Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 56


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 October 25th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • How to deal with making a new hire and managing without micromanaging?
  • How to deal with getting small tasks off of my to-do list and schedule?
  • Which common habit is the biggest waste of time?
  • How can I motivate myself to read more books rather than spending time on the Internet?

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All right, we are live. Welcome everybody, this is Adam with Productivity Academy, and this is gonna be a weekly Q and A number 56. So today is the 25th of October. Today we’re gonna be going over some areas like dealing with micromanagement, and then a little bit about how to know when to do hires and how to go about those first few steps of hiring. Interesting, I just had an interview with somebody about this, and then somebody in the Facebook group was asking as well about how to delegate and not micromanage. So those are fantastic questions. Also, gonna touch on which common habit is the biggest waste of time, and then how can you motivate yourself to read more books rather than spending time on the internet.

But before we get into those, I just want to say real quick that if you haven’t yet, please join us in the free Facebook group, the Real World Productivity Growth Group. And depending on where you’re watching this, it should be in the description below. You can click to join, answer the questions. You gotta answer them, if you don’t answer them you don’t get in. Want to make sure that people are interested in productivity, processes, automation, all that good stuff. Get into the group.

All right, and I will also be watching, for those of you are live, I’ll keep an eye on the comments. And we will answer them as we go. All right, and if you’re watching the replay, you can also hit subscribe and stay up to date, obviously with these videos, but then as well with anything for reviews, app reviews, anything else. A bunch of other good stuff. So let’s get into it.

I am on. Hernan joined us. One of my business partners is watching. Thanks buddy. Actually going to be talking about you first of all. So I was talking with Hernan. I’m in Washington, DC right now, that’s why this looks a little bit different. And having a meeting with several of my partners in another business, and we were talking as a follow up to his podcast episode about dealing with hiring and making those first hires. And then this was a really good coincidence, because somebody else in the Facebook group was asking about how to manage without micromanaging the things I’ve delegated. And is this to me is really interesting, in terms of, you’ve got to make those hirings, a lot of people understand I need a VA, I need this, I need that. But maybe you get to that point where you’re hiring a VA and you realize you’re micromanaging, or it doesn’t feel like you freed up any time.

And so one of the ways we were talking about this is to be proactive in getting your Vas or your employees to be proactive, and asking them or giving them a little leeway. Obviously you want them to follow a process, and you want to make sure that you have that set up for them. And that’s on you. But then once they’ve shown that they can do this and do it effectively, get back to them and say, “Hey, could you let me know if there is anything maybe that you want to do, anything that you excel at? Do you notice that there is better ways to do this process?” ‘Cause if they’re the ones doing it, they probably have the experience after anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, it can really get you some feedback there.

And then as far as not micromanaging what you’ve delegated, you’ve got to check the process and if it’s working, then the process works. If it’s failing, you need to fix it. And if it fails, and it’s not the process, then maybe you’ve got the wrong person doing the right process, and you need to look at that, right? It’s not every employee or virtual assistant is gonna work out 100%, and is you need to look at that. And then beyond that, look at the results. Are you getting the results you want from this task? If you are, then stop micromanaging, stop putting your hand in, stop helping out. And that may involve a long time, depending on some of these processes, but over time you’ll find that you can remove yourself, and a lot of times where you’re sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong, it might be because your process isn’t as good as it should be, it’s not complete enough for someone else to do it, or that you’re just having issues pulling yourself out. But I think that’s where you just look at the results. Am I getting done what I want to have done? Yes? Okay, then I don’t need to be involved with that.

I think that those are really good questions, and I think too that a follow-on that Hernan actually asked me when he joined the group, was saying how do you get more time from small tasks? Basically, how can I get rid of these small tasks? And that’s really good thing to do, and I talked about this in a talk last week, is having time to reflect and review. And so obviously, this is on Hernan’s mind, and so maybe when he sits down and he has 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour a week, where he’s gonna say, “What’s working well for me, and also what am I not doing well?” One of those might be, “I’m having a hard time getting rid of all these little tasks, and I find myself still doing them.”

Then maybe he just sets a reminder for one thing every week, he goes through a schedule in his to-do list, and he automates or he deletes or he delegates one of those tasks. And it could be really small, but you get that compound effect. If you take care of a recurring task, and get it delegated or whatever, then the gains are huge. Actually, and I’ll end up sharing a little bit about how that works. I also showed that in the presentation. It’s insane. You would think, spending an hour a week just getting rid of a five-minute task might not really be worth it, but it pays off huge. Huge, huge, huge. So good question.

Okay, next question for today, which common habit is the biggest waste of time? All right, this one’s interesting. I’m gonna kind of approach it from two different points of view. So the first one I think is watching TV, and that’s just purely based on statistics. It’s something, on the average at least in America, of like four to five hours per day, which I think is pretty much by anyone’s measure a little bit excessive. So you can imagine … And I’m not saying stop watching TV. But I think if you cut your viewing in half, how much of that time is actually spent doing something where you really want to be watching that, you can recover a lot of time from that. Again, I love watching shows. There’s series I watch, documentaries, movies, so I’m certainly not gonna say I’m gonna stop it completely, but I would definitely take a long, hard look and see if there is time that you can recover from that.

And then, as far as going on past that, to personally, I think a lot of times we spend a ton of time on social media, and I think these people can really get better about that. Whether it’s going so far as to delete apps, putting your phone down. I talk about this, take your phone, put it face down and out of reach. So get up and physically put it somewhere, so that when you’re working on the computer, you’re doing whatever, you’re not just getting that immediate gratification where you can just pick up your phone, or you can just look at it when it makes a sound or the light shines for the notifications. I think that that stuff really adds up, because it’s not just the 10 or 15 seconds maybe you look at the notification. Then you go into the app, or you end up in your email or Facebook or whatever it is, and then you start dealing with the kind of mental overhead cost of all of those shifts throughout the day, and that really, really adds up. So I think that there’s a couple easy ways there you can really recover a lot of time.

Okay, and last but not least, I like this question. How can I motivate myself to read more books, rather than spending more time on the internet? So I’m just gonna expand this to kind of everywhere, just how can I spend more time reading instead of kind of maybe screwing off or doing something not as productive? And right up front, I’ll say if you’re having a really hard time with this, then front load it. All right? So put it at the front of your day. I know I tried for a while, I was like, “Oh, I’ll read in the afternoon.” Personally, I like reading. I read both fiction and non fiction. I do it quite a bit, but I was finding the books where I just needed or really wanted to read them, but maybe it hadn’t grabbed my attention, or I’m trying to get into it and get some concepts out of it. I needed to literally move that time, and make it the very first thing I did in the day. And whether it’s read 10 pages, it’s read a chapter, whatever you want to do. Maybe some people are able to clear out several hours in the morning, and they can really go in there and knock it out. But the idea is kind of, behind this is like eat the frog. So do that thing that might be the toughest, do it first.

Okay? So get up, whatever your morning routine is, go through that and then add on to that, maybe read a chapter a day, and I guarantee you, you will start seeing some results from that, in the sense that you will start getting through those books. So the other thing I would do with that, is separate those two things. So if you work from home, and you have obviously a desk probably, or wherever your computer is, leave your phone there, leave your laptop, your desktop, go physically somewhere else. If the weather’s nice, go take a lawn chair, go sit outside. Sit in the kitchen. Sit somewhere else where there’s not an internet connected device, and at least you’ll then have to physically move to go do that, and I find that that really helps. It also helps minimize distractions in general. So I think that just those two alone will get you started, and then if you have some follow up questions to that, I think you can kinda fine tune things, but those are two really big ways that you can definitely get a lot more read, without spending more time on the internet.

And then, as you start to see this, or start to see the results from this, I think that it’s kind of self perpetuating, in that you’ll see, “Ah ha, I’m getting better results, I’m reading more, I’m not wasting as much time.” And then you’re gonna do more of that, because now you see that it’s working. So hopefully that works out for you. I’m gonna check back real quick, if there’s any last questions for today. Don’t see anything, so thanks everybody who’s watching live. And again, if you haven’t subscribed yet, you can click the button if you’re watching the replay. You can also come join us, the link is down below, you’ve just gotta answer the questions. Free to join group on productivity, automation, processes, all that good stuff. So that is it for this week, and I’ll see you next week for episode 57.

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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