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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 September 17, 2018

      How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

      How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

      Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

      Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

      All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

      Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

      How bad really is multitasking?

      It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

      Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

      This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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      We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

      So what to do about it?

      Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

      Now, forget about how to multitask!

      Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

      1. Get enough rest

      When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

      This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

      When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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      2. Plan your day

      When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

      When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

      Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

      3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

      I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

      I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

      Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

      4. When at your desk, do work

      We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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      Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

      5. Learn to say no

      Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

      Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

      By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

      6. Turn off notifications on your computer

      For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

      Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

      7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

      Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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      You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

      The bottom line

      Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

      Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

      Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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