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

Virtual training and online coaching are part of my service offerings, but now I am offering virtual presenting and training exclusively. A large part of my work has been, up until now, in-person keynote speaking and training to live audiences. As events are postponed and cancelled, I have some extra time on my hands. 

It is easier to slip into distractions and time wasters such as Netflix and Social Media. Now is an important time to ensure that you are able to stay on track despite those distractions. 

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?

How I can help you

Virtual Masterclass – This live masterclass Communicating with Influence or Business Storytelling for Leaders can be delivered as a 30 minute session x 3 or a 90 minute session. 

Virtual/Online Training – A live class (not pre-recorded) This session is 4 hours duration, with 90 minutes of interactive content, a 30-minute break, followed by another 90 minutes. This session is ideal for small to medium teams. Topics include Communication for emerging Leaders, Communicate with Influence, Public Speaking for Business Success, Presenting Online for Leaders Managing Virtual Teams

Virtual/Online Coaching – Public Speaking and Storytelling Coaching via Zoom at concession rates during this challenging time.

Virtual Presentation – Now is the time that event planners can access speakers to present virtually from anywhere in the world.