Tag Archives: productivity

  • How To Plan To Be Productive: 5 Steps To Doing What Matters Each Day

    Sometimes you get to the end of the day and say “I didn’t get anything done that I wanted to get done today!”  Sometimes that’s unavoidable.  Life happens.  But I’d argue that most of the time, it IS avoidable.

    To be as productive as you can be, you can’t just work your way down a list of to-dos and cross them off. While that might feel productive, it isn’t if you aren’t actually doing the right things.  What are the “right” things?  That’s what I’m going to talk about in this post.

    Doing things other than those may feel productive in the short-term. But soon you’ll realize you did all that work and you’re not that much closer to what you were hoping to accomplish.

    Therefore, a big part of this whole process of being more productive isn’t found just in the tasks you’re doing and how you organize them. It’s found in the quality of your project list and actions as it relates to the outcomes you’re hoping for.  To be productive, you can’t just fill your project list with anything. They have to be things that will actually deliver the outcomes that you’re shooting for.



    This is true productivity.

    If you just accomplish a bunch of stuff, but the outcomes aren’t achieved, how productive were you really?

    So, the key to maximum productivity is focusing in on the outcomes you desire first, then creating the ideas you believe will create the maximum value toward reaching those desired outcomes with a minimal expenditure of effort.

  • The First Step To Being More Productive: Getting Things Off Your Mind

    In the book Getting Things Done, David Allen shares this about the human mind…

    The short-term memory part of your mind – the part that tends to hold all of the incomplete, undecided, and unorganized stuff – functions much like RAM on a computer.  Your conscious mind, like the computer screen is a focusing tool, not a storage place. You can think about only two or three things at once. But the incomplete items are still being stored in the short-term-memory space. And as with RAM, there’s limited capacity; there’s only so much stuff you can store in there and still have that part of your brain function at a high level.

    Most people walk around with their RAM bursting at the seams. Studies have demonstrated that our mental processes are hampered by the burden put on the mind to keep track of things we’re committed to finish, without a trusted plan or system in place to handle them.  As soon as you tell yourself you might need to do something, and store it only in your head, there’s a part of you that thinks you should be doing that something all the time.


    Focusing on the most important things to do

    In the last post of this series, I talked about 3 quick questions that can get you being more productive right away. They were…

    • What is the task or situation that is most on your mind or most important to you at this moment? 
    • What would you consider to be a successful outcome for the task or situation?
    • What is the next action you need to do to move the task or situation forward?

    While these are tremendously helpful to refocus your mind in the moment, they have a limitation – they only focus on what’s most on your mind at that moment, which isn’t always the most important or urgent thing to do. What about the things you’ve forgotten about? Just because you’re not thinking about them right now doesn’t mean they’re not important.  All of us have forgotten about things that were important and slipped our minds. We can’t just rely on our recall if we want to be as productive as we can be.

  • Why A Growing Number of People Should Consider Productivity Training

    If you’ve got indoor plumbing, a machine in your basement that pumps hot and cool air into your house, and it’s just a trip down the road to pick up all the food you can eat, then life is good.  Most, if not all, of your daily problems are, as the saying goes, “first-world problems.”



    But yet, we’re some of the most stressed out people in the world.  What a paradox right?!?

    What I want to talk about here is one main culprit of our stress, and one of the main reasons why a growing number of people should consider productivity training to relieve the stress and be more successful in every area of their lives.

    We juggle a ton of things

    Take a look at this list of things I juggle from day to day…

    • Clients.  At any given point in time, I may be managing 6-8 clients, while contributing high-level strategy feedback to 15-20 more.
    • Platforms.  Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, and on and on.
    • Strategies.  The best strategy for each client on each platform is…it depends.
    • Tactics/Tasks.  Each client may have 10-50 tasks in the queue at any particular point in time.
    • Training. In a constantly changing industry, it’s necessary to be on top of the newest things, the latest trends, and the smartest strategies.

    When I take a step back and look at this list, my stomach starts to tighten.

    It’s likely that you can relate…and this isn’t even including all the things that fight for attention, time and energy outside of work. Some of you may even look at this list and wish that’s all you had on your plate (business owners FTW!).

    So what’s this culprit I’m referring to that leaves people constantly stressed out despite having amazingly good lives?

    The lack of clear and executable boundaries.  Whole books have been written about this subject (I highly recommend this one).