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Tips for Productivity Management

By Sarah Draper, Creative Strategist

· Our Skills,The Balance

Sometimes, I feel like a sticky-note queen, but it can quickly get out of hand. Have you ever tried focusing on a screen while that same screen has practically a lion's mane of red and yellow paper and notes? I told myself, never again.

Some weeks are just going to be a mess, and that's ok. What's not ok is letting it stay that way while you're at home on Saturday, letting your heart drop when you walk in on Monday and find it still there. Use these small steps to become more productive for yourself and your team.

Lose the sticky notes.

Make like KonMari, thank the note for its efforts, make a digital version, and recycle it. It did its job of reminding you... over and over... but it's better to be able to find it when it's needed instead of having it scream at you until it's tended to.

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Find a digital platform for organization.

Where do you translate all those notes into a digital format? Here's the disappointing part of the how-to: you have to find that for yourself.

We like to keep one large formatted book of all our company how-to's, platform account information, branding guidelines for clients, and everything our team members need to know in a cloud-based system that we keep updated. We even print a clean new version for interns each semester for training. For anything like this, we suggest you compile into one sharable document for reference instead of 50 misplaced stickies.

What about tasks? Well that's a whole other beast. This, you'll want something much more flexible and interactive. We've used a variety of platforms in the past, and they all have great features but no platform is perfect [unless you build it yourself! Shoutout to technology development!]. For smaller teams without a tech department, just pick one that fits your budget and roll with it. Make sure all team members are on the same page about how your projects will be organized, and update it as needed.

Delay on a task? Upcoming deadlines? New step to add? Put it all in there instead of leaving yourself a sticky. We especially love that our platform notifies project followers on comments and deadlines via email, so nothing is missed if the information is on the platform.

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Work on one project at a time.

As women, we are naturally great at multi-tasking [and will not admit otherwise]. However, when you need a real productivity boost, make the conscious decision to work on just one project or client during a day or 4-5 hour period. This helps you focus your attention and brainstorming creative solutions and outlets becomes a cinch.

This isn't to say that you have to turn off your email and block the outside world. Sometimes an urgent matter needs to be tended to. BUT - when you see an email with a 3-minute task pop up, remind yourself it can be done in 3-minutes later.

Even though an entire day of 3-minute tasks feels like productivity to the max, living in the fast lane, you'll still have those untouched projects waiting in limbo and building up.

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Use your teammates for their skills.

Great productivity utilizes every resource available, and this includes human infrastructure. Unless you freelance, you've got a team for a reason!

You probably don't need to know all their hopes and dreams, but knowing their professional background and the skills in their arsenal allows you to easily delegate tasks when you need to branch out on projects. It will free up time for your other tasks and even better, they may be able to throw in additional advice you hadn't thought of before. Our team does this quite often when brainstorming shifts in campaigns.

Break your week down into goals.

Here are some to get you started:

  • Finish xx overdue project on Tuesday.
  • Zero sticky notes by Wednesday!
  • Catch up on XX client by Thursday.
  • Update digital task assignments at 4:30 each day.
  • Clear out the sticky notes I made again in bad habit on Friday. 
  • Shed a tear for the beauty that is the naked top of your desk. 
  • Make new goals for Monday by Friday.

What are your productivity tips?

Comment your goals below!

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