Productivity, or the lack thereof, is a tricky subject to tackle. Here is how I’m able to get things done using some pretty remarkable technology.
Technology is can be overwhelming, but only if you let it overwhelm you. I work in a very high tech profession: The computer industry. I develop software, solutions, and ultimately solve problems. My number one productivity tool in such a high tech world is compiled of—are you ready?—a pen and paper. But wait, it’s not just any pen pen and boring paper! I’m a huge fan of the smaller sized legal pads and a red sharpie pen. Here’s why this is the best tool I have:
- Yellow paper is bright and in your face. It doesn’t get lost among all the other stuff on my desk.
- Red ink is important and bold.
- Sharpie pens are permanent and hold up against spilled drinks.
- Full sized legal pads are too big!
- There are no restrictions or limitations to pen and paper. There isn’t another tool that is not only super cheap, but able to do whatever you want with it. I can sketch, draw arrows, scribble and write lists. The best part of it all? When I’m done, I can crumple it up and throw it across the room.
You can crumble it, toss it, scribble on it, and fold it. You can scratch things out, start over, and remix. It’s as fancy as you make it because in the end, content is king.
This is the best app ‘for that.’
Each idea gets it’s own piece of paper. When I’m done with that idea (either implemented, moved it to the next step, or kill it) I can crumple up the paper and chuck it. It’s a great feeling.
I’m always coming up with new ideas and thoughts that would distract me from the task at hand. Writing them down and pushing them to the side of my desk in an array (not a pile) allows me to look at them when I’m done the current task and move to another. (Piles are for ideas that are dependent on one another.)
The amount of paper correlates to how busy I will be. As I finish tasks or complete ideas I can crumble the paper, throw it away, and my desk becomes cleaner. The goal at the end of the day is to have nothing on my desk at all. Only 3 more pages to go!