Today’s topic is all about Three Productivity Tools. Now everyone can use more productivity in their lives, I know that I can. I would rather spend my time doing things that I enjoy, wouldn’t you?
If you’re like most busy people, you’re always looking for ways to increase your productivity.
If you can find a way to:
Limit distractions in this distraction-filled world
Stay focused on a single task at a time
…you’re well on your way to getting more done, but it’s not always easy to get there. Well, thanks to the amazing technology we have available to us today, there are plenty of tools out there that can help.
Abundance of Tools
Here are 3 of our favorite productivity tools to help you limit distractions and stay focused.
Let’s get the distractions out of the way first because even while technology brings us so many great productivity tools, it also brings us tremendous distractions. RescueTime helps you track your time on your computer and your mobile devices and identifies where you’re spending (ahem…often wasting) a lot of your time.
Alert you when you’re spending a certain amount of time on an activity
Allow you to block distracting websites during focus time
Keep track of what you accomplished throughout the day
Identify how much time you spend on a variety of activities, including email, meetings, etc.
You can sign up for a Lite account, which is completely free, or their premium service for added features.
The Focus Booster app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which is a long-standing productivity technique that uses a timer for focused work periods, usually 25 minutes, followed by a break of 3-5 minutes. After you complete 4 work periods, you get a break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is you stay completely focused on the task during the work period.
There are a lot of apps that can help you execute the Pomodoro Technique, but you can check out Focus Booster. The app is free for up to 20 sessions per month or you can pay a reasonable yearly fee for unlimited sessions and extra features.
The app keeps a timesheet for you and produces a report that allows you to track your productivity and identify ways to become even more productive. And they have a 30 Day PRO Trial also.
Now here’s something very different, but scientifically proven to increase focus and productivity. And if you love music, this is going to be great news for you.
Focus@Will uses human neuroscience and music to help you focus, limit distractions, get productive and retain more information. All you do is answer a few questions and the software will determine the right music to put your brain in a flow state that makes you super productive. Wow!!
Try these Three Productivity Tools and let us know what you think. And hey, if you’ve got a productivity tool you love, can you send me a message? We’d love to gather up your answers and make part 2 for this article with more great productivity tools.
Manage Your Time – how many times have you heard that phrase? Like it’s been beating you in the head forever, but is it actually registering in said head? You know, you’ve heard it a thousand times but if it’s not getting through, then you’re not really listening, are you?
It doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you follow the strategies below.
Get Up Early
The most successful people are early risers and have a morning routine in place. Do you have one?
Morning routines often include:
A regular morning routine will ensure that you start your days successfully.
Creating a to-do list should be a regular habit undertaken daily. The best lists are 10 items or less to ensure that you can complete them. Don’t forget to prioritize the items on the list and review them throughout the day. Checking off items as they are completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
Sticky notes are ideal for displaying reminders of tasks, motivational quotes, and visualizations. If you’ve got a pile of letters that need to be mailed and that’s an item on your to-do list, why not put a sticky note on top of the pile with a deadline for posting them? It’ll serve as a reminder to get them posted and cleared out of your way.
Of course, you can record your notes digitally using note-taking apps or in a text document, or using pen and paper but have you thought of recording them using a digital recorder? You can get free recording apps for smartphones. By making a voice recording you can replay the recording and listen to your ideas. This will give you the opportunity to listen from a different perspective.
Create a schedule. Using an online planner such as Google Calendar will ensure that you are able to access your schedule on your smartphone, tablet, or computer wherever you are. You can color-code different categories of entry and share with friends, family, and colleagues as necessary.
Use Pen and Paper
For your most important events, tasks and notes use the traditional recording method of pen and paper with a diary, planner, or bullet journal. You can keep it with you at all times, it won’t distract you with messages or run out of power. You’ll also be able to flick through at a glance to see how much you’ve achieved, past or forthcoming events, and outstanding tasks.
Be realistic. Not all tasks and events are created equal. Find a way to highlight events that are essential so that you can see them at a glance and be sure not to miss them. On your lists of things to do always prioritize them and complete the most important first. If there are items that aren’t important or not time-sensitive then consider moving them off your current list and on to another day. You can’t do everything!
If there are items on your list that aren’t important then think about delegating them. You don’t need to try and be a superhero and do everything yourself. Kids can tidy away their toys and when old enough learn how to load the dishwasher, set the table, and do other simple chores. By enlisting the help of other household members you can get more accomplished in less time.
Managing your time properly and efficiently is one of the keys to staying organized. And, it’s also the way you create success along the way when you are working your business. Take these ideas and use them for both your personal life and your professional life. Then you’ll be able to fit more into your day. And even have time to play with your kids and enjoy time with your husband or significant other. Now that’s what I’m talking about!!
Need help figuring out how to create your Time Management Goals? Let’s set up a time to do that. Here’s my booking link to make it easy for you to schedule a time to get together. → Calendar Link This is a free 15 – minute call to see if we want to work together. And then we schedule a time to work on your project. It’s simple and as easy as that!
I would be more than happy to help you figure things out.
When you work for yourself you will need to be both organized and productive while working, every day. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also get much more done for your clients as well as for your own business. So how can you make sure that you stay organized and productive?
Below are several tips for staying organized and productive. Which ones have made it to your list?
Process your emails
Schedule your calendar
Don’t skip lunch
Clear Out Your Clutter
Your workspace should be clean and clutter-free. By removing distractions, you will make sure that you remain focused on your work. Have a trash can by your desk and use it. If it’s trash, then it isn’t needed so toss it immediately! Add a small container for recycling and put anything that can be recycled into it as soon as you’ve finished with it.
Process Your Emails
Emails are a huge time suck. Instead of just reading them or thinking you’ll read or act on them later take a more structured approach. Set a specific time for dealing with emails each day. Don’t check them in between.
Use folders to organize emails: junk/spam, trash, by project or client, personal and to do. Any emails that require you to take action and that cannot be completed at that moment should be put into the to-do folder. Make it a habit to work through your to-do folder and empty it every day. Have a specific time slot allocated for that each day.
Delete junk, spam, and emails that aren’t important or needed for further action and empty those folders at the end of each day.
When you’re an employee, your break time is usually scheduled for you. But when you work for yourself, then it will be up to you to decide when to take a break. Make sure to schedule regular breaks as these will keep you more focused and productive
If you sit down for a large part of your day you need to take regular time out to get up and walk around. This will keep you fitter and reduce tiredness.
Your body and brain need water to stay hydrated and to achieve optimal performance. Of course, you don’t need to drink plain water all the time but you should limit caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee.
Don’t Skip Lunch
It can be all too easy to skip a meal when you are really busy. However, this won’t actually boost your productivity as you’ll find your blood sugar level will drop and you’ll lose energy and the ability to focus.
Make sure that you’ll always have lunch either ready to go to your office with you. Also, make sure to have a couple of healthy snacks ready to have during the day.
These simple tips will help you to stay organized and productive when you’re working.
Did you know that having an online business has lots of advantages for you? Online business owners can save a ton of money on gas, and they don’t have to worry about dressing a certain way for work. All that is needed is to designate work time for your business. They can even take their work with them anywhere they go, as long as an internet connection is available.
But every type of business has its pitfalls, and online businesses are no exception.
One of the biggest challenges that online business owners face is staying on task. The internet is a big place, so to speak, and it is full of distractions. There are forums, chatrooms, and blog conversations to participate in. Then there are friends and family to send instant messages to. And don’t forget about those emails to check! The list goes on and on. And I’m sure you have a big checklist of things to do for your clients as well!
It’s very easy to get sidetracked when you work online. But it is important not to let distractions affect your productivity. Even if you’re not getting paid by the hour, time is still money.
So how do you designate work time for your business? Do you set aside so many hours a day, so many hours a week or do you just play it by ear? This last one gets you nowhere by the way!
Set Hours and Stick to Them
One of the advantages of being your own boss is the ability to set your own hours. This is particularly true when you have an online business because you don’t necessarily have to keep hours that are convenient to your customers. But it is important to actually set working hours instead of just working when the mood strikes you.
During designated work time, avoid using the internet for non-work-related activities as this is essential to your productivity.
Here are some ways you can help yourself do that:
Segregate your email
Use one address for personal correspondence and another for business purposes. Set your email program up to automatically check the business one only.
Write notes to yourself
If something pops into your head that you must attend to online, don’t let it interrupt your work. Write it down and take care of it during non-work hours. A good app for that is Keep and you can get that right in your Gmail account.
Are You Open or Closed?
Write yourself a note reminding yourself that work time is for work only, or put up an “Open” sign. It can serve as a gentle reminder that business is the only thing that should be taking place.
Use Flexibility Wisely
Another great thing about working online is flexibility. If something comes up and you need to attend to it right away, you can drop what you’re doing and attend to it. But it’s crucial to only use that privilege when absolutely necessary.
When you have an unexpected interruption, you lose working hours. If you were working at a regular job, you would have to either take sick or vacation time or lose pay. When you work for yourself, you can make the hours up at a time that is convenient for you. It is, however, important to make them up at some point.
An online business is one of the most convenient and flexible ways to work from home. It also presents more opportunities for distraction than many people imagine.
Online business success requires a lot of discipline, but the rewards are many.
One thing that works really well is to have a daily schedule you can look at to make sure you’re on track for your day. So here’s one you can use to keep you on track.
How to stay motivated with your business goals and why you should. Today’s topic is about staying motivated with your business goals, why you should, and why it’s important to business success. YOURS!!
Setting Your Business Goals
When you set up your business goals, you have an initial surge of motivation. The planning stages are exciting because of what you may accomplish by proceeding with your plan. However, as time passes and other aspects of your job get in the way, you may feel less motivated to make those achievements happen. You begin to make judgments about everything.
Here are some ideas on how to stay motivated:
Keep a written copy of your goals and tasks on your desk. Create a daily task list that you print out and keep near you as you work. Daily tasks are more granular than the task list that supports the goals.
Then you can check them off as you complete them. Make sure those daily tasks are as relevant as possible to the tasks on the master list. It’s understandable that you will have to perform tasks outside of the goals but try to keep those to a minimum.
Think about the benefits of completing the goals for your business. You will be responsible for bringing your business to a new level. Of course, that is dependent on what the goals are. However, even smaller-scaled goals will contribute to the success of your business in some way.
Sometimes, as you work through your goals and tasks, you may find some that are no longer relevant. Perhaps your has changed direction, and some of the previous goals are no longer valid. It is a worthwhile exercise to readjust and create alternative plans or even start from scratch. Speak with your mentor or coach if the changes are major enough.
Tracking Your Goals
Another way to motivate yourself to keep on track with your goals is to imagine what may happen if you don’t complete them. Your business may stagnate, or you may not be getting the recognition you deserve. This can be a great way to ensure that you push forward and complete your goals.
When you and your team complete a task, find ways to reward yourselves. This can be as simple as going out for a celebratory drink after work. Don’t forget to invite your boss, even if he or she wasn’t as involved as the rest of the team. He or she may have been more involved at a higher level than you realize.
Achieving goals often become habit-forming (the good kind) so the more you do it, the higher the chances you will succeed.
Creativity can be elusive. It’s not something that you can summon at will. But, I certainly wish it would sometimes don’t you? Today we’re discussing how to cultivate your creative muscles to further your business success.
When creativity happens, it strikes like lightning. Like an explosion! Yet, like lightning, it can be maddeningly unpredictable. However, because creativity is an essential element of a successful business mindset, it is necessary to understand the creative process. And how you, the business owner, can cultivate your own creative juices. So how do you do that?
Creativity is all about taking in a lot of influences and letting those influences combine, ferment and morph in your subconscious. Together, they form a sort of mental potting soil where new and different ideas have a chance to germinate and grow. The more things you learn, read, see and hear the more creative soil you are able to produce. Kinda sounds just like gardening, don’t you think?
Why Be Creative?
Be clever, innovative, and definitely think outside the box. As a business owner who wants to be creative, the best thing you can do is get out there in the world and open yourself up to new experiences. Be curious about many different things. It’s very natural to do this.
Do the unexpected.
The more you push your own personal envelope the more you are charging your own creative batteries. When those batteries are charged, it is much more likely that inspiration will strike. Be inspired by what you create.
Creativity Pushes You To Think Outside The Box
What other types of creativity can you think of to become successful? Maybe work on your content for your business. Make pretty graphics in Canva or whatever you use to make graphics. Stretch your imagination and create some unique items for your business.
There are so many things you could do, you just need to try things out. Use your imagination, daydream but most of all, just try different things out.
If you cultivate your creative muscles, you will find yourself energized and enthused to continue creating your successful business.
Today we’re discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Setting goals is an important part of life. Without them, you won’t know how to recognize success or achievement. By knowing your goals, it tells you what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you. While not all goals are equal they do all deserve the best chance of achievement.
What’s in a Dream?
In life we all have dreams, ambitions we want to achieve. However, it is entirely in your power whether they remain dreams or whether you will actually set out to make them a reality. If you think of a dream, then it is more like a hope; a wish not yet fulfilled. Perhaps your ambition is to be promoted to director in your company. That’s great but just having that dream won’t actually help you achieve it.
Writing it Down
Writing your dream down can help increase the chance of it becoming a reality. The very act of committing it to paper makes it more real and concrete. You can see it. In black & white! However, there is more to making your dreams turn into reality than merely writing it down. You actually need to flesh it out. You need to give it substance and to create a goal. By turning your dream into a goal you are further committing to its ultimate achievement.
Your goal is the end-point. It is what you want to achieve and how you will know you have been successful. The key to success is to write down the steps you will take to get there. How you will turn that goal into a reality. What do you need to focus on to create it? It is important to know why that goal is one you want to achieve. So you need to write down what achieving it will look and feel like to you. How will your life change? By making your visualization of your success as descriptive as possible and by writing it in the present tense as if you are living it now, you create a connection with your subconscious mind.
Additionally, writing is a right-brained activity. It is part of your logical and analytical mind. However, the very act of writing keeps the right-brain occupied and allows the more creative left-brain to be accessed. This will let you begin to create and visualize the future you want. Setting that vision down on paper is a record that you can refer to again and again. It will remind you why you want to achieve the goal you have set and how you will know you have achieved it.
The Ultimate Goal
Adding the steps to achieving the goal provides you with a to-do list. You can tick off each step as you complete it and see your progress. This can be very motivating especially if you find yourself struggling. Acknowledging how much you’ve achieved can strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to continue.
Has The Goal Changed
Alternatively, by having a written record of your goal and the steps needed to achieve it you will be able to see if your mind has changed. Often you’ll find that your actual goal changes. Where you started as wanting to be promoted to Director you may find that you actually want to be promoted to Director of a different division or department or maybe even a totally different role!
It’s Not Written in Stone, Y’all!!
Goal setting is not something that is written in stone. Your written goal, visualization, and plan will not only be a record and guide but a working document that can be changed as your vision of your future changes. Having it written down enables you to track your progress and any changes. You can evaluate as you progress and by ticking your achievements off as you go you’ll be able to celebrate your progress along the way.
Did you write that all down? I hope so! The next article will be the cherry on the top of this whole journaling thing. So make sure you come back to read the next tips about journaling. You’ll be glad you did!
First, quiet your mind and focus on How to Boost your Productivity. We need to be more proficient in our work to accomplish more. In many cases, people fail to be productive because they lose focus and let their minds wander, leading to a loss in productivity.
The key is to focus your mind on the task at hand. Block out all other distractions and thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand.
• Failure to put aside thoughts unrelated to the task at hand will only slow you down and lead to a higher probability of mistakes.
• Get a good night’s sleep every night to boost focus and productivity, reduce mistakes.
• Don’t let other issues or problems bother you.
Basic Ingredients Of Productivity
There are three basic ingredients to productivity:
Without all three of these ingredients, your productivity will be lower than it can be. And then you won’t achieve the amount of success you are expecting.
How To Measure Your Productivity
Dictionary.com defines productivity as “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.”
• In other words, its the amount of effort and time that the worker puts in and how many units of production he/she produces in that time span.
If a worker produces one unit (say, one ebook) an hour and another worker produces two units (say, two ebooks) in one hour, then the second worker is two times more productive than the first worker.
Being more productive means being better able to manage one’s time. Focusing one’s attention on the tasks required. And/or utilize the energy necessary to complete the tasks required in the same time period as another worker.
In order to boost your productivity, you need to be able to produce more of the product. Or provide more of the service you deliver in the same amount of time or less than you have before.
When it comes to businesses, it’s not just your production. It’s the production of your subcontractors who work for you, that account for your total productivity.
Start Laying A Productive Foundation
First, you need to eliminate all distractions from your work area and clear your mind of any doubts and/or worries you may have.
You also need to be totally focused and invested in the working process. This allows you to produce the maximum number of products/content and/or render the most services within a specific time span.
Have A Plan
Have a clear plan of what needs to be done in terms of tasks and projects and how to go about best doing them.
• In regards to subcontractors, have an agenda of tasks and projects to complete. Also, a time table on which you can expect them to complete them.
• Then lay down the ground rules on what needs to be done and how quickly they should be done.
Boost Your Productivity
Implement simple time management techniques. You must manage your time as efficiently as possible in order to be as productive as possible. And, monitor your time very carefully. Ensure that you are working efficiently during the times you are working. This will enable you are utilizing your time to the best of your ability.
• Note how long you think it will take you to complete a project on a piece of paper, in a text file, or in a spreadsheet file.
• Time how long it takes you to complete specific tasks.
• Time how long your work periods are, your breaks are, and how long any distractions are.
Try using the clock on your computer and/or mobile device. Or use an online timer to record the respective time periods. Then compare the time it took you to complete the project versus the time you expected. If you met or beat that time, reward yourself.
If you took longer than expected, review what slowed you down. Was it distractions, lack of focus, the task was more difficult than expected- then make adjustments.
You can make this into a game or challenge to where you challenge yourself to get more done in less time to improve your productivity.
There are online timers that have bells or other sounds that can help you use the Pomodoro Technique. This will allow 15- to 30-minute work periods. It will be followed by 3- to 5 minute rest periods three times. Then after the fourth 15- to 30-minute work period, a 15- to 30-minute rest period.
Removing The Unimportant Tasks
It’s vital that you prepare for work ahead of time so minor/menial and repetitive tasks don’t slow you down.
Consider what tasks are actually important to your business and which aren’t.
• Tasks such as email and social media should be done during break periods, lunch periods, and/or outside-of-work periods, not while the main work is being done.
If you run a business, only do the tasks you are proficient at and enjoy; send all other tasks to subcontractors for maximum productivity and profitability. This will solve a lot of time for you in the long run.
Pursue An All-Around Productive Life
Having an all-around productive life means that you are productive in all facets of it, not just in business.
• Increased productivity can include assembling items, grocery shopping, etc.
• Productivity means doing any task in the most efficient manner possible. This will help you maximize the value of every minute and every second so that you get the most out of them as possible.
Sue was a web designer who worked from home. She found herself very distracted and didn’t feel she was as productive as she could be. At a friend’s urging, Sue began using a time tracker to track her personal time. She was amazed to see how much time she was filling with minor tasks (like checking Facebook on her phone and surfing Pinterest). Tracking personal time is really essential if you plan on having a successful business.
If you haven’t done it before, you should try tracking your time, too. The results can be surprising and like Sue, you may discover you could be far more productive…
Tracking Personal Time Takes About 2 Weeks
Think of time tracking like a budget. Your hours are your dollars. By tracking them you can see where your money (in this case your time) is really going. Then you can make adjustments to your schedule depending on what you learn.
Plan to spend at least two weeks tracking your time. If you only track your time for a day or two, you’re not going to get a complete picture of what your habits and routines really look like. This can lead you to under-estimate the time you need to do certain tasks (like finish a big project).
Do Quick Check-Ins
Tracking your personal time doesn’t have to be all-consuming. Instead, you can check-in with yourself 3-4 times a day to make a note of what you’ve been doing. A good idea is to plan to check-in after every meal. This gives you a chance to think about what you’ve done and what you plan to do in the coming hours.
Record everything no matter what. You wouldn’t splurge on a huge purchase then not budget for it, would you? This could lead to financial errors and other problems. It’s the same concept with your time. Acknowledge how you’ve spent it, even if you’re not proud of it.
Use a Physical Notebook
There are dozens of time trackers online. These can be useful when you have to track time for client projects. But it’s not so great when you’re tracking your personal time. If you go to record your time and find yourself distracted by social media or emails, you could definitely benefit from using a physical notebook instead.
Make It Fun For Yourself
So, when Sue started time tracking her personal time, she asked her friend to join her. Together they both began tracking their time. But instead of sharing their logs, they’d take selfies and send them to each other every hour. Cool huh?
It made the experience more enjoyable and kept both of them focused on being productive. You can do the same thing—send a quick selfie to a private Instagram account every hour for a visual record of how you’ve spent your time.
Look over Your Log
After you’re done with tracking your time, plan to have a review session the next day. Look over your logs and make notes about what you’d like to change now. Do you want to spend more time playing with your kids? Would you prefer to cut out Facebook and use that hour to work on eating healthier meals?
Time tracking can be a great way to see where you’re spending it well and where you can make some improvements. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself becoming more intentional with how you spend your hours!
Can’t seem to stay on track? Discover how to stay organized and save time when you download your free workbook!
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One of the best ways to stayorganized and keep on track with your projects is to create a monthly plan. Your monthly plan can be filled with notes about when to do your various tasks so you can smooth out your workflow (no more rushing to write that blog post at the last minute!).
Here are a few pointers to get you started…
Make a List of Recurring Tasks
Take some time to think about what recurring tasks you have to do for your clients each week. Do you log in to their WordPress blog and delete spam comments? Do you schedule their social media content including videos and pictures?
There may also be tasks you only do once a month for clients—like backing up their website or assigning work to other team members. Add these tasks to your list, too so you won’t forget them.
Schedule Recurring Tasks
Now that you know what you have to do each week or month, make space for it on your calendar. You can use a physical or digital calendar, depending on what you prefer. Digital calendars do give you a slight advantage since you can set reminder alerts so you never forget an important task again.
As you fill up your calendar, think about how long each task will take and build in some buffer time. For example, if you think you can write a blog post in twenty minutes, give yourself sixty instead.
Now, you have extra time if you realize you need to research a fact or interview a source.
Create a Checklist
Some recurring tasks may be big and complex. Maybe you’re a virtual assistant who uploads products to her client’s website. There’s a whole list of things you have to do to make this happen. You need to upload the product to Amazon S3, add it to aMember, set up a form in aMember, create a pickup page in WordPress, add the official sales page to the website, create an autoresponder series, etc.
With all of these tasks, it’s hard to know where to start. Use a checklist to help you stay organized. The next time you’re doing this task, note down every step you have to take along the way.
Now, doing this task in the future will be easy since you just have to open your checklist and get to work.
When you schedule recurring tasks on your calendar, you’ll be more likely to remember them and impress your clients. You’ll also feel less stress since you know exactly what to do to stay on track each month.