I recently wrote about decision fatigue and how it can get in the way of our progress.
One of the hacks that I’ve been working with is the idea of identifying what Dan Sullivan calls Multipliers; that is, specific activities or projects that will move you towards multiplying your effectiveness.
Every quarter I identify five “multipliers” that will help me get one step closer to my 25 year vision. 25 years because it creates a filter for me to focus only on the activities that will have enduring value – a radical concept in the west where we live by quarterly earnings reports.
Although this 25 year mindset may seem radical here in the West, in Japan it is embedded in their culture. I discovered this while studying international business in Tokyo during my University days. Toyota is a perfect example of this mindset where they demonstrate the long game through their relentless pursuit of continuous improvement coined “Lean Manufacturing”. More evidence of this mindset can be seen simply by looking at the top 10 list of oldest companies.
In my own personal pursuit of multipliers, I’ve recently become aware of the power of what I would call “mini-multipliers”, more commonly referred to as automation. Computer engineers have been aware of the powers of automation for years. But until recently, people like myself who are inept when it comes to coding have been on the outside.
Enter tools like Zapier, Workflow and IFTTT that are changing all that. The following is a list of the top mini-multiplier/automation tools that I am currently using to help multiply my effectiveness.
Zapier is like a magic genie that integrates with a massive list of applications allowing for near infinite possibilities.
- Send my teams weekly, quarterly and monthly e-mail reminders for a variety of projects and reporting requirements
- Automatically add e-mails that I star to a to-do list in Trello (my to-do application)
- E-mail shipping instructions to our shipper/receiver automatically when a 3d printed part has been marked ready for shipping
Similar to Zapier, Workflow is a mobile application that can be programmed to perform numerous chains of events with the push of a button
- Send my wife flowers with the push of a button (I’m not joking). When I push a button it sends an e-mail with specific instructions which I’ve created an email template for
- Order a pizza. On those Fridays when we decide to treat ourselves, I’ve programmed a button that sends a request for our two favorite pizzas to the restaurant in our neighborhood. I push the button on my phone and 15-20 minutes later they are ready for pick-up
Are you impatient with Excell or require some quick artwork at a bargain? Fiverr is an awesome resource connecting you directly with the crowd. I often get spreadsheets cleaned up and formatted, illustrations, whiteboard videos etc. for a fraction of the price that a local design house would charge.
Is an app that organizes a feed of all the numbers that I want to track in one place. I can track:
- The price of Crude Oil (which is up to $38.75 today!)
- A countdown of the number of days until my daughter’s birth
- # of days until the next SpaceX launch
- Temperature in Edmonton
- Charge level of my Tesla
- # of likes on Facebook business pages
- Current Net Promoter scores for our business
This is my lifeline for all documents in my life. Picture a digital filing cabinet that you don’t need to organize. Evernote is powerful, and can read PDF’s and handwriting. I simply scan in all of my documents and files, and Evernote makes them a breeze to find through intelligent searches at any time from anywhere.
Have a list of mini-multipliers that are helping you elevate your game? Send me any of your suggestions or recommendations.