The fact that I have a little problem with procrastination becomes painfully obvious when I scroll through my Google search history. I will spare you the full list, but it includes, "procrastination good for you?" (Maybe. But that's not the point!)
Today is Jan. 5, which means we are two or three days away from abandoning our New Year's resolutions. And yet! I would like to get just a shade better at reducing the amount of time I spend taking care of phone calls and errands that can wait, and generally putting off tasks I've identified as top priorities for growing my business.
Can technology help me? Here are 4 apps I'm trying in 2016. I've tried a couple of these before, but in order to hold myself accountable to giving each of these methods a fair shake, this time I have a plan.
- I’ll measure my productivity on a day without using one of these apps, and then again on a day when I have used one.
- I’ll report the data here on the site once a quarter, so we can determine which of these apps have helped me the most.
1. Time Management: Pomodoro
Like many of my favorite time-saving tips and tricks, I heard about this one from a work-at-home parent. What I like about the Pomodoro Technique is it allows you to build breaks in between short, intense periods of focus. This is built-in procrastination time, which theoretically alows for uninterrupted focus during non-break time. The timer reminds you to return to task.
I love Trello for its flexibility as a to-do list. And I like that I can build in accountability. When you're working for yourself, you spend a lot of time accountable only to the voices in your own head. Trello allows you to externalize those random snippets and transform them into discrete, tangible objects. You can set up lanes like "To Do," "Doing," and "Done," and move these cards across the lanes, giving you a sense of accomplishment.
GoalsOnTrack is the one I haven't yet used. But I decided to add it to the list after reading on its website: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your long, complex, overwhelming goals into small, manageable chunks."
Sounds like the antidote to one of my recurring reasons for procrastinating—not knowing where to start.
Have you tried any of these apps, or about another way to beat procrastination? Leave it in the comments.