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 October 11th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.
In this episode we talked about:
- How does one overcome the avoidance of Taking Action?
- What’s one thing you always procrastinate on?
- What system do you use for getting things done?
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Hey everyone, welcome to the Real World Productivity Growth group live q&a. And today is the have to look the 11th of October. And this is the 55th one actually missed the one year anniversary. But it’s okay. Because I’ve had some weeks where I wasn’t available, things didn’t work out. So it’s not truly a year. So we’re just going to keep going.
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So before we get into the questions, obviously have somebody here with me, this is my wife, Jeney. Hi. And she’s here to offer a little bit of a different maybe opinion or some thoughts on the questions we’re going to go over today.
Jeney is a biological physicist. And so that hopefully is going to offer a little bit of insights. And her background of course, is different than mine. And like anyone else, she’s off able to offer some different ideas on the things that we’re going to talk about. So Alright, let’s jump into it.
First question was submitted earlier this week. And they’re basically talking about are the questions started with, you know, they’ve got their planning done or identified, they’ve gotten that, the action list is done, they’re able to prioritize their identifying the next most action they can take.
But then that next step of actually moving into action, not happening. So how does one overcome that avoidance of taking action? And then they added the helpful thing here that even the strategy of knowing one-wise. So knowing your goals, knowing what you’re doing is not helping? So that’s a really good question.
So I’m going to take this from kind of a practical perspective and offer just a few tips that I think like are things either you can try, if you have tried them, then, you know, either think of different ways to implement these, or perhaps, you know, try one out of the many that I’m going to recommend, the first one that immediately comes to mind is make sure that you’re putting the important things first, I am certainly guilty of not doing this all the time.
I think we all do this from time to time where we productively procrastinate. And we think, Oh, you know, like cleaning these post it notes off of my desk in front of me, that’s what I need to be doing right now. Like, no, no, it’s not like I need to be working on my business, or I need to be writing an email, I need to be doing something else.
So I think that that then kind of sets up my next point that I thought about what this is try two different methods, okay, one of these is that first task done. So get get that momentum going, just assign yourself that small tasks and try that.
And then, you know, you get that rolling, and kind of the snowball effect, you build the momentum. However, there’s the opposite one, that there’s an entire book actually written with this title called Eat the Frog. And that’s the idea of, you know, what, just get your get your biggest worst, however, you want to think about it, get that done first and your day, or whenever your most productive moments are.
And then once you have that done, everything else becomes easier. So I would say try one, and then try the other and see what works best for you. And then stick with that. So yeah, um, yeah, I guess for me, I do three different things. And it kind of depends on what it is I’m procrastinating on and the importance of it.
The first thing that I tried to do is I try to give accountability. So I’ll tell Adam, you know, like, I’m going to do the dishes today. And then he knows, and so I’m giving somebody else kind of my motivation. And so maybe he’ll check in, or maybe not, but then I just know. But he’ll now.
I just know that, you know, somebody else now knows. And sometimes that’s enough to push me into doing things. Cool. The second thing that I do is I give myself a deadline. So I say, I have to get something done by a specific time.
And sometimes that’ll help to, like push me into things and doing things. And then the third thing that I do is I give myself a reward. So I tell myself, if I do something, then I can, you know, so sometimes the reward is just leaving work. So I have to get this done before I leave work. And then the reward is both the deadline and it’s, you know, it’s something that I get back, and sometimes it’s chocolate, so that’s a good one, too. I think that, you know, identifying yourself, which is good, I’ll get to this in my last point.
So I won’t go too into depth on this. But if deadlines work for you. Yeah, definitely use them. And different folks, you know, this works differently for different people. So if you’re one of those people where a little bit of a little bit of pressure makes you do things better than Yeah, use that to your advantage. Set your own deadlines. So I really like the just eat the frog.
Like, sometimes you just have to tell yourself, just do it, just do it. Yeah, and actually use both of those. But if, you know, if you’re at the point where you’re just not getting things done, you know, you’re feel like, you just can’t ever take that first step, try both, you know, build the momentum, do the small test and work your way up through the day.
Or, you know, I use both. Like I said, Sometimes I know, you know what this has to get done, I know it’s going to be either a pain in the butt, or it’s just a big time saver. But it has to get done, and then tackle that, and then the rest of your day is easier. So, um, let’s see. The other things I wanted to touch base on with this is, again, some more practical stuff, it’s about time your work around when you work best.
Okay. For most people, I think they generally are better or more productive in the morning. But that’s not everybody. If you’re more productive in the afternoon, right after lunch, you know, good for you. You’re one of a very small group of people.
But then time your most important work there. If you have to productive times, maybe work in the morning, and evening. and evening, you’re just really on it, then that’s where you do it. So make sure you’re utilizing that to the most. And then lastly, I want to talk about this because I’m giving a talk next week, actually, to a group. And one of the things I’m going to mention to them, it’s about actually automation and processes.
But to make that really effective, and to make yourself more productive, you need to have time to think about what it is you’ve been doing. And, you know, I call it reflecting or reviewing. And it’s not just, you know, how do I feel, and, you know, there is definitely some of that, but what’s working and being honest with yourself and what isn’t working.
And if you have planned, you’ve got an action list, you prioritize, but you’re just not doing anything, then I think you really need to spend some time figuring out why are you procrastinating and, you know, I’m not a therapist. I’m not a psychologist, you know, there could be some very real reasons in that realm. You know, so get that dealt with. But, you know, maybe it’s something again, as simple as, Oh, yeah, I’m trying to do this at the wrong time of day.
But just take 30 minutes and list out some ideas, write them down and be honest with yourself. And I think that, you know, doing this again, it’s very helpful, but don’t do it once. Do this once a week, once a month, whenever you can fit it in and make it regular, and you really start to see some benefits.
Cool. Alright, great question. That was really good. That’s definitely one you could go in depth on. Yeah. Alright, so we’re going to switch it up a little bit. We’ve got a fun question. And I’m really want to hear Jeney’s answer on this.
But what’s one thing that you always procrastinate on? Also, if you’re watching this, whether it’s a replay or alive, just answer this. I’m really curious. So what’s one thing you procrastinate on? Just leave a comment and really curious, but I’ll let you go first.
I kind of feel like you could answer it for me. That’s dangerous. Um, yeah, no, I want to hear it from you. It’s funny. So just as little inside, Adam has this note. Right below it says dishes and general cleaning. So yeah, that’s for me, though. I’ve got my notes off to the side. I think we’re both pretty we procrastinate on that. I mean, general cleaning, could be laundry or you know, other things but usually it’s just chores that I don’t enjoy doing.
I usually put those off um, but I guess there’s a lot of things that I procrastinate on, so I mean, that’s why I have a system because I do procrastinate. But if it’s one thing that you had to like, would it be like house chores? Honestly, I think laundry I’ll go for as long as possible and then do five loads now if I have enough clothes I’ll just keep pushing it. That is definitely not what I do.
But that’s because I’ve lost close so I feel the pain but sooner um, yeah, this is interesting, so I put dishes in general cleaning but as productive procrastination, it’s not like we never do dishes or cleaning, it’s just one where I, you know, I’ll be either tired, you know, or I want to take a break. And sometimes that works out for the best. But I’ll be like, well, I need to go tidy up the kitchen instead of, you know, finishing what I was working on. And, and that’s how it works out.
But I made a note to that reflection and review time has helped with this because we’ve looked into things like, well, what’s a solution? You know, you can delegate some of this work, you could automate it, you could stop doing it, which is not an option. In this case, you gotta clean you need clean clothes. But you know, can you hire someone to clean your house? Is that an option? Do you have the discretionary spending available to do that? Can you speed it up? Yeah.
Can you delegate it if you have children? Or a wife. Yeah, which nope, can’t do that. So, you know, we split the chores, we’ve tried house cleaning services, we’ve done this or that. And it’s an ongoing process, because we identified like, Oh, yeah, this is something we don’t want to invest a lot of our time into. So what are the resources do we have? Is it worth the money? Is there another way? Can we speed up the process? So this is ongoing for us?
So yeah, I mean, I think it also applies to, you know, even work-related things where you’re writing and stuff like that, find ways to, you know, go over that procrastination. Be it you know, eating the frog or whatever, but identifying those, and then, you know, attacking them finding a solution, you know, not just kind of ignoring procrastination. So, I think that asking the question, first and foremost, is really, I mean, that’s the first step, right? Definitely.
Yeah, a little bit of self-awareness of like, as I have something I can improve. So, um, okay, so this next and last question unless something comes in live, which I’ll keep an eye on. But this is a really big question. So we’ll, I’ll try to keep this to five minutes.
But what system do you use for getting things done? I’ll give a quick overview on mine. It’s my own mix. But it’s not really a system I end this is semantics, but I choose the word framework. And this is become important to me after seeing, you know, people or there’s ideas out there, like, okay, use this one tool, like you have to use Todoist. And you have to do it this way. It’s like, yeah, okay, that’s great.
That’s somebody like literal systems. But I think that having a framework is much more important because it’s flexible, you know, what do you do when you travel? What do you do when you don’t have your phone? What do you do, and all these situations that happen in real life. So for me, it’s my own framework.
And it’s the daily review is core to this, okay, I do this, whether I’m traveling, whether, you know, I’m on a plane and I, you know, whatever happens, and it could even be in my head, although that, you know, maybe isn’t quite as good, but just doing the daily review, what is it that’s going on, view my calendar, review the goals, review my 90 day goals, actually, I’ve got it right in front of me open the calendar and scan it through.
I personally right now I’m using Todoist, I scan, I bet to prioritize, delete, as needed. And then I’ll open my project management software and do the same thing, scan, get stuff into Todoist and prioritize and then hop into best self journal and actually do the timing of the day along with the things you know, like, what do I appreciate? What am I? What are my big goals? And what are my three to do? And so that is basically what helps get me done or helped me get things done.
And within that, there’s a lot of systems which I think I’ll say for another time, because then that, you know, there’s like, subsystems, well, how do you do to-do lists? how do you do your project management software? But yeah, what do you do for you know,
Adam, it’s much more organized than I am. And he has a huge framework, which I’m honestly learning a lot from, too. But I’d say that I’m on the side of a lot more things are in my head, I love todoist. I used Todoist and I’ve actually introduced it to my boss and some coworkers that work and they haven’t used it.
But that’s the time I give me a time I’m system for getting things done. Honestly, I love checking stuff off lists, I love lists. I have a whiteboard at work. And it’s got a list of things that I need to do. There’s no order to the actual lists, and it’s it’s whiteboard, but what Todoist you can prioritize, and it’s a lot more, I guess, organized and whatnot. So, my framework a lot is, um, it’s been Helter Skelter in the past, but it’s getting I’m working on it. So it’s actually a work in progress.
But I mean, having lists is boring and awesome. I think do what you said earlier to makes, you know, you said Adam’s huge framework. And it’s interesting, because I think as you do this, it’s important that you do what works for you. And so, like, my framework would work for anybody you know, Blake, shameless, you know, pitch here, if you haven’t grabbed my guidebook, do it, but it’s the framework.
And then you can make that as complex or as not as needed. And for Jeney, like, she doesn’t need project management software, because she is not actively managing a team. She certainly works with people but like, throw that out, you don’t need it. So don’t use it, you know, todoist, I do need a to-do list. So does Jeney. So she uses it. And so it’s, you know, adding or subtracting these tools or these bits and pieces from the overall framework. And I think that that’s really important.
So looking at the calendar every day is extremely useful. And I just kind of keep up a calendar on basically every laptop, desktop that I have, which I have several So yeah, I think you know, it’s hard for me to have a lot of the structure that Adam has, because my day is not quite as structured as his is I work at a national facility and so I have to do things differently almost every day which makes it really tough to get some of this framework put together but I have a best self journal. Adam fills it out every day. I filled out once it, I fill out my best self journal, that sounded like I fill hers.
No, no, no, no, Adam has his own best self journal and I have one that I fill out probably for like a week in a row for like once every three months good you start the practice and keep coming back if you know which I think this is a good example you try some of these things and some don’t work if you don’t take the best and leave the rest if it works for you. Great if it doesn’t don’t and I think over time maybe it will work for you but I think so if it doesn’t that’s fine. There’s something else out there.
Yeah, so cool. Well look, we’re gonna wrap it up I am about to head out the door and go for a run into and Jeney’s gonna head into work so thank you everyone for watching And real quick if you haven’t yet you’re watching this on YouTube you can subscribe by hitting the button below also in the description is a link to come join us in the real world productivity group on Facebook. It’s free you just got to answer some questions want to make sure you’re in actually want to be here your instant processes and productivity and automation and thanks to everybody in the group. Love the questions keep them coming and I’ll see you next week.