Three Tools to Help You Do Less & Accomplish More

 Graphic: Jody Lentz

Graphic: Jody Lentz


Who doesn’t want that, right!?

Around the turn of the millennium, I met Bill Jensen, a researcher and author, and got switched on to his Simplicity Survival Handbook, a companion volume to his first book Simplicity. Since then, I have led dozens of workshops for clients using some of Bill’s key concepts (and can do one for your team too - hit us up!) that help you cut through the clutter and compete on clarity.

What are we competing for? Attention.

One of the primary things to understand is that time is our most precious, non-renewable resource: once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. There are 1440 minutes in every day, and we need to invest each of our minutes more carefully than our money.

Once you embrace that reality, you need tools to help you invest wisely. Bill’s Handbook is chock-full of ideas - some quite challenging - but here are three you can put to work today and stop throwing away so much time in crappy meetings, phone calls, and presentations...

Know - Feel - Do
Before your next meeting, phone call or presentation, ask three questions:

  • What do I want my audience/team/client to Know when we are done?
  • How do I want them to Feel?
  • What do I want them to Do?

Answer each of those questions with one sentence, and write it down. It will focus your mind and message, and make your interaction more effective and efficient - key metrics when you are on a mission to do less and accomplish more.

Sometimes, you can “Know/Feel/Do” in 2 minutes; in higher-stakes situations, it might take an hour. It’s a moment where you have to “go slow before you can go fast.”

Behavioral Communication
The anatomy of decisions follows a well-worn path - align your communications with this flow, and help folks decide quickly how they can commit to your request:

  • How is this relevant to what I do?
  • What - specifically - should I do?
  • What do success and failure look like?
  • What tools & support are available?
  • Answer “What’s in it for me?”

On the other side of the equation, make sure you get these questions answered before you commit!

CLEAR Communication
…and this is how you align your message (with a sample email):

  • Connect to their workload - “Hey Holly, I know you are covered up with Project Tango…"
  • List the action steps - “We need some analytics from last month’s campaign by the end of the week…"
  • Expectations of our success/failure - “it will help us launch the next phase with clarity and momentum…” OR “we’re really stuck until we get that in place."
  • Ability to achieve success - “Adam from my team and Deanna in marketing will support you with whatever you need"
  • Return to him/her with results - “Your report helped us crush it!"

*Sharp-eyed readers will note that the five steps of CLEAR Communication map nicely to the five questions in Behavioral Communication...

Think about and design your next phone call, meeting, and presentation using these tools, and you will find that you have clarity and can win the battle for attention because your communication is thoughtful and effective. Now go — to do less and accomplish more!

If you need a hand, hit us up!


Jody Lentz is a lifelong facilitator with a passion to create high-performance, low-drama work environments. His focus on supporting organizations to create and maintain better teams, better meetings and better decisions touches strategy, culture, leadership and innovation. Also, he worked for LEGO and lost on Jeopardy!