Productivity tools, tips for time management, apps and hacks are everywhere. And they are getting ever more complex. And less effective. Time management has become a nightmare (partly due to our inability to discipline ourselves).
I have tested at least 15 apps in the last couple of months and none of them delivered (not only that, but they were preventing what they were supposed to promote: productivity).
From a pressing need to increase my productivity and improve time management, I started looking at some ancient productivity tools (pre-smart phone).
Productivity Tools and Time Management Techniques You Have Forgotten
Pen and Paper
Half joking. There is a certain feeling of having accomplished something when you tick something off your to-do list (with a pen on paper). For some reason it feels much better than when you just tick a box on a screen.
A Clear Sense of Objectives and Priorities
This is a difficult one. Because it requires you to stop, pace yourself, take a deep breath and think. Caught in the maelstrom of daily activities we focus more on doing than on doing what needs to be done. Understanding what is that we want to achieve, what needs to be done in order to get to what we want, and in what order is something that no app will help us do (yet).
Schedule Important Activities during Your Flow Hours
Find the time of the day when you’re the most productive (when you’re in a state of “flow”). Save high priority tasks for that time of the day.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
And remember to take breaks. Nobody can focus for more than 90 minutes non-stop and pretend they are productive (it’s a fact).
Counterintuitive Tips for Time Management – Take Breaks
There are two reasons for taking breaks. First, you recharge and give your brain time for recovery. Second, and most important, by physically and emotionally you allow your mind to think creatively about the problem without any stress (these are your aha! moments).