The Extra Two Minutes

Reshan and I recently interviewed an incredibly productive professor. He has written a dozen books, many of them the leading textbooks in his field, is often voted the “best” professor at the business school where he teaches, serves as an advisor to businesses and entrepreneurs, and produces a blog and Youtube channel — both offering pure substance and no fluff –that routinely reach over a hundred thousand people. Though I’ll publish this interview before the summer’s end, here’s a piece of advice that won’t make the final cut. It’s one of the moves that make him so productive.

When you’re done with something, you just want to move on. I say, look, take the extra two or five minutes to make it usable on another front.

For example, when I write an email which is a long email that answers a question that I’ve been asked before, I copy and paste it into a document, which then helps me create something that I can put on my website as a “frequently asked question.”

It takes an extra two minutes, and I don’t want to do it. I’d rather move on, because I have other things to do, but that extra two minutes saves me god only knows how many questions I’ll get in the future on that particular issue.

So the next time you complete a task that produces a product, even a very small one, ask yourself a simple question: can I make this usable on another front? If the answer is yes, and it won’t take long, give it a shot. See if your output changes. See if your audience responds.

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