This Simple Trick Will Guarantee to Improve Your Productivity.

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Do you want to improve your productivity, get more work done and feel less overwhelmed and stressed? There is a simple and easy way to do it.

There are a lot of ‘systems’ and ‘techniques’ that claim to improve your time management and your productivity and work. Many of them, though, involves a lot of setting up and organising and an inordinate amount of time to maintain which means that while they look great, they don’t actually improve your productivity and your effectiveness.

However, there is one ‘system’ that is guaranteed to improve your effectiveness and your overall productivity and that is to do the work.

The single biggest problem I see when I help people with their productivity is the number of apps and ‘systems’ they are using. Too many of these and you spend all your time shuffling tasks, adding labels and or tags and trying to decide where something goes. Now that’s all fine if you want your lists to look pretty and well organised but it does nothing for your effectiveness or productivity. You are just shuffling. You are not doing.

The simple, easy technique to dramatically improve your productivity is to just do the work. Stop shuffling, stop reorganising, stop app switching. Just get on and do the work.

The COD framework promotes this. COD stands for Collect Organise and Do and what it does is puts the focus on doing. Throughout the day you are collecting all the stuff that comes your way into a trusted place. That could be a to-do list manager, sheet of paper or a notes app. It does not matter where you collect everything, all that matters is you collect everything into a trusted place. Don’t trust your brain to remember — it won’t. The rest of the time you spend doing the work you assigned yourself to do.

At the end of the day, you give yourself ten to twenty minutes to organise the stuff you collected throughout the day in its rightful place. tasks go into their project folders, notes go to your notes and events go onto your calendar. You then give yourself a few minutes to decide what ten things you will do tomorrow and then get yourself a good night’s sleep, safe in the knowledge you know exactly what you will work on tomorrow.

Once a week, you give yourself an hour or so to do a full weekly review to be sure you have not missed anything, to organise all your tasks and to create a plan for yourself the following week.

Take the FREE COD online course here

With all that done, the key is to focus all your efforts on doing the work. Doing the work is the only way I know that will guarantee you do not feel stressed and overwhelmed. It is the only way I know that gets your work done. Shuffling tasks around, making your lists look pretty and moving all your tasks into a new app has never improved my productivity and I have not found anyone else who has found it works either.

Becoming better organised and more productive is not difficult. You do not need elaborate systems or expensive apps. All you need is to focus on doing your work not shuffling your work.

When you restrict yourself to focusing on doing the work, you get better at prioritising and you are clear about what is important to you. Your to-do list manager tells you what needs doing next. Your notes app supports your projects and ideas and your calendar tells you where you need to be and when. There’s no complexity at all.

Complexity creeps in when you start adding more and more levels of stuff to your system. You only need one to-do list manager, one notes app and one calendar. It does not matter how busy or important you think you are, you still only need one. As the saying goes; the less moving parts the less there is to go wrong.

If you look at the most successful people they only use the simplest of productivity tools. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done uses Lotus Notes eProductivity and has been using that for over twenty-five years. Warren Buffett uses a $2.00 pocket diary he carries with him everywhere he goes, Sir Richard Branson and Cheryl Sandberg use simple notebooks. There’s nothing complex about any of these tools and these people have reached the top of their fields.

So, if you want to dramatically improve your productivity and time management, then reduce and simplify. Use fewer tools, keep things as simple as you possibly can and focus on doing the work you need to do instead of reorganising, shuffling and switching.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit the like button below👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Why You Should Not Be So Hard On Yourself.

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The pressure to be constantly on your best game and to always be producing, delivering and executing is intense these days. Not only are the expectations of other people placing us under pressure, but the pressure we apply to ourselves is relentless. There’s never any let-up and no drop in the pressure. Just constant demands, endless work and high expectations.

We are living, emotional beings that from time to time get upset, angry, feel tired and are just not in the mood to do the work expected of us. The push to standardise work — to make sure we are always following the SOP (standards of procedure) manual — has left us feeling we have to get the work finished on time every time to the exact same standard on time every time.

Take a step back.

I think It’s time to step back. Time to realise we are not machines. We have our own independent thoughts and feelings. Some days we are going to be on fire. On those days we can achieve an inordinate amount of work to the highest possible standards. Other days we are less energetic. Maybe we didn’t get a great night’s sleep, perhaps we had a fight with our loved one or a relative is seriously ill. There are many factors that can have a debilitating effect on the work we produce.

And that’s the point. We need to understand we cannot produce a consistent amount of work every single day. There will always be days when we are not at our best. We are human beings, affected emotionally by external events subjected to our own body’s biorhythms and our own body’s physical fragility and we need to become comfortable with that fact.

On days when you feel fantastic, take the opportunity to get a lot of work done. On days when you feel particularly fragile just focus on getting whatever you can do done. Small steps taken every day can lead to amazing destinations. You do not have to accomplish everything in one day. When you feel great, do a lot. When you feel not so great just do what you can.

You don’t have to be hyper-productive every day.

That’s a problem with the world today, we feel we have to be hyper-productive every single day and that’s simply not true. It’s not only not true, but it’s also impossible.

This is why we need to be less hard on ourselves. Accepting that there are days when we are not going to be as effective as we would like and instead of sitting at a computer screen and getting more and more frustrated with ourselves, we should give ourselves permission to get up and go out for a walk or just take a nap. Just do something different and that we want to do and feel like doing.

Each week I have a number of things I want to complete. This blog post for example usually gets written on a Monday morning and posted Wednesday morning. Although I like to get it written Monday morning, there’s absolutely no problem doing it Monday night or Tuesday morning if I am tired and not in the mood to write Monday morning. It’s far better I write when I am in the best mood for writing rather than forcing myself to do something my heart is not in the mood for. This need to feel under pressure all the time is what leads to break down and that is not something we should be aiming for.

There are, of course, things you can do to maximise your energetic and productive self. Make sure you get enough sleep. Pulling all-nighters three times a week will just lead to burn out and a terrible state in which to get quality work done. Likewise, if you are filling your stomach with greasy, sugary food all day this will impact your brain’s ability to stay alert.

A few small steps…

To maximise the number of days you perform at your best make sure get enough sleep and drink enough water. These are the basics. On top of that make sure you get enough exercise each day — and no, that does not mean going to the gym or doing a 10k run every day. It just means you do at least thirty minutes walking each day — eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid alcohol. Take regular breaks throughout the day. Trying to sit at a desk for several hours without a break every day won’t produce more work than a person who works for ninety minutes and takes a thirty-minute walk. It’s likely you will produce less work and the work you do produce will be of a lower quality than the person taking regular breaks.

And it is not just healthy physical habits but also mental habits too. Avoid stressful situations. Understand you do not, and will not, have the answers for every problem and never allow yourself to get upset, stressed or angry about events you have no control over. Accept negative events and situations for what they are and deal with them. As the Stoics would tell you, you may not have control over the events that happen to you, but you do have control over how you react to them. Letting small inconveniences annoy or cause you to get angry will not change the event.

Stop putting yourself under constant daily pressure to produce and execute. When you feel you need a rest, take a rest, even if it is only for an hour or so. Just take that time out. When you come back to what you were doing you will be refreshed and energised and ready to produce amazing work. Life should always be about enjoying what we do every day and being proud of what we produce. So be proud, stress-free and well rested.


Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

This is Why Your To-do List Isn’t Working.

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One of the best pieces of advice you can be given if you want to get yourself better organised and more productive is to write down everything you need to get done on a single list. That simple act of getting everything on your mind out and onto a list will immediately remove a lot of stress and give you a better sense of control.

Our brains are not very good at storing reminders and are terrible at reminding us to do something at the right time. I am sure you have noticed this when you discover you need to buy more coffee while making your morning cup of coffee, only to forget to do so when you come home at the end of the day. Your brain reminds you to buy more coffee when you go to your cupboard the next morning and try to make your morning coffee. Very frustrating and a good example of why you should not be relying on your brain to be your to-do list.

Creating an endless list

Unfortunately, when you do start to write your to-dos down the list can become endless. The initial brain dump can be very stress relieving, but it does raise other issues. The biggest of which is once you have all the things you have to do written down is completing those tasks. Sadly, life does not stop just because you have written everything down. Life continues and your to-do list continues to grow. If you are not completing your to-dos faster than to-dos are coming in your list is going to get longer and longer and that is why so many people give up writing to-do lists. It becomes a never-ending cycle.

This is one of the reasons why David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology has endured so long. It does not focus on one central list, it creates lists for the different areas of your life. A list of tasks for when you are working at your computer, a list for when you are at home and a list for when you are with your partner for example. This methodology reduces the number of tasks on your task list to only those tasks you can complete now because you either have the tool or are in the right place or with the right person to complete the task.

Be very clear about what you want to do.

There is another reason why to-do lists sometimes fail and that is the way you are writing your tasks. If you write “coffee” onto your to-do list, it is not clear what you need to do. If you have a crazy day of meetings and crises, when you see the word “coffee” on your list at the end of the day it can be hard to immediately understand what you need to do about coffee. Likewise if you write “banking” on your to-do list on Friday afternoon with the intention of doing something at the bank on Monday, when Monday comes round and you see the word “banking” on your list, you are going to have to think what you have to do about “banking” and often you will have completely forgotten what that was.

To overcome this, change the way you write your tasks by adding an action verb. For example, instead of writing “coffee”, write “buy more coffee on way home” or instead of writing “banking” write “update bank book at bank”. Keep it simple and keep it clear.

I understand when you collect a task you are often in a hurry and this is why doing a mini-review at the end of the day is important. You may have collected a task into your inbox which says “Jane design approval” so when you do your mini-review you can expand the task to something like “talk to Jane about next month’s article design approval”.

When I sat down at my desk this morning, I saw the task “write first draft of this week’s blog post”. It was clear and left me in no doubt about what I needed to do. Had I just written “blog post”, that could have meant many things. It could have meant I needed to edit a blog post, or read a blog post or find a suitable image for a blog post.

When you write tasks out in a clear, action orientated way, you create lists that give you a much better indication of what you need to do and how long it will take. Writing a first draft of a blog post takes me around ninety minutes. Going to the bank to update a bank book would take around twenty minutes and buying coffee on the way home from work would take five or ten minutes. This means when I look at my to-do list for the day, I not only know instantly what I need to do, I also have a good idea how long my tasks are going to take me.

Taking the time to create a to-do list that is clear will work better for you. No longer will you need to stop and think what you meant when you originally wrote the task, you will know immediately and you will find you will be able to better plan out your day giving you less stress and less overwhelming.



Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, please hit that like button below👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Productivity is not about doing more work.

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There’s a perception that to become more productive means doing more work. Yet that is not the purpose of becoming more productive at all. Becoming more productive is about becoming more effective at getting your work done so you can spend more time doing the things you want to do with the people you love being with.

The world we live in today is an amazing place. We can do things, visit places and experience events our grandparents could only have dreamed of, yet our work seems to fill up our time leaving little left to enjoy life. When you become more productive, you free up time and mental energy by getting your work done more efficiently and you experience less stress because you know exactly what needs doing, by when and how.

Living a life of less stress and more fun!

When you know what needs doing, by when and how you are going to do it, you feel more relaxed about what you face. When you collect everything into a trusted place and you have everything organised in places you instantly know where to find later, it creates a sense of calm. It frees up your mind to become more creative, more at one with your surroundings and to enjoy time spent with people you care about without worrying about the workload facing you on Monday morning. It allows you to leave the office at the office so you can be fully engaged with your family and your friends at home.

The consequences of not being productive.

I work with many people who have allowed their work to take control of their lives. Bosses, shareholders, clients and suppliers are constantly demanding time, leaving them stressed and worried about what they haven’t done. Their minds are constantly trying to remember if they have forgotten something, they never have time to relax and it’s not a nice place to be. It leads to anxiousness, dangerous levels of stress and when they are not at work, their mind is still working, worrying about the presentation they haven’t finished, the report they haven’t written yet and the meeting with the important client on Thursday afternoon.

The good news Is making a few simple changes to the way you manage your day is all you need do. Taking a few seconds to collect your commitments, ideas and events into a digital to-do list or writing them down into a notebook when they happen. Spending around ten minutes at the end of the day organising what you collected in a way you will see them when you need to see them is all you need. It’s simple, not necessarily easy, but it is simple.

Practice and patience.

With practice, a little patience and some time, collecting your ‘stuff’ becomes a habit. When it becomes a habit the whole process becomes automatic and when that happens you will find yourself more productive, less stressed and more in charge of your time.

When you become more productive, the first thing you will notice is your stress levels reduce. This is an almost immediate change in the way you feel. You have everything organised and where you need it. You are fully aware of your approaching deadlines and you know where you need to be, with whom and when at any given time. Just that level of control over your time will have a significant positive effect on your overall feeling of wellbeing.

The power of self-discipline.

One of the wonderful side effects of becoming better organised and more productive is your self-discipline improves. The fact you took the time to set up your ‘system’ shows that when you put your mind to something you can do it. It builds momentum and momentum is an incredible fuel for self-discipline. When something positive happens, the feeling you have is addictive. That sense of accomplishment leaves you craving more accomplishment and you begin looking at other areas of your life to improve. It creates a wonderful cycle of positive change that can only benefit you and the people you care about.

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about how I can help more people take control of their time and become better organised and more productive. I know when it comes to self-improvement, for many people improving their productivity and time management is not high on their list of skills to acquire. But productivity and better organisation is the foundation on which you can build huge improvements in your life. Consistently improving ourselves is essential if we want to grow as human beings, but if we don’t have the time to self-improve we will never get round to doing so.

Introducing From Disorganised to Productivity Mastery in 3 Days.

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So I decided to put together a three-day online course — No, the course does not last 72 hours — It is a course where you take three days and by a combination of classes and time to take the required action you can become better organised and more productive. Over the course of three days, you will have around thirty minutes of tuition each day, followed by the rest of the day setting up and putting in to practice everything you learned in the classes. You start on day one by collecting all your stuff together and getting it organised into places you can find when you need it. The second day teaches you the basic tools you need for an effective productivity system and the final day, called “implementation” gives you a system that has helped thousands of people from all walks of life around the world go from being disorganised to becoming productivity masters.

This whole course is designed to get you from where you are today to having the skills of productivity mastery in just three days. It won’t be easy but it is simple and with a little patience, quite a bit of action and consistency, over time you will become a productivity master and with that start enjoying the benefits of less stress, less time spent in a cubicle at work and more time being with the people you care about doing the things you want to do, when you want to do them.

The course launches on Friday (12 October) and I hope you will join me and start a new, incredible life by becoming better organised and more productive so you can spend more of your precious time with the people you love doing the things you want to do.

For more details, you can visit the course’s page here where further details of this incredible course can be found and where you will be able to enrol from Friday.

Good luck and see you on Friday in the From Disorganised to Productivity Mastery in 3 Days.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How To Maintain Your COD Productivity System On A Day To Day Basis.

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The top reason people stop using a productivity system is over-complexity. If your carefully crafted system makes it hard to collect stuff, and you have a complex organisational structure that takes too much time to maintain, you are going to stray from the productivity road. Your system needs to be as simple and as fast as you can possibly make it so knowing what to do next is as simple as looking at a daily list.

If it takes more than ten minutes to organise the stuff you collected throughout the day your system is too complex. You need to be able to ask: “what is it?” And “what needs to happen next to complete it?” And know immediately what to do. If you find yourself having to think too much about where something should go, your system has too many levels. If you can look at something you collected and within a few seconds have it filed where it should go, then you are well on the way to making your system work.

Go back to basic principles.

One of the best ways to simplify your system is to start with the basics. Notes can be filed under simple headings. Work and Personal. Most note-taking apps will allow you to create folders or notebooks in order to create some form of organisation. From there you can decide how to make it easy to find the note you are looking for.

Understanding how you think when you search for something can be a big help here. For me, if I want to find something related to James Bond, I have a tag called James Bond in Evernote. This means All I have to do is search for James Bond and I will be presented with a small list of related tags. James Bond — Films, James Bond — Cars, James Bond — Clothing and James Bond — Accessories. Now that’s just the way I think. You will think differently and you should create a search strategy that reflects your thinking.

It is a mistake to look at someone else’s organisation structure and think that would work for you. The chances are it will not. You think differently and you are going to have different types of things to file and keep. Create a file system that reflects the way you think and the way you work.

Keep your to-do lists simple.

The same basic principles work with your to-do list manager. Too often I see people creating very complex structures that involve multiple levels of projects and sub-projects. The question is do you really need that many levels of structure? To-do list managers only need to tell you what needs doing next and when. If you spend too much time going through multiple levels of projects, tasks and sub-tasks just to find what to work on you are not only wasting time, you are also going to get dragged off into places you really should not be spending time in.

At a very basic level, you only need a list of active projects or areas of focus — depending on which works best for you — and have these organised so the tasks that need doing pop up in a daily list when they need doing. You don’t need different hierarchies of child and parent projects, start and due dates or snooze and hide functions. It is a good idea to have these tasks organised into simple projects or areas of focus so you can review them when necessary. But the purpose of a to-do list manager is to tell you what needs doing next so you can be focused on the important and keep away from the unimportant. A good setup means you are doing the important work, not looking for the unimportant work. A good system shows you what needs doing next with as little fuss and mess as possible and is very easy to maintain.

It’s about doing the work, not reorganising your tasks.

you have your system working properly, you will be doing the important work you have set for yourself and collecting your commitments, tasks, events and notes throughout the day. You should not be spending much time inside your to-do list manager at all. Your calendar will be telling where you need to be and when your to-do list manager will be telling what to work on and your notes app will be giving you all the necessary information when you need it. It’s ninety-five per cent doing the work that matters and five per cent maintaining your system. When you reach that ratio consistently you will know you have the right system.

Take ten minutes to plan each day.

At the end of the day, you take ten minutes to organise everything you collected that day into its rightful place, make a decision on what two objectives you will complete tomorrow and what eight things you would like to focus on. And that’s it. Turn off, enjoy your life and be relaxed knowing you have the next day planned and will be able to start the day off supercharged and ready to get your most important work done.

Being better organised and more productive does not have to be difficult. It certainly doesn’t need overly complex structures. You need to know what’s important, what needs to be done and where you need to be. Anything else is just adding more complexity. When you remove those levels of complexity and focus on simplicity you will find you get a lot more of the important stuff done and when that happens you can spend more time doing the things you want to do, like spending more time with your friends and family, enjoying time to appreciate the amazing nature around you and feeling a lot less stressed.

If you want to know more about COD (Collect, Organise and Do) then you can read last week’s blog post here, where I go into detail about how this system works. I have also put together a FREE online course right here that will take you through the basics of setting up your own COD system and if you are in the Todoist community, I have a YouTube video here that explains how to set up a COD system in Todoist.

Being better organised and more productive does not have to be difficult. It just takes a decision and a couple of hours to set up and you too can start focusing on doing work that matters and being much less stressed.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

You Will Fall Off The Productivity Wagon. Here’s What To Do When You Do.

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No matter how strong your intentions are, there will always be days, weeks or even months when you will lose your productivity habit. It happens to us all from time to time. I’ve gone through it so many times myself when I have become a disorganised mess and yet, I’ve always found a way to get back into my productivity stride by following a few simple strategies.

Here are a few of those strategies you can use to get back into your productivity habits quickly when it happens to you.

1 Learn to recognise the trigger points.

As they say, “prevention is better than cure” If you find yourself regularly falling off the productivity wagon ask yourself why. There are multiple reasons why a person may frequently fall off the wagon. It could be having an overly complex collection system to not having your collection tools with you at all times. Problems can also occur when you do not have clearly defined projects and areas of focus or you continue to ‘trust’ your brain to remember things. Find the triggers or the bottlenecks to your system and discover ways to remove them now before your habits fail.

2 Keep your system as simple as possible.

One of the biggest causes of falling off the productivity wagon is over complexity. If you create a productivity system that is so complex, that when you find yourself inundated with work and imminent project deadlines, it’s easy to stop collecting and organising. The way to avoid this is to build as simple a system as possible. Focus on active projects, areas of focus and have a someday | maybe folder for all inactive or ‘would like to do’ projects. Creating a system involving complex project and task hierarchies may appear great at first but it will become a drag on your effectiveness eventually. Reduce the complexity.

3 Focus on the basics of COD

When you do find yourself in a productivity mess get back to the basic principles of COD — Collect, Organise, Do. These basic principles will always get you back on track. Collect everything that has your attention and is on your mind into one list. It does not matter whether it is a digital list or pen and paper list. All you need do is get everything into one list. Then organise the items you have collected into their right place — projects go into your project list, ideas into your notes app and appointments and deadlines onto your calendar.

Starting from this position will always get you back into a state of organisation and it returns clarity and control into your life.

4 take some time out to gather everything together.

Whenever I have fallen off the wagon, I set aside an afternoon or an evening to get things back under control. Usually, this would be a Friday or Sunday afternoon, but it really doesn’t matter when you do it. Once you recognise you have stopped being productive and you feel everything around you is a mess, that’s the time to take a step back and take some time off to get things back under control. Do a quick review of where your system is and what’s overdue and needs urgent attention, then go through the process of COD. I’ve always found this one step lifts a huge weight off my shoulders and fills me with optimism and energy to get things back on track.

5 Have a backup collection system on standby.

There are going to be times when there is so much going on at work and in your personal life that it becomes difficult to keep up with everything going on. These situations are rare, but they do happen. If you find you are unable to maintain your system, stop worrying. A great trick is to switch to a piece of paper on your desk to capture everything, or a simple note open on your computer where you can just drop ideas, commitments and tasks when they come up. You can then “organise” these collected items later. There have been many times when I have been working at a client’s office and have not had easy access to my regular collection tools when I have resorted to using a single page in my notebook (I carry a notebook in my work bag everywhere I go). Once I get back to my own desk, I transfer the relevant items into Todoist or Evernote later.

Don’t be too hard on yourself — nobody’s perfect. Situations change and things will break. The important thing is you have a system in place that makes it easy to jump back on the productivity track quickly and without too much effort when you do fall off. It happens to us all at times but the key is to have a way to quickly get back on the productivity wagon when you do fall off.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

My New Learning Centre is Now Live!

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The Carl Pullein Learning Centre Redesign launch Sale

To celebrate the launch of my redesigned learning centre, I am having a 72-hour sale on all my bundled courses. 

This is a not to be missed opportunity to get some fantastic productivity courses at super-low prices. 

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You can choose my Super Seven bundle which includes all my latest courses as well as Time & Life Mastery and Complete Guide To Building A Successful Life. All for a wonderfully low price of $149.00 - That’s a saving of over $140! 

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Or if Life management and goal planning is your thing, I have reduced my Life Mastery Bundle to $99.00 - that’s a saving of over $75.00! 

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And finally, if productivity is your thing and you want to become even more productive, you can get my productivity bundle for just $59.00. Which includes my latest Your Digital Life 2.0 Online course. 

You need to act quick as these amazing offers will only be available for 72 hours. On Monday prices will go back up. So get your bundle ordered today, save a ton of money and start building the life and systems you want to build. 

Don’t forget, once you are enrolled in the courses you get life-time access, high-quality HD video lessons, free pdf downloadable files and regular updates on many of my courses. 

If you’ve been hesitating before, now is the time to act and begin your journey to becoming better organised and more productive. These are the kind of courses that can have a huge, positive impact on your life. 

For Better Productivity, Make It Personal And Make It Your Own.

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Many years ago when I moved over from an analogue productivity system to a digital one, I created a system based on what I had seen other people doing. I researched articles on the internet, read all the books and listened to podcasts. What I ended up with was a hodgepodge of a system that just didn’t work for me. I ended up with something that was too slow to collect tasks and ideas, was cumbersome to organise and seeing what needed doing next was a series of windows and button clicking that in the end, I was not bothering to even try and look at.

I also found my system changing all the time. I would read an article, watch a video or listen to a podcast that talked about another great way to organise all your to-dos and tasks and I would change my system. In the end, I had no consistency and no workable system.

Finally, I sat down and applied all the knowledge I had gained over the many months I had been researching and developing my own system. To do so, I began with two simple questions:

What do I want my productivity system to do for me?

Once I answered that question, I then moved on to the next question:

How can I create such a system given the tools and environment I have?

On a piece of paper, I mapped out exactly how I was going to create such a system. I applied a few rules, such as it had to be able to collect my ideas with one click, I had to be able to use keyboard shortcuts to process what I had collected at the end of the day and I had to be able to see what needed doing next simply by opening the app or apps I chose to use.

Speed and ease of collection were vital for me to get into the habit of collecting. I knew if it was hard to collect I wouldn’t do it and I would simply continue to rely on my rather unreliable memory. And there were other considerations such as the ability to sync across all my devices so I could collect with my phone and process from my desktop.

All these factors were written down on my sheet of paper. Once I had everything written down I began modelling different scenarios. I went through a typical day and imagined myself in those situations and with the tools I had with me, collecting thoughts and tasks. I imagined myself in meetings taking notes and managing the tasks I had been given in those meetings. I modelled every different scenario I could imagine. Even how I would manage my ideas when I was away on holiday. This modelling of different scenarios allowed me to tweak and adjust my planned system so it would work seamlessly in any given situation.

Most of all this work was done before I went down the road of productivity app selection. My to-do list manager was a gorgeous Quo Vadis Habana notebook for months. I wanted to know if the system I created on paper worked before I started investing in to-do list apps. The first app I invested in was Evernote because it synced across all my devices and I loved the idea of being able to collect notes on my iPhone and see them all magically appear on my desktop when I got home (that was a thing back in 2010 — the magic of it all!)

This process did not take a few hours. It actually took a few months, but over those few months what emerged was a system that worked for me. A system that has not let me down in the years I have been using it. Of course, as technology has improved I have adjusted my system. Now I can add tasks using Siri, I can also do a lot of my writing on my iPhone and iPad and I can store my working files in iCloud/Dropbox. At its core though, my system has remained unchanged over the years since I sat down back in 2010 and began creating it on a piece of paper.

Your life, your work and the way you think are unique to you and because of that someone else’s system is never going to work for you. Seeing other people’s systems can help give you ideas, but those systems will not work for you. You need to develop your very own system based on your personality type, the way you work, where you work and what is important to you. Just following like a sheep someone else’s system is going to result in something that just does not work for you.

At the core of my system is David Allen’s Getting Things Done Five Steps framework. It’s a beautiful framework because it is flexible and simple. I capture my stuff into inboxes, I process that stuff every twenty-four hours and I organise it into projects. I review everything at least once a week and I do the work. The one thing I have never been good at using is contexts, which I know is a fundamental part of Getting Things Done, but that is okay. I developed my own system. Instead of focussing on contexts, I have separate projects for my routine tasks and tasks that take my life further forward. That works better for me. However, I know for other people, working with contexts work brilliantly.

So, whether you are new to personal productivity or a seasoned master, the system you create needs to be a system you create for yourself. Sure, there is a lot of advice out there, but the only important thing about your system is that it helps you to make the right choices so you are doing the work that matters and not getting lost in an ocean of unimportant work that neither takes your life forward nor helps you to become a more productive person.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to encourage you to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life. If you want to learn more about how I can help you, have a look at the various online courses I have. There might be something there that could change your life!

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Identifying your Major and Minor Work is critical if you want get focussed On The Important.

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Most people go through their lives majoring in minor things, never identifying what it is that is important to them. And those who do identify their own major and minor things, often find themselves majoring in the wrong things.

Take for example a salesperson. What is their major work? Is it planning the sales call? Is it studying the market? Learning more about the product they sell? No. It is none of these. They may be important, but they are minor things. The major work is the time spent in front of the customer.

I work with a lot of clients who insist their sales team come into the office once a week to talk with their sales managers and to have meetings with product managers and for training. That’s twenty percent of their working week spent in meetings and training that serve the administrators and helps HR tick boxes but does nothing for the customer. It’s important, of course, but it’s minor time.

No matter what you do, there are always things that matter and things that do not matter. The problem is the things that matter are often a lot harder than the things that do not matter, so it is more attractive to spend most of your time doing things that do not matter and feeling proud of how busy you are, yet you are not doing anything of real value. You are majoring in minor things.

One of the most productive things you can do is to take some time and work out exactly what things you do that have the biggest impact on what you are trying to achieve. A simple example would be if you were training to run a marathon in October. Sitting down and making a training plan is minor work. Going out for a ten to twenty-kilometre run would be major work. It has the biggest impact on your overall goal. Another would be if you were speaking at an international conference, deciding when you would fly to the conference and which hotel you will stay in would be minor work. Preparing and developing your presentation would be major time.

Minor work is important, a lot of the major work cannot be done without the minor work, but the issue is how much time are you spending on the minor work and how much time are you spending doing the major work?

it can be difficult to work out what your major and minor tasks are but the effort and time you spend doing them will give you a better chance of being successful at whatever it is you want to accomplish but you do have to work out what those tasks are.

As a teacher, I know where my major and minor work is. Being in front of students and guiding them towards better performance is major work. It is my whole purpose. I try to spend most of my time working on tasks that will help my students perform better. Minor tasks are completing attendance records and dealing with administration. It does nothing to help the students and it does nothing to make me a better teacher.

Major work for me is spent writing and creating content. It is that content that helps people to learn how to become better at communicating or with time management and productivity. Major work is answering student questions. I am very clear about what my major work is and my major work is my priority. Minor work does creep in from time to time, but because I am fully aware of what is major and what is minor, I know when this happens and can adjust my to-do list. An example of this is the end of the month when many of my client companies ask me to provide an attendance record or an evaluation. Evaluations are useful for my students, but not for the company as these are generally used for employee records and not used to help the student become a better communicator or better at time management. I do these tasks, but they are always lower priorities to what really matters, and that is helping my students.

And this is something you have to figure out. What tasks have the biggest impact on what you do? What one task could you spend time on today that would have the most value on what it is you are trying to accomplish? These are the questions you should ask yourself as part of your Golden 10 evening routine — the ten minutes at the end of every day when you plan the next day. When you get into the habit of identifying your major tasks, you spend the majority of your time on those tasks and you find your productivity skyrockets on the things that are important and this will give you a huge advantage over the 95% of people who never do anything to identify what their major work is.

Are you guilty of majoring in minor things?

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to encourage you to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life. If you want to learn more about how I can help you, have a look at the various online courses I have. There might be something there that could change your life!

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Are your productivity apps helping or hindering your productivity?

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I am involved in a number of Online productivity groups and enjoy reading them for insights and ideas. There is one theme though that dismays me. That is the theme of new apps.

Every day there seems to be a whole slew of new productivity apps promising to improve your productivity, allow you to get more done and be stress-free. They come in all sorts of colours, designs and of course have all these new cool features that use the latest technology. All you have to do is type in your tasks, put in your events and add all your notes, research and files and you’ll become a productivity genius, or so they promise.

None of these cool new features, colours, gestures and filing options has anything to do with whether you will be more productive or not. Your productivity is directly related to the work you do, (your output) not how what you need to do next is presented to you.

I’ve frequently talked and written about the dangers of app switching. This is where you are constantly changing your productivity apps to the latest and brightest new toy. Doing this involves moving all your to-dos, notes and files over to a new app or set of apps. Moving everything over requires a lot of unnecessary time and then there is the time lost for tweaking, rearranging and learning the new app so you can actually use it. My conservative estimate is that it takes around forty-plus hours to get a new app up and running to the same efficiency as the app you were using before. That’s a ridiculous amount of lost, unproductive time to change an app. Just imagine the amount of real work you could get done in those forty hours.

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The question is how much time are you spending doing work that matters and how much time are you spending inside your productivity apps? The whole point of being productive is in the amount of quality work your produce. If you spend half your morning inside your to-do list manager trying to decide what you should be doing, rearranging things and deciding how you want that shown to you, then your system and apps don’t work. That time should be spent doing, not playing, rearranging and deciding. You are buying your dream house and spending all your time cleaning, decorating and repairing instead of living in it.

A good productivity app should be able to tell you what you need to do next when you need to know what to do next. The rest of the time it should be acting only as a collection tool. A place to dump your ideas, commitments and tasks. At the end of the day, when you have spent all your creative energy, you process what you have collected and turn off. You shouldn’t be spending more than thirty minutes a day inside your productivity apps.

David Allen, the father of Getting Things Done, says all you need is a place to keep your lists of things to do, a place to store your files and a calendar. If something absolutely needs doing on a particular day, it goes on your calendar. You don’t need anything more than that. This philosophy should be at the core of whatever productivity tool or system you use. If the tools you are using require a lot of maintenance, then your system fails. You are spending far too much time twiddling and not enough time doing.

The goal is to have a network of tools that support your work, that helps you to do more of the important work, and to filter out the unnecessary work. If the tools you use need a lot of time to maintain, you are not working at your most productive and in effect your tools are causing you to be unproductive. It’s a bit like buying a new Ferrari and not having time to drive it because you spend all your time checking tyre pressures, deciding what brand of oil to put in it, washing and cleaning and trying to decide what things to put in its tiny boot.

So before you hit reset and start all over again with the latest and greatest tools. Ask yourself what the time cost is going to be. Is this new app you are considering really going to speed up the work you do so much you can afford to spend forty-plus hours moving everything over and tweaking the settings? If not, then spend some of those forty hours making your current app work better. The most productive people on the planet do not spend time switching apps. They know what works for them, they know what is important and they focus on getting the important things done. They do not waste time searching for a better app. They focus on getting the work done. That should be your goal tool. Just drive the Ferrari!

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, the like button below 👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to encourage you to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life. If you want to learn more about how I can help you, have a look at the various online courses I have. There might be something there that could change your life!

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.