The Most Amazing Productivity App

image - Flickr / Johnathan Lyman
image – Flickr / Johnathan Lyman

I have an amazing tool/app that makes my work 100x more productive.

It’s called a phone. That sounds sarcastic. I’m not being sarcastic. It’s the truth.

A lot of times people send me emails and then I forget about them or I never respond to them or I respond to them weeks later.

I now have 204,182 emails. Email has become a productivity drain for me.

Once I respond, people respond a few days later. Then I respond. Then they respond. Or they might not. Or things get confused. Like when my mom accused me of killing my dad. True…or not true? I’ll never know.

Sometimes things get confusing. Mammals sent voice messages to each other for 3 MILLION years. Now for only 100 years, a mere evolutionary blip, they send messages to each other made out of advanced hieroglyphics.

Our brains are not evolved enough to always understand what these little squiggles mean. We get so easily offended. “Is she breaking up with me in this email?” “Is my boss angry at me on a Friday night?”

What are we usually trying to do? In most cases we are just trying to arrange a time and place to meet for coffee. So we can talk to each other.

For instance, a friend of mine is in town. He wants to meet me to teach me how to play “Gangsta’s Paradise” on the ukulele. We’ve already sent 8 emails back and forth. Our emails can go on forever.

Finally he sent me his phone number. “Call me”.

This morning, after 15 emails back and forth, I arranged to go to a meeting with Rand Paul, who I guess is thinking of running for President.

After that meeting I will call my friend and hopefully learn how to play “Gangsta’s Paradise” on the ukulele. In short, that’s the only real reason i’m going into the city.

No offense to the other meeting. But I’m a little nervous about the other meeting and the other people who will be there. They all seem much smarter than me and ready to talk about things like “net neutrality” and bitcoin and other issuesI don’t care at all about.

So I’m going simply because it’s my “one thing” a day to get out of my comfort zone.

Here’s what a phone is: it’s a computer that has a little app on it that allows me to dial numbers and then talk to someone.

It’s an amazing productivity app. Last night I made three phone calls in the space of ten minutes and moved forward on three different deals. Ker-ching!

Then I called my daughters and felt love when I said goodnight to them.
Then I called Claudia and made her laugh because she was sitting right next to me.

Today I will make one phone call and learn how to play “Gangasta’s Paradise”.

The other day, someone who I had delayed emailing a year ago, actually called me and we spoke about 100 subjects and made plans to get together plus he gave me a bunch of ideas for a talk I’m about to give. I learned more in that one call than from reading ten books.

I wish more people would invent apps like the voice app on my phone.

Another great productivity app: I have a computer that sits outside my house. It has an app that downloads music from space. It can tell directions. It always knows it’s longitude and latitude. It can tell when it is too close to other objects and starts to beep. Sometimes it talks when it is giving directions.

It also has a “drive app” on it.

Later today I will use the drive app to actually see people face to face.

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James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.

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