199 episodes

Answering all your questions about productivity and self-development.

The Working With... Podcast Carl Pullein

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 41 Ratings

Answering all your questions about productivity and self-development.

    Why Do I Hate My To-Do List?

    Why Do I Hate My To-Do List?

    This week’s question is on the humble to-do list and how to get the best out of using one.


     


    You can subscribe to this podcast on:


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    Links:


    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin


     


    Sign Up For My Free weekly newsletter


    Download the FREE Areas of Focus Workbook


    More about the Time Sector System


    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System


    Carl Pullein Learning Centre


    Carl’s YouTube Channel


    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes


    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page


     


    Episode 198 | Script


    Hello and welcome to episode 198 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development, and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.


    Have you noticed that your to-do list isn’t very good at helping you to get things done? It’s a great way to remind you of all the things you haven’t done and how much you have to do, but motivating you to do the tasks? No. Not very good at all. 


    This week, I have a question on this very topic and I can’t wait to answer it for you. 


    Now, before we get to the question, if you want to receive a time management and productivity tip every week, then sign up for my weekly newsletter. This newsletter goes out every Friday and it contains a list of all the content I produced that week, a short article on productivity, time management, or goal planning, and links to articles and videos I have found interesting that week. It’s like getting your very personal weekend newspaper digitally every week. No negative news or politics. Just straightforward helpful tips and tricks to help you on your continuous journey to self-improvement. 


    Details on how to sign up for my newsletter are in the show notes. 


    Okay, it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question.


    This week’s question comes from Ben. Ben asks; Hi Carl, I’ve been using a to-do list for years but have always struggled with it. I’m very good at adding tasks and stuff, the problem I have is I just ignore the list altogether on most days. I don’t want to go there and look at all the stuff I have to do. It leaves me feeling stressed and anxious. How do you make your list inspiring? 


    Hi Ben, thanks for your question. 


    Firstly, I should reassure you that you are doing nothing wrong. I’ve met a lot of people who have found the same problem with a to-do list. They can be very demotivating and uninspiring. 


    When we make the decision to start a to-do list it can be exciting. It can also be stress-relieving to get all those tasks and to-dos out of our heads and into an external place. The trouble is that stress relief rarely lasts very long at all. Once we have everything out of our heads, all that’s happened is all those things that were swimming around causing us stress and anxiety are now staring at us from a computer screen or a piece of paper so the stress relief is short-term. 


    Now, the number one problem with to-do lists is what we put on them. There is a belief that everything needs to go on the list. Well, yes and no. You see a lot of the things we put on our lists are the kind of things we are not going to forget anyway. They have their own natural triggers. For instance, taking the garbage out. The trigger here is you get to see how full your trash can is every time you walk past it. Do you really need a reminder for that? 


    Email is another example. A lot of our tasks come from email and so it’s natural to feel we must send actionable emails to our to-do list. Makes sense doesn’t it? I mean, the email contains a task and tasks should go onto a to-do list. 


    The problem here is all you’ve done is moved a task from one place to another pla

    • 12 min
    How Do I Find Balance Between Work and Home?

    How Do I Find Balance Between Work and Home?

    This week’s question is all about balance and how to combine a busy professional life with an active personal life. 


     


    You can subscribe to this podcast on:


    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN


     


    Links:


    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin


     


    Download the FREE Areas of Focus Workbook


    More about the Time Sector System


    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System


    Carl Pullein Learning Centre


    Carl’s YouTube Channel


    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes


    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page


     


    Episode 197 | Script


    Hello and welcome to episode 197 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.


    Do you feel sometimes your work is taking over your life? You’re not alone. Many people are feeling this and with the sudden move towards working more from home, it likely feels almost impossible to put barriers between your professional and personal life. 


    This week, I will share with you some strategies you can use to help bring a little more balance into your life. 


    Before we get to the question and answer if you want to learn more about time management and productivity I have a YouTube channel that shares tips and strategies to help you get the most out of tools like Todoist and Evernote as well as many of Apple’s productivity apps. 


    The link to my channel is, as usual, in the show notes.


    Okay, time to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question.


    This week’s question comes from Claire. Claire asks: Hi Carl, my company started a work from home policy last year because of the pandemic and have now decided to move to a hybrid policy. We should work from home three days a week and go to the office on two. The problem I have is when I am at home, I find it difficult to stop working in the evening. Do you have any tips to help me keep a more balanced day when I work from home? 


    Hi Claire, thank you for your question. 


    I think this has been a challenge for many people over the last eighteen months or so. We were perfectly happy living a Monday to Friday life where we commuted every day, worked in a fixed location and then came home at the end of the day. It was easy to differentiate when we were working and when we were not. Now, with us starting and ending our work in the same place it is much more difficult to do so. 


    Now the first thing I would recommend is to stop thinking in terms of 9 ‘till 5 work hours. While this may seem somewhat counterintuitive, it is this area where I feel most people are struggling. The biggest problem with thinking that you must be always working between set hours each day is you soon start to feel you are under house arrest. This is not a great mindset to be working under. 


    We need to enjoy our work, not hate it. If you allow yourself greater freedom to roam about you are going to find yourself feeling more at ease working from home. For instance. You may begin your day by clearing your actionable email. Well, you don’t necessarily need to do that from your computer. Those quick emails could be done on your phone, so you could pop outside on a nice day and spend the first thirty minutes of the day getting some fresh air. 


    We have the technology to allow us to be moving around. We can respond to Slack messages and emails from mobile devices, and for many, your meetings may be done without video, and so you can do the call almost anywhere. Don’t feel you must be sat at your desk all day. Get up, move around and do your work in the best environment.


    Another way we restrict ourselves is by feeling we must do our work during the day. This may be true. You might be in the unfortunate position of having a boss

    • 11 min
    Why Can't I Complete All My Daily Tasks?

    Why Can't I Complete All My Daily Tasks?

    In this week’s podcast, I answer a question about how to do everything on your to-do list every day.


     


    You can subscribe to this podcast on:


    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN


     


    Links:


    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin


     


    Download the FREE Areas of Focus Workbook


    More about the Time Sector System


    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System


    Carl Pullein Learning Centre


    Carl’s YouTube Channel


    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes


    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page


     


    Episode 196 | Script


    Hello and welcome to episode 196 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development, and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.


    My guess is, if you are listening to this podcast, you will be using a task manager or to-do list of some kind. And, you will likely have discovered that you have a lot more to do than time available each day. You are not alone. There is far more to do than we will ever have time for. But that does not mean it’s a lost battle. There are things we can do that will ensure the right things are being done each day so things that matter do get done. 


    Now, before we get to the question and answer, I strongly recommend you download my area of focus workbook. Part of the answer to this week’s question is really understanding what is important to you. Without this knowledge, you are going to be like a rudderless ship. Just sailing round and round with no clear destination. 


    The link to the download is in the show notes and don’t worry, I won’t be asking you for your email address. Just go to my downloads page, click on the Areas of Focus workbook, and boom, you get it. 


    Okay, it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question. 


    This week’s question comes from Lucy. Lucy asks: Hi Carl, I recently discovered you through your blog and I hope you can help me. I am trying to get more organised but no matter how hard I try, I can never get all my work done. I don’t know if it’s a problem with me or something I am doing wrong. Can I ask if you get all your work done every day? 


    Hi Lucy, thank you for your question. And I can answer it in one word. No. No I don’t get all my work done every day. 


    There’s too much to do. But I do start the day with a list of objectives or outcomes I want from the day and with those, I generally do get them done. 


    Let me explain. 


    On most days I will have around twenty to twenty-five tasks to complete. These tasks include my prioritised tasks as well as my routines. Now, the way to start with this is to understand that while we can control what we do each day we cannot control how much time we have. Time is fixed. The only variable in the equation is your activity.


    Now, activity can be affected by a number of things. Our energy levels, whether we got enough sleep, outside events such as family emergencies, client and customer demands, and our bosses. We cannot control these. Our energy levels and how much sleep we get depends on many things. You might wake up with a cold which makes you feel dreadful, or one of your children wakes up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep. There are just too many variables here. 


    Yet the clock will keep ticking no matter how you feel or what emergency you come into work and face. 


    So we need to get strategic and to do that we need to ask a simple question each day. What do I want to get accomplished today? 


    Imagine you’ve been on a two-day training course and you have not been able to stay on top of your email and messages while you were away. You could begin the day with an objective you get your email and messages under control. That might take you tw

    • 14 min
    Why Doesn't My To-Do List Work?

    Why Doesn't My To-Do List Work?

    Did you know that to-do lists, on their own, don’t work? In this episode, I explain why and what you need to do to ensure you get the most out of your productivity system.


     


    You can subscribe to this podcast on:


    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN


     


    Links:


    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin


    Download the FREE Areas of Focus Workbook


    More about the Time Sector System


    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System


    Carl Pullein Learning Centre


    Carl’s YouTube Channel


    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes


    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page


     


    Episode 195 | Script


    Hello and welcome to episode 195 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development, and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.


    I think many of you have found that just developing the habit of using a task-manager, or to-do list, doesn’t really work in the long term. Yes, they do help you to remember things you may otherwise forget, but they don’t move you forward on your goals or your projects. It can become frustrating. 


    This week’s question is all about the parts that are rarely written or spoken about and hopefully, I will be able to unblock your task manager so it puts you on track to achieving your goals and completing your projects.


    Now, before we get to this week’s question, if you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend you download my FREE Areas of Focus workbook. It’s going to be a part of this week’s episode and it will enable you to start tightening up your task manager so that you are focused on the right things. 


    The download link is in the show notes. 


    Okay, on with the show and that means it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice, for this week’s question.


    This week’s question comes from Timothy. Timothy asks, Hi Carl, I’ve recently started using a to-do list and have it set up for the Time Sectors. I really love it, but I find all I am doing is reacting to what my customers and boss want me to do and I don’t have time to do anything else. Is there a way to add in my goals so I have time to do something about these as well? 


    Hi Timothy, thank you for your question. 


    What you describe is quite common for a lot of people who begin consistently using a to-do list for the first time. Most people have used to-do lists at some point or another for things like a packing list before going on holiday, or when redecorating a home. There’s nothing new about a to-do list. 


    The problem with to-do lists is they are very focused on the here and now. Rarely do people use them to plan out what needs to happen to achieve a goal or to complete a long-term project. They become reactive instead of being used proactively. 


    What do I mean by that? 


    Well, most people I come across tend to put tasks on their list that are demanding attention now. Quieter, more long-term tasks tend to be placed in folders such as Someday/Maybe or just get added to a list and forgotten about. It’s when this happens that our longer-term goals and projects get relegated to the bottom of the list and that means there’s no time to do anything about them.


    What we need to do is to reverse the way we manage our to-do lists. This does not mean we stop doing the loud, urgent tasks—we still need to do these—but we don’t want to allow them to dominate our day. We need to become more strategic about things. 


    What I mean by this is to use the power of the modern-day to-do lists to make sure each day our most important work comes up at the top of our lists. And when I say “our most important work”, I mean those tasks that move our goals and project forward. While these may not be the loudest tasks on our to-do lis

    • 13 min
    How To Organise Your To Read and Watch Lists

    How To Organise Your To Read and Watch Lists

    Do you have a lot of articles, videos and newsletters to read but find it difficult to find the time to read or watch them? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and the good news is there are a few strategies you can use that gets these lists under control.


     


    You can subscribe to this podcast on:


    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN


     


    Links:


    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin


    Download the FREE Areas of Focus Workbook


    More about the Time Sector System


    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System


    Carl Pullein Learning Centre


    Carl’s YouTube Channel


    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes


    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page


     


    Episode 194 | Script


    Hello and welcome to episode 194 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.


    These days, there are so many fantastic articles and videos to watch that even if we took a week off, we’d still not be able to catch up with our reading and to watch lists. So, two questions come to mind: where can I store these and how can I find time to read and watch them? And those are what I hope to answer for you this week. 


    Now, before we get to the question and answer, just a quick heads up that if you like the content I share with you in these podcasts and want to learn more, I do have a YouTube channel dedicated to productivity, goal planning and time management, as well as a weekly blog. Plus if you sign up for my learning centre, you receive exclusively a weekly learning note designed to help you with your productivity and goals journey. 


    All you have to do is get yourself enrolled in my FREE COD course (Collect, Organise and DO) and you will receive the weekly learning note. Full details, as usual, are in the show notes.


    Okay, on with the show and that means it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice, for this week’s question.


    This week’s question comes from Barry. Barry asks, Hi Carl, I have a lot of articles to read and videos to watch and I find myself consuming these when I should be doing more important work. Are there any tips you can share that will help me to manage these better?


    Hi Barry, thank you for your question.


    This is certainly a problem many people struggle with. There are so many fantastic videos and articles out there that could help us improve our overall time management and productivity, yet there is precious little time available to watch or read these. 


    Before we get into how to save these and when to watch or read them, let’s first look at where they are coming from.


    Many people subscribe to newsletters that come to us through our email. But how many of you actually read these newsletters? If you look at the statistics on newsletters, for instance, the average open rate is less than 30% and the click rate—the number of times a link is clicked—is less than 5% of those that open the newsletter. If you are not opening a newsletter, and statically that means at least 70% of you, then you need to unsubscribe from that newsletter. 


    A few years ago, I found I was subscribed to over 30 newsletters. It meant I was getting at least five newsletters per day and it was impossible to read them all. I had to do something to reduce this list. What I did was monitor over one month, which newsletters I opened and which ones I skimmed through—just looking at the headlines. 


    At the end of the month, I found I only read around five of these regularly and the rest were just taking up digital space and pretty much were deleted almost the moment they came in. So, I unsubscribed from the twenty-five I was not reading. Even to this day, I only have five newsletters I subscribe to. 


    There is a

    • 13 min
    HowTo Build Your Own Productivity System

    HowTo Build Your Own Productivity System

    This week, it’s all about building a system that works for you and then making it stick—probably the more difficult part.


     


    You can subscribe to this podcast on:


    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN


     


    Links:


    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin


    Download the FREE Areas of Focus Workbook


    More about the Time Sector System


    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System


    Carl Pullein Learning Centre


    Carl’s YouTube Channel


    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes


    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page


     


    Episode 193 | Script


    Hello and welcome to episode 193 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development, and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.


    This show gets a lot of questions around the topic of productivity systems and apps and this week’s question comes from this same topic. So strap yourself in for a little more advice on creating your own system and overcoming some of the more common traps you will encounter as you develop your own system.


    Before we get to the question and answer, I want to say if you do have a question or you are experiencing some difficulty creating your own system, then all you need do is email me at carl@carlpullein.com and I will be more than happy to try and answer your question. 


    Your questions help me to find solutions to difficulties around goal planning, time management, and productivity and they also help me to grow and improve my skills. I love helping, so if you feel I can help or answer any of your questions, please get in touch.


    Okay, on with this week’s question and that means it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question.


    This week’s question comes from Monica. Monica asks: Hi Carl, thank you for all the content you produce. I wanted to ask you if there is a way to finally get myself organised and get my work and chores under control. I’ve spent years trying to organise myself but each time I try a new system, I stop using it after a week or two. Is there a secret I am missing or something? 


    Hi Monica, thank you for the question.


    Now, first up, you are not alone, Monica. I think everyone goes through this process at one time or another. I know I’ve been through it and it’s just a part of the journey. 


    There is a lot of advice out there—most of it great advice—such as write everything down, plan your day and use a to-do list. The trouble with a lot of this advice is, it is not necessarily going to work for everyone. 


    There are too many variables. Some of us spend a large part of our day driving between clients’ offices and so for a lot of the day we are unable to reply to emails or read important documents. Others, work in customer-facing jobs where there is no fixed time to do any focused work during the working day. So when it comes to productivity and time management systems it really is a case of one size does not fit all.


    That said, there are still some fundamentals that should be put in place before you develop anything else. You need a simple, easy and quick way to collect everything. Your tasks, ideas, and commitments. Fortunately, your phone is likely to have something like Siri or Google Assistant, or if you are at home, Alexa. These voice-activated tools, are a great way to collect things while you are driving, cooking, or doing something else that prevents you from using your hands. 


    Wherever you are on the productivity learning curve, I would always advise people to look at the way you collect your tasks and notes and ask yourself if there is a better and faster way to do this. The harder it is to collect things, the less likely you are to collect and that means even before your start there is a

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

aizjanika ,

Helpful, Practical, and Encouraging

I love this podcast. Carl is clear and to the point. I love that he focuses not just on getting work done, but on having a good life as well.

Jim OLS ,

Practical productivity

Carl doesn’t get bogged down in frivolous information. I enjoy the show.

Bill_Tou ,

Great Podcast!

If you want to improve your productivity, this is the Podcast for you. Carl Does a great job of explaining how to be more productive and get more out of your day!

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