If your inbox or calendar serves as a de facto to-do list then it might be time to overhaul the way you get things done.
There’s no shortage of self-help gurus offering the path to productivity nirvana, but in the end most of us pick and choose from their advice to cobble together a system that works for us. There’s no shame in that, but it’s worth asking whether you’re using the best tools for the job.
Many of us are wedded to our inbox and calendar – they dictate the day’s agenda – so it’s tempting to use them to stay organised.
That might be enough to muddle through the day, but is it clouding your view of the world rather than offering clarity? Are you cluttering up your calendar with reminders, or leaving emails in your inbox just so you’ll remember to do something?
Has it become the digital equivalent of sticking so many post-it notes on your monitor that it’s difficult to see what you’re actually working on right now?
If this sounds like you then it’s time to experiment with a separate task management system to complement your calendar and inbox.
Chances are your inbox and calendar tools have built-in reminder features or a to-do list, maybe it’s time to put aside a few minutes in your busy schedule to figure out how they work and how you can fit them into your workflow.
If they don’t meet your needs then it’s time to evaluate the other options at your disposal. If you use a note-taking, online office or project management platform then it probably incorporates some form of task management that might do the job. Otherwise there are plenty of third-party reminder and to-do list services.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but what you’re looking for is something that fits with the way you work and can become part of your morning ritual as you prepare to face the day.
You’re probably looking for a task management system which can integrate with the software and services you already use – but something which is platform agnostic, so you can access it anywhere, at any time and from any device.
At the end of the day which task management service you use is irrelevant, what’s really important is getting into good habits when it comes to productivity.
Maintaining a separate to-do list, rather than gazing at your inbox and calendar like a crystal ball, might be the catalyst you need to kickstart a productivity push and get a better start to the day.
Anthony Hill is the Head of Technology at Geeks2U, a national on-site computer repair and tech support company.