The focus funnel is our attempt to create a visual depiction that codifies the thought process that Multipliers go through in their head unconsciously when they are evaluating how to spend their time.
It’s why some people create extraordinary, explosive, exponential results. And other people seem to kind of just create linear traction.
It works like this.
If your tasks all come into the top of the funnel, the first question a Multiplier asks is, “Can I eliminate this? Is it even worth doing?”
Multipliers realize that next generation time management has much more to do with what you don’t do than what you do.
Because anything that we say no to today creates more time for us tomorrow.
The challenge emotionally is that we struggle with guilt. And we struggle with wanting to say no, but really feeling like we have to say yes. And we go through life trying to never say no.
And in one of the interviews I conducted with a Multiplier, they said something that changed my life.
They said, “Rory, it’s futile to go through life trying to never say no. What you have to realize is that you are always saying no to something. Because anytime you say yes to one thing, you are simultaneously saying no to an infinite number of others.”
If you can’t eliminate the task, the next question is can I automate the task?
AUTOMATE, DELEGATE, AND CONCENTRATE
Anything that I create a process for today saves me time tomorrow.
It’s like setting up online bill pay. I never have two hours in my day to set up online bill pay. And if I had two hours in my day, I would never use it to set up online bill pay.
But a Multiplier realizes that if I save 30 minutes a month from paying my bills by setting up online bill, then it makes sense to invest those two hours.
Because then after just four months’ time, I will have broken even on that investment.
And every month thereafter, I will get something we call our ROTI- return on time invested.
Invested automation is to your time exactly what compounding interest is to your money.
Just like compounding interest takes money and it makes money into more money, automation takes time and it makes it into more time.
The way that wealthy people think about money is exactly the same way that Multipliers think about time.
And they give themselves the permission to invest. Invest the time and energy to automate the process.
If it can’t be automated, then the next question to ask is can it be delegated? Can I teach someone else how to do this?
You can delegate anything.
But if you ask the average person if there are things that could be delegated to somebody else, they will say yes.
Then why don’t you train someone else to do it?
Because most of us would say it is because they just can’t do it as well as I can. And that may be true once, maybe twice.
But if you think longer term, you realize they’ll be able to master the task.
It’s how you multiply your time.
It’s giving yourself the permission of imperfection for a little while because over time, they’ll be able to figure it out.
Now, if you can eliminate, automate, or delegate a task, that task drops out the bottom of the funnel.
And at that point, there’s only one remaining question.
And that question is, “Should I do this task now? Must it be done now? Or can it wait until later?”
If the task must be done now, then that’s what we call concentrate. It’s the permission to protect. It’s all about focus and eliminating distractions.
And honestly, there’s nothing new or exciting here. However, if you ask the question of can this wait until later?
And you decide that the answer is yes. It’s what we call procrastinate on purpose.
Now you’re not going to procrastinate on it forever.
You’re going to pop that activity back to the top of the funnel.
At which point it will enter into a holding pattern where it will cycle through the focus funnel.
And what you find is that if something can continually wait often what happens is you eventually develop the courage to do what you should have done in the first place, which was to eliminate it.
Or you discover a system for how to automate it.
Or someone rises up to the call of leadership. They rise up to the occasion and it ends up being delegated.
Or it ends up becoming something that is significant enough for you to spend your time on.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
A lot of people say, “Well, Rory, wait a minute! In your book, Take the Stairs, you said procrastination was the killer of all success.
You said procrastination was the most expensive invisible cost in business today.
You said procrastination is the foundation of all mediocrity.
And now you’re telling us to procrastinate on purpose?”
Yes, that is what I said but there’s a major distinction to realize.
There’s a difference in procrastination.
There’s a difference in waiting to do something that we know we should be doing, that we don’t feel like doing versus waiting to do something.
Because we’re deciding that now is not the right time.
Waiting to do something that we know we should do, but we don’t feel like doing- that’s procrastination. That’s the killer of all success.
But waiting to do something because we’re deciding intentionally that now is not the right time isn’t procrastination. It isn’t the killer of success.
It’s a virtue and an art form that the world really needs which is patience.
The patience to put off the insignificant things like checking email 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You multiply your time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spend time on things today that create more time tomorrow.
And regardless of your religious affiliation or your spiritual beliefs, hopefully you will have an appreciation for the way that Scripture says the world was created.
In Genesis, God has created this perfect world and it says something amazing. That we are created in his image.
In Genesis 1:28, He gives the first command to all of humanity. And what is that command?
You shall have no other gods before me? No. Is it love thy neighbor as thyself? No.
God’s first command to all of humanity.
Be fruitful and multiply.
Are you a Multiplier? Let me know in the comments below.