Productivity is the new black (at least at my desk it is!)

Ok, so I will cut to the chase.  I have way too many projects on.

Probably not such a smart move.  However.  I am glad.  Yes glad.  Because it has given me two benefits….

(a)   It has made me realise just how much you can get completed when you are busy vs when you have time on your hands.  And how precious time is!  You know what they say:  if you want something done, give it to a busy person.  I am reminiscing about the days (just a month ago) when I could casually have a sit down coffee with a friend on my “work” days.  Sigh.  Takeaway cup it is!

(b)   It has made me realise that despite the fact that I am possibly facing more commitments  in my week (with kids, home, business and clients to satisfy) I can be more productive”¦with a little help.

You see, I had to be productive. There was no choice.  In my case, productivity is the new black, because  if I didn't start addressing it, I would have not only been out of “season”, I would have been out of time and out of my mind!

So without further adieu, here are 3 great tech saviours for increasing my productivity in busy times:

1                    The Focus Booster App – – you may well laugh when you see this device as, admittedly, it is simple.  Bloody simple.  But hey, I don't care if it is simple or complicated, as long as it keeps me focused.  Here is how it works.  You click start on your laptop or device, it starts “ticking” (don't worry, the ticks fade away immediately) and then it beeps after 25 minutes.  Like I said, bloody simple.  What are the benefits?  It is based on the Pomodoros Technique – breaking periods of work down into 25 minute intervals (based on the idea that frequent breaks increase mental agility) – after 25 minutes you should take a short 5 minute break and after every 4 x Pomodoros, take a longer break (15-20 minutes).  Sorry I have to rush and finish this post, I am 10 minutes into my Pomodoros.  I can often beat the clock to do a shorter blog post and I love that it makes me want to work efficiently.  Producing something in 25 minutes.  Love it.

2                    The Action Method.  www.actionmethodonline – I recently stumbled across the book “Making Ideas Happen” and the work of its author Scott Belsky.  Scott and his team at Behance, specialise in the field of creativity and have done a great deal of research into how successfully creative people make their ideas happen.  They have produced Action Method Online as a system to help you take “action steps” to implement your ideas.  It is a fabulous result-oriented program, that will have you organised and productive in a jiffy”¦and it works well in teams.  You can delegate action steps and”¦wait for it (the blokes will love this one) can even “nag” someone if they do not get something done in time.  I love it.  A free version is available but it is also worth investing in the subscription to be able to complete a greater number of action steps and work in teams.

3                    Evernote – – I keep coming back to it, but that is because it is so great at organising my brain, while allowing me peace of mind with an offsite backup in the cloud.  I don't store my most secret documents on Evernote, but I do store the hundreds of documents, ebooks, reference articles, web clips and information that I need to create content, find references and generally keep myself inspired and creative.  I love also that Google Chrome allows you to “search” your Evernote files when you do a Google Search.  Basically they have found a way for me to search my own brain!!!  I love the categorisation of Evernote and the way it allows  me to organise my information – whether it is a note, a word doc, a pdf, a web clip or a voice recording.  And I can synch it to all of my devices.  Evernote is my friend. Forever.

I could have done a “top 5” or “top 7” list, but to be honest these 3 have saved my bacon lately. Oh and I will just venture, if I may, outside of the “tech” category and include one more thing that has helped me – a morning routine.  I am still getting the hang of it, but by waking early, exercising, drinking water, and doing some reading or meditation, planning of my day, it definitely makes for a different, more positive day than when I don't.  Period.

So, what about you.  What “tech” tools have you used to increase your productivity?

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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