Whether you are working from home, self-isolating, or your business has pivoted overnight, here are some productivity tips to help you stay productive. 

It is uncharted territory with new and maybe challenging ways of working, and perhaps a considerable amount of stress and uncertainty. 

As you adapt and settle into remote working, there are plenty of productivity tips and tools on offer to assist you to structure your day.

I have always been a planner and a detail person, and years ago I worked remotely before virtual teams were even a thing! In 2008 I was part of a national project team, with one team member in each state. The technology was not what it is now, but we still had to come up with efficient and creative ways to stay connected and get our work done across the distance. 

With the disruption to routines, we have to create a ‘new normal’. 

We have a normal. As you move outside of your comfort one, what was once unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.

– Robin Sharma

3 ways of working to boost productivity.

Project Tracking Tools

There are many different programs and apps to help compartmentalise time and communicate across teams. I have tried a few but always come back to KanbanFlow.

KanbanFlow is a Lean project management tool allowing real-time collaboration between team members. The tool also supports the Pomodoro technique for time tracking. 

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. KanbanFlow incorporates the Pomodoro technique that you can toggle on or off.

The downside to KanbanFlow is that the free version does not allow you to share boards or integrate with uploading docs from other places such as Google Drive. The paid version is a reasonable monthly cost. 

Staying in Touch 

The simple Customer Relationship Management tool that I use is Capsule.

Capsule is a cloud-based CRM application that enables me to keep track of the people in my network. It has a lot more bells and whistles than I use, but it does just what I need to keep all communication about the contact in one place. 

I have avoided sending out blanket emails with updates on how I am doing amidst the current crises. I believe now is not the time to contact those who you have not communicated with for years. Relationships take time to build, adding to the noise of content can easily cause people to switch off.  

Inbox Management

I adopted the inbox zero approach several years ago after reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD).

The concept of inbox zero was coined by Merlin Mann, who wrote 43 Folders a blog about finding time to be creative.

The term inbox zero does not mean you have to keep your inbox empty at all times; it simply means spending less and more productive time in your inbox so that you can clear your brain for other tasks.

To achieve an inbox zero way of working, the three main things that Mann suggests are:

  • Use the 4 D’s model of delete it, delegate it, do it, or defer it when you are processing email.
  • Keeping your email program closed for most of the day and turning off those pesky notifications.
  • Respond right away to messages that can be answered in two minutes or less (this principle is from the GTD methodology). 

What tips, tools or technology tools do you use to help with productivity?

About the author

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers.

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you 

My services include: 

Virtual – Live Online Training – Public Speaking and Presentation Skills, Business Storytelling and executive Speaker Coaching is available online.

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories. 

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference live of virtual event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.

Lisa Evans, MBA is the CEO of Speaking Savvy. She is one of less than 150 Certified Speaking Professionals in Australia. She is a Certified Public Speaking and Storytelling Coach, Certified Virtual Presenter, Accredited Business Coach (ICF), Author, TEDx Speaker Coach, NLP Coach, Graphic Recorder, Host and Curator of Stories From The Heart, and Improvisation Actor and Marketing Director at Perth Playback Theatre.