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The Task List Master – Lady Gaga’s Productivity Secrets

Between 2008 and 2011, global pop phenomenon Lady Gaga has created an impressive empire - three bestselling albums, nearly a dozen hit singles, and two of the highest-grossing tours of the past couple of years...
Written Jul 01, 2011, read 1236 times since then.



Between 2008 and 2011, global pop phenomenon Lady Gaga has created an impressive empire - three bestselling albums, nearly a dozen hit singles, and two of the highest-grossing tours of the past couple of years. On top of that, she's created a line of headphones for the popular Beats brand, is a creative director at Polaroid, a spokesperson for MAC's Viva Glam line, performs advocacy work, and more. And regardless of the length of her task list, she does it all while refusing to wear pants!
You don't have to be a fan be impressed by the sheer amount of output this young woman has achieved. How does Lady Gaga get through this seemingly endless task list, what are some of her productivity secrets, and how can you apply them to your everyday work and life?
Motivation. In any given interview, Lady Gaga always says that she has relentless drive to create. Without a driving force, it can be hard for anyone to stay productive and in action. To feel purposeful, busy people need a reason to do the things we do - for her, it's her fans and a dedication to her craft. For you, it may be a love for the work you do or the desire to stay on top of your projects. Reminding ourselves why we do what we do is essential to keeping us energized and on track, no matter the length of our task list. Make a practice to remind yourself what your own motivation is and your productivity will get a regular boost.
Delegation. Although she's know for her "interesting" sense of fashion, it's not actually Lady Gaga herself who creates much of her clothing - her multi-person Haus of Gaga is the creative force behind many of her famous (and infamous) fashions and hairstyles. It would be impossible, regardless of her motivation, for Lady Gaga to get through her certainly voluminous task lists herself. If you're a busy professional with too many tasks on your task list, you can't possibly accomplish them all - no matter how many time management tips you read. One key productivity and time management technique is learning how to effectively delegate so you can offload items from your task list. When you delegate tasks, you can still be in control of your output, but you personally let go of doing each and every task yourself.
Tools. Regardless of our time management techniques or skills, we all need the right frameworks and tools to stay productive. One of the ways that Lady Gaga was able to record her latest album while simultaneously touring the world was she had a custom bus created that housed an entire recording studio. This bus would drive behind her main tour bus, and after each show ended, she'd board the recording bus and create songs for several hours each night. Of course, you probably don't need a custom bus following you around, but for whatever task or project you're trying to accomplish, make sure you have all the tools you need close at hand, and you're likely to get more done.
Quality of work. In a recent interview, "Now that you have everybody watching, Gaga, you'd better be f***ing great." Especially for business owners, the quality of the work we produce can be a big determining factor in the success of our projects. In my work with clients, I've noticed that busy people tend to get more done when they always keep a close eye on not just the quantity of the work they produce, but also the quality. In our rush to get through our task lists, it can be easy to focus on either getting things done perfectly, or just scraping by. Now, unless you're a global celebrity and have all eyes on you, shooting for perfection probably isn't a needed goal. Rather, create benchmarks for what a great experience - for you or a client - would be, and work towards that.
Clearly, Lady Gaga's career success has depended in large part on her organizational skills and time management. What lessons can you adopt to help you get through your task lists so you can complete your projects?



Professional Organizer 
San Francisco, California 
Joshua Zerkel

Joshua Zerkel is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the founder of He specializes in helping entrepreneurs leverage technology so they can be more productive, organized, and get more of the right things done.

Learn more about the author, Joshua Zerkel.

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