Tag Archives: productivity

A New Productivity Tool!

Greg (he of the inspiration for the Hallelujah chorus) mentioned a productivity tool called Simpleology the other day. I had just started using a waiter’s pad to write down everything that occurred to me during the day — things I needed to buy, find, do, return, and try. Simpleology has a feature that works the same as the waiter pad without the inconveniences that go along with a pad of paper with messy lists on it.

It’s new to me, but has been around for a few years. So far, I am extremely impressed.

There are many features I haven’t even used yet, but what I am finding is that I am tackling the things that need to get done. Honestly, I enjoy crossing things off of a list, whether or not every single thing gets done that day or not. For me, it is motivating to choose which thing to do next, finish it, and cross it off.

One thing I have been putting off was clearing off my desk. With the addition of Toast to our home, I’ve had to pick up all my little piles and files which were around my desk on the floor. And my poor desk became a receptacle for all of it.

I was feeling pretty intimidated by the thought of actually doing this task, so I split it into sub-tasks of clearing 25 things at a time, so I did get to cross things off along the way. Once I got into it, I didn’t need to keep counting. I knew I could do it. I noticed that I decided to finish the job completely — to take all the things that belonged elsewheres to the elsewheres.

Simpleology is not cheap. Right now, we are both doing a free month of the “pro” level, which will cost $7/month if we continue. There is an “elite” level which is considerably more than that. So, we are going to evaluate this program and use it for a month and then decide. I will say it has enhanced my productivity considerably.

Another feature is the “dream catcher,” which is where I drop things all day long — tasks that come to mind, all the types of things I was writing on the waiter pad. This has always been an excellent method for me to use because I will forget things if I do not write them down.

I have found it quite encouraging and motivating to use this tool. I got the vet appointment made, which has been hanging over my head since the end of August. I finished all the laundry and folded it AND put it away. No big earth-shattering accomplishment, but it feels good to me in my little corner of the world. Best of all, I made a phone call to follow up on a couple of emails I had sent requesting information. Turns out, the organization had not received my emails due to some glitch on their website and my phone call not only alerted them to that fact, but they knew I was interested in information. I found it a little intimidating to make this particular phone call, but Simpleology helped me get it done.

At least check it out. There are MANY more features I haven’t even begun to use, let alone all the ones that I am using but didn’t talk about. Let me know what you think if you give it a try. And leave a comment if you already use it or use something similar which you find helps your productivity!

Good Reminder for Me and Possibly You

I was listening to the “The One You Feed” podcast this morning, after having whittled down my Twitter list to the people I really want to follow and/or those I do not see elsewhere on social media.

Eric was talking about getting things done. This has been a low-productivity week for me. He said two things I found very helpful.

When you are driving somewhere, if you look at your progress at any particular moment, you will not get an accurate overall picture. You may have to slow down to 10mph on the highway because of traffic, where you may be able to go 65 on another part of the highway. Making a decision about your overall progress based on the moment you are going 10mph is going to give you an inaccurate picture. It’s the overall average speed that will give you a good picture of how you are doing.

If I look at any particular moment (or day) when I am having low productivity and make large conclusions about my productivity based on this one moment, I will not see the whole picture. It’s the average of the moments, minutes, hours, days, week, not just this one moment right here.

Of course if I am working to be productive this minute, that’s great, but I mustn’t look at a slow time and decide that’s the entire picture.

The other reminder was an analogy about how we take care of plants. To have a healthy plant, we water it a little bit at a time. If we give it a gallon today and then nothing for the next four weeks, for most plants, this will not work at all. Same with projects or maintenance tasks. A little bit each day. I couldn’t possibly have gotten all the libraries visited with Kepler this summer if I had tried to visit all 41 branches in one day. It was the one or two at a time that got us this far.

Here is a link to the podcast, which is just under 6 minutes long. If you ever look at yourself and characterize yourself based on this individual moment, may I recommend that you listen to this podcast. Very encouraging.