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Productivity tip: get that task done – write it down and break it down

Do you have “tasks”  you never seem to get around to doing?

Things disappear “off your radar”?


Tasks get over-ridden by more urgent tasks?

I was feeling guilty. A good mate had lent me a great book about a very successful Australian band Powderfinger.

I am a massive music fan – and I often help musicians and artists get media and fan attention for their work.

I was keen to see what “business” lessons I could learn from the example of Powderfinger.

But, I never seemed to get around to reading the book. I’d had the book for close to two years and I’d only started reading the first chapter.

It had fallen off my radar. I decided to do something about it!

Do you have similar “tasks” that you have trouble completing?

Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that I finished the book AND got so many valuable lessons from it (as well as entertainment) – because I treated completing the book as a task and I applied the productivity mantra:

Write it down and break it down.

I went on a 7-day round-trip work road trip from Brisbane to Sydney and back. I had several sessions and business meetings along the way – some more conventional corporate training, others more creative projects.

In my diary – every day of the trip I wrote: FP – which meant Finish Powderfinger

The “task” was kept visible and “on my radar”.

Also, to get things done – I like to stay in places that are a change of scene.

federal hotel

I’d rather stay in an old hotel than some “chain”.  I choose not to watch the TV.

Every chance I had, I’d read part of that book – in my “spartan” hotel room. No wi-fi. No distractions!

reading powderfinger

and…out on the verandah the next morning!

reading on verandah

I also had meetings with “creative types” along the way. Theses “casual” types would like to met in unusual, non-office settings.

So I’d take that book with me and read it while I waited.

Also, if something was delayed – my “default” was to eat further into that book!

I finished the book in about 5 short sessions. It was a great feeling to finish it.

reading at anitas

You may think: BIG DEAL!- how hard is it to read a book?!

True! My point is: it’s not hard to read the book – it CAN be hard to make the time to finish it! How many unfinish/unread books do you have on your bookshelf or by your bed?

That book had been sitting around unread for almost two years.

The “task” got done – because I made it a priority. I put it on my radar.

I wrote it down and I broke it down – I didn’t try to read it all in one session – but in small “chunks”

Productivity experts have expression such as “eating the elephant” – bit by bit!

Eugene and the Egg copy copy

It’s funny – I am lucky to have so many creative and artistic friends – musicians, photographers, writers!

My friends are far more talented that I am – yet my “talent” is getting things done and encouraging creative types bring some “discipline” to their creative lives.

Many creative types often get distracted by the “next shiny thing”. They are great at starting a new project – not always so good at completing things.

In my work helping creative types – I found some fantastic “resources” such as Organising Creativity.


I am determined to “work my way” through these resources. I’ll make reading the resources a priority and an achievable action:

I’ll write it down and break it down.

And, if you are not familiar with Powderfinger – here’s a link to a clip. In future posts, I’ll write about some of the business lessons I learned from that book!



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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.



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One comment on “Productivity tip: get that task done – write it down and break it down

  1. efangelist
    December 18, 2014

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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