People often ask me how I’m able to run my business while traveling the world and having lots of amazing adventures. What works is going to be different for each person and, if you’re looking to improve your productivity, you’re more than likely going to have to experiment with a few things to find what works, but here are the productivity tools and tricks that I use that literally changed my life:
First of all, I organize my life through gmail. I have multiple email accounts that all come to one gmail inbox so that I can keep track of everything in one place and I use a gmail lab called multiple inboxes that helps me sort my emails in a way that works great for me. To get it, go to settings in your gmail account, click labs at the top of the screen, find the lab called multiple inboxes by vivi, and enable it. Then go to the multiple inboxes tab along the top and you can set up how you want multiple inboxes to sort and to look. Personally, I have 3 special inboxes that I stack above the regular inbox and I have a system of what goes where to keep me organized. It may not work for you, but even just having all unread messages show at the top was a game-changer for me.
Sticking with email, I also use an add-on called Boomerang that lets you set reminders for follow-up to emails and schedule emails to be sent later on. It also allows me to set an alert on emails I am sending out to remind me to follow up if nobody responds within a pre-set time frame and to have emails be removed from my inbox temporarily but then show back up as unread emails after a certain period of time. This, combined with my multiple inboxes system that I described above, is how I run my entire life – business and personal.
I have also joined the “don’t check email all day long” cult and am happily drinking that Kool-aid. I don’t check my email before noon and then I only check it at a few intervals throughout the afternoon and evening, I don’t have it constantly open. This one little life hack has done absolute wonders for my productivity.
The final tool I use that has been life-changing is a pomodoro timer. Pomodoro is a productivity technique that combines short bursts of focused productivity with frequent scheduled breaks. Knowing you only have so much time to work and then you will have to take a required break makes you focus and increases your productivity greatly, as do all of the mini breaks throughout the day. My timer is 25 minutes of focused work followed by 5 minutes of break time. I use a desktop app called pomodairo to keep the time and track my to do list. This trick has roughly quadrupled my productivity on the days when I stick to it.
Again, every person needs to find his/her own productivity hacks and tools but I hope that this list of what works for me is helpful to at least some of you. If it was, please like it and share it with any of your friends or colleagues who could also use some help getting ish done more productively.
Please leave a comment below and let me know which of these tricks you’re going to try and fill me in on how they work for you. Also, if you have other productivity hacks or tools that you use, I would love to hear about them so leave a note with those too!
Tools are incredibly helpful, but they’re just part of the equation. If you really want to kick your productivity up a few notches, grab my guide: 4 Steps to Improving Productivity. Click here to get the guide for just $1 and start getting more done faster right away.