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 January 10th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.
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Hey, it’s Adam with Productivity Academy and it is time for this week’s live Q&A. Real quick, we’re going to get into some questions about how you can increase productivity starting right now. How do you structure your time as a writer for your maximum productivity, and then what are the best tools, in terms of productivity, for entrepreneurs?
But real quick, first of all, thanks for watching. If you’re checking us out on YouTube, you can subscribe by hitting the button below, but also the Real World Productivity Growth Group, you can join. There’s a link in the comments or description below. If you haven’t joined us yet, come on in. Answer a couple of questions when you click the link, and then you’ll be in. If you want to obviously attend live Q&As or ask questions for these, and then spend some time interfacing with people who are also interested in increasing their productivity, getting better processes, getting more information about apps and things you can do for productivity processes, time management, then that’s the place to be.
All right, let’s get into it. The first question today is what’s something that I can do right now to increase my productivity? Okay, for this, I really like the morning review. Not just because I like it, but because it’s such a good foundational tool. I’ll just say a morning review, where you go through your calendar, you go through any to-do’s, you go through your task list and any outstanding items, and you gather all of that together. Go through it, prioritize, batch your light tasks, and then plan out your day. This might be five minutes, it might be 30 minutes, it might be an hour, depending on maybe if you’ve got a lot of management to take care. But I’ve found that that is probably one of the single most important things you can do, and then that provides … like I said, it’s foundational, so it provides building blocks so you can then manage teams.
You can go to maybe a weekly review, monthly review. Things like that, and start implementing that across different areas. Maybe just not for yourself, but you can start helping do that as a team or as a business, things like that. I would say that that is really good.
And then if you’ve already got a morning review, I would say maybe take a look at doing your afternoon or a kind of shutting down the day. I think that that could be a really good one, too, for providing closure, as well as mentally helping yourself close out the day and being able to then walk away and know that things are taken care of.
All right. Good question. The second question for today, how do you structure your time as a writer for maximum productivity? Good question. And I do a decent amount of writing. I’m not technically a writer. I haven’t written a novel or anything like that. But when I do have some writing that needs to be done, whether it’s emails or maybe working on an article or whatever it is, a lot of the same rules apply as when I’m doing something else. I need to shut down the distractions. Close down chat. Put Slack away, shut the laptop down, and then get myself as distractions-free as possible, any other little ways I can do. Is the environment quiet? I personally like it when it’s quiet. I can have some music on, but generally noises distract me, so maybe like some non … can’t think of the word for not using words … but music with no words in it. I’m not trying to really listen. It’s just some background noise.
And then when I’m writing just for myself, I prefer to type instead of hand write. You can use an app that maybe is really minimal and takes up a lot of the screen. If you’re using Word, that’s fine. There’s other apps you can use. I know there’s a couple for Chrome. I’m having a hard time finding it right now, so I won’t bother. But there’s a couple apps you can use that are meant to be really full screen and they’re very minimal. You don’t have a lot to distract you. I think that that’s a good way to do it.
And then block out the time. Again, just like you’re doing any other task. Whether you’re writing emails, you’re planning the day, you’re doing whatever, you block that time out and really focus on what you’re doing. If you’re writing for an hour, then you’re writing for an hour, and you just do that and get rid of your distractions. I think that’s the best way to do it.
As well, something else I would include for writing is before you get started, write out what are your goals? What is it you’re writing about? Just a quick, maybe a line or two. What is it you want to have accomplished and what is it that you’re going through? And again, you can apply this to just about anything. I find this is really helpful. Helps you get your brain kind of in that space and gets you ready to go.
All right. Last question for today. What are the best productivity tools for entrepreneurs? Okay, this is obviously a big question, and I think that there’s a lot of answers to this, but a lot of it is super specific, if you go into the best apps or tools.
If you’re talking about tools and apps and kind of the digital side, I think that that’s highly personal. It really depends on what you’re doing. For productivity, I’ve got my recommendations. Obviously, I think that have something like Todoist and Evernote, and those could be different, but I just those two. Todoist for task list and using as a team, and then Evernote for having all of my information gathering, if I have a reference or I take a picture of something and I need to tag it, I do this, I do that. Evernote serves as kind of my tagged reference data, and places where I can work on projects and things more longer term, with generally much more data.
Combining those two, I think, is really powerful, but again, it’s not that you have to use Evernote or you have to use Todoist. It’s finding the tool that provides those functions for you, and then building your processes around that.
The other one, as far as a tool for an entrepreneur and being productive, I would say is learning. Whether it’s asking me a question and getting help or looking at book recommendations and what have you, that I think constantly learning and looking at how you’re performing. This could be 10 or 15 minutes a week. Maybe sit down and say hey, what has been most productive for me? What has produced the most gains? And how can I do more of that or get more of those results? And then what’s the maybe one thing that was the most distracting or what’s the one thing that just didn’t do any results, but it took the most time? And then say how can I get rid of that? Can I toss it out? Can I delegate it to someone? Is there some way that I can do less of it or spend less time on it since it’s not performing results or getting you results?
I think that that’s really important, and then kind of upping the time you spend on that. Maybe it is 10 or 15 minutes once a week and then maybe you can go to half an hour or maybe you can spend an hour looking at that and do kind of a strategic overview of what is it out there that I’ve been doing, listing that out? Are there trends over time? You can write this out once a week. Maybe in Evernote or something. Then you can look at that and really start to get a sense for okay, this is the areas that are performing really well for me and I want to concentrate on that. These are areas I need to minimize or get rid of.
Hopefully that’s helpful for you. I think that’s good. I love talking about productivity apps, but I think as far as what’s the best tools for entrepreneurs, I think that that’s good and it’s really easy to get the weeds with a lot of the tools.
If you want to, you can go to productivity.academy/resources and check out the ones I recommend. It’s stuff that I personally use and talk about as far as how to integrate those into increasing your productivity and then getting your processes built around that.
All right. Well, thanks for watching, and like I said at the beginning, if you haven’t joined yet, please join the Real World Productivity Growth Group if you’re interested in being around other people who want to increase productivity, build better processes, get better time management. As well, you can attend the live Q&As and there’s going to be some more good content coming. So come check us out there, and I will see you next week.