If you’ve been following me and the Productivity Academy, you know that I’ve spent many years optimizing communications and processes to find the most effective way to run my business, create and lead teams — and help others develop their own techniques too.
I continue to have an eye out for new strategies that will save me and my team time and headaches. That’s how I came across Clockwork, a book where Mike Michalowicz the author focuses on finding the true core of your business and focusing to produce results – and the techniques you can employ to get there.
Keep reading to find my honest opinion on Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz as well as a short summary of its strategies and how you can start applying them to your business today.
Is Clockwork Worth It?
Absolutely! Clockwork gets my enthusiastic thumbs up. It’s easy to read and its concepts are intuitive enough to allow you to go through it quickly and start making changes as soon as you put the book down. The whole point of the book is to give you actionable advice.
It is a genuine and well-crafted tool designed to help you achieve your business goals quickly. Moreover, Miachalowicz is gifted with great storytelling abilities so no need to worry about feeling bored as if you were reading a dishwasher manual.
What Is Clockwork About?
The whole idea behind Clockwork is that the sooner you identify the core of your business, the earlier you can streamline it to focus on your main purpose.
Once you single out what McCaul describes as your “queen bee role”, you can then protect and serve it and make sure that most of your business time revolves around it. You should then be able to remove yourself from the main processes and focus on moving forward.
How much should you remove yourself and delegate? Clockwork suggests that by the end of your productivity optimization process, you should be able to take a 4-week holiday without it affecting your business.
In order to identify your queen bee role, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What is the one thing that we do?
- How can we build everything around that?
The 4 D’s of Time Management
You already know that productivity and good time management go hand in hand. Analyzing company time is the first essential step towards spending it more efficiently. But it can be trickier than it seems.
That’s why Miachalowicz divided all business tasks into 4 simple categories:
- Doing. This is exactly what it sounds like — doing what your business actually does, whether that’s creating a product or providing a service. In short, doing is providing value to the end customer. Your company’s time should mostly be spent on doing.
- Deciding. Whether you’re making important business decisions or answering all the questions your new VA may have, deciding is an essential part of your work.
- Delegating. Delegating may be taking up more of your time than you thought. It’s not simply telling someone to take care of a certain project: it’s also giving them the necessary information, tools, and processes, and setting timelines up.
- Designing. Many business owners will find that they are not focusing on this last one often enough. When was the last time you sat down and thought about the big picture? Where is your organization going and how can you help it get there? What are your short and long-term goals?
You are the only one who can say how much time you and your team should spend on each D. However, to give you an example, a good balance would be 80% doing, 10% deciding 4-8% of designing and then delegating.
Last Thoughts on Clockwork
Time tracking can cause confusion when it becomes too granular. Having a plethora of tasks to keep track of may even result in further time waste. That is why I love the 4 Ds theory: everyone can be on top of the 4 Ds and know exactly how much time they are spending on each. No confusing tags, no complicated tracking tools.
Looking at your 4 D ratio and focusing on your queen bee role will force you to always keep your core values and targets close and focus most of your company’s energy on them. And this simplicity is what makes Clockwork an essential productivity reading.
I recently combined the 4 D’s time tracking with my Timeular device – it’s a great combination and one that I recommend checking out!