Let’s be real – gone are the days where it’s cute to show up flustered, late, and unprepared (wait, was that ever cute?). Having your shit together is important, and it will help you excel in both your personal and professional life. With technology in our hands constantly, you’d be crazy not to leverage it for productivity and organization.
Many leaders say that spending time each morning, or each night before bed, organizing their day and planning their to-do list contributes to their success. It would surprise you what 10 minutes of thought can do to supercharge your routine. Being organized helps your productivity and by boosting your productivity, you’ll be more motivated to get stuff done to wow everyone around you.
So, where do you start? Here are a few apps and tips for staying organized and productive.
While this one feels like a no brainer, I’m constantly surprised at how many people don’t utilize Google Calendar. Google Calendar is great because you can schedule your day, set alerts as reminders, store important information for the task, and invite people to your events.
Schedule everything, whether it’s dinner with a friend, a work meeting, gym time, or time to work. Studies show that scheduling things in a calendar can really boost productivity.
I’ve heard a lot of people are really enjoying the free Sunrise app as well for calendar scheduling. It’s free and worth checking out! It’s like Google Calendar on ‘roids.
Evernote is the one way to keep everything you possibly need in one place. You can write notes, save links, grab parts of articles, make to do lists – it seriously does everything. It also syncs across all of your devices, making the whole experience extremely seamless. You can use Evernote to share things with others as well, and quickly access your information on the go.
Say good-bye to “winging it” and use Evernote to show up prepared and informed.
Clean up your inbox – seriously!
A messy inbox is a cluttered life. So many people have the dreaded 100+ unread email icon, and it drives me crazy! Having a clean inbox means you won’t miss anything important. Labels are your friend, folders are your friend – learn how to use them and revel in how organized your life will become.
Another hack that is awesome for making sure you don’t forget to respond to an email is by switching your Gmail to have all your unread messages separate from the read ones.
To do this, simply:
1. Click the gear icon on your Gmail’s top-right corner
2. Go to “Settings.”
3. Click the “Inbox” tab near the top of the page. Click the “Inbox Type” drop-down box and select “Unread First.”
Then if you want to go one step further:
4. Click “Inbox Sections” section and then go to “Options” next to the word "Unread." Here you can select “5 Items,” “10 Items,” “25 Items” or “50 Items.” This will show you the number of unread messages Gmail displays.
5. Click “Save Changes”
Voila. Never forget to respond to an email again.
Go distraction free
Distractions are the number one productivity killer. Things like social media and multi-tasking are not just killing work productivity, but they’re also ruining relationships. Moment app for iPhone helps you track how much you’ve been using your phone and even set daily limits for yourself and block certain things. If you use a Mac, you can download SelfControl app which allows you to block your own access to websites, mail, or even internet for a set period of time.
If you’re in a meeting, try leaving your phone at your desk. When you’re meeting a friend, keep your phone in your pocket, purse, or backpack. When you’re planning your day, sit for 10 minutes and just enjoy your coffee or take in the warmer weather.
Calm is an amazing meditation app if you’re feeling like taking your zen one step further.
Make it a habit
Organization, like anything, takes patience and work. It may not come natural to you – that’s okay! Take notice of where you struggle and brainstorm ways to make things run more smoothly. If you’re always late in the morning, set out your clothes the night before or set your clocks 5 minutes earlier. There’s always a solution to being on time and ready to go.