Productivity Academy Live Q&A December 6th, 2017


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Alright. It says that we are live, so I’m going to get started here. If you’re just joining me for a live Q and A and you’ve never seen this before, first of all, thank you. I’m glad that you’re watching.

Second of all, today we’re going to be talking about automating CRMs and how to do some work around. Say you get a new customer or you get a new lead and then you want to take that and put it into project management. Maybe you’re onboarding a client. And then, how can you take that and maybe add that into, like tie it into and API to bunch of different services. So maybe they get a postcard. And then something else happens. They’re onboarding experience is wonderful. But this can apply to a lot of situations. So going to go into that real quick.

And then also going to talk a little bit about how you can be productive. Get your agenda for the day accomplished much more quickly. And then talking about getting out of a rut, right? Somebody had a question about, instead of exercising, I watch YouTube. Instead of gaining skills for better jobs, I waste my time. You know, what should I focus on? How do I get past that? Got some good stuff today.

And also I just wanted to say, if you’re watching this on YouTube, you can click the subscribe button. If you’re watching this on Facebook, give me a like or a comment. On either YouTube or Facebook, let me know what you’re thinking. Do you have questions about any of this? And anything you would like to see as far as the Q&A. And then happy to answer questions and incorporate that into future episodes.

So, let’s get started. The first question had to do with the CRM and automating that. So I’m going to switch over here to a different screen. There we go. I’ll shrink my face down a little bit here. Okay cool.

So, right now what we’re looking at is Zapier. The question originally was, “How do you get a system that cohesively works together between client service accounts, like a CRM? Then trigger a task in a project management system that is then triggered, or triggers, custom-built task apps that are triggering other API’s?” So if you really want a smooth system that flows with actual custom triggers, always looking for something that will work. So, obviously this is custom. But the idea remains the same right?

So like I said in the introduction, I think you’ve got something where somebody is being onboarded. Or you’ve got a client lead and you need something to happen. First of all you need it to go in your project management, whatever that is. So, let’s say we’re using Trello or Dapulse or D-A pulse. I still can’t figure it out. But you’ve got them in there because maybe you’ve got a board set up in Trello where, okay once you get a new lead, these three things need to happen. Okay. And then from there, triggering custom-built task apps. So maybe then you’ve got something that goes out and sends an email to a designer to start on some task. You know, it could be whatever.

So, immediately this made me think of Zapier. So, just for simplicity, I’m just going to choose some ones that I have already set up here. And we’ll go through this. So I clicked on make a Zap. I don’t have a CRM in the traditional sense hooked up. I have something that we can use though. SamCart’s order processing.

So we can say okay, there’s a new order. I don’t have … in the wrong account. Sorry about that. But we could have, let’s say SamCart. A new order. I have something for sale on SamCart and when it comes through I want to set up an action. Is it going to let me do this? So, okay I would want to connect Trello. So this is where you could go ahead and select your board. You could create a new board. There’s a lot of stuff you could do in here. You could even have Zapier create a new … duplicate a board and then use that board.

So not going to go into the details here, because a lot of this just needs to be the bigger picture. And then whatever you’re doing, you’re going to have to have to implement the details. But let’s just say that we … now I’m not going to find it. I’m going to create a list. Okay, and again, not going to go into here. Got my account hooked up in here. You would pick the board, name it, get that set up. And then you could start adding in these custom ones. So this is interesting. You can either use code, filter web hooks, one of these custom ones.

So I’m looking at the question again. “Project management system that is further triggered by custom-built task apps.” So, this is probably going to be where you would use either a web hook or an email. So if you’re not sure what these are, you can go to … just Google “Zapier and web hook,” and go through here and see what you can do with these. Again, I’m not going to go into this, but basically. There we go. Go through here. I think that this is the best way to explain it. The easiest way, I’m just going to read through this real quick. “To think of web hooks as notification.” So the person who asked this question, probably knows this, but in case you don’t or you’re not the person who asked and you want to know. It’s basically … well I like their explanation. “It carries a payload of data, which is usually a single record that had been created or modified.” And then if you’re a developer, you can look at their web hook design post.

Okay, and then it’s just basically a way to output data programmatically so that you can tie it in. And that you can do this customized. Okay, so you can give yourself somewhere, where this information appears. You can grab it and use it to trigger other things. So you can trigger other API’s or you can have other API’s from different services watching for certain information that you put out. Then that would allow you to control this.

So, to go back a step, we say a new order comes in, then we’re going to put it into our project management app, which I just chose Trello. It could be anything. And then we’re going to set up an app to put out some information. But we could delay for a day, because something needs to happen, and we’re going to grab information from Trello maybe. Okay. There’s just a ton of flexibility here. And then as far as anything beyond this. I think that this is the basis of it. You go from an order or onboarding. You go to your project management, and then you customize it with web hooks or whatever else you need to do. And I think Zapier can do this. So there’s a lot of flexibility in this. And of course it can get way more complicated from here. But the idea is that, that is the basic, so.

Hopefully that helps. It can be complex to set up at first. But it’s well worth the time. Because once you automate this, then you can make, not only are you saving yourself time, but you’re generally making the experience better. For a customer, or a potential client, or a prospect, things happen. They get that first email, maybe they get something in the mail, they get that postcard. You know, things just happen and it’s not reliant on somebody remembering or forgetting something. I think it’s a powerful, powerful thing to set up.

All right, so let’s go back here and I will pull up the other questions. If I can in fact find them. Once second. Here we go. Okay, so, “How can I be productive and get my agenda for the day accomplished quickly?”

So, that’s good. So I think again, I talk about this a lot, but having a daily review is going to really help you. That’s a first part. Because first of all, if you don’t have your agenda set, then I think a lot of people stumble on that. And I know as the day goes on, we tend to have more urgent items bugging us. But just sitting down, listing out what your priorities for the day, what are your tasks. Prioritizing them and then blocking your time off. Okay, saying okay, I have three tasks that are personal, I’m going to do those when I come home at six o’clock, before I make dinner. From nine to eleven, I’m going to be working on project A and I’m not going to check emails until after that. And saying okay, great. I’ve got that block, I can focus. I’m going to get that done. That is my priority. And, you know, and do that for the whole day. I think that, that’s a way to really get started quickly.

So just to recap, as far as your agenda. Sit down in the morning and actually create your agenda. What is it? Go through all of your tasks. Pull in all your data. And then prioritize. Then block out the time and try to batch like items together, whether it’s in terms of you’re working on one project and all those things. Or like tasks. Maybe you schedule 30 minutes for email during the day. Something like that. And then focusing in when you’re doing those projects. And guarantee you, that’ll let anyone get much more of their work done more quickly. Good question.

Okay. So the next question. “Instead of exercising, I watch YouTube. Instead of getting better skills for myself or better opportunities, I waste my time. What should I do to focus myself on things which will make me grow rather than waste time?”

I think the general line of advice would be you just got to start taking some action. But I think there’s also something more than that. I would say, you need to create the momentum. You have to start taking action. If you’re not going to take the first step, then it’s never going to happen. But beyond that start thinking about why.

Sit down and literally take 30 minutes, or set a timer for 15 minutes, and get a piece of paper and write down five or ten things about why you actually want to do this. Why do you want to exercise? If you’re watching YouTube instead of exercising, YouTube’s easier. You can sit there, you can click on it, it’s an immediate … you’re either watching funny videos or cat videos or something. But what are the goals of exercising. Maybe it doesn’t pay off right away. Or maybe you can do both, right? I’ve done this before. I’ve gotten on a bike, a little bike trainer, and then I’ve put on YouTube videos. And generally I’ll try to … I’ll do half and half. Like half educational, or informational, or mindset videos. And then yeah. Watch those cat videos. Okay? So you’re still getting some … having some of the fun. But you’re also doing something beneficial for yourself.

So that’s kind of … you can rewire the habit loop. And combine the two. That’s one. But then to go back to setting the goals, like I was talking about at the beginning of this question, is … what are the big goals? What do you want? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want to just look good? Why are you exercising? And I think being really clear with yourself on those will help you. It’s not a magic bullet. But then when you have that thought of, “I could exercise or I could watch YouTube,” instead of just being like, “I just don’t feel like it.” Start reflecting on those goals: “No, I do want to exercise. I want to feel better. I want to be healthier. I want to look better. If I watch YouTube and I don’t exercise at all, that’s never going to happen.” Okay?

And then the same thing about getting more skill for a better job opportunities, you waste your time. Write down your goals. What is it that you want to do? Dream big here. What’s your dream goal? Do you want one promotion? What do you want to do in ten years? Where do you want to be? And that should help you to see, “Okay. If I want to be there then I have to start taking these little steps.”

And then the next step in all of this is to be to break it down. Because yes. When you look at the big goals, sometimes that can be a little bit intimidating. Or your brain just says, “Well, that’s great but I don’t know how to do that, so I’m just going to go watch YouTube.” So say, you want to get better skills for your job opportunities? Once you’ve identified where it is you want to go to, break that down.

So what are three big milestones? Okay, I’m just making this up. But, I want to be the CEO of this business. Okay, the first milestone is to become a sales rep. And then second milestone is to become a VP of a division. And then the third step is to get my MBA, or something like that. Then, break those down. What do you need to do? Because there’s certainly actionable steps that can get you to each of those. And that you can then say, “You know, instead of wasting my time, I actually know what I need to be doing. So I’m going to work on that next step.” That is, maybe that getting your MBA step has got a lot of steps in it, right? But there’s one like, I need to do read three papers tonight and read two chapters in my text book. And that’s working you towards those goals. Whereas if you’ve never identified that, you just said, “Oh, I want to be a CEO.” Well, that’s probably never going to happen.

So hopefully that’s helpful. A lot of it I think that is helpful, just reviews goal setting. Either that or rewiring habits kind of in terms of exercise and YouTube. Say, “Hey. You know what? Maybe I can do both of these things. I’ll exercise and watch YouTube.” But now you’re just pulling in exercise into that, so that you get that done. And then with goals, breaking them down into actionable items so that you don’t end up with this huge lofty thing that your brain says, “You know, whatever. I can’t deal with that.” Break it down into those milestones. Little actionable tasks that you can take.

So, cool. All right. I am going to check the question page real quick here and make sure that not missing anything. But I think that will do it for today. So, if you have any questions be sure to ask. You can ask throughout the week. And I get those on there. I will include the link to where you can actually ask the questions or I’ll take questions from the groups or YouTube videos as well.

And if you haven’t joined yet, join the productivity group we have going. It’s really coming along and what I want to do with it is for it to be a group obviously based on productivity process. And time management. And I sincerely do believe that these groups can be useful for this. It’s an interesting thing to look at, right? Because we talk about having places being distractions like Facebook and YouTube and some of these other things. But for myself, I find it to be helpful. I’m a member of many groups and it’s just a matter of structuring your time so that you use it effectively. Like for myself, I do not have Facebook open all the time but I still find Facebook effective. I use YouTube a lot, whether it’s for my own videos or learning. Watching other people’s videos. But I don’t have it open all of the time. So I think it’s a great place to learn and to build a community. Like-minded people like yourselves who you want to be around. If you haven’t joined yet, please do. Otherwise we will see next week. Thanks!

About the author

Adam Moody

I'm Adam Moody with the Productivity Academy. Get your productivity, time management, automation, and organization questions answered here. Be sure to check out the Productivity Academy YouTube Channel.

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