Friday, 18 May 2018

10+1 ways to be more productive- III


As the week comes to an end, so does our short series. In today’s final article we will look at a few specific ways of body works and how we can make use of it.
If you missed the first two parts of the series, you can find them here and here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

10+1 ways to be more productive- II


 As promised on Monday in the first part of our series, we are here with part 2! In today’s article, which will also be the one with the most tips, we will take a look at methods, which you don’t need any technology for but that will test how strong your will is. But don’t worry, it won’t be necessary to make any major changes in your life, just a few smaller steps to get you where you want to be.
So what are the methods today?

1)    Setting your priorities straight

It might seem that your windows are unbearably dirty and must be cleaned immediately, but are you sure that’s the case? Isn’t there something more important you should be doing?  In times when we have no time to spare it is essential to be able to determine which tasks are the ones to focus on and which ones can wait a day or two. This is where our first technique comes in- the ABC method.
The goal here is to divide your tasks into 3 groups:
-    A: the A group should contain tasks that are essential to do, can’t be postponed to later and that would resolve into consequences if not done. If you have more than 1 task in this group, label them again according to priority from A-1 to A-the number of the tasks.
-    B: this group includes tasks that are still important, should be done but there is no immediate danger in not doing them. The consequences, if any, will be mild. You should not move to this group if there are still items remaining in the A group
-    C: the least important tasks. It would be nice if you managed to get to them but nothing will happen if you don’t. In the C group, you would most probably include activities that you’d do in your free time.
Once you have your list complete, it’s time to get started with your A-1 task and work your way down to the Cs. The list should be done for the day ahead, not longer. It is ideal to set aside a few minutes to create the list the evening before or in the morning when you get up and are ready to face the day.

2) Eat the frog

A quote by Mark Twain says: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
The idea is, that once you get the most off-putting, tedious task done, you will already have had a productive day and everything else will seem easier to do. The first step would be stating what is your frog for the day, but even more challenging might be to get started. But once you are done you will feel accomplished and ready to face easier tasks.

3)    Stop multitasking

Although multitasking might seem like a good idea (you get more done in a short amount of time, right?) the opposite is true. When we multitask, our focus is divided among several tasks and none gets full attention. Meaning that even though you might think that you save time by listening to your boss during a meeting and answering emails at the same time, you are more prone to make mistakes, miscommunicate and end up with a poor quality of your work.
It is easier said than done but the lesson here is- focus on the one thing in front of you. If the other tasks need to be done, create an ABC list as was mentioned in point 1 and come back to them.

4)    Write down your interruptions

Let’s say you are finally working on that assignment that you have been putting off for a long time and suddenly you remember you wanted to pack your lunch for tomorrow. Or call your friend. Or work more on another project that must be finished soon. Now is not the time to do any of those things. Always have a piece of paper at hand and write down any distraction that crosses your mind and might steer you away from your current work. Once you are done with this task, look at the paper and resolve whatever it was that tried to distract you.

5)    Set realistic goals

Let’s be honest, you probably won’t lose 20 pounds in a month. Or learn for your college exam in one night. Or put together a whole presentation for the meeting you have tomorrow. When we set unrealistic goals we not only set ourselves up for failure, we also lose motivation because we feel that it’s just not going to happen. It is important to know yourself and your abilities and set your goals accordingly. In ideal cases, when there is still plenty of time left, divide the ultimate goal into several smaller, more manageable tasks and those (if needed) into even smaller parts and get started with those. Step by step you will be closer to completion and you won’t be as stressed out. In some cases, it might even be possible to reach the goals you once considered unreachable, provided you make the right plan.




Monday, 14 May 2018

10+1 ways to be more productive- I


After a short break we are back and to make up for the lost time we will not only publish one article, but a whole series! If you already are a primaERP user, being productive and having an overview of your time is without a doubt very important to you. And if you are still hesitating whether to join primaERP we hope this series will tip the scale in our favor and we will see each other in the app!
The 10+1 ways to be more productive series will be divided into 3 articles, which we will be publishing throughout the whole week. Each article will focus on a different area of techniques and we believe that each of you will find some to suit your needs.
Part 1, which you can read below,  sums up technical tools that can help you with organizing  your time as well as improving productivity when doing specific tasks.
In the next article on Wednesday we will take a look at techniques that require no programs, apps or technology in general, but will show how strong your will is. For that you will be rewarded with completed tasks and a better overview of your time.
And on Friday we will finish our series by talking about the biological aspects of productivity.  You will learn how important sleep is and why you should combine rest with caffeine.
We hope you will enjoy the articles and we are looking forward to your reactions, ideas and experiences!
And now, without further ado, let’s see the first tips!

Rely on technology
No matter what your approach to computers, cell phones and everything inbetween is, it goes without saying that technology has made our lives simpler. So why not use it for organising our day!

1)          Time tracking

Let’s start with perhaps the most useful tool you will see on this list- time tracking. And what other tool to use for Time Tracking than primaERP! It is important to know where and how you spend the majority of your time and where you lose the most of it in order to be able to make changes and improvements to your daily plan. And primaERP is here to help you with all of that.
There are two ways you can make use of time tracking: first when you are still trying to establish what takes up most of your time, where are your weak spots and where you have time to spare. To do this, log your tasks and activities for a week or two without taking any extra measures and after this time look at your logbook and determine where is room for improvement.
To get the most exact picture if your time, track not only your work tasks but also what you do in your free time.
Then, once you start building a new schedule, track this as well. Each week take a look at the past few days and tweak your plans for the next week to meet your expectations and abilities better than the week before.


      2)    The Pomodoro technique


This one has personally proven itself the most effective one. Here you will need props. Namely a so-called Pomodoro timer or simply the timer on your phone. Right before you start working, set the timer for 25 minutes (usually pre-set in specialized apps) and dive into the work. After the 25 minutes you get to have a 5-minute break to relax, check your phone or get something to eat and once the break is up you reset the timer and start another 25-minute segment. After 4 segments of work, you are rewarded with a 15-20-minute gap to properly rest.
With this method, it is easier to stay focused on your work than if you were working several hours in one go and ended up exhausted. This way your brain stays fresh and it is not hard to stay away from distractions.

            3)    Website blockers

One of the most useful plugins for your browser that will save you a lot of time. The website blockers will make sure that you don’t spend an excessive amount of time on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or whichever other websites might be the thief of your precious time. In most cases, you only need to set the pages that you are trying to avoid and the maximum time you want to be allowed to spend browsing them. Unfortunately, this nifty program only works for the specific device and browser you are using so you might need to set up more of them if you are afraid you might just switch to a different one.

Those were the first 3 of our tips that we will present to you this week.  And what about you? Do you use any apps or do you prefer to stick to your paper planner and are still considering switching to primaERP? Let us know in the comments!