In a survey, the average entrepreneur reported spending 68% of their time tackling day-to-day tasks and only 32% on strategic planning and business growth. Are you spending your time wisely?
How we organize our day will determine how much we get done in a twenty-four-hour period. How do you organize your daily tasks?
Have you ever wondered how one person can accomplish more in a single day than another person in an entire week? One of the most common similarities of successful people is their organizational skills. For some of us, it comes naturally, and for others, it does not. But one thing is for sure, a productive day begins from the moment you open your eyes in the morning.
Rise and Shine
We’ve all hit the snooze button on the alarm clock a time or two in our lives. It’s the first move we make in the morning and the one single act that can throw off an entire day. We skip breakfast, get stuck in traffic, and miss the meeting we’ve had on our calendar all month—the meeting that we were preparing for the night before. And so the vicious cycle has begun.
The next thing you know there are two thoughts that come to mind. There is not enough time and there is too much to do!
If this is you, read on!!
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
Let’s discuss a few proven strategies to help organize your life, your business, and your workflow that will set you up for success.
1. Develop a Plan with Technology
Simplify repetitive tasks with proven apps and strategies and take advantage of tools to keep you on point. From simplistic to robust applications, we can develop a successful plan and remove those repetitive tasks from our day-to-day activities.
Set Reminder Alarms
Reminder alarms are available on your smartphone, calendar, and almost every app. Reminder alarms are powerful yet simple to use. Set repetitive tasks, meetings, etc. on a reminder alarm and move on. We aren’t suggesting using a reminder alarm for everything (because that might drive you crazy) however, that monthly check-in meeting shouldn’t cross your mind again until the alarm goes off.
Recurring Calendar Tasks
As we stated above, we can manage our weekly or monthly meetings with a reminder alarm. Oftentimes, repetitive tasks can slip our minds while we hone in on our day. Line them up on your calendar, set the alarm and free up space in your mind for more creative thinking or productive work.
These alarms are especially powerful for the consultant with several clients. Due date alarm reminders on the calendar serve to give you a glimpse of the day. Take it a step further. Set the alarm a few days in advance to enable a heads-up alert on tasks that are coming due throughout the week.
The goal is to remove the repetitive tasks from our daily work, enabling us to focus on other items we need to accomplish each day.
2. Project Software Platforms
Does your monitor screen have post-it notes decorating the frame to remind you what needs to be accomplished? Step away from the post-it notes and invest in a project software platform.
One of the most important items for any business or employee is to have work processes; organized workflows that allow you to easily navigate any next step on a project you’re working on. And seeing those workflows visually allows the brain to process the steps easier. Check out some of these platforms to help with project flows.
Free & Paid Version
Trello is a user-friendly project board. There is a paid version if you want to get into the nit and grit, but the free version will satisfy your basic planning needs.
How to Use Trello
Visual “Cards” are created to organize your workload and workflows. They are set up in a kanban style workflow.
Each card, like the example shown above, contains specifics to a project and may be shared with other members of your organization, allowing them to comment on work objectives. This commenting is a convenient means of communication and saves time. It also stands to be used in place of emails and over-use of text messaging between consultant and client or employer and employee.
Each card opens up into a dashboard of opportunities. Add members of your team to collaborate on any project. Use colored labels, create multiple checklists, due dates, attachments, descriptions, automations and use the comment section to reply to one another. The possibilities are almost endless.
Colored labels may be associated with the cards. For instance, there are labels for recurring items, writing assignments, or design team tasks that are easily determined via various colors. Using this Kanban layout allows for visual & collaborative workflows.
Free & Paid Version
Tick Tick allows you to organize all aspects of your life. With robust features such as:
- Adding tasks faster and easier with voice input
- Turning emails into tasks
- Multiple reminders
- Recurring Tasks
- Folders, lists, and smart lists
- Tags, sorting, and search
- Calendar view
- Promo timer
- List sharing
- Assigning tasks
- Collaborate with your team
- Time tracking
Save time and let Tick Tick empower your team with the ability and peacefulness to stay organized, and stay creative.
Another fantastic feature of Tick Tick is that it syncs across 10+ platforms to make working from anywhere easier than ever.
Stepping up to the next level of technology is Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI.
3. Artificial Intelligence Applications
Develop your work with SIRI or Alexa
While SIRI isn’t an AI application per se, it uses AI in its foundation. AI is a simulation of human intelligence in machines, allowing voice-to-text capabilities and voice recognition.
Voice to Text
AI applications give you a “hands-free” approach to work. You can multi-task; particularly alongside headphone devices, such as AirPods, that operate with “blue tooth” technology.
Often it’s challenging getting in an hourly walk each day. AI applications allow you to speak directly into your phone to dictate rough drafts, such as emails or reports. All you need to do is transfer this text dictation to your word processing software on the computer and polish it up with strategic formatting.
Artificial intelligence applications are popular in the marketing field. AI can be used to deliver highly targeted and personalized ads taking into consideration behavioral analysis and pattern recognition etc. It can match your brand, style, and voice as well as handle routine tasks like performance and much more.
Have you ever considered using a Chatbot? A chatbot is an AI software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech, instead of providing direct contact with a live human agent.
Write it, publish it, and let it deliver for a year. Missinglettr’s suite of features is designed to help you optimize every aspect of your social growth strategy.
Drive traffic on autopilot with Drip Campaigns. Get twelve months of high-quality social media posts out of every single blog post you create and boost organic traffic without lifting a finger. It’s a smart way to grow your social network, your leads, and ultimately your customers.
Technology is fantastic! But, let’s face it, a good dose of common sense is also beneficial to stay involved with workflows.
Keep it Simple and Be in the Moment
It’s important to be in the moment while you’re engaged in work. It’s often too easy to get distracted online, such as wandering around on social media. When you dig in with all your senses to the task at hand, you will accomplish a lot more in less time.
Take Breaks Using the Pomodoro Technique
What is the Pomodoro Technique? The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
Use this method to pace your work time and your breaks. TomatoTimer is the one we like to use. During breaks, stand up and walk around, and do some deep breathing to clear your mind.
Keep Pen and Paper at Hand
You never know when that next brainstorm is going to hit. It’s important to be ready. Keeping a small pen and notebook with you in the car and near your phone or laptop will facilitate quick thoughts to paper.
Also, having pen and paper is very handy near your phone if an unscheduled client call comes in and you need to take note of an unexpected task. Take it a step further and use your AI assistant on your phone to record the note on your phone’s internal notepad.
Proactive Versus Reactive
You can plan for success or react to stress, it’s up to you.
Strategize your workweek by using technology and becoming proactive with your time.
Envision a morning where you wake up rested with your alarm. You have time to enjoy a nutritious breakfast and savor a cup of coffee. You know what tasks are a priority and you are ready and zeroed in to get them taken care of quickly. You have extra time in your day to take a walk, enjoy the outdoors a bit for lunch and prepare for your next day.
Don’t wish for more time in your day, plan for it to happen.
Guest blogger: Mary Webb