How to Clear a Backlog – The 4 Rs Method
We all get behind from time to time. This creates a backlog of stuff you need to do. It may be a pile of papers you have to read, or bills to pay, or forms to fill. Perhaps it’s an email inbox full of unanswered (or unread) emails. Or it might be a list of jobs around the house.
To avoid the stress of it playing on your mind, you need to know how to clear a backlog.
Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)
This video is part of course module number 1.6.2
Program 1: Managing Yourself
Course 6: Personal Productivity
Section 2: Time Management
Relevant videos in the same section as this video include:
– The Power of Habits: Productivity through Effective Working
– Organization: How to Enhance Your Productivity by Being Organized
– Wellbeing: What to do to Increase Your Productivity
– Overcome Overwhelm: Dealing with the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed
– Three Types of Procrastination… and Why 2 are Good
– Conquer Procrastination: How to Avoid Putting Things Off
– The Flow State… and How Flow Can Help You Work Effectively
– Time Management with The OATS Principle
– To Do List and 7 Other Lists You Should Use Instead
Backlogs bring us down. They sap your energy. We look at them and feel guilt, obligation, duty. Then you start to feel overwhelmed, so you move on. You ignore your backlog, so it keeps growing.
Before you know it, it’s not a pile: it’s a mountain. And you’re a ‘bad person’ for letting it get that way.
Four-Step Process for Clearing Your Backlog
Put your backlog somewhere it won’t grab your attention and make you feel bad. Put your pile of papers in a file and put that on a shelf. Create an email folder called Backlog and drop everything from your inbox into it. Take your list of household jobs off the counter and put it in a drawer.
What if there’s something in the backlog you removed that’s important and urgent? Look through it for anything you should put back into your frontlog. This will stop you from misplacing something and missing a deadline.
Focus on your frontlog.
But how did the backlog arise?
– A peak in workload?
Don’t worry. You’ll clear it in the next trough, and all will be well.
– Struggling to cope with your workload?
Reinvent the way you handle your work. Find a way to be more productive or reduce your workload through: delegation, saying NO, or negotiating more sustainable standards.
Once you are on top of your current workload, you can:
Carve out a regular small chunk of time – daily or weekly. In that time, deal with one or two items from the top of your backlog.
Follow the Backlog routine for your backlog:
1. Remove (1 MC CPD Point)
2. Review (2 MC CPD Points)
3. Reinvent (3 MC CPD Points)
4. Reduce (2 MC CPD Points)
I’ll be as modest as I can. I’m something of an expert on effective working, personal productivity, & time management, with 4 best-selling books by 3 international publishers:
– The Time Management Pocketbook
– How to Manage Your Time
– Powerhouse: Turbo Boost Your Effectiveness and Start Making a Serious Impact
– The Yes/No Book: How to do less… and achieve more
And here are my picks from the thousands of other books on personal productivity, effective working, & time management:
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
– The Power of Habit: Why we Do what we Do, and How to Change
– Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
– Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating
Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
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Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 10 MC CPD points
Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon
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