5 tools to increase your productivity
by Tatiana Styliari
Have you ever been in this state where you got 1 million things to do and get overwhelmed and eventually do nothing? Well, that was me some years ago. Until one day, during my PhD years, I randomly got acquainted with the magic world of… planning! My life has radically changed ever since I started using the following tools.
Author’s suggestion: You could listen to this playlist to accompany your reading and a productive day full of planning!
I will start with the most important one, my physical planner (although it now exists in a digital version too). Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned planner? Although that’s fun and new (but you can still enjoy the smell of paper if you are one of those)! Every Sunday, I use my “sacred me time” to plan next week. I log in all known meetings I have, my high-level personal and work to do lists, my weekly focus and use the 2 week pages available to unleash my creativity with little drawings, stickers and washi tapes. During the week, I update it daily and add new tasks and meetings. I love the monthly reflection feature to make sure I contemplate on how I found each month and what effect it had on me. I finally use the empty pages on the back to track my eating, exercise, movies and TV series watching, finance, reading and some journaling.
This is a daily version of my weekly planner. Back in the day, I used it to write down all tasks and thoughts (even doodles) of my PhD life. When I transitioned to the industry, it became my best companion for detailed tasks, keeping me accountable for timeframes with the addition of a bit of daily reflection. It helps me to brain dump and prioritise; not to mention I can use it as I want according to my needs per project.
A personal and professional online favorite. From planning a trip or a house move to managing an agile project with Kanban for big teams, I love how simple this tool is. In Greek Women in STEM, we also use it as our planning and project management tool to track our tasks and progress while I have also used it in mentoring sessions in the past to keep record of various tasks.
I would simply call MIRO one stop-shop tool. Essentially, it’s a digital whiteboard. However, the options it gives you are endless: setting goals, tracking progress, mind mapping, collecting and analysing data, even using the existing templates to play board games! I use it everyday for work and personal purposes and I am always fascinated by its many functions. Here you can find different templates depending on your needs.
My planner’s digital counterpart, which I only recently started using. Here, I accumulate my wish lists such as movies to watch, and my wider life to-do list, as in my life aspirations. I am also planning to use it as my portfolio – a place to unpack my CV and the various projects I have been involved in through the years.
Disclaimer: Please note this post is not sponsored, the tools mentioned are personal favourites of the author.
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