I've just started producing a new Podcast called Beyond The To Do List, where I talk to people who have been successful at settings goals, and achieving them, while overcoming obstacles in the way of their goals.
To make the show even better, I'd like to ask: What are your productivity hurdles or roadblocks?
What hurdles have you had come up that you've been able to jump, or sidestep for that matter? What roadblocks have gotten you stuck when it comes to managing time, tasks and attention?
Motivation can be a tricky thing. Definitely an issue I want to cover more. Even if you have everything organized and laid out in an attack plan, but lack motivation, you will have a hard time executing.
For me, it's been putting the cart in front of the horse - in other words, choosing the productivity tools before clearly understanding my overall objectives and WHY I wanted to become productive and organized.
I love gadgets and applications. Unfortunately, I love these too much and have bought apps only to realize I wasn't going to use them. I finally sat down and gained clarity on the following items.
I can answer 3 and 4 pretty easily in this post. My hub application is Evernote. I want as much as I can manage going into Evernote. However, Evernote does not have a great project/task management feature. I went shopping and found Nozbe. I'm not the world's biggest Getting Things Done disciple, but I adopted GTD and use Nozbe because Nozbe integrates with Evernote and Google Calendar (I use Google Apps for my business e-mail/calendar).
Great input Dallon!
I too have fallen under the tool search trap.
Honestly, sometimes a pad and paper, and just collecting things, as well as using a plain old desk calendar for commitments causes me to keep them, and keep on track.
This truly is a core principle to productivity: time management. Steven Covey said “The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
You hit on the second part to it too: Distractions. In other words, once you schedule your priorities, you remove the possibility to be taken of track of working on that priority in the time you scheduled for it. It sounds like you figured out how to eliminate even the possibility of distraction when you write.
My productivity hurdles are definitely being intentional with my time as well. I'm doing quite a bit on my social networks to build up my credibility/authority and sometimes it is like going down the rabbit hole. Next thing I know, I've wasted 2 hours and my blog post is still sitting with only the title filled in and I have 6 more tabs open in my browser of articles or links I've clicked on in preparing for my post.
I need to be more diligent in creating my priority list and sticking to it!
I'm not perfect with this, but I've had to design certain times each day to go check in on each network and respond, or post, or schedule posting. It is definitely a hard thing for me to ignore, unless I eliminate the option, like putting the phone and laptop away when I am at home with family at night.
Yes, I think the best thing I can do is to be more intentional with my time. I need to keep a better to do list that helps me stick to my tasks and block out times of the day when I'll attack certain thing. After listening to your podcast this afternoon with Andy Traub, I'm also going to be more diligent about not using my computer and phone around my son and make sure the evenings and weekends are more family time even though I'm trying to get my business off the ground.
I'm not always great at this, but when I am it makes a world of difference. On my best days, according to my wife :), I put the laptop in a bag under the bed, and my phone gets turned off and set to charge on the little table we have for that.
Now I just need to stay away from the TV and play!
I think my biggest roadblock is knowing where to begin. In other words, I see the big picture pretty well, but I often find it difficult to break the big picture down into smaller, short-term goals that I can reach.
I also find that I can be easily distracted, so to be more productive, I try to plan ahead, so I won't be so easily pulled away from working toward my goals.
Where to begin is hard. Have you ever read GTD - Getting Things Done by David Allen? I love the brain dump. You sit and just let your mind pour out any and all worries or stresses or things you feel you need to do. It's like clearing out your mental RAM.
The great thing about doing this is the release you feel, and the ability to look over it all written down and start to group it together into action items.