This is Part 2 of a three-part blog series aimed at giving you a timeless method for tireless productivity. Read part 1 here
As an intensely curious person and former teacher, I’d much rather leave someone with a good set of questions to explore than answers to remember. Questions are much more flexible and adaptable in having you figure out how a particular phase applies to whatever you want to achieve, at any scale.
These questions are an important piece because instead of me stating ‘this happens here’, they point to the question or effort that drives the activity of that level. You can use the curiosity behind these questions, and the questions themselves to become clear about what happens in each phase of anything you want to achieve.
Why ( Design )- What is your intention behind your goal, What are you trying to achieve? What is the most important reason you’re doing this? Why are you doing this and not something else? What will or won’t happen if you don’t achieve this goal?
How Long ( Survey ) - How long will this take to be done properly? Is this a one-time thing or are you setting up something that you’re going to stop in a month? Is this a one-time thing (like passing a class) or an ongoing thing (like maintaining your weight)?
How Much ( Structure ) - Are you building the Taj Mahal, a skyscraper, a house, or a dollhouse? What resources do you and others need to fulfill their roles? What criteria determine whether you consider what you achieved a success?
The Design questions focus on the impetus, intention, reason, environment, capacity, scale, and the structure of your future achievement. In cooking it asks: what do you want to cook for how many people?
What Things ( Engineering ) - What systems, processes, and machines do you need to get everything done? What results must these tools and materials meet? How much work do we need to do on our information and materials? Where are we storing and using these information and tools?
What Sequence ( Planning ) - When do you need each tool, set of materials, and piece of information? Will there be any crunch times or slow times? Do your estimates include setup, breakdown, cleaning, and prep time to switch between working on one thing and another thing?
How Smooth ( Building ) - Will this setup allow for the work to be done? How much work can be done with this level of materials, tools, information, and supplies?
The Build questions focus your attention on the practical considerations about acquiring and setting up everything you need to do the work. In cooking it asks do you have the equipment and ingredients to prepare and serve the food?
Who ( Administer ) - Who is going to do what parts of which activity? Are they trained and prepared to do those jobs?
Where ( Arrange ) - Are the people that are doing the jobs scheduled to be there? Do people have what they need close at hand or are there hurdles and obstacles to get their supplies? Do you have enough hands-on-deck to do this?
How is this going ( Operate ) - Are the supplies readily available? Is the work being done adequately? Are we getting the results we intended?
The Operate questions, highlight what happens when you’re ready to get busy and do the work. In cooking, whether at home or a restaurant, we figure who’s going to do everything from prep the food to serve the food to do the dishes.
Now ( Perform ) - Am I doing this correctly? Can you hear me now (lol)? The last question ( perform ) asks for the sensory-based feedback about the work. All of the answers here are based on what the person doing the work sees, smells, feels, hears, and their lesser hyped sensory experiences such as how balanced they are and what their limbs are doing.
In the first part of this series we looked at the Ten Phases of Achievement. This part of the series, we focused on the questions you ask yourself before and during each phase. In math you learn the formula to solve for. For a lifetime of consistent Achievement, you have to learn the sequence of questions you have to answer.