Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 53


Join us live each week at and get your questions answered by submitting them at anytime right here: You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on September 27th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • How to remember the big picture and not get lost in the details and obsessing over areas that may not matter
  • What are some of the best personal productivity apps that people use?
  • What are the best ways to manage to-do lists?

To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit:

Alright, we’re live. Welcome to the Real World Productivity Growth. We’ve got the episode Actually, I forgot to fill it in. And you know, I’m doing this a little bit later in the day. If anyone’s watching this live right now, you know that, but it’s a good reminder of kind of rolling with the punches. Because as much as we plan and we try to get things done, you know, things happen. And the best we can do is then adapt and kind of roll with the punches and keep going. And remember that even though we may stumble or things happen, don’t just, you know, give up and throw in the towel, just keep going.

So certainly something I’m doing today. And then something I gotta remind myself of, you know, instead of getting frustrated, just reminding myself that, hey, you know, you do have to do this from time to time things change, and you just do the best you can like, forgiving the number of the q&a, I think it’s a 53 or 54 today.

But regardless, we got some good stuff we’re gonna go over quickly today. I had a question from a new member who joined the group about remembering the big picture. So kind of obsessing with details that may or may not matter. And then you know, how you kind of deal with that. Another good question about, of course, always, good one, what are some of the best personal productivity apps that people use? And then what are the best ways to manage to-do lists.

So real quick, if you’re not watching this live, you can always check out the links below, come join us in the real world productivity growth group at free to join, you do have to answer a question. So when you go up, click on the link and you join, you just need to answer those only want people in the group or, you know, honestly want to be around other people are interested in productivity processes, automation, stuff like that, and who are willing to, you know, being a group and be open and learn about that stuff.

But other than that, let’s dive into it. So the first question we were talking about was, you know, remembering the big picture and working on not obsessing with details that may or may not matter. And I found that one of the best ways you can do this. And I think there’s a lot of tips and maybe like, some tricks and tactics you can bring to this.

But obviously, part of what I talk about is doing that daily review and making sure that that’s a part of your day. But then going kind of one step deeper into that is, you know, when you do a daily review, hopefully, or rather, you do it when you should for yourself with us, morning or evening. But for myself, and most people, I recommend you do it in the morning.

And then when you’re doing that, and you’re doing things like prioritizing your tasks, or batching your tasks before you start doing that stuff adds another, you know, one, two, maybe five minutes of reviewing what your goals are, what are you working on currently, and why.

Okay, this is like the really big picture stuff like, you know, maybe it’s a fitness goal, or it’s a revenue goal for your business, and reminding yourself about that, and why it’s important, okay. So for example, might be, you know, raise revenue, you know, 10% month a month in order to X, Y, or Z, because that’s going to change your business, it’s going to allow you to grow, you know, these sorts of things where it’s not a task, you’re not just looking at a task list, you’re reminding yourself why now you’re going to go and look at that task lists and why you’re going to prioritize, and that will help you focus on the correct tasks.

And instead of losing that focus, and saying, you know, I’m just getting lost in the details, it’s good to constantly refresh yourself. Because, you know, it’s normal, we lose focus over time. And there’s a lot of reasons that a lot of these planners work on 30, 60, 90 day type of timelines, because, you know, we can’t hold our focus for a really long time, businesses drift, people drift, you know, and we change and that’s fine.

But if you want to get something done, you’ve got to constantly remind yourself of it, even when there’s a really good goal or benefit to it. So to summarize that all just remind yourself on a daily basis, why, what the goals are you’re working towards, and then that helps you kind of selected the rest of the task because he then you’ll be able to look at that and say, ah, these three things over here fit in with those goals I described, these two things don’t so, you know, they’re the bottom of the pile.

Good question.

Okay, so what are some of the best personal productivity apps that people use?

So that’s obviously a really big question. And, you know, I’ll start this out, first of all, by saying, as with any of these, that you should use the apps that give you the results you want, and that’s the best, okay. And so having that framework of, I need something to collect my information, you know, something for myself, that’s Evernote, you know, I need something to use as a task list.

And then beyond that, whatever it is you need for your framework, there’s a lot of reasons people use Evernote, it’s great at collecting all sorts of information, you can take pictures, you can, you know, record audio, you can write notes, you can make checklist, you know, for to-do list, there’s a ton of apps, I prefer Todoist, I also recommend Focuster or with the tie in with the calendar, that’s really neat.

But then going into this, again, it’s really important that it just works in your workflow. But to go over the top apps, there’s a lot the ones recommend for a lot of entrepreneurs is Evernote, Todoist and Focuster or like I talked about, and then getting into kind of the project management side is something like Trello or Monday.

And using those are really effective for working with teams, you know, or even working with yourself, and starting to get processes that can then be shifted over to a team. So that’s just a few. I mean, this list could go on and on. And it really depends more about what it is you want to accomplish, and what the results you want. Because the apps don’t make things happen. They help things happen. So that to me, it’s more effective to say, I need better bookkeeping, services or results, I need to keep better track of my family finances, what apps can help me do that. And then you can kind of attack it from that instead of saying, you know, I just need some apps. So hopefully, that’s helpful, always fun to talk about apps.

And then lastly, today, and let’s see, unless we have some live questions come in, I’ll keep an eye out for that. What are the best ways to manage to-do lists?

Okay, so I thought that this was a really good question. And I think that you, regardless of how you do it, I’m not going to focus on that, you know, you could use a piece of paper, I know people have used a three by five index card. And this was really neat, they used it, because if it couldn’t fit on there, then it was either too complicated, or it wasn’t actually a task, you know, they had to be able to distill it down to that amount of information.

You know, it could be, you know, an app like Todoist or Focuster, or, but the idea here that I want to talk about is how you use to-do list and, and manage them in the sense that I use mine. And I think this can work for a lot of people. As you put a lot of ideas in there, you come up with these tasks, right, is that the GTD, you’re getting things done idea of getting it out of your head and popping it into somewhere, okay. And again, that to me, it’s immaterial what actual app you use long as it works really well for you.

And I certainly, obviously have my recommendations, but you get that done. And then when you’re doing your daily review, and you’re prioritizing, and you’re batching tasks, you then take that and transfer that either you’re kind of doing a triage, like, you’re getting rid of the tasks that you can’t do that day that you’re deleting because you added them but you realize are no longer important. Or you’re delegating them, perhaps you’re handing them off to an employee, you’re handing it off to a partner, whatever that is. And you can do that inside of that same app, depending on how you set it up.

Or again, if it’s a piece of paper you carry around with, you may be transferred over to your actual than, like, top three task list that you do for the day. But it’s that idea of managing your task list and not letting it get out of control. Because if you have no workflow or framework for doing this, then a lot of times it can get out of control.

And you end up you know, with that, like hundred item task lists, which is meaningless because there’s so much that you know, then it really means nothing to you. So I think getting that done and doing a little bit of triage and again, I highly recommend doing that as part of your daily review. And then it’s up to you, do you need several layers? Do you need things like, hey, look at this in a month, maybe, and come back to it. And if you do that once or twice, then after that, if it comes up again, you delete it, you know, there’s a lot of different ways you can do this. And it’s finding out for yourself what works best.

So really like that question. I think there’s a lot deeper you can dive into that far as far as how that works and how you manage your task list. But you know, it’s a good first step to just say, Okay, I don’t want to just dump everything in there because what happens next, and so obviously you need to manage it. So that will do it for this week, though. I don’t see any additional questions. So join me next week where I’ll probably remember what episode it was and some great questions this week. I will be back in next week.

About the author

Adam Moody

I'm Adam Moody with the Productivity Academy. Get your productivity, time management, automation, and organization questions answered here. Be sure to check out the Productivity Academy YouTube Channel.

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By Adam Moody

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