5 Tools That Help You Stay Organised and Improve Productivity4 min read
1. Number Your Days, (with Your Calendar):
Marking on calendars has been the route for improving personal productivity since forever. It may take some getting used to organising and living off lists when you start off initially. Why not go old-skool and use your trusty calendar to mark dates and activities that may happen in the future. Start by placing a calendar with big bold numbers at a location where you have a tendency to pass by often, such as your workdesk, bedroom door etc. Simply grab a red sketch-pen and circle up the date, followed by 1-2 word description. Easy and timeless, this technique is good for tasks that are low on priority list. For example, you can use your calendar to mark trivial tasks such as payment dates for your household help, milkman and kirana payments and use your smartphone for productivity improvement.
2. Harness The Power of A Planner:
Organization tips start with having a well designed planner. Call it a Diary, a Task Planner or whatever you want, the core purpose is that it should work for you and help you in your time saving endeavours. Before you decide to step out and pick a planner, it’s important for you to know what aspect of your life needs productivity improvement more; personal or professional? Accordingly, you can pick up a Meal Planner, Executive Planner or Activity Planner. Also, if you are going to carry your planner wherever you go, you might want to consider getting a handy one which can fit in your bag/pocket. Try to find a planner with attractive colouring and designing so that you feel like picking it up and looking at it. Nothing like a brightly coloured planner to boost productivity and help you plan ahead.
3. Label Objects, Not People:
Remember when Mom used fancy printed stickers to distinguish one textbook from the other? You can take cues and organization tips from these activities. Our lives too have place for labels, just not the same. A lot of times we prefer to have hard copies of our electricity bills, water bills, phone bills, creating pile on pile of paper that has the potential to act as an obstruction to organized way or working on your workdesk or home. An easy tool to sort these are labels. Find a plastic rack or folder to store these papers, on top of which you can place a label describing its contents. You can label your documents according to priority. As you watch your urgent pile reduce bit by bit, you will feel a wave of positivity and boost productivity. It’s upto you to design labels however it is suited to your needs.
4. A Simp-Listic Approach:
To-Do lists have existed ever since the invention of the wheel. When in a hurry, most of us tend to resort to lists and they do not require a lot of time planning. They offer us to quickly pen down what we need to finish up. The beauty about this tool is that it is used both for short term and long terms planning. Besides, aren’t excel sheets and others just evolved lists? Making a list might sound awfully similar to maintaining a planner, but it’s not. When you make a list, you can boost productivity better by giving yourself specific instructions and not vague activities. For example, in your planner you can schedule a free Sunday when you would like to tackle cleaning up your room; but it’s a list that you can list each aspect such as making the bed, taking out the curtains to wash etc. You can schedule small tasks first to build momentum and then finish with the main one. Also, you can always make lists in such a way that it can be incorporated into your planner.
5. Be Mobile:
Enough cannot be said about smartphones and the productivity options that they bring along. An application on your mobile phone is everyone’s number 1 suggestion when it comes to organization tips. No matter what platform you are using, the application store will be full of apps promising better organization tips and aided productivity. It is upto your requirements to decide what kind of apps will be of use to you. Do you like to make detailed plans with steps at every level or you just like to know of the problem and walk your way towards it? This question will help you pick an app which is more your style and end up using it. One big advantage of smartphones is, we carry them along wherever we go. Despite wearing watches, we prefer to check time by looking at our cell phones.Application such as Evernote, Any.do, Fantastical, Due are commonly used organisers that work by making lists, using labels to categorise actions or information, while ones like Google Keep use a dashboard like format and bright colours that aids visual data retention and helps you retain information. How much time do you have to spend and personal browsing habits will dictate your choice of smartphone applications
Ultimately, when we wonder how to improve productivity, these tools must ensure a lot of time saving. We need to keep a few things in mind when choosing:
Organization is not a one-time activity. It was an on-going process, we need to practise it everyday.
Try a system/tool atleast for one month to understand how it can increase your productivity.
Delete the application or get rid of the productivity tools that have not worked for you in the past.
Try to find a platform where other individuals (like family members) can also find ways to make changes and optimise their productivity in tandem with yours.