Learn the specific steps involved in turning your big business ideas into duplicable business systems that can be executed by your current and future team members. This training includes notable quotables from Harvard Business professor, Clayton Christensen and Harvard Medical School professor, Atul Gawande.Sign Up to Watch
-Put it on your phone, tattoo it to your face, write checklist. Put it here. C-L checklist. You have to make a checklist. Do it.
-All right, Clay. Welcome back. We are here in the Thrive15.com studio at the headquarters in beautiful Tulsa, Oklahoma. Great weather today, actually.
-And it's pretty phenomenal. Yeah, you got to check it out outside.
-I haven't been outside this year.
-OK, you haven't been outside this year. Now, we're pretty excited to be with you guys today. We are actually answering a mailbag from a Thriver. Thriver up in Washington, OK. So we have a Thriver, his name is Fayez. OK. And he had a question about breaking down pass into systems, and so we have a mailbag episode here where we're actually going to provide some super-detailed answers.
-And real quick, just for Thrivers. Just so you guys know this. We even invested in this multimillion dollar studio, state-of-the-art facility, so that we can answer mailbag questions from people like you fast, quickly, all the time. So if you have any questions at all, just click that ask the mentor button. And we have thousands, I mean literally thousands, of mailbag trainings and kind of en route to you, so get ready. I'm ready.
-All right. So this Thriver, OK, he's asking about getting organized and breaking down tasks into systems, and so I'm going to read his question that he sent in to us.
-"I run a distribution business out of the Northwest catering to gas stations and convenience stores. My organization is horrible, especially when it comes to reorders, delegating tasks, and making tasks more organized and simplified to save time." OK, so this guy runs a distribution company for convenience stores, OK. Primarily mom and pop shops. And so let's help this guy out, Clay. I mean, you've worked with a number of different businesses in a variety of different industries, and one of your kind of like, super moves, one of your special sauces, if you will, I know is creating those workflow systems and checklists. So where would you suggest this guy beginning to begin start breaking down these tasks into systems?
-OK. Well first, and the name is Fayez, is that right?
-All right. Fayez, I'm talking to you there my friend. The first thing you're going to want to do, is you need to have one to-do list. One. So I brought this as an example to show you. This is my to-do list and-- if we can kind of zoom in on it here-- this is my to-do list. This is one to-do list. So everything that needs to be done, you need to put it all into one central location.
-Are you talking about work and your personal life? Is it a different one or is it all the same or what?
-That's great. Yeah, It's work and personal life. So on my to-do list here-- just as an example here for you-- my son's birthday party is on here. So my son's birthday. So we're planning my son's birthday today, and that's on my to-do list.
There's one to-do list. Any time you have something that needs to be done, you need to put on one to-do list. I highly recommend using a Google Doc. And Fayez, if you'd like a downloadable template of what this looks like, we'll be happy to send you one, but you need one master to-do list. You put everything in there, OK?
That's step one. Step two is you need to have one master calendar. You can't have a bunch of calendars. So Fayez, if you've got two different calendars and two different to-do lists and you're writing some stuff on like a Post-it note and some stuff, you know, you're typing in, you need to have it all on one to-do list in one calendar.
Now the third thing is that you're going to need to make sure that when you delegate an item, that you put on the to-do list the person's name and all the items that that person needs to get done. OK. So step one is have one to do list. Step two is have one calendar. Step three is for each person on your list, each person-- so if I work for you, if Marshall works for you and I work for you, you need to put Marshall's name and Clay's name-- my name-- and then you would put all the items that we need to do underneath our name on the to do list.
Step four is you need to schedule a daily follow-up time with all of your direct reports. A daily follow-up time with all of your people. And that is going to help you bring-- kind of restore order to the universe. Very, very important. And the final step, final step here, is you're going to want to schedule a weekly meeting with all your direct reports, so you can hold them accountable and keep the morale high.
So let's kind of review again. Step one, we have one to-do list. Step two, you want to go ahead and have one master calendar. Step three, any time you delegate an item to somebody, you want to have their name and then all the items they need to get done. A very linear, line item, broken down, very specific detail basis. Step four is you want to have a daily follow-up time. And step five is you want to have a weekly scheduled time to meet with your team to keep morale high and to follow up on expectations, communications, new policies, et cetera.
-So even before we begin building these checklists and systems, you have to be organized in order to execute those systems and checklists. You have to have the time to be able to follow up.
-Yeah. Your meta time. You need to block off time where you get up every day and you basically are ordaining your destiny. You're not being reactive for the day. With had Thriver I talked to their day who said, hey, I've been doing what you've been saying.
I've been getting up early. I have a very full schedule with my kids and I take them to school and I work and my wife works. But just that extra hour a day that I get up early and I choose to ordain my schedule and block out.
Respond to all my emails and block out my calendar and organize my day, organize my to do list. It's absolutely change this person's life. But specifically for me, and everyone's different, if you look here. I don't know if we can shows this on the camera here, but mine today.
At 4:15 is when I woke up today. 3:43 was yesterday. 2:44 the day before. 3:30 the day before that. 3:09 the day before that. 3 o'clock the day before that. 3:45 am. 318 the day before that. 4:10 the day before that. 4:54 the day before that. 3:09.
What does that mean? I try to sleep five to six hours, and then I get up at whatever time I need to to get my meta time. I've got to block out. For my job, it's a high thinking, high-strategy and involves between different business ventures.
I have to block out a lot of time to think. And you're going to have to block off enough time to think. So I'm not sure how complex your life is, but you probably need at least an hour or two every day just to take all those to do list items and put them on the master to do list. And delegate them to the people, I mean, just every day.
-So before you get into delegating to other people for the things that you need to begin to scale. So delegating those tasks. First you have to become a responsible executor of your own tasks.
-Yeah and I would say this. I'm not going to disagree with you, but I'm going to a kind of challenge the thinking here. Faez, you're currently, you own a business. So, if you're not disciplined, or you are disciplined, I don't know.
But whether you are or not, you are in the water right now, bud. John Rockefeller says that the best way to teach someone to manage is to throw them in the water. See if they can swim. And if they can swim, they've learned to swim.
I know that doesn't feel comfortable, but that's probably where you're at right now. I mean, somehow, you've done something right, because you run a distribution business out of the northwest. Catering to gas stations. You run a company, so you've done something right.
But the problem is now is that a penalty of ambition is you have to be super organized. So your point. I wouldn't say first you have to be organized, I would just say, get organized right now.
It has to happen and we'll be happy to record some very, very detailed trainings to show you some screenshots of how I do that. I want you to put that down real quick, Marshall. I want to make sure we do that.
We'll do a training next week where we're going to actually show you on screen, screen capture, how I go through my emails. It'll be fun. You can see how I take those items, and how I delegate them. And I think it would be really healthy for you.
-OK, so I had an opportunity to speak with Faez as a little bit before the training here. I spoke with him a couple days ago. And what he was telling me is that where he's that is he needs a organized way to plan his to do list.
He needs an organized way to go through his emails, his calendar, everything. But how does he systematize what he's doing on a regular basis. How does he begin to build that checklist for the routine things that he's doing.
-You need to have a checklist for all the actionable items that you need to do. And then it takes the thinking out of it. You don't have to worry about forgetting the small things, you can focus on the big thing.
So it might seem crazy, but Thrivers, I have a to do list for things that have to get done. So I'll just give you an example of some things that have to get done. Every month. I have to make our strategic search engine optimization plan for the companies that I own or am involved in.
And I'm not exaggerating. That will literally take me about 12 hours. 12 to 13 hours a month. And how do I know that? Because I'll usually start at 3 am and I'll usually be done at like 5:00 PM. And so if you had my job tomorrow, and you're like, I want to be the consultant guy and I want to work with all these dentists and doctors.
Well, be careful what you're wishing for, because I literally have to go through the granular process. I have a checklist for it. But step one is I run the SEMrush report. It's a company, SEMrush. I run the report. Before SEMrush, I used SEOmoz, that's a great company too. Moz.com.
I run the report, I find the problems. Step two, I assign the problems to be fixed. Step three, and I just go check by check. So you have to break down these issues you have into the most specific, detailed-- I mean we're talking like very detailed.
So I'll go through my to do list, the kind of stuff I put on my checklist. But it's like call this person. Find my computer at the office. I have idea or where my laptop is. Collect check from this person. Call this person.
Now if they're things that happened over and over and over, look here. Look at this. Can we look at this real quick? At the top. Spence, can you kind of zoom in on this maybe? Can we kind of cut to this. Kind of zoom in. See if we can do this really quick here.
I actually have my address on my to do list. Why? Because I don't remember it. I have a home address that I don't remember my address. I have business addresses for the different companies. I don't know what they are.
People are like, where's your office in Coppell? I don't know. Where's your house? I know how to get there, but I don't know what my addresses is. I honestly don't know a lot of things. I don't know birthdays, I don't know holidays.
I don't really care about this kind of things. But I have to do lists that remind me of these things. That's how I do it.
-We have these things, these checklists, that really are meant and designed to assist us in the routine, you know, regular things that we do on a consistent basis, OK?
-And, what would you say is the main benefit of using a checklist in a business? You know.
-You can't do it without it. If you don't have a checklist, you're gonna fail. I mean, the guys who are building, like, nuclear submarines, you know, recently the United States announced that they've built the newest, they have the newest addition to the Naval fleet. And they're excited about all these systems and all these wonderful things that this new vessel can do for the US Navy.
And that's great, but, like, somebody had to have a blueprint, man. I mean, people aren't going from memory. It's a blueprint. It's a system. It's a step-by-step, this is how much concrete goes here. This is how much steel goes here. Why? Because they're building a nuclear vessel. I mean, it's a nuclear-powered, you know, sea-going vessel. I mean, you can't go off of memory.
And so, for some reason, like, we have people that they just feel like even though it's a complex world, and some of the trainings we have coming up here on how to optimize a website. I am not exaggerating, it's like a 27-part system. One part of it's, like, a 63-part system. There's no way you're going to remember.
So the only way to do it is to have a checklist. We got to get past that whole idea that checklists are too, they're too dumb for us. You know, we're so intelligent, we don't need a checklist.
And so, I'm going to read you a quote here. This is a notable quotable from our good man, Atul Gawande. He wrote a book called, "The Checklist Manifesto", which, it just, blows my mind. And why am I reading this checklist? Why am I reading this quote? Why am I not just trying to memorize it?
Because that's stupid! Memorizing, spending my whole day trying to memorize stuff, is just stupid. I mean, that's what school has always been for me. We went to school. Do you remember school?
- I do remember school.
-I remember at school, and they were like, what we're going to do is, we're going to memorize the periodic table. And we're going to memorize all the abbreviations for something. So like, californium, magnesium, aluminum. I remembered all that stuff. Then we're going to memorize the capitals of every state.
It just clutters my mind. I can't remember any of that crap now. I mean, I don't remember, I think when we go to, what was it, Maryland? What's the capital, is Annapolis the capital of Maryland? Is that right?
I mean who cares? But the point is, I knew that crap at one point, right? I know, Des Moines. I used to say, "des moon ace". They're like, no, it's not, "des moon ace", it's Des Moines. Well, who cares? But that's the kind of stuff you don't want to clutter your mind with. Quit trying to memorize stuff. I'm going to read you this quote that I'm reading, and I'm not memorizing. Here we go.
"We don't like checklists. They can be painstaking. They're not much fun. But I don't think the issue here is mere laziness. There's something deeper, more visceral, going on when people walk away not only from saving lives, but from making money. It somehow feels beneath us to use a checklist. An embarrassment. I don't need a checklist. It runs counter to deeply held beliefs about how the truly great among us, those we aspire to be, handle situations of high stakes and complexity. The truly great are daring. They're impressive. They improvise. They do not have protocols and checklists. Maybe our idea of heroism needs updating." -Atul Gawande.
Well the thing is, just 'cuz you're smart, doesn't mean you have to memorize stuff. In fact, I would say the smartest people memorize the least amount of stuff. They use checklists. Use a checklist, man. Use a checklist.
-OK. So to support the use of a checklist and the need of it, I pulled this mystic statistic here for us, OK? It's--
-Can we queue up our music for this, because we've been working. People say, at Thrive, what do you guys do when you're not recording and talking to us and helping us? What do you do. And I mean, are you guys just hanging out at a local watering hole? You know, talking about Tom Brady?
Yes. But in addition to that, we're trying to make everything better. So we have some incredible sound clips ready. Marshall, go ahead and queue it. I'm excited.
-So, so just give you some background, Atul Gawande, he's a physician.
-OK, he works in hospitals. And so he wrote this book about the implementation of checklists into hospitals and everything. And so he, "The Huffington Post", actually published this statistic from his book, "The Checklist Manifesto". [SOUND EFFECTS] So we have-- [SOUND EFFECTS]
-I would like to read it if I can.
-Go for it.
-Here we go.
-Oh, that's so--
-"When the state of Michigan began using a checklist for central lines in its intensive care units, its infection rate plummeted 66% in just three months. Soon its ICUs we're outperforming 90% of all hospitals nationwide." Let me try it one more time. "When the state of", what state? Michigan, "began," Michigan, hi, I'm from Michigan, I'm a MIT, "began using a checklist for central lines in intensive care units, its infection rate plummeted", by what? "66%." Now, short of it being 666%, that's like an end times number there. That's huge! "66% in just three months. Soon it's ICUs we're outperforming 90%".
I'm banging on the, I shouldn't do it. The guys in the sound booth are saying, don't bang on the desk it makes it weird. But I'm doing it. 90% of all the hospitals nationwide. (EXCITED) That's huge! By using a checklist! Use a checklist! Use a checklist! We need to use a checklist!
Look at the rally monkey. Look at him, he's saying, (MONKEY VOICE) use a checklist, everybody, use a checklist.
It's kind of weird how when he talks, my mouth moves. But, (MONKEY VOICE) use a checklist, everybody. Use a checklist.
It's kind of weird how that connection we have. But I'm telling you, you got to use a checklist. Get out your Wookie notebook and write it in there.
-(SILLY VOICE) Henceforth, I will now use a checklist.
I mean, use the checklist. Put a checklist in your coffee cup and drink a checklist. Write it in your book. Put it in your phone. Tattoo it to your face. Write checklist. Put here, CL checklist. You have to make a checklist. Do it.
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