Personal Leverage: How to Truly 10x Your Productivity - Nat Eliason - Deepstash
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We all have the same amount of time

Some use their time to accomplish an impossible amount of work, while others waste their time repeating the same few tasks, perhaps gaining 10% improvements each year.

Even if you believe you're in the first camp of making heroic progress, if you're focused on finding the right productivity app, you're in the second.

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Increasing your productivity through personal leverage

Financial leverage involves using other people's money to improve everyone's returns. The very rich had the confidence to take on some leverage to increase their upside if they succeeded.

We all have access to another form of leverage which can be the difference between increasing your salary by 10% per year and doubling it every year. It's called Personal Leverage and is a measure of your ability to extend your productivity beyond yourself.

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Two ways to increase your personal leverage

  1. Decrease the amount of time something takes you. You can get 10% more productive.
  2. Pay a machine or person for their time. You can get 10x more productive.

The best way to extend our work beyond ourselves and take advantage of personal leverage is to go through the Personal Leverage Loop: define, refine, automate, and delegate.

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Define exactly what goes into your daily process

It's easy to fall into the habit of doing something repeatedly without clarifying what the steps are. Explaining how to do things ensures tasks are done properly, and that no one has to spend time constantly re-teaching how to do something. Once the system is defined, it's possible to start automating and delegating it.

Before you consider automating or delegating a system you've defined, go through each step and see if it can be removed, combined with another step, or if you can create some new step that removes a handful of others.

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Automation and delegation

  • Look at each individual step of your refined process and ask if a machine could do this. But be careful not to skip straight to the automation step without defining and refining the system first. Skipping to automation might create unnecessary complexity.
  • Once you have defined, refined, and automated the system to the greatest extent, you can delegate it. Invest in someone who can take the system you started, implement it as you designed it, then continue to improve and refine it. If someone was doing this work instead of you so you could focus on other things, would you eventually be able to afford them? Taking a step back financially often gives you the ability to take two steps forward. If someone else could do the work at least 80% as well as you, delegate it.

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"Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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