Double your productivity

Weekly Radish 34

Three ways to classify your tasks to increase effectiveness

In this week’s video I share three insights into being more productive.  It might not seem directly related to ‘self-care’ however, I’m sure many of us know the frustration of not getting through that never ending task list as much as we would like.  There is nothing quite like shifting through a load of work to give us a sense of achievement. 

I find myself applying the traffic right concept a lot when it comes to work since it is easy to be open to distractions in a bid to be available to others.  I’ve had to realise that there is some work that just needs some ‘closed door’ time.  It has made a huge difference i my productivity too.


I hope you found this video and these tips valuable - let me know your thoughts by hitting reply.

Transcript for the video below.

Keep an eye out for the next blog.

Dave Algeo

Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health. 

Feeling lost, trapped or crushed by life? Here's a short video with three tips to help you get back a sense of hope and direction.


- Would you like to
double your productivity?

Hi, this week's Weekly Radish,

I want to look at productivity.

Now normally, Weekly
Radish is about self-care

and taking care of yourself,
reflecting on how we can

better look after ourselves.

But there's no getting away from it.

If we can improve our productivity,

then we can give ourselves
a sense of achievement,

a feeling that we're making progress,

and that inevitably has an
impact on our stress levels

and our feeling of self-worth.

If you find that you're
open to distractions,

that you may be a manager

and you are always being
interrupted and asked for,

"Have you got five minutes?

"Can I just spare a few
minutes of your time?"

or you're somebody who finds
yourself available to others

and always willing to help,
then you will find inevitably,

that your completion of
your work will suffer.

The time will take longer,
you may make more mistakes,

you may find it hard to
focus when you are available

and open to distraction and interruptions.

So what I find really useful
is to try and classify

the type of work you do
into one of three key areas.

And I think about the
traffic light system here

as a way to help me get
a strong visual on this.

So if you think about the
red, amber, green lights,

categorise your tasks and your work

into one of these three areas

and minimise, close off
interruptions and distractions

accordingly in proportion to that.

So your red light tasks,

you think about your red light tasks.

There will be tasks that
you need to focus on

and really, any interruption,

even the smallest of interruptions,

somebody popping in,
knocking on the door, saying,

"Oh, sorry, I can see you're busy."

and then moving out just throws you off.

Any of those particular high-focus tasks,

you identify them as red-light tasks.

And I'm not saying you have a
big traffic light on the door

that says red so everybody
knows to not go in

or what have you.

But it is in your head
about saying these tasks

are red-light tasks.

I need to eliminate all
possibility of distractions.

So I turn off all
distractions, phones, emails,

notifications, and I shut
the door on the office.

And if you work in an open-plan office,

you maybe step away and
make yourself unavailable

in order to get those
red-light tasks done.

Because the cost of distraction is so high

in completing those tasks.

Amber, the cost is less, you
can handle some distractions,

but you still need some
reasonably free time

and that's where you may not
absent yourself from the office

or you may not turn off all distractions,

but you are prepared to say,
for these kinds of tasks

that may not need such a cognitive load,

I still need some focus time.

When you get an interruption,
you're prepared to say,

"I haven't got time now.

"Can I get back to you in...

"I just need an hour to finish."

So you can handle the interruption,

but you're ready to push people back

unless it's an emergency.

And then you have your green-light tasks

which are those things that
you can quite easily complete

amidst the bustle, the phone ringing.

You can quite easily pick
the phone up and answer it

and then get back to it.

And recognise the possibly
low cognitive load tasks,

mundane, repetitive stuff that
you can dip in and out of.

You're gonna take the appropriate measures

depending on the level of
focus the tasks require.