Tag Archives: Spring Clean

Step into Spring with DropTask

With March already in full swing, the evenings are getting lighter and the temperature’s beginning to rise, resulting in a state of calmness surrounding the workplace. But, when our tasks are buried under a thick layer of dust it can be challenging to feel as refreshed as the environment around us.

Whether you love it or hate it, it’s that time of year when we need to start thinking about some serious de-cluttering and reorganization. We comfortably devote a certain amount of time each week to clean our homes, ensuring that it’s looking its finest and things are easy to locate. But when we spend some of our most crucial hours in the workplace, why is it that we’re still sifting through a buried work desk without an efficient schedule in sight? In a report published last year by OfficeMax, it was found that office clutter undermines productivity and motivation. With less ability to work efficiently on our work due to unlimited distractions being placed in front of us, it’s becoming a rarity that we leave the office feeling accomplished with what we’ve achieved with our day.

Research undertaken at Princeton University shows that when your environment is cluttered, the chaos surrounding you restricts your ability to focus, limiting your brain’s ability to process information. So what better time than now to give your workspace a well needed spring clean than at the beginning of the season. With all of the capabilities to transport your projects into full bloom, follow our top tips on how DropTask can turn your workspace into a vibrant setting that’s bursting with effective working and productivity.

Rearrange where necessary

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Most people throw miscellaneous tasks and odd and ends into the same space, making a mental note to come back to them when they next have five minutes spare. After time, we end up losing these notes, deadlines get missed, and we become anxious about just the thought of rummaging through our misplaced items. To ensure your mental note doesn’t disappear into oblivion, make a visualization in the form of a Task Circle to stimulate your brain. As referenced by psychology professor Allan Paivio in ‘The Dual Coding Theory’ 1971, the formation of mental images aids our learning and processing of information. If you stumble upon a misplaced task, then the Duplicate and Move feature will allow you to tidy-up, resulting in an organized workspace where you can progress through everything you need to do with structure and order.

Even with the best-laid and organized workspaces, there may still be some overflow. If you’re looking for short term-storage and somewhere to limit work that’s in progress, the Kanban-style Workflow view will provide you with a clean space where you channel your focus on taking tasks right through to completion. Split your Categories into ‘To-do’, ‘Doing’ and ‘Done’ swimlanes, and watch your tasks move through designated stages. That way your to-do’s will never be pushed aside, as you will always be concentrating on getting the job done.

Polish appearances

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With hours spent hunched over our desks with no exposure to sunlight, our health as well as productivity can be significantly impacted. What better way to uplift your mood and to bring your tasks to life than by using visually attractive Cover Images to add a personal touch to your projects. The importance of visual imagery is crucial when striving to achieve high levels of organization and decision making. Research has shown that the human brain allows us to analyze an image in a very short snippet of time, along with its meaning and scenario. By making your tasks more personal to you, they’ll be more aesthetically pleasing, and we know that having something beautiful to look at can have a huge impact on your overall well-being.

Now that you’ve decorated and customized your tasks, it’s time to get them in order. The easier it is to store something, the more likely you are to put it in its place. It’s always a good idea to store similar tasks together, that way you’ll be able to locate tasks that share similar relationships without wasting any time. By Nesting Categories that share related attributes, you’ll create a structured hierarchy for your tasks, allowing you to spend less time searching as they’ll always have a defined place to call home.

Organize upcoming duties

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Organizing is a process of arranging and keeping things in order; a skill that can be utilized in all areas of life. But when trying to locate specific work is as straight forward as finding a needle in a haystack, tidying up our to-do’s is easier said than done. Studies show that the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching through messy papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing our concentration levels and stunting our creative thinking. When creating your project, define the structure in which you’re going to complete your to-do’s by using Dependencies. Visual arrows will be drawn on your Canvas, helping you to identify which direction to turn next. And by taking a practical approach towards assessing your next steps, you’ll be able to map out the structure of your work, paving the way to completion.

For some, dealing with clutter can cause negative stress, making us less able to complete tasks on schedule. If you’re looking to strengthen your organization skills and bring all of your tasks from across all projects together, then the DropTask built-in Calendar is the one for you. By assigning a Start and Due Date to each of your tasks, you’ll be able to toggle between when it’s set to begin and when its deadline is approaching. Instead of feeling overwhelmed when the end of season is forthcoming, you’ll remain confident with clear visibility into your upcoming schedule and the flexibility to make quick rearrangements if necessary.

Focus on what needs your attention

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President of ‘The Productivity Pro’, Laura Stack, claims ‘most people spend at least 30 minutes to an hour a day looking for things.’ And according to a Mckinsey report, employees spend 1.8 hours every day – totaling to 9.3 per week on average – gathering the information that they need. Surely there’s a more productive way to use our time? To save time searching through information to locate what you need, the Filter option in DropTask does it for you. Hone in by narrowing down your workload by filtering by Assignee, Effort, Importance, Tags or Attachments etc., and gain exactly what you need, exactly when you need it. By cutting back what’s in-front of you, tasks will be easy to locate for when you require them next.
With these four handy tips and your newly cleaned up and organized DropTask workspace, you’ll feel re-energized and rearing to get to work on your most productive season yet.

What are your top tips for spring cleaning your workload? Share them in the comments below!

3 top tips for tidying up your to-dos, plus get yourself a sweet treat in our Easter sale!

DropTask Easter Sale Bunnies

Here in the UK, spring has sprung and with the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to clear clutter and get organized. Excessive clutter can lead to a loss of time and money for many organizations, and it’s thought that over 4 hours per week is wasted by employees looking for items that were not returned to their original places. As well as this, if staff members are not easily able to keep track of things then it can lead to duplication of work and expending valuable resources.

Combined with the emotional effects (such as a lack of motivation, stress and unhappiness), a cluttered workspace can have a damaging impact upon productivity. A survey conducted in America found that 90% of Americans admitted that clutter had a negative impact on their life – with 77% of respondents stating their productivity was affected.

Being organized helps to promote smoother work processes, and satisfaction is established when everything can easily be located. So, by taking time to clear your clutter, you’ll feel far more in control and less stressed while you work. But remember – being organized isn’t restricted to your physical working environment. As technology continues to advance, it’s important to also consider your virtual workspace. So, why not give your to-dos a tidy? Cleaning up your tasks will bring focus to what’s important, and provide a state of calmness while you work – boosting motivation and maximizing productivity. See below for some top tips for polishing up your projects…

1. Archive projects

Archive ProjectsDo you have completed projects that you no longer want to see, but don’t want to delete? Archive old work to clear distractions and bring focus to the job at hand – remaining safe in the knowledge that old projects are always there if you need them.

2. Action emails

Send emails to DropTaskAs your email inbox grows, incoming information can quickly become lost or forgotten. Try separating your tasks from correspondence and turn a ‘please do’ into a ‘to do’, by emailing it straight into DropTask – where it’ll wait until you’re ready to take action.

3. Define order

Define order with Task DependenciesDon’t waste time trying to identify next action steps – we can take care of that for you. Maintain structure within your projects and keep an eye on upcoming duties using Dependencies. Creating visual links between tasks will help you clearly define the order in which tasks should be actioned.

DropTask Easter Sale! Get 3 Months FreeSo there you have it; 3 quick tips to ensure you stay clutter free and remain on target to achieve your goals. Plus, to put a spring in your step this Easter, we’re giving away 3 MONTHS FREE of DropTask PRO, offering all of the features mentioned above as well as extras such as Task Assignment, File Sharing and Messaging – plus much more, when you join today.*

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* Offer valid on annual DropTask PRO subscriptions only and expires on Tuesday 29th March 2016. Cannot be used on subscription downgrades or in conjunction with any other offer.