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 November 2nd, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.
In this episode we talked about:
- What are some productive ways to spend time on a commute with limited to no internet connectivity?
- What are the productivity tools you used the most for saving time?
- How do I manage time to be able to work on side projects?
To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit: https://productivity.academy/resources
The Productivity Academy and welcome to number 57. Today is the 57th episode of the weekly Q and A’s where we talk about productivity processes apps all that good stuff. so today we’re going to be talking we got three main questions one of them is like what to do when you’re somewhere like what no internet right which you know a few years ago maybe that wouldn’t it seemed like such an actual question we have to ask ourselves but I’ve actually this comes up every once in a while and I think it’s a fun question but it’s also a good one to kind of explore so we’re going to get into that.
Also talking about tools to save time like which tools you can use to save the most time and then the side project idea like how can you best approach a side project managed to have the time to manage that whether that’s you know, you’ve got a business you don’t start new one you’ve got a job you want to do something else so going to get into that. but real quick first of all if you’re joining live, feel free to ask questions. I’ll be monitoring that as we go. And then if you are watching the replay, you can find out below where to join us in the free Facebook group for asking like questions. And if you want, you can just leave a comment and we’ll answer those as well. We try to if we have time.
Last but not least, if you’re watching the replay as well. You can click subscribe and stay up to date, obviously with these Q and A’s and then as well as any app reviews, and then anything about productivity, process, automation, all that sort of good stuff. So let’s get into it. Alright, the first question today and pull this up over here was about what are some productive ways to spend time on a commute with limited to no internet connectivity.
Okay, so I know this comes up for people, especially if they’re in like a rideshare or maybe they’re on trains or just you know, you’re somewhere where you don’t have internet connectivity. Okay, so if that comes up I say personally, you know, to really try to maximize that. I know some people would say, if you, you know, you could maybe use your phone or tether or something like that. But, you know, I think that this is a great time to do those activities that a lot of us maybe have problems making time for, or that we don’t do as much. And so the big one that obviously comes up is read, all right, if you don’t have connectivity, you can have a paper book, you could have your Kindle and it’s a good opportunity for you to learn. And I think that not only, you know, just learning from a book, but learning in different ways.
So there’s a course on Coursera, it’s a free course. And I believe it was Stanford based, but it’s a course on how to learn, basically. So it’s course on learning about how to learn and looking at that, from the ways they teach is like you have these kind of two modes, right? You have this really focused mode where you’re really into stuff and then you have this kind of diffuse mode where, you know, maybe we think of it more as like those times where you’re kind of not spacing out, but you’re just letting you know, your thoughts kind of go and things just come to you. Or you start bringing things together, once you’ve really focused and you take a quick break, and just let your mind kind of absorb it.
And so I think that there’s a couple good ways you can do that you could use that time just to think about the day, think about things, observe the things around you. And then on top of that, maybe spend part of the time focusing on something, reading, learning and then spend it you know, a little bit of time, just kind of let your brain kind of do its thing. So on top of that, that particular aspect, I think that there’s something interesting I think that it was in Cal Newport book, Deep Work. And he talks about this idea of just being bored.
And it might have just been an article he wrote, but I thought it was from the book and it’s really interesting, this idea that we could just be bored and it’s a skill and I think that’s interesting to a lot of people. When I first read it, I was like, yeah, that seems kind of weird, but you start trying to practice this and go in somewhere while you’re waiting in line for a coffee or something. Don’t pull out your phone.
Just try standing in line for two to three minutes. And you start noticing one that almost everybody’s distracted, you know, use those times, you know, say something, talk to the person next to you, if you don’t want to just kind of observe what’s going on around you. And this really helps you kind of from for myself, at least, I think what I’ve seen in other people, helps you, you know, avoid those moments where you feel like you’re constantly doing something, I feel that that’s what the phone does, where we’re constantly looking at it. And you always have something that’s occupying your mind which may be in the end might not be a great thing.
You want to have that kind of diffuse mode of learning where you’re just, you know, let your brain do its thing, and it’s not focused in on something. So lastly, I’ll give a personal recommendation for something you can do when you have limited or no internet connectivity is bring a postcard or bring a sheet of paper and write a letter to somebody I mean how I don’t know about you I love getting mail it’s so rare that you actually get real mail and it’s so nice you know, obviously personal that you get this and so I think it would be a great addition to start writing.
Maybe it’s once a week you write a postcard to a friend or family member. I mean, if you do that, nowadays, you’d be considered like a prolific writer just once a week, and, you know, really helps build and strengthen those relationships. So guys, I hope that that’s helpful. And I think that those are at least a good place to start for some things you can do if you’re commuting and you don’t have internet connectivity.
Alright, so next question. Let’s take a look.
Next question is, what are the productivity tools you use the most for saving time? Good question. And I’ll start out with one that I think is really interesting and everyone should try I’ve tried it throughout the years I’ve been impressed more with how it’s working lately. And that’s rescue time. So just to answer the question I’m not saying that this is the end all be all for everyone but give it a shot because it is available, tracks mobile time You can set it all like blocked websites. So if you said like a pure focus time than if you try to go into like your email inbox, if you have that listed, it won’t let you in unless you, you know, wait a certain amount of time and tell it anyways.
So it’s really good for stopping those times where you’re just, whoops, I ended up on Facebook like things like that. So that said, though, I think that, you know, it’s more important that we have a framework something that helps us instead of just saying, you know, use these tools and they kind of helped me do a couple things. So what I mean by that is, if you haven’t yet every once in a while, I’ll just put a number on it once every quarter every 90 days do time blocking where you to keep track of yourself down to the like, I’d say like 15 minutes and try to do that for at least a whole day if not two or three days. And this is one of the most difficult things that I’ve done but the payoff is huge and usually I’ll end up only doing it for a day because immediately you start seeing where you’re you’re wasting time and how you can spend that time better.
Okay. And so I mean, you’ll start just being honest with yourself like, nobody else is going to see this. Just write it down. You could have a post-it note, you can have a notebook, whatever. And maybe you have a reminder every hour just to update what you did over the past hour in like 15-minute increments. You know, where you on Facebook, you don’t just write it down where you on your email, write it down. And once you do that, you’ll start to see, oh, hey, maybe I shouldn’t stay out of my email in the morning. I shouldn’t keep the tab open. And I should have a reminder to check it right before lunch or something like that. It’s just one idea. But doing that on a regular basis, just reminds yourself, oh, this is how I’m structuring my day. And this is how I’m actually spending that time and that to me is a huge time saver. Okay. It’s just being aware of where you’re spending your time and the way to do that is by kind of writing down or what you would call it it’s not really time blocking but just writing down what you’ve been doing.
The next one I think is a really good one for saving time is Pomodoro technique and I think that the kind of talked about this and terms of focused and you really focus in. So let’s say you do a Pomodoro. Oh, and if you’re not familiar, this just means like focusing and cutting out distractions for a shorter period of time, and then taking a break, and you kind of repeat that cycle. And so a lot of us work better under some form of deadline, okay.
And I’m not saying that all of us, you know, need to put a date and like a big countdown timer, but having, let’s say, a 25 minute period where we say we’re going to work on this one thing for 25 minutes or until it’s done and then go, you know, we block out the chat apps, we put our phone away and most of us tend to get a lot done. It’s amazing when you put yourself into that mode, how much you can get done, and you say, I’m only got 25 minutes go. Turns out we can give you the incredible amount of work or tasks done and be really productive and then sticking to that and saying, okay, and that 25 minutes is up, stop, get up, go do something else that doesn’t involve focusing. So you know, literally go for a five minute walk, go get some water, you know.
Take a walk around the house, do the laundry, something like that where your brain just gets to relax gets to kind of think you know it’s playing catch up and you’re getting a chance to relax as well and physically move around just generally a good idea.
Alright, so other than that, I would just say that adding on to the idea of looking at our time for this is use your calendar. You know, this is really important as I always talk about doing a daily review, but then starting to put in your calendar where you think you’re going to be doing these tasks, okay, as you plan your day, and maybe that’s in like the best self journal and you’re just filling out your day in terms of what you’re doing throughout it. Maybe it’s in your online calendar, but getting used to that generally helps save time because you get better at estimating and understanding how much time things will take you so I think that that’s some good tools to help you start saving some time.
Alright, and the last question for today was how do I manage time to be able to work on side projects? So that’s a really good question. And I think that, you know, no matter if you’re you already have a business and you’re looking at, you know, another business or being involved in another project, maybe you’re working a job and you want to start a business on the side, whatever it is that this is a really important question for two reasons. One, you have something you’re interested in and you want to pursue, but then you also need to make sure that whether it’s your first or main business or your job that you keep that going. So I think that one way you can do this is the daily review.
I think that this, you know, covers a lot of bases, but understanding what is your time available, and instead of saying, I’m just going to work on, you know, my side project for four hours, is that even possible today? So, go through and plan out your day and see, okay, you know what, I’ve got a full day You know, I’ve got a meeting, I’m having dinner with somebody and then realistically, I’m going to be tired. I think I could fit in an hour though, instead of telling yourself unrealistically I’m going to spend three or four hours in the evening and maybe there’s something else but I think that going through that process helps you realize where time could be recovered, as well as then being realistic with how much time you’re going to assign to that side project that also goes into a little bit of time blocking.
So doing that daily review and saying, you know, hey, I’m going to put aside this time for it, put it into your calendar, make it real, whatever tracking you use, whether it’s calendar, if you use like the best self journal, and you do some time blocking, put it in there. If you’re going to work for an hour on that side project, then make sure you put it into into that tracking area.
Let’s see also on this, I think that this is really important that if you’re working on a side project, you need to make sure that you’re allowing yourself to take breaks in between. So again, let’s just say you’re working nine to four on something, give yourself time to go for a walk, eat some dinner, whatever it is you want to do to unwind a little bit and then come in and start working on that side project. And again, this could apply even if you’re working two or three hours on a project, and then coming in and doing another two to three, take that break, allow your mind to relax, get yourself, you know, physically ready for it.
And then when you come in, you know, set yourself up for success by, you know, writing down what is it that you want to accomplish in this work period, you’ve got any goals that you have and what are the exact tasks that you want to get done, and then go for it. And then I think realizing to that, just to wrap this up, is that you know, you can’t always have it all okay. And I think that we, we tend to probably assign ourselves more than we can handle that’s normal, but be realistic with yourself. And you start using these time management techniques so that you can more accurately get a forecast for yourself of what you’re capable of. Instead of, you know, being the person who’s saying I’m going to do this side project and not realizing that it’s going to take 10 hours a week when you only have five and then either the project doesn’t succeed or it takes much longer we feel guilty so getting better about you know, avoiding those things. That’s one of the great side benefits of employing some of these ideas about the daily review time blocking us you’re using your calendar or whatever it is that you want to use for these.
So all right, well I think that is it for today. I don’t see any other questions so this will be it for Episode 57. But looking forward to more questions for next week. And again, if you’re watching the replay, you can join us by finding the link below come join us you got to answer the three really tough questions just kidding. They’re easy questions just want to make sure that people who click to join want to be in the group it’s just you know about what you’re working on in terms of productivity, processes, automation, and just a little bit of information about yourself so we can make sure you’re a good fit for the group. And as always too if you’re checking us out on YouTube, you can hit the subscribe button stay up to date on these weekly Q and A’s as well as product reviews. And again, more information about processes productivity, automation. So Okay, I’ll catch you next week.