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The Futureforth Blog

Helpful tips and articles about social media strategy, content marketing, and business networking. 

Filtering by Tag: productivity

The Greatest Productivity Tips Revealed!

Dave Delaney

Get ready! This post will leave you inspired and ready to have the most productive year yet. Too often we find ourselves distracted by our world around us. The news, Internet, colleagues, family, friends, pets, all play their part in distracting us from getting our work completed. 

Being productive helps us focus on the most important things first. By knowing what we need to be doing and getting the work done, we lower our stress and live better lives.

David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity writes, "Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started.”

I recently released by brand new, 2016 guide for getting your work done with daily goals. Put it to use each day and you will stop procrastinating and become focused on your goals.

I asked friends across social media for some of their best productivity tips, and they did not disappoint. 

5 tips you can use to make this coming year your most productive year yet.

1. Have some kind of spiritual life and make it part of your regular routine.  Prayer and/or meditation are great for helping you to order your priorities and focus in on them. And... you'll be a nicer person for it as well! - Jay Pochapin

2. Do a "daily check-in" meeting with an accountability partner (in this case, my wife). It's on our calendar at the same time every morning and serves as an official starting line for our work day. Each of us takes turns discussing our top priorities for the day and any needs that the other person can help us with. - Brett Henley

3. If a task or email takes less than 3 minutes to complete, do it now instead of putting it off until later. - James March

4. I love to set aggressive deadlines. Work expands to fill the time allotted for it, and that shoots me in the foot all the time. I am so much more productive when I recognize that on the front end, push my deadlines forward, and fit in more work! - Jandra Sutton

5. I'm the most productive when I take 5-10 minutes in the morning to focus or meditate. It clears my mind and allows me to shut out anything that could be distracting for what I really need to accomplish. - Eileen Loughman

When I started printing my goals, I became laser focused on what I needed to accomplish each day, week and month. By having my goals printed on a piece of paper in front of me all day, I get everything done.

The document has space for your personal and business goals. It includes a dollar sign box to indicate if the item will earn you money. It has a space for you to make an introduction to two people in your network each day. Plus, it has space so you can focus on your weekly and monthly goals. It's all there.

This method has greatly helped me, so I want to share it with you as a free download. Grab a copy of my 2016 Daily Goals document and get started. I promise it will help you be more focused and productive.

Get ready to have your most productive year yet. Happy 2016.

Leave a comment with your favorite productivity tip.

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.

How I'm Dealing With Email

Dave Delaney

My head has been spinning lately. I’ve been working my tail off, but often feel like I’m chasing it. I realize that social media and email can leave you feeling overwhelmed... it leaves me overwhelmed too. I've decided to spend the next couple of weeks retooling. I want to share my plan with you here. Are you in?

First up is email. It's a big distraction and cause of stress when I know my inbox is overflowing.

Here's my plan...

Try this for yourself and let me know how it goes.

‌• Check and reply to email twice a day on desktop. Once from 8 - 8:30 am and once from 5 - 5:30 pm. Go to bed each night knowing my email is in good shape. Dream of inbox Zzzzero.

‌• Use Contactually as my first stop to email people, so I can track my interactions better, keep in touch, and close more sales (my family needs to eat). There's a free trial here, I'm also an affiliate.

‌• Use Unroll.me to unsubscribe or create digests of the newsletters I have subscribed to (or have been subscribed to… I’m talking to you spammers).

‌• Check my email on mobile occasionally throughout the day when I am away from my office.

‌• Turn off (almost) all notifications on my iPhone. I kept some weather alerts, Sunrise calendar reminders, Phone, Waze for traffic alerts, and WhatsApp and Skype for calls from my family.

‌• Switch my phone to Do Not Disturb mode when I am replying to emails on my desktop. I will only receive calls from Heather or my parents during these times.

‌• Use Baydin's Boomerang to schedule emails to return to my inbox to remind me when a person hasn't replied. It's perfect for following up on proposals.

So this is my email plan moving forward. I hope it inspires you to get a better grasp on your inbox too. I'll be sharing my plans for social networks in upcoming messages first with my email newsletter subscribers.

What tips do you have for handling an unruly inbox? Leave a comment with your favorites please.

42 Productivity Tips and Apps from PodCamp Nashville

Dave Delaney

Photo by: Emily SandfordI had the good fortune of opening PodCamp Nashville today with a session entitled, Naked Productivity. I'll show you mine if you show me yoursHere is how I described the session on the PodCamp Nashville site.

A roundtable discussion for all attendees to show and tell their best productivity tips, apps, techniques, hacks, and tools.

We all get overwhelmed staying on task each day. I should be doing three other things as I write this description. Naked Productivity will be an easy way for all attendees to contribute to the session.

This isn't a canned presentation. It's an opportunity for all of us to share the best ways we stay productive. Attendees will come away with a head full of new ideas to improving the way we focus on the daily To Do's and life hacks.

The purpose of the session was for all of us to learn from one another. The session was a huge success thanks to the amazing people who attended. As I mentioned afterward, it would have sucked if I had an empty room, or worse, a dead crowd. If you were present thank you for being there.

42 Productivity Tips and Apps from PodCamp Nashville

I encouraged friends on Twitter to also chime in with their favorite productivity apps and tips using the hashtag #PCN13Naked. You can see all of the tweets at the end of this post.

The following is a list of items mentioned during the presentation. Here are 42 productivity tips and apps to help you gain control of your life:

  1. Create a work week and a physical environment where your kids understand that you are working.
  2. To Do Lists: Writing a physical list and the satisfaction of striking items off of it.
  3. Write your list the night before.
  4. Break each item down into smaller chunks.
  5. Clear - Realmac Software
  6. Asana for project management
  7. Trello for project management, because it has a better overall dashboard
  8. Evernote
  9. Sabina Nawaz’s This Space Intentionally Left White
  10. Use driving time to drive in silence and record audio notes to yourself.
  11. Reqall is a To Do list app that you can phone. Transcriptions come from your messages.
  12. Soundcloud. You can record and leave yourself private messages.
  13. Bernie Goldbach's battle with attention crash.
  14. Use a $5.00 glass screen window on your office wall as a whiteboard.
  15. Use colors to indicate what's what. Green = money. Red = urgent.
  16. Use your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker
  17. Producteeve ties into your email. You can email yourself to do list items.
  18. Wunderlist for lists
  19. Alfred app will interface with other applications and pass data from them.
  20. Fantastical - you can speak your calendar events and it will add them. It syncs with iOS calendar as well
  21. Boomerang for Gmail to push old messages back to the top of your inbox later.
  22. ActionMethod for creative thinkers.
  23. Michael Hyatt's "My Ideal Day" spreadsheet
  24. Use a week long spreadsheet with numbers of tasks to do each. Keep a tally.
  25. Pinterest: download daily tasks sheet.
  26. Drink lots of water!
  27. Howler countdown timer (Mac)
  28. Use iPhone timer
  29. Pomodorro Technique (mentioned in three sessions during PodCamp)
  30. Chronos time tracking app. http://www.getchronos.com/
  31. Sunrise app works with Google Calendar and hooks you into Facebook and G+
  32. Paper calendars work too!
  33. iCal with multiple calendars. 1 calendar dedicated to different tasks. Use the calendars to log your work to track and search later.
  34. Freshbooks for invoicing
  35. Track your time you do for each job using Office Time software.
  36. Billings Touch app for invoicing and tracking your work
  37. Don't forget about your life goals.
  38. What good tools (Apollo) are one-in-all solution?
  39. RescueTime tracks time spend on your computer by what software or social networking you are using.
  40. Zapier plugs into service APIs. It's like Alfred.
  41. Follow up with people you meet. Record audio notes from your meetings.
  42. CardMunch app for scanning cards with LinkedIn.

Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite productivity tips and apps please. Thanks again to the volunteers, organizers, sponsors, and attendees or PodCamp Nashville. Today was a HUGE success!

Photo by Emily Sandford.