Productivity Academy Live Q&A February 28th, 2018

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In this episode we talked about:

  • How can you increase your productivity on side projects at the end of the day when you’re tired from work/college?
  • What are your best tips for time management when working on long-term projects?

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Hey, this is Adam with Productivity Academy, and it is the 28th of February. So this is going to be the last live Q&A for February. And if you’re not watching live, and you’re catching the replay, you can join us in the Real World Productivity Group and get to ask questions live and definitely ahead of time. So click on that link and come join us. Answer a couple of questions, let us know about why you want to be a part of this group with other people who are looking for better productivity, better apps to help them, better time management, all that good stuff.

All right, today we’ve just got a couple of questions we’re going to get into. We’re going to be talking about how to increase your productivity on like side projects, or things you’re working on, maybe at the end of the day when you’re tired from work or school. And also, a question that I misplaced, so I will be finding it shortly. Oh, there it is. All right. “What are your best tips for time management when working on long-term projects?” All right, and then if we have any live questions, we’ll be answering those, as well. So let me move this over here, and we will get started shortly.

All right, cool. So the question again was, “How you can increase your productivity on side projects at the end of the day when you’re tired from work, or college, or whatever it is?” So this is a really good question. I find that, from time to time, this pops up for anybody. This could be like doing or taking your kids somewhere you promised them, to yeah, building a business on the side. I think if you can plan ahead a little bit for this, then you’re gonna really go far. What works for me and what I think can benefit a lot of people is I’m just going to use some arbitrary times and things like that.

But let’s say, you get home at six p.m., all right. If you know you don’t work well on an empty stomach, then you’re probably gonna eat or have a snack. Maybe not eat a meal, but maybe … Again, try to keep your routine. Don’t break your life apart. Then maybe take a five minute break, unwind, go for a walk, do something. Clear your brain because as you move into that next activity, you want to be focused on that, okay. I think that’s really important when we try to go, go, go, that can be really difficult, and it really hurts us by keeping our full engagement. Basically impossible. We can’t do it.

So once you’ve done that, this could be your story. Like I said, it’s five minutes, maybe it’s 10, 15. Lay down. I don’t know. Take a quick nap. Whatever really recharges your batteries and lets your brain kind of unwind. And then set out some goals. What is it you’re doing? Okay, and again, for taking the kids somewhere, this maybe overkill, but just maybe think about it. Like, “Well, okay. What are we doing? What’s the goals of this? How long is it going to be?” If you’re working on a side project … Excuse me.

Set those out. Write it down on a Post-it note. “I’m going to work for 90 minutes. These are my three goals or action items that I am going to accomplish in this period of time.” Set that timer and go after it. How you work from that point on is pretty, I think, highly personal, whatever it is you’re doing. You can customize that. Do you need quiet space? Do you need specific items? Can you set that up ahead of time? I think just going through that though and performing that. And then keeping to that time.

Don’t burn yourself out. Maybe at the end of 60 or 90 minutes, you’re going to be like, “Man, I could keep going.” Know yourself. If you can, that’s great. But it’s also good to stop, accomplish what you told yourself you were going to do, and then do something else. You’ve got the next day to think about. Don’t stay up until two in the morning and then make the next day garbage.

Also, this can impact relationships. Is there somebody in the house that you should be interacting with? Things like that. So like I said, a little bit of planning can go a long ways, and then when you set up those like action goals for like a 60 or 90 minute work period, man, that can really do a lot for you. Because that could include, “I’m going to review what I did last time and what I set as goals for this time, and maybe a quick look at, okay, where’s the project at?” You can get a lot done on an hour or two a week, or maybe a few times a week, and really get something going. Good question. Really like that.

I’m going to pull up the second question while I grab some water. All right. “What are your best tips for time management when working on long-term projects?” That’s a very good question and I think one of the main areas I’m going to touch on here is that a lot of it has to do with the same ideas as kind of your daily task management. What I mean by that is, doing a daily review. When you set down and do a daily review, it should include big projects. That doesn’t mean doing a deep dive into all of your projects, but looking and doing a review of where you’re at, and what needs to be done.

Okay, so long-term projects, I know for different people, it could be a project you’re working on every day for a year, three months, two years. Or, it could be you’re waiting on something for two weeks, but keeping on top of that and setting that schedule for yourself. Maybe it only needs to be a weekly review. “Where are we at? Do you have a Gantt chart? Do you have a timeline? Do you need a timeline?” Maybe that’s something you need to do. Or, you need to check in with people on a regular basis and setting those times, but then setting that reminder for yourself so you don’t have to be like, “Oh, man. Did I do this or not?”

So having a regular period, maybe it’s daily, again. Maybe it’s two times a week. Maybe it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or whatever that schedule dictates. And then setting up that reminder and just having something simple. Maybe a Google Doc, maybe it’s your notebook, you have that hit list of, “Here are the things I need to review.” Okay, so just as examples, “I need to check in with these people. I need to check this dual drive folder for any new documents.” I’m just making this up, and maybe two or three other things. What are the top things you quickly review to check on a big project?

I mention that in a time management sense, because this will help you stay on top of it. With long-term projects, right, it’s hard to completely identify everything that’s going to happen. Although you can get better about that over time as you do more projects, or you have the same types of projects, this ensures that you’re at least aware of where things are at, and where they’re going in the near term. Again, review of the big goals so you’re aware of any big changes coming.

Or, “Hey, there’s a problem now,” instead of forgetting about it and letting it balloon into a big problem that totally derails the project. “Okay, we’re a little off course. Let’s go back there.” I find that to be really helpful for projects. It’s definitely something I’m working on. I consider myself to be a decent project manager, but as projects grow in scope and size, that can be challenging. Part of that is the number of people involved and managing people, as well.

Great question. I don’t see any others. I’m going to check real quick for some live questions, and if that is it, we will wrap this up real quick. If you’re watching, too, be sure to join us. If you’re watching the replay, that is. Join us in the Real World Productivity Group. All you have to do is click on the link. It should be in the notes here. Then come join us.

If you want to be around people who are interested, like yourself, in increasing the productivity. Either you’re an entrepreneur, looking to grow a business, you want to start a business. Or, anyone else, if you’re interested in finding out about how people do this in terms of time management and productivity, or you just want to talk about apps, love doing that, too. Come join us and happy to have you. I think that will do it. I don’t see any more questions. So thanks for watching and I’ll be back 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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