The McDonald’s Productivity System
You spend most of the day switching back and forth between strategy and get stuff done mode.
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This constant multitasking wears you down. It’s decision fatigue. Instead, dedicate a block of time to being in strategy mode so that you can spend the rest of the time in go mode, checking tasks off your to-do list.
The goal is to plan as much of your busy tasks as possible in advance, in such minute detail that you don’t have to think while you’re doing the work.
I call this the “McDonald’s System” because, no matter what you might think of their food, they are very good at building a process, then turning it over to their workers to produce a consistent product.
This is how you can accomplish 3 years’ worth of work in one year — without burning out or losing sleep:
Spend One Day a Week Intensely Planning Out Your Next 5-10 days In the beginning, this may take the majority of your day. But that’s okay because the more detail you put into planning at first, the less time you’ll waste during the week. You’ll get faster at this as you keep doing it. In time, you’ll plan the next 10 days on a Sunday afternoon or evening
Include No More Than 5 Major Projects or Goals For example, a project might be: “Fix down-sell video” or “Install upsells”
Break Those Goals Into Sub-Projects So “Fix down-sell video” might include “Write script” and “Finish recording video”.
Go Into “McDonald’s Level” Detail on Those Sub-Projects You want to make it so simple that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. So “Finish recording video” might include the following steps: convert to PPT, record audio, edit in Camtasia, upload to S3, etc.
Assign Each Task a Time Frame Take into account how hard the project is, and decide if it will take a full day, half-day, or quarter day. You want to determine how much you can realistically accomplish in a day. I recommend being conservative in your estimates
Print It Out And put it on your desk. This is your roadmap. Now you don’t have to think about your plan for the next week or two
With this detailed plan, you don’t have to think about what your next step is. You’ll eliminate decision fatigue, increase your energy, and get loads more done.
Plus, when you go into the weekend with everything done, you feel good and you’re motivated going into the next week.