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Focusing on Task

Lesson 3 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

Focusing on Task

Lesson 3 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

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Lesson Info

3. Focusing on Task

Lesson Info

Focusing on Task

All right, welcome back, everybody. Welcome back, guys. She goes back here in plenty of time. That was awesome that you need to be here on time for a time management class, right? Like I think that's important folks, but we're focused on the task at hand, which is what I want to talk about. Start off. The second section is one of the this class is called time management one o one and obviously, time is a critical component, and not everything is going to be related to task. But the idea is that we should be focusing on task over time in order to better manage our time. Uh, as I said in the first segment, time is huge. Time is big. Time is almost an amorphous blob is david allen's called it that before it's like, is an amorphous blob it's hard to grab onto it, it's hard to hold because it's keeps slipping by write it keeps moving, but a task you can own you can hold you can care for you can you can really make sure that you can manage it and controlled and pointing the way that you real...

ly wanted to go. Um, and you could do that with a team or individually, and we'll talk a bit about some of those tools as well, so we talked about managing time also means managing you and your energy and that's one of things chris said you know like that really resonated but let's take it to the level of managing tasks also means managing you and your energy so we talked about body clock off the top right? So some people are night owls some of your early risers and I want to meet your cell right after himself can you give me an example of a task that you are that you find that you could do fairly easily like with very little effort very little very little band with required to close some tickets at work maybe in closed tickets at work? Okay, so that's something that you've done so often it's almost automatic to appoint right so that when you do those you obviously picked the proper element's in time to take care of those right like you do or you try to like bridge those throughout the day like air you setting aside specific times to do that are you kind of just saying I'm going to do them as they arise so it's more like they're not as maybe not as urgent as doing projects when I find time between working on a project I'll say ok, I have some time between I start the next big thing so let me take some time to do this so that's something that you can do basically in a in a pseudo downtime sort of element, right? Sorry, sort of what you, jennifer what's a task that you have that really doesn't require a lot of your energy or a lot of maybe I'm not going to say fourth thought, but a lot of, you know, mental mental stress on your tio get done and to cross off that list, doing the dishes, doing the dishes, okay, so that no that's good that's a good example, the reason I think that's a good example because doing the dishes is like a very pat like it's active and passive activity, right? Like when you're what I know when I watched dishes and I do a lot of dishes being a stay at home dad more than I'd like, uh, I am actually there's other things going on so it's a low energy task for me, but there's other things that are going on in the background in my head, it's kind of meditative to a point, I don't know if that's like, did you find it kind of putting away the dishes? Actually, more cities more because everyone has to go exactly in the same place it's different laundry where everything is in a different place every time, so how absolutely actually, whenever people, if you ever call me on the phone at my home phone because I still I'm still one of these people there's a landline uh you'll often hear like a clanging in the background and like because that's when I put away my dishes like if I'm on the phone I actually used that as a very passive like kind of like okay that that to me is not really multi tasking because it's not really there is so little energy and so little band with required to do that that I could do both of those fairly easily now obviously in a situation where the phone call is very important an example is a tech support call that I had to do to my local cable provider I want to be is focused on that call is possible so the dishes can wait right? So what about what about you, jamie? What about you? What in terms of a task that eyes maybe a little bit lower energy for you that doesn't take up so much of your of your bandwidth? I'm like cookie because cooking is very meditative to me just so you don't have to think about it. You know, I always quick with my intuition what puts in there, you know, the ingredients he just comes force into place and stay off like, oh, we have to put so much and measure it, I don't do that at all so you're not you're not during mechanical that eyes only file see and I feel you know, that's try something outside and I like the flavor of it trying to come home ria naked just like that right now of course you cook on ly for breakfast, lunch and dinner I only at those specific times right? Right. So you don't okay? I was throwing a bit of a soft I don't that time control me another was right I tried to be fluid that way you know it's more like flexibility you can you free yourself that what you say it? So I mean that's another great example for I will cook on bacon packed lunches and stuff during any given time where I feel like my energy level is at a low ebb or everywhere I mean needed to bring it back up to a higher abb, right? Because that's something that I can d'oh and it doesn't need to be done at around in her time. Um my wife will well she's here, but she'll probably kill me for saying this or at least hold me to task for saying that because I hated baking and I hated the smell of when I walked in the house of baking and the reason I did is because I worked where I worked in the costco for years is right next to a bakery, so it was just nonstop blueberry muffins and stuff all the time, so I became like a verse to it, and I don't, and it wasn't because I wasn't happy where I was working, it was just that was a condition that was there, but now that I'm working from home and now that that that is almost like something that I can find some soul ascended cem cem, you know, I can move things forward in one element of my life, such as creating a dessert for my kids or cookies, and my kids are fussy eaters, you know, my son likes peanut butter and jam these if they were just peanut butter cookies, forget it. So I have to be very specific, but again, baking is one of those things where I get to be a bit more precise because with baking and I just learned this, if you're a baker, there has to be some form of precision and what you're putting into the recipe to a certain degree. If you don't, then things don't turn out. So those air low ebb task, what about a high, high energy like what's something that your like I need I need to be at my best to do this writing a speech for those monsters are gonna spend some time, nothing else is going on at that time, you're like, I need to be at my back like I need tohave have that time and that I'm at this energy level I could do that. What about what about you, jennifer say preparing for training someone getting through the curriculum knowing yeah, getting the practice what about you, jamie? Well, sometimes like you got a project you like for me I facilitate events sure for meditation groups, you know, like when there's a teacher coming to town and I kind of have to think and very, like meticulously I was going to be more like common people and the venue, you know, all the different small, if the ingredients right there to tie this event together, right? So it's a project and there's a lot of parts incorporating and now notice how I don't want to I want to actually ask ask deviant and chris about it too. So first off, why don't I get you guys to give me a low energy task for each of you like what's something that doesn't really take a lot of your your band with minds entered that means energy mines, laundry okay, but the problem with it is that I find myself avoiding those high energy tests and going back and just doing laundry when I think I did the logic yeah, exactly and that's what a lot of people do still take those low energy task go if I could combine a bunch of those together there thought is maybe I'll get the energy love, but what happens is you just end up it's like those small tasks that were talked about the first segment to the chapter where they're like, I have all these small little agreements I've made, which generally, that you'd think would lead to a bigger agreement, but instead, no, what just saps your ability to deal with those big agreements high energy for may I wait to involved get backing for whites? Color? I don't have no idea what I'm doing no, chris, you can drop your laundry off in my house, I'll spend my internet stuff tio good, but, you know, I agree with cooking. I feel like for me, a lot of times I will just sort of get into my mind of chopping vegetables or just getting in that mindset of just it is meditative in a way, yeah, and it doesn't requires much effort at something like laundry in my mind, just sort of go on autopilot, and what I found interesting is when I asked you guys not hear about low energy task, it took a little bit longer to come up like they were like it's low energy, it took a little bit longer to come up with high energy like this, this this so when you have a structure in place, we talked about the tent and the foundation, you're going to be able to come up with those low energy task a little bit more because you're going to capturing more stuff. We talked about capturing a minute so that you can find those little pockets where your energy is at that level where you can say okay, you know, I'm going to do I'm going to do laundry? I'm gonna you know, I'm going to cook, I'm gonna, you know, make that phone call, I'm gonna put away those dishes so you'll be able to pull out those a little bit more. Plus you're gonna be able to better gauge what is actually really a high energy task versus what maybe is a normal energy or it's, not you're giving it mohr you're giving it more energy than it requires, or further to that you talked about projects you're you're looking at the project as a whole and saying it's, a big energy task when it's not a task at all. In fact, a task by definition are project by definition. Rather, uh, is anything that is made up of two or more tasks that's a project so, uh, you know, washing the dishes technically, if you really wanted to compartmentalize, it is fill the sink you know all that you could go really in detail which is what a lot of people will do if they want to do productive right? But look at the dish project I just finished today I filled the sink added the soap rinsed it it's like great you wash the dishes yeah, but it's a huge production here like it's a big thing so that's that's one thing that you'll be able to do is when you look at start using a structure, a system some kind of app or systematic approach is going to be able to say okay, this is actually a project and there's some little energy tasks or some task that I can complete that are going to take much of my my band with up that will still move that project forward right? Um I want to take it to the chat room in a minute about like some of the ideas that they have in terms of what their their energy level tasks are and maybe get some questions as to what the can you define that a love it better whatever they want I want to ask but, um the differences between time and task is what I want to get to really quickly so task again is singular, right? We just said that tasks are are basically one item that's it time again it could be both would be singular and plural right, we talked about that off the top when you're focusing on a single task, then you know where your focus needs to be one hundred percent of your focus needs to be right, whereas, uh, multitasking which I'm sure I'll hear about it both here and in the shot room um doesn't give you that it doesn't give you that singular focus when you re when you focus on the fact where you realize the fact that a task is actually singular then that's the term singular should resonate with you I need to give its singular focus a task requires singular focus. You could obviously have steps in a project where each task requires singular focus, but when you multi task you're not giving it that singular focus and that means and when you multi what the term multi it is quantifiable right off the top, it says there is a multitude of things whereas singular and uses just one so if you're looking at a multitude of things, then what happens is you're dealing with quantity over quality and when people say all computers multi task they do when they don't they have processes and they're all working on different areas each thing has its own job, but multi tasking is something that I'm not a big fan off I think that when you focus on a singular task and you shift from one task to the other you're going to be more on solid footing. You're going solid ground with which to complete that task as best as you can. Do we have anything that's in there? Yes, we have one here from vanessa follow who says high energy is shooting portrait ce a low energy, our tasks like blogging and cleaning the studio nobody likes to clean. We're seeing a lot of comments that it sounds like everybody is really happy to hear you say that multi tasking isn't such a great there's. A lot of people happy about that. And then cookie lady says a low energy putting bakery boxes together, no brainer, high energy planning, the weak making grocery list ordering supplies right so I mean again when you start and when you start focusing on task singularly, you khun better manage that energy and therefore your time, right? Because you're saying this is the one thing I need to work on at this given moment or at this given time, if that's what you want to look at it as it's interesting. By the way, vanessa fall is for those who either get going toe there's. She did the manifesto poster for miss issues. Thanks. Thanks to her shut up for her, she did a great job with that way. The productivity of manifesto um so when you think time based you're focused on quantity right twenty four hours a day seven days a week three and sixty five days a year there's a roll numbers they're easy to quantify they're easy to say hey you know I have only so many seconds so many minutes you know I'll get a q five minutes to go six minutes ago whatever right that's easy because everyone can think that way right it's easy to measure quantity because it's not really subjective not nearly as much as a task is but when you think time based you're focusing on quantity so what are you going to be trying to dio you'll be trying to fill as much as you can in in any given time so that you can be productive that's what happens to a lot of people will say I get god got all these things done that's why and merlin man coined this term inbox zero and I know that he has said that what people have said that it is is not it and you have so you know what I'm talking about right if you're a determined box there before ok how many of you heard that term in bach's air before no one other than you guys have okay um inbox hero generally conventionally is believed me I got my email to zero I have no e mails left in my in box and that's not what it is if you put yourself in a position to move forward with these things, you've got your pretty processed what needs to be processed so that your your brain can focus and work on the right things that's what it is in and I'm paraphrasing of course, but that's that's essentially what it is the goal is not to get to zero the goal is to get out of that of that inbox and do something with that stuff whether you use any of the four d's so david allen's do which means if it takes and this is definitely from david donald system and you got this far in the book half celso do it takes less than two minutes do it so if you can fold a bakery box in less than two minutes and you've got, you know one that you have to fall although it would take me two minutes to full one, I'm sure that she can do quite a few more do it uh if it's something that you don't necessarily have to dio then delegated, which is a big problem for so many people because what that's where front end work comes into play a lot of people you know? They said I don't have time to teach this person how to do it the way I would do it guess what, no matter how much time you spent teaching them how to do it? They're not going to do it the way you do it. Not exactly. They made you a better I mean, as well as I look around this studio, everyone has a different strength and a different job that there, they're kicking butt at their dude, I can't do what a lot of these people are doing, I can't do what you guys are doing, and if you say, hey, you know, I've still says, hey, I want youto you focus, can you write a block post for me on this? I'm like, yeah, sure, I can write like, wow, I didn't expect you to read it this way. No, this is different, or you didn't spend enough time with me, and I give you something that's, not necessarily a great quality, and all the sudden you've wasted your time bread. So a lot of people have problem with the delegation aspect. We're going to talk about why you should really start to embrace the forties that david allen talks about. We should talk about why you need embrace that won a lot more than you do, because that will allow you to kind of and and that delegation, by the way, comes into play with teaching others how to respect your limits and respect your boundaries that's, a former delegation you know, and there's tools like I said, that will help you with that. But there's also just the idea of saying, you know, I'm going to delegate this to my superior to say, you know, I'm going to hopefully show them how to make this work a little bit better for the whole organization I'm gonna use it myself going delegated as well. So then of course, there's differ, which is that whole idea of whatever you capture if you can't do it now, then you defer it, you move it to a later time or leader leader project or whatever you're someday maybe list is probably full. David allen's got this someday, maybe, lest I don't know if you're reduced someday, maybe lists and inon the focus, I actually do it in every note or a chord in google docks. Ok, and how full is it? It's quite a lot I can't divide it into things that I want to do in the next month or your and things which can be done over the weekend or with three day weekend or vacation, but why do you put why do you have a someday maybe list that's I mean that's that's that to me is a critical thing, why do you have that? Because those are things which are not that important which I want some someday okay, I don't know when I would I would beg to differ I think they are important I think they're important otherwise you wouldn't have put them in that a list they may not be important now, but they could be later right eight and again when you review it and we'll talk about the weekly review you'll be able to decide is it still important or is it just something that I thought about because that's another former curation, right? Is it still important? Right? So when you will put it in that list and everybody I know a lot of people aren't fans of the someday maybe less because they tend to get really big, but those air to me that's a really good it's and it's, not a goal list either. I mean, I like ghouls I think they're important, but to me it's like just those moments of capture that are, like, inspired by nothing necessarily in particular, right? It's like the you know? I mean, I've always wanted to something like this write it down, I've always wanted to go to bali planned trip to bali, then a few years later, I'm like, you know what, sally's, not really where I want to go anymore, I want to go in now and then you've got that trigger there, right so a planned trip to bali me change to plan trip to nassau or planned trip now have kids to disneyland, right? But it's a trigger so you've you've, you've captured it because it's important and you could do that with social setting, so I want to have a party on you don't hang out with my friends and do this particular thing, you know, I want to have this great I wantto plan this great event, you know, I want to do this someday, maybe less, I think are important because it gives you some kind of touchstone, and I'm a big believer in touchdowns to look forward to it's that to be list stuff, right? It's that they like that to be stuff that you're looking at, you think task based you are focusing on quality because the task you're not saying figuring out how much time it's going to take you to complete it, you're thinking, how great do I want to make this thing? And I wish I could remember the quote that's in the green room from human clouds, that gaping void he's on twitter at gaping void that the the picture that's in the green room but like it's, not about something about being awesome, I'll come back later, but it's a really great it's, not about qualities about doing an awesome job like you people get wrapped up in the whole terms of, you know, quality, but really all it means is you wanna do an awesome job on that task you wantto handle that client with great vigor and make sure that they know that you are you know they're a top of mind for you doesn't matter how much time it's that kid thing to write you want your kid to know when you spend that five minutes of totally interrupted time that you're maybe you maybe tracking that they are the most important thing to you at that point in time and what you'll find is and you guys have probably have you heard of the state of flow right there's a book and mahalia that's it thank you because I would not have pronounced it right at all could you say that again? Me high tech sent me high cheek sent me high that's right that's why check sent me high he wrote a book called the flow so I called you flow right and you'll find that if you spend that five minutes if you focused on five minutes, then you'll spend five minutes but if you're focused on the kid, the task, the project it maybe longer it may not be you may get in and have that eureka moment and be done right? You may make that phone call and they're not there and you leave a voicemail done right? You mean that I had spent any time or you may not have to reply to those e mails may just be able to send a text or something like that, things like that. But you focus on task base, you're gonna quality over quantity. Do we have anything in the air? People really? Is this resonating with some people? That it was a question basically asking is their suggestion that one is better over the other or it's more you have to choose which tasks belong in which category it's an awareness thing for a lot of people. So there you go again. All this is subjective in terms of the task. Task to me is definitely when you're looking at, whether should I focus on task or time task always in my mind, time is important in terms of time management, obviously that's part of it. But when you focus on task the time and it gives you that structure, right, like when you look at a calendar, you see the numbers, you see everything on there. When you look at your I'll counter calendar on the mac or outlook or whatever there's some numbers there, it gives you this structure to work with that's important there's a framing their clocks have it all that it gives you that sense of it helps inform the awareness but tasks when you focus on the task that's when the quality starts to speak out right? If you're focused solely on time, then we're going to use cranking things and if you don't if you let the task based stuff slip then time becomes the on ly thing you end up focusing on which means all you're doing is just cranking stuff out and not necessarily at the top at the top of your of your expertise or of your of your ability so I mean that's and to decide what tasks toe work on again, we're gonna talk about the priority matrix stuff like that that's going to give you that's gonna inform you because in a lot of cases what may work maybe important today may not be important tomorrow or may not be important next week, but if you keep if you have this task based mind set, you're going to find it easy to get in that state of flow and you gonna find it that you're creating better work. So stop thinking about time and start thinking about tasks instead so before I want to move on to the five steps in a minute of ah of doing exactly that but do we have more stuff? Do you have one more question sally girl and she just kind of want a clarification of the idea of flow and what that means when you're getting it so flow flow is the state of flow is when you know when you're in doing something so artists will use this for my comedy experience because it's it's a good one um when when I'm when I was on stage and I'm just feeling the flow like you just things were just happening they're flowing out of you time is not really relevant, you're in this really great group you're in that they called sometimes they call it the zone, right? You're in the zone um flow comes and goes on do you generally don't want to interrupt it because especially your creative because the creative khun really do a lot when you're in that minds that right when in that that state, for example, from in a state of flow right now and I get jarred buy something it's going to throw me off my game, right, orel? And it takes that much longer to get back into it. Now flow again will come and it will go right? You know when you're in the zone when you're not and you're normally in a state of flow when energy and task kind of really cool like they become a cohesive unit when you're like your energy level is hitting this flood like this state and the task means a lot because you're connecting to it and all of a sudden this happens and you're just going you're going forward and you're going forward in a way that is really working for you and the thing that you're working on, right? Because sometimes you can move forward for the thing you're working on, you're not really happy about what you're necessarily doing, which is the half to stuff like that, uh, processing those tickets, right? I mean, you and do it doing that low energy task, you're moving things forward, but it's not something that really gets you going, it's just something that you need to do, right? Right after it's it's something that you're like it's, part of the job, right? But working on that speech, right? But when you're working on a talk, if you hit a point right where you're like ah, this is good. Oh, this is so good, and you just keep going. It'll send you look at the clock like, whoa, I forgot to eat lunch time just went by, right? Like that's that's what that's, what flow? Khun b and e it's. Not hard to recognize when you're in it. Um, if you're paying if you if you have that awareness, if you have that foundation, that structure, because you're not really necessarily focusing on, I have to work on this from one to two p m instead, you're going, wow, I'm right, like, I'm really working on on this, and in some cases you have to like, I know I'm going to talk about this in the calendar section as well as in the next session, but there are times where I will set aside a specific period of time to right, especially we're gonna book or something like that, you know, and that can actually lead you into that state of flow because you've again, you've created a structure, you've created the space, and you've given yourself the time, and when you do that, you create better work, right? As john cleese said, and he's done a pretty I think he's done well for himself. Um, you know, I don't know. Is there anything else in there before I move on? We just have some comments here. A j says that it takes him up thirty minutes to regain concentration after an interruption just shows how important it is to focus on one thing, although we have a lot of people in the chat room were saying they're multitasking right now with creative live on in the background while they're working on some of the project, so we appreciate that this is true, this is this is very turn distractions in disruptions or something I definitely want to talk about, because there's there's a key difference between the two when it comes to distractions yeah, they can throw you right off your game same with disruptions there's a big difference on dh they can take you right out of flow but again when you have that anchor when you have that foundation in that structure you can find your way back a lot easier than if you don't so I want to talk with the five steps of how to get exactly two uh thinking task based overtime based okay, first step capture you guys are capturing stuff right now that's why the notebooks air there. You guys brought your own and you know the cameras capturing what's going on right now you know these there's a capturing stuff is going on the chat where everything's going on there's a capture now the question is what to capture right? Like what do you what do you capture? And I mean, I think you know the answer so I think you all that I mean the answer I rarely get bold to everything capture everything absolutely everything when you're starting out that's the cabin when you're starting out because what's happening is when you start capturing everything then you give yourself a basis toe work off of when you decide what you really want to be working on our working towards so for example um we talked about before bed right if you don't capture that thing, it sticks in your head it sticks in your head sticks in your head and then another thing happens and it sticks in your head sticks their head also need eight things in your head and you haven't captured any of them. Well, david allen's talked about this and others have this well is when you don't capture things down when you don't get it down on paper in a digital system, your brain doesn't it's there it's prevalent it's not letting it go have you ever gone tio? You're leaving your house and, uh, you forget something dry cleaning I know it was talked about dry cleaning before the pressure or laundry let's talk about lining your dry cleaning so you forget your dry cleaning and you drive by dry cleaners. They're like dry cleaning. I forgot that I had dropped. You know what I'll remember next time I drive this way all the time it that'll be my trigger and your brain goes all right. Sure you will don't forget your dry cleaning. Don't forget the dry cleaning hey, next time don't forget your dry cleaning. You know that thing that you're going to directly remember to bring it and that's what's going on in your head and your brains going hey, I'm gonna teach you to remember this low energy task the don't forget to pull those bakery boxes don't forget to put away the dishes those tasks that are like they shouldn't be that they shouldn't be the ones that you're focusing on but your brain is going to hate I don't I don't trust you and I don't trust myself to not to do those unless unless I keep reminding you so that's why you capture everything because when you do the rainbow sorry thank you now get back to the real work and ah lot of people have this is the biggest habit that that that people don't jump into they don't take it not necessarily seriously but they get lax with it the whole g t d bandwagon thing that we talked about psycho I fell off the wagon generally in a lot of cases the reason people fell off the wagon is because they didn't they didn't keep up with the capture habit and there's thirty and I got to say for everyone that's out there here and out there and everywhere when you start capturing thirty nine days build this happen for thirty nine days and I'm going to focus more on that later on uh actually I think it's on day three we want explain why thirty nine is so key but you have to capture everything now let's talk about some of the tools that can help you do that because people like you know I don't hate using pen and paper or how do I get this stuff out of my head easily because you want to make it his frictionless is possible, right? I'm sure there's people that that you guys out here I mean you've got your no pads and stuff but you want to get it out of your head into where it needs to be really quickly not as ella. No use on the focus right and use ever known right sees both. What do you guys you are you guys using anything right now to manage that stuff? You just writing it down and then present here? Yeah, ok, what about you? Did you really write it down and then that's where it stays right just written down until you've done it and cross it off. Yeah. Okay, so how many pages is that list so no, uh, no book, just one, you know, looking a new notebook. So yeah, I mean, when when it comes to this stuff, you want to get something that makes it easy to capture because again a lot of people are like I fell off the wagon because it just seemed onerous. It just seemed like impossible to dio. I don't know if that if there's people in the chat room saying, I've tried this capture thing and you're insane kill agrees with the capture everything idea that says I think it only works for me if I have a system even as simple as this no patties for capturing everything and then a calendar reminder to look at the brain dump of everything right and I mean I would go so far as to say that the the missing step in there is that the notebook and then the task manager and the calendar would be another component of it because having a time when you start skating was reminders on your calendar than again we got disruptions we got distractions more disruptions and distractions actually on dh then we're using a counter is a task manager which we really should not be using it for that purpose but yeah capture everything thing is it's critical we have something else greg d actually just asked a question he was asking if he should use if you recommend him using something like a voice recorder to just kind of give himself notes as he goes absolutely it's it's funny when david allen road getting things done that was like in two thousand one so there was no like smartphones or anything like that um you know so people really had to either use pen or paper or they used a digital recorder and I've been playing with one of those new samsung gear watches the galaxy years um and it's got a voice recorder and I never thought I would be using like a smart watch um but I've actually I've been playing with it because you know, it's a productivity yes, my job is to test all these tools today you guys don't have to um but I've been using the voice recorder and it's helpful for like that stuff that for me it's helpful for the stuff that I know I don't necessarily need to move into a bigger picture item or that I can review later so basically the voice recorder becomes just another inbox so like on this trip, for example, because I'm testing this this gear watch out I'm using the voice recorder to go tipped so and so this much money because I want to keep track of what my budget is right? You know don't forget to do this like quick reminders taking a picture with it's kind of weird coz is but but it does do that but that's the voice recorders really key and there's voice notes on iowa's and on android that allow you to in some cases to take that voice recorder like siri, for example, and move that into anni focus, for example or moving. And if you don't want to use something that that that scaleable not going to say that complicated cause I don't think it is I think it's scalable more than complicated uh then you can actually have a go too your reminders app on your iphone or android device in that way you can have that is your capture tool so it creates that you know especially for ideas right ideas mean you say you capture a lot of ideas and avenue right also so that to me is where I'm like I have this great idea for a block close blah blah blah blah blah about the whole typing thing that we were talking about earlier that gets rid of that because I don't want to really type a lot of stuff right when it comes to that I want to get the bullet points out franken email the weisman moto ever note and look at it as an attachment to your note this and only focus has the same feature and you can actually add a you got a lot of capturing what really man and it becomes a tusk absolutely we're gonna get to some of these capture issues and and distinctions in the second anything else before you want to follow up question from q t mousey and says because mike do a brain dump when he wakes up is there a good time for people do it before they go to bed when they wake up does it matter actually yes I do I do to bring down so do you want a morning one at night uh and that's when journaling comes in my journal and I'm gonna talk more about what I used to journal but that's my brain dump um there's ah friend of mine spend freshener on or factor sorry spent uh you might people hutch ah he writes for simplicity bliss and it's it's a blogger talks a lot of anomie focus and he's done well he's a program called text expander which I believe brooks is going to talk about tomorrow that allows is basically there's like a quick snippet that goes into his day one journal which is the af I used and it says today I'm going to blank and you can fill in the blank and put in what you're gonna do so I've used that toe actually create my morning journal entry so in the morning I will actually write a journal entry saying here's how my day is gonna be shaped and then at the end of the day to close out the day I won't do because we talked about earlier about having paper and writing that stuff down I'll take my tasks put the three that aaron my digital task manager on that sheet of paper flip it over then all journal and say here's my successes for the day here on my failures for the day which you know sometimes there longer than successes sometimes shorter we'll see how today goes how that ends up but but then that will help me close that loop and I know jason womack who's done one of the creative life sessions well he he sends a thank you note he writes a thank you note to close out his day like he and his day with gratitude right? So that's his that's his way too close out his day close out that luke so that those kind of again a trigger tells my brain the day's over you know? And if something magical happens at night where I have this great idea yeah I'll capture it but that's just to push off to the next day you're going to say something I understand when you say all this journaling do you like when you want to close today? Do you actually be very specific with it to you as you go in this here? It depends because sometimes you just like okay today this is stan. This is stan is a check off list. No, I don't do that. I don't know that I'm more into details I use more exposition winning journal I think that's a critical that thank you for making that distinction. I don't go here's my day check check, check, check, check. That's what my task manager does I'm more like today was awesome, my son, my son finally said pirate, right uh, you know, like like little things like that, like just those things that that may not appear on my task but definitely inform my day things that that, uh that aren't necessarily to news or private, but they're definitely more I try to make it more essay like it and they don't be I vary the length and all that stuff because to me I don't have very many rules the rule is is to close out my day that's what the rule is for me, but you see, you are trying to share, but first this a segregation time and also passed in time, it's more like quality, quantity and quality would be task. Yes, so what you're trying to re emphasizes that now when I'm off the day, it would be a task that you have doing that actually it's more quality, kind ofthe wrapping up absolutely absolutely so it's and it is I mean, there are certain things where it's not in my calendar or anything like that that says, okay, it's ten pm I'm now going to write in my journal because well, first off I don't go toe to toe one of the morning remember second be uh but it's it's it's a qualitative it's, kind of like a qualitative wrap up right it's like here's how awesome the day wass here's, how here's the not awesome parts about it, but man it's a great day it's been a great day has been this has been that bring on tomorrow and then the next morning when I get up the first thing I do is a journal again right? Because that's where if anything happened during the night I've got that little and and again the key with when it comes to capturing stuff at night on a lot of people like well I keep my smartphone that's paper for sure because you turn on your smartphone big bright light uh now I'm awake something that is more analog in nature is better for that purpose so then I first thing in the morning I'll take what's their journal it before I flip over the sheet of paper right before I do that and then okay then often what I'll do is I'll test myself like right so today I'm gonna do this and this and it's going awesome day and I'm like I forgot about this thing but at least it's there right? So and that actually informs me a little bit too like well maybe this wasn't important and these things all happen now that I've done this for a long time really quickly so I don't expect anyone out there to go how does how does he do all this in a span of like you know it doesn't take a lot of time at first it does take time but then once but then once you start doing it often enough again it's a human approach that becomes automatic right got a question for you in regards to separating business and personal life and if you should have two separate journals or just keep them all together I tend to when it comes to journaling um if you work when I worked in an office environment I worked for a film festival for a while I actually had a separate journal there just to close out that day on dh then I had at home I have my personal one now that I'm a home it's all in wine but that's just because everything's kind of know I can shift easily and it's funny because when I read a journal entry I'll actually write a paragraph that is very much like professional personal but they kind of it just happens organically that way as for a task manager though uh there's a lot of them out there now that allow you to have personal and professional in the same place so it creates lesson bob csis I mean if there's any place that I think in boxes should be separated when it comes to personal professional it's e mail but I'll get to that tomorrow because I think that that's a huge thing where a lot of people are going to be like what do you mean you do it this way and it's a bit of his teaser but I do it in a way that maybe a little bit more unconventional maybe a little bit old school pussy yes used a one journal at night and then transfer it to a paper and then look at it look at it again in the morning so days here's just clarify used a wonder what I'll do before I close out my dad as I will look at my my omni focus or asana depending on which which element I'm using, I will write down the three big things I want to make sure I get done the next day absolutely we'll flip that over then old journal and the journaling may not have anything to do with on this sheet of paper it's just kind of closing out of the day then when I wake up the next morning, I journal first thing if there's stuff that's been captured overnight, I put it in that journal entry because then it reinforces the fact that that's something that I need to move into my digital manager, maybe I'm doing it right away. Then I flip over the paper and go ok, these are the three things that I set out the night before that are important, and the reason that I do that it is a t kind of open the day on a note where I'm not jumped right into digital and b uh it is actually one of the tools you can use to help prevent checking e mail first thing in the morning right journalist on the paper not in the morning journals and they wanna have two entries and day one every single day every single day so my day one journalist massive but there I mean the entries again they can vary right? So that's that's kind of how I do any and it's also part of the capture process because I'm capturing thoughts, feelings energy like if I'm feeling sick I'm gonna put that in my journal right or if I felt sick I'm gonna put that in my journal if my kids were sick I generally put that my journal right? But it also serves as a great precursor to that weekly review process that I'm going to do at the end of the week because I've been doing it every day so it's a habit again that habit I've built that's connecting me to all this stuff so that when I'm managing my time and I'm managing my energy I'm doing it in advance you know what I mean? You mean obviously anyone who's followed hgtv uh david allen talks about the weeks of review and when you first do a weekly review whoa no but it's crazy because you have so much to process right? But if but if you're doing a journal entry every day you're informing that consistently you're building that so the weekly review isn't as painful and when something isn't his painful you're more likely to do it right right? So here's some to capture absent tools and then what I'll do is maybe while I go over these I'll ask you guys what some of the tools you use are at this point for capturing and then we'll figure out what the chat rooms using because I'm only going to focus on cem cem some of the smaller ones there's a lot of these out there and, uh, first up I am a mac guy uh, you know, died I was a pc guy for a while windows guy, but I am with the galaxy and expanding into android because that's, what I have, you know, that's, what I want to do, you know what I have to so but I do use apple products quite extensively and web based one, so we're going to focus a lot on their web based stuff as well as apple stuff, so first his drafts. So, uh, this is for iphone and ipad it's made by a gentleman named greg pierce of agile tortoise. I don't know if any of you guys that are using iphones use this one it's fantastic. So? So what it is is it it's a really it's like a scratch pad, right? So you open it up, you type in, so for example, here I've got the p v is a short code for productivity post so it's for my blawg checking email like when it's okay to checking out first thing and how to do it right so I've captured that and then the second picture there I've put where I'm gonna add it to so it gives you like options of where to deposit it. So for example, this one I'm going to say at an army focus if I'm doing, if that's how I wantto put it in, if I want to say hey, on a specific day, I want to start working on this post or this is what I want to publish it that's where it'll go on dh then of course you could see there on the third slide, there's consented to my writing application of choice or toe evernote, right? So this allows me to capture something and get it somewhere that I wanted to be in his frictionless away as possible on bits again, this is an app and a lot of the apse I'm going to talk about scale, and when I say scale, it means that it could be a simple as you want them to be. But as powerful as you may eventually need them to be right on the focus great example, evernote great example even outlook to a point I mean, for those people who are any of you guys using outlook I know who you are, easing out look funny, but painful. But outlook is one of those ones where most people just use the email, maybe the calendar, but the two duis. Forget it. Most people don't, because it's it doesn't scale well, right it's, not just tasks, so becomes the to do list, and the only thing you could really use this microsoft project, right and that's. So you could see there's, there's, like definitely four different for different portals, where I can send this stuff to it's. Really great. It could scale a cz bigas you wanted to and it's both for iphone and ipad. Does it mean it's called draft south draft? Yes, it is not free. It is, I think, for ninety nine, but yet we paid for. Trust me.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Productivityist Progress Planner.pdf
Productivityist Workbook Printable Exercises.pdf
Productivityist Workbook v1.2.pdf
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike Vardy.epub
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 16x20.jpg
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 8x11.jpg

bonus material with enrollment

Paperless Organization Guide.pdf
The Way Of The Productivityist - A Manifesto.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


Mike's class was chock full of useful information on streamlining a to do list, digitally and by hand. His process seems pretty robust, and extremely well thought out, to provide maximum efficiency and success with the least amount of effort. Granted there is a learning curve, and one must practice to become proficient and use it effectively, but if you are willing to put in the effort there is a major positive impact on productivity. He goes through his favorite apps (he apparently consults with app developers) and why, which was exactly what I needed at the time. Some of his 2nd choice apps may now surpass the others, but he explains clears how to pick the best app for you. I'm a small business owner and I found the class to be quite helpful. Thanks Mike.

Pavel Voronenko

Very interesting class! I would recommend recording it as it based on apps' solutions and since 2013/2014 there are a lot of changes. Al least maybe some wrap-up session. Well done, Mike Vardy and Creative Live team! Jan. 04, 2021


Just finished Mike's course and it was exactly what I wanted and hoped it would be. Nuts and bolts, real life ideas and hands on ways to implement what he shared. If I dedicated the time spent on researching an organizational system on just USING the system, I would be a shining beacon of efficiency. Mike's class and materials helped me let go of the need aka obsession with looking for the Holy Grail of systems and just pick a combo and do it. Thanks, Mike, I'll let you know when I AM that shining beacon of effortless organization...or at least when I quit writing notes on my hand! Great course!

Student Work