Productivity is more than finding and using the right productivity tools – it’s a habit, a routine, a work ethic. This post was originally supposed to be a list of our favorite productivity tools, but as I was writing it, I realized that the tools are useless without the how-to’s.
Favorite Productivity Tools and How-to Tips
Tiny Sticky Note – It’s tempting to try to tackle a mile-long list of to-dos. Don’t give in! Use teeny, tiny sticky notes to limit the number of to-do’s the make it onto your daily list (and as a visual reminder to tackle a maximum of 2 to 3 core tasks per day).
Digital Nags – Staying focused isn’t easy when you are juggling multiple projects and looming deadlines, not to mention personal and family commitments. Use your calendar, task list and timer to maintain your focus and work quickly and efficiently.
Mobile Productivity – Getting more done means finding ways to get stuff done when you are on-the-go (or stuck in a lesson waiting room). DropBox and Documents to Go turns your iPhone or iPad into a mobile workstation.
22.214.171.124. Filing System – Messy files are a productivity vortex! Arrange all your email folders and files using the following: 1. Internal, 2. External, 3. Personal, 4. Reading. Divide into whatever subcategories you choose, but stick with the consistency of the number system to keep the folders and files in that order.
Email Notes – Post meeting follow-up is where most people lose their momentum. Take notes in an new email message and schedule 5 or 10 minutes following the meeting to clean them up, add in action steps and send them out!
Daily Routine – Fatigue, overwhelm, frustration…all are serious productivity drains. Turn to your daily routine to keep your momentum going! Start your first 30-minutes of your day with the same routine. For me, it’s a quick social check-in, calendar review, task list prioritization and start first major to-do.
Password Keeper – Searching for passwords is a big waste of time (and don’t get me started on that silly reset system you think works for you). Store all your passwords, login ID’s and any other secure information you need to access.
Appointment Goals – Chances are if you have a busy schedule, you are booking meetings and calls way in advance. Include your meeting goals in your calendar notes. What do you want to discuss? What do you hope to achieve? What questions do you want to ask?