One productivity tip that Crystal mentioned that I also recommend is the Pomodoro technique*. It's a simple and effective tool that helps me focus. We all have those days when it seems like we have a zillion things to do in a short amount of time and don't know where to begin. When that happens, I set the timer on my phone for 20 or 25 minutes, pick one task from my to-do list, and focus on it. If a thought or idea distracts me, I write it down and go back to the task at hand.
Crystal also reminded me (and now I'm reminding you) that we need to learn our Tech Tools better. I'll use email as an example here but this applies to lots of other tools, too. Whether you use Office 365, Gmail, Outlook or some other email program, there are lots of features that you probably don't use. Here are a few things to investigate and implement to help manage your email. Setting up filters or rules can help manage your newsletter or listserv subscriptions. Using flags or color coding can indicate the priority of a message or inclusion in a project - you can set the rules for what flags or colors mean for you.
Here are a few websites that Crystal recommended - I haven't tried all of these out yet:
- Toggl - a time tracker
- EyeLeo - an application that reminds you to take short breaks for your eyes
- Quick and Dirty Tips - a series of podcasts and blogs on a variety of topics, including Tech
- Big Stretch from monkeymatt - a simple reminder tool to take stretch breaks throughout the day
Let me know if you try any of these tools that Crystal recommends. I'm curious to hear about your experiences.
*I'm using it as I write this TechBits post!