Simple Productivity Tools

Improving our personal productivity is a key component of being effective at business. During our productivity webinar, I talked about a really simple tool – the Pomodoro Technique.

Now I’m not really sure what it has to do with tomatoes, but the technique is that you work in 25 minute intervals and take a 5 minute break after every session. Every 4 sessions you take a longer break – 15 mins. I have been using the timer app on my iPhone (or iPad) and my productivity has increased exponentially using this technique – I can’t recommend it enough.

My experience is that this has really improved my productivity for a couple of reasons:

  1. The “Ticking Bomb effect” – the countdown keeps you focused.
  2. No distractions – I turn off my email, notifications, phone, Skype, etc for 25 minutes.
  3. If I am distracted and think of something I need to do – I keep a notepad beside me and jot down a note so that I can come back to it later.
  4. If someone or something interrupts me I can say “I’ll get back to you in x minutes” – this maintains my focus on the task at hand rather than chopping and changing
  5. Regular breaks actually increase your concentration levels and productivity – especially standing and moving after being seated. Every 25 mins is ideal for this.

Since the webinar, I have been searching for some tools to assist you in this.



focusboosterapp
My favourite tool so far is “Focus Booster” – this works on your desktop/laptop (Windows and Mac) and is a simple timer where you can set the session and break times to suit you. You can also modify position, size, sounds, etc. Best of all its FREE – get yours from http://www.focusboosterapp.com

Timebar.175x175-75If you’re a Mac User you might also try Time Bar (a premium app about $4) – this is useful and less intrusive than Focus Booster, although I prefer the latter. You can find Time Bar at https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/timebar/id617829225?mt=12

My very strong advice is to try the Pomodoro Technique and see if it will lift your productivity.

 

I’ll keep my eyes peeled for a good version that runs on smartphones and tablets and update you.

That’s my productivity tip – what’s yours? What are you doing to lift your productivity? Leave comment and continue the dialogue.

All the best

Russell

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