In our last blog, we have covered our favourite tips that helped us to be more productive. Today, we overview some of the tools that kept us on the top of our game especially with time management. We divide these tools into the following categories:
1. Brain dump Tools
Our brains are not superior in storing information. This is evident by how quickly we forget about things if we don't write them down. So, we must rely on a 'second brain' to assist with that. A second brain is nothing but 'exporting' all the ideas, tasks, commitments, etc...(ie. brain dump) to other place. We will feel an instant relief once this is done because we do not need to worry about forgetting. Also, and most importantly, we will declutter the brain liberating it, and gain 'more' brain power to help in planning and executing tasks rather than remembering them. So, here are couple of steps/tools that will help in clearing up your mind:
A. Use an 'agenda' to export all your commitments (events, meetings, birthdays, etc...). This is ideally done every day (or night). The agendas can be a paper or digital. Here are some of our favourite:
B. Use a 'notebook' to write down all the ideas, and list of tasks you need to work on. There are many tools that help with that. But here are few of the ones we have enjoyed using:
2. Prioritizing tools
Once you have your commitments in the 'agenda' and the tasks in your 'notebook'. Start using the 'Urgent-Important Matrix' to identify your priorities. It's a very useful decision-making tool that helps you make the distinction between tasks that are important, not important, urgent, and not urgent. Like this you can split tasks into four categories to prioritize which of them you should focus on first and which you should delegate or delete. Here's an example to how it looks like.
3. 'Increase your Focus' Tools
Great, now you have managed to clear up your mind exporting everything into your new 'second brain', where all ideas, tasks, etc... are in a safe place. Also, you have decided which tasks you need to work on right away, and which of them can wait. So, you are literally ready to do the heavy lifting (ie. working 😊). But, first, you need to make sure that you eliminate any distractions. For this, you need to turn off any notifications on your phone or computer, and use the 'pomodoro technique' to maximize your focus. It's a time-management technique developed to help us focus on any tasks we are working on. It uses a timer to break down work into intervals (you define their lengths), separated by short breaks. Here are some of our favourite pomodoro timers: pomofocus, forest.
Finally, there are much more tools out there that can be useful in boosting your productivity. But the idea is to start exploring , and adopting some in your work before getting distracted by the endless options we have on different app stores. However, if you are already familiar with, and even using, these tools but feel that your issue is with the shortage of time (rather than managing it), then, we can still help sharing some tips to get ourselves more time. But this will be another blog, so stay tuned! 😉