Hot Fresh Productivity in 30 Minutes or Less

You’ve probably seen the massive ad campaign Dominos Pizza has rolled out to unveil how they completely revamped their pizza recipe, right?  If you watch TV at all, I don’t see how you could have missed it.

Maybe it’s just me.  I’m on a diet AGAIN, and all I seem to see on TV are pizza commercials. :)

Anyways, whether or not it’s a good idea to tell people that your old recipe was BAD, I won’t get into here. :)

What it made me think of was how they USED to advertise back in the day.  As you know, Dominos didn’t rise to prominence because of *tasty* pizza.  They came up because they were *fast* pizza.

“Hot Fresh Pizza In 30 Minutes Or Less” was the mantra until the realities of public safety set in.

I remember thinking at the time that it was pretty amazing that they could take the entire production from raw materials to a finished product on your doorstep in less than half an hour.

As someone going through a pepperoni withdrawal (shutup) – I KNOW what it’s like to want a pizza and want it NOW, I can tell you, the appeal in that 30 minute pitch is VERY STRONG! :)

This huge, multi-million dollar business was built one little 30 minute pizza pie at a time.

And it got me thinking, how many tasks do I have every day that I put off?  Probably hundreds.  How about you?  And even though they’re not monumental, there’s a ton of stuff that I NEED to do in business and life that just doesn’t get done if I don’t address it.

And yet, I procrastinate.  We all do.

So the last time I saw a Dominos commercial, I started to think…

Of those tasks I put off, how many are more difficult than making a pizza?  (This might sound silly, but bear with me.)

Actually, not that many of them.  Most of the stuff I put off because it’s boring.  It’s busy work.  Mentally, I draaaaaaag it out so that it seems like it would be hours and hours of tedium.

But they’re really mostly things that I could take care of in LESS than 30 minutes if I would just shut up and do it already.

Dominos took a task just like that – a menial, mechanical task like making and baking a pizza – and decided to approach it as a problem of speed.  How FAST can we solve this problem?

And I thought, “what a great way to approach these same problems in my own business!”

So I’ve been doing this little exercise lately, and I thought I would share it since it’s been so beneficial.  The extra productivity really helps especially in the “slow” season after the holiday.  :)

When I start my work day, I just go through my long LONG list of stuff to do and I try to identify which ones are just “making pizza”.

In other words, which things could I just get out of the way and never worry about AGAINin 30 minutes or less?

I was AMAZED at how many of these I had – some of them I’d been putting off for WEEKS!

- Re-record 5 minutes of audio: 13 minutes
– Write 2 newsletters: 27 minutes
– Answer the day’s most important emails: 13 minutes
– Find something to tweet and tweet it: 4 minutes

These are all things that I made a snap judgement to delay, because “I don’t have time to do that right now”.  And look, once I just DID it, I was done with ALL of them in less than an hour!

You build a wall one brick at a time, and you can build a pizza empire one pie at a time.  Why not attack your day the same way?

We all get bogged down sometimes by looking at a massive amount of tasks that we can’t really see one-by-one anymore.  It just seems like “so much to do” and we get stressed and we procrastinate, and that’s no good.

That’s lost money.  And worse, that’s lost TIME! You can always make more money, but all the time you have is all the time you get, right?

So stop putting off what you need to do and go through your task list and start “making pizza” for yourself.

Like this blog post, for example.  Hot and Fresh, straight to you!  :)   (And it only took me 15 minutes!)

Until next time,
Andy

P.S. So what happens if you’re late?  If you’re Dominos, that meant the pizza was free.  In your case, either power through it or just chalk it up to “progress made” and move on to the next thing.  Big orders take time to prepare, right? :)

Pick it back up the next time you’re “making pizza” and you’ll have turned a big problem into a small one by taking it one step at a time.

P.P.S.  Try and get some of your own pending tasks out of the way today “in 30 minutes or less” and if you have time left over, leave a comment below and let me know how it worked for you!

  • http://lifetrax.com Tom

    As always, a fun, informative and useful blog. You spoke to me on this one since that is what http://LifeTrax.com is all about. I bet that once you start using it, your to do list….and your waist line will shrink! Thanks for the great post. Tom

  • http://egbert.cloudprofile.com/ Egbert Oostburg

    Andy,

    Dude, you crack me up with your pizza analogy!!! But as always, the reason you are able to strike a cord with so many people is that your wisdom shines so brightly through your verbal pictures!!!
    See, and it only took me 2 minutes to make this post that I would have postponed as a task item to my google calendar had I not read it! BTW, if you are on a health kick, try zpizza just down the street from you in Linda Vista (by USD). Great pies, sick flavors, and under 270 calories a slice!

    Egbert
    @egbertoostburg in San Diego

  • http://spontent.com/blog Todd Dickerson

    Good stuff Andy, Always keep Parkinson’s Law in mind –activities expand to fill the time allotted

  • http://secretagentblueprint.com/blog/ Michelle Fradella-Barfuss

    You’re right, Andy!!! There are so many tasks that if I just took the few minutes it takes to do them, they’d be done and off my mind! Like my Secret Agent Blueprint Training Program for Real Estate Agents (http://secretagentblueprint.com). It’s taking me way too long to record my videos and write the text.
    Thanks for putting it into a great perspective! I’m off to finish my course!

  • Nicholas

    Thank you for providing this analogy and insight; accurate and to the point.

  • http://sharedserverhosting.me Sean Breslin

    Not a bad system, it encourages thought on whether some activities have any point at all!

  • http://www.LocalBusinessInternetPro.com Simon James

    But if I make 16 pizzas, haven’t I wasted my whole day sweating the small stuff? But then again, if I have 16 pizzas worth of small stuff on a daily basis, maybe I’m not focussed enough? Or should I be outsourcing it to a virtual assistant?
    Oh no, brain melt! Need comfort food. Dialling Papa Johns now.

  • http://www.JaiHutcherson.com JaI

    Yo Andy!
    I have found that small, “pizza,” tasks are what pisses off more clients than actual project mistakes. Very good advice and post…. but man, come on… stop with the food stuff – I’m 40lbs down and I see those dang pizza commercials too!
    Peace,
    Jai
    http://www.JaiHutcherson.com

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  • Jay

    Andy,
    Good article. I got so tired calculating & recalulating financial matters, and just everything financial, etc., I sat down one day about two years ago and put ‘everything’ all together & wrote a program that allows me to track ‘everything’ every day or anything in between, in moments! What was a massive PB (pain-in-the-brain) turned into the most time saving accomplishment I have ever done & what with tweaking it to add new thoughts & things, I have had, & still am having, a lot of fun, too. It is without a doubt one of the biggest time savers I could have ever imagined. It feels good every day now to know that procrastination took a hit & I used the computer to do it, as well.

  • Tim

    Great Andy…as always and that’s a great disclaimer you have at the end of all your emails. Heck, I’ll admit I’ve stolen it and used at the start of my emails to my list…works great!
    But when in the Hell are you going to put the “Andy Jenkins Special” together. I mean where’s yours product, that’s what were waiting on. Come on it’s still early in the year. I want my AJS product not all this affiliate stuff your pushing. It’s like want my MTV…Heck I’d settle for a ebook or video pak.
    Quick Stall’en & start Ball’en

    Fox
    TechMontro

  • http://www.womenshealthshoppe.com Sylvia

    Just love the pizza analogy! I had to stop getting any more “programs” for a while, and start putting to use some of the great stuff I had learned. ‘Cause if it just sits on a shelf and is not implemented, it’s not worth much. Setting weekly goals has helped.

  • http://finbarrsmith.com Tony Finbarr-Smith

    Hey Andy,

    firstly, the whole pizza thing –
    I see pizza ads too. everywhere. while it’s probably because everyone’s dieting right now they’re more aggressive int heir marketing to avoid a dip in profits, but I have it much worse….
    I just won a singing contest (http://bit.ly/popera2) and won PIZZA HUT vouchers! £50 worth!
    Then I got home and found in the mail a booklet of coupons addressed to “Pizza Lover” (HOW did they know?) with about 20 BOGOF coupons and 20 half price coupons.
    Oh shit, this diet’s screwed.

    secondly,
    thanks.
    for a great article that removes all excuses to procrastinate, and secondly for a great, helpful piece of writing that’s not promoting either yours or someone else’s product.
    It really makes a difference. Even a “oh yeah go check this out” somehow really cheapens it, so thanks Andy.

    All the best,
    Good luck with the diet!

    Tony

    p.s. I realise you’ve gotta pay the bills, so appreciate the need to send out offers… (I’m jus’ sayin…)

  • Claudette LaRue

    Honestly, what is so amazing is that I had JUST taken my massive TO-DO list and broken it down to categories (so that if I were out, I wouldn’t forget to get dog food and computer labels, for example) because the list was so big it looked like it could eat Chicago.

    Even broken down, it was still overwhelming me, so I took the things that need to be done soon and made a shorter list with larger print. Then I began highlighting the most important things. However, I’d pushed past some short but noxious tasks for a couple of weeks.

    THEN I read your post. Yes! It rang a bell… My father-in-law used to get my hubby and me to jump on tasks with him… calling them “Five-Minute-Jobs,” exclaiming “We’ll knock this out in a jiffy,” but they always took a lot longer. I like your 30 minute idea. It is more realistic but it still gets you off the procrastination trail.

    I’m printing this piece of advice out and stapling it to my to-do list!
    Genius!
    Thank you…!

  • http://www.linkliberation.com/ Dan Thies

    For those interested in a more formal version of this idea… complete with software and other stuff that will probably create enough friction to stop you from actually doing it:

    http://www.tuaw.com/2009/11/28/the-pomodoro-technique-or-how-a-tomato-made-me-more-productive/

    On the other hand, taking the guy’s original idea and just using a kitchen timer is real smart. ;-)

    • http://colintheriot.com Colin Theriot

      Nice link, Dan. That Pomodoro thing is really similar to a technique I bit from copywriter Eugene Schwartz. He would work for 33 minutes and 33 seconds with 5 minute breaks in between. I’ve adopted that process myself, though rather than timing the 5 minute breaks exactly, I alternate either getting a coffee refill from the kitchen, or taking a walk around the block. That way, even if I’m not being super productive, I still get some exercise. :)

  • http://www.lincolncoutts.com Lincoln

    Love the pizza analogy, and there two parts to the domino system
    1. Making and cooking the pizza. 2. Delivering it
    Part 1 is predictable however part 2 is subject to all sorts of external conditions such as traffic.
    I can “deliver” people from smoking in just 60mins (http://www.quitsmokingin60mins.com ) however the mental traffic jam people have to move through to be ready to quit can take some people years to get through. As Anthony Robbins once said change happens in an instant its the preperation for change that takes the time. Thank you again for a interesting post
    Lincoln
    http://www.quitsmokingin60mins.com

  • http://twitter.com/happyblogger Tanya Brown

    That’s really inspiring. Sometimes all you need is 10 minutes to just start and then you get drawn into what you are doing, so you can continue working for hours.