Organize for Success® Turns 10
Here are my top 10 tips for boosting productivity with technology:
10. Be proactive in protecting yourself. As outlined earlier this month, use two-factor authentication, choose private browsing when surfing the Internet, don't over-share on social media, protect your information, conduct online shopping wisely, create complex passwords you keep safe, protect your devices, monitor your accounts and know your credit scores.
9. Set others' expectations. If you don't provide those emailing you with an expectation for when they will hear back from you, they will determine the answer to be whatever they prefer. Reassure people that you have received their messages, alert them as to when you will be processing new emails rather than constantly checking your inbox and take control back over email.
8. Divide and conquer. Delegating to technology via automation is like cloning yourself; further, keep in mind that delete can be your friend, realizing that not everything needs to get done and how focusing your attention on what only you can do will boost your ability to get more of your priorities accomplished.
7. Master time-saving tricks where helpful. Whether you prefer PC or Mac, acquire complete knowledge of which keyboard shortcuts can best help in your day-to-day functions. Regularly consider where you can utilize text expansion via TextExpander, ActiveWords, Phrase Express or Alfred; likewise, make sure you are implementing automated organizers wherever you feel comfortable, like Hazel, DropIt or File Juggler. Techlicious offers some powerful options in this post, but think outside the box for more.
6. Be strategic about what tools you utilize. Follow Kenny Rogers' advice of "Know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em." Maximize the efficiency of what solutions you already own before trying something new; at the same time, know how to recognize when an outdated program is hurting your business so you can replace it and continue moving forward.
5. Learn all you can about tools you've chosen to implement. Consider saving time by bringing in a specialist for learning about, expanding use of or implementing your tech tools. Then, take advantage of the organizational tools built into the devices or operating systems you already have before looking to add new ones. Functions for calendaring, task management, note capture, contact database and more are often covered in smartphones, tablets and Mac computers so they sync even better.
4. Utilize the "power of one". Although Three Dog Night contended that "one is the loneliest number", I suggest that it can be the most productive, especially in regards to one calendar for personal and professional commitments, one running data dump of all tasks that funnels into one daily to-do list, one address book for all contacts' information, one set of naming conventions for all files, one place for all which you must remember, one weekly strategy session and one wrap-up per day.
3. Separate solutions when necessary. Your online file repository is not a cloud-based back-up solution. If you utilize Box, DEVONthink, Dropbox, eFileCabinet, Egnyte, Google Drive, SpiderOak or SugarSync, that does not alleviate your need to implement Backblaze, Carbonite, CrashPlan or Mozy, too.
2. Turn off notifications. Especially when you are deep in thought on an important or urgent project, you need not waste time refocusing after a distraction, and all of those pings, dings and previews are distractions. Instead, schedule specific times to deep dive into processing your emails and social media.
1. Remove clutter. Keep only what is accurate, applicable, useful or bringing you joy, whether talking about paper, physical items, electronic files, email or time commitments. The less you have to dig through to find what's needed means less time wasted.
What is your favorite way to utilize technology? How have you found that to boost your productivity? Will you implement any of these tips?