The demands on our time seem to be never-ending. Between work and family life, we’re lucky if we can snag a simple 15 minutes of downtime at the end of the day to decompress.
We’re busy people.
We lead busy lives and have plenty to do. So, how can you stay organized amid the hustle and bustle?
That’s where productivity planner tools come in. These essential tools help you organize and structure your time, stay on top of what needs to be done, and be as effective as you can be.
So, how do we introduce productivity planner tools into our lives? Easy. It all starts with setting goals.
Staying Productive Is All About Setting Goals
Do you feel sometimes that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to focus? That you’re constantly struggling just to stay afloat? That the oncoming tide of to-do list items overwhelms you day after day?
You’re not alone. Chronic fatigue plagues many that struggle under the burden of overwhelming schedules. You may not be able to make the things you need to do disappear entirely — but you can control how you approach and manage them.
And that’s where setting goals becomes important.
Effective goal setting is a strategy that seems simple and straightforward — and it is. The problem is, not many know how to put this strategy to good use.
Yes, we can certainly use productivity planner tools to organize our to-do lists, but there’s a crucial step we must take first. And that step is setting goals to help us lead effective, efficient lives.
“There is no waste in the world that equals the waste from needless, ill-directed, and ineffective motions.” — Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr.
Too much of our time is wasted on ineffective efforts. We are able to do more in less time if we’re better organized. It’s all about adhering to the task at hand, stay focused, and knowing what direction you’re headed.
So, what direction are you headed?
Powerful Strategies for Setting Goals
Are you ready to up your productivity? Before we start incorporating productivity planner tools, we need to get clear and focused on the direction we’re headed.
Here are some strategies to help you set some practical goals for yourself:
1. Set reasonable goals
There’s really only so much you can do in a day. You’re just one person, after all! So don’t demand too much of yourself. Know your limits, and set goals within those limits that are fair and respectful of your personal boundaries. If someone is asking you to do something that simply isn’t feasible, tell them so. Don’t be afraid to say no.
2. Set goals with deadlines
When you put something on a calendar, it helps solidify the intention into something concrete and tangible. If you say you’ll do something “soon,” there’s no real commitment to see the task through. You have to set specific deadlines for yourself to make sure it gets done.
Just remember to be realistic with the deadlines you set!
3. Set goals you’re passionate about
This may not be possible with each and every task that needs to be done. You may not feel particularly passionate about doing the groceries or folding the laundry. But when it comes to personal development, you need to set goals for yourself that you really and truly care about.
Don’t just do something for the sake of doing it.
Ask yourself what matters to you, what you feel true passion for, and pursue that. Even if it’s something you’re only able to squeeze in once a week for half an hour. You’ll find that the half hour you spend investing in yourself becomes a time that’s sacred and special to you.
Productivity Tools to Help You Stay Organized
Half the battle of staying productive is keeping organized. Productivity planner tools are designed to streamline the organization process to keep you charging forward with renewed energy and force.
What are productivity planner tools? They’re tools that help you stay efficient and on top of your to-do list!
Productivity tool 1: The Productivity Journal
Few productivity planner tools are as effective as the productivity journal. There are countless calendars and planners out there, but purchasing a journal dedicated to keeping you organized and productive puts you a step ahead of the game.
You can purchase a journal from your local bookstore, or order a productivity journal online if you’re strapped for time. Investing in a beautifully bound journal will help affirm your commitment to staying organized. If you spend a few extra dollars on something you love, you’ll be more inclined to use it — so go ahead and splurge!
As far as productivity planner tools go, the productivity journal will have a real and lasting impact on what you’re able to accomplish.
Productivity tool 2: The Pomodoro Technique
This method has been around for several decades, but it’s quite an effective one! The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s.
Here’s how it works:
- Decide what task you’d like to work on.
- Set a Pomodoro timer (any kitchen timer will do!) to 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the timer rings.
- Once the timer rings, place a checkmark on a piece of paper.
- If you have less than four checkmarks, take a 5-minute break. Then return to step two.
- If you have more than four checkmarks, take a 20-minute break. Reset your checkmark count to zero. Return to step one.
This method is meant to help you visually process your workflow and stay on track. You don’t need to use a kitchen timer to track your work. Try using the timer on your phone, and experiment with different time intervals.
Productivity tool 3: Dry-Erase Calendar
This is a fantastic one.
And it ties into the goal-setting tip of creating deadlines for yourself.
Having a calendar up that’s clearly visible will help you remember what needs to be done and when. The key to productivity planning tools like this one is to actually use them. When you remember something you need to get done, put it on the calendar!
The productivity calendar will keep you accountable and organized.
Ultimate Organizational Tech Tool: The Productivity Planner App
If you prefer to record and arrange your ideas on a screen rather than on paper, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.
Productivity planner tools have flooded the tech industry as of late. And it should come as no surprise, considering how integrated our lives have become with the online world.
If you’re craving productivity planner tools that will seamlessly integrate into your tablet, phone, and laptop screens, then you should check out some productivity planner apps!
There is no shortage of productivity apps available, so we’ve gone ahead and curated some of the best for you to peruse.
Productivity planner app for to-do lists: Google Keep
Looking for a way to organize your to-do list? You can do no better than Google Keep. Good ol’ Google will help you stay ahead of your to-do list with simple drag and drop technology that integrates across all Google apps.
You won’t have to worry about losing your to-do list ever again. Everything you add to Google Keep will back itself up to the Cloud, which means you can access your information from any device synced to your Google account. This productivity planner tool has got your back!
Productivity planner app for eliminating distractions: Momentum App
This browser extension is easy to integrate and even easier to use. Download the plugin for free to begin reaping the rewards of this clever tech.
Momentum is a personal dashboard that helps you stay focused and on task. When you log in to your computer, the app will ask you what you want to focus on. Then, as you set to work, the app will pop up at timed intervals to remind you to stay focused.
This productivity planner app eliminates procrastination and distraction in one fell swoop.
Productivity planner app for staying focused: Forest App
Remember the Pomodoro technique? Well, this is a digital version! Available for download in the app store, this simple app helps you develop a “no smartphone” policy while working.
It’s far too easy to be distracted by our phones when trying to accomplish a task, so the Forest App helps you visualize your progress by planting trees in set time intervals.
If you complete the time interval without using your smartphone, you’ll grow a little tree! The more intervals you successfully complete, the larger and lusher your digital forest becomes.
Setting Goals and Productivity Tools Will Help You Succeed
Being efficient, organized, and productive is all about working smarter — not harder. You don’t need to do more to be more productive. You simply need to change the way you approach the things you’d like to get done.
Productivity planner tools can be a great asset in helping you achieve your goals. But remember that productivity tools can only take you so far. You must be willing and ready to make the changes that will lead you to discover how powerful, capable, and competent you truly are.