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5 Secret Uses of the Trello App to Overcome Procrastination and to Boost Productivity

5 Secret Uses of the Trello App to Overcome Procrastination and to Boost Productivity

The Trello app is a simple, yet brilliant productivity tool.  Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, however — Trello is not just a basic to-do list app. Using Trello will help you feel calmer and more productive.  Being organized and in control of your time, plans, and activities will unleash a tremendous amount of energy in you.

The Trello design is a straightforward series of “lists” arranged from left to right on a plain background “board.” Each “list” represents a category of tasks. Within each “list” are “cards” which are to-do type items within that category of tasks. “Cards” can be shifted to other “lists” through a drag-and-drop motion.

Trello can serve as:

  • a way to plan a project
  • a way to keep track of who is doing what in a group
  • a way to see all of the working parts of a project together on one page (or multiple pages)
  • a historical record of the action steps you have taken through a particular project

For people who tend to avoid their work, Trello provides a clear, easy-to-access space for depositing relevant information for getting things done. Once you become familiar with using Trello, both to enter your to-do list items and to remind yourself of them, you’ll have a smoothly functioning system of recording your activities and plans. When you complete any items you have on your Trello lists, you have the option of archiving or deleting the notes you have on those items.

You will get a healthy rush of good feelings when you archive or delete the items. As you continue to rely on Trello over time, your confidence in your ability to get things done will grow.

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Trello also comes to the rescue for people who tend to be forgetful.  You can access your Trello boards from your smartphone, tablet, or computer and enjoy the benefit of having all of your information synched across devices.  You can jot down any type of note to remember any sort of thing.  You can also add attachments, e.g. photos or clippings from the web, to your cards.  You can keep a list for “to be filed later,” for names and information you’d like to remember about people you just met, or ideas for characters for your upcoming novel.  Having the ability to capture your thoughts as soon as they occur to you through Trello will help you to be more consistent in your work and life.

Trello also functions as a planning and action guide for people who have difficulty knowing how to get things done, since individual cards are moveable both within lists and to different lists, Trello users have a reliable method for figuring out what is of highest priority and in what order items should be addressed.

Taking the planning process out of the brain and on to a visual-based tool will help you to stay lucid in your thinking and judgment.  Get in the habit of entering to-do list items with action words in front, e.g. buy broccoli, and you’ll soon become a master at completing those actionable items.

Here is a list of 5 ways to use the Trello app to your best advantage:

1. Use Trello on your desktop monitor.

When you set Trello up to display on your desktop monitor, you will have the sense of having “everthing at your fingertips.”  Trello will serve as your own personal Command Central.  Admit it — you’ve always wanted to have a Command Central. Start and end your day with a quick review of your Trello lists and keep yourself functioning at your best.

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You’ll be able to make decisions about what needs to get done and how much more quickly with Trello.  You’ll know what is “in play,” or what tasks you have started, but need to wait for someone else to complete. You’ll have a neat, accurate record of your progress — beginning, middle, and end — on all of your projects as Trello date and time stamps your entries.

2. Design your boards and lists to fit your needs perfectly.

Your connection with Trello will deepen when you figure out the most useful array of lists for your needs. This will be somewhat of a trial-and-error process, but an easy one. Make a list to handle each area and type of “worry” you have in your life. Once your lists are set up, your worry will seem to lessen. Trello will serve as a reliable reminder of what you need to get done.

Suggestions for lists to keep include:

  • TODAY – which should be self-explanatory
  • $$$$$$ – since there always seems to be some task that involves giving or receiving money that needs to be tracked carefully
  • WAITING FOR – because you’ll need a reminder of those actions you started but are waiting for someone else to complete

Here’s a screenshot of what a Trello layout might look like: 

Trello picture

    The possibilities for Trello arrangements are endless.  Have Trello boards with information on books you’d want to read, movies you’d want to see, and apps you’d want to try. These are items you won’t need to review every day but might like to have readily accessible. Other suggestions for ways to use your Trello boards and lists include arranging a wedding or graduation party, keeping track of expenses, finalizing packing lists for a business or vacation trip, and remembering details about your medical treatment.

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    3. Construct and design your lists to guide you to tackle your priority items.

    Once you’ve decided which cards should go in which lists, do another round of sorting and determine which cards should go to the top of each list. In other words, top priority tasks should go to the top of each list. You can also highlight any task by using the “labels” function. You can choose which colored label you’d like to tag a card with and assign your own label to it, e.g. “urgent,” “Julie,” or “important.”  Each card can have multiple labels.

    Here’s a screenshot of how you might organize your own set of labels:

    Trello labels

      When you organize your Trello boards with an eye towards priority and purpose, you’ll have a much easier time initiating your tasks, maintaining your momentum, and bringing them to completion.

      4. Consider ways to “share” your Trello lists.

      Trello lists can be “shared” so you can invite one or more people to see a particular list and to edit its contents. You can use this function when working with an assistant or collaborator on a multi-pronged project. Other suggestions for ways to “share” a Trello list include:

      • maintaining a grocery list with your spouse, partner, or roommate
      • keeping a list of chores, homework, and scheduling issues for your child or teenager – Trello removes the need for in-person nagging
      • enabling smooth communication among members of a team, troop, or organization or between an employer and employee

      By sharing lists, you’ll be able to delegate tasks and to keep track of the entire back-and-forth interaction.  You’ll save yourself time and aggravation in the process.

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      5. Use Trello as your memory bank.

      Using the Trello app will help you if you have ADD or ADHD, if you are disorganized, if you are forgetful, or if you feel overwhelmed.

      Get in the habit of turning to Trello to capture loose details which you might forget if you relied just on your memory. Log in due dates, ideas for blogposts, upcoming birthdays – anything that requires action on a later date. Having all of your to-do items and plans in one place will be a great source of sanity and relief.

      Trello provides a way to have a view of your own life — past, present, or future. Once you determine how to tailor Trello to your needs and lifestyle, you will be more efficient in your planning and more accountable in your actions. And then the sky is the limit.

      To get the Trello app, follow this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trello/id461504587?mt=8&at=1000lwqv

      For more inspiration for how to use Trello in your own life, follow these links: https://trello.com/tour http://zenhabits.net/putaway/ http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-trello-to-organize-your-entire-life-1683821040 https://trello.com/b/fDsPBXFt/board-of-templates

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      Last Updated on July 16, 2019

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

      Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

      Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

      What to have for dinner tonight?

      Which route to take to work?

      How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

      How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

      Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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      No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

      Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

      Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

      Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

      Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

      How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

      Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

      You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

      When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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      1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

      Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

      I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

      2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

      5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

      By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

      For example:

      If the problem is “always late to work”…

      • Why am I late to work?
        I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
      • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
        I feel so tired in the morning.
      • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
        I slept late the night before, that’s why.
      • Why did I sleep late?
        I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
      • Why did I drink coffee?
        Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

      So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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      3. Simplify Things

      As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

      Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

      4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

      Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

      Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

      Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

      5. Think Laterally

      Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

      ‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

      Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

      Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

      6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

      Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

      Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

      The Bottom Line

      There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

      Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

      Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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      So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

      More About Problem Solving

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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