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Leverage, Stop Solving Problems, Power

Leverage, Stop Solving Problems, Power
By Tom Littler - Notion & myKanban • Issue #34 • View online
Welcome to the 210 new productivity people who’ve joined since last Sunday. We’re now a smart & curious group of 2128!
This week I’ve quietly launched a new Notion system to help you make better decisions. Check it out here

This week I published an article on the mythical topic of ‘leverage’
In the article, I go through a bit of background about what leverage is, the definition I use is: ‘Doing work that takes up a relatively small amount of effort, compared to the rewards your receive from that effort’. We then dive into different ways we can gain leverage.
The problem with a lot of highly leveraged pursuits is that they either require a lot of cash, a lot of skill, or a large team.
That’s why I spent most of the article suggesting ways that anyone can get started improving their leverage, I’ll share a couple of my summarised ideas:
  • Start delegating low leverage tasks. Perhaps there are elements of your job that could be outsourced. I was taking 4–5 hours to edit a YouTube video, a cost of £400-£500. I’m not particularly good at editing nor do I particularly enjoy it. I now outsource it for £10 per video. That’s an ROI of 40x. One caveat to this is my golden rule of outsourcing. Don’t outsource work you have no clue how to do yourself. With most skills (of course, there are exceptions) you can learn the basics and do a semi-decent job with a few weeks of focused learning.
  • Automate, automate, automate. Do you know the best thing about computers? They are fucking cheap, and they are fucking fast. You would be a fool in this day and age to not be using computers to automate as much of your workload as possible. With only a bit of skill, you can learn to automate tasks on excel using VBA, you can create automated workflows using Zapier. With no skill, you can utilise no-code tools such as Calendly to schedule meetings. Dedicating 5% of your time each week to identifying and automating processes in your life will free up so much of your time in the long run. It’s an incredibly practical thing that anyone can get started with right away.
Stop solving problems, start stopping problems arising
How often at work do we praise the problem solver. The hero who jumps to action to put out fires.
In this Farnhman street article on developing an ‘inner captaincy’ it’s argued that we greatly over reward the problem solvers, and greatly under reward those who stop problems from ever occurring in the first place.
This backward incentive has meant we live in a culture that doesn’t put anywhere near enough emphasis on preparation, robust systems and proactive activity.
One way we can overcome this is through the idea of development an ‘inner sense of captaincy’. The idea of having an inner sense of captaincy means understanding the overarching goals of your work and being willing to make decisions that support them, even if something isn’t strictly your job or you might not get rewarded for it, or sometimes even if you don’t have permission.
This Week on Youtube
The 5 Notion Principles You Need
The 5 Notion Principles You Need
What I'm Reading
“If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.”
I re-read this book a lot. It’s great to dip in and out of. While I wouldn’t dream of basing my life around the principles Greene outlines there is a lot of wisdom to be found in here about how powerful people manipulate situations to their advantage.
Ant’s been hard at work this week putting some polishing touches on our latest prototype!
If you got some use out of today’s issue, spread the word by sharing this link with a mate! Keep the subs rolling…
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Tom Littler - Notion & myKanban

Hey, I'm Tom, a product manager and startup founder living in London.

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