Tag Archives: Productivity

How to Schedule Professional Development Into Your Work Day

Professional Development

I recently started a 3 week Marketing Writing Bootcamp with Marketing Profs. This course is a combination of live webinars and video that you can review on your own time. The beauty of this model is that you can work the course material into your daily schedule.

As the course runs every day, I figured that I would schedule about an hour every day to make sure I kept up with the course material. This got me thinking about when the most effective time is to fit professional development into your work day.

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5 Ways to Kill Procrastination

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Procrastination is one of those topics that is written about all the time. I find that while the information is useful, the short term inspiration to change your habits dies out quickly.

In my experience, procrastination is usually a result of one of these 3 factors:

– Boredom

– Incompetence

– Laziness

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Meet Trello. My New Favorite Productivity App

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Last week, I wrote a post about my favorite To Do List apps. Since then, a ton of people have responded with other apps they use including some that I’ve never heard about before.

One of the apps I’d never heard about before is Trello. After using Trello for about 48 hours, it’s quickly turned into one of my absolute favorite productivity apps. In fact, I can’t believe that I haven’t been using this app sooner.

So what is Trello? Trello is a cross between a visual pin board and a highly effective to do list. I think of it like a vision board on steroids.

The concept is really simple. Trello is built on a series of boards, lists and cards. Each board can be setup for an organization, project or strategy. Lists within each board are specific objectives or projects. And cards, are the individual work packages or tasks that need to be completed in order to complete the project.

Take this sample board that is the template “Welcome Board” that Trello introduces to new accounts.

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You can see that there are tons of features and ways to plan your boards and lists.

Here is a sample of a board that I started for planning my content for The Pinstriped Suit.

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One of the key features that I like about Trello is the ability to collaborate with other people. Each board and list that you create can be shared with a team member. Once the person is invited to the list/board then you can assign them cards as tasks.

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You can also set deadlines for yourself or other people.

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Trello has a ton of other features including inserting attachments from google drive or dropbox, checklists and adding graphics. What I love about Trello is that I can visually see all my projects and plans in one place. Also, the flexibility of being able to move timelines, cards and lists around is really useful for projects that are constantly changing. Trello works really well with its web app but it also has iPad, iPhone and Android apps as well which work seamlessly with the web version.

Try it out and watch your productivity skyrocket!

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Two Tools To Help Maintain Your New Year’s Resolutions

So, we are now sitting in the fourth week of January and a lot of people have either abandoned their New Year’s Resolutions or never got to them in the first place.

Today, I want to offer up two valuable tools for maintaining those resolutions from two of my favorite entrepreneurs.

(Side note, I just finished reading “The Power Of Habit ” by Charles Duhigg and the best way to keep your New Year’s Resolutions is to make it a habit. Check out the book for more great ideas on developing habits)

Tool 1 – Write down 10 goals each day in a notebook. 

Tip taken from Brian Tracy, Entrepreneur, Sales Trainer and Business Coach

The specific practice is to write down 10 goals each day when you wake up to get you focused on what your life and professional priorities are. Brian recommends using a spiral notebook so that you can write down your goals and refer to them later. Once you write down your 10 goals, don’t look at what you’ve written until the end of 30 days. By not referring to what you wrote down yesterday, you will be forced to come up with new ideas for goals and reinforce the ones that are important to you. At the end of 30 days, you’ll find some really neat patterns and have a much more solid idea of what you are working towards.

Tool 2 – Write down a “When Life Works List”.

Tip taken from Sean Stephenson, Entrepreneur

The “When Life Works List” is a really neat tool. Essentially it is a list of habits and activities that need to happen in order for you to have an awesome day. Compiling this list and hitting 5-6 of them every day will keep you motivated and help you keep those resolutions.

This is an example of what my list looks like:

1) Morning Meditation

2) Eating a healthy breakfast

3) An hour of exercise

4) Reading a great book or article for 20 minutes

5) Having a conversation with friends that keep me accountable for my goals

6) A cup of really good tea

7) Writing a blog post

All of these things help me move towards my goals whether i’m having a good or bad day.

Try out these tools for a month and see how they work for you. I can definitely say they’ve helped me stay motivated and inspired this year.

Tackle your Habits with the Habit Master App

Have you ever wanted to pick up a positive habit but kept forgetting to do it? Or have you started a new diet/exercise routine and want to keep track of how many days you stick to your plan? Or how many times have you wanted to start reading a book a week but it never happens?

Well, there is a great app that does the work for you. Habit Master keeps track of your daily, weekly and monthly habits in an easy to use interface. It also keeps a record of how many days in a row you complete your habits so you can watch your progress. You can also customize your habits so that it skips certain days. For example, if you wanted to do situps every week day but skip weekends, you can customize the settings to only count the days that you want to keep the habit.

At the bargain price of $2.99, Habit Master is an incredibly inexpensive and effective way to keep you accountable and start adopting positive habits.

I started using Habit Master recently to start keeping track of all the different habits I’ve been trying to incorporate into my daily routine. This app keeps me focused on the highest priorities of my day, week and month so I spend less time on random activities . It’s also a great way to track how many days in a row you’ve been completing your habits.

 

If you forget to check off having completed a task, you can also go back and mark them off in the calendar.

 

Habit Master has been around for quite awhile but has recently increased in popularity. Habit Master is available for Iphone/Ipad and Android Devices.