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5 Ways You Can Use Pinterest to Be More Productive

5 Ways You Can Use Pinterest to Be More Productive

You probably think of Pinterest as one of the web’s most beautiful ways to waste time — one minute you’re finding a recipe, three hours later you still haven’t eaten. It’s definitely easy to scroll your way down a rabbit hole of pictures, quotes, and more. But the reason Pinterest is so easy to get sucked into — its easy-to-use, image-heavy, scroll-friendly interface — can also be used to make you more efficient.

How to get started: If you don’t already have it, add the “Pin It” button to your browser. It’s a free extension, and there are versions for Chrome, IE, Safari, and Firefox. One of the keys to putting Pinterest to work for you is pinning straight from the web, not just repinning what other users have pinned. For most of these tips to really work for you, you want to be sure that you’ve got correct links.

Here are five ways you can use Pinterest to actually be more productive.

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1. Plan your next vacation.

pinterest-trip-planner

    Headed on a trip this summer? Planning to have your smartphone or tablet along for the ride? Create a board just for planning your vacation. Research places to go, the best local eats, and what you want to see. Each time you pin something, put in a description that will help you remember what you liked about it (e.g., “good non-beach day hike”) and any vital info like the address or phone number. Before you know it, you’ve got your own personal travel guide. The images make it easy to remember what the place was or what you liked about it, and all the key info’s right there. Want to make it an even stronger resource? Make it a private board, and add details like your flight, hotel, or rental car confirmation info — you’ll have all your vital vacay info right at your fingertips.

    2. Be your own personal trainer.

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    pinterest-fitness

      Fitness boards are pretty common on Pinterest, but usually they’re mainly “fitspo” quotes and lists of activities. Motivating, maybe. Actually useful, not so much. Use Pinterest to get your body moving by creating a board (or boards) that’s an actual workout. Pin images or gifs that demonstrate specific exercises — the sites for magazines like Women’s Health and Men’s Health are great for these — and add how many reps or sets you want to do in the description. At home, your computer or tablet can be your visual workout guide, or tote your smartphone to the gym so you can see your moves.

      3. Have backup for your insurance.

      pinterest-insurance

        When calamity strikes — whether it’s a natural disaster or a break-in — people tend to tell you, “At least you have insurance.” And yes, having homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is vital. But actually getting the value of what you’ve lost isn’t easy, and companies often require you to show exactly what you had (even if you lost everything, you then have to spell out what “everything” is, down to the number of spoons and forks you owned). Create a private Pinterest board that itemizes your belongings — it’s sort of like shopping, but for stuff you already own. It’s also helpful because since your board will be on the web — not an Excel sheet in your computer, for example — no matter what happens to your home or your possessions, it will be accessible. For big-ticket items like electronics, it’s also worth putting the serial number in the description. Yes, this one will take a while, but in the event that you need it (and we hope you don’t!), you’ll be so glad you have it.

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        4. Be the best gift-giver ever.

        pinterest-gifting

          Pretty much everyone on Pinterest has a board for stuff they want. Instead, create a board that’s all about giving. (This one’s definitely got to be a private board if you want your friends and family to be surprised!) Whenever someone you shop for mentions something that they like or have always wanted, look it up and pin it. When their birthday or a holiday rolls around, your shopping is a cinch — and everyone’s amazed at how thoughtful you are. Want to be even more of a pro? Set your preferences so that Pinterest automatically emails you when the price on one of your pins drops. You can be a super gifter and save some cash.

          5. Make your own cookbook.

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          pinterest-meal-planner

            Pinterest can feel like a constant stream of food porn. Instead of just browsing (and drooling), hit up some recipe sites and get pinning. Pinning a recipe photo from a site that has enabled “rich pins” doesn’t just give you a delectable photo — when you click on your pin, it will actually give you the recipe right there. Not all sites have this enabled, so you’ll have to pin and then check on Pinterest; but when you’ve found a good site, go click-crazy! Not sure what you need from the store? Whip out your smartphone and tap a recipe on your cookbook board: You’ll see all the ingredients, broken out by category (meats, produce, dairy, and so on). At home, open up your laptop or prop up your tablet, and you’re cooking! With rich pins, you don’t even need to click through to the site — everything you need to make a delish meal is right there.

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            Last Updated on November 3, 2020

            How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

            How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

            It takes being productive to get things done correctly and on time. So how do you know which tasks are essential and which can wait? The answer is in the Prioritization Matrix, also known as the Eisenhower Matrix.

            The matrix took its name after Dwight David Eisenhower.

            Eisenhower was a general in the US army and the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. As a five-star general and a Supreme Commander in the US Army, he drafted the strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe.[1]

            Eisenhower had to make tough decisions every time about which tasks to prioritize out of many he needed to focus on daily. So, he came up with the famous Eisenhower Matrix, or the Prioritization Matrix.

            What Is the Prioritization Matrix?

            The Prioritization Matrix is a tool for rating your tasks based on urgency. It helps you know the critical activities and those tasks that you should bypass and can be useful in project management, small businesses, or personal tasks.

            Eisenhower famously said of the matrix:

            “Most tasks that are urgent are not important, and most tasks that are important are not urgent.”

            This quote became the maxim for Eisenhower in managing his time.

            There are four quadrants in the Prioritization Matrix, which help in comparing choices of what to do first and last, allowing you to prioritize projects and create strategic plan[2].

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            Eisenhower Matrix Template

              The quadrants are:

              • Do
              • Schedule
              • Delegate
              • Eliminate

              Do

              Do is the first quadrant in the Prioritization Matrix, and it incorporates important activities. That is, those tasks you need to carry out urgently — crises, deadlines, and issues that need your urgent attention and are highly relevant to your life mission.

              Hw do you know which task falls into this quadrant?

              Start by analyzing your priorities, and then establish if it falls within the ‘do it now’ criteria. If the task is achievable within a day, or within 24 to 48 hours, it’s urgent.

              Another approach you can adopt in prioritizing tasks in this category is to adopt the “eat the frog” principle by Mark Twain. This principle recommends that you do the most urgent activities as soon as you wake up.

              Here’s a practical example.

              Let’s say you need to draft a content strategy and submit a report to your manager. It’s Saturday, and the deadline for submission is Monday. Can we say the activity is urgent? Definitely!

              Schedule

              The second quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Schedule. The Prioritization Matrix classifies tasks in this category as important but not that urgent.

              They are long-term objectives and tasks with no immediate deadline. Those tasks could include meditation, journaling, studying, family time, and exercising.

              You can plan out activities in this quadrant for some other period. For instance, you should exercise for good health, but you can allocate time to do it.

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              Schedule these activities in such a way that they don’t transfer to the “Do” or “Urgent” quadrant. Ensure you have sufficient time to carry them out.

              Delegate

              The third quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Delegate.

              These tasks are not important to you but are quite urgent for others. This is where teamwork comes into play.

              You can technically perform tasks in this category, but it makes sense to delegate them. Delegating tasks will ensure you have more time to pursue activities in your first two quadrants.

              You should also monitor the tasks you have delegated. It will only amount to a sheer waste of time if you don’t have a tracking system for delegated tasks.

              Eliminate

              The last quadrant highlights your productivity killers. They are tasks that are not important to your goals and not urgent. The only way to boost your productivity is to eliminate them.

              Some examples are constantly checking your phone, watching movies, or playing video games.

              They could also be bad habits that you need to identify and delete from your daily and weekly schedule.

              Successful people have learned how to prioritize and stick to what’s important. They have learned to find a better person for a task or eliminate less significant tasks.

              Let’s consider two inspiring personalities that have designed their prioritization system.

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              Warren Buffet developed a two-list prioritization model to determine which task deserves his best attention. The bottom line is bypassing things that are important and useful but not top of the priorities.

              Mark Ford, a business advisor, marketer, self-made millionaire, and author devised his strategy:

              “Start work on the most crucial priority, take a break, work on the second most important task, take a break, then sort out the less important activities and any tasks he received from other individuals by afternoon.” [3]

              How to Use The Prioritization Matrix

              Using the Prioritization Matrix can be tricky if you’re new at it, but by following a few simple steps, you can learn to utilize it in the best way possible.

              1. List and Rank Your Priorities

              Highlight all the tasks you need to carry out in a day. Then, classify them with weighted criteria based on urgency and importance.

              Identify any activity that requires prompt action. I’m referring to a task that if you don’t complete that day, it could produce a grave consequence. For instance, if you don’t submit your content strategy, other content writers cannot work. It means you need to check for high-priority dependencies.

              2. Define the Value

              The next step is to examine the importance and assess which of them impacts your business or organization the most. As a rule of thumb, you can check which tasks possess higher priority over others. For instance, you need to attend to client’s requirements before you take care of any internal work.

              You can also estimate value by examining how the task impacts the people and customers in the organization. In a nutshell, the more impact a task has on people or the organization, the higher the priority.

              3. Take out the Most Challenging Task

              Procrastination is not a symptom of laziness, but avoidance is. The truth is that you will typically avoid tasks you don’t want to do. The former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, once said he would take out the most dreaded task first thing when he got to the office.

              Brian Tracy called these tasks the frogs you need to eat. That will remove the nagging dread, which mounts pressure on you when you postpone necessary tasks[4]. This is where the Prioritization Matrix can help; eat the “Do” frogs immediately.

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              If you need help overcoming procrastination, check out this article.

              4. Know What’s Important to You

              As long as you are in this cosmos, you will always encounter different choices that may be contradictory to your goals. For instance, a fantastic promotion that requires excessive travel will isolate you from important relationships. If you are not priority-conscious, you may accept it, even though your family is your priority.

              Therefore, it makes sense to identify what is important to you and to prepare yourself not to compromise those important things for immediate pleasure or gain.

              Yogi Berra captioned it this way:

              “If you do not know your destination, you might end up somewhere else.”

              5. Establish Regular “No Work” Time

              YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki established a rule not to check her emails between 6 pm and 9 pm. According to a CNN Business report, she was the first woman to request maternity leave when Google just got started. She prioritizes dinner time with her family despite being the CEO of YouTube[5].

              Is it possible to cut out time for our relationships and interests outside of work?

              Of course, and that’s why you need to set out your “no work” time. This approach will enable you to renew your energy levels for the next task. Also, you will be in the best position to introspect as you are not in your usual work zone.

              6. Know When to Stop

              You can achieve everything on your list sometimes. After you have prioritized your workload and assessed your estimates, remove the remaining tasks from your priority list and focus on your most urgent and important tasks.

              Conclusion

              It’s not enough to be successful at work. Ensure you make out time for your family and an important relationship in your life.

              Getting started and finding time may be tricky, but with some practice using the Prioritization Matrix, you’ll find that you are more productive and better able to divide your time between the things that are important to you.

              More Tips on Prioritizing

              Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

              Reference

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