Some people may look at my office and wonder, ‘why in the world would he write about being productive?‘ Yes, I’ve asked myself that question already. My response is, why not?
In a world where things happen at a quick pace, I’ve often wondered how is it that things get done or don’t get done? As a writer, pastor and husband, my to-do list sometimes gets overwhelming. I feel I’m being dragged down into the pit of never recovering and things piling up around me. I’m sure no one else has that feeling.
So here I am writing about being productive. There are several things I must do to stay on-top of an ever-growing list.
If anything, we look at our in-box and see the vast amount of emails, either read or waiting to be read. One time, before getting things under control, my in-box was at nearly 2,000 emails. That doesn’t count for the blogs, articles and promotional material that clutter my in-box.
Go through your In-box daily!
Take ten to fifteen minutes each morning and sift through your emails, yes that includes your junk folder; important messages can get lost in that nasty little folder. Ask yourself some questions:
- Does it require a task? With a simple key-stroke I can assign it to a task.
Can I delete it? That means, don’t think, just delete.
Does it have to be me to answer, or can I pass it off to a colleague?
Once I’ve gone through the in-box, I move all emails to a new folder called “processed.” Once done, my in-box is clean, ready for tomorrow. Michael Hyatt has some great tips here.
Create your to-do list
This is something that I’m learning the value of. In-fact, I recently started using a pretty neat program called Producteev. The great part about this program, I can create projects, labels and assign to others if need be. As you become aware of a task at any point of the day, you can simply add it to your list, use a label and assign it to a time to be completed.The best part of Producteev is it’s free!
I began using Evernote for everything. If I write a journal log, I can take a picture and save it in Evernote. If I have a receipt, I can scan it in and file it away for tax purposes. There is no limit to how awesome Evernote can be. Visit Michael Hyatt‘s blog for some great tips on how to implement it into your daily life.
But, most importantly, stay on-top of your day. If you allow yourself to get behind then it will be hard to catch back up. Make sure you know what your MUST DO’s are. These are the most important items you have to complete daily. If you accomplish nothing else on your task list, then you will know you’ve at least accomplished what you had to get done.