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Stop Prioritizing and Start Automating

June 30, 2017 in People & Culture
Maximize your productivity through automation, not prioritization.

It’s amazing to me how enamored working professionals and communities at large are with to-do lists. There always seems to be a new app claiming to have solved society’s productivity dilemma with better ways to prioritize tasks. I think that as a society we’re generally more busy than any other community in history, and yet we still feel unproductive.

I think we’ve been approaching this whole productivity thing wrong. I don’t think it’s about prioritizing tasks to get done, but rather not having to do the tasks in the first place. That’s how you become the most productive – by eliminating the manual effort required to complete a task.

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The 5 Minute Rule

June 21, 2017 in Management
How to respond well to difficult situations and prevent escalation in others.

We are met each day with pre-existing contexts, emotions, and desires. As we encounter the politics of business, our kid’s unyielding pursuit of independence during a tantrum, or the untimely blockade to our day’s goal, our response often includes these aforementioned elements. It’s these elements that add nuance and can cause our obstacles and trials to seem more difficult or challenging than they might otherwise be.

Knowing this, how do we effectively approach and respond well to challenging situations?

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Run Daily Experiments

September 8, 2016 in People & Culture

Don’t settle for the status quo. Experiment with daily interactions and tasks.

Create a hypothesis on how to reach a more successful or efficient outcome, design an experiment around that, and learn.

Stop doing the same things and expecting different results. If you want to improve quality, gain efficiency, or simply have success in a given area then you have to work on it.

If you’re struggling to setup meetings, test different approaches. If you’re overwhelmed with tasks, try allotting blocks of time to specific categories of tasks to help you focus.

Experiment, learn, repeat.

Pick one area or task in your life to experiment with and let me know what you learn @grgortiz.

Simon Sinek on Work

July 29, 2016 in Management

Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress: Working hard for something we love is called passion. ― Simon Sinek


June 7, 2016 in People & Culture

I’ve seen a lot of content around Snapchat about documenting the day. I decided to give it a try and see what I ended up with.

Today was one of those days jammed with meetings. I love having conversations about product, growth, and strategy so I actually enjoy meetings where that takes place. I think about it a lot like engineering, only more relationally than architecturally. I know a lot of engineers who like to stay away from it all. I love it.

Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of coding time on days like today, so that means late nights or restructuring my time over the next few days to catch up. We have a small engineering team relative to our scale, which is intentional, but means staying focused and on schedule is key.

I also didn’t get a lot of family time in today, which is actually pretty rare. I’m really grateful that I get to spend about 99% of evenings at home, hanging with Leo and Becky Jo. This time is precious.

I’m not sure if I will document another day, but I will say that it’s been interesting to have a visual playback of my day to reflect on. Here’s a few key takeaways from today:

1. Don’t waste time. I don’t like to waste time. I think a lot of people waste time. If you want to get somewhere in your life, achieve something, or improve your life in some way you have to put in the hours. There’s no shortcuts, just hard work on the right things. Make sure everything you do maps to your ultimate goal. Have a goal.

2. Understand the cost. I didn’t get a lot family time in today, that was a cost. I did however invest in relationships at work, team strategy, and career. I’m willing to invest here because I understand the long game. Everything has a cost to it, make sure you understand the economics of your life.

3. Perceptions matter. For good or for bad, that’s the way the world works. Be aware of your influence and perception to others. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Use your influence to build others up and reach your goals. It matters.

4. Be grateful for those who support and lift you up. Who’s your champion? I’ve learned to cherish those around me who encourage and support me through life. Whether it’s a great team, friends, or family – surround yourself with a support structure. It also helps to have an amazing partner in it all, which Becky Jo is amazing. So thankful to God for blessing me with a wonderful wife and family.

Excited for tomorrow.

Looking into the Shadows

March 25, 2016 in Management
How to drive creativity and solve problems by looking into the shadows.

There is something great about teaching. The opportunity to engage someone else’s thoughts and understanding in a way that expands their view of the world. The funny thing about teaching is that it’s often limited to what you know. It’s very difficult to teach that which you do not know and therefore, how can anyone learn about things which have not been previously understood?

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