A Slacker’s Secret To Productivity

Listen to this episode

Today, we’re talking about how one crazy guy goofed off all-day-long and still won a productivity award from his company.

What you’re going to learn:

  • How Bob (a programmer) was able to goof off all day long on social media and still get his work done on time every day
  • Why you should stop doing all the tasks that you don’t enjoy (and how to do this without getting fired)
  • How to make more time in your day for the things you love

Key Quotes:

” I always think I’m the smartest guy in the room, the best guy for every task.”

“You need to ask yourself not how can I do it, not how can I get it done, just how can it get done.”

Read Full Transcript

You want the answers to extreme productivity? I'm Kevin Kruse and I've got those answers from people like Grant Cardone, John Lee Dumas, Mark Cuban, Kevin Harrington, James Altucher, Lewis Howes, Chris Tucker, Rory Vaden and about 250 other great entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes, even straight A students and others. In the last episode I talked about using the Pareto Principle to erase 80% of your workload. Today, we're talking about how one crazy guy goofed off all-day-long and still won a productivity award from his company. First, I hope you'll hop on over to Amazon.com after this show, check out my new book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management. I interviewed over 200 people who gave me their answers, I boiled it down into 15 secrets. Hopefully you'll notice that there's over 200 great reviews on that book on Amazon, many of whom have said the book has been life-changing.

Let's dive in to this episode. In January of 2013, several news outlets reported on the remarkable story of Bob, now, they didn't give his last name, they just called him Bob. Bob with his programming speed and high quality code, his company named him best coder in the building and he got excellent performance reviews. He was a model employee. Bob was in his mid-40s, nothing wrong with that I remind you, and Bob clocked in at 9:00 sharp each morning, sent his boss a daily summary of his productivity before he left every day right at 5:00. Again, he won best coder in the building. If we'd been secretly looking over Bob's shoulder all day to see what he was doing, we would have seen something a little weird.

On Bob's average day, he would read Reddit and watch You Tube videos from about 9:00 o'clock when he got in, to about 11:30, and then he would head out to lunch, yup, kind of an early lunch. He would be gone for about 90 minutes, long lunch, back at 1:00 o'clock when he would promptly spend the next three-and-a-half hours surfing eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites. At 4:30, he'd start working on that productivity report, send it to his boss, and he'd go home without writing a single line of code. The next day he'd do the same thing, the day after that he would do the same thing. How could he be a star programmer and goof off day after day? Turns out Bob was very smart.

Instead of asking how can I do this, he asked how can this get done. This is important, write this down, etch it into your brain. He looked at his workload at the software that he was supposed to produce and instead of saying, how can I do it, he said, how can it get done. The answer in Bob's case was he outsourced his task, actually his entire job, to a software company in China. Bob's company was giving him $200,000 a year to do this work. He found out that he can hire a programmer in China for $50,000 a year to do all the work for him leaving him $150,000 a year of net profit for doing nothing.

For the longest time, Bob's company thought he was the star employee, he was so productive, all the while he just surfed the internet eight hours a day. Eventually Bob's company noticed some unusual server activity from China. They thought they were being hacked, and so when they investigated it, they stumbled upon Bob's brilliant scheme. They were not amused, Bob was fired.

Now listen, I think that was their biggest mistake. If I had been the CEO, I would have doubled Bob's salary and made him the Chief Technology Officer then he could have outsourced all of the development work to China and save the company millions of dollars, but they didn't, they fired him. So listen, we all have the same amount of time in a day. Hopefully you know it by now, 1,440 minutes in a day, 1,440, and we just can't make more time or buy more time, or perhaps we can. Bob figured out how to do it.

Here's another example. I interviewed for the book Shane and Jocelyn Sams. They have a high six-figure business selling digital products, their business, their website, is called flippedlifestyle.com and they help other families "flip their lives with online businesses." They insist you can buy time, you can make time by buying it. They told me, their advice, "Leverage every dime you have to outsource and buy other people's time." That's the key, organize your 168 hours, then buy hours from others to grow.

Now, Andrea Waltz is another person I interviewed. She's a best-selling author, her book is called Go For No! She put it this way, nothing will slow you down, take you off track, or keep you unproductive more than doing things which you both, do not like to do, and, are not good at. Anything that falls in that category must be outsourced to someone else. Ideally to someone who both likes it and has confidence as soon as possible. The extent to which you continue on those types of tasks is what will hold you back from truly loving what you're doing and being fulfilled.

One more example. Many of you probably know Jay Baer. He's the founder of Convince and Convert, big content marketer, keynote speaker, bestselling author of Youtility. He shares his system that he says has paid off tremendously. Every year, he creates a block a time in his schedule to audit his time, what is he spending his time on, and he looks for a way to delegate at least 15% of what he is doing. Now, in early 2015, I conducted some original research for the book, over 4,000 working professionals. The data was clear, people who are actively looking for things to delegate report higher levels of productivity, happiness, and energy. They're less likely to feel overworked and overwhelmed.

How can you apply it? What can you outsource or delegate, maybe it's a "Oh I don't have a team to delegate anything to, I don't have any money to hire a company in China." You might be over-thinking this, I mean, first of all, look at your to-do list. Instead of automatically saying, how am I going to do this thing, when am I going to do this thing, ask, how can this get done? Are you the only person that can do it? Think about what should be on your stop-doing list, what do you not like to do? What are you not very good at? Make a plan for getting someone else to do that work.

I know this can be hard. I'm am entrepreneur, I like to be in control, I always think I'm the smartest guy in the room, the best guy for every task, I'm pretty fast at most things. You know what, a lot of times all this stuff is true, but I've forced myself over and over again to look at what I'm working on and if it's not in my unique skillset and passion-set, I force myself to stop doing it. Even though my business is small, I was spending too much time and just hating myself paying bills, writing checks, and sending out invoices. I hired a VA, someone else to pay my bills and keep my books on a weekly basis, that was an easy one.

I could do a little bit of WordPress work and post my own articles and all the rest, I stopped that. I got professional web-designers, digital marketers who loved doing that stuff. I hired someone to help me with my marketing. I hired a VA just recently to help process more of the article postings and do research for my work. Even if it does take someone else longer to do it, even if I am a little bit better maybe than they could do it, if it's not in my core area, I need to get someone else working on that task. You need to ask yourself not how can I do it, not how can I get it done, just how can it get done.

All right, that's today's episode about the slacker who took us to school when it comes to outsourcing and delegation. Before we go, I want to make sure that you've got your ready to print beautiful sign with the number 1440 that we can print it up, stick it on your office door, tape it to the bottom of your computer monitor, stick it on the back of your MacBook Air, hang it around your dog's neck, whatever you want to do to remind yourself that we all only have 1,440 minutes in the day. Life is short and we have to be mindful of our time.

To get this wonderful sign, just text the word "achieve" to 44222 or fire up your web-browser, go to productivity-podcast.com. Next week, your mind will be blown because I'm going to give you the three questions that will save you on average eight hours a week. That is such a ridiculous claim, I mean, that's impossible, "Three questions that can save me eight hours a week?" I didn't believe it myself, but the study, the experiment, was published in Harvard Business Review, I call this the three Harvard questions. Make sure that you are subscribed on iTunes or Stitcher. Make sure that you are on my email list because you don't want to forget to check out this next episode, "Three questions that will save you eight hours a week." Until then, remember, master your minutes to master your life.