Less Doing Live with Ari Meisel: Day 1 Notes

Last updated: August 12, 2020

Today I attended the Less Doing Live 2018 workshop in Miami, Florida. This was hosted at an incredible full-floor studio with great views of Miami Beach.

Workbooks and handouts for the Less Doing Live workshop and conference 2018 Miami

Random Notes

  • The most powerful human emotion is awe. It is also the hardest to achieve.
  • Talking about mandalas and willingness to walk away from things in life.
  • Ari is not a big long-term goal setter. Having long goals gets people locked in.
  • “Any goal that is longer than 90 days is a vision.”
  • “If you want to know what it’s like to have five kids: Imagine you’re drowning, and then someone hands you a child.”
  • Seek to be replaceable.
  • Ari is constantly looking for how to reduce errors in his processes.
  • Setting thresholds is important (ex: Archive any emails older than 2 weeks).
  • A lot of times marriages end in divorce because the spouse of the entrepreneur does not have the same risk tolerance, and it is scary as hell. Remember to consider the risk tolerance of your partner.
Beach and nice clouds
View from my hotel on Miami Beach this morning
  • “A stitch in time saves nine.” Quote like “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
  • We get a cognitive and dopamine hit from getting things done.
  • “I’m passionate about things, but I give myself a 15-minute limit.”
  • “Why do entrepreneurs have to put out so many fires? Because we’re arsonists.” Dan Sullivan
  • “You need to be in the mindset that when you delegate, you are DONE.”
  • Peak Time: We downloaded the app “Human Performance” on iPhone ($.99) to help measure our CNS speeds and determine our peak times. Several times throughout the day, we tested ourselves and will continue testing to find our peak time.
  • Caffeine does not help you focus. It gives you more energy but not focus.
  • Hack: You can extend the effects of caffeine by drinking grapefruit juice
  • “The most powerful thing in the world is an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo
  • Ari doesn’t want people to be more than 20 seconds away from getting an idea out of their head. Make it as easy as possible to get something captured: Post It notes, screenshots, voice dictation, Amazon Echo, etc. “Be obsessive about it” because you need to have idea flow.
  • Many people in this workshop (like myself) are using iPads for note taking, more than laptops.
  • “You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you tolerate.” Tony Robbins (read my Tony Robbins workshop notes here)

OAO = Optimize, Automate, Outsource

The biggest problem with outsourcing is that people try to do it first. It sets an unrealistic expectation on the person outsourced to because the task isn’t optimized or ready for delegation.

So we always have to start with optimization. This is where Ari Meisel and his team at Less Doing spend most of their time.

Ari Meisel workshop pages for Less Doing conference
Introduction page to the Less Doing Live 2018 in Miami workbook

How do we know what to Automate?

Many people come to Less Doing with a solution before they have a problem. For example, a common question is:

What’s the best CRM?

The Less Doing team is quick to ask, What do you need a CRM for? Mostly their clients say they want one for better follow-up or because everyone in their industry has a CRM. So the Less Doing team will instead suggest some more lightweight tools to help with follow-up instead of a large CRM.

Inbox Zero

Email Reality

  • Email is YOUR tool – you control it.
  • Email is an ASYNCHRONOUS communication tool. It is NOT for emergencies.
  • There is no right or wrong time to check your email. Do what you need to do to keep from being the bottleneck.
  • Checking email is one task. Taking care of the tasks contained in those emails is another task.
  • The number of times a day you sign in isn’t hindering your productivity.

Your email problem isn’t an email problem: it’s a decision-making problem

The quote above really resonated with me! Wow. We have not evolved biologically to catch up with technological advances during the past 40 years.

Apartments and condominiums in Miami Beach Florida
View from the workshop balcony looking out at Miami Beach condos

Separate The Essential From The Optional

  1. Limit yourself to two folders – Inbox and Optional
  2. Consolidate all your emails into those folders
  3. Create a filter to sort all of the non-essential into your optional folder
  4. Archive anything over two weeks old

Step 1: Separate Internal From the External

  • Internal: with your team
  • External: from the outside world / transactional

In Ari’s team, internally they use: Voxxer, Slack. Email becomes a conduit for external (outside of his business).

“Email is usually for people I don’t know.” Ari

Step 2: Separate Urgent From Non-Urgent

If it’s not urgent, it doesn’t need to be discussed RIGHT NOW.

For situations that aren’t urgent, you should deal with them as a time that works best for you. You should allow your team to do the same.

Remember: What’s urgent to one person isn’t necessarily important to another.

  • Set guidelines
  • Allow people space to solve their own problems when necessary

ACTIVITY: Think about your own Urgent / Non-Urgent items. Have you ever written them down? What’s Urgent in your life? Write them down.

Nick Gray at the Less Doing workshop with Ari Meisel in Miami
Me with our Less Doing workbook, facing a nice sunset on Miami Beach

3 (or 5) D’s

  • Deal with it
    – Delegate, or
    – Do it
  • Defer
  • Delete

The 6 Levels of Delegation

  1. Do as I say
  2. Look into this
  3. Give me your advice, and I’ll decide
  4. Explore, Decide, and Check with me
  5. Explore and Decide within these limits
  6. Take care of it for me

Why Delegation Is Critical

Entrepreneurs need to avoid becoming a bottleneck within your business.

Delegation Myths

  • “Nobody can do this as well as I can!”
  • “I can get it done faster.”
  • “What if it doesn’t get done right?”
  • Unsaid: “I’m stubborn and have trust issues…”
  • Unsaid: “I’m a control freak and a micromanager…”

Ari says: “The above myths, and especially the last two, are where a lot of my consulting time goes. These issues run deep for some people and are major blockers in their ability to successfully delegate. I have seen businesses fail because of the founder’s inability to remove themselves as a bottleneck.”

The Truth About Delegation

  • Someone out there can do it better.
  • Maybe you can get it done faster, but when can you get to it?
  • There will be mistakes along the way, but the more you delegate the better you’ll get at it.
  • If you don’t learn to delegate, your business will never grow.

Delegation Tools of The Trade

  • Magic: VAs on demand, by the minute
  • Priority VAs: highly trained virtual assistants
  • Automation Agency: unlimited marketing automation, ClickFunnels
  • Growth Geeks: social media
  • Design Pickle: graphic design

Misc Tools

  • Monkey Learn: a system to help create artificial intelligence routines
  • Sleep: The Power of When Quiz: figure out your chronotype
  • Magic: Personal assistants on demand, pricing by the minute (also Priority VA, event sponsors!)
  • IFTTT: Does a LOT for connecting apps with other apps. They use it for TONS of stuff, but one easy one they taught us today was for screenshot handling. Ari uses a recipe to email him a digest of all his phone screenshots every day at 8pm. We all set this up on our phones as an activity.
  • Voxer: Voice chat app. They use this a lot for internal communications
  • Intercom: “I think every business should use Intercom.” Customer communication tool that aggregates many channels

Summary / Conclusion

Bulletproof Tetra packs and energy bars
Snacks from Bulletproof Coffee, one of the conference / workshop sponsors

It is now the end of the first day. As I type this, we are all hanging out in the space, having cocktails and watching the sun set.

I am inspired to continue to optimize my systems and processes to be a better communicator. Currently, I’m struggling to keep up with my email, even with a dedicated virtual assistant (Thank you, Jamie!).

Sitting in a workshop with Ari reminded me about simple tools, like how the Inbox for Gmail app can snooze messages to a specific geo-location. I’m excited to try these things and learn even more tomorrow. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s notes!

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