Nowadays, there are a seemingly endless number of apps and programs and shortcuts, all designed to help us work more efficiently. By all measures, we should be able to do more in less amount of time. Not only that, but we have the ability to work from anywhere, communicate at any time of day, and collaborate in any number of ways. However, it actually seems as though we are becoming less productive!
But how could this be? Over this article series, we will look at productivity from a number of different angles. We will explore how it is helping our final work product and the ways that it could actually be hurting us.
With all of the new shiny organization apps out there today, some of the best industry experts still say that the original pen-and-paper note taking might still be the best to help us stay on task. Take a minute to think about your own productivity levels. Perhaps it is time for you to get back to the basics.
There are lots of benefits to taking notes. Through the simple act of writing things down, we are more likely to remember important details and key takeaways. This can also help get our creative juices flowing and spur some new ideas. Plus, you’ll more easily be able to share your ideas with colleagues.
Lists are also extremely helpful when it comes to staying on task and productive. Getting to physically cross an item off of your to-do list can be hugely motivating. By writing everything down – even the tiny things – you can feel like you are being productive throughout your day.
When it comes to planning and delegation, a simple list can also take a seemingly complex and overwhelming project and help you make sense of everything. More often than not, this can reduce our stress and urge to procrastinate. By writing down everything that needs to be done, it is far easier to see a time hierarchy (i.e., X needs to be accomplished before Y and Z can be done). Plus, you will also have a better idea of how tasks can be grouped and delegated to different team members.
The big thing to remember here is that lists should be living and breathing documents. You cannot just write one and then be done with it. Make sure that you update your to-do list frequently, particularly if you are actively delegating tasks. And, of course, if you would prefer some fancy technology to help you create these lists and an associated timeline, there are plenty of apps to choose from, many of which are designed for collaboration.
More to come on the topic of productivity!