Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 59

 

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 November 15th, 2018, above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • After getting very off schedule, say with traveling or loss of continuity in routines, how do you get back “into the groove” without it becoming overwhelming? How long does it usually take you?
  • How will time management help you be successful?

To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit: https://productivity.academy/resources

It’s Adam with the Productivity Academy. This is Episode 59. Today’s the 15th of November 2018. And we got some really good questions today. So one of them was from one of the subscribers last week, I believe, let’s see if I have this up front. So after getting off schedule, like with traveling, or just loss of continuity and routines, you know, stuff comes up, how long does it or how do you get back into the groove without it becoming overwhelming? And how long does it generally take you? So that’s a really good question covering a lot of areas.

And then the second question for today is, how will time management help you be successful? So both really good questions, we’re going to get them to those in just a second. Real quick. If you’re watching live, that’s awesome. Glad to have you in the group. And if you have a question you can ask it. I’ll be checking those out here on the side. And if time permitting I’ll get to those if you’re not watching live or watching the replay. That’s awesome. You’re probably watching it on YouTube. You catch it live if you want by checking out the description below all the link to the Facebook group and you can join for free you just got to answer some questions about you know what you’re interested in productivity you know if you need any extra help or information just want to make sure that we get people in there who obviously like ourselves who want the productivity or ended processes and apps that help them do that all that good sort of stuff.

So also if you’re watching on YouTube, you can hit the subscribe button, stay up to date, obviously get notified about these as well as things like productivity app reviews and some one off videos, things going through processes. Automation is all that sort of stuff. So let’s get into it. Very first question day was again, it was about after getting very off your schedule or a loss of continuity. Maybe something came up Yeah, just some last minute travel or vacation. How do you get back into the groove without it becoming overwhelming and how long does it usually take you so this is a really good question. I personally identify really strongly with this because I know that on top of this question directly about after it, there’s also issues when traveling like well you know maybe your business traveling but you still don’t have enough time here either not you’re familiar environment or you’ve got these things that are normally taking up periods of time when you would be really productive say you’re going to an event during meetings.

So there’s that aspect to you. But let’s just focus on afterwards. I think you know, the important part of this, it comes back down to making sure you have that time let’s say you come in on a Sunday night, you know, it’s 11pm you finally get home and you get up the next day and how are you going to get back on track? So start with the daily review. When you get up on Monday morning, you that daily review, make sure that you’re keeping that habit built and you’re aware of the things like what are your tasks, what’s on your calendar, you know, don’t let that overcome. You don’t, don’t sidestep it and say I’m tired from travel or you know this or that because by at least acknowledging these are all the things that have going on, you can start to prioritize them and sort them, okay? And you can say, Okay, I can’t get to this thing or this is truly important. This has to be done today. Because a lot of this after that point becomes really subjective.

You know, some people take maybe just that first day back, it’s, it’s tough for them, or some people just get right back into it. And they go full bore. I know, for myself, generally, the first day after travel and coming back, I start to fade off pretty quick in the afternoon, I can generally get back into it. But I find that even more so than usual days, you know, by the afternoon, I’m not really able to focus and so I mean, I can do tasks. It’s not that I just like stare at the wall or something. But I find that you know, my productivity really goes down and so I try to do things like I don’t schedule intense meetings where it’s actually you know, like maybe diving into some details. I could definitely have a conversation with someone but I would never schedule like a financial review or something like that in the afternoon right after traveling.

And, you know, I think that this is important and why I’m talking about myself as because you know, when you’re not productive, and you need to schedule around that, just doing that morning reviewer putting it in your calendar, you’re not magically going to become more productive, because you told yourself, you have to do it right, kind of set yourself up for failure, which is the exact opposite. You don’t want to reinforce that you want to reinforce the good stuff. So I think that what you can do is to try to do what I’m talking about with scheduling the downtime. So my example if I know, you know, in the late afternoon or mid-afternoon on that first day back that my productivity just going to nosedive then I schedule around that, okay, I don’t plan meetings ahead of time I save things like maybe I need to do some reading that time or maybe I pushed back and do some exercise during that time.

So instead of, you know, having some time where I’m at the computer, I’m up I’m moving I know that for myself that words so for myself the length of time This takes generally I noticed one to two days. To get back to normal, and generally it’s just one day. And a lot of that is just building that momentum. So this kind of goes back to ideas on on being productive instead of, or the rather, there’s two ways of doing this, like the eat the frog method where you did it the biggest and most important task and get it done right away, or you build the momentum for myself, in this case offering coming off and travel, I wouldn’t try to tackle the most important or I would have tried to tackle the important but I wouldn’t maybe take the biggest asked I would want to build that momentum back up since I know that have kind of, you know, I’m off course a little bit, I need to get back into it. And so I want to build that momentum. So I keep going.

And then I think that this also, once you get into this process, you can look ahead and say, Okay, I’m traveling this week. I’m leaving on a Thursday. I’m going to come back on Monday, but I’m flying on Monday during normal time. So I need to schedule reschedule some things and I know I’m going to get in late so what does my Tuesday actually look like and being smarter about that, instead of saying, I’m just going to keep my Tuesday schedule the same, right? If you do that, you’re going to set yourself up for a rough day when you could have maybe moved a meeting or two around, you could have gotten some work done ahead of time and cleared out I’m or whatever it is you need to do exercise, go to the grocery store and make sure you get the deed those are the main idea. So getting on top of it, and then getting in front of it are some great ways to get back into your group without it becoming overwhelming.

Really good question. Okay. So the second question for today is how will time management help you be successful? Okay. I think that this is a great question and it’s something I think maybe they touch on in schools. I’m trying I was trying to think about that earlier that was I know obviously it’s you know, deadlines and schedules and that sort of a thing but I think that in my education didn’t touch on what I think to be one of the most important areas that I think as an adult and maybe as a good now I just don’t recall this but this one of the single most important things I like about time management how it can help you be successful is by making you trustworthy and accountable and I don’t think rather I think that a lot of people underestimate this and by that I mean for example have had hiring conversations have come up both in the past and recently and we said okay we have two candidates are few people person a over here has done an extremely good job but you know they’re missed a few deadlines and you know, they just kind of like no show at one time know we’ve got this person who’s shown person being has done a good job, you know, no major issues but you know, they’ve shown up they may not be the next expert in the field that show up there on time they complete their past on time and they’ve been very community Well, to me, that’s a no brainer I want that person who is trustworthy and who’s good with their time and knows how to manage their time because we can teach her, show them how to do the rest. But the people who are not able to be good with time management that really impacts more than just themselves and starts to show.

So there’s kind of two ways you can look at that. And one is, you know, looking at yourself, and I think that that’s important to do you want to be that type of a person who’s good at time management was enjoyable, who’s trustworthy who people know they’re going to get done, and they’ll have the time to do what they say they’re going to do. And then also, you know, people you work with, or you hire, what kind of person do you want?

Secondly, I think that it’s going to make you and your projects you work on more stable over time, like anything project management, cost estimates, whatever it is, anything you’re doing this takes time you don’t just apply some of these tactics I’m going to talk about a minute and instantly become a more successful with your time management. But over time you develop these skills and I think that that’s really important as well. Because this feeds into your overall productivity, right? You’re able to be a lot better about managing your time managing your projects time, and you get better at that over time. And you’re going to have less of those instances where, for example, your your project into taking too much time or really under estimating what you need these things, right. And then the third item, I think about how time management can make you successful and by being able to help yourself and those around you with lower stress levels. Okay, you know, there’s always projects where, hey, there’s some last minute stuff, you gotta fire you got this and that.

But, you know, there’s definitely some serendipity here where, you know, people who work on their time management skills tend to have less issues like that right. And, you know, some of that is luck, but some of that is definitely it’s coming to those people who put in the time I’m working on their time management and they have less stress because they’re putting in that time and saying, Okay, I’m working on my time in me skills so that my projects, you know, finish within the allotted time, I’m able to estimate correctly, I plan my day out so that I’m not freaking out and dealing with the wild swings in these, you know, getting sideswiped by all this stuff. And then that I product is wrecked in the sense that just people being around you less stressed and then people report to you or you manage people that you know, of course, you’re directly influencing them. I think that that’s important. So to build on that though, let’s talk about some of the common time management tools. And again, I’ll talk about the daily review and schedule I think that this is really important. This is the first step you can take. And if you do nothing else in your day, that this greatly helps you taking that time to prioritize your tasks after you’ve kind of gotten everything in from whatever it is to do is Evernote, whatever you use your notebook and going through prioritizing scheduling, you know, making sure everything dies with your calendar.

It’s good to go. Alright, so getting in the habit of doing that is really important. Okay, I mentioned it used to do lists, obviously whether I don’t care about if it’s a sticky note. Or if you’ve got your best self journal, whatever it is using a to-do list and getting better about that and finding out what works for you. It’s really important. Also using the calendar very important. If you’re involved with any sort of interactions with other people, that’s probably important to use your calendar, I think that this is great for time blocking as well. And this helps you get better about estimating how long it’s going to take something. So an example from myself is on Thursdays, I need to edit articles. And before we just had a time block for working on a specific business. However, now I need to edit articles from two companies. And so I need to start really looking at how I scheduled that out because it’s in my calendar, but it’s not yet broken out. And so what I want to do is use that and say, okay, I’ve done it for two weeks. Now I understand that this could take 45 minutes to an hour so I don’t actually have a two and a half hour time block. I have 45 minutes of editing and then I’ve got the remainder of the time for whatever else it is and working on.

Some other tools you can use specifically for this besides your calendar is Focuster or and if you haven’t checked that out, there’ll be a link available for that. It’s really cool service, is a task management app that integrates both ways, I guess I would say with your calendar. So like Google Calendar, it’ll tie into your calendar, you’ll go in and type in a task and it’ll find x available time for you to do it. Which is pretty cool.

Alright, also just avoiding distractions. Okay, this is a very easy to implement, but basic but very effective time management. If you have, say, for example, a two hour time block then, you know, put down the chat as you’re probably not supposed to be using them anyways, when you’re supposed to have a two hour time block. So do that. Help yourself grab your phone, put it out of reach, put it in the other room, put on some headphones if you can. All right, and then get the most out of that time.

Another little tip that I use to get the most out of out of my time and then to accomplish the things that I want. Okay, again, going back to the idea of a time block is to write out what I want to do beforehand. And that’s literally what I do on a post it note. So I’ll sit down and take a minute or two and let’s say I’m going into a two or three hour time block just write down you know what it is what are the top three to five priorities about our little tasks and then go after them and start at the top and work your way down and that helps clarify and make sure that you’re not missing anything then also will help you estimate better I just did one block where I was talking about anything the articles and I ended up only have enough time to do to go the remaining for item now moving forward, I think go back and say okay, if that’s the amount of time I have, then I need to change the process around or anything myself more time and over time that will become more accurate.

All right, I’m just to go back on another one about avoiding distractions. I think that this one is also really important. Do not leave your email open. Okay, this has to do with like, shout outs as well, whether it’s Slack, Skype, chat, whatever. But do not leave your email open. Check it at set times throughout the day. I personally tried to do this twice. I’m not saying I never go into my email, you know, a lot of times I either need to retrieve some information or whatever it is, but once I’m out of there, okay, and that it’s a skill that I’m still working on. Definitely. But I tried to do that. And then at the end of the day, you know, I don’t do this all the time. I try to stay out of it as much as I can. But I’m normal.

And I certainly don’t think anyone is going to just ignore their email but until the mid afternoon and I just really do try to keep it closed and not open and I found that to be really effective. And then the other thing you can do with emails is to segment your email so email user just about anyone nowadays has filters you could set up to you can say, you know, like emails from Amazon, you know, go into an Amazon folder and you know, at the end of the day, maybe you look at those and say is there is a lot of care about, but you don’t want that stuff in front of your face. Okay. And so the when you do go into your inbox, you’re only seeing the ones that are important and then I need to respond to you.

So hopefully that’s helpful. I think that you know, time management management can certainly make you more successful like I said, by making more trustworthy and dependable it’s going to make you and your projects more stable I’m and help yourself and those around you just have a lower stress level which is just going to help you in all sorts of ways. So all right, I think that’s it for today. Those were some really good questions. I don’t see anything else so I’m gonna sign off and just say if you’re watching the replay, you can hit subscribe, stay up to date, or if you want to, you can come join us in the Facebook group. Yes. Oh, you just hit that answer a few questions and make sure you want to be in a group of talking about productivity processes. Automation is all that good stuff to help you and your business. That is it for this week. I’ll see you next time.

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