Productivity Academy Weekly Q&A January 17, 2018


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Hey, everybody. It’s Adam with the Productivity Academy. Today is the 17th of January, so we’re moving well into January of 2018. I managed to actually get the year right this time. I’m still in that mode of like writing stuff out and like, “Oh, crap. Nope, it’s 2018.” So real quick today, what we’re going to be going over. We got several good questions. One about task management needs, another one about keeping it all together, right. How do you keep all of the stuff together? You’ve got organization, you got time management, you got all these distractions, so kind of how do you keep it all together?

As well as, what are some crucial questions that you should ask yourself every time you organize your tasks? And, last but not least, I just thought this was good and we’re definitely going to touch on this because it goes into mindset, but how do you stay productive, knowing that none of your action matters at the universal level? So, looking forward to getting to that one.

Real quick, if you haven’t on the YouTube channel, and you feel like it, you want to subscribe and stay up-to-date easily, you can just click on the subscribe button. If you’re watching this live, thanks and I’m happy to have you in the Real World Productivity group. If you want to, you can ask questions live right now. I’m monitoring that while we’re going through here.

So I’m going to move stuff over to the side here and get set up. Before we get running today, just for myself, it is snowy and icy up here in the Northeast. I’m in upstate New York and I am very envious of people in warm weathers right now, but let’s get into the questions. So somebody had asked, in general, just about task management needs, that that’s their single biggest productivity or time management problem. In terms of that, I mean, that’s a pretty general just kind of statement or question. In terms of what you can do about that, is that if you actually have this need for task management, then what you want to do is to just get started.

Okay, and what I mean by that is, to choose something. You may not choose the right process, you may not choose the right task management app, if that’s what you’re looking for. But what you’re going to do by just starting it in one direction, is to find out what you don’t need, which is just as important. So again, like I said, you may not choose the perfect thing, but by taking that step, you’re going to move a step forward, and you’re going to realize, “Okay, this part works, this doesn’t. I can adjust and go from there.”

All right, and that’s always about a 100% better than just not doing anything, and you’re never going to figure out what exactly it is you need. So that’s just my big advice for that. If you ever feel like you have a need for something, definitely spend a little time investigating. If you’re like, “Project management, I really need to take things up. I’m used to doing things on a notepad and I realized I need to do it.” Then go and you find out about like Base Camp, and Asana, and Trello. Do a quick 30 minute review, but then just pick one and start going. You’ll find out much more by doing. Hopefully, that is helpful.

All right, the next question for today is about keeping it altogether. I think this is a good question because I know when I talk to a lot of people, we all have our strengths, myself included. A lot of maintaining at a high level of productivity and being just better at time management, is consistency. That includes keeping it all together. So my big advice for this is, if you’re not already doing this, make sure that you’re doing a daily review.

So I’m going to kind of attack this question from the mindset of, if you’re having a hard time, you feel like you’re getting started on a day, but then you have days where things aren’t working right, and you miss meetings sometimes, but sometimes you’re trying hard. So from that point of view, do the daily review. Okay, and what I mean by that is, you need to have a system. Preferably in the morning, but this could be at whatever time you set, where you sit down and you have the system where you gather everything, right.

So like I’ve got a bunch of Post-it Notes, right now. I’ve got a note card over here. I’ve got my book over here. Then, obviously, on the computer. And on my phone, I’ve got some apps that I use. But once a day, and actually twice a day now, I’ll sit down and I collect all of that. I have a process for going through that and saying, “Okay, I take my Post-it Notes, and anything that’s actionable that I can do right then, I get it out of the way.” Everything else needs to go into my to-do list, either to be looked at later, or to be delegated, or deleted during the review.”

Okay, and then the same for all these areas, so while I may have a lot of things around me, I’m not dealing with having 10 management systems. I really only look at a few. Okay, so that’s the first big part of that, is gathering everything in. If you can, kind of limit that. Well, like I said, I have several things I use, but I don’t use an infinite number of things. I don’t have five to-do apps, things like that. All right.

Then what you do, you can batch those things together. By that, I mean, let’s say you have several projects maybe. Then you batch those tasks by projects, all right. So like, you’re looking at this, it could literally be a list in front of you. You move them around, and you put like items together, okay. You can do this by project, you could do this by type of task. Maybe you need to write emails and that’s in two different projects, but they’re similar. So that’s up to you, how you best work, but you get those things together, so that they’re kind of clumped together.

Then you prioritize, okay. By importance, okay. We try to go away from putting out fires and look at these and say, “Which one of these are actually important, not just urgent?” Okay, rank those things out and then get to work. Okay, so now that you’ve got that organized, you’ve got all of your information, you’ve batched it together, you’ve prioritized it in importance, start. All right, and if you run out of time, or there’s nothing you can end up delegating or deleting, then that ensures at least that you’re getting the very most important things done, and the less important things either get pushed back, or they don’t get done. Okay.

Then, obviously, on the end of that, I would say customize. Like I said, I do mine in the morning and I think it’s a good time for people to do it at, but if it works better for you to do it mid-morning, at lunch, something like that, whatever it is. And then to change the process. If you need to spend more time batching, or you need to do this multiple times a day because you’ve got so much input, then that’s up to you. You really customize this to what you need.

Right, let’s see. The next question here. I’m going to grab some water and then we’ll move on. Okay, so this is another good question. “What are some crucial questions I should ask myself every time I organize my tasks?” That’s a really good one. I think that this kind of goes back to what I was talking about with the previous question and your daily review, and asking yourself, “Is this important or is it urgent?” That, for me, is one of the bigger ones. What is the end goal?

Okay, in terms of kind of a mindset thing. I’m looking at, “What are my main goals?” I do that as part of my daily review. “I’ve got these big, overarching goals of mine. Do these tasks actually fit into that?” Okay, “Have I been delegated by someone else something that I have to get done? Okay that’s fine. That happens. I need to do it. But, in general, do these tasks that I’ve assigned myself, that I’ve gathered, are they helping move my goals forward that I’ve set for myself?”

Maybe that goal could be I’m at a job, and this project is the one I’m working on, therefore, the tasks I’ve been assigned, yes. They fit into that. But also that can apply to exercise, or lifestyle, or anything else. So I think that looking at it that way what’s important and does it fit in with your big goals, is a very good thing to go through when you’re organizing your tasks.

All right, and last, but not least, “How do you stay productive, knowing that none of your actions matter at the universal level?” So I couldn’t pass this one up. I really wanted to answer this, and everyone gets the feeling sometimes, you get into it and you’re in a fog, so you’re just like, “None of this matters.”

And from time to time, I, personally, don’t think there’s any problem with that. But I do think that it goes back to mindset, and if you’re working for something, or working toward something, or your tasks are going towards that goal, that is something that excites you, and motivates you, then you really aren’t going to spend too much time thinking about this, right.

Because I could say to myself, “Like, well, the universe is going to end someday. I could have done this live Q&A or not, it wouldn’t have mattered.” And maybe that’s true, but it’s part of a bigger goal that I have, and that really motivates me, is like just one of them I have fun doing this, and I find it really interesting, and I love answering and digging into some of these questions. So for me, it’s more about personal motivation and mindset, and knowing that whatever you’re doing, if you can make that, tie that into what motivates and gets you going, then I think that’s one of the keys.

So, all right, I’m going to check back on the page for any questions here real quick before we wrap up. And I will just say, if you’re seeing this somewhere else outside of the Real World Productivity group, then please come join us. There will be a link in the description. I’m going to check though. Let’s see. All right. I think that is it for today. So we’re going to wrap it up. Thank you very much for watching, and like I said just a minute ago, if you ever have any questions, you can ask them live in the group. Just follow the link and join us. Hopefully, we’ll see you next time.

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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