Join us live each week at www.productivity.academy/live and get your questions answered by submitting them at anytime right here: www.productivity.academy/questions. You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on June 28th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.
In this episode we talked about:
- How can I do more to reach my goals? I am wasting too much time procrastinating and on tasks that sidetrack my progress.
- What are the best ways to manage time if there are a lot of tasks?
To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit: https://productivity.academy/resources
Alright. Hey everybody. Welcome to the productivity academy live Q & A. This is number 42. Today is the 28th of June, 2018, and today we’re going to be talking mostly about, as I try to read off to the side here, doing more about reaching goals when you’re wasting time on procrastination, and then managing times if you have just a lot of tasks. That was the main focus of today, and real quick, if you are watching in the group and you want to ask a question, you can just pop it in, obviously live.
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So, lets get started today. The first question was, “How can I do more to reach my goals? I am wasting too much time procrastinating and on tasks that side track my project.” Okay, so how can I do more to reach my goals and you’re wasting too much time. So this is a good question. I think it happens to all of us and having a good method to get out of this and back on track is really good. The first step is identifying this, okay? So I’m not going to backwards past that point because you have already recognized, “Okay. I’m wasting a lot of time procrastinating and on tasks that side track my progress.” I call this productive procrastination when maybe you’re like, “Oh, I’ll go do the laundry,” or “I’ll work on this other project,” or “I’ll answer that e-mail,” and you’re doing things that technically need to be done, but they’re not critical, they’re not moving your main projects forward. So, you’re at that step, which is good. So, now it’s taking a step back and now, just literally take five minutes.
If you’re at work, you’re in an office environment, go for a walk. Go somewhere else. If you can, just sit there but if you get weird looks and you feel uncomfortable, maybe go somewhere else, or you do this when you come home, and if you’re at home like me, just go somewhere else. Get out of your office. Get out of your chair, and think or write down why. What’s going on? What’s the name project? What would help you? And I find that this helps because you start to see what you need to do but also the benefits like why should you be doing this next step and what’s that going to get you, okay? Because there’s two sides to this. There are the good and the bad.
Why are you procrastinating? Are you scared? It’s not that you have to be terrified but maybe you’re scared, “Aw, if I start this, I’m just scared to take the next step. I haven’t done it before.” You’re scared of not doing a great job. There’s lots of things that demotivate us or mentally side track us, but getting it down on paper and seeing the good things, what is that you want to do? What’s this project? What’s the next step? And starting to make that concrete, for a lot of people, can drive you past that barrier, whatever that is.
And I think maybe doing this regularly is good, just taking that self check and saying, “Hey. Yep. I’m working. I’ve been productive or really productive. 80% of my time was pretty good. I’m not perfect.” But maybe when you’re looking at it, you’re like, “Man, I spent three hours doing just stuff I didn’t need to do today. What’s going on?” And I think, that’s the best you can do, but like I said, you have that plan to get back on to track and that’s looking at what can I do next? Refocus yourself on your goals. What are my goals? Do you have a best self journal? Do you have a place where you’re writing down what your big projects are? What’s your 90 day goals? Whatever kind of plan you’re using, and reminding yourself of those benefits. “If I do this stuff, heres the potential outcome.” And then saying, “Okay, on the bad side, I’m procrastinating because I’m scared. How can I work past that? Do these benefits out weight that fear?” Whatever it is.
I think that that’s a great way and it does take some self reflection. You got to be honest with yourself or this process doesn’t work, so that’s the good and bad news. It can be relatively simple, but sometimes in the simplicity, it can be difficult. I think, give that a shot, and that’ll help you.
Okay, and for the second question today, “What are the best ways to manage time if there’s a lot of tasks?” Okay. This is really good. So this is what I do in the morning and in the evening most of the time. I’m not perfect about it, but as I go through my day, lots of things pop up. I either use a sticky note if I’m on a call or something just comes to mind and I don’t have a to do list open, or maybe I’m on my phone and I pop stuff in the to do list, and by the end of some days, I’ll end up with this crazy list and that’s fine, right?
It’s that getting it out of your head so you’re not remembering or trying to remember and just totally forgetting stuff, but then I’ll go through and do that triage routine at the beginning and end of every day, saying, “Okay. What of these things actually needs to get done?” So, prioritizing. Important. Not important. And then going through, you can batch like tasks, okay? This is part of this process of saying, “Okay, which ones kind of go together? Maybe I wrote stuff down that’s related?” Getting that all together so you have things prioritized and then related and then going through and saying, “Okay. Can I delegate any of these? Is there anything I can delete? Is there stuff that I wrote down, that now that I look at it, you know what?
It’s not going to happen. It probably doesn’t need to happen and the world won’t blow up if I don’t do it, alright?” Because there’s always stuff like that and you got to be honest with yourself and it will help you focus in on the stuff that’s truly important. It will help you focus in on the stuff that’s truly important and then, the stuff that you have to do, you can get to work on.
I’m not going to go into the details of project management or how you move that stuff in there, but getting and doing this on a regular schedule is part of … Don’t wait until you have too many tasks that you feel overwhelmed. Do it on a regular basis. Start doing this every single day. Write yourself a reminder using your to do list, your reminder software, whatever you used to go through and do this. Take your tasks, prioritize, batch and then go through the process of deleting the ones you can, delegate other ones, whether its go workers, it’s outsourcers, your employees, your family, whatever it is, and then getting to work on the very most important ones for yourself. Alright? So, that is my go to.
That’s definitely part of my daily planning and my morning routine and then like I said as well, in the evening and that’s something I’ve added more recently, as I’m trying to get out of using a to do list in a more reactionary way or just having it be the driver and getting more into using a timeline as well, so time blocking, using the best self journal which I’ve been using for a long time, but getting out of the mismatch of using several areas like a to do list in a to do list, trying to get all of those ideas out and what it really helps me do is get a to do list, I’ve got a ton of items and then, if I say, I need to clear this out today, then taking all that and putting it in to an appropriate area, and maybe I have to move to another app like a project management app like Monday, where I’m putting in, “Oh, I needed to add this e-mail to this series. Well, that goes in this project. It needs to be done.” And the coming down and seeing, “Wow. There’s five things left in the to do list. I don’t have the time. I need to not choke. I need to either delete them or delegate them because I don’t have the time and they’re not the highest priority and that really helps you narrow it down.
So hopefully that’s helpful. Again, I would suggest using something like To Do List, a to do app, and then also going through and using either time blocking, something like that, to help you figure it out, whether it’s a best self journal, it’s a piece of paper, whatever it is that does that for you. Alright.
Well, I don’t see any new questions so I think this is going to be a fairly short one. We’ll wrap it up today but those were some really good questions. If you ever have questions and you want to ask ahead of time, if you’re not in the group or even if you are and you just want to ask. It’s a random day and you want to get your question in ahead of time, you can just go to productivity.academy/questions, alright? And then it’s just a form. Just pop your answer in. Give me as many details as you can. One or two word answers don’t work so well. If you say that your problem is productivity, that’s pretty broad. The more details you give, the more we can dive in, maybe even recommend apps, solutions, some detailed stuff.
So fill that out with whatever your problem is, and what you’re looking for a solution for, and try to get it on to the next episode. So, thanks for watching and I’ll see you next week.