Continuously evolving market demands every organization to do more work with the least effort. So, where do you stand in this climate of cutthroat competition?
Meeting strict deadline, wearing 15 different hats, dealing with heaps of emails and calls from several business associates—you got the point.
More than 70% of the organizations have adopted some smart and agile methodologies to deal with traditional project management. This post intends to work out a number of refined approaches to make you and your team to be more creative and productive.
1- Set and acknowledge micro-goals
You might have a clear vision of the new process you want to complete at the workplace but you really need to get to the ground level to make it even more clear. Break your big goals into smaller steps. Give yourself these micro-goals and motivate yourself to complete those small goals ASAP.
For example, if you set a goal like “Create proposal for the industrial automation project”, it will stand in front of you like a Himalaya peak to summit.
But, if you set a micro-goal like “Readout current tender document” and congratulate yourself on its completion, the big milestone will be underway.
Pat your back and celebrate every time on small achievements. You will feel relaxed.
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.”
2- Use a to-do list app
Never overwhelm yourself. Make a to-do list with the help on an app. But, most of the times, to-do list apps fail because of their complexity. The tasks listed in the list are unequal i.e. some of the tasks take longer than the others.
It eventually results in an imbalance in the distribution of time and the so-called to-do list becomes a tool of procrastination.
Yep, that’s true. You will do the easy stuff and will become stuck or distracted on completion of hard assignments.
3- Track your time and identify patterns
You must consider tracking your time even if no one asks you to. Notice your problem areas that serve you to be least productive.
Understanding the work habits and knowing the most probable time for the completion of successful daily tasks helps you understand your style of work.
The most significant are the tech habits i.e. checking your emails, surfing your favorite websites and time spent on social media. Extensive use of social media is certainly the biggest enemy in this context.
Tracking your time for a week or two will give you a better estimation for the average time required to complete your tasks. This time can be adaptively improved by distributing your time intelligently.
4- Complete your tasks in batches
One of the best insights from Tim Ferris’ The 4 Hour Work Week was to batch your activities into smaller chunks. A set of tasks in a certain batch have to be of the same nature or type. The actual logic behind this advice is to develop the rhythm while working on a certain project.
If you are continuously starting and then halting a certain job, you will be making yourself tired.
The question is how one can use this strategy in the day-to-day work routine?
Ferris recommends instead of doing all the data entry and reporting tasks throughout the week, you should set a block or time purely dedicated to this job. Knock it all in one go.
If you need to meet certain people in a day, set your meeting back to back in the afternoon. Similarly, you can answer your voicemails in a specific chunk of time in the entire day.
This way, the stress level is decreased and the productivity is augmented to a substantial levels.
5- Avoid Multitasking
Even if you could do several things at a time without affecting your productivity, you are just admiring your robust ability to switch from one task to another and remembering the context of previous jobs.
In other words, it is impossible for a human mind to do multiple tasks simultaneously until and unless you are trained yourself for years for a similar practice like a juggler.
The modern workplace environment would never support you in your quest to be more focused while working on different ideas and strategies at the same time.
“That switching comes with a biological cost that ends up making us feel tired much more quickly than if we sustain attention on one thing.”—Professor Daniel Levitin at McGill
This is one of such situations where even caffeine won’t help. A straight and simple hack is to get help from any productivity planner tool.
6- Creating a Productive Dashboard
It is an idea integrated into almost every project planner tool. It is a measurable task list that puts a big impact on your business. It lists down the most important tasks to be finished first along with the number of times a certain task is needed to be done every week.
The purpose of a dashboard is to record the inputs and not just the outputs from the system. If you are a marketer, this tool can turn out to be extremely handy.
For example, if you need to make a tweet or write down some posts at social media then you can list those tasks for the entire week and make sure that the practice is repeated every week.
Not all dashboards are the same. Some more creative than others and delivery of the information. Your workflow must be crystal clear.
7- Delegate your tasks and follow up
There is a substantial difference between assigning tasks and projects to your team and getting that work finished on time. The next milestone is to pass it on for approval to your seniors which is another pie to tackle.
Following up your team is vital to be more efficient in project completion. One must use some collaboration tools and software for project management. Using project management tools is imperative to keep your fellow co-workers to let down.
Your individual role works as a linchpin in the entire process where tracking, following, and updating must be a recurring part of the process.
8- Using Work Plan Template
How would you assemble Ikea Furniture without its instruction manual? It is a tough job indeed.
The work plan templates work the same way. An ideal work plan template answers the purpose of a project, mentions its main deliverables, includes deadlines, tracks the roles of team, and calculates the required time for completion of project.
The major purpose of a project plan template is to provide a project plan outline. A general sketch of such template may include:
- The approval process of client
- The deliverables and the tasks to create those
- Timeframe linked to the deliverables
- The sourcing ideas for the deliverables
- The list of the assumptions made for planning
- Elements affecting project budget and its deadline
A project plan should be flexible enough to entertain the intervention of unwanted events that might affect the road map to completion of the project.
9- Using a Project Management App
Using different apps for making a to-do list, delegation of tasks, time-tracking and prioritizing could be quite hectic, annoying, and laborious.
What if I tell you that there could be an application on planet that could bring all those tools to one single screen. BubblePlanner possesses helps you developing that knack to organize, plan, and collaborate through one account.
If you are busy freelancer getting work from different platforms, handling masses of tasks for clients could be a mess. This is where BubblePlanner jumps in to help you meet your commitments.
BubblePlanner is your digital companion where tasks are shown as color-coded bubbles having different sizes depending on the level of their complexity. The colors of the bubbles put those in a certain category of tasks. Through the bird’s-eye view of your day, week, or a month, you could drag and drop these bubble (tasks) to different time frames.
This productivity planner is different from several other tools in terms of clarity, organization, and usability. The mobility of the tool makes it stand out where powerful sharing of the project board is just one click away.
Not every day will be equally productive in terms of your results, but an adaptive approach could make you closer to an optimum point of operation where your energies are utilized to their maxima. One you find that sweet mode of operation, you will be amazed.
10- Use Visual Planning Tools
Visual planning tools serve to bring productivity by streamlining the operations. It is a simple yet one of the most powerful resources for management and scheduling of tasks.
Masses of organizations now use such visual planners to share their schedules with co-workers and strive together efficiently for completion of projects.
An attractive visual planner contains the feature of color coding that helps differentiating between high priority and low priority tasks. This is what Stephen R. Covey calls, “putting first things first”. The calendar view of the visual planners helps to identify the days that were overburdened with tasks. A good design and usability ads exuberance to its effectiveness as it makes easy to integrate different new attribute to the process.
BubblesPlanner is a visual project manager. Just like any traditional software it has a task list with all required features. You can create task, add notes, subtasks, attachments, and more…
However, in addition to all of that, it also lets you view and manage tasks as objects. Each task is a color-coded bubble and it has its own position.
Use weekly or daily workspaces to align bubbles (tasks) into specific patterns to communicate its status or progress. Group them visually or create easy to follow strategy patterns.
Get the power of visualization and creativity to work for you.
Clarity is what counts the most when it comes to ability to get things done.
 Ferris, Timothy. “The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.” (2007).
 Rosen, Christine. “The myth of multitasking.” The New Atlantis 20 (2008): 105-110.
 Nield, David. “Multitasking Drains Your Mental Energy Reserves, Neuroscientists Reveal.” ScienceAlert. Last modified 2016. https://www.sciencealert.com/how-multitasking-drains-your-energy-reserves-and-what-you-can-do-about-it.
 Covey, Stephen R. The 7 habits of highly effective people: Powerful lessons in personal change. Simon and Schuster, 2004.