Instant Productivity Hacks

Instant Productivity Hacks

We all live in a very big and busy world. The invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee gave us easy access to all the information we need. It has made a tremendous change to people all around the world – we can now learn, discover and share information instantly. As the web grew however, one big problem became apparent: information overflow. Sometimes there is just too much of everything, and it’s not just the information but also the social media connections we have and the ease for people to reach out to each other. All of these factors result in our lifestyles becoming very busy, as many people live connected to the online world 24/7 with constant stream of emails, notifications, instant messages and so on. And as we all know, too much of anything is not good. This overflow can make us feel overwhelmed and have adverse effect on our productivity. Today, I’m going to show you a couple of tips and tools that can, to some extent, remedy this and (if implemented correctly) make you more productive.

1. Write it down.

This one seems like a no brainer, and yet still the vast majority of people I know forget to do it. A simple, old school to-do list is the best productivity tool ever invented. I always have a daily to-do list which I work through during the day, crossing off completed tasks. Now, there are a few simple rules when it comes to your to-do list.

– Make it realistic. Don’t put dozens of tasks for one day, it’s not going to work. Put only as much as you can comfortably achieve.
– Your tasks must be actionable. Don’t put things like “learn programming” on you daily to-do list, as this is not something you can do in one day. What you can put instead for example is: read first chapter of the JavaScript for beginners guide.

You don’t need any special tools for your to do list but if you wish to, there are a number of great tools available. My personal choice is OmniFocus for iPhone but you should go with whatever works for you best and gets the job done.

2. Streamline your Project Management

Managing projects and people is a very demanding task, especially when we have teams working remotely. Constantly sending emails back and forth is not really an option. In fact, I suggest you avoid email as much as you can. It’s a terrible project management tool.

Fortunately there are much better solutions out there. One of my favourites is Trello.

Trello is a fantastic and a free tool, and it’s based on the simple principles of Kanban. It will help you organise and coordinate your teams and projects. It can also use it as your to do list.  You can sign up for free here and to learn more on how to use it, check out this guide.

3. Declutter your email.

Email can be a nuisance nowadays with everyone emailing things back and forth, colleagues copying you in and forwarding you messages you don’t have even a slight interest in. Checking your email constantly is a terrible waste of time.  But there is a simple solution to it.
First of all, check your email periodically, I only check my email 3 times a day during set times. Your next step should be implementing inbox zero, this will give you a sense of control, declutter and make you feel and be more productive.

OK, so that’s it for today, 3 simple things you can do right now to be more productive. Remember, it’s not about working hard but working smart.

Published by Sarah McGirr on 25 August, 2015

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