially somebody who’s new to an organization or new to a group, and you get the sense that they have never learned these mechanics of, you know, success criteria and things like that, teach them Don’t tell them they need to go learn it, teach them pass it on and pay it forward. Agreed.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:51
We are all in this together as they say. With that I would tell everybody to go check out Francis’s second edition now of perfect time based productivity. And many of the things we talked about and more including Francis’s assessment, that that really walks people through the elements of what makes someone productive, is all caked into the book. So go ahead and check that out. And we appreciate Francis for his work always in the productivity community for helping people become more productive. So thank you for it with that. If you have a comment or question about this episode, or something we discussed in the episode, feel free to reach out to us by going to ProductivityCast dotnet forward slash the episode number, so Episode 1001. So whatever the episode number is, just go ahead and plug that in and you’ll be on the episode page and then at the bottom of the page, feel free to leave a comment or question and one of us will be glad to respond. There. On the episode page, you’ll also find our show notes with links to anything we discussed so you can easily jump to them. We have our transcript, which is readable right there on the page. Just click on the Read More link underneath the transcript section and it’ll pop open There’s also a PDF download. So you can download it and listen and read if you need to print it out all that fun stuff. And you can also learn how to follow us on your favorite podcast app there on the website by clicking on the subscribe page. So please subscribe and keep following. Now if you have another question about personal productivity generally, that you maybe you want us to talk about in a future episode or something like that, go ahead to productivity cast dotnet forward slash contact, you can leave a written message that is you could type up a little message and send it to us. Or you can record I think under a minute, I think you have a minute of audio that you can record directly from the web browser. And I understand that you can do it from the desktop and from your mobile device. So you could just open up your mobile browser, click on that little leave message button, it’ll connect to your your, your microphone, and you could leave a message so that’s pretty cool. And so check it out. Also, if you can Please leave a rating a review in Apple podcasts are still using iTunes or another of the apps that allow you to I think stitcher allows you to leave a rating or review. This helps us to grow our personal productivity listening community. And we really appreciate and thank you for listening and for being a part of the community and all of that fun stuff. So thank you. Finally, thanks to Augusto Francis and art for joining me here on this cast on this episode of productivity cast. And here’s to your productive life. Take care everybody.
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.