032 - Rejuvenating Your Personal Productivity System - ProductivityCast

032 Rejuvenating Your Personal Productivity System – ProductivityCast

In this cast, we tackle the questions:

  • What is rejuvenating, re-charging, and rebooting your personal productivity system? And, what reasons might lead you to need a reboot of your personal productivity system?
  • What are existing methods you know of or have tried for rejuvenating your productivity?
  • What are some hurdles to be mindful of when doing a rejuvenation/recharge/reboot of your system(s)?

The ProductivityCast team discusses how they view and approach productivity rejuvenation and overcome obstacles to having a well-maintained personal productivity system. Enjoy! Give us feedback! And, thanks for listening!

If you’d like to discuss this episode, please click here to leave a comment down below (this jumps you to the bottom of the post).

In this Cast | Rejuvenating Your Personal Productivity System

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Francis Wade

Show Notes | Rejuvenating Your Personal Productivity System

Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

Dunning–Kruger effect

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie

Daily Questions – Marshall Goldsmith

https://medium.com/@fwade/the-evergreen-guide-to-choosing-your-next-task-management-app-5e4ad21212af

https://medium.com/@fwade/3-superpowers-to-survive-improvement-overload-53a343e695e3

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-one-couple-saved-their-marriage-asking-each-other-simple-ncna833266

http://scheduleu.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Slide1.jpg – graphic of time management system development from childhood

http://scheduleu.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/errors-in-execution.jpg – graphic of symptoms

2nd edition of Perfect Time-Based Productivity – http://perfect.mytimedesign.com

Raw Text Transcript | Rejuvenating Your Personal Productivity System

Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors.

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Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling, productive life? Then you’ve come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity, here are your hosts, Tracy Smith, and a goose open out with Francis Wade and our gal wicks.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
Hello, and welcome back everybody to Episode and of productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I’m recently Smith and I’m joined here with my co host Augusta burnout. And Francis weight is joining us today we are going to be talking about the concept of rejuvenating, recharging. rebooting the productivity system. And so what we’re going to do today is really talk about it in three parts. One is what and how do we define the concept of rejuvenating, recharging. rebooting what have you and what might lead a person to go ahead and do that, why you might want to refresh your productivity system. And there’s a good reason why you might decide that you know, your system, something about it isn’t quite right. And this is an opportunity to kick the tires and make the rest of your year really be on solid infrastructure. So we’re going to talk about that, then we’re going to segue into what are some existing methodologies that we either know of, or have tried in rejuvenating a system. And then finally, talking about some of the hurdles, one might come into contact with and experience as you try to rejuvenate your system. And therefore, hopefully, we’ll be able to guide you around some of those things circumnavigate them, so that you don’t experience them as you try to rejuvenate if you do attempt such process. So let’s start off with what is the concept of recharging. rebooting? How do you define that idea, and I’m going to throw this out to you a Cousteau. Thank you.

Augusto Pinaud 2:00
Well, you know, the interesting thing was printed, juvenile eating is we tend to think that because we found a solution or on a certain instant, our system that can work for us that working things are going to permanently continue on that way. And the system that we have will work forever.

The reality is that for a system to work, there is a lot of variables that play a factor into keeping this things moving, you know, being the obvious ones are volume, but that there are others like how you are feeling where you are, how much traveling, have you doing, how are yous are you to travel, and how much things are changing on your surroundings that are also going to affect how effective that system is. And once in a while, you need to come and clean the house, you know, clean rejuvenate is no other than clean all those mushy things that make your system less effective. There are many ideas that you can do. And later on, I will share one of those that I do often when I work with people I recommend because it helps revenue germinating your system. I need help getting some of that has come out of it out of there.

Francis Wade 3:34
I have a radical view, I think, which is that there’s only a small percentage of people who care about rejuvenating maybe a two to i of the population. If that many who are sort of your productivity geeks like we are. But I think most people aren’t interested in rejuvenation, they kind of go along and go along, they noticed some unwanted symptoms. And then they ignore them. For the most part, they go along, go along and go along and they it gets worse. And they ignore it some more. And they go along, go along. And eventually, they only decide to make changes when they problem becomes a cute arose when they start suffering in a major way. And they can’t possibly bear it anymore. So I was most, years old. And I was next door playing with some friends. You know, having a good time playing football, soccer, I totally forgot that it was time to leave to go to a big event to see my father receive the biggest award. He had ever gotten in his life. Up to that point. And that time I got home, I was faced with a locked up house car was gone. No sign of life.

So I think I was young enough to decide. I need to do something differently. And I think that’s what people don’t do anything with their productivity system. Because it. It’s too hard to, to change. There’s too many choices. Too many know, we have too many options. The only do so when there’s some critical event or some long term suffering becomes sort of acute, I think most people don’t don’t want to do anything.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 5:10
And they try to put up as long as possible. And then when they do something, sort of, when they have, I think they’re sort of two camps of people in terms of extremes. And those are probably the productivity geeks, you were talking about. Which are those folks who pay attention, or at least are aware of the fact that there’s the space between doing and, and planning, which is that maintenance area. And, and sometimes that requires this kind of rejuvenation, this kind of recharging kicking the tires, so to speak, then there are the other folks who just really don’t care. And they I’m presuming they’re okay with it, the fact that things pile up and then eventually, it becomes refuse or fires are lit. And there’s a chaos and commotion and sort of jumping into action. A lot of things get done, maybe not in the best possible way. But they they resolve themselves in some way, shape, or form, maybe worse for wear. And then they move on to the next blank slate. Now, because that big chunk of whatever it is, is gone. And now they can approach the next part of their world. And so in a, in a kind of a way that is burning down the house because he didn’t want to move. So for me, I genuinely believe in the concept that rejuvenation and, and the concept of renewal should be happening on a on a very regular basis as opposed to something that’s just sort of a one off. So I really believe in in incremental ism as relates to renewal of rejuvenation. But I do recognize that sometimes there’s a really great opportunity to just decide what is it that can be really brought up to a much better state of being. And I think we’ll talk a little bit about that today. And, and just so that we’re all in the same same page, you know, rejuvenation is, is a really a more of a scientific term in my mind, you know, the idea of making oneself younger, we’re using this here, obviously, to talk about the idea of bringing your productivity system up to either the standard which you have its head, set it in the past, right, for some reason, the system isn’t operating at full potential that you had had it set at one point in the past for the future. And or you want to bring it up to a new level, right, you want it to do more for you than it had been doing in the past. So maybe you didn’t have a reading list, and you know, that you now have a lot of reading that needs to be done. And you need to, to organize and manage that functionality. Well, that would be something that I would consider a rejuvenation of the system, right, you’re looking at adding a new component to your personal productivity system. In order to be able to bring it up to a new level, it’s now going to help you manage your reading. And that means you may need either just paper and pen to track it on paper. Or you might decide a digital option. But the point is, is that you’re bringing your system up to a new level. And in a way that’s a recharge or reboot in my mind as well. Do you, do you guys agree or disagree with that,

Francis Wade 8:18
I think, I think people are are aware of

the because the example you gave us pretty simple, I think people are a lot of people are no aware that the the changes that are available to them are complex. So there’s a sort of a growing, understanding that it’s, it’s sure there’s simple stuff you can do. But a lot of it is is is very, very tricky. I think I spent a lot of time trying to convince people to improve their radar, so to speak, so that they can pick up the early warning signs of their productivity system going bad

at, you know, some agrees, some, some don’t want to some prefer to stay oblivious. But I tried to argue that if you don’t pay attention to the small early warning signs, at the time it comes a time comes around to make a change, you will have to do it in a hurry. Like, for example, if you put off becoming more productive until you actually get promoted. The typical example I seen a consulting consultant work I do. So if you if you don’t proactively go create extra capacity that you will need, once you get promoted. When you get promoted, it’s predictable that the first year, you will be scrambling like crazy and you you’ll suffer as a result. Same goes for other life changes, like having a child or getting married or buying a house. And these are all sort of predictable milestones that bring with them a whole new number of demands on your time. And you can anticipate them because, you know, they’re coming. But if you don’t sort of think ahead and say, Okay, I’m having trouble in this area right now. In the near future, I’m likely to be managing five more projects, I think it’s I don’t think it’s going to go away. I think it’s going to turn into a bigger problem. And if it is going to turn into a bigger problem, I need to sort of look at these early warning signs because they’re likely to turn into bigger bigger issues for me

and getting people to be that sensitive and not being numb to these early warning signs is sort of a big thing I’ve been focusing on the last, I think, couple years. I don’t think I’ve been very successful. But I’m at least sort of arguing that the analogy I drivers of Sherlock Holmes your soda combs and Watson when a in almost every store every Sherlock Holmes and watched I watched a few videos on Netflix, and makes no aware but but most attacking Sean Combs puts together bits and pieces of information that Watson all looks and Watson is amazed homes, how did you figure that out. And then he explains all when I noticed that my I was late for to apply in our in our world, it would be like I was late for two appointments, I lost track of a couple of tasks. And

the app that I’m using only can only be used on one device. It’s not synced with my other devices. So I put the three together and decided I needed to overhaul and rejuvenate my entire system. And Watson says, brilliant, brilliant. But it’s it’s it’s just the ability to put together the early warning signs quickly enough to be able to decide to make changes that I think is becoming a sort of imperative as a skill has become an imperative. I think

Raymond Sidney-Smith 11:43
what you’re, what you’re talking about is really remarkable to me, because I think that I’ve always had it as a natural sense. Sixth Sense, if you want to call it that. But I I’ve always been hyper aware of systems, how functional systems are overlap with one another or don’t, you know, so my, my reading management system, right, how I manage what I read is seemingly fundamentally very different than my grocery shopping list, right. But the to converge in the sense that, you know, I can manage them in very similar ways. And, and so it’s, it’s like one of those things where I think you really do need to go through don’t don’t think that if you’re listening to us, that somehow you have to have this this sort of other sense, you really just need to look around your world and say, Is this working optimally for me? And the likely answer is that if you’re not managing it in some way, shape, or form, and that doesn’t require you to be like, day to day poking at it, it just requires you to have a structure in place, that is kind of a an if then concept, which is if this happens, then I do that, right. And having these kinds of mental algorithms allow you to be able to, or risks as some people would call it, perhaps, you know, having the ability to have these things in place. So that there is a structure in involved. And sometimes that requires a tool like a grocery shopping application, you know, or what have you. But it just requires looking around both your mental psyche psychic space, your physical and digital space, and understanding what could be working more optimally for you. And once you start to lump these things into these areas. And I’ve actually made a very healthy list, which I’ll link to as an Evernote note in the show notes. But I’ve, I’ve made kind of a list of all of the areas that I think, you know, any productivity geek would probably want to manage in their life, you know, ranging from calendar management and time management, project management, to reading to grocery shopping, and so on, so forth. And, you know, you start to really, it’s sort of like the Getting Things Done project triggers, planning, you know, project triggers list or the, you know, the, the personal triggers list, the idea is, is to, to kind of look around your world and not all of us are attuned to that so much, but you can become attuned to it. And it may not be something that you really thought was causing you a lot of stress. That is the thing that’s actually quite disorganized and requires more of your attention this so have you found that have you seen with your clients or with folks that you’ve, you’ve talked with, about the idea that they, they are seeing the right things that need their attention, or not

Francis Wade 14:38
more often,

I have the fortune stash misfortune of teaching productivity programs to folks here in the in the Caribbean, Jamaica, we’re not exactly known for the heights of productivity, put it mildly.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 14:53
But

Francis Wade 14:55
But site, you know, in my classes, I thought, maybe, let’s say into people over the years, and about made of them have been sent by somebody else, they haven’t opted in, they’ve been told to go, right. So I spend the whole sort of first quarter of each day of the first day, trying to get them interested in in what’s going on in their life that they haven’t been noticing. In other words, to try to get them to see the symptoms of trouble. And by and large, it’s, you know, it’s sort of a, you know, a donor, because here I am I, I sort of burst the bubble and I know you guys, you’re probably familiar with the Dunning Kruger effect. People are talking about a lot, new ideas with respect to certain world leaders, it’s the idea that you’re really good at something because you actually are clueless about that thing. And, and till you are actually trained to do it, or try it for yourself. You think it’s odd, that’s easy, anybody can do that. So the Dunning Kruger effect the sort of the, the bad news that comes with realizing that you aren’t a skilled as you think. Thought you were. So my entire class. Whenever I lead a class goes through the Dunning Kruger effect, because at the beginning of the class, they all think they’re pretty good. And somewhere on the second hour, they realize they have terrible really, really bad they haven’t even thought about this belt. And they’re not even know what the same any of the symptoms that they thought they were all just maybe random things that were happening in their lives. And the reason I am late has nothing to do with time management or time based productivity. So they add it all up. And they they become ups in the first few hours. But that’s what’s needed. I think, you know, there’s some of that confronting, where you’ve been ignoring these symptoms. And, as you said, not noticing the systems that are at play, and then, but there’s also a bit of skill that’s required to, you know, homes uses a lot of skill to put together his conclusions. So there’s some skill required to add up all these little bit of symptoms and them into all Okay, I need to rejuvenate and to really come at it from data as opposed to just a vague feeling that something is off

Augusto Pinaud 17:11
as much as I make like some of the things Sherlock Holmes, because you pull it out

do in a certain way, I tend to like a lot more or some methodology may see a portal

methodology. So I got the grease these techniques detective and and the reason of that is because Sherlock Holmes was all in observations, but he tend to lack on the west side, because the question side was done by Watson

Hercules, where or instead was more on the question side. And I think the questions are really important, because he’s the only way you can

see different patterns, you know, observations, and now you are too close, it’s hard to see where the problem is. And that’s what I see with a lot of the people I work there is two elements, how they keep the things that are relevant and hot. And those usually are not a big deal because they are hot there, you know, they need to get done, but how they do the rest, you know, and I said at the beginning of the of today record, in that I was going to share something that I tend to share with these people often and is every at least once a month, we take an afternoon on a usually on a Friday, and then is let’s do all stuff out of the list. Forget about priority, forget about this is urgent, you are going to plan for this Friday afternoon, the only thing you’re going to do is low priority things on your system. And what that produce is a really sense, I’m for divination, because you forget that even that your conscious mind is not thinking about that dumb thing that you put in the list, your unconscious mind thing that you should have done that dumb thing for the last three months every day. So what you accomplish having that afternoon of dumb things is that you clean up a bunch of space, not only in your system, but in your mind of things that they’re never going to get done. Because they are not that relevant. And that important than in comparison with everything else. But that you have that on your system nagging you. So for example, hey, I have some boxes in the garage that I need to get rid of them. Fine. How, how long that will take you. It will will take me five minutes. How long has been how long this thing has been on your list or seven months, okay, and every hear myself included, have those items on the list. Okay, the difference is, what is your strategy for that is what Ray was mentioned early. I have a system for reading, I have a system for groceries. I have a system for Well, you also need to add a system to rejuvenate your system, weekly review, it’s an element I longer weekly review, it’s a better insight, it’s it’s an additional good element. But also you need a system to get rid of the of although things that you are put there that has are never going to make to the top of the list. Okay. But for some reason, they were important enough for you to write it down. So you need to make the decision of No, I’m never going to get those boxes out of the garage, and then cross it out or find a way to put some time into the system to get those things out. So your system can and get some flow, again, and allows you to keep moving at a higher speed.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 21:06
So you bring up a lot of really great points. And and the you mentioned the weekly review. And this is where I wanted us to sort of talk about the idea of existing methodologies or methods for being able to rejuvenate a system. And I’ll just speak from my experience. And then I’m, I’m happy to hear you guys sort of your thoughts and your experiences and your attempts at doing this. But the way that I do. This is very structured. And remember, for everybody listening, this is not for everybody, because that’s this is just me. But what I found is that this works really well for me. So if you are a highly structured person, and like a lot of structure, this works. Okay, so here it goes. So I follow the weekly review concept with them getting things done by David Allen. And we, what I do is is every every fourth week, there is a different weekly review than the other three weeks of every month, right. And that would become the monthly review, except that every has weeks, then it becomes a quarterly review. Right. So then to, you know, basically, weekly review, weekly review, weekly review, monthly review that repeats. One more time. And then the next time, it becomes weekly review, weekly review, weekly review quarterly review, right, so now that happens three times per year, right. So three quarters of the year, I’m going monthly, monthly, quarterly, monthly, monthly, quarterly, monthly, monthly, quarterly, and then the final part of my year becomes the monthly monthly and then an annual review. Okay. And that annual review process

Francis Wade 22:50
I I have created

Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:52
over many, many years. But it’s basically a reflection process and then a planning process or sort of a you what I would like to kind of process and then an action plan that I produce based on that usually at the end of the year, usually by the end of my year, which my productivity year ends on October, make. So I spend the month of October, reflecting planning and then creating an action plan based on that. So for me, as I said, at the top, my whole rejuvenation process is truly incremental, it builds on itself and it gives me multiple opportunities to fail, right. And because I’ve created failsafe systems in my year, naturally, every time I come across a monthly a quarterly and then my annual review I have placed different questions at those times than my normal weekly reviews, right, because my weekly reviews are going to still be in cooperated within those. Those are larger reviews. But for my annual process, the monthly and the quarterly reviews so concluded include a weekly review, but now they have more questions on top of them that I’ve decided are necessary for me to look back on the operations of my systems, what’s working, what’s not working, and how do I go ahead and do that better. And then I can look at that across many different areas of my life. So it works really well for me. And I recommend that if you again, if you’re highly, you know, structured and you really like the concept of the weekly review, then incorporating this idea that every fourth review is a monthly review every them reviews a quarterly review and just repeating that methodology gives you the ability to create a set of questions, a set of things that you need to review as well, like the low priority items that Augusta was talking about and saying, Okay, well, what’s been hanging around too long, let me give some energy and time to that because I clearly haven’t clarified I clearly haven’t decided I’m not doing it, I have I’ve decided I’m doing it. But there’s some emotional component that is holding me back from doing it. And you know, just Asterix there. That’s usually the thing that holds me back from getting things done is that emotional component where something in my world is, you know, under the surface. And, you know, I’m, I’m not emotionally aware of it. And therefore, it just sits on my someday maybe list and keeps festering there. And that requires a little bit deeper looking, you know, it’s, oh, well, you know, maybe I just, I’m fearful of this or I don’t want to do this project with this person or whatever it is. And so then stagnates so you need to give some more energy to that in order to be able to get it off your plate potentially to say, listen, oh, this is not going to get done. Let me put it in the trash.

How about you? Gentlemen, I’ll start with you, Francis. Francis. What, what of your rejuvenation system methods. Have you tried or promulgated or professed

Francis Wade 25:56
I don’t have a I don’t have a regular

system outside of my weekly review.

Can you give us an idea of how you develop the questions, you know, sort of building on what agosto asked the oil example what Where did your questions come from? And I imagine that they’re not from the book, per se, but you have questions that you ask at different points in the year. How did you develop that list of questions? What, what, how did it evolve and get to where it’s at today? Sure. So. So mine actually

Raymond Sidney-Smith 26:32
came from the concept of creating life categories, you know. And so, in the Anthony Robbins world, he calls this categories of improvement. And in David Allen’s world, he steps that up in the horizon to area, you know, areas of focus and responsibility. And the question that he posits within, making it all work from ahead is the idea of what needs to be maintained. So, in in on that level, are the questions that really were the genesis for how the quarterly review really came to be. And, and then that was broken up into the monthly reviews. So it really started with a quarterly because of the seasons, it was for me, I needed to maintain my home more effectively, which was like, you know, who’s cleaning the gutters, who’s maintaining the lawn, who’s going to be changing the H HVAC filters, you know, that was really the pain point that started for me, and that was actually at the office, you know, the, the office, my, my company, I was, you know, like, Who does this, you know, like, I didn’t have an office manager. So it was a sort of, like, I guess that’s me, but I don’t want to do that. So clearly, we have to go hire a cleaning company or a handyman or handy person to go ahead and make those things happen. And I just needed a system for being able to manage manage that and just shoving it all into my calendar wasn’t going to be effective. So I then needed to break that up. So that was the genesis of it was really this idea of every season, these things need to be done, you know, like the, the, the propane tanks need to be refilled for the grill, you know, for the summer, you know, like all of those kinds of really ministerial things for me that were that were seasonal. And so I then thought, oh, okay, well, let me take that on the very physical maintenance level, and let’s start developing the things that are on a mental, emotional, and digital level. And so then I just literally just started capturing the questions that I thought would were important to me at the time. And they’ve developed organically over time, until I’ve come to set structure. I also have a completely separate system where or method if you want to call it, where I have daily questions. So every every day of the year has its own question. And it’s kind of like a journaling prompt, if you want to think of it that way. But it is productivity focused. And so that’s within what I call my productivity journal. And it’s just a very simple question modified each day, you know, not it’s not the same question. But every day has a different question that kind of, you know, builds on it within a particular category of my life. So, my, my life categories neatly fit fit into roughly about how or so categories. So it gives me just about, you know,

enough space within the year to ask, you know, roughly concept questions, a month about these kinds of things. And, and so, it was like, What are the questions I’m asking on a daily basis? What are those questions. I should be asking myself on a monthly basis? And what are those questions. I should be asking my asking myself on a quarterly basis, and those all culminate in the developed questions. I chose for myself, within the annual review process, the annual planning process, reflecting planning, and, you know, and preparation process for the new year. So, that’s, that’s how it started. And, yeah, and, and so, you know, for me, it was, yeah, and so for me, then, that’s actually how the life category concept was born, right, I needed a way in order to sort of think about my, my productivity system in a, in a very different way, and horizon two wasn’t working. And, and for those of you who are, who are GTD fans, as I am, I just recognized that that whole concept of the, of the areas of focus and accountability, you know, areas of focus and responsibility, or whatever the terms people use for it. Now, since they’ve changed over time,

you know, my, my whole thought behind it was, okay, well, I need to slice and dice my world in a way that allows me to be able to manage projects better, but they can’t sit in the same space that I thought horizon to fit for me, because horizon. Two is purely for maintenance, in my mind, you know, after having read, making it all work, and I and I was comfortable with that. But the idea of a life category is much different, you know, it’s, it’s the, it’s the pie of your attention, it’s how much attention. Can you can you put on any one thing, and what we’ve learned is that humans can’t put their attention on that many things, they can’t keep that in their, their, their focus. So how do we do that? Well, we break our life up into these life categories. And we focus on a particular life category at a time. And by doing that, we can make stronger inroads into our productivity, then, if we focused on all of those pieces at a time. And there’s a base level, right, there’s a certain set standard, right? Like, every day, I need to brush my teeth, wash my face, take a shower dress, and what have you. But the reality is, is that once those base levels are met, then you need to set that aside. And, and, and if you’re focused on, say, You’re, you’re one of your life categories, like you’re, you know, so you decide work is a life category and you’re trying to make some strong inroad, then you need to, you need to meet the minimum levels on all of the parts of that pie, if you think about your life categories, in terms of slices of pie, and then go deep into the work slice, right? And, and that’s what allows you to be able to do that. And so this whole rejuvenation process is actually what allows me to be able to do that.

Francis Wade 32:28
Interesting, you know, and there’s something resonating in my sort of experience here, it’s not that with what I said about payroll, and Agatha Christie, and you repeated that around the questions that you’ve asked yourself. So I read this article,

a little bit off the beaten track, but it had to do with one couple, save their marriage by asking each other a simple question. So, my wife and I read this article. And the question that this cop have used was, how can I make your day better? And,

you know, that question are sort of stuck with the two of us. If you ask it back and forth, because a lot of the principles that we talked about the three of us or anybody who’s interested in productivity are a little bit high minded in the sense that they’re her conceptual, but I think when they convert into the kind of questions you’re talking about the pointy clan of questions, they have a whole nother effect on behavior. And if we can ask herself, the right question it it Trumps all the categories, because I also used to use the categories as well, I also had a system of different domains and, and looking over all the domains, but couldn’t get them down to the handful of questions I needed to ask on a regular basis at the in the right sequence at the right times. So, it strikes me that, for example, for this couple that asks, ask each other. This one question each day. There’s also as you’re seeing, there’s a weekly question, monthly questions, quarterly questions and annual questions. And if all you do is ask yourself these questions, they take you a very, very, very, very long way.

And there’s a question I started asking myself about a year ago. And it led me to write an article that I did in the show notes about evergreen choosing your next your next task management system. And it had to do with this, that when people go looking to make a change or some kind of rejuvenation, and they read stuff on the internet, they there’s a school of thought that says, all you need to do is change your behavior, your habits, and your practices. However, most of the articles that have to do with improvement, no focus on apps or technologies or new software. And I sort of came to the conclusion that the question that we need to ask ourselves has something to do with the combination of behavior app and device that today, things have changed from where they were humans years ago. And I just actually I’m publishing a new version of my book, The New Edition. And I’ve had to weave this idea in because it wasn’t there. Five years ago, I only focused on behavior. And I kind of said, Yeah, yeah, the tools are kind of important. But, you know, don’t worry about it too much. I had to rewrite the book, basically, starting with the idea that in all, you have to choose a combination. When you rejuvenate your system, you need to think in at least these three dimensions. At the same time, and you need to ask a question like, what’s the next best combination for me to adopt for myself? That’s very different than what does this guru, say, in terms of the behaviors? Or what’s the latest app that I should be using? Which is a lot of questions that people are asking. No, or what’s the fanciest later. Tell me the, best? And I’ll pick one. People are asking a lot of questions like the ones I just said, but to get it down to what’s the single combination. I need to adapt next or myself so that I can experience this rejuvenation is an example of a question that I want to have been sharing. But I think it comes down to that quality of question, a simple question that leads you to answer sort of the right concern.

Augusto Pinaud 36:32
And I think Francis, part of the problem is not only how

the tools and things has evolved, but how the people who use that has evolved.

Francis Wade 36:46
If you think if you go back

Augusto Pinaud 36:48
in time, and you know, back in time to the early payroll, the jewel. Basically, most people had a paper planner and the paper planner for good or for bad, we’re all organize with four things, your task, your calendar, your contacts, and notes. That was when the first digital organizers came. Those were the force main applications calendar nodes, context on task, that’s what they pump pilots has, that’s what the Sony’s has, that’s what it costs you have diagnosed with what came when you sink now and you get to know and you think on the new people entering this world of productivity and you get if you go right now I’m buy a new phone that Adana days, a modern version of that PDA, those four main apps have changed. There is not anymore calendar, contacts, task and nodes, but music, internet chat or text messages. And so also that hi affect how people think on rejuvenation. When they’re the beginning. And you said, Well, people. A lot of people don’t is true, a lot of people don’t. But also a lot of people

Francis Wade 38:10
don’t even

Augusto Pinaud 38:11
know or understand the basics of the the cost management. A lot of people, you know, you sometime free. Oh, the task, the task, the to do list is dead. And the reality is, for some people, the smell of it to do list is dead is they have never met her, you know, they don’t even know. Let’s forget about projects on next actions and more advanced things. One of the things with the younger generations is they have not been exposed to these basic productivity things. Okay, so they have been going on their way to discover a set of tools, just so they don’t use the tools that were used by the previous generation. And at the same time,

ignoring some of the themes, things that were working fine. I’m not saying everything that we used to do five years ago works. But there is a lot of principles, good principles, that is still do. But if you ignore the good with the bad and, you know, throw everything to the window, then what you do, and that is you can I agree on that you cannot rejuvenate. If you don’t have a system, you first need a system in order to have any chance to rejuvenate that

Francis Wade 39:42
that’s a brilliant insight on that. He just said it. You know, and I an iPhone is an entertainment device. The Palm Pilot was a productivity device.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 39:58
all I’m gonna say is that if there are any young people who are listening to this and are about to graduate, we have a new generation starting to graduate in June of this year.

Augusto Pinaud 40:08
Snapchat is not a to do list,

just FYI, I agree. But the problem is, the problem is, if you go to generate older generations, we have figured it out and struggle, how to make that iPhone or Android somehow a productivity device.

Francis Wade 40:31
Okay.

Augusto Pinaud 40:33
But the problem is, the younger generations exactly what ranges that people graduating who have Dr. Ray, you know, in the last years, they don’t, they don’t, then, you know, we laugh about Snapchat, but

they don’t have really don’t, most of them don’t have those basics. And they struggle with that note, because they don’t have the capabilities. No, they’re brilliant people in when you hear about all the problems with millennials know Millennials are a lot of them are brilliant, but they lack some of the basic tools. Because part of the premise is we are not going to use anything all people is using, you know, one of the biggest challenge. Facebook is having right now on. Part of the reason they bought Instagram is they weren’t starting to lose, you know, they were gaining like any insane pace older people. But at that insane pace, they were losing younger people. Because now the younger people don’t want to be where they’re all people is.

And it’s fine. Except that we are doing that what they are accomplishing is they are stopping to use the tools that work for the older generations. And the tools that most likely will work for them. If they look at them.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 41:52
Yes, you don’t want to be on Facebook, if your mom or dad are on there, looking at everything you post

I can, I can totally understand that. I wanted to talk just very briefly about some of the major hurdles that we all experience in the desire to rejuvenate our productivity systems. And so if we just want to go around and just quickly talk about a major hurdle that you would like our listeners to know about and know how to avoid if they are if they’re able to by being aware of the existing. So my major hurdle that I would like everybody to know about is this idea of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, which is, you know, you decide to just trash the entire system in the desire to be able to make it better. And I see this with people who, as I was just talking about who changed tools, right, you just completely change your primary productivity tool, whether that’s your calendar, or your to do list or what have you, whichever you focus on, primarily throughout the day, you decide, oh, well, I’m just gonna go from to do list and jump over to remember the milk or to Omni focus and everything else be damned. And what I find is that that takes quite a lot of energy, a waste. For most people, there are some small margin of people that I know of, who can actually switch tools and, and it doesn’t cause that much of a, of a catastrophic sign of kind of lag, you know, upstart costs for them to get going. But for most people, that is very disruptive to your world, do not just throw it all your tools and choose new ones as a mechanism for being able to rejuvenate your system, figure out what’s causing the problem within the system you’re using first. And it may be marginal because people sometimes get really frustrated with marginal problems. Recently, somebody was talking about the fact that Evernote uses the auto correct and spell checking functions within on the Mac system. At least it’s not built into Evernote, it’s using Evernote piggybacks on top of the Mac OS system level automation spelling, and they were really frustrated by it. And so, you know, they’re talking about, oh, you know, I can’t I just can’t deal with Evernote anymore. If I have to deal with this, you know, done it at all. I’m thinking, well, this is happening across your Mac, because this is system level. So you could just turn off the spell checking within your system preferences, and then, you know, good old fashioned spell check it yourself. If it’s that frustrating. And remarkably, that user was like, Oh, yeah, and I could do that. And now a marginal issue is completely satisfied by dealing with it in a marginal way. Don’t just decide that you’re gonna throw out the whole system because of some marginal frustration or marginal productivity inhibitor. I need to agree with you on that. And a lot of times when people I’m working with and coaching

Augusto Pinaud 44:49
and come and say, Oh, well, I need to change my system. I go and stop. People don’t necessarily, I’m not saying change or don’t change. Sometimes they are reasons to change. But I will say are of the cases is more a lack of review than I need for change. Well, the system doesn’t work well. When is the last weekly reviewed? You did? When is the last time you stop disconnect and did a review of everything you have there? Well, I have never done it. No, Joe did it when you move in. The problem is, you have never done it after. So

the system, you need to clean the system. You know, I had a

I had a

whole client who was the CEO small company and he hate the weekly review. So we were working together and film. Oh, that’s a waste of time and say, Why? Well, when you do your with your review, so Well, I do it on Fridays. But then by Monday I have all these meetings. And by Tuesday’s useless unless I understand. So how about you change this. What you mean? I said, Well, why would you don’t do your weekly review Tuesday after you meet with all your key employees. So what he used to do is he did the weekly review and Friday came Monday morning have made in his all his key people. And then by Tuesday, of course, this system was completely obsolete, because he had a bunch of stuff that he did not have time to think. So we changed the meetings whiskey people, actually, to Friday, and then Monday morning, he now goes out of the office, because I recommend you should do weekly review out of your environment. So he is stopping a Starbucks before he goes to his office expanded, drinking the GFI thinking this connected internet down, do his weekly review, and then gets to the office.

And that changed the whole system. Though he did not need a new system, he did not need a new piece of software, he did not need anything other than change the order in which the input was coming. Because the problem is, he was cleaning the house, okay, making the house pristine and beautiful. And then the next business day, everybody was dumping an incredible amount of things into his system that make his system look as he has never clean up the system. And it was really frustrating for him. So look into how you’re doing things or hire somebody who can look at if you are too into the trees that happened, sometimes, you know, one of the things that I do a lot is work with other people that can look into my system that can look into how I do things. Why, because I’m too close to it, I don’t see the problems and I don’t see the things I do wrong. Because it’s the way I have done it, that’s the way to need to be done. So look into that get hire somebody get friend doesn’t matter. But before you think that you need to revamp and redo everything that moved to a new piece of software, to a new piece of hardware, pay attention, one on how is your input versus your clean and organizing faces happening. So you can put them in any stage that is more useful for you.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 48:25
It’s really interesting because, so that you talk about this idea of, of rejuvenating your system with with sort of timeframe and in mind. And, you know, like for me, as an incrementalist, I want to do it throughout the year, for some of you, it might be a one time thing or a you know, a few times in a lifetime kind of thing. And I think it’s really important for you to also recognize when you do something, so, for example, I adjusted my annual sort of review reflect, you know, planning and action planning

time purely for that reason, which was, I was doing all of my reviewing planning and the entire world would shift, you know, after I did it, and then it was like, Okay, well, that doesn’t make any sense. So I moved it up earlier to coincide with before all of that stuff, you know, at the same time, that is when everything else was was adjusting so that I had an opportunity to respond to the things that were going to adjust. And and I think you’re talking about that with regard to the weekly review. And I think any rejuvenation any reflection and planning and action process action planning process really needs to be looked at, from the perspective of once the most appropriate time to do it. So I really, really appreciate that. So in my class, I mentioned that

Francis Wade 49:43
there’s that moment when people realize that they’re not as good as they thought they were. But there’s another message that I tell them at the same time, which is that they also are pretty great, because they developed a system for managing tasks on their own without being trained, and without going to a course and without reading a book, sometimes in their teens, sometime in their teens. And it’s it’s continued and provided the every success that they have in life up until this point, and they did it all without knowing they were doing it. They don’t remember when they did it, because I usually ask them, they don’t know which parts are working and which parts aren’t. But I tell them, you know, one of the things you really got to understand, and this is this is the obstacle is that a major part of your task management works. There are parts that don’t work, but those parts are in the minority. The problem is that you don’t know how to distinguish the parts that are working from the fights that aren’t working. So you don’t know how to diagnose your current system so that you can target your improvement efforts. You don’t know whether you need a new app and new behavior or a new device. If you had that knowledge back to Dunning Kruger, then it would be a matter of kind of being able to diagnose and figure out where the weak spots are focusing all your attention on doors and at the same time, and reclaim all of your strengths and have them continuous strengths. So that’s the total story that I tell them in the program. I think building on your strengths and targeting your weaknesses is the new rejuvenation and it’s absolutely not a matter of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. As you said,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 51:23
I think that’s a perfect note on which for us to close out this productivity cast. So thank you gentlemen, thank you to our listeners for listening to us on episode you. I can’t believe we’re on episode after of productivity cast that with the show about all things personal productivity. I want to thank a booster pronounced and Francis wait for joining me here on this episode. We will talk to you next week here super productive life. And that’s it for this productivity. Cast the weekly show about all things productivity with your

Voiceover Artist 51:52
host racing is Smith, and goosed open out with Francis Wade and art Gail licks.

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