Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 58


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In this episode we talked about:

  • Why is productivity important?
  • How is productivity measured?
  • How should one plan out their day to be most productive?

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Everybody, I’m Adam with Productivity Academy and today we got some really good questions we’re going to be going over, we’ve got one that I really like, which is why is productivity important? Which is a good question that sometimes hear, you know, or people get kind of fixated on like, well, I just don’t want to work harder, you know, things like that.

So we’re going to get into that a little bit and hopefully able to offer some insights about why I find productivity so interesting and why I think you should to also then kind of following on to that a little bit about how productivity is measured. And giving this from my standpoint as an entrepreneur and a business owner, not as, you know, like big scale like economic like indicator type of thing, kind of more of down in the trenches and I think how you can or might want to measure productivity. And then last question scheduled for today is how should one plan out their day to be most productive so

Good questions. And then if anything comes in live all I will be taking that so long as we have time available. So real quick, if you’re first watching this or your haven’t watched one before, I appreciate it. That’s great. Glad to have you in the group. If you’re watching the replay, that’s cool too. You can leave comments, I’ll check those out. But if you want to come join us in the free productivity group, you can find the description down below. You can also subscribe and stay up to date with app reviews stuff about productivity processes, time management, all that good stuff. So if you’re into that you’re in the right place.

So let’s get on with it. This is Episode 58 and today is the eighth of November 2018. So let me pull up the first question here.

Okay. The question is, why is productivity important? So I’m going to go over the reasons that I know for myself are true and the ones that I know are true for other people as well that I know Okay, so that’s the only basis I’m going to put this on, I’m not a professor or anything.

But I think that, you know, it really does boil down to. And this may sound simple, but you can accomplish more, okay? If you’re productive, you’re going to be able to, there’s so many facets to this.

But the general idea is you can accomplish more. And I don’t just mean this in the sense of like, you’re going to crank out more work, okay, I don’t want to be more productive just to do more of the same stuff, but I’m going to be able to accomplish more and maybe that means accomplish more in a shorter period of time, which would basically be taking the same amount of stuff and compressing that perhaps it’s I want to start a new project, you know, and I’ve already got, you know, my time is built for this set of block but if I’m able to be more productive, I can work on that project as well.

Whereas before that wouldn’t have been possible so I think that that also ties into reaching your goals Okay, if you want to reach your goals than being more productive and working towards those goals, if part as part of that and being more productive helps.

You reach your goals. And it can do that in a myriad of ways. But one of those is by helping you be more organized, which I consider to be part of being productive. If you have, for example, let’s say you’re sitting down to write, and for like, for myself, I need to write an email or two every week. Well, if I have the links to maybe the template, I have a link to the Google Doc with common links, or maybe some images I put in there, I have all that stuff in my calendar and it’s right there.

And I can just click and open it, then I end up saving a lot of time. I’m not worried about finding stuff. I’m not getting lost down the rabbit hole of like Google Drive or Dropbox and looking for stuff so all that’s really detail-oriented, but it really starts adding up and that can help me reach my goals. I want to be on time I want to deliver an email once a week at the same time every week with content that I think is important and that’s a goal for me and if I’m not organized and I’m not productive than that goal doesn’t happen.

Okay. And right along with that is lower stress, okay, I really believe this, that if you’re able to be more productive, then as you increase your productivity you’re putting into place the systems and processes that help you bring down the stress level. Okay? I’m one of those is doing something like I always talk about the daily review, looking at your day seeing what’s coming up under, you know, so you’re not getting sideswiped by a last minute meeting. If you do your morning review first thing in the morning, you’ll understand what’s coming up and won’t miss any of those things.

And then you start getting into the longer term planning and, you know, not worrying about these big projects because you’re constantly you know, making that progress, you’re being more productive, you’re being more organized and just starts to bring down the stress levels already touched on it. But I find the organization to be alreally good part of this. As you get more productive and you try to do more.

Let’s say you’re setting up the systems and I’ll use that email example again, if you want to do that better than you need to be more organized and sometimes it really is as simple as well, I put the link to a Google Doc in my calendar, so that when the calendar event fires, all I have to do is click. And it sounds simple, but you’re saving yourself 30 seconds, a minute, two minutes. And if it happens daily or weekly, that time really starts to add up. And you start to see the benefits of that organization and productivity, which kind of in my mind snowballs and you really get that momentum and which helps you continue to do it.

And then one of the last question or last reasons about why I think productivity is important is because you get to do more of what you want to do. And, you know, I think that that’s for me, the really big benefit and if you have to remind yourself about why am I doing this, or why am I working harder? Why am I investing time in these systems and processes because you’re reaching your goals and that’s to me what it’s all about.

Again, I don’t care if I’m cranking out, you know, an extra page of writing or doing this or doing that, like is this getting me to where I want to go and you can look at that from a selfish point of view if you want, you know, just literally I’m getting what I want or more than likely what you’re doing is also helping you. It’s helping your family. If you’re, you know, getting your goals reached, you’re lowering your stress and you’re more organized. Do you think you’re going to be a better person to be around? Of course, and, you know, are you going to be able to have better relationships? Of course. So I see this, you know, both sides, you’re getting what you want, and then you’re giving other people the best person that you can be. So I consider that a pretty big one.

Okay, so the second question for today was about how his productivity measured. Okay, and again, I’m going to approach this from a very down to earthlow-levell perspective. But I think up front, you probably don’t want to be just taking off tasks and really counting that as being productive. Okay, the reason for that there’s a few but I know, excuse me, I know myself, you know, I tend to productively procrastinate were like oh, I need to, you know, make sure the laundry is done or should maybe pick up real quick, or I should clean up my desk like no, because you can check that stuff off.

And wow, I finished, you know, 15 tasks today. But if you didn’t do that one thing that actually, you know, made progress on a project or your business or whatever it is, then, you know, are you truly being productive? And the answer’s no, probably not. So I think that kind of measuring this in terms of your goals, and how you have things laid out is really important. And there’s no set way to do this. I just do this a little bit with the daily review where you organize things according to their priority, or you prioritize, and then you can batch life like tasks.

So maybe you need to create a couple videos, so you batch all those together and do them all at the same time. Okay, and there’s different ways to do this. But you basically, again, do whatever works for you. Another one for me is looking at kind of stress levels, okay, if you’re productive and you’re organized and you have manage your time, well, you’ll generally have lower stress levels, okay. And this again, is it’s very different from person to person.

But overall, it’s it’s true. I mean, one person may be up here on their stress levels and is okay with it. And another person can only take it up to here. And and the idea is just that you can tell when you’re doing things correctly and when you’ve managed your time well, and when you’re being productive versus those times, you’re, you’re not.

And so I use that as kind of an internal barometer of Hey, am I really, you know, being productive and am I organized in the correct ways because if not, I know that I start feeling stressed. I’m starting to feel overwhelmed because I’m probably not taking the time to do a proper daily review for I’m not investing the time to properly organized my tasks and automate them, delegate them, hand them off, or just delete them and get them off my plate because they don’t belong there.

And this slide right into it as time management. You can kind of measure this if you want to do like time blocking. So I talked about this a lot and it’s a really hard task to do but like today, you can see the chicken scratch it as my handwriting here doing 15 minute increment.

And going through and going back. And I’m tracking. And I tried to do this now about once a quarter because I use my best self journal filled out in the morning. But then about once a quarter, I’ll go through and do this where I do a really kind of deep dive into my day, every hour. So I’ll go back and fill in exactly what I was doing. So I’m going to do that for a day or two, and then go back and see, hey, is there you know, areas where I was where I was really messing around, you know, why did it happen, you know, did I end up on Facebook? Or did I end up in my email in the middle of morning when I shouldn’t have been there. And so doing that and looking at how you’re managing your time can also be a way for you to measure your productivity.

Another way to do this, if you want to be more factual or quantitative, I suppose is to use a tool I think that that time blocking technique as far as tracking your time is really good. And then you can combine that with something you use every day like rescue time and there’s a lot of these apps where you can track what websites you’re on block access to certain ones like staying office social media.

So I won’t say too much more about that other than check it out if that’s something you’re interested in. So it runs in the background, usually a mobile and your desktop. So you can get a little review of, Hey, this is where I’m actually spending my time versus what you think you’re doing.

So as far as all of those measurement techniques, I would just say, take the best leave the rest, you know, if there’s one of these that really makes sense to you and you see results from you know, that that’s then the best measurement of productivity. So for a lot of people is probably your goals, again, not test but are you accomplishing your goals and then seeing how that changes over time?

So, good question. Let’s see the last question for today. How should one plan out their day to be most productive? Okay, so I’m not gonna go deep into this but I think the best way that you can do this is to have a daily review and whether you’re using a notebook using notepad on a computer using a best Self journal, whatever it is, but you sit down and you go through your day. And the basic idea is to go through your calendar, go through any tools you use, like Evernote, you gather that all together so that then you have an idea of what’s going on in your day.

And you know what loose items you have. And then from there, you can organize. And by that I mean you prioritize your tests, you can batch like, tasks together, you can fill out what meetings you have, what things can’t be moved, then you take your prioritize task list, and you start going in there and assigning the most important things first, all right. And I think that that’s obviously the really important part is you’re getting those important things done first, right? You’re trying not to focus on like putting out fires or menial little tasks.

But I will say that there’s a couple different ways to do this. And some people believe wholeheartedly and eating the frog and that just means you do the one thing that absolutely must be done whether you like it or not, and you get it done first, because once you do that, everything else is easier.

The other way of looking at this as well. Start with something small. Get the moment meant building and you know build off of that. So it might be like you do a test it takes five minutes you know you can do it and you get that satisfaction of checking it off or clicking the button and then you kind of move on to other tests so I leave that up to you what works best for yourself but I think knowing that about yourself it is important and so trying both of them and seeing what works is is a good way to do that also knowing when you’re productive so that you can schedule around that most people are sometime in the morning if you’re early morning maybe you can get some work done very early before others you know are either up or at your work or you can you know plan around this so I think there’s a lot you can do there but also say.

Don’t forget to take breaks very important if you’re going to use like Pomodoro technique, you can work really hard and focus and cut up structures for 25 minutes. But then you’ve got to take a few minutes and let your brain you know, chill out. Whether you’re just focused on a spreadsheet, you’re trying to learn something, whatever it is, the brain works really well by focusing but then You know, pulling back and going and doing something else, maybe go for a quick walk, get a drink of water, whatever it is.

The other thing is knowing what’s your post backup?

Oh, yeah. Gotta admit that note. So rolling with the punches, right? A lot of this, you know, people, I think, that have a hard time when they first see a lot of like time management techniques, or they’re there, they want to be more productive, but they’re not sure how to go about it. They feel maybe intimidated or they feel that it’s they’re being locked into something. And I think it’s really important to understand that you’ve got to roll with the punches, right? Well, especially like, let’s say you have a job you’ve got to foster report to, you’ve got co workers who are going to bug you, things are going to happen.

And so if you start to understand how your schedule works, and keeping track of it, then you can start to roll with the punches a lot better. Instead of being sideswiped, and being irritated about these things that happen maybe you realize hey, you know what, between one and 2pm is when I get just constantly bombarded with like phone calls, emails, people were dropping by my desk and playing around that, obviously, don’t plan your really intense like focus work during that time or do what you can to let people know not to bother you.

If there is a task that has to be done at that time, I think that that’s really good to, to, to communicate to people that you need time or you need space. And if it’s important enough, people generally listen and appreciate that you’re being upfront about this, instead of, you know, blowing up on them or, you know, yelling at them or something crazy like that. So the last thing I will say about this is to review and improve. So that’s where writing a lot of this stuff down comes in. And you don’t spend a lot of time doing this.

But when you do your daily review, plan out your day, and whatever manner you like, again, using the best self journal, an index card, just write it down in the notepad file. So you do that and keep track of it. Save it and then over time, maybe once a week, go back and look, is there something that could be improved? Maybe you’re underestimating how long things take maybe be you realizing that you’re not getting certain tasks done Why is that happening?

What’s working really well for you ask yourself that and how can you get some more results like that so if you spend even 30 minutes a week doing that you’re going to be way ahead and you’re going to start making progress that is going to be really tangible and you’re going to see pretty soon so hopefully that helps I’m going to check real quick for questions cool. Alright. I don’t see anything so I appreciate everyone watching Episode 58 and please join me next week and get if you’re not watching live you can always catch the replays like you are now or you can join us in the group by clicking on the join link below. You got to answer a couple questions to make sure that you want to be there just some stuff about productivity and processes and if that’s the stuff you’re into, you definitely want to be there. So thanks for watching and I’ll talk to you later.

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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