057: Time Management Secrets of Ultra Performers: Interview with Rory Vaden [Podcast]

Everyone wishes for more time. More time to create, more time to sleep, more time with loved ones. We constantly search for more time and fail. What if, instead of adding more time, you could multiply the time you already have?


As we pursue a passion we may assume procrastination won’t be a problem. Unfortunately, working on a dream requires tremendous effort, and we fall victim to postponing the work we know we should be doing.

We rob time from ourselves and wonder why we can’t get everything done.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Rory Vaden and I talk about his latest book, Procrastinate on Purpose, and how changing our perspective of time management results in multiplying our time to do work that matters.

Listen in as we discuss three dimensional thinking, the significance calculation, and how a “focus funnel” exponentially impacts our available time.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Thinking with longevity leads to legacy

Procrastination and productivity are strange bedfellows. Typically we think of procrastination as the antithesis of productivity. During our conversation, Rory shed fresh light on our misconception of time management and shared how to procrastinate on purpose.

Everyone has the same 24 hours each day. It’s impossible to create more time within those 24 hours. From this viewpoint, our natural tendency is to cram as much work as possible into 24 hours so we can fall asleep feeling productive. We are slaves to the tyranny of the urgent (how soon something matters) and the important (how much something matters).

According to Rory, therein lies a secret of ultra performers. Instead of thinking of productivity within the limitations of a single day, ultra performers expand their construct to include value over time. They calculate the longevity, or significance, of a task to determine when and how it should be done.

By pivoting our thinking to consider how long something matters, we can effectively identify how our activities today create more time tomorrow.

Show highlights

In this episode, Rory Vaden and I discuss:

  • Why three types of procrastination are destructive
  • How ultra performers properly procrastinate to multiply time
  • What myths people believe about time management
  • Determining your ROTI (return on time invested) to guide decision-making
  • Which commonly accepted truths are ignored by ultra performers
  • Where to change your perspective and unlock more time
  • Three dimensions of the significance calculation
  • How to escape the tyranny of urgency
  • What it takes to move beyond success and discover significance
  • Why it is difficult to delegate
  • Using time to buy more time


  • ”You multiply time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spend time on things today that give you more time tomorrow.”
  • “Inaction that results from indulgence is Procrastination. Inaction that results from intention is Patience.”
  • “There is no such thing as time management. There is only self-management.”
  • “80% done by anyone else is better than 100% done by me.”
  • “Success is never owned, it’s only rented. The rent is due every day.”


Special announcement: Aug 28-30 — save the date. Something big is coming. That’s all I can say for now, but you’ll want to book your ticket to Nashville. More to come soon!

Do you think time management is a myth? What can you do to procrastinate on purpose? Share in the comments

25 thoughts on “057: Time Management Secrets of Ultra Performers: Interview with Rory Vaden [Podcast]

  1. Lots of good stuff, but I can’t listen now.

    You know Jeff, I’ve caught myself procrastinating in hearing your podcast

    several times, I’m thinking to myself that it would be better
    for me to read the conversation. A lot of people who travel like
    podcast to use that time productively. But I work at home and cannot
    listen to anything while I write –it takes my full being. So for me,
    taking a break to read a PDF would work better. It may be that it works
    well for others, though it means an additional cost. You may want to ask
    around to see if others feel the same. I know podcast is the rage now
    but it takes more time to listen than to read. Thanks.

  2. Great topic – great guest, great podcast – thanks Jeff. I have had 5 employees in my small business and I’ve had none (beyond myself). I presently have one. Without sounding whiny, and I know Rory agrees, it’s so much easier on paper than it is in real life. When I had 5 employees – I could occasionally slip away for a round of golf, but the high-wire act of keeping business pouring in was too much for me.
    At the end of the day – those people never replaced me – all the clients still wanted me. Maybe it was a leadership issue. Maybe it was self sabotage.
    Now that I have one – the balance is pretty decent, but my revenues are still way below where they were a decade ago. I honestly don’t know where the answer is – but after searching 28 years for the sweet spot – I conclude it’s harder than it looks to find balance. Do I need this book? Probably – but then there’s the time factor to read it. Hah! Life can be so complex at times.

    1. Kent – this is Voni – another person on the journey. I was feeling that I, too, should buy the book. and maybe I will in the future… Right now, I’m hoping to pick out the significant… from this podcast ….what will make the biggest difference re: my life…. I’m definitely going to make some changes! Hope it works for you also. . . . a thought just popped into my mind.. What is the purpose of your business? to make money or make it possible for you to have a comfortable life style? If its the latter, can you re-evaluate what are the significant things that matter in your life style:
      I’ve simplified mine down 1/a home where I have big windows and fresh air can flow through it, plus muusic and books and friends – and a computer for learning and communication. Right now, some of those items are missing. I hope to change that.
      God bless you as you find your “sweet spot.”!

      1. thanks Voni for the reply and encouragement! Finding maybe a new purpose does the seem to be the journey I have moved into in the past 3 years which has been challenging. Before it was providing for family/children – now – ….. still searching. Thanks again.

  3. I finally took the time to listen to this. Desperationg drove me to it. I prefer reading to listening. But tonight, it hit me. I’m writing, working on my blog. I want to spend time on the Work of Art FB as well as intentional blogging FB. Reading, learning, and encouraging.
    Now we’re starting out mastermind group-and that will be good! I also want to go ahead on the lessons. TOO much… plus taking care of things here at home and giving my husband the attention he needs… My body also requires 8 hours of sleep. OUCH>
    I am now going to restructure. What is the most significant? I recognized myself in many of the situations you two talked about.
    I will be gleaning as much as I can here… The funnel is excellent!

  4. I just LOVED this one! Some really fantastic, concise concepts that I can apply right now. I am sharing this with moms on my facebook page too, because we need to remember that it SHOULD take 30x as long to teach someone else to do something as it does for us to do it ourselves (maybe longer with a child!). Also the 80% rule applies here. Awesome stuff!

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