Sloppy Productivity

Feb 27, 2015
Joe Buhlig
~2 mins

If you’ve read one article on this blog, you’ll know that I’m a productivity nut. But there’s a side to productivity that I haven’t seen mentioned very often - life.

Sometimes life takes over and you just have to deal with it. The systems are nice and if they’re simple you’ll use them to get through a tough time. But there will be days when the plan you put together isn’t even close to what you actually do.

Life takes over

It’s been busy at work lately and I’ve been doing everything I can to keep up. I like to think that every request that comes in goes to my inbox and into the system. But if I’m honest, most of the requests I’m getting need to be completed yesterday. So I find myself working on them before they even make it to the inbox.

I have a system of keeping lists and scheduling time to work on those lists. At the end of each day, I take a few minutes to put together my plan for tomorrow. But when things get crazy, I need to leave my day open and throw out the schedule. I leave things on the calendar and follow it if I can, but I’m not going to add more stress to the mix. I jump in and out of the schedule as needed.

Don’t forget the system

One thing I’ve been intentional about is keeping my system current. Even if I’m going to work on the request immediately, I try to add it to Omnifocus and then work on it. I can at least get the satisfaction of checking it off and I’ll have a record of what I did as well.

I’ve also made sure that when I have to forgo my scheduled contexts I change my calendar to match what I actually did. This gives me the ability to do a post-mortem and look for ways to handle the crazy a little better in the future.

It’s ok to be sloppy

Try not to worry about things when they get out of hand. It’s ok. The point of the system is to give you something to fall back on. Don’t stress over it. Use it. Continue to trust it by keeping everything in it - even if you’re going to push everything else off and work on the thing you just received.