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 3, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.
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Hey everybody. It’s Adam with Productivity Academy, and we are live with this week’s Q and A as I’m working through getting back into my routine, and getting back to doing the Q and A. It was nice having a little bit of vacation. Took a week off from doing this, but happy to be back, and getting back into it.
So, real quick, if you’re watching this, and you haven’t subscribed to the YouTube channel, you can do that if you’re watching it on YouTube. If you haven’t joined the Real World Productivity Growth Facebook group, please join us over there. This is where you can ask life questions during these Q and A’s if you want to do that, as well as getting a lot of other information, and joining a group of people who actually want to improve their productivity, learn about better business practices, processes, things like that.
And then a quick word on Facebook too, which I thought was interesting because I come from the standpoint of I don’t like Facebook as a productivity tool by itself, because I think it can be distracting. And it depends, it’s like email, on how you use it. But I looked around like okay, I do want to have this group where I can have people, like minded people who want to grow in productivity and process, and so how can I do that? And, so I really encourage you to join the Facebook group, because I think that those can be well used, and it’s an area where we can be together and share ideas. But then, when you’re not needing it, you can close it. I’m not saying, “Come into Facebook, and leave it up, and always be on Facebook.” That’s horrible. It’d be just like email. But I think it’s a great place where I can share these videos where people can ask questions, get some realtime help, get feedback from a group and community. So that’s why I decided to go with that, because I had to think about that for a while, and really think about where it would be best to do that. And, as a platform that so many people already have access to, I think that that was the best choice. So, by all means, please come join us.
All right. Let’s get into the questions. So this week, the very first question is, How can I become more productive when everyone around me wants to relax and do nothing all the time?
So, one, that’s a great question. Two, a little bit of back story. I think this is a really interesting question that hits pretty close to home for me. One of my jobs I had as an engineer, I didn’t have this problem, luckily people were doing their work, but it made me think about where I was going. And the people around me weren’t doing the things that I wanted to do in terms of where they were focusing their time and attention. And ultimately, even in the business, I didn’t agree with what was going on. And that was fine, that helped me choose my own path, and decide to become and entrepreneur, and follow my own path consulting and building some businesses.
But I think that was important, because over time one of the most important things to me became what is it that these people around me are doing? There’s days where I would spend more time around those people at work than my family or my now wife. And I started thinking about that a lot, and as I was reading some books about … I know there’s a lot of sayings. I can’t think of the one exactly, but you are kind of the product of who you spend the most time around, and that can have a big impact on you. So I really identify with this question of what can I do if all these people around me are just kind of sitting around, and not going anywhere. It feels like maybe they’re dragging you down, or you’re thinking maybe I want to do something else, and what else is out there.
So, what I would advise is basically to really look at that. Just because other people aren’t doing what you want to do, that’s not a bad thing. Certainly not putting them down if they’ve got their own priorities, that’s great. Good for them. But if you’ve got something else you want to do, and you need to put yourself around people who are doing or are above where you’re at. All right?
So you can do this in person. You can maybe, if it’s a job or a business or even employees, if you want to look at people you can surround yourself with. Okay? And in order of difficulties, I would say that that’s probably the harder one, is physically locating yourself around other people.
However, there’s also online versions of this. If you’re an online entrepreneur, this may be easier in the sense that you get to choose who you talk to or deal with on a daily basis at least face-to-face, maybe off of Skype or something. But you can also join Masterminds, all right? Through one of my businesses we have Mastermind, and that’s a great way to meet people. We’ve started businesses with people who were in these Masterminds. Now we’ve been together doing business for several years. And they’re people I respect. They’re people I like to work with, and who are going places and doing interesting things.
Beyond that, I’m a part of several other Masterminds where it’s either business, or professional growth, or personal things, where I get to maybe once or twice a week spend some time with these people that I really respect, either from what they’ve done or where they’re going. And it’s not like I see them every day, but I’m putting myself in that situation where I’m learning from people who are doing what I’m doing maybe at a higher level, or who are going places that I want to go.
So I think that’s a good way to do it. So those are your two, in my mind, big options you have. And another one you can look at, if you just really don’t know where to start, I believe it’s meetup.com, and then that’ll show you kind of around your area, what’s available. And even the place where I’m at, which is not that big, there’s tons of local groups, entrepreneur groups, business, you always got real estate, Chamber of Commerce stuff. There’s tons and tons of information. And again, Exercise Sports, that’s another big one.
So, I would highly advise you to do that, and if you can join a Mastermind. That’s part of starting the Real World Productivity Growth group for the Productivity Academy. And shameless plug here that I wanted to do that because I want to spend time around people who are interested in that. One, not only learning from what I have, but I know that there’s people out there who are gonna have insights and points of views that are gonna help me grow as well, if not only sharing my information with other people. So I think that’s super powerful.
So where you put yourself really does matter. And sometimes it’s hard to remove yourself from a situation, but you can also explain to people if they’re around you and they’re not doing what you want to do that … This takes some tact, and you need to do it appropriately, but just to let them know, I am headed in this direction. This is what I really value, so I’m gonna be doing this thing.
So, good question. Really can identify with that.
So, real quick for a water break here.
Okay. Question number two. Why does being alone at home make me more productive?
Great question. So I can identify with this. I’m in the home office, and I tend to be very productive when I’m here, although that’s not always the case. So I would preface this by saying this is highly dependent on the person. But if that’s the case, and maybe the person asking this is maybe not always at home, and they feel that when they are able to get some time at home alone they’re able to really knock out some stuff. And I would say that that’s good example of being able to focus and lowering your distractions.
I had written a post like a year, I think, ago about dealing with distractions, and you’ve got several different types. You’ve got kind of your auditory, or just noise. You’ve got distractions like people coming up and tapping you on the shoulder. You’ve got distractions like people sending you email. And so, if you’re alone, that word’s very important, at home, then you tend to have a lot less distractions, right? Maybe you can either not answer the phone, or you got the TV off hopefully. There’s literally no one else there, because you’re home alone, so you’re not having to deal with those interactions. And I think that especially for people who aren’t used to that environment, that they feel like they’re insanely more productive.
And that’s a really good thing, because then you can take that and model it wherever you’re at. So if you’re mood transitioning, or moving to a full-time work on your own, then you can say, okay that’s when I need to have a kind of distraction free or low-work distraction environment. Although, you could also say, if I’ve got a job, or I work in an office, then these are the steps I need to take to get to that type of environment. Because at home, let’s say it was quiet. Well then, could I use noise canceling headphones? Can I work in a separate room? Is there something else I can do. So modeling those things that helped you at home, look around and see what it was, and then take that into wherever it is you spend the most time doing work. It’s gonna really help you be more productive.
Okay, and the last question for today. What are your daily rituals to stay focused?
Good question. So, I would change it and just call it routines, and just say that I have literally a folder in Evernote with routines. And I go through that, when I’m setting up a new one especially, because it helps me remember them. Something as simple as kind of my morning routine of getting up. Okay, adjust the thermometer. I don’t have an automatic one yet. And then, doing these other little things that at first I might forget one or two, and then I’d remember it when I’m sitting down to do something later. So really just listing it out. I think that’s an important part. So I have that routine written down, and that includes my morning review.
What I mean by that is sitting down and actually grabbing the Best Self Journal, writing down what I’m doing for the day, looking at my calendar, popping into To-Do List or Focused or whatever I’m using for To-Do’s, going into my project management stuff like dapulse, and getting all of that information together. Going through it, batching, and prioritizing. All right?
So, that’s hugely important to me. If I had to choose one, the morning review is the most important thing. And I think that you can again list that out, in Evernote. Write down what you’re gonna do, because it’s really hard to start one of these routines if you don’t have it detailed out, and just saying “Do morning review” does not work if you’re trying to start a new one. So, maybe after 90 days, six months, a year, or something you can just have a reminder, “Don’t forget to do the daily review.” But I would say to start, you want to be really granular, and really list that out. And then probably moving forward, I would keep it just as a reminder.
And then secondly, I would say that for myself the evening shut-down procedure is a good one, and that’s just kind of going through very quickly, and again gathering all the lose information. Do I have any post-it notes that are on the desk that need to be acted on, or put into my system? Do I have any emails that are waiting for me that I can kind of go through a TreeAge and say, “Okay I can deal with this in one minute,” or I can set a reminder to deal with that one tomorrow. And then, looking at my calendar for the next day, and saying, “Okay, great. I’m aware of what’s going on. I understand what needs to happen tomorrow.” And then just saying, okay when I’m done, I’m done. And if something comes up, I can just pop it into, again, To-Do List or whatever program you use, or put it on a post-it note, and then the next day at the morning review, all that’s taken care of.
I think that’s very important, and really helpful. And those, I would say, are the two most important. If I had to choose one, then I would definitely say the morning review is super powerful. That time when you really gather everything together, sort through it, prioritize, batch, and then go for it.
Hopefully that’s helpful. And just wanted to reiterate again, if you haven’t joined the group please do so. You can find the link in the description below. Join us in the Real World Productivity Growth group, and if you haven’t yet picked up the guide book I wrote, check that out. That’s actually less than the cost of a cup a coffee, and I think it’ll serve you a lot better for a lot longer time. It goes into details about doing stuff like setting up that morning review where you have this process to really gather all that information together. I found it to be really helpful, and wanted to put it together to help everyone else kind of have that solid foundation for productivity and processes. And it’s much more than that. It goes into building business processes, and just lots of other stuff. So, link is also available for that. Check it out and let me know what you think.