We’ve covered a lot of ground over these past emails as I’ve tried to show you how mastery of learning, thinking, communicating, and leading all prime you to fulfill your true potential in whatever.
Realization is the act of making something real. This, my friends, is where the rubber meets the road. A commitment to mastering the ability to execute your vision and realize your vision is the final component in your ascension to the level of superhuman.
Realization and leadership are the two superhero abilities that turn your dreams and vision into tangible actions and outcomes.
When you have mastered this, along with the other 4 superhuman abilities, there is virtually nothing that can stop you!
Today, we’re going to go over some of the factors that can improve your ability to get things accomplished. But first…
The problem many people face is that they get stuck in the learning and thinking phases. While I’m a major proponent of strategy and planning, it is the implementation of strategy where the money is made. No matter how much you have learned, or how deeply you have thought about something, nothing moves forward until you take action.
Unfortunately, many people jump right into the action without preparing themselves properly.
This is why communicating and leading are abilities you must master as well. It can be difficult or downright impossible to fulfill your potential if you cannot communicate effectively, or inspire others to align with you in service of your vision.
How To Accomplish More
Assuming you’ve been honing your other superhuman abilities, your first step in realizing your vision is establishing to build a system for how you will implement your strategy. The basic requirements of this system are the following:
- the various steps or tactics that need to be accomplished
- the date by which they will be completed
- the person or team responsible for it
It’s important to have all of this information in some sort of formalized system. This can include documents, spreadsheets, software, paper, or even whiteboards. Whatever system you choose, it’s important to understand that without a project management system in place there’s no way to analyze or optimize your progress accurately as nothing measurable has been established.
Just so there’s no confusion here, “trying to remember everything in your head ” is not a system.
Many people get caught up in what tool they should use for project management when instead, they should be focused on what methodology they should use instead. Nearly every software or analog tool can be adapted to a particular methodology but it’s important to know that no tool can make up for a lack of strategy and process.
There are many popular project management methodologies; far too many to cover in this email and this is not intended to be a substitute for a comprehensive project management education…for that, I’d recommend something like the Project Management Institute. For the purposes of this email, I am going to suggest some of the tools and systems I have found most useful for managing projects and tasks.
G.T.D. (Getting Things Done) is the time management and work-life management methodology designed by David Allen. As there was an entire book written about the GTD methodology, I’m only going to highlight the two parts that I have found most useful.
“The Inbox”: The inbox is the part of your system where everything goes. Every thought, action, idea, task, project, etc should go into the inbox. This can be set up in any system or tool that you use. The idea behind this is that by having a single place for all incoming information, you do not need to track down rogue and isolated ideas on random scraps of paper or digital notes. You always know where to put everything, and if you follow the rest of the methodology, you never lose anything. NOTE: This only works well when you follow through to the next (logical) step.
Context: Once you collect everything in a single place you process it. This means doing two things. First, add context. This includes due dates, assignments, task descriptions, and other meta-data that helps to clarify the purpose and intent of the data. The second is the movement out of the inbox. This takes one of three forms:
- Do it / Immediately Take Action
- Move it into a plan
- Archive or Delete it
This methodology provides two very important benefits when you stick to the workflow.
- You never lose anything in this workflow. Everything all flows through the inbox and either gets done, planned, or ignored.
- You gain immense mental clarity, focus, and calmness by removing all of the clutter from your mind and putting it into a single trusted system.
Kanban (which means signboard or billboard in Japanese) conjures images of Post-it notes arranged in crudely drawn columns on whiteboards, Trello boards, and stand up scrum meetings in a room of web developers. I don’t want to talk about all of that. In fact, you don’t even need to know what Kanban is to benefit from the part of it that we’re going to cover. The only aspect of Kanban that I want to talk about is one of its central features…the one almost everyone forgets about: Limiting W.I.P (Work In Progress).
For all of the people using boards in Trello, Asana, and elsewhere, few use it for anything other than its visual style. But the real magic of Kanban is that it forces prioritization. Interestingly, it has been suggested that the word priority used to only exist in the singular form. As the word priority is based on the word prior, meaning taking precedence (as in importance), the plural form was not used since, until recently, there was no word to suggest that you could have multiple things as the highest importance. That said, priorities is now a word, and it is not uncommon to now see lists of 10-15 tasks that are all priorities.
If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.
Kanban is one of the methodologies that seek to rectify this assault on our ability to make choices about what is truly important. The basic Kanban setup that I use includes just three columns (as the creators originally intended), and moving items from left to right. The three columns I use are: Next, Now, Done. You can change the wording to Backlog, In Progress, Complete…or whatever else you choose.
The important part is to determine how many items can go into the Now column. I tend to use either 3 or 5. I then focus exclusively on getting those 3-5 tasks done. Once an item has been moved from Now → Done, I move the top item from Next → Now. I manage my priorities by keeping my top priorities at the top of each column, and ordering to the less important tasks as I go down the column.
That’s the big lesson here: Prioritize.
“The Rule of Threes”
One of the best lessons I learned from my business coach was the rule of threes. He didn’t invent it, but he sure as hell beat it into me and I’m forever grateful.
The rule of threes is a simple mind mapping technique. Mind Mapping is an especially useful practice if you ever find yourself in the mental state that I describe as SPINNING. When I feel as though I have a million ideas running around in my mind and I can’t even get them out into my inbox quickly enough, I mind map. The Rule of Three’s is a specific subset of mind mapping used when trying to determine your priorities or identify the important steps in a process. Here’s how it works…
Take out a blank sheet of paper and draw a circle on the left side. Write down the central problem you’re working on. Now, draw three lines coming out of the right-side circle. Put one toward the top, one in the middle, and one toward the bottom. Write the three most important steps or criteria, one next to each line. Next, draw three lines coming out of each of those steps and write down the three most important steps to accomplish in order to realize the first three steps. You can do this one additional time and then you must stop.
You will have either 9 or 27 individual steps, depending on whether you went two levels or three levels out. You should now be able to clearly see what steps you need to take to accomplish your task. If you’ve got 27 steps, pull out the top 5 priorities and get to work.
I even made you a downloadable and printable one.
This is just the start
As with each of the other 4 superhuman abilities, this email is just the start of your journey to becoming superhuman. Believe me when I tell you that these 5 abilities are the foundational elements for leading an extraordinary life. As you grow in each of these areas, you become more capable to accomplish whatever you choose to set your mind to. These powers can be used for good or for evil, which is why I’ve been calling these Superhuman Abilities instead of Superhero Abilities.
I trust that the reason you joined the Superhero Institute is because you want to make a positive impact in the world. I want to help you do that.
Now that you’ve gone through all of the 5 Superhuman abilities, I need to share with you the Superhero Code of Ethics, or X-Factors, which allows you to walk the path of the hero. These values are the ones that separate the heroes from the villains.
Thanks for reading so far. There’s plenty more to come.
P.S. I’ve now shown you the path to unlimited growth. You are limited now only by your commitment to action.
- So, tell me, are you up for the challenge?
- Do you plan to work on these 5 superhuman abilities?
- What is the change you want to make in the world?
Ready For The Next Lesson?
:: How To Go From Superhuman To Superhero ::