Author Archives: DropTask

It’s a new year – Refresh your energy with DropTask

Many of us would admit that we don’t feel energized all day, every day. Some of us find it hard to kick-start our morning and don’t fully wake up until midday, wasting crucial hours. On the other hand, the early birds among us may hit a productivity wall in the afternoon and reach for the coffee to keep going. If you fall into either of these categories, it might be time to re-evaluate your work routine to boost your energy and better manage your tasks.

Of course, getting a decent night’s sleep and eating right can do wonders for your productivity. Combined with DropTask, you can raise your motivation to a whole new level and make task management a breeze. Read on to learn how DropTask will structure your tasks and streamline the way you work, to maximize your energy and help you get the most out of your workday.


Take time to reflect
Take time to reflect

Usually it’s unhealthy to live in the past. However, when it comes to your achievements, it’s worth taking a step back to reflect to give yourself the pat on the back you need to launch yourself into the future. When you find yourself in a work slump, skim through your Completed Tasks to give yourself a little boost of pride at how far you’ve come, and motivate yourself to accomplish more great things. Plus, by taking a closer look at your Completed Tasks, you can identify how they were tackled and if your methods were effective. You can use your tried and tested techniques to build on your previous success and save time and energy in the future. If something didn’t go as planned, you can pinpoint what went wrong and avoid repeating it.


Start and Due Dates
Find your motivation

We all have our energy slumps – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. Sometimes things can become repetitive, exhausting and overwhelming, but it’s always possible to bounce back with renewed energy. To avoid these drops in energy, identify the times of day you normally find yourself to be most productive, and when you find yourself struggling. Use Start and Due Dates to schedule tasks that align with your productivity spikes and dips. For example, if you’re more alert in the morning, schedule time for your most important tasks. If you think you are more likely to come up with great ideas in the morning, use that time for tasks such as content writing. If you find that your productivity weans in the afternoon, get stuck into a task that you are looking forward to doing. When the task rolls around, you are likely to find that your interest in the project motivates you to get more stuff done and power through the rest of the day. Once scheduled, your tasks across all of your projects will appear in your Calendar. See your work according to the date that you want to start it or when it’s due to manage your time and tasks effectively.


Pomodoro Checklists and converting to category
Take breaks to boost brainpower

Breaks are crucial to sustaining your energy. Without them, we find ourselves unfocused and drained, resulting in poor quality work and incomplete to-do lists. The Pomodoro Technique is a great way to enhance your focus, while also giving your mind some well-earned rest. The technique consists of working in sprints. It works by you doing concentrated work for 25 minutes, then you take a well-deserved 5-minute break, and then you repeat the process until you’ve completed 4 of these sprints. After each 4-sprint cycle, you take a longer break, perhaps 15-30 minutes, to stretch your legs, grab a snack and recharge. To accomplish larger, more time-consuming tasks, you can use DropTask’s Checklist feature to outline and tick off subtasks. It’s also a great way of seeing where you left off once you return from a break. If the task is large and complex, try Converting it into a Category. This way, you can create smaller tasks within this category to break it down into manageable chunks that are easier to accomplish during each sprint.


Repeated tasks and templates
Streamline your processes

Doing repetitive, mundane tasks can really drain our energy unless they are streamlined properly. Use the Repeated Tasks feature to schedule recurring tasks that are identical in every context (e.g. for payroll, regular bills and weekly reports). Set their status to repeat every day, week, month or year so you never have to worry about scheduling them again. You can also use Templates to semi-automate any projects which require the same actions to be taken, but in a different context, on a regular basis. For example, if you frequently need to plan events, you can save yourself time and energy by creating a project template that has categories like ‘Guest list’, ‘Accommodation’ and ‘Transport’. You never have to start from scratch meaning you can quickly spring into action.


Cover Images
Visually stimulate your mind

A little burst of color goes a long way when you’re desperate for energy. A blank, boring workspace is demotivating, and when you’re already feeling fatigued, it will only serve to make things worse. DropTask’s visually vibrant task circles bring color and imagery into the mix. Try adding Cover Images to your tasks to act as visual reminders of what needs to be done and regain some energy. Experiment with different colors and see how they affect your energy levels. Does red revive you? Does orange stimulate your brain? Make good use of the colors that energize, motivate and inspire you to get things done.

Sign up to DropTask FREE today and feel revitalized!

How to create better workplace clarity

To be productive we need a clear path ahead of us. Clarity breeds productivity. Without it, priorities become confused, teams fall out of sync and, as a result, progress is slow. Crystal clear communication is key when it comes to meaningful collaboration. If your team are unsure of where they are going, it will take more time and resources to get them there.

With everyone on the same page, you will feel the benefit of increased productivity and a boost in workplace engagement, resulting in better task management skills. Outline tasks, deadlines and responsibilities in your DropTask for Business project to better define roles, sharpen workflows, and reach your goals quicker.

Stay in sync

Stay in sync

Teams need clarity if they are to work as a unit. Each team member needs to understand exactly what others need from them and what the next stages of a task are to be productive. Use Comments and Messages to update your team with changes in meeting times, alterations to tasks and anything else that could be seen as ambiguous. This way, you can prevent bottlenecks before they stall your project and ensure that everyone knows what’s expected of them on each task.

Be clear on progress

Be clear on progress

How many times have you had to chase a colleague for a progress update on a project? Every time you send an email or go over to a coworker’s desk, you’re losing time, productivity and clarity. The Progress Percentage Bar is a nifty feature that enables you to track your progress on a task in chunks of 5%, while also allowing your colleagues to see at a glance exactly how close the task is to completion. If they need further details, they can look at the corresponding Checklist for the task and see which items you have ticked off. This transparency saves you from having to constantly update or chase your colleagues about project progression, so you can work more efficiently as a team.

Know your priorities

Know your priorities

When you have lots of tasks on your plate, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to begin. By using the Urgency and Importance icons, you are able to see which tasks you should focus on each day. If a task is marked as important and urgent, make these the first things you work on. Your workmates will also be able to see what your priorities are for the day. If they see you have lots of urgent and important tasks to do, they will know to give you time to focus on them.

Stay on track

Stay on track

It’s easy to get thrown off course in bustling workplaces full of confusion and distractions. If your boss asks you to complete a task, the specifics of when to start it and when it’s due can be unclear. However, if your boss sets a Start and Due Date for your tasks, everything becomes crystal clear. Daily Summary Emails cleverly use these dates to tell you what tasks you need to work on that day, plus which ones are due for today and tomorrow. You can also set your own Start and Due Dates to keep those around you informed of when you’re planning to begin and complete your tasks.

Work seamlessly together

Work seamlessly together

To work well together, a team must be able to share their workload and know the responsibilities of each individual. By Assigning Tasks to people, you create clarity by letting them know exactly what their role is within the team. Also, make a clear weekly plan for your projects, taking into account the workloads of your colleagues using the Team Calendar, a handy feature which shows everyone’s Assigned Tasks and deadlines and provides everyone with a clear work schedule.

Don’t suffer from confusion at work – download task management app DropTask for FREE today!

3 ways to switch off for the weekend

You’ve probably heard that working out too much leads to fatigue and even injury, and training progress is slower as a result. Well, the same can be said for our minds. The human brain consumes around 20% of the body’s calories, and that expended energy must be resupplied. If we overwork our brains by not giving them a high quantity and quality of rest, we burn out. This means weakened productivity and poorer choices – not to mention a negative impact on our mental health. Luckily, the task management app DropTask is on hand to help you switch off properly over the weekend so you can be more productive during the week.

Urgency and Importance Icons

1) Clear high-priority tasks

Nobody wants to go into the weekend knowing they have high-priority tasks outstanding. In the short term, you might feel more productive if you focus on the easier, less urgent tasks. But then you go into the weekend with those harder, more important tasks hanging over your head. You will either have to deal with them at the weekend, when you should be resting, or add them to your ever-growing to-do list for next week.

Instead, try to clear your priorities early in the week by reviewing your tasks and highlighting high-priority ones using the Urgency and Importance icons. This will keep you focused so you can work through tasks methodically. If you have too many high-priority tasks to deal with, don’t be afraid to call for backup. By Assigning Tasks to teammates and working collaboratively with them to get things done, you can start the weekend safe in the knowledge that this week’s most important work has been dealt with.

Progress Bar and Checklists

2) Tie up loose ends

With your priorities taken care of, think of all the in-progress tasks that you’re currently managing. Do you know how close to completion each task is? Often, we get distracted towards the end of a task and forget how close we were to completing it. Then it just festers on our to-do lists for much longer than necessary.

By checking the Progress Bar, you can easily see which tasks are very close to completion. If the task has been left unfinished for a while and your memory of it is a little fuzzy, you can glance at any Checklists you might have made to remind yourself of what steps you’ve already taken towards completing it. You’ve already prioritized your most urgent and important tasks, so you can now do yourself a favor by tying up loose ends. Then you can have a totally fresh start next week.

Start and Due Dates

3) Plan and prepare

You’ve prioritized and tied up loose ends, but there’s still something missing. The weekend is drawing nearer, yet you’re still anxious. You need a plan for your task management. You need to do something right now that your future self will thank you for.

Take a look at your remaining tasks and start planning priorities for next week. Set Start and Due Dates for each task so that on Monday morning you will know exactly when to start each task and what deadlines are coming up. As you do so, your Calendar will be automatically updated, meaning your schedule is crystal clear for you to review on Monday. By planning and preparing now, you can relax over the weekend knowing that everything is under control for the week ahead.

Make sure you can relax this weekend – sign up to DropTask now. It’s FREE!

How to quit the harmful habit of multitasking for good

Many people see multitasking as an admirable skill, one that leads to success in the busy modern world. The truth is that multitasking is productivity’s biggest enemy. This ‘skill’ we strive to master is a hidden dagger sabotaging our efficiency.

A common misconception is that multitasking is the ability to perform more than one task at once. In fact, when we multitask, we actually flit between tasks, often completing them to a lower standard than we would have if we focused on one thing at a time. When we try to perform two or more cognitively complex tasks at once, such as replying to an email while apparently listening to someone in a meeting, we find that we’re more stressed and less productive. In short, multitasking is harmful to both our mental health and our careers.

So, why exactly is multitasking such a productivity killer? And how task management app DropTask help you fight the urge to multitask? Read on to find out the answer to these questions and more.


Save time on tasks

Save time on tasks

Despite popular belief, it actually takes us a lot longer to accomplish tasks when we multitask. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, reports that people whose work is interrupted take 50% longer to finish a task and make up to 50% more errors. This makes sense when you stop and think about it. Say you leave one task unfinished and run off to complete another, by the time you get back to your original task you will probably have lost track of your progress. This means you have to spend extra time getting settled back into the work at hand.

DropTask’s Checklist feature enables you to break tasks up into subtasks, allowing you to work methodically until the overall task is complete. Checking off quick, small checklist items helps you keep your motivation and momentum, making you less likely to become discouraged or distracted. If you eventually find yourself unable to complete more subtasks, for example if you need to take your lunch break or have a meeting to attend, you can still get a clear idea of how much work you’ve completed by glancing at the checklist overview visible on the task circle.


Fight fatigue

Fight fatigue

Multitasking is exhausting. Our brains are not built to cope with flitting from one complex task to the next in a short space of time. Instead, we need to properly focus and commit to completing one task before beginning another.

Keep your DropTask Calendar up to date with your tasks and deadlines so that you can manage both your workload and other people’s expectations of your time. With the Team Calendar, your colleagues will be able to instantly see when you’re busy and will be less likely to interrupt you during an important task. Start Dates and Due Dates allow you and your team to clearly see when you are planning to begin a task as well as which task is due next. You can then focus on completing tasks in order of priority instead of getting distracted by less urgent tasks and trying to multitask at the last minute.


Shield yourself from distractions

Shield yourself from distractions

Being reactive rather than proactive with your workload is incredibly unproductive. Gloria Mark, a professor at the University of California, found that when people are interrupted it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to their work, and most people will do two intervening tasks before going back to their original project. This switching leads to a buildup of stress.

One way to manage distractions is by Emailing Tasks into DropTask. When an important task does crop up unexpectedly, you can send it over to DropTask in an instant, ready for the next time you log in. The task is then off your mind, ready for you to deal with when you can. You can even set a Start Date on the task to show your colleagues when you’ll see to it.

Another way to deal with distractions and to power-up your task management is by prioritizing tasks. You can mark certain tasks as Important and Urgent and Collapse lower priority categories. This way, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and distracted at work – out of sight, out of mind! You can always expand collapsed categories and tasks again when you are ready to commit to something new.


Protect yourself from stress

Protect yourself from stress

Attempting to perform too many tasks at once can cause your stress and anxiety levels to soar, which in turn can lead to burnout and sick days at work. When the office environment is too fast-paced and encourages employees to multitask, morale is lowered and there may be a higher turnover, which could be costly to companies.

DropTask provides you with the tools to be productive at work as well as a complete overview of your projects, allowing you to work methodically at your own pace and pinpoint where you and your team are with tasks. The Progress Percentage bar displayed on the task circle allows you to see exactly how far you and your colleagues have come with your tasks, giving you that extra push to finish your great work. A clear overview of your progress, along with the ability to set Reminders to prompt you to take important action, obliterates the need for multitasking and ensures that you and your teammates are less anxious and less stressed at work.

Sign up to task management app DropTask for free today to kick your multitasking habit for good. Know someone who is a serial multitasker? Why not do them a favour and show them this blog? They’ll thank you for it later.