Michael Hyatt on Beyond the To-Do List

On Beyond the To-Do list, episode 53, Erik Fisher talks to Michael Hyatt about goal setting.  Hyatt is promoting his course, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.  Here are a few features of the episode

When Hyatt and Fisher are talking about successes and failures, Hyatt mentions that he doesn’t see anything as a failure (9:50).   Each time he doesn’t succeed, he at least learns something about the process and if his gains aren’t in book sales or dollar amounts, they’re in the knowledge about what to do next time. This aligns with the three year view and Dan Andrews 1000 Day Rule.


At 12:30 Hyatt says that sometimes we take care of what is urgent rather than what is important.  In Manage Your Day-To-Day Dan Ariely suggests that this is when we start to tackle our email because it feels urgent and productive.  What we need instead are performance markers for our big projects.  Instead of clearing out three emails, what are three boxes to mark as done on a big project.  In the book Ariely writes that there is  a cost to checking email, “Every time you’re doing something, you’re not doing something else.  Email is easy to compared to the project that takes 50 hours.”  We do a poor job of having this list of things to do and a good job of having our email inboxes at the ready.

Ariely has one solution, “It would probably be best if managers went to the IT department and asked that email not be distributed between eight and eleven every morning.”  If memory serves, Michael Hyatt does some version of this where he takes care of his spiritual and physical needs first thing in the morning before he even thinks about tacking email.

Founder of many companies, Penelope Trunk knows this.  She writes, “Each of us is only as effective as the questions we ask. So understanding the process of asking good questions is essential to our success.”  She understands that Ariely is saying we should focus on the big things, but she’s taking it one step further and asking how we identify what the big things are.  From her same post:

Netflix doesn’t track vacation time because they don’t care about vacation. They track results because they care about results. So they have a hard-core performance standard but no vacation policy .  The term for this type of thinking is key performance indicators , or KPIs. It’s a trendy way to zero-in on what you care about; my investors always ask me about KPIs. At Quistic , I measure sales, because at my last company, Brazen Careerist , I measured traffic and realized that it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if people don’t buy stuff.

In Manage, Ariely calls these performance markers and while he doesn’t lay them out like Trunk does, he connects to our mental need to do things, “How do we make ourselves feel like we’re making progress?”

I don’t know about Hyatt’s Best Year Ever course but if you want to get started get out of email and find a few markers.

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