Improve your productivity

Weekly Radish 36

Batch your tasks into these four categories

In this week’s video, I share tips on how to categorise your tasks by task type and reveal how, by doing so, you can increase how much you can get done. It’s not rocket science, but it is brain science ;0

The more stressed out I feel, the more I find myself dodging between tasks and task types and even multi-tasking. The result is I make little or no progress and get even more stressed out! The suggestions in this video help me to get back in control when that happens. I stop, have a cuppa and then work out what I need to do and what task type it falls into, then I plan out working in periods of time by task type. And breathe… more gets done, stress levels drop.

Keep an eye out for the next blog.

Dave Algeo

Motivational Speaker on resilience and men's mental health.

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Transcript:

- What kind of work is it?

(lively acoustic music)

Welcome to this week's Weekly Radish

and this week I want to again,

focus on productivity because

it has an impact on our stress levels,

if we feel frustrated by
not getting things done.

Or we feel that we are
darting between tasks

and changing mindsets between
different things that we do.

So I want to encourage you
to think about the kind of

work you do and whether it falls

into one of four categories, because

by batching your work into
one of these four categories,

you're giving your brand a chance to

effectively gets teeth into one particular

way of working without ducking and diving

and switching between other tasks.

So the four areas are, doing, thinking

and deciding, people and creativity.

So I'll go through each of those four now,

and how to think about the kinds

of work you do and whether they fall into

one particular task more than another.

Let's start with the first one, doing.

The small little doing tasks,

you've already decided
what you're gonna do,

you know how to do it,
you've got the ideas,

everything is down, it
just needs to be done.

It's a separate process from thinking,

planning, processing and creativity.

So, all of those tasks, such as

answering the email,
it takes little thought

or just going through the task list,

you've already worked out what it is,

you just need to go
through the doing tasks.

Separate them out from them
out from the other three.

The secondary is planning and deciding.

Planning and deciding takes
different kind of thinking

and different kind of
working and we need to

create some space for this, to work out

what it is I'm dealing
with, what's the plan here,

what decisions do I need to make

and get into that mode and focus on that.

The third area is
creativity, idea generation,

problem solving, coming up with a new way

to solve this problem or
to approach this situation.

Again, that's a slightly different

processing mode to getting on and doing,

to the more rational process
driven planning and deciding.

It's coming up with ideas, letting your

creative brain kick in and that's about

creating the space from the clutter,

from the busyness and slowing down

and allowing your brain to just kick into

that mode where you can come
up with different ideas.

And the fourth one is, people.

People tasks, the reason I say this

is because once we often think about,

"oh, I need to speak
to such and such about.

I need to have a word with, I
need to get them to do this."

that's fine, if they're
simple, get things done tasks.

But, when we're often
interacting with people,

whether it is a manager or
a colleague or a friend,

we need to engage our attention

on that person, on that interaction,

because we need to bring in things like,

listening skills, empathy,
watching for the body language

and the ability to articulate
what we're thinking

in a tactful and sensitive way,

but also sometimes, robust
way, if that's necessary

and actually, we need to be not distracted

by thinking, "oh, I've got this to do,

I've got that to do, I must solve this."

or being in the middle of tasks.

How many of us have had a conversation

with somebody that really needed you

to be in the room and
be present at that time

and you're actually typing
away on the keyboard

or you're on the phone with somebody

and you're typing something else.

Or you got six other
things on at a go at once.

So each of these areas are separate lines

that need you to engage different parts

of your brain to focus on them

and by confusing and mixing up the task,

we make things not only
harder for ourselves,

but we become less effective
and make less progress,

and consequently, that has an
impact on our stress levels.

So remember those four areas and see if

you can batch your work into them.

There's the doing, the tasks,
the getting things done.

There's the planning and deciding

and working through a process.

There's the creativity side, the coming up

with ideas and how to solve this problem,

how to think differently.

And then there's the people fork,

it's the bringing in our
people skills into a situation.

By focusing on that, you will hopefully

reduce stress levels, make more progress

and be more effective
at what you're doing.

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