What We Can Learn from Frank Viola
If there’s one important resource in our life it’s time: Makes sense, there’s only a finite amount so we have to make best of it.
Say you got a full time job that easily goes over 40 hrs/wk, a profitable side business, and hobbies that could also be profitable. Not to mention if you got a spouse and kids, it’s easy to say I’m too busy.
You have to be on the hunt for more effective ways to maximize that important time to get the results you need. One of the most inspiring authors I’ve come across is Frank Viola. Everything he does is quality material constantly.
In just 8 years Viola has written 25 full featured book. (half are traditionally published while the other half self published) Not including over 900 blog posts and 125 podcast episodes that gain traction from millions. He really makes me feel small.
Over the course of these 8 years, he hasn’t worked with other freelancers, ghostwriters, and editorial staffers in his success. I have a lot of respect for this guy if you can’t tell.
The average productivity rate in America is declining every few percentage points every year since the early 2000’s. In this world, this guy knows something about productivity.
I’ve studied what Viola does and how you can apply them in to your life so that you too can be like him as he’s just an ordinary guy that has the right mindset and may be the better choices he made in his life.
1. Conduct an activity audit.
We all should be doing a financial audit of knowing where every one of your dollars are going every year, but are you doing the same about where you’re spending your time on? Viola does this religiously.
“It’s important for people to track what they’re doing every 15 to 30 minutes for an entire week. Just by writing it all down. It’s seems tedious but it allows you to visualize where your day is actually going and how you can improve it.” said Viola.
In order to know what are the bad, you first need to know where you stand in your every day life.
“It’s freeing to remove all the different activities and pursuits in my life that seemed helpful, but actually weren’t aligned with my goal. This exercise has truly lead me to be more productive,” he said.
2. Practice “tight but loose” prioritization.
This is something that was most innovating and biggest reason how this all came about. Even with all the other productive models.
While Viola sets up his tasks the night before, that’s the only common step and then takes a different direction.
He creates a “Twist life balance” that is essentially a combination of 5–10 personal and business tasks together. This creates a unity of energy.
While not every task as the same level of importance — he still accomplishes the urgent ones first to push the procrastination away. This is a ‘tight but loose’ solution as he goes through his list. This is to prevent a time tasking but motivation instead.
And while the tasks vary in importance — -he tackles urgent issues first to help stem human tendencies to procrastinate — -Viola takes a ‘tight but loose’ approach when accomplishing all other listed activities, which means he doesn’t constrain tasks by time but rather by his motivation.
“I’ll create those large projects into manageable activity blocks that aren’t factored on time at all. I’ll continue doing it until I don’t feel like it anymore, then I’ll move to something else on my list. This is to apply the best ability to every task rather than just getting them done. I believe that over rigid schedules kills creativity and productivity”, he said.
3. See your projects as art — literally.
In the event of losing productivity, A person can waste a lot of time searching for the important information it takes.
One of the key areas of lost productivity occurs when individuals waste time searching for important information or files.
Really, a lot of people search for information like files every day which be up to an hour or so. That’s potentially 4 hours a week spent just on poor file management. This is work that doesn’t contribute to anything.
To have all the files Viola needs, he hangs them on a wall — just like an office artwork that showcases his working projects.
“I hang the designed file organizers which allows me to visually lock on the important documents I have at a glance. This allows me to instantly find any file with in a moment. This allows the productivity to flow better without missing a beat”, he said.
Viola also relies on technology to make the most of it. He’s big user of Dragon Dictation that allows you to talk and it automatcally transcribes into words. That’s at a rate that’s around 2–3 times faster than he can type. This allows him to go into more detail than he previously could do to the extra speed boost.
“Every one of my tactics might not seem much when alone, but when taken together they create a productive system that’s hard to fail.” he said.
There you have it, Viola is an interesting guy that we can all learn from.