3 Simple Productivity Tools for You to Revisit



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Productivity has always been an important challenge among people to keep motivated and content. Several successful people do claim that keeping themselves productive every day help them stay confident and updated. There are many tools and techniques you would have come across to ease your tasks and save time. 

To make your tasks efficient and effective simultaneously, it is important to adapt to the right productivity tools. Though we are technologically advanced in many perspectives and we do have advanced tools available on our PCs and smartphones to track our tasks, some of the fundamental tools can be no replacement.

It is often noticed that these tools are underrated for day to day tasks management and might sound silly. The real power of these simple tools doesn't lee in its peripheral phase but in the deep layers which can be unleashed only by the sustained usage. 

Below are three such productivity tools or principles which you all would have often heard and may have used too. However, consistent usage of these simple tools has a high outcome and can transform you as productive as you can. 

1. Checklists

I believe the moment you read the word "Checklist", the majority of you would have already lifted their eyebrows thinking "is this what you were boasting about?". The checklist does deserve it. The above statement is said because its influence on productivity is commendable.

An author and surgeon named Atul Gawande who devised a checklist for the operation theatre to ensure all pre-operative procedures is the first widespread popular usage of the checklist. Implementation in the OTs which showed positive results in the patient outcome added its value.

Now you might be wondering how you can make full use of a checklist like how thousands of hospitals are making their OTs productive. Certainly, there is no rocket science that any person needs to master to use a checklist. Just list down your requirements and then strike them off. 

The simplicity of this tool can often make you feel it's less useful, but checklists are amazing tools to accomplish any tasks. It can be your cue for travel essentials, your day to day activities and duties, your project steps and whatnot.

My simple recommendation to use checklists for planning daily activities is to follow the three-point rule. It is nothing but to ensure that your checklist has exactly three checkpoints. 

Say for example if you are planning your week, list down the three most important tasks you need to complete. Then revisit the checklist every day and breakdown your main tasks into three sub-tasks for that day. This way you can accomplish your desired tasks and stay productive.

2. Eisenhower Matrix

This powerful productivity tool is an exquisite tool for those who are bundled with a large number of tasks and can help them categorise their tasks in a way they can save a lot of time and avoid the urgency trap.

As the name suggests, this is a matrix with four quadrants plotted in a graph where one axis represents the importance of the task and another axis with urgency. Therefore, it is also known as important/urgent matrix.

As you may have rightly guessed, the four quadrants are namely “not important”, “important”, “not urgent” and “urgent.” You need to list down all your tasks in any one of the above quadrants to move to the next step of taking adequate action. 

This tool can be handy for multi-tasking projects and activities as we get a clear picture of when and how much time and effort you need to invest on a task to make your broader work productive.

Generally, the important and urgent tasks are recommended to do then and there, important and non-urgent tasks to schedule a time, non-important but urgent tasks to be delegated and finally to completely ignore the non-important and non-urgent tasks.

I would personally recommend you use this matrix on a whiteboard or your computer or anywhere on your workspace that can be seen easily and update it at regular periodic intervals.
 
3. Bullet Journaling

The final tool you can revisit is the principle of bullet journaling. Designed by Ryder Carrol who claims that using this method can help any individual achieve any tasks and organise their personal life well. 

Though the comprehensive bullet journaling needs some amount of training because of its few unique symbols and tracking methods, the beginner level can be mastered by anyone in no time.

To put it in other words, bullet journaling is sort of an extension of checklists in a very comprehensive manner having a long-term visionary. However, it also combines to-do lists, brainstorming and reminders along with your day to day activities and tasks.

As a beginner, all you need to know is a few symbols to represent your tasks' current statuses. There are many symbols and colour codes but for a beginner here are few commonly used symbolic representations for each task. However, you can design your own set of symbols too.

You begin to mark your tasks with a dot or a tiny circle like how you list contents on a checklist. Once you finish the task you need to mark an asterisk (*) on top of the dot. You may strike your entire line if the task is cancelled or convert the dot into an arrow if the task is migrated. 

This way you would exactly understand the current status of your tasks and can make yourself efficient, effective and thereby productive.

Endnote:

How about an Eisenhower matrix with each quadrant having a three-point Checklist with Bullet journal symbols? Practical? Think about it!

Written by – Arun S.
Edited by – Ivanova



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