We all have systems for staying productive.
I'm a big fan of my paper and pen planner. Sticky notes are my friend (both on my laptop and the physical kind). When I'm trying to stick to a new routine, I make a daily tickmark system so I can keep the momentum going. Maybe you send yourself voice memos or keep everything in a Google calendar that sends you reminders on your phone.
All of these are systems within our productivity toolbox. Tools we use on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
But have you ever stopped to reorganize your productivity toolbox?
Sure, you've stopped using a tool before. But you have you deliberately thought about it? One of my "secrets" to staying productive and successful is to reevaluate my systems on a periodic basis. About once a month, I look to see if the tools I'm using are still serving their purpose.
For example, I just switched paper planners with the new year. Last year I used a Planner Pad, which was really helpful for organizing my week and listing daily tasks. This year I got hooked on Ruth Soukup's Living Well Planner. I love the monthly planning charts and narrowing down "three must do items" every day. I made that intentional switch to a new paper planner.
But then I also stopped to think - how else do I want to track my daily tasks? I've already written about why mental to-do lists hinder progress. I needed a new way dump those mental tasks. So I went searching for a new tool.
I landed on Do.List - a free app for my iPhone. It's insanely simple by keeping track of today, tomorrow, and later tasks. When I check something off my list, a little stick figure dances. Such a simple reinforcer!
It's working for me right now, but I know I might need to move on in a few months.
Productivity isn't all about landing on the "perfect" tool or the absolute best method for everyone. Everyone is different. That's why I'm always searching for new tools and tips to put in my toolbox and share with my students and clients.