107: Never Get It All Done

No matter how much more you do today, you'll never get everything you need to do done. Let's face it, ever since we could take home with our laptops and fast wi-fi connections, we work more than ever. This hasn't lead to getting more things done; rather more things to do and an unhealthy expectation of getting it all done.

On this episode, we'll look at ways to take back our freedom from the distractions caused by the very technology we expect to helps us get more done.

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On This Week's Episode, We Discuss:

Reducing Distractions as a Result of Technology

  • What work-life balance was like before the modern age of the computer and internet.
  • How the printer cut the time it took CJ to do his very first job as a payroll clerk by 90%...
  • How CJ developed a habit of continuing to work at home on nights and weekends.
  • The steps CJ took to overcome an unhealthy obsession with piling more on his plate, so he could find more people to compare himself to.
  • What you can do to reduce amount of noise in your life and its impact.

Please Scroll Down for Full Show Notes and Featured Resources!

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More About This Show

At the start of his career with Arthur Anderson, his was given a laptop. It was his first, and completely useless by today's standards; nonetheless, that evening, the routine of work would change forever.

Later that night, he would pull out his new gadget, wait for the strange noise and a flashy cursor-thingy. 

He'd fumble through a clunky user-interface, and with luck, be able to find the 'file' he was supposed to 'open' on his 'hard drive'. At the time, these were all very new terms.

And as time passed, CJ's career grew, and the power and breadth of devices to help his work become less location-bound, CJ would find himself stealing time from other important areas of his life to 'get caught up' or 'get ahead' with work.

While this allowed his career to seemingly progress faster, when he became a business owner and a father all at the same time, it would take him 4 or 5 years to understand how devastating his obsession with work was becoming.

CJ's since learned to practice a much more balance life with firm boundaries between work and everything else. 

5 Annoyances That Kill Our Productivity (And How To Begin Addressing Them)

  • Notifications - Keep them off by default.
    • Emails, texts, pushes, payments, reminders, deals, coupons, alerts... 
    • this goes for your Apple watch or smart watch as well
    • SOLUTION: Turn them off, get a separate alarm clock. Make regular times of checking what is most important to you, rather than to the email list you are on.
  • Time vampires - one quick question can turn into 10-20 minutes or more, plus another 7-20 minutes to get back in the groove. 
    • Two or three questions and you've lost a huge part of your day.
    • SOLUTION: Close your door, turn on and be visibly in 'Do Not Disturb' mode. Schedule regular time for employees to meet with you for anything not absolutely urgent.
  • Leave your laptop at the office - If your office is a table at Starbucks, maybe this isn't for you, but if you have a coworkers you trust, non-sensitive information and otherwise no reason to worry about security issues, you take advantage of the opportunity to free yourself from being shackled to your computer. No computer, not as much work.
    • SOLUTION: Even if you can't physically keep yourself away from your computer, you can turn it off, keep it stashed somewhere inconvenient. But whatever you do, keep it as far away from your bed as possible.
  • Short charging cables - Charging cords for smartphones are just long enough to read your bedside table. And since our phone is the last thing we check before we got to bed, for most of us, it's the very first thing we do in the morning... even before throwing off the covers. 
    • SOLUTION: Plug your charger into an outlet in another room. Make a pledge to not check your phone after a specific time and stick with it. Train the aforementioned Time Vampires not to expect an immediate response or any response during times you've set aside.
  • Digital tasks and note pads - When we think of something, but don't write it down, we create a feedback loop that throws our momentum off. We think that by analyze the thought right then and there, we can determine whether or not it could be beneficial to our present situation to pursue further. However most the time these aren't good ideas or the timing isn't right, so we can't do anything with it. We have no choice but the continue to entertain the ideation process though because some of our ideas are really good and can be capitalized upon.
    • SOLUTION: Get a tiny notepad or journal from the 99¢ store, keep it with you at all times, and jot down the ideas you have. You'll then be able to go back and revisit the idea when you are refreshed and avoid creating a feedback loop that drives you crazy and unfocused.

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