The Pomodoro technique is a widely adopted and highly effective method of getting through your tasks. When it comes to that point when you need to really buckle down and focus, using a Pomodoro helps to eliminate distractions surrounding you because your mind is now fixed on getting through as much as it can before the timer runs out. This is basically tricking your brain into thinking the deadline for your task is only moments away. But even with the clock ticking (and many Pomodoro apps actually making a ticking sound) it can be difficult to truly block out everything that is going on around you.
My memory is terrible. I am constantly being “gently” reminded of things by Mrs Cloud Productivity. Because of this, it is crucial that my memory has a fallback system; something it can lean on when things seem unclear. Through school I was always stronger in the science and mathematics than I was in English or art, tending towards objective thinking over subjective. I was taught that it’s not as important to remember the result as it is to remember how to get to that result. Simply put, remembering one process is much easier than remembering a thousand results, and remembering how to get information is easier than remembering the information itself.
I strive to be as efficient as possible; as thorough as possible. I never want to let anything slip by me, and I don’t let the things I have to take action on stew around in my brain. I’m often asked how I do it and people comment that they wish they too could be as “in control.” It really isn’t that difficult. Anyone can do it. There are only a few key principles that must be adhered to.
With Apple releasing new devices every few months it’s important to ensure everything you do with iTunes is kept safe. I have written before about moving an entire iPhoto library into Dropbox so that all your photos are backed up and safe, without having to even click anything. iTunes can be backed up in much the same way, with massive bonus benefit!
For years I carried around a thin, relatively small backpack. It was able to fit a surprising number of things in it, but it’s design left a lot to be desired. It was not a bag for someone looking to carry around a portable office – everything in there was muddled together in a heap. Eventually, the zips broke and it was time to move on. I then stumbled across a sample promotional backpack at work and was given the OK to claim it as my own. It looked promising. It was clearly design for a laptop due to the thick padding on its back and internal sleeve for a laptop. However, in an even shorter timeframe this bag also succumbed to wear and tear. The shoulder straps began to tear away from the bag itself. So what now? I had long had my eye on the Evernote Commuter bag. Was this the right time to invest in quality and design?
What do you do when you have a thought or idea pop into your mind that you want to remember? Before my adventure into the realm of productivity began I was the type of person that would make a “mental note of it”, letting it then float around in my head until it would dissolved into a thousand disparate pieces, or simply obliterated altogether. That thought, that ground-breaking idea was never to be heard from again.
You know how it goes… You are given a task and the first thing you ask is “when is this due?” Often there is no due date, it just needs to get done at some point. Or, you are given a due date, but one that has no weight behind it and when you question as to why it is due by then the answer comes back as “just because.” That’s helpful (sarcasm).
Evernote keeps all your notes, thoughts and references safe and secure. It allows you to capture pretty much anything digital into it and keep it for yourself, or share it with others.
Collaboration is encouraged through Evernote. In the past I have created shared notebooks to start a business. I am currently sharing notebooks for my work and for writing Do Better With Asana. The ability to have multiple people view and retrieve information, any information, in a single repository is stupidly simple and incredibly powerful at the same time.
So what happens when there is sensitive information that is part of a note in a shared notebook? How can you keep the bulk of that content available to others, while ensuring the rest remains confidential, without destroying the integrity of the content and its surrounding context?
Wunderlist is a truly amazing task management and productivity app. It’s sleek design makes it a very popular choice for beginners and experts alike and offers a range of features suiting both the solo user and teams, or even a household. I had used Wunderlist for a few years and only recently have made the switch to Asana to take advantage of some more project management style features. I love Wunderlist, and I believe you will too. I caught up with Chelsea Richardson, an expert Wunderlist user to gather some insights on how other people are using this simple, and incredibly versatile tool. I particular like how Chelsea moves tasks to her Kill List to get a clear idea of what needs to be done today! I also found her use of hashtags to assign a team to a task to be a very effective trick.
Like you, my time is precious. I remember as a kid always delaying things, putting things off. Basically hoping they would magically get done by themselves. There were many times when my dad would tell me to stop procrastinating. The word “procrastinate” meant little to five-year old me. Nevertheless, my dad would advise me against it and it is a mantra I still try to live by.
We all do it, in fact, you might be doing it right this very moment. So why then is it so attractive to delay the inevitable and what can we do about it?