Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

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
1. Remove
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.

2. Review
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.

3. Reinvent
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:
4. Reduce
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.
• Drop
• Diminish
• Delegate
• Defer
• Do

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)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

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.
Download it here: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

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

#Productivity #TimeManagement #Backlog


Strategic Time Management: What and How
How to Use the Kanban Method for Time Management
How Does the Chain Method of Time Management Work?
How Does the Autofocus Time Management Method Work?
How Does the Getting Things Done Time Management Method Work?
What is the Pomodoro Technique? Working in Sprints
Eating Frogs: A Solution to Procrastination
How to Handle Interruptions and Distractions
How to Say NO: Noble Objection – the Ultimate in Time Management
How to Handle Overload: When Time Management is Not Enough
Prioritization with the Pareto Principle – the 80-20 Rule
Prioritization: Understand Urgent and Important
To Do List and 7 Other Time Management Lists You Should Use Instead
Time Management with The OATS Principle
Goal Setting: The Start of Your Time Management
Activity Log: Logging Your Time and Activities
Email Wrangling: How to Manage Your Email for Greater Productivity
Monkey Management: How to Deal with a Monkey on Your Back
The Flow State… and How Flow Can Help You Work Effectively
Special Time: and How to Use it to Work Effectively
Overcome Overwhelm: Dealing with the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed
Conquer Procrastination: How to Avoid Putting Things Off
Three Types of Procrastination… and Why 2 are Good
Failure of Multitasking: The Multitasking Myth
Milestones and Deadlines for Self-Motivation and Greater Productivity
Wellbeing: What to do to Increase Your Productivity
Use your Energy Cycles for More Effective Working and Greater Productivity
Planning, Preparation, and Follow-up: Effective Working for Better Productivity
Organization: How to Enhance Your Productivity by Being Organized
The Power of Habits: Productivity through Effective Working

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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