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3 Apps and Starbucks Coffee Shop Help Me Manage the Workload of My Job and Business

3 Apps and Starbucks Coffee Shop Help Me Manage the Workload of My Job and Business

In the 21st Century, the human race has travelled far from an ape to a primitive man to a well-civilized human being. The journey wasn’t easy but we, as humans, have achieved things which are simply majestic.

Today, with access to the latest technology and tools, our lifestyle is in the most comfortable zone it can be in but at the same time today, one of the biggest challenges our generation is facing is low productivity and managing the workload. Also many of us have multiple interests and to fulfill those interests there are multiple options and tools and it’s all just too overwhelming.

If you have multiple interests, businesses or if you are managing a job and a business at the same time and you are finding it difficult to manage your workload and schedules, then you are not alone. I too was sitting on the fence until I figured out the right technique.

In this post I’ll tell you exactly which three apps I use and how to manage the workload. I’ll also show you the exact technique I use to decide which tasks to put in the calendar and which ones to discard for now in order to get the most out of my available time and to increase productivity.

Three Apps and Starbucks Coffee Shop

The apps I use and hware required (you can use any app that does similar functions) in this technique are:

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  1. DO
  2. Calendars by Readdle
  3. Dropbox Technology

Sometimes I work from home but most of the time I work from Starbucks and there are a few reasons for using Starbucks but I’ll share two of the most important ones. Firstly, it is a great place for having a coffee and networking because there are many other fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers or like-minded people who come and work there. And the second – you can get free WiFi!

Let’s dive in to see why I only leverage these three apps and the detailed workings of this technique.

Growth Three Times Technique

Using this technique, I managed the workload of my business – GrowthRabbit – which helps entrepreneurs and bloggers grow their audiences, businesses and blogs and my involvement in a London based start-up, build a holiday where I oversee their business growth and user experience which helps them achieve their viral growth.

So, we have three apps, let’s start with the first one called Any.DO as well as step one of this technique. I call this technique “Growth Three Times” simply because I use three apps which help me increase my productivity and help me grow.

Step: 1

Any.DO is a to-do list app. This is a great app within this category and it has both free and paid versions but the free version is enough to get you started. I use this app because of its simplicity and easily creatable categories, plus it’s free.

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We are going to use this app as a task planner. We need to create four categories within the app. The names of the categories could be anything as far it is accomplishing our goal. Our goal at this stage is to write down all of the tasks we need to do and then segment them into three different categories.

anydo-task-planner
    1. Big Pot – Generic task pot. Dump all the tasks or work you have to do in here.
    2. Smooth Tasks – Pick and place the tasks from the ‘Big Pot list’ to ‘Smooth Tasks’ list that are urgent and mandatory to do.
    3. May Be Later – Pick and place the tasks from the ‘Big Pot’ list to ‘May Be Later’ list that are not urgent or mandatory. In short, tasks which don’t require your attention right now.
    4. Discard For Now – Pick and place the tasks from the ‘Big Pot list’ to ‘Discard list’ that are not important at all and can be done at any time or at your own leisure.

    Step: 2

    In step 2 we are going to use another app called Calendars by Readdle. This app is basically a calendar/scheduler and it can be easily integrated with other calendars if you wish to do so. There are both free and paid versions but the free version is enough. I use this app because it’s simple, user-friendly and it’s free.

    The first thing to do in this step is to schedule all of our tasks listed under the “Smooth Tasks” category on our app Any.DO into the Calendars by Readdle app based on the task deadlines, urgency and their importance.

    Next, pick tasks from the “May Be Later” category from Any.DO app and schedule all of these tasks into Calendars by Readdle based on their urgency and task deadlines.

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    calendar-schedular

      You see, using this technique of organizing and managing tasks is super easy without being overwhelmed and workload management becomes simple. This is why it’s very important to segment your tasks first and then schedule them into the calendar rather than scheduling the tasks directly.

      An important point to pay attention to: Organize your calendar on a monthly basis and optimize on a weekly basis. I organize my calendar on 29th of each month and then optimize every Thursday using the exact same technique. Thus, any new task that comes up first goes into the ‘Big Pot’ category and after the segmentation process, it goes onto my calendar.

      Step 3: Give A Boost To Your Productivity

      Lastly, I keep all of my files and folders in the cloud – Dropbox technology. I do this because not only it enables me to work remotely but allows me to access and share all of my files and folders from the Dropbox mobile app.

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        So, if anything urgent comes up that requires sharing files, I don’t have to remember to do that when I reach my PC or laptop, I can do that straight away. In fact, using the technology you can cut roots and complete the small tasks here and this can relieve you from stress and ultimately boost your productivity.

        Conclusion

        Productivity is all about your input to output. So whatever you are doing always make sure that you put less effort, which is possible using your creativity, techniques and tools, and get at least 3X the output. One thing is clear, with today’s access to technology we are able to leverage this technology smartly and creatively to manage workloads, schedules, multiple businesses and jobs altogether.

        Which other techniques have you used to manage your workload and schedules? Please let us know in the comments below:

        Featured photo credit: Tortoon Thodsapol via Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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        Chintan Maisuria

        Growth Marketing

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        Last Updated on March 21, 2019

        11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

        11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

        Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

        You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

        But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

        To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

        It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

        “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

        The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

        In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

        Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

        1. Start Small

        The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

        Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

        Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

        Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

        Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

        Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

        It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

        Do less today to do more in a year.

        2. Stay Small

        There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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        But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

        If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

        When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

        I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

        Why?

        Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

        The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

        Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

        3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

        No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

        There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

        What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

        Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

        This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

        This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

        4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

        When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

        There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

        Peter Drucker said,

        “What you track is what you do.”

        So track it to do it — it really helps.

        But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

        5. Measure Once, Do Twice

        Peter Drucker also said,

        “What you measure is what you improve.”

        So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

        For reading, it’s 20 pages.
        For writing, it’s 500 words.
        For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
        For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

        Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

        6. All Days Make a Difference

        Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

        Will two? They won’t.

        Will three? They won’t.

        Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

        What happened? Which one made you fit?

        The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

        No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

        7. They Are Never Fully Automated

        Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

        But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

        What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

        It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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        The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

        It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

        It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

        8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

        Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

        Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

        When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

        The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

        Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

        9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

        The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

        Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

        You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

        But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

        So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

        If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

        This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

        The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

        Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

        10. Punish Yourself

        Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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        I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

        It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

        You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

        No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

        The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

        But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

        11. Reward Yourself

        When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

        Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

        The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

        After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

        If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

        Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

        If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

        In the End, It Matters

        What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

        When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

        And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

        “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

        Keep going.

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        More Resources to Help You Build Habits

        Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
        [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
        [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
        [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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