Tag Archives: Time Management

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
unprofessional

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
positive

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
team

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.

Are you using your time wisely?

time-importance
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.

Don’t have time for time management? Think again

Managing your time

4 Small tips for getting big things done

People often think that they don’t have time for time management. Small business owners and managers commonly fall into this trap. They’re so busy being busy, that they never sit down to adequately plan or even look at their to-do list. If this sounds like you, then it’s high time you acknowledged that this could be what’s standing in the way of you and your team getting ahead.

Not meaning to go all deep and philosophical (we know you’re far too swamped for that!), time is the most precious currency in life. Once spent it cannot be replaced. With a finite number of hours in the day, you can’t buy or hoard time ready for when you need more of it. Doesn’t it make sense to manage how you spend your time to ensure that you use it wisely? Without some form of time management, you can easily lose time on the wrong things or end up running in circles, trying to do everything all at once. Worse than that, you might even delay getting started on the big projects that count. According to cognitive psychology research by John Bargh and colleagues, your brain will attempt to ‘simulate’ productive work by avoiding heavy projects and tackling lots of menial, low-value tasks to fill your time. It cleverly tricks you into thinking that you’re super busy, but the real work that produces measurable results remains undone.

At DropTask, we’ve long been fascinated by how entrepreneurs, professionals and businesses of all sizes manage and make best use of their time. Through our observations, we’ve discovered that time management doesn’t have to be a massive burden or effort to execute. The biggest gains in productivity often come from the small investments you make, the minor tactics and habits that only take a portion of your time. So far from being a waste of time, a good time management system can be the ultimate time saver.

Here are four little things that you and your team can do to deliver more value in less time, pronto.

1. Carry your tasks with you

DropTask Calendar

Keep your to-dos and calendar on your smartphone or tablet, so you can access them at a moment’s notice. Unless you have superb powers of recall, trying to store numerous tasks and meetings in your working memory is a recipe for disaster. And there are inevitably going to be times when you can’t make it back to your desk or notebook to retrieve your to-dos. Take advantage of the portability technology can offer so that you’re always prepared. DropTask is available on Android, iPhone and iPad for you to access anytime and anywhere, so there’s no excuse! The app supports real-time collaboration on tasks too, with changes automatically synced and updated while you’re on the go, guaranteeing that you’re never out of step with your colleagues.

2. Use a template

Project Templates
Rather than wasting time writing out your recurring activities each day, create your own Project Template which includes your most common to-do items. This ensures you don’t forget all the small odds and ends you need to do, especially when unique or unexpected demands call for your immediate attention and crowd out your day. Even better, create templates for your bigger initiatives as well, and you’ll avoid that overwhelming feeling that can sometimes paralyze you at the start of a new project. This is incredibly easy with DropTask’s Template feature, which allows you to set up multiple projects, break them down into standardised steps and keep track of each phase of development, from initial brainstorming and task allocation through to completion and evaluation.

3. Set start and due dates for your tasks

Start and End Dates

Just as you set dates for meetings, make sure you set dates for getting started on tasks as well as deadlines for getting them done. Don’t wait until you can “get around to it”, make an appointment with each important task in your calendar, so that it doesn’t slip off your radar. DropTask’s built-in Calendar allows you to schedule tasks by Start Date or Due Date, so you can really focus your attention and stay on track to meet all your major deadlines. Identifying start and end dates forces you to realistically consider how long your tasks will take and helps you put your priorities in order. This simple trick makes time management in the workplace much easier as you can tackle the things that need to be done on a time constraint before moving on to tasks with more flexible timescales. Using DropTask, any shifts or changes in priorities can be accommodated in an instant by effortlessly dragging and dropping your tasks around the Calendar. Aim to fill up your calendar with meaningful work instead of endless meetings, and be reasonably disciplined with yourself to power up your productivity. Research by MIT and INSEAD business school professors in 2002 found that students who imposed strict deadlines on themselves for assignments performed far better and were more consistent than those who didn’t. Challenging deadlines can buck us up to achieve more and are a practical strategy for curbing procrastination. So create manageable start and end dates for your tasks – and stick to them!

4. Stay notified

Notifications

Being organized saves tons of time. But you don’t need ultra-complicated systems to keep on top of your work; you can boost business efficiency simply by automating how you and your team stay informed. Notifications and Reminders are great for alerting you to any note-worthy changes or looming deadlines, so you and your colleagues never miss a trick. Instead of trying to mentally and physically manage everything yourself, let DropTask track your work for you. Every morning, DropTask will send you a Daily Summary Email to let you know which tasks you should be working on, as well as which ones are overdue, due today, and due tomorrow. You can even set multiple reminders on important tasks so you can delegate, action or follow up as needed. Shaun Kennard, CEO of Vestack Group describes how he witnessed a “20% increase in each person’s productivity, and an even bigger influence in business effectiveness” by using DropTask to keep tabs on the core activities undertaken within each company unit.

Whether you’re working solo or with a team, these four little actions can have a BIG impact, helping you optimize your time and squeeze more out of your day. Have some time management tips and tricks of your own? Please share them in the comments below.

New to DropTask? Learn more about the benefits by signing up for a free account today.

How to Manage Interruptions at Work

It’s the start of a new day; you’re raring to go and feeling inspired to tackle those all-important and must-do tasks. But suddenly, you get interrupted and thrown off track.

Whether it’s by a phone call, email, over-heard conversation or colleague stopping by your desk, these unplanned activities might steal your attention – distracting you from the task at-hand.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that the typical worker is interrupted or switches tasks, on average, every three minutes and five seconds. What’s more, once focus has been lost, depending upon the complexity of the task, it can take over 23 minutes to regain focus and return to the original task. Not only is valuable time lost and wasted through interruptions at work, but the number of errors and mistakes can also increase, affecting the overall quality of your work.

Time is one of the most cherished resources, and although some interruptions are inevitable and beyond your control, many can be controlled or prevented. Below, we’ve got some top tips that will help promote discipline and aid forward planning so you can protect your time and invest it in the projects and tasks that are most important to you, and achieving both your personal and business goals:

Break down your day

Sending emails and checking mobile for updatesIt’s all too easy to get distracted by the email announcing cakes in the staff room, or the latest trends on Twitter. But these distractions disturb your trail of thought and productivity, and with no set time frame, it’s hard to manage how long is spent on trivial tasks.

So, instead of dipping in and out of your inbox or continuously refreshing social media sites, set aside blocks of time dedicated to regular activities such as responding to emails, making calls and updating social media. Having specific time slots for different activities throughout the day will reduce unnecessary amounts of time being spent on low importance tasks, and higher priority tasks will have your full attention for more sustained periods – without interruption.

Listen to music

listen to music while you workIt’s been found that listening to music at work can increase accuracy and speed, with 9 out of 10 workers performing better when music is playing. Music allows you to block out other sounds and surrounding noise from the environment or other colleagues – making it easier to concentrate on getting things done. Putting in your headphones will also act as a visual ‘do not disturb’ signal to team members – meaning they’ll be less likely to interrupt you while you work. So the next time you need to work without disruption, plug in, tune in and zone out.

Asses the situation

Time pressures at work

When interrupted and asked to take on a task by someone else, it’s only natural to drop what you’re doing and rush to get the job done straight away. While your willingness to help and eagerness to complete the task will do wonders for your credibility, it will increase the pressure to meet your own deadlines, as the time you have to complete your work will be reduced.

So, when you take on any extra tasks you should always assess how long it will take you to do, what will be required to get started and when it needs to be done by. If you’re not able to fit the requested task into your own schedule, delegate it to a team member or ask a colleague for a helping hand to get it finished. But remember, if it’s not feasible for you to take on the new task, you can of course say no, followed by a short explanation of why you’re not available to help this time around.

Relocate

Quiet work space at DropTask HQ

Open space for distraction-free work at DropTask HQ, Tec Marina.

When you really need to get something done but find yourself surrounded by interruptions, temporarily move to a different location. Whether it’s a conference room, an empty desk, the cafeteria or even the outside seating area (weather dependent of course), escape to a place where you’ll be able to focus and get on with your work with fewer distractions. Remember, this should only be a temporary measure, and if you do choose to move, it’s important to communicate with your team so they know your whereabouts.

Plan ahead 

Use DropTask to plan aheadSome things just don’t go the way you expect them to, but by planning ahead and using a tool like DropTask, you can limit the amount of disruption to your work before it occurs.

When organizing tasks, prioritize where your time should fore-mostly be spent, and define the order for completing them. Then, if you are faced with interruptions or delays, disruption will be minimal as higher priority tasks will have been completed first and any lost time will instead affect tasks with lower importance and less urgency.

If you do get held up or a colleague, manager or client is waiting on you for information, then be proactive in communicating with them. Leave them a comment or update a task’s status to keep them informed of how you’re doing. If others are aware of your progress, they’re less likely to interrupt you for an update.

Finally, when setting deadlines for your work, allow yourself some extra time to complete them. A little leeway here and there means if any unforeseen delays, problems or distractions do arise, you can be flexible in responding – without falling behind on deadlines.

How do you cope with or limit interruptions while you work? Share your top tips with us in the comments below.

Learn more about the benefits of DropTask and sign up for a free account today. 

How to turn wait time into productive time

Waiting - how to be productive while you wait

Waiting; we’ve all been there. Whether it’s at the station platform, in the office or even at the doctor’s surgery. But when you have a busy schedule to follow, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait. After all, every minute spent waiting for something or someone, is a minute wasted. Or, is it?

I recently found myself at a loose end ‘waiting’ for some unexpected software updates – which ultimately put a halt to any laptop-based work. In this day and age we rely so heavily on technology and being connected online, that it’s easy to forget about the many other activities we could be doing that don’t require a digital connection. So, instead of staring at my screen and waiting for the update % number to increase, I took the opportunity to partake in some creative thinking and brainstorming of new ideas.

Being disconnected from the internet meant I was really able to explore my own mind and think outside of the box without any distractions – it even inspired me to write this post. That’s why I want to share 5 things (including brainstorming), that you can try the next time you find yourself waiting – turning wait time into productive time. If there’s something you do to stay productive while you wait, then I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

1. Brainstorm

Brainstorm to generate new ideas

As we get comfortable in our lives, we form routines and can often fall into the trap of doing things the way that we’ve always done them. But when it comes to our professional lives, in particular things such as personal progression, company growth, and staying competitive, it’s important to seek new ways of achieving our goals.  So, if like me, you want to make the most of your time, then why not do some creative brainstorming?

Brainstorming promotes the generation of new ideas and fresh approaches. Whether it’s improving your organization’s offerings, driving your business forward, developing strategies to advance your own strengths, or even thinking of new ways to keep the kids occupied during the holidays, brainstorming plays a significant and valuable role during problem solving and decision making.

2. Read a book

Read a book while you waitReading is an important activity, as amongst other benefits, it can boost creativity. But the number of people taking time out to read a book has dropped over the years. In fact, in the past year, over a quarter of American adults (28%) didn’t read a book at all.

Losing yourself in a different world through reading can help engage your imagination – and by opening yourself up to new experiences, you may come up with some new and creative business solutions. Engrossing yourself in a book can also help to reduce stress, as you can escape the worries of day-to-day life. So, dust off those old books, fully immerse yourself in a good read, and inspire new ideas.

3. Organize your space

Organize your workspaceWe’ve talked about the benefits of having a clear workspace in the past, but often, spending time rooting through desk drawers and sorting mountains of paper work can fall to the bottom of our priority list. But, if you’ve got some spare time on your hands while you wait, try using it to de-clutter your desk or workspace. After all, having a clean and organized space will save valuable time when looking for things, and will provide a state of calmness while you work so when you’ve finished waiting you can easily focus on what’s important and maximize your productivity.

4. Take a break

Take a break to improve productivity

When tackling busy schedules and working long hours, it’s important to take regular breaks to maintain and even improve productivity. In a survey by Staples, 86% of respondents recognized that taking a break would make them more productive. A break can reduce fatigue, prevent feeling burned-out and improve both happiness and health – it’s a chance to refuel and rejuvenate, and when you return to work you’re ready to work productively for the remainder of the day.

Taking a break isn’t limited to the office – if you’re out and about waiting, then use the time to escape your normal activities and routines. Taking some time out will allow for a period of thinking – which you may not normally get chance to do, and will help clear your mind.

5. Plan your day

Use DropTask to organize and manage your task list

Use wait time to plan ahead and organize upcoming activities. If you have access to a mobile, tablet or computer while you wait, then a tool such as DropTask helps to get everything out of your head and into one clear workspace. Once you’ve jotted down your to-dos in DropTask, share them with others, add notes and important documents, and check in for updates – plus much more, to schedule, manage and organize tasks. When you’re finished waiting, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done – so you can be more efficient and productive when getting tasks ticked off!

From just the few examples I’ve shared with you above, it’s easy to see that wait time really doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Whether it’s a few minutes, an hour or several hours, with a little forward planning, there’s always something you can be doing while you wait.

How do you spend periods of waiting? If you have a favorite thing to do while you wait we’d love to hear it. Leave us a comment below and share your tips.

Taking the stress out of staying organized: How Australian-based PR company, N2N Communications, use DropTask.

Stuart Wragg is an Associate Partner at a Sydney-based communications agency responsible for building and managing the reputations of well-known brands including Facebook, Uber and Airbnb. Helping clients to navigate around an ever-changing digital environment means that spinning plates is a full-time job for Stuart and his team, and earlier this month he took some time to tell us how DropTask has allowed them to spend more time doing, and less time organizing.

Stuart Wragg Associate Partner at N2N CommunicationsBefore discovering DropTask, we had no set method for managing our workloads within the company. We would capture meeting actions in notebooks, write client to-dos on post-it notes, and create action items through email. It soon became clear that some of the team were struggling to keep track of their to-dos and too much time was being spent on trying to manage workloads – instead of doing the creative work they love most. Therefore we required a solution that would enable us to simultaneously manage and prioritize workloads, while promoting a far more efficient way of working.

Team using notebooks before DropTask“When we came across DropTask, we knew we were onto a winner.”

We tried out various collaboration and project management tools, most of which were popular with the team at first, but soon fell by the wayside because they took too much time to master. However, when we came across DropTask, we knew we were onto a winner. The intuitive and visual nature of the tool stood out to us and its simple design made it easy to use, meaning no training was needed to get the team started.

“We love how accessible and easy to use DropTask is via a mobile device.”DropTask used to manage networking event

Whether we’re keeping track of client campaigns or organizing business development activities, DropTask is used to manage it all. In fact, the company recently hosted a networking event for a group of senior communications executives – in which DropTask was instrumental in organizing.  The powerful features allowed team members to work with each other on the project, where they were able to easily record actions, set priorities and monitor progress.  Within the project we set up a range of groups – each of which filled with different jobs associated with the logistics of the event. The ability to cluster all activities into similar types of work made the organizing process quick and effortless – we even used DropTask to keep track of the RSVPs for the event!

“DropTask has become an invaluable and efficient tool that takes the stress out of staying organized for our senior team.”

We love how accessible and easy to use DropTask is via a mobile device.  As consultants, we’re often out of the office meeting with clients, influencers and suppliers and in any one day we might pick-up 50 jobs that need to be recorded and actioned.  DropTask gives us a place to instantly store those jobs and assign responsibilities, which means once we’re back in the office we can spend more time doing, and less time organizing.

As our agency continues to grow and the work we do for clients becomes increasingly complex, so too does the pressure on our time. DropTask has become an invaluable and efficient tool that takes the stress out of staying organized for our senior team.”

 Get your team started today by signing up for free at www.droptask.com/signup

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

Time Management Tips for a Productive Week (Part 2)

Time Management Tips

On Friday, we looked at how you could get started with the free version of DropTask to get the most out of the working week. So today, we’re going to explore some practical tips for the advanced functionality that you can expect from DropTask PRO. If you missed last week’s post, click here to take a look.


1. Make things manageableBreak down large tasks into manageable sections

Many of us procrastinate when faced with a large responsibilities as it can sometimes be a struggle to work out where to begin. When faced with a challenge such as this, it helps if we break tasks down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Whitson Gordon, productivity and technology expert from LifeHacker claims : “Once you’ve got it down into quick, simple steps, you might find you just start doing the task right then and there. The hardest part is laying out what you actually have to do to get it done. By thinking about it, you’ve already accomplished half of the task.”

With DropTask PRO, you’re able to create ‘subtasks’ for each of your tasks. When subtasks are added, a segmented ring will appear around the outer edge, and this allows you to visually track the progress of your task as each section will light up when a subtask is ticked off. This feature can be very useful as you can see how far a task is from completion with just a single glance.


2. Maintain accountabilityAssign tasks to establish responsibility

Steve Jobs famously created an efficient working environment at Apple. He introduced a methodology called the Directly Responsible Individual, where he would assign every task to a specific person, so that the team knew who had the lead on everything that was being done within the business. This meant that someone was always accountable and employees knew who to turn to for each and every task.

When solving a complex issue, individual task assignment helps team members to identify that someone is driving the task forward, and it can act as a really great motivator too. With DropTask PRO, simply drag and drop a co-worker’s profile picture onto a task and test out Jobs’ DRI system for yourself.


3. Improve teamwork
Collaborate with your team members

Whether you are working as part of a small team or remotely collaborating with colleagues from around the world, keeping everything together can be a chore. With an abundance of apps for collaboration, file sharing and notes, keeping track of your workload can be time consuming.

With DropTask PRO, you can keep your files, conversations and tasks together in one place. Working with others in real-time enables the whole team to be aware of what is going on at any given time, and this not only saves time by reducing the number of status report meetings, but it also allows team members to identify how they could be collaborating more efficiently. For example, you might see that a colleague is working on something that you have done before, and perhaps you have expertise in that particular area that you could share.

Combining these steps with the tips discussed on Friday will get you well on your way to a more productive and time-efficient way of working. Take the challenge and try implementing these tips this week – let us know how you get on in the comments below.

Get started by signing up to DropTask for free today.

Time Management Tips for a Productive Week (Part 1)

With Friday upon us, the wise look towards the week ahead. Forward planning almost always results in improved organization and performance. Whether this week went as planned or if there were a few hiccups along the way, looking at how we can improve the week ahead is a smart move.

Those who manage their time effectively are able to get more done and successfully take advantage of the hours that they have available to them. Although these people are often said to be “super-organized” or “naturally organized people”, many of them have a trick or two up their sleeves that the rest of us “ordinary folk” could learn from. In this two-part post we will take you through some top tips to guard you against an unproductive way of working – before we set you some small challenges to put your new-found knowledge into practice.


Keep everything in one place

1. Keep everything in one place

Whether you use pen and paper, your laptop or even your cellphone, when you have an ever increasing pile of things to do – put them all in one place. Jana Jasper, a New York-based productivity expert and author of Take Back Your Time, tells how we are plagued by the fear of forgetting our tasks – “We’re always in a rush. We start things and don’t finish them and are constantly nagged by the idea that we’ve forgotten to do something, but we’re not sure what it is.”

So, as soon as you realize a task needs to be completed, record it. That way, the next time you’re haunted by that nagging feeling you can simply look through your array of tasks and locate what you need in an instant – which is much easier than trying to rack your memory! Once you have all your tasks in one place, you’ll also need to develop a system whereby you can easily organize, locate and manage them in an effective way – without wasting time. We’ll address how to do this towards the end of this post.


Group tasks together

2. Group related tasks together

When recording your tasks it can be important to keep related tasks close by to enable us to be more efficient and complete groups of tasks all at once. For example, you may need to speak to an events company about organizing a local charity event but you know that you also need to organize a party in a weeks’ time. Two separate things that are on your radar of things to do, but by grouping them together you could make one phone call and inquire about both the charity event and the party at once.


Prioritize your tasks

3. Prioritize

Not all tasks are simultaneously urgent, important and need to be actioned immediately. By taking a moment to analyse which one of the following groups a task falls into, you’ll be helping yourself decide what to do next and what can be left until later. This is a widely accepted way of filtering out your tasks as devised by D. Eisenhower (former president of the US):

  • Urgent and important (action immediately)
  • Not urgent but important (action later)
  • Urgent but not important (consider dismissing/delegating)
  • Neither urgent nor important (consider dismissing)

By setting both the urgency and importance of a task, it will help you know what you should focus your attention on next and what can be left until later. It’s impossible to do everything at once, but prioritizing your workload can help you see where to start. You may even find that you reduce your workload by eliminating irrelevant tasks or those with low importance.

Now you know how to become one of the “super-organized”, I’d love to point you in the direction of DropTask as the place to go to put these steps into practice. In DropTask, you can use a simple drag and drop approach to create tasks based on your responsibilities, while easily organizing them into colorful groups to keep related items together. What’s more, you can do all this (plus much more) for free by signing up to DropTask here.


Coming Soon… In part 2 of this post we will show you how to take these concepts further by introducing person-specific task assignment, team collaboration, sub-tasks, plus more! In the meantime, why not let us know how you’re getting on when practising these time management tips? We’d love to hear from you, so leave your comments in the section below or if you would like some one-to-one advice email us at support@droptask.com.