Productivity Academy Live Q&A – Episode 79

Join us live each week at www.productivity.academy/live and get your questions answered by submitting them at any time right here: www.productivity.academy/questions.

You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on April 18th, 2019, above, or you can review the transcript below.

In this episode we talked about:

  • Notion productivity app intro
  • How to use travel routines to improve trips & stop overwhelm
  • What tasks do you outsource the most?

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

Right, we are now live a welcome to Episode 79 of the productivity Academy weekly Q and A, we’re going to get started here in just a second, I’m going to minimize a couple things so I can get rolling. Cool. So first of all I want to say real quick, I’ve got a lot of really good stuff I want to go over today. At the end, while I got a second here, if I’m switching around, I’m going to drop a link in so you can get early access to the 14 day productivity foundation challenge that’s going to be kicking off next week, if you can highly suggest to get signed up and check that out. going to be going into diving into the daily review really setting that out diving into detail and breaking it down.

So each day you’re putting together a piece of that and then kind of adding fuel to the fire with automation during week two, so days eight to 14 and then see what you can do to go beyond that, so if you haven’t yet signed up for it, please get signed up. And you’ll get some more information coming early next week. And today though, we’re going to be talking a little bit about notion. It’s notion. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, cool app that I recently came across the new it’s been around for a while. I hadn’t used it. I’ve got a couple of good ideas. I think I’m where it could come in handy.

And some notes on that. Having just come back late last night, around midnight from traveling, I wanted to discuss again, the importance of a travel routine, and how that can really help you and then answer a question we had about which tasks you outsource the most. I think that that’s one a very good question and to can get into some, some deeper ideas, but I want to touch base on that and answer that. So to help out member who was asking that, so real quick, if you’re watching live, that’s great. Feel free to ask questions as time allows.

As always, I’ll get to those if you’re not watching live, come join us live, you can find the link below. And then if you’re checking out the replay on YouTube, you can of course, find the link below to the group. You can ask questions ahead of time. Or you can subscribe to the YouTube channel highly suggest you do that you can stay up to date with these the live Q and A’s as well as app reviews, and other videos that get uploaded to the YouTube channel. So let’s get into it. I’m going to grab some water real quick.

And now let’s talk about notion real quick. So I came across this. And I honestly can’t remember where it was, I think it was on someone else’s blog post feel bad for forgetting who it was. But I got sucked into it. And I really liked the potential of notion and I believe somebody was comparing was asking, Hey, can I use this app to basically replace Evernote? And there were some comparisons given and I’m not going to go into that because I’m not in depth user.

By any means of notion yet I’ve been checking out for about a week. So I’m going to, you know, drink my own Kool Aid, for testing out African myself 30 to 90 days depending on kind of where and how it’s used. And give myself some tasks, give myself some time just to feel it out, see how it’s going to be used before I then assign kind of a project to it as far as what I’m going to do, and then do a review on it and see if it’s either going to replace something or be added in.

And this is kind of the routine of go through as far as making sure that a new app or something is good for me, or it’s good for the team. Instead of just saying, Hey, we’re jumping over here, we’re jumping over here, or, you know, never changing at all, which can be just as problematic. So let’s though, hop over a map share screen. So this is what it can look like. This is very simple. And what you’re seeing is the windows out, they do have just a you can use the web interface or there’s definitely the iOS or Mac app and you can set this up.

There’s a lot of flexibility with this, which I’m going to come back real quick and say that is my bottom line up front is that if this is one of those tools where I feel just based on about a week’s worth of using it, that the power is like a double edged sword, it could be really overwhelming because it’s so flexible and there’s so much but that’s also one of its strong points. And so I am just scratching the surface with this. But what I did was take a little bit from Tiago Forte if you haven’t checked out his blog, it’s I believe it’s practice dot forte labs that’s fo r t labs. Go check it out.

But he talks about having this setup so projects, areas resources and archives and I’m not going to go into detail on what all that is he’s got a lot of stuff detailing that but just this idea of Okay, well you can see up here I’m in Adams notions is just what I named it. If I click on projects kind of get like a navigation bar up here breadcrumbs like a website up could keep going as deep as you want, which is both good and bad. In my view, I think if you were putting together something like a wiki, or maybe a knowledge base, this could be really great. I know there’s teams that do that.

You’ve got it. I think for individual use, you might have to be careful because if you start going too deep, you’re just creating stuff you’re never going to see again. But you have a lot of flexibility and how you do this, you can create things as their own pages, you could add blocks below. So let’s just do this.

For example, I’m going to add a block below projects. You could have text, you could just start typing. You could embed a sub page inside this page to do list. You can change the font. You can have bulleted list numbers list toggled list quotes dividers, you can link to another page. You can have dates and reminders. You can have a con bond board inside the page. So like we click on that this is what gets added you basically instantly put in like a little equivalent of like a Trello board in here which is just amazing. So all of that to say there’s a lot of flexibility in here.

And that can be a little overwhelming. So I think if you have an idea of something that you want to implement that this could be a great way to test it. And with any tool, having an idea of what you want to do beforehand before going in is really necessary. And with notion, I think that that is going to be a great one. They do also have a Web Clipper, just like Evernote, it’s got the Web Clipper where you can click and you know, import a screenshot or things like that. To be honest, I haven’t used it that much looking forward to definitely doing a standalone review on this app.

But I wanted to share this, I think that this has got a lot of potential as far as like another knowledge base and for people who aren’t maybe deeply entrenched in Evernote or like the ability to maybe go deeper instead of only having a few layers wherever now you know, you have that.

You can have stacks of notebooks, and then you have the notebooks and then the notes and like that’s kind of it, which is again as a plus and a minus. With this. You can go deep, there’s a lot more possibilities, what you can do and some really neat stuff there. So if you’ve got the time or you’ve got the need, check that out.

And I’ll definitely be doing a longer in depth review on that moving forward, check and see if there’s questions real quick. Okay. So, like I said at the beginning, one of the things that I wanted to touch on today, again was travel routines. Of course, I find routines to be very helpful. I’m a huge proponent of them. And I wanted to share this because to me, it’s something that helped me and to just kind of show how simple this can be. And it really effective.

So to back up case you missed the beginning. I came in around midnight last night from traveling, had went for a great trail race. We were back on the East Coast up in the Hudson Valley. Just had a great time and somebody whether but that was awesome. When visited some friends went all over the place, been a lot of time on the road got home late and you know, we had some things go well and we had some things go not so well and one of the things that went well was having let me switch back over here is my travel process or routine and this is you know, dead simple right for exercise and make sure I tried to do 30 minutes or three miles and the three miles just refers to running 25 push ups 25 squats, and then a reminder Hey, daily review Yes, I even remind myself do it no matter what you know, if I have four minutes use it. If I’ve only got an envelope and a pencil you use it, you know, prioritize and be aware of what I can make progress on if I’m on the road, maybe not maybe I definitely can’t edit videos, but maybe I can do something that will take the pressure off in the future.

And then focusing you know if I need to get away from the distractions but on the headphones, but down the chat programs, you know, set a timer and knock him out Don’t rush but you know, just be purposeful and set aside that time. That’s really all it is. And I have this on the home screen on my phone. So I can go in and look at that and the routine to remind myself like beep breath, you know, I’m on the road, I never have as much time as I think I do. But doing this little walkthrough will remind me. And is it perfect? Of course not. But it is that reminder. And the purpose of this routine is to help me, you know, approach.

What I always think is like trying to get that 80% of the time. And if I do better, that’s great. If not, you know, it reminds me that hey, pull myself back up there.

So the other thing I wanted to talk about with travel, was having a review after the trip. Like I said, we had some things that didn’t go so well. We definitely overbooked ourselves, we were happy to see friends. We’re spending a lot of time going here and there and doing this and that. And on paper, it looked really good. And then after like the third day, we’re like, oh, my gosh, you know, we’ve done too much. But you know, we’re going to follow through with our commitments. And these are all things we want to do and people we want to see. But we’re going to sit down and say, hey, how could we do this a little bit better in the future, and coming up with some specific actions and I highly encourage anyone to do that.

Whether it’s you know, travel just for pleasure or visiting family for fun, whether it’s business trips, you know, instead of coming home and just be like, devastated after this trip, why, you know, what was it that did it? And what can you change in the future moving forward? Or what actions can you do? Can you, you know,

set up a routine maybe for before you go on a trip, to do things like, Oh, I need to clear out meetings the day I get home, or the day after, because I know I never have enough energy and I always feel overwhelmed. Things like that, or during the trip, what can I do? Can I make sure that you know, when I say I’m going to have three hours to work, you know, what can I do to ensure that that actually happens instead of you know, being scrunched down to an hour and feeling overwhelmed. So that can be really helpful and you know, this is something that only comes up a few times a year for me.

Sometimes we’re just traveling we’re out having fun to do a quick daily review would go to it. Other times there’s times like this where I meant to be working things got switched around, ran out of time. And then after the trip, we want to sit down and say, Hey, you know what’s been 10 minutes kind of brainstorming what we could do better, and then that’s just going to positively impact every other trip down the road. So, hopefully you find that helpful. I don’t have a complicated way of doing this. It’s just sitting down and talking through with my wife, or if it’s just something I was on a trip on myself saying, you know, what went, well? What didn’t? What can I do better in the future?

Okay, so the last question was, I thought, a very good one, and it was, what tasks Do you outsource the most? Okay, and just the simple answer up front. Are Is this the things that are repetitive and the things that are easily organized and by organized I mean, you can create a process around it. Things that you can pass off to someone else easily. Okay, that’s very surface level answer. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory or bad

way, I think that that’s important for some people to hear. But also, I think that the next step is realizing that that is everything over time.

As an example, for myself, writing is something I enjoy doing. I think that I’m at least competent at it. And it’s something that took me a long time to get to the point like, Oh, I can have someone either help me do this, or they can do it, I can edit or I can. Once I’ve identified and learned it enough, myself, for example, maybe it’s writing a newsletter, that I can then teach someone how to do this.

And once I reach that point, there’s no reason that I should continue doing it unless that’s something either that’s super important to me. Or there’s another very good reason that I can keep doing it because over time, maybe at the beginning, let’s say I’m starting a newsletter and imaginary newsletter. I may not know all of the little pieces that go into that. Is there a logo if it’s you know, in a certain program online do I know really well how to use it? Is there a flow to it? Are there things that need to be included? Is there a voice, you know, things like that. But over time, you can really learn that and you can start to template it or you can start to teach someone. And I think if you approach a lot of these tasks like that, that over time, you can then hand them off. And it’s certainly something I’ve had to work on, is, you know, I’m not a special snowflake, you know, maybe in some ways I am. But in the work we do, over time, you can learn how to create a process for it. And a lot of the times where you feel like I can only do this, no one else can do it. It might be because you haven’t properly, even in your mind understood the process.

And so it’s getting a little bit better about over time, you know, how do I break this down? How do I make this more easily understood, so that I can teach it to someone else or someone else can learn how to do this. And then beyond that would be you know, truly delegating these things. So that you can pass those ownership off and say, you know, here’s what you need to do. I’ve given you, you know, these tasks to do and it’s broken down, go do them, you kind of own the result and you know, mistakes happen.

Using the newsletter example, if I had made a newsletter, there would definitely be mistakes. Anyone else would do that too. But you’re you want to give them that ownership that hey, you’re responsible for that, and let them learn over time. And if there’s mistakes they’ve learned from them, and if they don’t, then that’s clearly another problem you need to address so I think that that’s, it’s a great question that’s certainly something that could go into deeply I want to stay away from the process side of that, which is its own thing and I think is really important about how you create processes so that you can effectively outsourced but looking at it from you know, what is it that you can do you know, start with things that are repetitive what comes up every day? What comes up every week? What do you already have organized? Do you have a process? Do you have a Trello card?

Do you have something written down or is it in your head and you can easily like create a video and have someone follow that start there, start with the easy stuff if you’re new to this, and then over time, just realize that you know, 95% of what you do, you could teach to someone else. And again, whether that’s writing it down, that’s creating a video, whatever it is, you can create a process around that and then it becomes repetitive and becomes easily organized, and you can kind of offload that. So hopefully that was helpful. Let me see, I don’t see any additional questions.

So I think that will do it. I am going to post the link again, if you want to get early access to the 14 day productivity foundation challenge, you can find that below. Please sign up for that it’s going to be a lot of fun that’s going to be kicking off next week. The first week is going to be diving into the daily review really breaking that down how you can get the most out of that. So regardless of whether you’re, you know, new or you haven’t started doing a daily review, or if something you do but you want to get more out of it, that is going to be great for you.

And then week two is going to be automation, gonna be adding the fuel to the fire going to be a lot of fun. And I think you’re gonna get a lot of good time savings, as well as some productivity information out of that. So again, you can find that link below sign up, and I’ll see you next week.

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