How I’m increasing my productivity

Over the past month I've taken on a few things. A new promotion at work, a few house projects, and I'm working on a few personal projects, like seeing more people and fewer computer screens.

I also, as some of you know, am involved in several local non-profits.

Here's what I'm doing to keep sane and get more productive.

Tools

Workflowy. Workflowy is an online to-do list that comes to me as a suggestion from Phil. I've never really been one for to-do lists (just like I keep my shopping list in my head), but I've been using Workflowy for a week now and I love it. I keep a browser tab on it at all times, and I use it for everything from long-term projects to an editorial calendar. It has a simple hierarchical structure so you can include details, you can mark either parts or the whole complete, tag things you need to get done today or make a higher priority, and you get an email each morning letting you know where you are.

Dropbox. I've been using Dropbox for a couple of years, since I began using multiple devices (laptop, netbook, smart phone, iPod). It's a virtual hard drive, with public sharing capabilities. It syncs when you're online, but if you're not online you can still edit items that have already been synced on the device you're using. Also, it's free, until you need more than 2GB of space.

Google. I figured you didn't need a link. Google docs, Google calendar and Google groups have been a big help across the board, primarily because of the ability to share and group-edit.

Habits

Facebook. I dumped the game apps from Facebook, which means no more Scrabble or Words With Friends until I get the other stuff straightened out. That means I won't be checking to see if my opponents have played their moves. And in fact, I'm only opening Facebook when I want to check on the pages I administer.

Email. I've set up a work email filter, so that I'm only checking work emails when I am in a position to get work done. That's saving me a lot more time than I expected.

Wellness. This should be a no-brainer, but it's so often overlooked. If you eat well, get enough sleep, get a massage occasionally, get some exercise and some fresh air, you'll be sharp, quick, and alert. You'll get your stuff done, and you'll have energy beyond that.

Skip artificial borders. And by that, I'm really talking dates. I've already published my New Year's post. I don't feel the need to wait until a new year, or a new month, or a new week to start something new. Just start it. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll be happy you did.

What are your favorite tools and habits for productivity?

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2 Comments

  1. Josh: glad you like workflowy.

    I’ve always been a linear–outline-type thinker. Workflowy allows me to do that on steroids. But I am intrigued by Ellen (of the late, lamented NYCO’s blog) and her recent suggestion on Twitter to create a to-do list app. It would e-mail you 2-3 items off your list each day for you to complete–like Mom would have you do chores. You could decline to complete an item and If you demurred a certain number of times, the item would come off your list.

    I guess why I like workflowy so much is that it answers Ellen’s question about to do lists: so many of them are just about capturing the ideas–as if the problem was forgetting about them. Because workflowy is an outline–not just a list, it allows you to make connections between items, plot strategy and generally be better at organizing yourself.

  2. At least now I know why you never came back to our game. Enjoy your tasks and productivity; let’s see what you can accomplish. Oh yeah, your CommentLuv is also out of date. lol

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