You would think that someone would have invented a magical way to keep us productive and organized by now. We have cars that function without a human driver, talks of sending civilians into space, and rice that cooks in the microwave in under 5 minutes. Yet technology has not found an easy way for us to get our lives in order with the snap of a finger. But, no worries, we’re here to help. These are some tips and tricks that we have found helpful in keeping us organized and productive.
The key to staying organized is prioritizing your projects to plan your time. What needs to get done today and can not wait until tomorrow? Start there! It is essential to always keep fixed deadlines at the forefront of everything you do.
There’s a reason why calendars have remained a steady source of revenue in commercial production. In a study conducted by the New York Times in 2016, “The average number of printed calendars in households was 3.12 in 2011 compared with 3.98 in 1981,” despite the vast technological growth since the ’80s. So even though we carry a digital calendar everywhere we go via our cellphones, many families still find themselves displaying physical calendars in their homes.
While some folks prefer the hard copy, none of us can get away or deny the calendars on our phones. Whether it be Google or Apple Calendar, these applications have been deemed helpful when organizing our day today. These digital calendars provide you with tools like reminders, notifications, and aesthetically pleasing displays to help you manage your events.
Pro Tip: If you tend to be forgetful, take full advantage of the alerts and notifications both these calendars provide. Alerts and notifications can be a lifesaver, whether multiple days or a couple of minutes before the event or task due date.
Similar to calendars, planners have been around for decades upon decades! With the rise of technology, planners have shifted to different platforms, although many still prefer paper copies. The production of digital planners has boomed on digital vendor platforms like Etsy. Thousands of planners and agendas are perfect for your iPad, computer, or phone. No matter your preferred platform, planners are ideal for organizing your time, allowing you to schedule meetings, events, birthdays, etc., and visually see where you are allocating your time.
You need a list to function and keep yourself on track if you’re anything like us. Whether it is a paper list that allows you to cross things off, creating a list is one of the simplest ways to keep yourself on track and productive. Knowing what you have to complete in a set amount of time allows you to visually take everything in and prioritize what needs to get done, when, and what can be put off.
Since the dawn of project management time, there have been debates on the structures of lists. For example, some believe you should dedicate the first slot on your list to the task that will take you the longest to complete. We love instant gratification. If there is a task that we can finish quickly to leave more time to achieve other things, we will knock that out first.
It is truly up to personal preference what you decide to do, but no matter what, prioritize based on importance and deadlines.
Programs like Monday, Asana, and Trello, are used by companies all around America to keep their companies organized and productive. Within the last few years, we have seen increased demand for Project Management and Operations roles. Companies realize how vital it is to keep workers grounded on productivity. Programs like the mentioned, similar to the lists, allow a visual tool to help prioritization while providing opportunities to collaborate with others.
Taking care of yourself, like getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy meal, will allow you the energy to push through to complete your goals. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself and your space to help you accomplish your goals. Studies have proven that productivity is at its lowest when your mental and physical space is cluttered.
One thing to keep in mind is that we are all different. What works for your family, friends, and even us might not work precisely for you. So test out these tricks and tips, and feel free to come up with your variation of what might keep you pushing through and checking off tasks throughout the day.
Melissa Puello is a writer currently based in NYC.