In a technology-driven world where life happens fast, it’s easy for fine, yet important details to get lost in the shuffle.
Let’s face it, we’re an on-the-go society and are constantly juggling one mental note after the other.
In recent years, I’ve utilized two specific tools to get and stay organized. You probably have one of these already. In fact, if you’re reading this article on your phone, I’m certain you have it.
These two tools have helped me stay organized and in return have increased my focus and productivity levels significantly.
Two Important Organizational Tools To Increase Productivity
We’ll start with the one you probably have, which is a cell phone … well, sort of. It’s an app that you probably already have installed on your phone: the notes app.
Goal Hacking Tool #1 – Notes App
Today, every smartphone comes equipped with a notes app! For Apple users, it’s the Notes app. For Android users, I think Google Keep is the default note-taking app.
Both of these have the ability to run offline which makes jotting down notes relatively friction-free.
In less than a minute, you can take a mental note out of your head and save it for later.
Doing this allows you to free up much-needed headspace or “bandwidth” for you to carry on and about your day while staying sharp on immediate matters at hand.
Staying Organized With Lists
I found the best way to get and stay organized is to break lists up into categories. So, instead of having one giant To-Do List for all the thoughts in your head, break them up.
Here are some common list examples … in list form!
- Grocery List
- House Work List
- Ideas List
Let’s talk about how this maximizes productivity. We’ll use a Grocery List for example.
If there was no list to go off of, it’d be a battle to remember what you needed when you thought of it at 10 AM or 3 PM or right when you pulled up to the grocery store parking lot. If you made a list for it on your phone and saved what you needed throughout the day, you’d probably have a relatively quick grocery run.
Making a list for grocery store trips has eliminated the classic situation where you go to the grocery store needing something only to come back home, groceries in hand, but you forget to buy what you went there for in the first place.
The reason this particular situation bugs me so much that I’m writing about it is that I put an extreme value on my time.
If I forgot something that just means another trip to the grocery store. That’s time spent driving in traffic, navigating through the store and its shoppers, and waiting in line and waiting for John to ring up Mrs. Jones.
There are so many other activities I’d rather be doing!
Goal Hacking Tool #2 – Dry-erase Board(s)
This is my favorite way to organize and increase productivity because it’s not on a screen. You see, I work with computer screens all day and do the occasional social media browsing. So, anything not involving screen usage is welcome.
Dry-erase boards are great for flexible, on-the-fly notes (lists included)!
Example Ideas for Note-taking on a Dry-Erase Board
- Keeping track of how many months left in my apartment lease
- How many months until I hit my money goals
- Inspirational quotes
- Dentist/doctors appointments
- Misc errands for the day/week/month
I write anything down that I think is important and want to be organized about.
At the time of writing, I have two of them hanging in my apartment right now. I love having them physically in front of my face every day to keep me in check.
Of the two I have my favorite one is the VIZ-PRO Magnetic Dry Erase Board. It’s a great size, 36 x 24 inches and is the sturdiest dry erase board I’ve had to date.
Every day I stare my goals in the face and work my butt off to accomplish them. And it feels great to erase each task because it frees me up to get more things done.
When you take the time to organize, you invariably increase productivity levels.
For some, this can be a daunting task. However, it’s an important and necessary step to getting your life in order. Over time, this routine will become easier and easier, I promise.
With a little creativity, patience, and resourcefulness you’ll be on your way to productivity levels over 9000!