Author Archives: Caragh Medlicott

Boost your willpower with DropTask

Whether you’re trying to reach an important goal at work or stick to a new fitness regime – willpower is a must. While this is all well and good in theory, very few people find that willpower alone is enough to get them through to the end. Maybe you’ll get more work done initially, or stick to your fitness schedule for a few days – but then your willpower wains and you fall back into old habits. But worry not, it turns out there’s more to willpower than first thought. Numerous studies have found that willpower is something we can exhaust, but also something we can strengthen. Forcing yourself to focus on a task which is particularly hard or boring will send you into willpower depletion.

Getting willpower-savvy will enable you to strengthen your restraint, allowing you to get more done without running out of juice. So, if you’ve ever beat yourself up for falling off the wagon, you’ll be relieved to hear that there are multiple ways you can buckle your seatbelt and stay on board for the foreseeable future.

Strengthen your willpower organising work in canvas view

Smarter organization

You wouldn’t try to single-handedly tackle a team project, so why would you approach task management alone? Planning your work without any helpful tools is time-consuming and difficult to do consistently. Organization is key to boosting your motivation – did you know that decision making burns up large amounts of willpower fuel? Don’t burden yourself with the task of deciding which jobs to start and when. DropTask offers you peace of mind and alleviates you of your decision-making duty. By giving all your projects and tasks a home, you can rid yourself of that “am I forgetting something?” feeling. Canvas View offers a bird’s eye view of your workload – while progress bars offer instant visual confirmation of your work status. So, you can get your most challenging tasks done and dusted without lessening your willpower.

Use Planner to quickly rejig priorities for a willpower boost

Balance your day

Every job will require you to work on tasks which are difficult or mundane now and then. It’s how you handle these tasks which is key to boosting (or deflating) your willpower. Trying to push through even when you’re mentally exhausted – or – putting off the task altogether, are both common pitfalls in the workplace. Remember to think of your willpower as a muscle; regular exercise can strengthen it but overworking will lead to exhaustion. You can balance your day by completing your most challenging tasks in the morning when you’re at your most alert, leaving the more mechanical work for the sleepier afternoons. To create this order, you need to give structure to your priorities. DropTask’s Planner makes laying out your day simple with Now, Next and Soon boards. Simply filter the most pressing or challenging tasks onto the board and easily move tasks as you get through your workload – giving you the zen you need to keep up your willpower throughout the working day.

Discussions and due dates will make meeting deadlines easier than ever

Set realistic goals

Willpower is directly related to your motivation and outlook – when you feel positive and motivated your willpower is stronger. Everyone enjoys reaching their goals. When you complete a task in the correct timeframe you are left with a feeling of accomplishment. However, when you fail to make a deadline you’ll likely feel defeated. These outcomes can set the tone for future work, which is why it’s so important to stay optimistic in your approach to new tasks. The best way to achieve this is to set realistic goals and create a manageable stream of work. Avoid the temptation to overestimate how much you can get done in a day – and don’t forget that regular breaks are key to recharging your willpower. Use Due Dates in DropTask to set deadlines for each task, and collaborate with your team to make sure workload is shared equally for team projects. Discussions also allow you to talk about tasks in context, meaning less time is wasted drowning in your inbox. With less time spent planning, faffing and procrastinating you’re sure to give your willpower a reboot.  

Use DropTask to give your willpower the super-boost it needs. Sign up is FREE – start getting more done, today!

The Science of Productivity, and how you can use it

Staying productive is something that everybody strives for. Efficiency comes in ebbs and flows – some days we achieve a lot, others not so much. Like everything else in the world, there is a science to productivity. While general advice tends to be specific to each person, the facts don’t lie. Putting these scientifically-proven tips to use is guaranteed to give your productivity a boost. So, here are four ways you can use the science of productivity to boost your working abilities.

set work reminders in DropTask

Get started

I know what you’re thinking – “well, duh”, but studies have shown that being able to get started on a new task is actually one of the biggest hurdles to productivity. We often put off starting a project because our brain fixates on the hardest parts. Rather than seeing the work as a series of manageable chunks, we hone in on the most challenging parts and allow them to overwhelm us.

There are two key ways to combat this: one is to break work down into smaller, actionable tasks and the other way is to hold yourself accountable. Enter DropTask. In our digital age, a handwritten to-do list just isn’t going to cut it. DropTask allows you to breakdown your work in the way that suits you; create your project, input the tasks that make up the project and use checklists to break each task into stages. Working in this way will make getting started a million times easier. A psychologically backed theory, known as the Zeigarnik Effect, means we’re more likely to finish something once we’ve started it. This works even for the tasks which seem too hard to ever complete – making a start might just be the push you need to see it through to the end. To add an extra layer of accountability to the work you’ve begun, ensure you add Due Dates for tasks. You can also set reminders via DropTask, so you’re never taken by surprise by upcoming deadlines.

Boost your scientific productivity in planner on DropTask

Do what matters

You’ve probably heard the saying “first things first” – but, have you ever thought about what that actually means? While most of us come into work with a vague idea of what we’ll be working on, very few actually have their entire day planned out. Being productive isn’t about getting all your tasks done, it’s about completing the tasks which will help you reach your end goals. An illusion of busyness can often fool us into thinking we’re getting more done than we actually are. The reality is having a lot to do, isn’t the same as doing a lot.

In the office, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working in a reactionary manner. If someone mentions a job to you, you’ll start working on that just because it’s fresh in your mind, not because it’s actually your most pressing task. Sticking to your priorities will make your work timely and efficient, helping you stay on top of deadlines – regardless of what work lands on your desk in the meantime.

With DropTask, prioritization couldn’t be simpler. Use your DropTask Planner to filter your tasks onto Now, Next and Soon boards. When deadlines get bumped up or new tasks crop up, it’s easy to rejig your working priorities. A daily summary email from DropTask will also show you your day mapped out, so you can spend less time planning and more time doing.

urgency and importance ratings for work in DropTask

Build positive habits

Contrary to popular belief, consistently staying on task has little to do with willpower, and a lot to do with routine. Psychologists have suggested that willpower acts much like a muscle; the more we use it, the more it gets worn out. The upshot of this is, willpower alone isn’t enough to keep you productive. Instead, the most successful people create good working habits which help them to stay on task.

So, how do you start building a good work routine and stick to it? DropTask naturally lends itself to creating an easy to follow schedule. Having a central working hub where all your projects, tasks, and deadlines are stored will take the stress out of staying on top of your work. Add each new task into DropTask, set due dates, Urgency and Importance attributes to start practicing positive working habits in and out of the office. Using DropTask to structure your working day makes actually sticking to the tasks you have lined up far easier. Before you know it, DropTask will get you in the flow and you’ll never fall behind on upcoming tasks again.

Discuss work with others in DropTask

Focus your energy

Having focus can be more challenging than it sounds. When you have lots of tasks to complete, it’s often tempting to flit between them, as it wrongly gives the impression you’re achieving more overall. In actual fact, multitasking is the enemy of focused work. Providing your full attention to the one task you’re working on is essential to achieving the best results.

Being able to say no when you have too much on is crucial. When your team uses DropTask, task ownership is instantly clear. Forget misunderstandings – the avatars displayed for each task visually communicate who the task belongs to, and filters will show how many tasks they’ve been assigned. Discussions allow for quick enquiries into tasks and projects. Using the @ tag will alert your colleagues when you’ve mentioned them, keeping everyone in the loop. With fewer emails and demands, you’ll be able to focus on the work in front of you.

Become a productivity expert by employing these scientific techniques when working in DropTask. Sign up for FREE today!

The productive season – get things done this Fall with DropTask

become more productive this autumn

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and, no, I don’t mean Christmas. A study by Harvard Business School has found that we become more productive in the autumn months. When the sun’s out to play, apparently, so are we. The grey weather improves our focus and ultimately makes us more efficient at work.

While you may be mourning the loss of summer, right now is a great time to maximize your work efforts and collaborate with your team. Here’s how you can make the most of the productive fall months (and some tips for staying cozy whilst doing so):  

cover images in droptask

Liven up your projects  

Your work doesn’t have to be dull just because the weather is. Inject some fun into your tasks by uploading Cover Images to DropTask. Adding aesthetic elements to your workload will make it more engaging, while visual cues allow you to identify projects in the blink of an eye.

If you’re using DropTask alone, inviting teammates is a great way to get your projects off the ground. A powerful tool of collaboration, DropTask works at its best with multiple users. Invite your colleagues and you’ll work at your best, too.  

Cozy tip: Forget summer salads, the temperature has dropped and everyone needs some comfort food to keep their energy up. Create a project in DropTask to organise an office baking competition –  a great way to start any working week.

use planner to tackle small and personal tasks

Tackle small tasks

Under the weight of a heavy workload, the niggly jobs can pass you by. While forgetting one small job might not be a big deal, forgetting ten can become an issue. Not all tasks have their home in a project. That’s why we created our Planner function, so everyone has space for their individual work.

Your Planner is for you, and you alone. Slot in standalone tasks to fit around your existing priorities and schedule work using Now, Next and Soon boards. Adapt your timetable to suit your most pressing jobs by assigning importance or urgency ratings to individual tasks. From rejigging your schedule, to unexpected incoming work, the Planner makes your life simpler.   

Cozy tip: When there’s a cold wind brewing outside, it’s important you keep your office comfortable. Numerous studies have found that we are at our most productive at around 71-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

use discussions to talk to your team

Connect the team

Colder weather doesn’t have to mean going into hibernation. With Halloween on the horizon, and festivities just ahead – fall and winter are great times for being social. And this goes for in the office, too. Keeping your team connected is easy when you collaborate with DropTask. 

Progress Percentages shows your team’s progress at a glance. Discussions allow you to talk about tasks in context, and with the right people using the @ tag. The addition of Checklists and Attachments make gaining task insights instantly accessible, leaving you more time for working.

Cozy tip: What we eat has an impact on our energy levels, state of mind and overall well-being. For Fall, we suggest a warming bowl of vegetable soup. Packed full of vitamins, this lunch is sure to make you feel both energized and snug.

remote working with DropTask

Work out of office

Whether it’s forbidding icy roads, or a pending home delivery – we all have to work remotely now and then. Bring the office to you by using DropTask.  With all your projects in one place, and instant task updates, staying in tune with your work has never been so easy. Even without WiFi, DropTask can be used on the go with your phone or iPad. DropTask Cloud will safely store your work, while the Sync Indicator will let you know your tasks have updated the next time you connect to the internet.

Cozy tip: Why not swap your morning coffee for a hot chocolate? The theobromine found in dark chocolate is reported to have energy boosting qualities, allowing you to enhance your focus in work. Plus, it’s far cozier than your usual caffeine buzz.

Want to keep your productivity up all year round? Sign up to DropTask for FREE and stay efficient whatever the weather.

4 Ways Small Businesses can Improve their Productivity

Being productive is important for any business. But, when your company is small, it’s even more crucial that you stay on top of your tasks. Being productive doesn’t just mean saving time. It brings a greater level of engagement in the office and a better work-life balance; efficiency matters to both the company and the individual. Good work gets done faster and employees have fewer late nights a week – a win-win for all.

Luckily for you, here at DropTask, we are something of an expert in the field of task management. So, to ensure your workplace is functioning at the highest possible level, we’ve come up with four key tips to increase office productivity:

make your SME productive with canvas view in DropTask

1) Less planning, more doing

Timescale is a key factor in boosting staff productivity. If you’ve ever had a to-do list that’s as long as your arm, you’ll know that inefficient planning can eat into the time spent actually doing the work. With DropTask’s Canvas View, firing out tasks is quick and easy. Add new tasks to your project in Canvas View with a speedy double-click and quickly populate your workspace with bubble-shaped to-dos.

Being able to respond to change quickly is a key characteristic of an innovative small business – DropTask offers you the flexibility to do this. Whether it’s a deadline which is bumped up or reordering tasks, DropTask’s Planner can adapt. Your Planner is your own personal workspace. It gives you the freedom to instantly schedule tasks Now, Next and Soon from any project, keep track of priorities and quickly rejig when needed.

be productive, manage your workload

2) Manage your workload

When a small business is managing a high volume of work, it can begin to feel overwhelming. There’s only so many times you can underline, circle or number your urgent tasks without losing sight of what’s really important. Workflow View is helpful for projects that move through logical stages, allowing you to see your tasks in linear lists. The simplicity of this visual tool makes processing workloads easier and helps to drive them forward. Team avatars provide instant clarity of task ownership, and Importance & Urgency flags draw your attention to where it’s needed the most.

work anytime, anywhere with DropTask

3) Work anytime, anywhere

Being out-of-office doesn’t have to mean being out of the loop. Good teamwork is crucial for smaller companies, but being physically in the same workspace isn’t always possible for modern teams. With DropTask for desktop, web, iPad, and phone you can rest assured you always have a central hub of collaboration. Real-time updates mean notifications will alert you when you’ve been assigned to a new task, or when changes have been made to an existing one. For managers, this means you can assign work remotely. Use task checklists and Progress bars to keep everyone up to date with the project.

improve your small team's communication with DropTask

4) Clearer communication

A clogged up email inbox is good for no one. It takes time to work through, requires superhuman levels of concentration and is often a symptom of micro-management. Discussions in DropTask have everything you need to keep communication brief and timely. Being able to add attachments means no more trawling through your inbox. Using Discussions in DropTask is guaranteed to save time, and ultimately boost productivity for small businesses.

Try DropTask’s productivity-boosting strategies to help your small business today – it’s FREE to join, sign up here.