Sometimes you feel that you are doing everything right to be productive, but you still reach the end of the day with things left to do that you thought that you could absolutely have done. Truth is, sometimes the only thing that you are lacking are self-management tools. Tools that will help you organize your tasks more efficiently without making you feel lost. Many people have tried similar strategies like the ones we will mention and now, they don’t even know how they lived their lives before.
Systems to help you get centred when you first start
Document management system
The document management system helps you to start managing your documents more accurately. For that you can use several apps and programmes to register everything. It’s not hard to find an app that will allow with this, however many of them are either obsolete or have structural problems when it comes to share documents or commenting on them. The best tool would have to be Quip. With Quip is hard to find a latent flaw, it brings all the good qualities of the other tools together into one.
Personal growth roadmap
Another thing that you may want to start doing is a personal growth roadmap. It may be overwhelming to have everything you want to achieve all entangled in your mind. It may be even discouraging. For this, we recommend you to start doing this technique, so you can properly see how far you have gone and how much you have achieved, maybe surprisingly in a small amount of time.
However, in order to provide you with a little bit more of a boost of encouragement, we also suggest you doing a daily retrospective besides the personal growth roadmap. This way, you will start your days boosting your productivity with everything you want to do that day and finish them by looking at your morning plans and making a retrospective of how they went along the way.
Important things you might want to set goals for to perfect them or start doing them
If you want to start exercising, even if it’s just twenty minutes five days a week and you want to stick with it, maybe you should set some fitness goals. Create a table of the different exercises you are willing to do and how many reps you want to do of each one. If you’re lacking exercises ideas, you can always check a fitness YouTube channel for tips and new things to do. Besides that, focus on creating harder goals along to away to test your limits.
No matter what kind of productivity goals you are working on, a good tool to use to help you guide you is Rescue Time. This tool allows you to set your goals for whatever time span you want, they could be weekly goals, for example, and receiving notifications when you meet these goals.
Because time is precious but you still want to meet your goals, when you decide to read more in less time, speedreading is the secret. By increasing the words read per minute you can finish a book by half of the time expected. You shouldn’t let yourself be satisfied from that because you can go even faster to finish a book. With different methods applied, the apps Accelerating, Outread and Schultz Tables are tools that will most definitely help you to read faster.
If one of your goals is reading more and not be left with nothing to read when you finish your last book than you can create a queue of books to read on Goodreads for example that won’t let you forget that you had already in mind more books after the one you finished.
Tools to help you set your tasks in order:
Calendar and reminders are some of the best things to just glance at and immediately help you get oriented again. You may have all the tools you need to write down all your plans in detail as well as all your tasks, but there are those urgent things that you simply cannot afford to forget doing. Set reminders for those and, to give you an extra safety net, shortly write them down in one or two words in a visible calendar so you won’t miss it by any chance.
Speaking of urgent tasks, to keep everything fresh in your head, every morning, do a MIT (most important tasks) planning. Even if you have five urgent things to do, try to discern which ones make the top three of most important. This is a way to keep yourself in check and, after everything, your stress levels will be far less high, allowing you to function even better.
To take even a little bit more of unnecessary stress off of your shoulders, try to make a weekly planning and then a retrospective. Similar to the daily planning and retrospective, you start doing a week plan every Monday morning and then, when you reach your Friday evening you make a retrospective. Don’t worry with the accuracy at first, it’s normal that our days never go one hundred percent like we imagined them to go, but if you meet most of the things than you are doing it right.
Habits you may want to start practicing:
The first thing you want to do is to do the things you want until they become a habit. What’s the secret for that? Doing it again and again. Why do you consider brushing your teeth two times in a day a habit or showering in the mornings? Because you have started doing it consistently for such a long time that you don’t even think of not doing those things. Humans are beings of habits and so, if you want to wake up at 6 a.m. everyday, you literally have to do it every day until it seems strange if you try to do otherwise. If you want to read a chapter everyday than read a chapter of a book every single day. This is all about training your brain to do new things (at least new to you) until it’s a natural thing.
To help you when your starting to create new habits in your daily or weekly routine, you should use a tracking app to give you a notion if your being committed to your new habits or not. This is a great help because sometimes we think we are doing great but actually we could do better. A good app to use for this purpose is Way of Life.
Meditation is a good habit to get into, especially if you have a very stressful life which, let’s be honest, who doesn’t these days. If you are willing to do it but aren’t exactly sure how, then a good tool to help you stay guided is the app Headspace. You can track how many sessions you have had and you can choose different serious from the app to improve a certain aspect of your life. This is not as time consuming as you may think. Meditation sessions don’t have to last three hours in fact, they can last just ten minutes. This way, you do not need to worry about a time-consuming habit.
As well as reading books, listening to podcasts is a good habit to get into. And the best part of it is that you don’t have to sit and only be reading or watching a screen. You can cook, workout or get ready in the mornings while listening to a podcast. You would be surprised how many podcasts you could listen to per week this way.
Music can be used for many purposes, to keep you entertained in a long trip, to stop you from getting bored during a workout or, to help you focus when you need to. Of course, not all types of music serve the same purpose and, not all types of music are good for all people. But it has been proved that, working with some kind of background music helps you stay focus and doesn’t make you work slower.
For that, the tools you can use are [email protected] which is an online service that provides background music especially designed to help people focus when doing important tasks and Noisili which allows you to create your ideal music to help you focus. With Noisili you can mix several different music tracks that are the perfect match for you.
The last habit that we advise you to acquire is to give feedback to people around you. If you give at least one feedback per day, you are not only focusing more on what you are analysing but you are also boosting the motivation of those who are working around you. People will see that you are paying attention and that you care.
Tools to help you access to more information quickly:
No matter what your line of work is, no matter if you just work with one subject or ten different ones, you may want to know more about Feedly. Feedly is one of the best tools to sort out sources of information adjusted to you only. For such a great service as this one the monthly cost is only 7$. For that amount you can add countless sources of information to your profile.
If you work with interior design for example, you may want to add websites that give news regarding that area to your Feedly account. This will save you so much time from opening endless browsing pages in search of that one article. By using Feedly, you have everything at hand.
Another similar tool that can help you sorting out information and keeping everything you need in the same place is Pocket. If you already have the habit of reading several different articles of several different topics than this tool will help you organise the, allowing you to label all the articles you find interesting. This way, when you have free time to check them out, you already know where to look for, saving you a lot of precious time.
If you wish to follow a certain page that consistently posts articles of your interest than you may want to subscribe with your email for their Newsletter. This way, you won’t need to check that page everyday or all the days the page publishes something new. Instead you can get a notification from your email when new articles are posted. And there is plus, you can simply open the email, quickly check if there is anything that may interest you and if not, you didn’t even have to open their page.These are some ideas and tools to go along with them to, basically, live your days with less stress and with more productivity. You don’t have to implement all these habits, systems and tools to achieve your better version (but if you want to do it, nothing is stopping you). Start by only doing the ones that you think that now that you know it’s an option, you can’t live without them. And, if others catch your attention, don’t hesitate in trying them also. Even if you think that you are incredibly busy, either because you have four small children in your care, or work nine long hours far from home and, no matter what, there is no way you could implement some changes in your personal management, that probably means that you really need those changes.
Try implementing just one for a week and it’s almost certain that you will see some differences in the way you organise your day, even if it’s just meditating for ten minutes in the evenings. It’s just like gaining new habits, as long as you keep doing them, you will eventually reach a point where you don’t even question why you are doing it or how did you find the time for it. Because now, it is part of your day.