Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 66

Join us live each week at and get your questions answered by submitting them at anytime right here: You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on January 17, 2019 above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • How can I make the best use of small amounts of time during the day?
  • How to plan work and then follow through

To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit:

Alright, we are live, hey everybody. Welcome to the productivity Academy real world productivity. This is Episode 66 today is the 17th of January 2019. And we’ve got some really good questions we’re going to go over to discuss today. One of them is about gap time had somebody asking, you know how to make use of that time where either maybe you’re on a commute, you know, you’re traveling, whatever it is, just kind of things between your day and somebody was saying they added it up and it was like two or three hours a day and they were wondering what they could do to maybe get more out of that time.

So I’ve got some really good ideas for that, stuff I’ve learned from others, things I do for myself. So happy to share those and then good question from a new member Julie. She was asking about how to go about planning your work, but then also the follow through, because it’s one thing and I think we’ve all been there where it’s like, oh, okay, I’m gonna write down all the stuff I’m going to do.

Got this huge to-do list or broken it down you know prioritize it, I’ve got these projects we got all this cool stuff but then when it comes actually doing it you’re just kind of like I did the one thing and I’m done. So kind of want to push through that how you can actually plan your work and then follow through and have the discipline to get it done.

So real quick if you’re watching the live, that’s great you’re in the group you go ahead and ask questions if you want, I’ll be monitoring those off to the side and as time allows I’ll definitely be answering those if you’re catching the replay that’s great. You can always ask questions ahead of time you can join, if you’re checking this on YouTube you can look below come join the group for free just got to answer some questions want to make sure you hear into productivity, process, automation, all that sort of stuff you can join the group then and attend these live.

Also, if you just want to stay up to date you can click on subscribe and up to date with these videos. Of course, app reviews, anything else that comes out about processes and automation and productivity time management, all that sort of good stuff. So alright, with that said, let’s get into it. I’m gonna have some tea real quick before we get started.

Alright, so the first question was about gap time. All right, that’s what I decided to call it today, that time in between things. Maybe you went to the gym and you’re on your way to classes, or you’re going back to work or whatever it is when you have more than a few minutes, and maybe you’re driving. And that case, I think this is kind of a special one. If you’re driving, obviously, you don’t want to try to be reading you can’t be you shouldn’t be texting or doing stuff like that, probably keep the communications to a minimum.

And I think that in that case, the audiobook and podcast option is really your go to and, you know, I get a lot out of those. Just, you know, my only recommendation is be safe. I think you know whether or not you can do that or not, but I really used to love doing that. I don’t drive as much now we move to the Bay Area. I’d spend a lot of time walking though either just to go somewhere or just get out and go for walks.

I’ve got this little one of these little like Bluetooth one year headsets, which I like having so I can hear around me. And I’m not surprised, obviously by traffic or people around me, I just pop that in, listen to a podcast. But the same idea applies if you’re driving or doing a commute, you know, listen to podcast or having your favorite audio book and just have that cued up and ready to go.

And I’ll come back to that because there’s an important site think to this about having it ready to go some other ones depending what you’re doing. Maybe you’re taking a bus, taking some a train flying whatever it is you’re doing, then, you know, that kind of opens up your possibilities where you know, obviously you’re not driving and you don’t pay attention to something else. You know, reading is really good way to catch up.

If you’ve got obviously a Kindle hard bound book and actual book something you want to read. And then using something like pocket which I believe is available on Android and iOS and you can install like little extension for your browser if you come across an article maybe you want to read it later, you can just click the button, you can give it a tag, whatever you want to do. And it just goes into your pocket collection. And then you can pull that up later for times like this, where you have something you want to read. So maybe, you know, it’s learning. It’s fun, it’s whatever it is you want, but that way you have it saved for later. And it’s really easy to access.

Excuse me. The other one I think is really interesting is Coursera. And you know, there are several of these like Khan Academy Coursera trying to think of the big one Oh, you to me, or I always mispronounce it. But online courses, basically, several of those allow you to download. So if you have an issue with connectivity, you could probably sign up for one of these free massively like massive person like online courses like Coursera and download it ahead of time. So you’ve got on your phone, your computer, whatever it is, and then you can go through it as you want. So I recently went through the learning how to learn course, which is really cool and hadn’t used Coursera I think in the years went on.

It’s really intuitive, really smooth, it did allow you to download the video. So if you’re offline, you could do those. So that was really, really helpful. Okay. And then I think the most important part of this is that you have what you need prepared ahead of time because I think that’s what stops a lot of people is, oh, I’ve got my commute but I got in the car and started driving and I haven’t, you know, cute anything up and I can’t stop or you know I’m done with the gym and I’m on the train to go somewhere else. But now I don’t have my Kindle on me or so doing this stuff ahead of time.

And so you know, that’s building a habit and so whether that setting a reminder in the morning to okay I need to grab my little bluetooth headset and pop that in my bag or I always keep it in my bag. You know, I check these three things in the morning I take my Kindle, a headset and my phone and make sure their charts you know, whatever it is for you. Obviously this is different depending on what you do. But going through and building that routine and that habit then lets you be prepared and you stop having what you know that gap time so I’m gonna check, get on a question make sure I completely answered that switch between events when I some those up as difficult to keep track of time.

Yeah. So I think my just closing comments on this is just I it depends on the amount of time if it’s shorter periods of time, maybe under 30 minutes. I really do think that using these for reading, listening to a podcast, you know, listening to an audio book, something like that is more appropriate. I find it really hard to really be productive when I have really short periods of time. It’s like 10 minutes.

You know, the exception to that might be okay, I need to do some admin where I’m replying to some email some things like that, that’s perfectly fine. You can do that and then you if you want to track this stuff a little bit better. You can use some tools. I know there’s I believe rescue time has and yet they have an Android app. So you could use that if you want to do it Moberly, while you’re on the go, and literally it’ll track what you’re using on your phone or enter some manual time to see what you’re doing.

You know you say commuting and, you know, listen to a podcast or something. So that’s a good way to track that. Because I know we talked a lot about understanding what it is you’re actually doing with your time. So if that’s important to you as well to cover those times, then you have options like that. Or of course, maybe, you know, using even a spreadsheet or whatever it is used to track your time. So, good question. Lots of good stuff in there. If anybody has any other ideas about good ways to fill that gap time and use it as well as keeping track of it, by all means, leave a comment be interested to see what people come up with.

Okay, so the second question today was how can you best plan work and follow through with it and and basically having the discipline to follow through with it because I started off this episode, we’re talking about how we can all probably relate to that feeling of Okay, I feel productive because I’m planning you know, we’re putting down all these things that we’re going to do. We’ve got a task list we’ve got an organized and then you go to do it and you’re just kind of like you know, maybe you get halfway through it, and you just don’t want to do it.

So we’ve all been there. And I think that one of the biggest parts of this is kind of taking a higher level view instead of just diving in, getting that task list written out and then just go into work, you know, on a smaller scale like well, do what you should on a daily review, okay, get your task all together, grab it from all your places, whatever it is, you’re you know, little yellow Notepad, get it from to do is to Evernote, whatever it is and then prioritize really find out what the most important is.

And if you can batch like, tasks together, like you have to edit several documents, maybe you could batch those together, even though they’re kind of from separate areas, whatever it is, once you’ve taken care of that it becomes really apparent what you should be working on and in what order but then to back it up again.

Another level is that you should be working based on some goals what what is it and this works, whether it’s your own business, whether you’re working at a job and you’re working on a project, you know, what are the main goals of what is it that’s going to move you towards completing those goals.

And I think you can look at that in terms of benefits. And this helps motivate you when maybe a task isn’t that fun, right? We all have stuff to do, whether it’s some accounting, whether it’s writing, what you know, different people feel differently about all these things. But when you get into that position of I don’t know if I really want to do this.

Now, if you’ve positioned it correctly, you can think back to the goals and if you’re working on the right test, this is moving you toward that benefit or that goal that you want and it should be much easier for you to say to yourself or at least you’ll just be like now i don’t care i want to do this because I know it’s moving me towards where I want to be.

I think that’s a good form of positive reinforcement and another way you can do that is to do a like weekly review and I do this at the same time every week and it’s not complicated but just literally asking myself like hey what’s been working really well you know what’s given me the best results whether its monetary as a personal as a fitness and how can I get more of those results? Can I expand what I’m already doing? Do I need to do something else? And then also saying maybe what’s not working so well? You know, and how can I either do less of that? Can I delegate it? If it has to be done? Can I just get rid of it completely? And in that time to identifying like, what are the benefits? What is it that I’m getting out of this?

And am I really working towards those goals, it’s a good time, you know, 20-30 minutes to really identify where you’re going with this stuff, what the benefits are, what your goals are, and then that just kind of reinforces your daily routine.

Because now when you kind of, we go back down into it into the daily view, if you’re starting to organize, you’re getting your tasks together and you’re you’ve been you start working if you’ve gone through all this stuff, you already know that you’re working on tasks that are going to benefit you and move you towards those goals, which is usually what will give you the motivation and the discipline to stick with it and keep going so, beyond that, I think obviously this is a really big topic as far as like motivation.

But, you know, as far as staying disciplined and what you can do, there’s a lot of things you can try, you know, working in time blocks within those time blocks, using like, Pomodoro technique.

And working for a set period of time, whether it’s 25, 30, 45 minutes, taking a break, short break, doing something else, get up, walk around, do that, and then come back and start over, do a few of those and then take a longer break. I know that that helps for a lot of people. And sometimes you just need to work kind of a deep work period for longer periods of time. I myself don’t always use a Pomodoro technique, especially for things like writing where I really start grabbing different ideas and I’m going back and looking and gathering ideas.

And you know, to me, it’s you get in that flow state when you’re writing and it’s to me really important just to keep going. So I’ll do that for much longer than I would normally do something like just almost anything else? Some more administrative type stuff where it’s good. Get in there, bang it on 25 minutes, take five minute break, come back, do something else. So hopefully that’s helpful. Let me check for questions real quick.

All right, I don’t see anything else. So that’ll do it for this week. Like I said earlier, if you want, you can check out the replay. If you’re seeing this on YouTube. That’s great. If you want to join the group, you can click below and join for free and if you want to stay up to date as well. You can click Subscribe on YouTube and watch these every week. See the other reviews and other videos and other than that, that’s going to wrap it up for this week and we’ll catch 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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