Before I hear you say, “Not again! I have all the planners, apps and tips I need to keep me productive”, let me just say, “Hear me out”
So, you have a planner, a calendar, an organizer, an iPhone or Android and you feel productive. But really, are you productive? Are you being able to do as much as you can or should be doing in the few hours that you have for your business each day?
If yes, please stop reading and accept my congratulations.
If not, read on.
We may think we have the right tools to help us do more in less time, keep us organized and make us more efficient time managers. But sometimes, it makes sense to pause a while and look at whether that fancy organizer is really doing its job or is it just something you have because you are supposed to have one.
I’ve been there and done that. Experimented with various productivity tools that I read about and have finally arrived at the conclusion that there is no one size fits all solution when it comes to productivity and the ever-busy, always-on-the-go entrepreneur.
Having said that, there are a few must-have productivity tools that do work and you can adapt them easily to suit your own personality, life situation and working style.
Here they are:
Making a list of things to do, buy, see, go is a great way of knowing where your day is headed. Whether you make your list on a notepad, in your planner, a piece of paper or on a to-do list application like RemembertheMilk.com or Astrid.com, is immaterial. Simply remember to make a list when you start your day or better yet, the night before.
This is a tip I learnt a long time ago, forgot and then, thankfully, re-learnt its importance. Having a notebook handy will help you jot down ideas, tips, blog or business strategies and lots more easily and quickly. You can even combine the notebook and list, and get yourself a planner. I use one for managing my home and I love it.
You can either go simple and traditional with a regular lined notebook, pick a Moleskine or maybe get a business organizer that does double duty. Or you may prefer the more tech Evernote. It doesn’t matter. Just get a notebook.
For a business owner, dates are important. They signify deadlines, appointments, meetings and more. So, get yourself a calendar. Use it to mark family schedules and work-related appointments. If you use a paper calendar, make sure it is large enough to accommodate all schedules. Write them down in different colored pens, if need be.
If you use a digital calendar, like Google Calendar (which, by the way I totally love), you can really boost productivity by sharing it with family members and colleagues, marking appointments in different colored fonts and setting alarms and reminders as well.
Yes, time is money when you’re an entrepreneur. So, make sure that you always, always have a clock handy in front of you or on your desk. Whether you use a wristwatch, a wall clock, your cellphone, it doesn’t matter. A clock will not only make sure you reach meetings and appointments on time, it will help you track how much time a task takes and bill accordingly.
That’s it. You can either go all high-tech with these or stick to the most basic form. But, these 4 simple tools are guaranteed to help you stay organized, be productive and do more with your time without losing your mind.
What do you think is a great productivity tool for you?