Posted by & filed under Time management.

Don’t get sidetracked by people who are not on track

– Some mentor Dude

Set a time limit to each task

I discovered that simply setting a strict time limit for each new task discourages me from becoming distracted or significantly delayed. For instance, I give myself two hours if I want to write an article for my blog. So I’m trying to get it written by 10 am if I started at 8 am.

It’s becoming a game in a way.

I discovered that simply setting a strict time limit for each new task discourages me from becoming distracted or significantly delayed.

Create a daily plan

Use your day’s first 30 minutes to create a daily to – do list that matches your weekly schedule.

Word the items in your list as if you have already completed them. Write “Report to Project Manager Submitted” instead of “Submit Report to Project Manager.”

This little trick will give you additional motivation.

Just say no

You’re the big boss. Do not hesitate to do so if you have to decline a request to attend to what is really important and urgent. The same goes for any projects or activities you have chosen to go nowhere: be prepared to move on to more productive tasks. Learn how to avoid wasting time later from the experience.

Do it now – don’t wait for inspiration

The multitasking myth has been disproved by researchers. Google some articles if you think you can do many things at once and maintain your quality standards.

Some artists are waiting to strike inspiration. Some writers are sitting around waiting for the block of the writer to disappear. Unless business people are in a perfect working environment, they don’t take care of serious tasks.

You don’t have to feel like doing something to do it with carefulness. Notice the thoughts and feelings that arise from an external perspective while you are working. Do not let your actions be governed by them.

Recognize and let go of your emotions and daydreams. Start tasks, even if you feel uncertain, and trust your motivation.

Learn to delegate and outsource

Delegation can get a bit tricky and outsourcing. For some, letting someone else do the work they used to do is difficult. They don’t have the time for other people to train someone else to complete some tasks.

The thing is, delegating or outsourcing is real time-saving as it reduces your workload-meaning you have more time to spend on more important tasks or less work. Either distribute responsibilities to qualified team members or hire an experienced freelancer. And, if you decide to do in-house training, it will ultimately be worth the initial investment.

Take care of yourself

Make sure you get plenty of exercise and sleep. An alert mind is a mind that works well and is less tolerant of time – wasting activities.

Posted by & filed under Task management.

Towers of paper. Desk full of random garbage. Post-it notes all around the place. Time for a proper task management system!

You can’t be constantly productive. And you should not want to be.

Some days are productive, some are more lazy. You are not a robot. People deal with emotions, hangovers, fatigue, etc. We need a day off sometimes.

You can, however, be more organized. Systems like ZTD or GTD can help with that. Pomodoro technique can increase your work-focus.

So let’s look at few options. What are we gonna cover in this piece?

  • Zen to Done
  • The Eisenhower Matrix
  • The Pomodoro Technique

Zen to Done

System which will guide you to actually complete tasks.

The most elementary type of Zen to Done really focuses on four things. First, collect your thoughts by keeping a notebook with you to write down thoughts and ideas as they come to you. Secondly, process those thoughts by making rapid decisions on each of the things you wrote down — what exactly do you want to do with them? Third, plan your day by focusing only on the most important things you have jotted down and allowing everything flow around it. Fourth, do some stuff — focus exclusively on one task at a time, then proceed to another when that one is completed. That’s it.

Acquiring the 10 Habits

Leo’s main pet peeve about Getting Things Done is the fact that it takes one to devote to a whole group of new customs all at one time.

Leo argues that it is a lot easier to learn one habit at a time, so he reduced Getting Things Done (and some other theories) into ten distinct customs that could be learned one at a time rather than all at once. Learning any one of those customs can be useful — learning all of them over time may be a significant boost.

Habit 1: Gather

Keep a notebook with you at all times and each time a thought occurs to you that you will have to recall afterwards, write it down immediately. That includes thoughts, tasks to be done, things that you would like to investigate later, little details you will need to remember, etc.

Habit 2: Process

When you get home, whip out that laptop and process all the things in it. Decide if it could be managed quickly (like using a fast action to finish a job or a fast web search to discover a fact), has to be filed, has to be given to somebody else, can be tossed (since it was futile), or has to be handled with a few concentrated attention. Get through everything on your laptop at once — and in all your other message places, too, like your email, your text messages, and your voicemail. You ought to be constructing a list of things to do from this.

Habit 3: Plan

daily, you must have one to three Important Tasks which you really should get done that day. Those tasks ought to be the first ones on your own to-do list for this day. Those are your stones — the centerpieces of the day. After that, you should fill your day with the sand — smaller jobs in your own to-do listing that fill in the area around the stones. By way of instance, my”stones” are usually straightforward Dollar articles or posts (or other similar content production ), while my”sand” is material like correspondence with readers. Have a list of”stones” for every day — one to three important jobs — and then a listing of “sand” to fill in the gaps.

Habit 4: Do

This is not as obvious as it may seem. Basically, the idea is to select a”stone” (one of your key activities for the day) then enter the zone by removing all the distractions around you — turn off your phone, your email program, your IM app, etc. Then just concentrate on nothing but the undertaking. If you get interrupted, simply write down the interruption in your notebook for another processing (after you are done with the job ) and do not get off task. If your stone is of a reasonable size, you can knock it off in a couple of hours, then you may take care of the sand — the missed messages, tasks, and other things you will need to address through a processing session. This really works — I do it all of the time when I am writing a post. I’ll write a comprehensive post in 1 shot, then stop and do other smaller jobs as a”break” before I take on another article.

Habit 5: Simple, Trusted System

Do not make your system for keeping track of things too complex. Leo proposes using five”to-do” lists — work, private, errands, calls you will need to make, and a”waiting for” list comprised of stuff you are waiting on until you can make progress. Each one is a mixture of big things and small things — on each one, I indicate”big” jobs with a celebrity so if I have some free time, I fly through the list and only eliminate unstarred stuff.

Habit 6: Organize

Clutter is your enemy. Everything should have a place, and getting in the routine of making sure your stuff finds its correct place is invaluable. That is easily the habit that I have the hardest time with, as it’s easy for me to have my own office area descend into chaos over the course of a week or so as I pull out reference materials and don’t place them back, leave stuff out for me to view afterwards, and collect stuff that really has to be pitched or filed.

Habit 7: Review

Each week, set aside some time to review where you are at and where you want to go. Leo advises a five step process. First, review your most important long term goal and your most important short term goal. Second, review your notes — go through your notebook and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Third, review your calendar — make sure you did not forget about a follow-up for something which happened during the week and also make sure you’re prepared for the coming week. Review your lists to make sure that you haven’t missed something vital or if there’s something that can easily be accomplished right now. Finally, determine what your short term goal for the coming week is and determine the big tasks you want to achieve every day.

Habit 8: Simplify

Spend some time arming the things you will need to do. Go through your”to-do” lists and be sure they are stuff you really have to be spending your time on. Focus entirely on your own rocks and allow the sand stream away — it is not really as significant, anyway.

Habit 9: Establish Routines

Settle into a daily regimen that incorporates as a number of these customs as possible. My daily routine usually is made up of correspondence and processing session in the morning, then a collection of”stones” (usually articles ), followed by a little”sand” (mails, eating, message follow-ups, etc.), and switching back and forth until the day is completed. This works really well for me.

Habit 10: Discover Your Passion!

Leo makes the astute point here that if you are not passionate about what you are doing, it is going to be very tough to adopt habits that let you succeed at it. If you love what you are doing, the diligence needed to make things work will come much more naturally.

The Eisenhower Matrix

What is the Eisenhower Matrix?

The Eisenhower Matrix, also referred to as Urgent-Important Matrix, helps you decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all.

What’s with the name?

Dwight D. Eisenhower (the 34th President of the United States) needed to make tough decisions continuously about which of the many tasks he must concentrate on every day. This eventually led him to formulate the world-famous Eisenhower principle, which now helps us prioritize by urgency and significance.

How to implement the Eisenhower Matrix?

Prioritizing tasks by urgency and significance results in 4 quadrants with different work plans:

The “Do” quadrant

We call the first quadrant Do because its activities are important to your life and career and have to get done today or tomorrow at the latest. You could use a timer that will assist you concentrate while attempting to get as much of these done as possible.

An example of the sort of task might be to review a significant document for your own manager.

The “Plan” quadrant

The next quadrant we call Plan. Its activities are important but less urgent. You should record tasks you will need to put in your calendar .

An example of that might be a long-planned restart of your fitness center activity.

Professional time supervisors leave fewer things unplanned and for that reason try to manage the majority of their work in the next quadrant, reducing stress by terminating pressing and significant to-dos to some reasonable date in the future whenever a new job comes in.

The “Delegate” quadrant

The third quadrant is for all those tasks you could assign since they are not as important to you than others but still fairly urgent. You should keep an eye on delegated tasks by email, phone or inside a meeting to check back on their progress afterwards.

A good example of a delegated task may be someone calling you to request an urgent favor or ask that you step right into a meeting. You can delegate this responsibility by suggesting a better person for the job or by giving the caller the essential information to have him deal with the matter himself.

The “Eliminate” quadrant

The fourth and final quadrant is called Do not Dosince it’s there to help you sort things out you shouldn’t being doing in any way.

Discover and prevent bad habits, such as surfing the net without a reason or gaming too long, these give you an excuse for not having the ability to manage significant jobs in the 1st and 2nd quadrant.

The Pomodoro Technique

The thing about the pomodoro timer is that it is a system of effective work practice. You can dive into several hout long sessions of continuous works and browse facebook every 3 minute intervals without accountability and get distracted all time, as a result outputting low productive sessions. The pomodoro timer makes it so you have a defined work and break schedule and maximizes your productivity.

The Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro Technique will help you power through distractions, hyper-focus, and get things done in brief bursts, even while taking regular breaks to develop air and unwind. On top of that, it is simple. In case you’ve got a busy job at which you are expected to make, it is a fantastic way to make it through your own tasks. Let us break it down and determine how you can apply it to your job.

What Is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique was devised in the early 90s by programmer, entrepeneur, and writer Francesco Cirillo. Cirillo called the machine”Pomodoro” following the tomato-shaped timer that he was able to monitor his job for a college student. The methodology is straightforward: When confronted with any huge undertaking or sequence of jobs, break down the work into brief, timed periods (known as”Pomodoros”) which are spaced out by brief breaks. This trains your mind to concentrate for brief periods and can help you keep on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes. With time it may even help improve your attention span and concentration.

Pomodoro is a system that is cyclical. You operate in short sprints, making sure you are always productive. In addition you get to take normal breaks that reinforce your motivation and help you to stay creative.

How the Pomodoro Technique Works

The Pomodoro Technique is most likely among the easiest productivity approaches to execute. All you will need is a timer. Beyond this, there aren’t any special programs, books, or resources needed. Cirillo’s publication, The Pomodoro Technique, is a beneficial read, however Cirillo himself does not conceal the crux of the method supporting a buy. Here is the Way to get started using Pomodoro, in five steps:

  1. Choose a task to be accomplished.
  2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
  3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
  4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

That “longer break” is generally on the order of 15-30 minutes, whatever it takes to make you feel recharged and ready to begin another 25-minute workout. Repeat this procedure several times over the course of a workday, and you really get a lot accomplished–and then required lots of breaks to grab a cup of java or refill your water bottle from the procedure.

It’s important to note that a pomodoro is an indivisible unit of work—that means if you’re distracted part-way by a coworker, meeting, or emergency, you either have to end the pomodoro there (saving your work and starting a new one later), or you have to postpone the distraction until the pomodoro is complete. If you can do the latter, Cirillo suggests the “inform, negotiate, and call back” strategy:

  1. Inform the other (distracting) party that you’re working on something right now.
  2. Negotiate a time when you can get back to them about the distracting issue in a timely manner.
  3. Schedule that follow-up immediately.
  4. Call back the other party when your pomodoro is complete and you’re ready to tackle their issue.

Of course, not every distraction is that simple, and some things demand immediate attention—but not every distraction does. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to tell your coworker “I’m in the middle of something right now, but can I get back to you in….ten minutes?” Doing so doesn’t just keep you in the groove, it also gives you control over your workday.

How to Get Started with the Pomodoro Technique

Since a timer is the only essential Pomodoro tool, you can get started with any phone with a timer app, a countdown clock, or even a plain old egg timer. Cirillo himself prefers a manual timer, and says winding one up “confirms your determination to work.”

Top Gear Top Tip for Boosting Your Productivity

First things first

  1. Eat healthy
  2. Exercise
  3. Sleep enough
  4. Have your personal affairs in order

Now, what will directly help you with your productivity

  1. Do not try to multitask
  2. Start planning your days and weeks
  3. Make to-do lists and set deadlines
  4. Track your time
  5. Depending on your work, implement some (more or less complex) productivity system

Sources

  • https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:7_habits_decision-making_matrix.png
  • https://www.eisenhower.me/eisenhower-matrix/
  • https://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-pomodoro-technique-1598992730
  • https://www.quora.com/Which-productive-methods-are-there-other-than-Pomodoro-technique
  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching/45191993455

Posted by & filed under Features.

Although you can pin Tasklog to your screen for quite some time now, it may not feel as cool as good old Android app.

In other words: Brand new Android appplication has been released today. Yay!

Take a look:

GET IT ≫

Is something missing or not working? Let me know! Thank you ?

PS: If you use older phone and the app is not available for you, you can always just pin it to your screen.

I am also happy for every new feature request.

Posted by & filed under Features.

You have asked for it and now it’s here!

I have just launched brand new Chrome extension for Tasklog.

Take a look:

GET IT ≫

Using another browser? Is something missing or not working? Let me know! Thank you ? I am also happy for every new feature request.

Posted by & filed under Productivity.

The most fundamental measurement of success for any business is its productivity.

It’s no surprise that many business owners and project managers consider employee productivity as one of the primary goals. One of the proven ways to achieve this goal is to use time tracking technology. Now, time tracking is not just about logging work hours or creating timesheets. The data you collect while tracking hours also helps to improve employee efficiency and productivity without demanding any extra effort.

In this post, we’ll discuss why time tracking is worth implementing and how does it help to increase workplace productivity. So, let’s get started:

First, what is time tracking?

To put it simply, time tracking is the process of measuring the total time spent on assignments and documenting it. The advent of this time tracking technology has enabled teams and freelancers to know exactly how much time they have and how efficiently they can utilize their time across various tasks and activities in a project. In addition to this, time tracking also helps to simplify the invoicing process and allows teams to bill clients exactly for the work that has been done.

Why is time tracking the need of the hour?

Taking frequent breaks in between the work is quite common these days. To be honest, it’s a good habit. A short pause between work not only allows employees to recharge their mind but also helps to clear out the cobwebs that might be blocking them from reaching their maximum potential. However, if your employees are taking too many breaks or spending too much time away from their desk, you’ve got a problem.

Now, time tracking makes more sense these days because it allows employers and business owners to keep an eye on how much time is being spent at work by each employee on each task. Thereby ensuring that each and every employee is productively engaged in work-related activities and are able to complete their assignments in a disciplined manner.

How to increase employee productivity with time tracking?

Listed below are some examples of how time tracking can help to improve employee productivity in a company. Let’s have a look:

Optimize Workload

Tracking employee hours provides an accurate overview of every employee’s workload. This information is quite helpful as it gives managers and employers the ability to see who is meeting their deadlines and who needs help to complete their assignments on time. It allows them to reconsider resource allocation so that the workload is fairly distributed and every member of the team is equally motivated.

Promote Continuous Improvement

Time tracking enables employees to seamlessly track the time they spend on each task and measure productivity levels. This further gives them the opportunity to review their performance or get it reviewed by someone in order to find out how they can improve their performance and achieve more at work.

Eliminate Inefficiencies

Once employers and employees get accurate data on how time is being spent at work, they can begin to identify areas where inefficiencies may exist. For example, they can identify what tasks are more likely to take longer than expected so that they could be re-assigned in order to meet the deadline. All in all, time tracking prevents teams from getting stuck in a task or a project and allows them to be as productive as possible.

Improve Time Management Skills

Time tracking allows employees to see how things are are moving in a timeline. It provides a big picture where each employee can see how much time they take to complete a task or how frequently they miss deadlines at work. This creates a healthy pressure which motivates employees to be more productive with their time and make every hour count.

Create Better Schedules

Time tracking provides managers the ability to set accurate estimates and create schedules that allows everyone on the team to make the most efficient use of their workday. A smart schedule brings clarity to how much time they need to complete a particular task or project. It keeps employees focused throughout the work process and also helps to ensure that every task is completed on time.

These were a few ways in which time tracking can be used to boost productivity in a workplace. Once you’ve evaluated all the above points, start searching for a time tracking tool that fits your needs and takes your productivity to the next level. Look for tools, apps, and software solutions that comes with a number of useful features.

Do you already have a time tracking tool in place? How does it help you to track employee productivity? Tell me about your experiences on Twitter!

Posted by & filed under Productivity.

The most famous time management method and how to use it with the best productivity tool

GTD—or “Getting things done”—is a framework for organizing and tracking your tasks and projects. It improves your focus, time management skills and productivity.

This guide assumes you already know the GTD framework. If not, I recommend you the 15 minutes GTD guide and of course the book itself.

The infrastructure

We will go over the steps you need to fulfill while implementing the system and create the required backbone (folders, projects or tags) in Tasklog, together.

#1 Collect

Write everything down. And I mean everything! Every task, every input, every new idea. Don’t leave stuff in your head. You will forget it.

How: Open Tasklog ≫ Tasks ≫ Inbox

Yea, that’s right! You don’t have to do anything at this point. The inbox is already there, waiting for your own things.

#2 Process

Systematically process each and every item asking yourself “what’s the desired outcome?” and “what’s the next step?” The idea is to choose whether the item is actionable now or needs to be tickled or tossed.

How: Periodically process your Inbox folder. Get rid of everything that’s not actionable. Organize ⬇️ the rest.

#3 Organize

Group everything you’ve processed into manageable categories – what these are depend on your worldview.  A list of projects is the most fundamental list to have.  Sorting your next actions into multiple “contexts” (ie. phone calls, at your computer, etc) is helpful but not necessary. Create checklists and other lists as they are meaningful to you. Keep it simple (or you won’t use it!)

How: First of all, we are gonna make few tags. Make these:

  • #next-actions
  • #someday-maybe
  • #waiting-for

Projects

Does your new task requires multiple steps before it can be finished? If yes, it’s not a task, it’s a project. Create new project with the same name and rename the task to first available next action. And also: Assign the #next-actions tag and your newly created project to it!

Context

Make additional tags for context. Need more pet food? Assign #store or #city. Need to buy a plane ticket? Create #computer or #www. This will allow you to filter all the things you need to while, for example, doing errands.

Calendar

Does the action need to take place on a specific day? Open it and set a due date. When the time comes, it will appear in your today or next 7 days folder.

#4 Review

Review your lists daily.  Do checks & balances weekly. Perform longer term reviews as often as needed (eg. quarterly, annually) to keep your lists current. Upgrade your system from time to time to make it flow how you live your life.

How: Click through Inbox, Projects and Tags periodically and review the items. Are they all still valid? Can you throw something away? Has anyone else finished them?

#5 Do

Get in action!  Use your intuition and available energy and circumstances to decide which “next action” of a particular project to execute.  A general rule of thumb is “if it takes less than 2 minutes, just do it” (it will take more time to add it to your system)

How: The #next-actions tag folder is your holy grail. Just remember. If you finish task which also has a project, you immediately need to identify another next action so you don’t stall.

Sources: – The “Getting Things Done” book – What are the important principles of Getting Things Done? – The GTD quick reference card

Posted by & filed under Productivity.

Here are the best, hand picked pieces of content from last few days

Best picks

? Do You Suffer From A Seasonal Productivity Dip? Here’s How To Fix It

Perhaps you can relate: you have your task list, you have your pomodoro timer, and you know exactly what you need to do. Then you look outside and see how grey and cold it is (as it has been for weeks). You don’t have the energy and can’t get into the mental space to do what you need to do.

Read full article ⟩⟩ from Brooks Duncan

? 7 Little Changes that Will Make a Big Difference with Your Mood

If you are plagued by anxiety, or even depression, or any other life-sucking current, your moods are not great… just to state the obvious.

I was just like that until a few years ago. Drowning in bad moods and unable to shake them off.

Read full article ⟩⟩ from Christine Ellis

? The High Cost of Overwork (podcast)

Most people try to get more done by working more hours. Despite working longer days, we get less done. As our level of investment rises, productivity plummets. Until finally, we experience burnout. In this episode, we’re going to talk about productivity, and we’ll expose the fallacy that you can accomplish more by simply working harder.

Listen ⟩⟩ from Michael Hyatt

What’s new ?

I am looking for a feedback! Please let me know what do you think about this article, about the app in general or about the story page. Thanks!

Also, Tasklog has it’s own Facebook page now.

Petr

Posted by & filed under Productivity.

Here are the best, hand picked pieces of content from the last few days

Best picks

?Doing Nothing is Not Wasting Time

Busy work is one of the main time wasters in companies, second to tech addiction. You’ll find employees wasting their time on busy work instead of working on something valuable. Companies that don’t incentivize their employees with promotions and bonuses are actually encouraging their employees to get involved in busy work.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ from Burak Bilgin

?How to Get More Energy: 20 Tips to Boost Your Energy and Get More Done

If you go into any kind of health food store or pharmacy, you are likely to see a plethora of products that claim to be able to boost your energy.

This industry is a huge money-maker in our society because so many people are trying to run on little energy throughout the day.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ from S.J. Scott

?Should Your To-do List Be on Paper or in Your Phone?

In recent years, our phones have becomes integral parts of our lives. We carry them everywhere. They are always on our person. We sleep with them. And if we forget them, we turn around and go home to retrieve them.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ from Craig Jarrow

What’s new ?

I’ve recently introduced the B2B version of Tasklog called Tasklog for Teams. It’s meant for remote teams and small companies.

Interested? Check it out.

Also, Tasklog has it’s own Facebook page now. Come say Hi!

Posted by & filed under Productivity.

Here are the best, hand picked pieces of content from last few days

Best picks

15 Ways You Are Wasting Time During the Day (And How to Stop)

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have enough time? Are you always rushing from one responsibility to the next with no time for yourself? Do you just have the feeling that you are wasting time?

Read full article ⟩⟩ from Anna Johansson

7 Ideas to Implement a Calming Evening Routine

In my previous corporate life, I lived life at light speed and in complete chaos for sixteen years. I felt I never had time for the good things I knew I “should” be doing. But running at light speed and neglecting self-care eventually catches up with you.

Read full article ⟩⟩ from Michelle Summerfield

How to Kick Procrastination and Get Sh*t Done in Five Seconds

When you allow yourself to see what will go right, you give yourself the opportunity to imagine your ideal future fully and react to it. The excited energy that comes as you think about your possibilities will let you know what you really want.

Read full article ⟩⟩ from Johannah Bogart

What’s new ?

I’ve recently introduced the B2B version of Tasklog called Tasklog for Teams. It is aimed at small (remote) teams and companies.

Interested? Check it out.

Also, Tasklog has it’s own Facebook page now.

Petr

Posted by & filed under Features.

Remote team, company, bunch of friends? Big news for you!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a new product. It’s a B2B spin-off from the classic Tasklog you know.

Some features were added:

  • Collaboration functions
  • Team management
  • Team dashboard
  • Team board
  • Reports & timesheets for specific people

Some features were removed:

  • Task management
  • Toggl & Trello export
  • Night mode

The new product is called Tasklog for Teams and is available at teams.tomatoid.com.

Screenshots

Mobile app

Soon. Give it few weeks.

Anything else?

Tasklog for Teams is now in open-beta phase. That means it’s completely free for everyone and everything is unlimited until the beta ends. Go check it out. Problems, bugs? Let me know!