3 Ways to boost your happiness and productivity during summertime

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According to a worldwide Gallup study, only 13% of people are happily engaged at work. That leaves a whopping 87% of workers who aren’t happy or emotionally committed to their jobs. Surely with the summer season right around the corner and with vacations, beach breaks and sunny BBQ’s on the horizon, our happy vibes should permeate in the workplace?

There’s almost universal belief that you don’t have to be happy at work to succeed or be productive. But research by positive psychologists like Shawn Achor is turning this theory upside down, with academic studies showing that a positive mindset results in 31% higher levels of productivity. Happy, engaged people are better workers. FACT. They process information more effectively, think more creatively and make more accurate decisions. So, the best way to unleash your potential and that of your team is to first maximize your own happiness and wellbeing.

Being happy at work shouldn’t be a rarity. There are many ways you can enhance your good-time feeling at work. Here are just a few tips to put a smile on your face this summer season.

1. Get to know one another
make friends
No matter how much we might like to work alone, we humans are social creatures at heart. Liking your co-workers and enjoying their company is the cornerstone to creating a fun, trusting and cooperative workplace. In a job satisfaction survey by the Conference Board research group, ‘people at work’ is cited as a key determinant of job satisfaction, with 60.6% of workers saying it makes them happier in their vocation. A good friendship network acts as a worker support system and promotes an open environment for resource and idea sharing.

Encourage friendship-building in your team through off-site play days or social lunches. Make the most of the warm weather and take a walk outside with your colleagues, and use this as a chance to bond with each other over an ice cold lemonade. (Trust me, you’ll feel refreshed when you return to the office.) Continue to build friendly connections with one another and use the Comments and Messaging feature in DropTask to stay in touch and share helpful information, all to make that working day that little bit less stressful.

2. Always look for the good
chase small wins
Research by Harvard professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer reveals that one of the best ways to boost positive vibes while on the job is to make progress on meaningful work. Having a gigantic work goal ahead of you can feel overwhelming. But there are lots of small steps you can take each day or week to move you forward and increase your enjoyment on the journey. But when the view outside of the office window is teasing you, cracking on with work can sometimes take a backseat to daydreaming about summer plans.

Thinking positively and maintaining motivation are some of the key factors in maintaining happiness at work. While motivation pushes you forward to succeed, a positive frame of mind will help you to overcome obstacles that may stumble upon your path. Fuel your drive to keep moving forward and take a glance at your Completed Tasks. You’ll want to avoid spending too much time looking back, but you can review a library of all of your accomplishments which may just provide you with a boost of encouragement to keep going. Combined with a rush of feel-good hormones, you’ll be determined to get back to the work at hand which was pushed aside after the sun made its long awaited appearance.

3. Brighten up your workspace
Brighten up your workspace
Look at how your workspace is organized. Is it attractive and vibrant? Is it cluttered? Is it dull and drab? You’ll be surprised by how much your physical surroundings can affect you on a mental and emotional level. Take the outside for instance, studies show that warm weather not only boosts our creativity but makes our brain more mentally fit. Bring in the joyous feelings from outside and do some rejuvenating to get rid of the junk on your desk and purify your office space. Ditch messy paper to-do lists and notebook planners and consolidate all of your tasks into DropTask. As new-agey as this all sounds, the process of de-cluttering signals respect for your work environment and brings in a fresh, positive energy.

Quick tip – Research shows that colors not only affect our mood, but also have a profound impact on our productivity. Decorate your workspace with DropTask’s unique color palette to stimulate your creativity. Next, encourage your team to customize their workspace by adding Cover Images to tasks. With a tweak here and a splash of color there, it can do your mood the world of good.

Maintain your productivity and happiness this summer with DropTask. Sign up for free today: www.droptask.com/signup

How do you stay happy at work? Share your tips in the comments below and help others find something to smile about.

Streamline your workflow and keep everything in one place

In the busyness of 21st century living, the amount of information that we absorb can often be overwhelming. We all have important documents that we can’t afford to lose, and with a safe place to keep that file and another folder to keep those important forms, even when we think we’re on top of our workload, things still get misplaced. When we’re trying our very best to stay afloat, we’re drowning in emails, messages from team members and updating client notes, all while jumping between different apps and devices, resulting in wasted time as well as frustration.

At DropTask, we’re on a mission to make it easy to stay on track. See just the few ways you can minimize the risk of losing important information below, and gain a central hub for ideas, notes and attachments while feeling at ease, knowing that everything you could ever need is in one place.





Connect seamlessly

We all have our go-to tools that we rely on to remind us of actions we need to take, and the truth is there are some tools we just can’t live without. But sometimes when we have so many applications that we have to update, it can become a chore in itself trying to locate specific information. Spare the worry of jumping between applications and instead, connect DropTask with the tools you use everyday. With a long list of Integrations on hand, you’ll be able to effortlessly intertwine DropTask with your favorite services. Now, you can sync your Google Calendar with DropTask to ensure you’re informed of all of life’s events, import notes from Evernote to turn them into actionable tasks and upload Google Drive files to your projects, giving you the flexibility to manage work and mark progress from wherever you are.





Manage without email

It’s hard to believe that at some point we went through our day-to-day lives without email. In 2014, over 100 billion emails were sent and received every day, so it’s no wonder that we spend most of our days chasing numerous email threads, resulting in low productivity and missed information. With a constant stream of instant notifications, many of us find it difficult to stay on top of our overflowing inbox. With these shocking statistics, business leaders, managers and team leaders are looking to limit the amount of time employees spend in their inboxes, with the aim of increasing employee productivity at work and to prevent wasted time.

I’m going to be bold – if your excuse is that the only way you can receive updates from team members and review the status of a project is via email, then you’re doing it all wrong. With DropTask, you’re be able to manage everything without the need for long and messy email threads. Simply Invite members into a project that you’d like to collaborate on and use your project as a workspace to hold, share and manage key information. If you need an update on the development of a task, step away from the inbox and use the ‘@’ symbol to mention the team member in a Message. Maintaining an effective flow of internal communication between team members will increase company coordination, as everyone will be informed of the common goal that they’re required to work towards, outside of their inbox.





Update from anywhere, at anytime

The way we use technology is dramatically changing while at home and at work. These days, you’ll find a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet at each one of our desks, and we often move between these devices in order to complete one activity after the next. However tech savvy this may seem, more often than not, each device holds different information and restricts us from creating a seamless workflow during our day. If your preferred way of working is using your phone on the commute, the interactive whiteboard for meetings, and the iPad for jotting down notes, then take advantage of DropTask’s portability to ensure you’re always prepared. Available on a wide range of devices with online and offline capabilities, you’ll be able to stay connected and up to date at all times.

Even if you alternate between a Mac in the morning and a Windows desktop in the afternoon, DropTask will provide you with a central hub to capture your notes and recall information at anytime, from any device, making the everyday ‘impossible‘ workload a total breeze.

Keep everything you need together in DropTask. Sign up for free today at www.droptask.com/signup.

Why important details never get missed for CRM team member, Katherine Flores

As a member of the Customer Relationship Management team for Telecommunications and Cyber Security company ‘VPNet Inc’, Katherine Flores was looking for a task management system that wasn’t ‘stiff’ or ‘boxy’, like others she’d tried. Going against workspace norms, Katherine moved away from the company’s traditional way of managing tasks, in the hopes of finding a tool that looked and worked in the way she wanted it to. Drawn to its visual nature, Katherine found DropTask’s intuitive way of managing tasks intriguing, and her and the rest of the team have been hooked ever since.



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‘While other applications I’ve worked with in the past give you never-ending lists, DropTask’s alternative way of displaying information provides me with an eye-catching view of all the work I need to complete. The app’s UI is a pretty big selling point and was something that I was drawn to right from the beginning, as DropTask allows me to break things down as far as I want to without losing the big picture overview. I can’t emphasize enough how simple the tool is to use. Whenever a new employee is added to the company, all I have to do is introduce them to the application and the rest is self-explanatory. You simply log in and can instantly begin updating your projects, it really is that straightforward.

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While working at ‘VPNet Inc.’, DropTask has kept me on top of all the roles I’ve ever had. One of the things I do on a daily basis are portabilities. This task requires transferring a client’s number from their current provider, to ours. This process has various steps that are always the same. To save time, I have created a Template Project called ‘Portabilities’ that includes various Categories (phases) the client will go through, and within these categories I have tasks that include all of the necessary steps to complete the port.

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If I’m at a step that requires an answer or document on behalf of the client, I set Reminders to follow-up if we haven’t received anything after a certain amount of days. With my self-proclaimed horrible memory, reminders are a necessity. If things seem to be at a stall, I can Invite Members to the project and Assign a sales representative to the task and have them follow-up with the client. In addition to this, if any forms are missing, I can Attach Files directly to the task for easy access for other members.

Our projects are completed in stages and this is done effortlessly with the use of DropTask, as we have everything we need in one place. Like most companies, various departments are involved in accomplishing an end goal. Being able to run all of these steps and procedures through DropTask is a huge advantage, specifically when it comes to communication. Without DropTask, one step can easily become a huge email thread that goes back and forth and by the end of it, no action has taken place. DropTask gives us a way to determine an owner for each action, a way to follow-up on this person and an easy way to view updates. Something that may have stalled for days – or even weeks, is now being completed in less than a week.

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DropTask has given me a much more visual platform with its simple and effective UI system, which I have failed to find in other competitor tools. Now, I can literally make my tasks disappear when they’re completed. There’s a much greater sense of accomplishment for me when I see my Completed Tasks just ‘poof’ away. I think a lot of people underestimate that effect. There’s so many more details and options for me to organize myself and prioritize my work. Details that may have been lost throughout are now visible and easily found within the Comments of a task. And as a team we’ve gained so much more valuable working time, as we’re no longer trying to contact employees to find out a piece of information, because now it’s simply found within the task. ‘

Already a DropTask user? Share your story with us at contact@droptask.com for your chance to be featured in a future post!

Planning your week like an Entrepreneur

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When an entrepreneur takes the jump from employee to leader, it can be a challenge to assess main priorities for the week. If you consider yourself as an ‘entrepreneur’, or someone who likes to leverage opportunities, then you’ve probably had to take a few risks in your time. But sometimes, these risks come with obstacles that result from poor planning and lack of structure to our business model, which can have a severe impact on success rates.

Limit the risk of business failure with DropTask for Business, by following our top tips below.

MondayGenerate ideas and get inspired

Get Inspired

At the heart of any successful business is a great idea. Use your fuel at the beginning of the week to think of new ways to improve your business model, or better yet, create a new one. Use the inspiration you gained from the weekend to try something new, and brainstorm all of the possible avenues that you could explore by using the iMindMap 10 to DropTask integration. Develop your idea by thinking of its potential flaws, target market, required budget and what’s needed to make it standout from the crowd. Then, when you’re ready to get to work, transport it into DropTask to turn your idea into a reality. Brainstorming first thing on a Monday morning can have its perks; not only gearing you up for a productive few days ahead, but allowing you to explore new ways to enhance your innovative idea.

Tuesday Delegate your time

Set Reminders

No matter who you are and what you do, countless emails will still find their way to your inbox. Whether it’s an invitation for a networking event or a request to follow-up, these emails need to be answered if you want to connect and spread the word about your newest venture. Instead of spending countless hours buried in your inbox, delegate your time by setting Reminders to tasks, and receive prompts for specific times of the day to address unanswered emails. By separating your day into segments, you’ll be surprised by how much work you’ll get done. If an email requires more than just a response, Email Tasks In to turn it into something that you can action. With the email now embedded within your DropTask project and surrounded by other tasks, you’ll have a visual reminder of something that you need to do.

WednesdayPlan accordingly

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As a leader of a business, an entrepreneur needs to be productive in order to set a precedent. To remain up to date with priorities and approaching deadlines, assign Start and Due Dates so you’re aware of what’s in the pipeline. The likelihood of a pitch being rearranged or a business meeting getting cancelled is inevitable. If this happens, simply rejig your schedule by dragging and dropping tasks or events into the newly scheduled date. With the built-in Calendar you have the flexibility to easily shift priorities so you can leverage every opportunity that comes your way.

ThursdayFocus

Importance flags

The danger of being an entrepreneur and living in a world where we have the ability to be on call 24/7 can defer us from getting valuable work done, meaning our important work remains untouched. Prioritize must-do tasks by assigning Importance Flags that will be instantly identifiable on your workspace. To avoid getting distracted by other intriguing work, focus your concentration by Collapsing Task Categories to hide work that doesn’t require your immediate attention. And if you do have a spare hour towards the end of the day to explore something new, expand your Collapsed Categories to reveal the tasks that you’ve been looking forward to getting stuck into – after all, you’ve worked hard all day.

FridayAssess your progress

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Whether you’re determining where you are now to where you thought you’d be, or, visualizing your goal for the next 5 years; assessing progress is essential to any entrepreneur’s development. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished by glancing at your Completed Tasks. This view will allow you to review trends and patterns to identify which months were more successful than others, and how much of it contributes to the particular activities you were carrying out. If tasks such as proposals or reports need a few adjustments before they’re ready to be pitched, simply transport them back into your project and make a Checklist to revisit specific areas that you need to develop in order to reach that desired end goal.

How do you use DropTask as a daily task manager? Let us know in the comments below!

How to become an invaluable asset to your company

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With the right mix of professionalism, attitude and teamwork you can become a model employee and your company’s most valuable asset. In a world where company goals and employee responsibilities are rapidly changing on a daily basis, there’s one thing that always remains the same; striving to become the standout individual in the business can do wonders for both personal and business progression. So, what exactly does a model employee look like? Whether it’s showing enthusiasm regardless of the task that’s placed in front of you, or demonstrating dedication by staying longer than your required working hours, these minor things mean a lot and can determine if we’re truly irreplaceable in the running of a business.

If you’re ready to step on the career accelerator, follow our three simple steps on how to become an invaluable asset to your company and an employee that any company would be lucky to have.

Step 1: Be professional
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Sounds obvious, right? Affecting the maintenance of our job and the advancement of our careers, being professional is vital when cementing our reputation as a model employee. A 2012 ‘Professionalism in the Workplace Study’ conducted by York College of Pennsylvania, researched which key factors are important to an employee’s professionalism, and their findings showed that time management and work ethic efficiency were large contributors.

Skills like effective time management and work ethic efficiency can all be ramped up with the use of DropTask. Time management is a desirable skill for most professionals, particularly if you’re responsible for making decisions or working in a high pressured environment. But, being efficient with time management can do much more than just make you standout from the crowd, as it’s considered to play a big part in achieving a long-term career. As well as being an important factor in the initial stages of recruitment, the York College of Pennsylvania study showed that 92.9% of HR managers agreed that an employee’s professionalism has an substantial impact on potential promotion opportunities. So, if you’re looking for ways to become the exemplar employee, it’s time to brush up on how you conduct yourself in the workplace.

By using a simple planning tool like DropTask, you’ll be able to prioritize and adopt a more focused approach to completing your work with efficiency. As a result, you’ll reach high productivity levels and will be admired by your employer as a member of the team who strives to meet and exceed all targets, regardless of the amount of pressure involved.

Step 2: Have a positive attitude
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There’ll certainly be times where you’ll have to deal with strict deadlines, difficult co-workers, and tasks that seem impossible to complete, and as a result it can be easy to slip into a state of stress and negativity in the workplace. This is in itself one reason to be noticed by your employer; but you’ll want to avoid attracting attention for the wrong reasons. Remain calm and collected by breaking down the various stages of your project in a clear and concise manner before you start taking action. You can do this using DropTask’s Workflow View for a visual road map that leads you step by step towards completion.

To uplift your mood and boost engagement, add personalized Cover Images to tasks. Cover Images will not only brighten up your workspace, but will allow you to identify areas of work in an instant. No one likes a negative Nancy, and with an upbeat and positive vibe permeating around the workplace, your employer will take a concentrated interest in the quality of work that you produce and your consistent effort to perform to a high standard.

Step 3: A willingness to develop
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A requirement needed to earn both company and personal success is the ability to work within a team. By collaborating with others, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of personalities and a greater set of skills, while also having the chance to enhance your own. Group work and shared projects can also be a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your own initiative. You can do this by assessing your strengths and subsequently Assigning yourself to tasks, even if they present a challenge. See this as an opportunity to help others as well as develop your own personal skills. By showcasing your range of abilities, you’ll solidify your status as a valuable member of the team.

If you’re feeling up to the challenge, you may also want to volunteer as the project admin. With the added responsibility of overseeing project developments and meeting estimated timescales, you’ll demonstrate to senior management that you’re always willing to go the extra mile. And with valuable experience in managing a team and taking a collaborative project from its initial stages of planning all the way towards the finish line under your belt, you’ll show that you can take on further responsibilities; a great positive to flag up in your next performance review. With your leadership skills on a continuous uphill progression, you’ll be an employee that a business can rely on to deliver.

What do you think makes a model employee? Let us know in the comments below.

Enhance your productivity by eliminating these bad workplace habits

3 Bad Habits
In this day and age, we’re always ‘too busy’. If we’re not at our desks; we’re on an important business call, if our meeting gets postponed; we’re rearranging for another date, and if we’re on our break; we’re responding to emails. Why is it that everything’s so rushed?

If I said that the way to be more productive is by doing less, how many of you would believe me? According to Christine Carter, sociologist and happiness expert, we live in a ‘more is more’ culture. What we have is never enough, and we’re fighting a continuous battle with ourselves to wear ‘busyness’ as a badge of honor. But often, when we have less things to focus on and we’re more selective with our energy and time, we can take a step back to realize that doing more isn’t necessarily better.

The key to achieving more is working smarter not harder. See how DropTask can help you to project maximum productivity output below, without having to exert yourself.

Don’t: Multi-task

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Yes that’s right, you read correctly. Although many of us are under the false impression that multi-tasking enhances our productivity, it’s actually one of its killers. Anything from answering the phone to sending a marketing email; multi-tasking makes it difficult to return to the original task at hand. If you ever feel as though the pressure is mounting or that your workload has suddenly been taken up a notch, it’s probably because of the constant juggling and inability to find a way to cope when multiple deadlines are looming.

People often forget that when we have to engage in an important conversation or make a crucial decision like signing off on a project, we need to focus solely on that task to avoid any mistakes being made. If you’re easily distracted by miscellaneous tasks, you need to cut back on what’s being displayed in front of you. Collapse Categories so that work that doesn’t require your immediate attention is discreetly hidden away. With limited information on display, use the Effort attribute to enlarge the size of your task circle and the Importance icon to channel your focus and priorities. This will not only draw your attention to what you’re currently working on, but even in the scenario where you do get pulled away, you’ll be able to easily find your focus when you return.

Don’t: Delay

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We often make excuses to avoid tasks that require a lot of effort. The ‘I’ll do it tomorrow‘ excuse is a popular one in the workplace, but one that results in little productivity and missed deadlines. The tomorrow syndrome not only rejects opportunities, but results in a looming backlog of work. It goes without saying that sometimes we really are just too busy to begin new work, but when our excuses are being used more frequently than the tasks we complete, then something’s not quite right.

As we get wrapped up in our busy working day, it’s important to remember that unexpected tasks that get placed in front of us can be a chance for us to excel. The next time this occurs, instead of pushing the task to the bottom of the pile, take advantage of it. If your time is sparse, assign a Start and Due Date to the task for a time that best suits you. It may be that you will start it tomorrow, but the difference is that you will actually start it (instead of letting the opportunity pass by). With dates assigned to your task, your Calendar will automatically be updated, meaning that any work that you have scheduled will be slotted into your plan for the coming weeks. With a clear and concise roadmap of everything you need to do, you’ll be able to limit your distractions and remain on track to ensure you’re getting the most out of your working day.

Don’t: Leave things unfinished

Research shows that 80% of American employees feel as though companies are expecting too much work from too few people, with 70% of employees admitting to feeling as though they have to work overtime to finish their uncompleted tasks.

But when 75% of employees rate teamwork and collaboration as ‘very important’ in the workplace, why is it that we aren’t we taking advantage of the great benefits that come with working as part of a team? Instead of falling into the habit of leaving work unfinished, take a quick glance at the Team Calendar to see if there’s a colleague who has a spare moment to lend a hand. By working collaboratively and using the ‘at a glance’ indicators in the Project Browser, you can gain instant feedback on the project that you’re working on, such as what’s currently ‘in progress’ and what’s been completed – without the hassle of nagging for an update. As the saying goes, ‘two heads are better than one’, and once you’ve identified the issues that were previously stalling your project from moving into the next stage, you’ll be able to eliminate the knock-on effect that could’ve staggered your progress later down the line.

Which workplace habits are stalling your productivity? Let me know in the comments below.

OpenGenius, creators of DropTask, join London Stock Exchange’s Elite UK

Open Genius ELITE

We at OpenGenius (the creators of DropTask), achieved a Welsh first this week, by being selected to join the London Stock Exchange’s Elite UK. The Elite UK community includes over 520 businesses, from across 26 countries and 36 sectors, so we’re thrilled to be the first Welsh firm on this special accelerator programme. OpenGenius has already seen excellent growth globally, and we can’t wait to drive that forward with ELITE. We’re so excited to see what the future holds for us – watch this space!

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Are you using your time wisely?

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We’ve all been there, frantically typing as many words as we can to try and increase the word count, only to realize that what we’ve actually written makes no sense at all. Or, scheduling seemingly ‘important’ meetings for every hour of the day, only to result in frequent trips to the kitchen for coffee refills. As well as draining our physical and mental energy, these types of days can fool us into believing that we’re being productive with our time, when in fact, we’re barely making a dent to our hefty workloads.

Leaving the office with a true sense of accomplishment isn’t as difficult as you first might think. Follow our tips below to avoid falling into the trap of wasting crucial hours, and turn every minute into a productive one with DropTask for Business.

Enhance your concentration

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Manic days at the office occur far too often. Even on our days off, conversations with friends become comparisons of how busy we are:

‘Hey, how’s work going?’

‘Busy. Just busy.’

When we’re juggling an array of different tasks that are beyond the scope of our job description, we often dip into less important jobs which aren’t of any real benefit to us. To put it bluntly, we procrastinate. Research shows that we procrastinate by doing useless or less important things, and by doing so, we neglect our long-term goals and targets. To avoid this, take a look at your workload and assess which tasks require completion. If you have an urgent task that is less important, identify whose skills are best suited for the job and use the Assigning Tasks feature to delegate it. Similarly, if you can identify which tasks are important but not urgent, get them scheduled. Simple deductions such as this will allow you to have more time on your hands to focus on the very important and very urgent, without procrastinating on the things that don’t require your time or input.

Increase your motivation
reminders

When we have a lot on our plate, our brains go into overdrive. But research has shown that overworking does little to help our concentration, and subsequently defeats the objective of remaining motivated and productive. Running around in a state of busyness can also leave us feeling deflated when we’re trying to channel our creative juices.

Avoid working in a rushed and disorganized state by splitting your time into designated segments for specific pieces of work. Take ‘The Pomodoro Technique‘ for instance. Created by Francesco Cirillo, this technique is based around the idea of working in sprints, combined with short frequent breaks to help maximize focus throughout the day and to eliminate the feeling of burnout. The next time an unusual amount of work crops up, try breaking each hour of the day into fragments. For example, use Reminders as a prompt for when your break is due, or further personalize them with a note to indicate which area of work you should be focusing on next. With a tight timescale to stick to, you’ll be able to work more effectively, as opposed to watching the hours speed by and having nothing to show for it.

Resolve unfinished problems
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When a deadline is approaching we’re forced to re-evaluate and shift priorities accordingly, but all too often, the tasks that are placed at the bottom of the pile get neglected in the long-term.

Start by looking at the Project Workflow to identify any bottlenecks that could be preventing work from moving to the next stage. Once you’ve found an unfinished task, tie up loose ends by taking action to complete, delegate or delete it. A range of built-in functions within DropTask, such as the Duplicate and Move feature, allow you to take quick actions to ensure that you limit your distractions to remain on track.

Welcome more opportunities
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As a result of good timekeeping and honing key transferable skills, opportunities in the workplace can flourish, such as managers becoming increasingly trusting when looking to delegate responsibilities within the team. However, getting the most out of our hours in the workplace is a difficult skill to master, and sometimes when an unexpected issue arises, our workplace performance can take a hit. Of course, we can’t predict when these instances are due to spring up, but we can prepare for the chances that they may happen.

By getting into the habit of scheduling, your diary will be organized months in advance, giving you clear visibility into what’s on your plate, how much of your resource it will require, and any spare time that you may have to work on other activities to further your career, such as researching training courses that could add to your qualifications, or enhancing your LinkedIn profile. As well as stopping you from taking on too much than you can handle, gaining effective time management skills and demonstrating your own initiative at work will not give you the ability to comfortably re-prioritize for any unexpected situations that may arise, but will result in overall job satisfaction, leading you towards brighter career prospects.

How do you manage your time? Let us know in the comments below.

Introducing the all-new Project Browser

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We recently unveiled our all-new Project Browser, providing effortless navigation to each of your projects, as well as high-level insight into progress, status and who’s involved. Intrigued? Here’s what’s new:

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A high-level overview

The Project Browser can be accessed via our redesigned Menu, which has been simplified and improved to give you quick access to various information and functionality such as your in-built Calendar, our powerful integrations with other apps, and resourceful help and support guides.

When you first open the Project Browser, you’ll be presented with a library of all of the projects that you’re involved in. (We’ve also separated them into useful sections such as ‘Active’, ‘Archived’ and ‘Template’ projects, to make it that little bit easier.) We understand that having a view of all projects could easily get out of hand, which is why our new Project Browser gives you snapshots of information at a high-level, with indicators for the number of tasks that are not started, on hold, in progress, completed and overdue – give them some attention!
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All of the information displayed to you in the Project Browser is presented in a visual way – ideal if you’ve only got time for a quick glance but need a clear and accurate idea of where things are at. And what’s particularly useful is not only the ability to see how who’s involved in the project, but the scale of their involvement. A discreet number will be displayed on the project member’s avatar, indicating to you and to others, the number of tasks that have been allocated to them.

(Top Tip: Combine this information with the Team Calendar, so you can gain insight into everyone’s upcoming schedule in relation to workload and availability.)


Instantly sort, search and locate

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If you’re an avid project creator, we know how difficult it can be to locate specific projects. But don’t worry, because the new Project Browser comes with the additional convenience of functions like the Sorting option, allowing you to effortlessly and efficiently tidy your project library. With options such as ‘Alphabetical’, ‘Last Opened by Me’ and ‘Last Created’’, locating projects is now just as easy as creating them.

Better yet, strengthen your ability to track down projects with the Search function. If you need to promptly access a project, the in-built search will offer you a fast track way to get to what you’re looking for. This makes edits and last-minute adjustments to projects a breeze, as they can be found within an instant.

To check out the new Project Browser, login to your account or create a new one for free at www.droptask.com.

4 Unexpected benefits of mixing up your work routine

easter-blog-headerWhile the eight-hour working day is arguably one of the most common rituals throughout society, it’s not necessarily the most productive one. With the upcoming Easter holidays bringing a well-deserved break away from the office, now’s the perfect time to reflect on how wisely we’re using our time. If you’re fed up of your monotonous routine at work, then the definition below for the word ‘routine’ will sound all too familiar:

‘Sameness’

A set of customary and often mechanically performed procedures or activities’

‘A sequence of actions regularly followed.’

Our work routine accounts for at least 57% of where our overall time is spent (we were shocked too), so it goes without saying that the Easter break couldn’t have fallen at a more convenient time. For some of us working folk, having a cement routine in place can provide us with reassurance when tackling the unknowns of everyday life. However, we all know that following the same schedule week on week isn’t doing any of us any favors. As professionals, we like to stick to what’s familiar, and without realizing it we slip into relaxation mode which hinders us from reaching our maximum potential in the workplace.

Although falling out of repetitious habits can be tough, according to research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, embarking on a fresh start can have a powerful psychological effect that can lead to a positive change in our behavior. This ‘fresh start’ effect suggests that creating shifts in our routine can lead to a sense of starting anew, which helps to reinforce positive habit changes.

What better time to try something new than at the beginning of Easter? Everything around you has blossomed and changed for the better, so now it’s your turn. See below for 4 unexpected benefits that you could gain by mixing up your routine.

1. Increased focus
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Most of us have trouble focusing at one time or another. Some of us stray when we’re bored, while others find reasons to avoid a difficult task. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t do with a little helping of self-control and gain a boost to their energy. During the typical 9-5 day, without even realizing it, we have difficulty exerting self-control and focusing on our tasks. And as the day goes on and our self-control wears out, we feel exhausted as our tasks seemingly become more strenuous to complete.

Instead of avoiding miscellaneous tasks because they’re demanding or require alot of brain consumption, try assigning an Urgency level to all of the items that you need to hunt down. With 4 eye-catching levels and colors to choose from, you’ll be able to draw instant meaning from the visuals on your workspace. Plus, with the List View on hand to help you scan across everything that’s deemed as urgent, you’ll be able to reorder and sort your main priorities to ensure that you’re not carrying too many eggs in your basket.

2. Advanced memory
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Carrying out a repetitive routine in the workplace can result in us feeling disengaged and forgetful of often crucial actions that we need to take. The Telegraph reported a study conducted by scientists proving that working in a claustrophobic workspace stifles our creativity and results in less ‘aha‘ or genius moments. So, with Spring in full bloom, what’s stopping you from taking your work outside? DropTask offers online and offline capabilities, so you’ll be able to enjoy the glorious sunshine while ticking off your tasks from any device, at any time. Incorporating elements of nature into your workday will not only give your brain a boost, but will increase your productivity and focus. Experiments show that color helps us to process and store images in our brain, so with 4 unique Project Themes to choose from in DropTask, a high-level overview of what’s what will be etched as a visual in your memory.

3. Refreshed outlook
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Sometimes we become so reliant on daily routines, that we fail to notice when they’re no longer of any benefit to us. Stepping out of our comfortable working routine is a key factor when looking for a new wave of innovation. Dr Elizabeth Lomabardo, author of ‘Better Than Perfect’, (a guide for professionals looking to find balance and freedom) teaches that people who seek out fresh experiences are more creative than those who are stuck in the same pattern of doing things. She says ‘breaking your own mold can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life.’ So, are you feeling ready to try something new? Planning is key. Start by creating milestones for next season’s schedule in the built-in Calendar. You can even try setting a new challenge to complete each month, and later cement your plan by creating Repeating Tasks to accomplish every week. By doing this, you’ll be able to step into Spring with a fresh perspective, while developing the important habit of stepping out of your comfort zone once in a while and taking risks.

4. Flourished creativity
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If you’re struggling for ways to further explore your imagination and make the 9-5 busyness more creative and stimulating, begin by eliminating those hours that you spend daydreaming at your desk. According to ‘The National Bureau of Economic Research’ we spend a total of 1 hour a day thinking about non-related work activities, rather than being productive. Wouldn’t it be great if we turned that time into something that enhanced our creativity instead? As opposed to spending an hour or two staring at your screen, debating which project to tackle next, use your time wisely by organizing your thoughts in the form of a MindMap. The highly powerful two-way sync between iMindMap and DropTask will allow you to generate your free-flowing ideas quickly, and bring them to life as realistic goals. Brainstorm ideas for your up and coming project and watch the smooth transition as you transport your plans into DropTask. Why not set a Reminder for your daily brainstorming session, that way you’ll regularly set time aside from each day to let your mind take you to somewhere creative that you didn’t think existed.

How are you switching up your routine this Spring? Let us know in the comments below.