Some days it’s tough to get out of bed, especially when you are overwhelmed by how much work you have to do. Fortunately, productivity experts and technology gurus have combined forces to offer new techniques for getting things done. Here are three great apps that could change your life without resorting to apps, software or complicated programs.
Getting Things Done
David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” or GTD, has thousands of passionate followers. Allen touts the benefits of “stress free productivity,” which probably appeals to everyone. Allen’s method begins by helping you deal with “incompletes,” those pesky tasks that remain undone that take up huge amounts of worry time in your brain. Write done what the incompletes are and what you would need to do to consider them “done.” Once this is accomplished, your brain can move on to other things.
Allen then builds a workflow with five stages: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage. Each of the things on your to do list must be prioritized and quantified. As a result, items are allocated to trash, on a someday or rainy day list, in a reference system or calendar, delegated to another person, or assigned to yourself for immediate action.
Don’t Break the Chain
Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret, known as Don’t Break the Chain, is a simple productivity hack that can revolutionize your life without any fancy app. All you need is a calendar and a pen. The idea is to dedicate some time to your goals every single day. Once you do, you put an X on that day in your calendar or planner. That’s it – the X mark and satisfaction of realizing you haven’t broken the chain is its own motivator.
This needs to be adjusted to account for times when you are trying to achieve more than one goal. However, it is a great way of pushing yourself to move forward on projects, even if you only devote 15 minutes a day to each one. Begin by choosing just two goals you want to achieve – like losing weight and writing a novel – and work on them each day. That means you will write every day and exercise every day. As long as you devote time, no matter how short, you get a checkmark. After a few weeks, if the system is working for you, then add more goals. This is an ideal way to develop better work habits and can be adapted easily for children and teens.
Did you know some people divide their lives into 25 minute chunks? They do so because of Pomodoro, a method that requires you to select a task and set a timer for 25 minutes. While the timer counts down, work with complete focus. No checking Facebook or Twitter or answering the phone. After each 25-minute spurt, you get a five-minute break. Once you have completed four Pomodoro rounds, take a 25-minute break as your reward. This method helps people concentrate and accomplish as much work as possible. Pomodoro can also help you figure out when and how you are most productive. Perhaps you think of yourself as a morning person, but discover that you complete many more Pomodoro circuits in the early afternoon. If so, you can adjust your working hours accordingly.