If you’re currently sitting at a desk which contains piles of paper taller than the Empire State building and Post It notes stuck to every available surface, you’re probably dreaming of a day when you can clear the decks and become more productive.
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These 7 productivity-boosting tips are guaranteed to help you achieve more and feel more organized.
1. Plan Ahead
A destination is next to useless if you don’t have a plan for getting there. You can apply this principal to everything you want to achieve in life; by planning ahead you’ll reach your goal – it’s as simple as that. Decide what your end goal is, break the constituent elements into bite-sized chunks and apply realistic timescales to each. It works!
2. Create A To Do list
That pile of Post It notes on your desk is a goldmine of missed opportunities. People you should have called back, auctions you promised yourself you’d bid on, emails you needed to send two weeks ago – the list is endless. There’s nothing wrong with lists, though, and productivity gurus often trumpet the power of the paper-based variety. By creating a simple To Do list, you can track your progress on the goals you’ve planned for and enjoy the fuzzy, warm feeling of ticking off actions you’ve completed.
3. Use A Productivity App
If you’ve swapped your ageing notebook for an iPhone, you’ll be glad to hear that there are hundreds of productivity apps out there designed to help you become more productive. One of the best, Trello, makes task management and the ability to keep track of multiple projects a breeze and – crucially – addictive. There’s nothing like being addicted to productivity!
4. Try The Pomodoro Technique
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 80s, the Pomodoro Technique encourages you to work in 25 minute intervals separated by short breaks known as ‘pomodoros’ (which is Italian for ‘tomato’). All you need to do is decide what task you wish to complete, set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer runs out. When it does, take a five minute break and begin your next 25 minutes. After 4 pomodoros, you can take a longer break. The technique works on the theory that mental agility can be improved by taking short breaks.
5. Start Communicating Effectively
We live in a world where the ability to communicate is always just a finger tap away. Despite this, many of us overlook the fact that by communicating with our peers and work colleagues effectively, we can achieve more and become ultra productive. Unfortunately, the prevalence of communication channels can be counterproductive with the sheer number of platforms through which one can make contact simply too overwhelming for many. It is therefore comforting to know that apps like Slack exist, which enable teams to communicate within one app on a variety of different topics and from pretty much any device they wish.
6. Organize Your Files
If you’ve got a messy desk, I bet your virtual desktop is a similar picture, littered with files and folders. Well, good news – by using platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox, you can tidy away that digital mess and ensure your files and folders are available on all of your other devices. A tidy virtual desktop is a tidy mind and it will help you achieve far more as a result.
7. Get On Top Of Your Bookmarks
The internet is a brilliant productivity tool. Unfortunately, it can also result in yet more untidiness on your part; as you scour the web finding pages you’ll need to refer to at a later date, you’ll end up with a cluttered list of bookmarks spread across multiple devices you’ll probably forget all about. Happily, apps like Pocket allow you to pop such pages into a single repository which you can access from any computer, tablet or smartphone, wherever you are.
Try these out today, and watch your productivity increase.