How To Multiply Your Time: Rory Vaden

Everything you know about time-management is wrong. In this challenging and counter-intuitive video, Self-Discipline Strategist and New York Times bestselling author of Rory Vaden, shows you why you can’t solve today’s time-management challenges with yesterday’s time-management strategies. More importantly he explains why procrastinating on purpose is the key to being able to Multiply your time.

Self-Discipline Strategist Rory Vaden’s book Take the Stairs is a #1 Wall St Journal and #2 New York Times bestseller. Rory is also Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting™, an 8-figure global consulting practice. His new book Procrastinate On Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time came out in January of 2015 and was an instant National Bestseller.

How To Multiply Your Time | Rory Vaden | TEDx Douglasville

Transcripts of the Video:

0:16
You may have thought that we started late, but it is ironic that the first speaker
0:21
would be the author of the book, “Procrastinate on Purpose”.
0:24
(Laughter)
0:27
How is it, that we have more tips and tricks, tools and technology,
0:33
calendars and checklists than ever before,
0:36
and yet, we still always seem to be behind?
0:40
How is it that we work longer hours,
0:42
we’re moving faster than we’ve ever moved in history,
0:46
and yet we never seem to be caught up?
0:49
How is it that we know more about time management today,
0:52
and yet stress is at an all-time high?
0:57
The reason why is because everything you know
1:01
about time management is wrong.
1:08
I first started to realize this a couple of years ago.
1:11
It was early on a Saturday morning, I was at my business partner’s house,
1:14
and I was picking him up for a very important
1:17
international leader planning retreat,
1:20
and he has a 2-year-old baby girl name Haven,
1:24
and she is the sweetest little thing you can imagine.
1:26
She has curly brown hair, and these sweet, soft, brown eyes,
1:29
and we live in Nashville, so she has a little southern accent that’s developing
1:33
and as I’m picking up Dustin, and we’re about to leave,
1:36
Haven come sprinting down the hallway
1:38
and she leaps, and she latches on to Dustin’s leg,
1:42
and she says: “Daddy where you going?”
1:44
And he looks down at her and he says:
1:46
“Oh, I’m sorry baby Haven, Daddy actually has to go to work today.”
1:50
And she looks up at him, and her eyes well up with tears,
1:55
and she says:
1:57
“No Daddy, please, no work today. No work Daddy.”
2:04
And in that moment, I realized two things:
2:08
The first is that I myself am not ready to have kids just yet.
2:13
(Laughter)
2:17
The second is that even though everything that you’ve ever heard
2:20
about time management is all logical, tips and tricks, tools and technology,
2:25
calendars and check lists, its apps, it’s all logic.
2:27
What I realized in that moment, from a 2-year-old,
2:30
is that today, time management is no longer just logical,
2:34
today, time management is emotional,
2:39
and how our feelings of guilt, and fear, and worry, and anxiety, and frustration,
2:44
those things dictate how we choose to spend our time,
2:47
as much as anything that’s in our calendar, on our to-do list.
2:52
In fact, there is no such thing as time management.
2:57
You can’t manage time, time continues on whether we like it or not.
3:01
So there is no such thing as time management.
3:03
Really, there is only self-management.
3:08
That was the first big realization I had.
3:10
In order for you to understand the second,
3:12
I want to take you on a quick history of time management theory,
3:16
and that really began in the late fifties, and sixties,
3:19
and it came during the industrial revolution,
3:21
and an early time management thought was all about —
3:24
it was one-dimensional, and it was all based on efficiency,
3:28
and the idea with efficiency, was that if we could develop tools and technology
3:32
to help us do things faster, then theoretically,
3:35
that would give us more time.
3:37
Well, there’s nothing wrong with efficiency, all things being equal,
3:42
efficiency is better, and yet there is an unfortunate limitation
3:48
to efficiency as a strategy for time management,
3:50
and it’s evidenced by the fact that we all carry around
3:53
miniature computers in our pockets,
3:55
and yet, somehow, we’re still never caught up.
3:59
Well, in the late eighties, era 2 time management thinking emerged.
4:04
I feel like it was pretty much single-handedly ushered in
4:07
by the late, great Dr. Stephen Covey.
4:11
And Dr. Covey introduced what we’re referring to as 2-dimensional thinking.
4:15
He gave us something called the Time Management Matrix,
4:18
where the x-axis was urgency, and the y-axis was importance,
4:23
and the beauty about this was that it gave us a system for scoring our tasks,
4:29
and then based on how they scored in these two areas, we could prioritize tasks,
4:33
one in front of the other.
4:35
Prioritizing is all about focusing first on what matters most,
4:39
and for the last 20 years,
4:41
this has been the pervasive mode of thinking
4:44
as it relates to time management theory.
4:46
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with prioritizing, in fact,
4:49
prioritizing is as valuable a skill today
4:52
as it ever has been in history.
4:54
Even though we throw that word around,
4:56
like it’s the end-all and be-all, to time management theory, right?
4:59
We say: “Get your priorities in order.”,
5:02
or “You don’t have the right priorities.”
5:06
Well, unfortunately, maybe that’s not really the case,
5:09
because there is a massive limitation to prioritizing that nobody ever talks about
5:15
and that is this: there’s nothing about prioritizing that creates more time.
5:21
All prioritizing does, is take item number 7 on your to do list,
5:24
and it bumps it up to number 1, which is valuable in and of itself,
5:28
but it doesn’t do anything inherently to create more time,
5:32
and it does nothing to help you accomplish the other items on your to-do list.
5:38
If you think about efficiency, it is kind of like running on a hamster wheel,
5:41
and if you think a prioritizing, it’s really about borrowing time.
5:45
Borrowing time from one activity to spend on another, it’s kind of like juggling,
5:49
and that really describes the way that we even talk about time.
5:53
I’m juggling a lot, or I’m trying to balance a lot.
5:56
And in that paradigm there’s only two strategies:
5:59
one is to do things faster, or to do more things,
6:04
and that is what the world kind of feels like, right?
6:07
How does it feel to know that really all we are is a bunch of juggling hamsters,
6:11
sprinting towards an inevitable crash landing?
6:14
(Laughter)
6:16
You cannot solve today’s time management problems,
6:20
with yesterday’s time management thinking.
6:23
What we’ve noticed, is the emergence of a new type of thinker,
6:26
somebody that we refer to, as a multiplier,
6:29
and multipliers use what we call, 3-dimensional thinking.
6:34
While most people only make decisions based on urgency, and importance,
6:38
multipliers are making a third calculation which is based on significance,
6:42
and if urgency is how soon does something matter,
6:45
and importance is how much does it matter,
6:47
then significance is how long is it going to matter.
6:54
It’s a completely different paradigm, it’s adding on to what is there,
6:59
it’s in with the old, but it’s also in with the new.
7:02
Because most of us, if you think about the modern day to-do list,
7:05
which is one of the key strategies or tools that we have,
7:08
we ask ourselves, when we assemble our to-do list, we say:
7:11
“What’s the most important thing I can do today?”
7:14
But that is not how multipliers think; multipliers, instead ask the question:
7:19
“What can I do today, that would make tomorrow better?”
7:25
“What can I do right now, that would make the future better?”
7:30
They’re making the significance calculation.
7:33
When I say: “Multiply your time,” that might sound a little bit superfluous.
7:38
It might sound like an over exaggeration, but it really is not.
7:43
Now, it is true that we all have the same at a time inside of 1 day,
7:47
24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds.
7:52
There’s nothing any of us can do to create more time in 1 day,
7:54
but that’s exactly the problem, that type of thinking is the problem.
7:59
We have to break out of that paradigm, and instead, think about tomorrow,
8:02
and that brings us to the premise for how you multiply time.
8:06
The way that you multiply time, is simple:
8:09
you multiply your time, by giving yourself the emotional permission
8:13
to spend time on things today, that give you more time tomorrow.
8:20
That’s the significance calculation.
8:23
You multiply time, by giving yourself the emotional permission
8:26
to spend time on things today, that create more time tomorrow.
8:29
The significance calculation changes everything.
8:35
The Focus Funnel is our attempt, to create a visual depiction
8:39
that codifies the thought process, that multipliers go through in their head,
8:44
unconsciously, when they are evaluating how to spend their time.
8:47
It’s why some people create extraordinary, explosive, exponential results,
8:52
and other people seem to kind of just create linear traction,
8:56
and it works like this, if your tasks all come into the top of the funnel,
9:00
the first question a multiplayer asks is: “Can I eliminate this?
9:04
Is it even worth doing?”
9:06
It’s another example of how everything you know about time management is wrong,
9:10
or at least that it has changed, because most of us use to-do lists,
9:13
and multipliers realize that next generation time management
9:16
has much more to do with what you don’t do, than what you do do.
9:22
Multipliers realize that perfection is achieved
9:26
not only when nothing more can be added, but when nothing more can be taken away.
9:30
It is the permission to ignore.
9:33
Because anything that we say no to today,
9:36
creates more time for us tomorrow.
9:39
The emotional challenge is that we struggle with guilt,
9:42
and we struggle with wanting to say no,
9:44
but really feeling like we have to say yes,
9:47
and so we go through life trying to never say no.
9:51
In an interview with a multiplier
9:53
they said something that changed my life,
9:56
“It’s futile to go through life, trying to never say no.
9:58
What you have to realize, is that you are always saying no to something.”
10:03
Because anytime you say yes to one thing,
10:06
you’re simultaneously saying no to an infinite number of others.
10:11
If you can’t eliminate the task, the next question is: “Can I automate the task?”
10:15
Anything that I create a process for today, saves me time tomorrow.
10:20
It’s like setting up online bill pay.
10:22
I never have two hours in my day to set up online bill pay,
10:25
I just don’t have time, and if I had two hours in my day
10:28
I would never use it to set up online bill pay.
10:31
But a multiplier realizes that if I save 30 minutes a month
10:34
from paying my bills, by setting up online bill pay,
10:37
then it makes sense to invest those 2 hours,
10:39
because then after just 4-months time,
10:41
I will have broken even on that investment,
10:44
and every month thereafter, I will get something we call ROTI,
10:48
Return On Time Invested.
10:52
Automation is to your time
10:55
exactly what compounding interest is to your money.
11:02
Just like compounding interest takes money and it makes money into more money,
11:07
automation takes time, and it makes it into more time.
11:12
The way that wealthy people think about money
11:14
is exactly the same way that Multipliers think about time,
11:18
and they give themselves the permission to invest,
11:20
invest the time and energy to automate the process.
11:25
If it can’t be automated, then the question is:
11:27
“Can it be delegated? Can I teach someone else how to do this?”
11:31
I’m reminded of a time, when I was 7 years old, and I’ll never forget,
11:37
I was in the car with my Mom, and I hit her with this question, I said:
11:41
“Mom, do I have a Dad?”
11:47
And as you might imagine, that was a pretty difficult question
11:50
for a single mother, to navigate with her 7-year-old.
11:56
It was the first time that my mom told me her life story.
11:59
She was pregnant at 17, divorced a couple of years later.
12:03
Pregnant again at 22, and then she was divorced
12:06
from my biological father 6 months after I was born.
12:10
So there she was, 22 years old, single mom, no high school education,
12:14
and she explained to me:
12:16
“Rory, I decided at that point that I would never have a man in my life,
12:19
because I haven’t had good luck with men, and we may not have a lot,
12:23
and we may not have a dad, but we’re going to have love.”
12:27
We went back and forth, and I said:
12:29
“You know Mom, I love our family, I really do, I love our family,
12:32
but I think it would be really cool to have a Dad.”
12:38
And so she said:
12:39
“Well, I’ll tell you what honey, if you want a Dad,
12:42
then why don’t you go out, and find yourself a good Dad.”
12:48
What kind of crap is that?
12:50
(Laughter)
12:53
It just so happened that that was my first day at a new Shaolin Kung Fu center.
12:56
I had been studying martial arts since I was 5.
12:59
So they put me in this all-adult school, to be a little more advanced.
13:02
Another gentleman who walked in, it was his first day, also.
13:05
This guy was much older than me.
13:06
He had long hair, and tattoos all up and down his arm,
13:09
and a leather jacket, and he came in on a motorcycle,
13:12
and this guy was about the scariest dude you can imagine, if you’re 7 years old,
13:16
and he gets paired up as my sparring partner.
13:19
(Laughter)
13:21
His name was Kevin. He turned out to be pretty nice.
13:24
We advanced through the belt levels together,
13:26
and so Kevin started bringing me home from class, every once in a while.
13:29
Soon Kevin came over on the weekends, and we would practice our forms.
13:34
Then we caught a movie, and then before long,
13:37
Mom came with us to the movies.
13:39
So it was the 3 of us going to movies together,
13:41
and I’ll never forget the first time the 2 of them went to a movie
13:44
without me.
13:46
(Laughter)
13:50
As it turns out,
13:51
Kevin and I tested for our black belts together on the same day
13:54
when I was 10 years old.
13:56
They got married 2 weeks later.
13:59
A couple of years after that Kevin adopted me,
14:01
and I change my last name, from Rory MacLachlan, to Rory Vaden,
14:04
and they have been married for 20 years, ever since.
14:08
(Applause)
14:14
And the point of that story is that you can delegate anything.
14:19
(Laughter)
14:23
But if you ask the average person:
14:25
“Are there things you could be delegating to somebody else?”
14:28
We would say: “Yes.” Then you say:
14:30
“Why don’t you train someone else to do it?”
14:32
What most of us would say:
14:33
“Well, because they just can’t do it as well as I can.”
14:37
And that may be true once, maybe twice,
14:40
but it is only true absent the significance calculation.
14:44
If you think longer term, you realize
14:46
they’ll be able to master the task, just like you were.
14:50
Significance changes everything.
14:53
It’s how you multiply your time.
14:56
It’s giving yourself the permission of imperfect, for a little while.
14:59
Because over time, they’ll be able to figure it out.
15:02
If you can’t eliminate, automate, or delegate a task,
15:04
that task drops out the bottom of the funnel,
15:07
at that point, there’s only one question,
15:09
and that question is: Should I do this task now?
15:11
Must it be done now, or can it wait until later?
15:15
If the task must be done now, then that’s what we call “concentrate”.
15:19
It’s the permission to protect. Alright, the permission to protect.
15:23
It’s all about focus, and eliminating distractions.
15:26
And honestly, there’s nothing all that exciting, or new there.
15:30
However, if you ask the question: “Can this wait until later?”,
15:34
and you decide that the answer is yes,
15:36
then that’s not eliminate, automate or delegate,
15:38
that is what we call “procrastinate on purpose”.
15:44
Now, you’re not going to procrastinate on it forever,
15:46
you’re going to pop that activity back to the top of the funnel,
15:50
at which point, it will enter into a holding pattern
15:53
where it will cycle through the focus funnel,
15:55
until inevitably, one day, eventually one of the other 4 strategies
16:00
will be executed on whenever that task is.
16:03
And what you find, is that if something can continually wait,
16:06
often what happens is you develop the courage
16:08
to do what you should have done in the first place,
16:11
which was eliminate it.
16:12
Or you discover a system for how to automate it.
16:14
Or someone rises up to the call of leadership.
16:17
They rise up to the occasion, and it ends up being delegated.
16:22
Or it ends up becoming something that is significant enough
16:24
for you to spend your time on.
16:28
A lot people say:
16:30
“Well Rory, wait a minute, in the “Take the stairs” book you said:
16:33
‘Procrastination is the killer of all success.’
16:35
‘Procrastination is the most expensive, invisible cost in business.’
16:39
‘Procrastination is the foundation of all mediocrity.’
16:42
and now you’re telling us to procrastinate on purpose?”
16:45
And yes, that is what I said, and it’s exactly true how I said it.
16:48
But there’s a major distinction to realize and that is
16:50
there’s a difference in waiting to do something
16:54
that we know we should be doing that we don’t feel like doing,
16:57
versus waiting to do something
16:59
because we’re deciding that now is not the right time.
17:02
Waiting to do something we know we should do, but don’t feel like doing,
17:05
that’s procrastination, the killer of success.
17:08
Waiting to do something, because we’re deciding that now is not the right time,
17:12
that isn’t procrastination, that isn’t the killer success, that’s a virtue,
17:16
and it’s an art form that the world really needs, which is patience.
17:20
The patience to put off the insignificant things.
17:22
Like checking email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
17:27
You multiply your time, by giving yourself the emotional permission
17:30
to spend time on things today, that create more time tomorrow.
17:33
Regardless of your religious affiliation,
17:36
or your spiritual beliefs, hopefully you’ll have an appreciation for the way
17:40
that scripture says the world was created.
17:42
And in Genesis, God has created this perfect world,
17:45
and it says something amazing that we’re created in His image,
17:49
and then in Genesis, chapter 1, verse 28, he gives the first command
17:52
to all of humanity, and what is that command?
17:55
“Thou shall have no other gods before me?” No.
17:58
Is it, “Love thy neighbor as thyself?” No.
18:02
God’s first command to all of humanity,
18:05
“Be fruitful, and multiply.”
18:10
Thank you very much.

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