My website design business is supposed to be a part-time gig. But, like many of you know, being an entrepreneur and small business owner makes that “part-time” thing really hard to stick to. Especially when my computer and iPhone are within arm’s reach most of the day and I don’t have an office outside my home where I can leave my work. The past two posts I wrote are about productivity and the tools I use to manage my time efficiently. This post is the last in this productivity series and I’ll be talking about juggling work and life and how productivity factors into the mix.
In my last post, I talked about productivity, getting things done and why that system works for me (and a lot of others). It’s the system I fall back on and know I can trust when life and work get hectic. I used to rely on a Moleskine notebook to hold all of my todo lists, but over the past few years, I’ve transitioned to relying more on my iPhone and electronic note-taking. While I still carry around a small notebook, I find it easier just to get my notes into my electronic system immediately rather than translate them from paper later.
But my productivity system doesn’t rely simply on todo lists. In today’s digital world, we’re processing a ton of information, from emails to social media feeds to texts. Here are the tools that help me work smarter and more productively. Some of these tools are business and design-related and others are for personal productivity. For me, work and personal life are fairly intertwined (I work from my home, after all!), so many of my tools serve both purposes.
I’m a big fan of being productive. In a pretty geeky way, actually. I love the Getting Things Done methodology. David Allen’s book changed my life. I’ve been reading Lifehacker since its inception and am always on the lookout for finding ways to be more productive. I’m busy; who isn’t? I’ve got young children, a growing business, friends and family I like to hang out with and a lot of hobbies that I like to spend time on. The days aren’t getting any longer and I. love. to. sleep. I’m not one of those people that can get by on four or five hours of sleep. I need a good seven hours to function.
So I’m constantly in search of new tools and ways to make my life easier, both personally and in my business. When I started writing this blog post, I thought I’d just talk about productivity, in general, but then I realized that there’s way too much to cover in just one post, so I’m going to break it into three parts. This first part will focus on the basics of Getting Things Done (or GTD), why it works for me and why it’s important to find your own “system” that you trust.