The Science of Success

Being Busy vs. Creating Results - What Are You Doing? with Jake Knapp

May 10, 2018
In this episode we discuss what happens when you mistake being busy with creating results, we take a hard look at time management and examine concrete strategies for carving out more time, we look at the dangerous power of “defaults” in shaping our behavior and how we can use them to our advantage, and examine how to have a healthy relationship with our inbox with our guest Jake Knapp. 
Jake is the New York Times bestselling author of Sprint. He spent ten years at Google and Google Ventures, where he created the Design Sprint process and ran it over 150 times with companies like Nest, Slack, 23andMe, and Flatiron Health. Previously, Jake helped build products like Gmail, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Encarta, and his work has been featured in Tech Crunch, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and more.
  • Jake’s own battle and journey with time, time management, and figuring out how to make the most of his time, effort, and energy to create more results 
  • Lessons from a “time dork” who has spent time in the trenches thinking about how to best spend your time
  • We spend a lot of our time in the world of “defaults” - with our technology platforms
  • The “busy bandwagon” - the cultural norm of wanting to be and appear that you’re busy
  • Deleting instagram, facebook, twitter and more from his phone helped Jake be more present 
  • What happens when you mistake being busy with creating results
  • If you're caught up in the minutiae of life - what can you do to step back and get clarity on priorities and what’s really important in your life?
  • There’s no secret solution for everyone - it’s about trying strategies to see what works for you - and constantly engaging in contemplative analysis of what’s important 
  • A “burner list” strategy you can use to organize your todo list 
  • We’re not super human and we don’t want to be - many of us wouldn’t be happy with the life of Elon Musk
  • Every time the todo-list gets, full, stale, etc - reconsider what’s number one - and just focus on that 
  • Think about the space between a TASK and a GOAL - clear 60-90 minutes to really dive in and create results on your most important item on your ToDo list
  • You don’t need to be busier to create the results you want - its about taking control of what you’re doing
  • “Someday” goals can become realities if you prioritize correctly and break them into executable chunks 
  • If you’re not taking steps toward your goals, they effectively don’t exist
  • The importance of creating a meaningful connection to your goals - to create motivation in the near term
  • You have the ability to “recover time” in your day by spending less time in a reactive state
  • As one of the early pioneers of email, spending his time help building gmail app and much more - Jake has some strong insights into how we can have a healthy relationship with our inboxes 
  • Defaults are tremendously powerful in shaping our behavior - think about what defaults you have in your technology life - and how you may be able to tweak them to be create more of the results that you want 
  • The difficulty of saying no - and how we can do a better job of it
  • How to say no like a sour-patch kid
  • Get out saying yes/no to commitments in person, defer and come back later when you’ve had time to think about it
  • Saying yes to something is a great way to kill your own priorities. They are like barnacles on the hull of your ship
  • Trying to construct situations where a team can make really good decisions using the Design Sprint process 
  • Lessons from constructing environments to help people make better decisions
  • The design sprint process and how it helps teams work together and make great decisions
    • Making sure that you’re considering opinionated / conflicting solutions to, and creating an environment where it’s healthy to have disagreement 
    • Anonymous disagreement on paper
  • Homework - Lightning Decision Jam 
  • Homework - What is your distraction kryptonite?