The Art of Stress-Free Productivity


apple podcast
google podcast
iheart radio
maximum lawyers podcast

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you someone who needs tips on staying organized? In this podcast episode, Tyson discusses the book "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen. He shares the book's key concepts of capturing, clarifying, organizing, reflecting, and engaging with tasks. 

Tyson talks about the core idea of David Allen’s book. The idea is getting things done by moving tasks out of your brain, recording them somewhere external and then breaking them down into smaller, actionable items. Most people struggle with simply getting an idea on paper, which is where inaction starts. Tyson emphasizes the importance of writing ideas down on a piece of paper or in your notes app. The point of Allen’s idea is to reduce stress and increase the organizational efficiency of an individual. 

If you don't capture something, it is easy to become stressed and overthink things. Most times, if someone doesn't write something down, they spend time worrying that they will forget it and all of a sudden are juggling multiple ideas at once. Ultimately, this leads to an idea vanishing before it hits paper. Clarifying what the tasks are is another component of organization. This allows you to filter things and determine what the next steps are. Placing tasks into buckets is a helpful way to stay on top of things. Buckets can be separated into categories like errands, cleaning, hobbies, etc.

There may be times where other people are involved in the completion of tasks. In addition to categorizing tasks into “buckets”, it might be helpful to create a visual board where you have a section called “waiting on someone”. This could include all the things on “hold” while you are either waiting for someone to respond to something or complete something else prior to moving on to the task.

Take a listen to learn more!

Episode Highlights:

  • 2:25 The importance of recording tasks in an external system
  • 5:53 The process of organizing tasks into different buckets
  • 10:53 The importance of regularly checking the waiting on someone pile


Transcripts: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity with Tyson Mutrux

Tyson (00:17.45)
Hey, it's Tyson and welcome back to another Bite Size episode that's aimed at elevating your practice. This week, I want to talk about a book that I absolutely love. And I've talked about it on the podcast before. It's a book called Getting Things Done, this art of stress, free productivity by David Allen. I would say that this is one of those books that it's an essential reading. I really, really recommend it. If you've not yet read A World Without Email, I would…

I would read that one first, but this one is a really good book that is going to give you some really practical approaches, but I'm going to give you the basics today. I'm not going to go through everything because it's fairly detailed with the book, but I'm going to give you the basics and if you enjoy it, then go read the book. Before I get into that, for those of you that have not yet gotten their hands on it, we've got a unique roadmap that's called Maximum Lawyer Minimum Time.

Typically, this is something that we only give to Guild members, however, but for people that listen to the Saturday show especially, we are giving this for free. We're giving Stage 1 of it for free to our members. And so, all you have to do is text Stage 1 to 314-501-9260. So, you're not getting the full maximum or minimum time. You get that when it comes to a Guild membership for free, but for listeners of this show, you do get…

the first stage, absolutely free. All you have to do is text 314-501-9260 and you will get it. All right. So let's talk about the book. The core idea around getting things done is moving tasks out of your brain. And then you record them somewhere that's external and then breaking them down into actionable items. All right. The main thing I want to emphasize, and I know almost all of you have this problem.

is getting those things out of your brain, out of your mind, out of your head and into something. And I don't care what that something is. That thing could be into, you could pen and paper, you could put it into, you could take a note on your phone, whatever it may be, it's getting it somewhere, all right? Getting it somewhere that's outside of your brain. And that same somewhere needs to be the same for everything. And this is something that it…

Tyson (02:43.238)
It took me a little bit to get over and that he talks a lot about putting everything that's in your brain, not just personal, don't separate from business, everything and put it into one place. That was something that I did. I was sort of having piles everywhere where, okay, this is for work. This is for personal life, different areas of my personal life. This is for this, different parts of the firm. That's why we had several can-bin boards and all that. We've started

reduce all of those different boards, all those different piles. I'm calling them piles. He doesn't really call them piles, but I'm calling them piles. Reducing those and getting them into a more centralized location. That way it can be easier organized. Okay. The whole approach, it's designed to reduce the stress and improve just organizational efficiency, your personal efficiency. And I think if you adopt some of these new techniques, you're definitely going to be able to tell a…

difference in your day-to-day productivity. I can tell you, I definitely do. So let's get into some of the key concepts around getting things done. The first part is that capturing everything. All right, I've got this broken into five different sections that I'm gonna go through his old workflow. There's a newer one that he has too, but I'm gonna go over the old one and I'm gonna encourage you to buy the book to get the new one, but I'm gonna go over it with you now. All right, so you wanna make sure you record all of your tasks.

and get it into some external system. Talked about that already. Really, really a big part of the process. And something that he does talk about is how you stress over these things, right? You, what happens is, is they stay in your head and not only do you forget many of them, but it's when you're thinking about them, so you've not gotten it out of your brain, you are, it's constantly on your, on your mind and you can't, you, it's not like you can think about two things at one time. You can think about one thing at a time.

And when you're supposed to be thinking about maybe writing that brief, you're instead thinking about how you're supposed to take your kids to, um, the theme park on Saturday and you got to remind someone to do something before that happens. So you're thinking about that. But if you would just written it down into your, your list of things that need to be done into your system. So I'm not going to, it's not a to-do list by the way, it's not a to-do list, but you get it into your system. You don't have to worry about that because you have a system for it.

Tyson (05:08.046)
and you don't have to worry about it, and you can focus on the things you need to focus on. So capturing it is really, really important. The next part of this is clarifying what the tasks are. So this is a big part of it as well, because you're going to start to filter things. So you're going to need to determine the next actionable steps for each item, and then you need to decide how to proceed with that specific task. What does each item really mean and what is the next step? It depends on the tasks, but…

think about it like unpacking a suitcase. You see what's inside the suitcase and then you need to decide what to do with each one of those individual items as they come through. Okay, so that's a good way of thinking about it. The next thing that you're gonna do is you're gonna organize. All right, picture your tasks going into buckets. All right, one for the office maybe, one for home. And by the way, I'm not saying separate boards, separate sheets, I'm saying the same system, but you are thinking about dropping them into different buckets, so we'll make sure we're clear about this. But…

Picture the different, the tasks, putting the tasks into different buckets. And I will even say I've got office home broken into several different buckets underneath that. So think about the different buckets, maybe one for errands. And then you want to categorize your tasks by context. And then that way you are, you're not just staring at a big mountain of tasks. You can look at them, you've got all your tasks in one place, but now you've got them separated into, into those different piles instead of one big mountain.

It allows you to, once you filter them into these different buckets, you can do a lot more things with them. Because what you don't want is, all right, I've got to, maybe you got to make a tax payment, right? You don't want that in the same pile where you need to go pick up your dry cleaning. Right? Those are, you don't want that to get in the way of each other. And you're going to want to be able to separate those in some way. All right. Next part, reflect. Another big crucial part, and it's one of those ones that you're going to

you're going to want to overlook. I even have it on my calendar for Fridays for reflection. You can do it whenever you want. I do recommend that you do that, but you need to regularly review and update your task list so that you can stay current with things. It's also a good time for you to be thinking about, am I collecting all this information in the right way? The way I should, is it the most effective way of doing it? But reflecting, it's going to allow you to look at your list and then decide what you can tackle next. You can start to triage things, prioritize things.

Tyson (07:33.794)
however you want to put it, but you want to check in with your system and know where you are. That's a big part of, a big important part of it. It's an important way to figure out where you're going next. And then the last part of this is engage, right? This is where the magic happens. It's now you have a clear head. You got a well sorted list. You can pick what to focus on now without that nagging feeling that I was kind of talking about, that you're forgetting something. So.

I do really quickly want to go through his workflow, which is really cool. I recommend that you get the book so you can check this out, but the stuff comes in, right? Comes into this big, the big box. You figure out what it is. After that, you determine is this actionable? If it's not, you can either eliminate it so you can throw it in the trash. You can incubate it. All right. So you can maybe, you know, deal with something later, uh, do something later with it, uh, so this sort of a someday maybe piles, what he calls it, or there, there could be multiple lists under the someday maybe piles.

And then the other one is reference. Maybe this is just a piece of reference material. So you'll put that in your reference materials folder or maybe a multiple reference materials folder. It could be in paper format, digital format, whatever it may be, but these are items that are not actionable. If it is actionable, you're gonna need to decide what's the next action. And this could be something where there are multiple steps. If there are multiple steps, you're gonna turn those into projects.

And we'll talk about projects in just a second, but if you determine, okay, what's the next action, you can do essentially three different things with it. If it's going to take you less than two minutes, you do it. You just do it right then. You don't do anything else with it, you're going to do it. If it's actionable and if it's going to take more than two minutes, you can delegate it. That's another thing. And you're going to delegate it. You'll have your different pile where you're going to delegate things. You can delegate to someone else. And then the third thing is you can defer it.

All right. You can, some of these things you would put on a calendar. So this is something that you're going to defer it, but let's say it's a phone call. Okay. This is something that I need to make this phone call. Okay. Put that on the calendar. You know that you're going to call at 5 PM on Monday or whatever, but you can defer that and put it, you're putting it somewhere though. It's been tracked. You're putting it on the calendar. Good. Or if it's something that's a bigger project, you can create your list of projects.

Tyson (10:00.99)
It's going to be deferred, but you're putting it into your projects, which I'm going to get to the projects next. And then you can start to tackle things in order of priority. Now let's go back to projects in a second, because remember you're identifying, is it actionable? Yes, it's more of a bigger project. There's multiple tasks underneath it. What you're going to do then is you're going to have the separate section for projects and under each one of those, you're going to have multiple tasks underneath it. And that's going to include maybe project plans.

you're going to go back through and review some of the actions that need to be taken. It's almost like a loop where you go, you take the next most important task in that project, you get that thing done, you kind of circle back through what's the next action. Okay, you go back to the project, you look, all right, the next step on this is task number two, and you kind of go through and you go through and you chisel down that project. And let's say you get to a point where it's an item that you're waiting on someone. Well, you kind of put that in the waiting on someone pile.

And so if you're using, we talked about Kanban boards in another episode, but you could even have a Kanban board where these are the items that you're waiting on someone. And that's one of these things where you see all your tasks and you know that you're waiting on someone. So you can look at that and you can see, and then routinely you work into your process. I need to revisit my waiting on someone pile. Go look at it. All right. I need to follow up with Mr. Smith, follow up with Mr. Smith, and maybe you're able to knock out that task. So that's how this process works.

I highly recommend it. I think it's a really cool process. Check out the book. It's, I think it's great. So it's one of those ones where it's a central reading in my opinion. But as a reminder, I'm gonna wrap things up. If you have something you want me to cover on the Saturday show, shoot me a text. Just text me 314-501-9260. We have a lot of great suggestions and I'm getting to as many of them as I can.

So keep them coming. Until next week though, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care.

Guild Membership

Meet us in Scottsdale, Arizona! The first quarterly mastermind of 2023 has tickets available! Become a member to purchase your ticket.
Join the Membership

Love this Podcast Episode?

Share this on social media:

Free Access to Stage 1 of Maximum Lawyer in Minimum Time

Sign Up Today!

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5

Join Our Facebook Group

If you want to discuss current events or ask for help from other thought-provoking legal professionals, join our Facebook. Stay tuned for updates.
Become a Member

Enjoy Exclusive Access To Stage One Of The Maximum Lawyer In Minimum Time Course

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We only send you awesome stuff =)
Privacy Policy
crosschevron-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram