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Mastering Productivity and Time Management

Updated: Jun 17

The Randal Osché Podcast: Business Bites | Episode 2

In this episode of Business Bites, Chris and Randall explore various strategies and personal insights to help you effectively manage tasks, prioritize activities, and conquer your never-ending to-do list. They discuss the Eisenhower matrix for prioritization, the psychological benefits of task completion, and the critical distinction between busyness and productivity. Moreover, they discuss the art of delegation, outsourcing, and maximizing efficiency within your team by focusing on high-value activities. Throughout the episode, they share personal anecdotes and professional experiences, highlighting the importance of understanding your strengths, overcoming procrastination, and critically evaluating advice from different sources to enhance your time management and productivity skills.

Don’t miss this episode to gain valuable insights into effective time management and productivity enhancement. They address the challenges of overcoming procrastination, the significance of critically assessing advice from various sources, and methods to concentrate on high-value activities for maximum efficiency. Tune in as we share practical tips, personal anecdotes, and professional experiences that will empower you to take control of your to-do list, boost productivity, and prevent burnout in your professional life.

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyYoutubePodcast Index, Podcasts AddictAmazon Music, or on your favorite podcast platform.


Chris Quotes:

"Knowing yourself and what you're best at and therefore how you can play the best role in that team, there's plenty of sports conversations we could talk about in terms of roles and where you're best placed." - Emphasizing self-awareness in optimizing team roles.

"Delegation was great because you show you think they can do it. And then they didn't realize they didn't have the skill sets to do it." - Reflecting on the nuances and challenges of delegation within leadership roles.

"So I suppose you're going to look for combinations of different tell signs or generate those sort of needs in yourself." - Discussing the importance of

Randall Osché Quotes:

"I think there's great peace and relief in accepting the fact that as productive as you are, the to-do list is always going to be there. It's a part of managing burnout to recognize that you can't finish everything." - Discussing the perpetual nature of to-do lists and their impact on productivity and well-being.
"Productivity to me is being busy but doing the right things right. And then it becomes a matter of how are you prioritizing and executing on what needs to be executed on?" - Differentiating between mere busyness and true productivity through effective prioritization.
"We're not going to get very far together if we do that but I think it's important for us to understand what our high-value activities are and then make sure that we're not working on the same stuff or stepping on each other's toes." - Discussing the importance of recognizing and dividing high-value tasks within a team to enhance efficiency.
"In order for me to continue to do the podcast and continue to do it the way I want to, I knew that from that experience I couldn't do everything myself." - Reflecting on the need to delegate to maintain quality and focus on strengths.

"Sometimes those activities I know to be of the highest value but they're often some of the activities that I put off, you know, I procrastinate on." - Addressing the challenge of procrastination even with critical tasks.

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments!

And that's it for today's conversation here on the Randall Osché podcast. Thank you so much for joining us and we hope that you've enjoyed listening as much as we've enjoyed recording it.

Many many thanks to our guests today for sharing their knowledge, their experience and their life lessons. If you found today's conversation insightful, interesting, inspiring, please join our growing community by subscribing. Randall Osché podcast on your favorite podcast platform, and never ever miss another episode.

 We'd love to hear your feedback. So keep the community alive by sharing your takeaways from today's episode and use the hashtag Randall O'Shea podcast. Your feedback and interaction fuels our continued efforts to build a safe space for meaningful, long form conversations. So thank you so much for the support until next time, stay curious, stay inspired and keep the conversation going.

Business Bites Episode 2

[00:00:00] Randall: All right. So one of, the things I think a lot of people and even myself struggle with is how to manage our days effectively and efficiently.

[00:00:08] Randall: I have certain techniques and things that I do to manage my day. One of those is a to do list, of course. And what I've noticed since I've been keeping track of tasks and activities that I need to do is like, there's always going to be a to do list. You're never going to get everything accomplished on that list.

[00:00:26] Randall: And if there's no finish line in sight, I think that's hard to manage sometimes, or hard to deal with, or perhaps cope with. I think that's also one of the things that leads people to burnout. I think there's great peace and relief accepting the fact that as productive as you are as productive as you can be as effectively as you can manage your time The to do list is always going to be there. 

[00:00:52] Randall: What are some strategies that you've used as a professional, or maybe some strategies that you've coached other people that you've led to have a more productive day by, managing their time better. 

[00:01:05] Chris: Yeah. I certainly picked up things along the way. It's funny, either as a graduate trainee, joining a company there, one of the little tests they did was how you prioritize and how you sort of can do good time management. 

[00:01:18] Chris: They're giving you a test where you have to sort of sort out a whole load of letters and emails, everything else. But obviously first of all, it's the classic quadrant with important, urgent. Not important, not urgent, you know, where they go in that quadrant is really, really crucial.

[00:01:33] Chris: The twist on top of that is you know, there are things that are hard to do, things that are easy to do psychologically, which is what you're really referring to. It cheers you up if you can cross a few more off the list. So there is the ones that are quick and easy to do, you know so even if they're not important, not urgent, they're quick.

[00:01:49] Chris: It might psychologically make you feel a little bit better. I also think that when you do it for me, mornings is where I write the most complex, most creative, the toughest, hardest ones, the one which involves the most amount of thinking. So, I also will even delay something by if it's too late in the evening for you to do that thing, better to do it in the morning, because that's when I'm better thinking.

[00:02:12] Chris: So it's a nuanced one. Just take the list. Obviously people would say, do that quadrant, don't do anything that is not urgent and not important. I happen to have that psychological kind of, it cheers me up if I do it and it's gone. And also know when you want that at your best. 

[00:02:28] Randall: Yeah, I think there's a bunch of thoughts on this.

[00:02:31] Randall: I distinguish between being busy and being productive. You could be busy, but be being busy doing the wrong things. Productivity to me is being busy, but doing the right things, right? And then it becomes a matter of how are you prioritizing and executing on what needs to be executed on?

[00:02:50] Randall: I think the quadrant you're talking about is the Eisenhower matrix. And if I'm saying that, correct, we're going to put that up on the screen for people to see what that is. The other what else? Oh, you get a dopamine hit when you cross something off your list.

[00:03:05] Randall: So sometimes I do have my to do list and I do work things off. It does make me feel good, right? Even if something isn't on the list and I finished doing it, I'll write it down just so. I can mark it off. Makes me feel good. 

[00:03:20] Chris: Absolutely. Yeah, it shouldn't be on the list and now 

[00:03:21] Chris: it's going on this. 

[00:03:23] Randall: Yeah, I did it.

[00:03:24] Randall: But I think there is, obviously, you have to make sure you're doing the right things. I think once you have a clear understanding of what the right things are, I call them high value activities as well, right? And then we can maybe segue here into like delegating and outsourcing certain tasks, but at an organization, or you're working with a team of people, not everybody are going to have the same high value activities, right?

[00:03:48] Randall: I have certain strengths and weaknesses and I have certain job responsibilities. So. My high value activities are X, Y and Z, and that would differ than Chris because he has his own strengths, weaknesses and his own responsibility. So it doesn't make sense for us to be focusing on the same tasks.

[00:04:05] Randall: We're not going to get very far together if we do that, but I think it's important for Chris to understand what his high value activities are. My high value activities are and then make sure that we're not working on the same stuff or stepping on each other's toes. If we happen to be working together, right?

[00:04:19] Randall: I think that can lead to delegation and outsourcing. One of my recent revelations is I, started the podcast and I actually recorded like three or four episodes last summer. So it was summer of 2023 or fall of 2023. But what I didn't realize is how much time, energy and effort goes into say, editing a podcast and publishing a podcast and setting up podcasts on the host and different podcasting platforms, et cetera.

[00:04:48] Randall: So when I finally did that for my first episode, it was very insightful for me. I learned a lot, which was good. I liked that. But in order for me to continue to do the podcast and continue to do it the way in which I wanted to do it. I knew that from that experience, I couldn't do everything myself, right?

[00:05:07] Randall: So I distinguish what my high value activity was, is what I'm good at and is having conversations. Hopefully articulate intelligent conversations that people like to listen to, but to be determined there. And then what I'm not good at is editing. What I'm not good at is creating or designing thumbnails.

[00:05:25] Randall: So how am I going to solve this problem? So I hired a couple of virtual assistants to do the things that I'm not good at. I'm a subject matter expert of having interesting conversations with interesting people, I believe, and their subject matter experts on the back end stuff, the editing, the publishing, the thumbnails, everything else that goes into creating the transcript for the podcast as well.

[00:05:47] Randall: But when it comes to delegation and outsourcing tasks and activities, or maybe delegating with a team of people, Chris, what's your thought process around those? 

[00:05:56] Chris: Yes, quite a few things sort of came out of my mind in there because old school times, as I think, or Belbin, Belbin had team roles and people, complete to finishers were important.

[00:06:07] Chris: The ideas, people, people who were supporting the idea of people you know, understanding that your team roles is, which is really connected to strength finders againknow yourself and what you're best at and therefore how you can play the best role in that team, there's plenty of sports conversations we could talk about in terms of roles and where you're best placed.

[00:06:29] Chris: So, Strict Finder's building comes to mind. I think there was a difference, but then came a manager and a leader. I was delegating to people. I thought delegation was great because you show you think they can do it.

[00:06:42] Chris: And then they didn't realize they didn't have the skill sets to do it. And then they really needed a much more directive leadership style to go do this, this, this, and this come back. And I was hearing the next steps to do and coaching and supporting leadership styles, which, simple situational leadership.

[00:06:56] Chris: But so many different sort of things that you can jump to when we're looking at it. I know me now. I've been around for a while. I know what I'm good at. I could tell myself off for saying I'm not a creative person. So, yeah, but maybe I am, but I, I know that it's better to find somebody who's creative. I know that I need to surround myself with people with different skill sets I think that is a little point about being a good leader is to actually, pulling together a team that's, that's so good.

[00:07:21] Chris: And work well together. You don't necessarily need to be good at anything apart from pulling a team together that can work together well. So I actually agree. That it's a factor really of just knowing yourself, knowing what you're good at, and trying to get with other people that can complement and can get the creative process going and get completed and finished.

[00:07:42] Chris: But being a manager tells people to do stuff, you're a bit complicit of that. 

[00:07:46] Randall: Yeah. 

[00:07:46] Randall: So I imagine like other people, you know, I have the to do list. I know I need to prioritize and execute. And I know the to do list is always going to be there tomorrow.

[00:07:56] Randall: But sometimes I still find it challenging to beyou know this is the most important task, but it's also going to require the most amount of time, energy, effort, and focus. And it's going to kind of suck because of that. So. Sometimes those activities I know to be of the highest value but they're often some of the activities that I put off you know, I procrastinate on.

[00:08:21] Randall: So do you have any thoughts around how some people might be able to overcome procrastination on, even if they recognize that they need to be doing the thing, but they're not doing the thing and they just keep putting it off, how would you recommend people get past that hurdle? 

[00:08:34] Chris: Yeah, I went from employed to self employed, and I am doing lots of things because I need to pay the mortgage, and I have an overall imperative to never procrastinate, never put off any of those things because I need this thing to be successful.

[00:08:52] Chris: And so then I think, well, how do you manufacture that kind of need? You're an employee, it's not your company. You're never going to really care as much as the person who owns it. Much to their shocks, actually, that they can't get employees to think the same as them and behave the same with our share ownership at least.

[00:09:11] Chris: And so I think it's a case of thinking along those lines of compensations and mindsets and motivation factors. And getting to a scenario where you can create, either in yourself or your employees some way that they will be not putting it off because it's not for their good at all to do so.

[00:09:30] Chris: That could edge into being horrible, so I'm not doing that. But I know people who've recruiting salespeople, for example and they want to and hear that that person has, some expensive lifestyle that they need to support. They want somebody who's mean and hungry and wants to learn and be successful.

[00:09:48] Chris: So, I suppose you're going to look for combinations of different tell signs or generate those sort of needs in yourself. So that's what you're going to have to do. 

[00:09:57] Randall: Yeah. I've been there as well. It's funny how it works that, when your back's in the proverbial corner and the only way forward is forward, you figure out a way to do it, right.

[00:10:07] Randall: I think you had made a good point where you said, manufacturing that, if you are say an employee, an employer, employee model, and you are procrastinating on some things because, hey, like, you're still going to get your paycheck every two weeks. Then perhaps it's a matter of changing your perspective, not because you have a greater vested interest in the organization, but how does that affect you personally? What if you, do this task now that is important and you've been putting off because it's going to require time, energy, effort, and focus. How is that going to move you forward, right? How does that task align with what your individual objectives are?

[00:10:46] Randall: Is that going to help you get a raise perhaps? Is that going to help you learn a new skill that you can then go brag about in an interview for your next job where you're going to get, a 10%, 20 percent raise. Chris, you had mentioned thatmaking that task more important to you than you might have otherwise thought.

[00:11:02] Randall: I think that could be a good way to overcome it as well. 

[00:11:05] Chris: Yeah, it is. It's a funny one because I can see both sides of the story. There's the late Liz Wiseman, he wrote a book called Impact Players, and they did a lot of research to write that book. And when you have a manager who has somebody who doesn't shy away from going for those tasks, doesn't shy away from the nasty, horrible projects that potentially a bit messy and so forth, but they grasp it.

[00:11:29] Chris: In your brand compared to everybody else you're definitely the somebody that they want on your team they'll always want you, with them. And you should get raises and you should get promotions, et cetera, because you don't shy away.

[00:11:43] Chris: You don't go looking to avoid the tough, horrible ones. In fact, you're volunteering to get involved and it's amazing what you can achieve. Now I say, I see both sides cause I can see how that can stress people andit can be counterintuitive to go looking for horrible stuff to do.

[00:11:59] Chris: But it makes such a difference. And I'm not just quoting that book because I'm in it. But the interview needs us to talk about somebody that I thought of as an impact player, the most, most valuable player, all of those kinds of things. And certainly the person I was thinking about went above and beyond and did lots of things that made, a big difference to the organization.

[00:12:18] Chris: And I think they get them. 

[00:12:19] Randall: Yeah, I think it's important to, understand where you want to go in your career, right? And then you can volunteer for what you want to volunteer for. That's going to move you closer to where you want to be, right? And then, you know, part of volunteering for the stuff that say, maybe other people won't volunteer for, or maybe you were even reluctant to do it yourself or reluctant to do the tasks and putting them off.

[00:12:41] Randall: It's like the skills you're going to develop along the way, that's going to craft, mold you into a better professional or get you further, faster. If you just sit on your hands and you just show up to work and if you don't become a competent person in that role, if you don't build relationships, then you're just going to be doing that same role, making that same money for the rest of your career.

[00:13:02] Randall: There's a whole sort of different way of thinking about it, but we all know who A players and B players are, and you know, that's heading that way is makes you an A player.

[00:13:10] Randall: Yeah, question for you. We've had many conversations in the past and a few of these episodes so far, but one of the things I've been having some internal, dialogue with myself is there's a lot of podcasts out there, right? There's a lot of information coming from a lot of different people.

[00:13:26] Randall: There's a lot of people writing a lot of books. Some of it's good information, some of it's bad information, but what I've learned is that they write a book and they give you information, and give you suggestions or things that you should be doing or their perspective on how to manage your day, manage your life, things you should be doing, et cetera.

[00:13:44] Randall: Doesn't always mean just because they're an author that that's the best advice and you should implement it. So you've mentioned a couple of books that you've read. I'm an avid reader as well. 

[00:13:54] Randall: How do you pressure test? The information that you're taking in maybe from say like a mentor or from a book that you picked up or read or from somebody else's podcast.

[00:14:05] Randall: What sort of filters might you have or that you apply in taking information and they're like, Oh, well, that makes sense or that doesn't make sense. You know, you have any thoughts on that?

[00:14:14] Chris: A couple of things might jump straight of mind is I did a chemistry degree. So I did science.

[00:14:20] Chris: So I was a little alarmed from this for a lot of business books based upon tubious sample sets, tubious research opinion based upon the 30 years they worked at General Motors or something andwhere they might not have worked in lots of different places and tried different things out and seen things.

[00:14:37] Chris: So. I definitely take recommendations from, I'm uh, Mentum and there's some very wise people, partners there, we have a reading list that, these go on there with sort of enough people to critically reviewed it or it's been around long enough and they've used it over and over again.

[00:14:54] Chris: And it's tied to that, but this one that I mentioned was because I was part of her research. She has a big team, goes on for years. They're trying to find something out of the data they've got. And it feels a bit of recommendation podcast, but in the end, it's a messy world based upon people which is a messy concept. They're not consistent. 

[00:15:16] Chris: They can hold two completely opposing views at the same time. They can say one thing, do something else. This isn't the science of chemistry, where I know that a hundred times out of a hundred, you pour this liquid into that liquid, that's going to happen. It's not that well.

[00:15:32] Chris: So nobody's got it right, completely. But you know, Positive Mental, we always talk about no nonsense business expertise, we try to cut through the IP and that kind of gimmicks and everything else, and try to get straight to it. And we also think that we should strive to make things better than not make things the best.

[00:15:51] Chris: It's just going to be impossible. You try and get the perfect culture, the perfect leader, the perfectchange management process. You just want to do it better. So I think anything you're reading is hopefully going to move you a bit further on, but it isn't going to make you,you know, CEO of Apple, certainly.

[00:16:06] Randall: Yeah. Thanks. It could, I think, you know, from what I heard I guess there's value in applying a scientific method to some of those, leadership readings or books or podcasts versus then just two opinionated people having a discussion and then somewhere.

[00:16:25] Randall: Yeah. We're the exception, but somewhere in the middle between like, you know, we have a data set, we've done our own research, you've been a professional longer than me. I've been doing this for 15 plus years and I've had different roles in different industries and I've had success in doing that, and I've applied some of those lessons I did get from books and podcasts, and I've applied them. And now I have a baseline of this worked for me and this is why it worked for me. Whereas I think other people they just have a TikTok channel and they've been successful as a TikToker and just spewing nonsense.

[00:16:58] Randall: They don't have that baseline of information or experience that you and I have cultivated and grown through our experiences, right? So I think again, that's the balance between you can't be as rigid as it might be in chemistry with a scientific method, but I think you can apply some of those principles.

[00:17:16] Randall: To how you source your information, right? 

[00:17:18] Chris: Yeah, certainly I have one area of sort of almost IP for myself, which is around the competencies, specific competencies that came from yeah, not a great scenario, which was a redundancy process, a rift process, the selection of people that had to go, because there was a big economic downturn in 2008, which created a condition where myself and my leadership team realized we didn't have a common language about what good looks like.

[00:17:46] Chris: And we created some descriptors to sort of sum up what we could see made someone good or not so good. We've got a common language going. We did this work and I used it, you know, for years at that one company. I then took it somewhere else and it worked again there.

[00:18:05] Chris: And then I took it somewhere else and it worked again there. And then I took it somewhere else and it worked again there. Then I felt confident enough to go out into the world and say, This is one of the fundamental areas you've got to get right. If you don't get it right, you can't recruit the right people.

[00:18:18] Chris: You can't keep people clear, understanding what's expected of their job. You can't show people how they can progress in a career. You can't tell them the evidence they need to have that say they're operating at the next level. Please promote me. 

[00:18:32] Chris: That you can't really have a decent conversation about people and maybe it's their time to leave, you know.

[00:18:38] Chris: They're not meeting the grade. It is something that I tried and tested and tested and tested with different size companies in different places And now I would say it's worth listening to and taking on board and people are paying me now to do that with their companies but it's a difference.

[00:18:53] Chris: I would say it's met the criteria. 

[00:18:56] Randall: Yeah, I would agree. You mentioned the work that you've been doing with positive momentum. If people want to learn more about you and what you do how can they reach out to you? 

[00:19:05] Chris: Well, my LinkedIn profile and also thepositivemomentum. Com for one word you can see meet the team and you can see a video of me. Looking a bit more relaxed in a tshirt talking about my career and where I got to, and also a bit about myself. You can read about profiles and stuff there. So, it's ozzymenton. com, thank you for that chance.

[00:19:25] Randall: Anytime, that's why we're here. 

[00:19:27] Chris: That's not why we're here. That's not 

[00:19:28] Randall: why we're here. We just want to share information, folks. 

[00:19:31] Chris: Exactly. 


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