How to be more productive?

The irony has not escaped me that I started off writing this post an hour ago and a number of crucial tasks got in the way preventing me from finishing it. I had vital things to do ,like have a coffee, check for post, check my email, have a look at facebook and twitter. You get the idea. I’m sure that I’m not alone in this and that sometimes the things we actually have to get done can get left til five in the evening and we wonder where the day went.
When working with groups I mention the concept of ‘Eating the Frog’. What is it I hear you ask? Well as not many of us are too fond of eating frogs, allow me to share. The frog that you have to eat on any given day may be a task that you don’t want to do. These frogs can take the shape of posting a letter, doing the car insurance, cleaning the bathroom, making an awkward phone call telling someone, something they dont want to hear.
There are other ones that I hear from people regularly, “cleaning out the back bedroom”, “cleaning the garage”, ” doing my expenses, cleaning the oven/fridge/car.” There are a number of reasons why we don’t enjoy these tasks, the main ones being that they are no fun.
Looking at a cat in alabama who can play the piano on youtube is clearly much more enjoyable.
Looking at clothes you can’t afford online is also a pretty enjoyable pastime too. I am guilty of them all. However as a self -employed person the need to be somewhat disciplined is crucial or you simply wouldnt get paid. Until someone wants to pay me for analysing pictures of cats on facebook, I think I better stick with the day job.
Now if we take the frog you have to eat and combine it with a principle called the Pareto Principle. (This concept was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population.)
You can take this statistic and apply it to many situations. ie 80% of your clothes hang in the wardrobe and you wear only 20%. In terms of time management you can spend 80% of your time thinking about doing something that would actually only take 20% of the time to do.
That simple fact has helped me enormously. I will now sit down and ask myself in the morning, “What’s my frog today”?. Then I will go on facebook and look at cats…….
There are a number of tools that can help you to save time. I will list a few of them.
I havent used it much but it does look pretty impressive.

Google Calendar

This is by far the most effective as you can sync it with your phone and create alerts and reminders. I find it really useful.
This is brilliant. If you have content that you share regularly through social media. It will schedule tweets and allow you to put content out while you are sleeping. I used this and realised that I was suddenly getting followers from different time zones who are online while I’m sleeping and vice versa.
This is quite simply the most useful tool that I found all year. If you have a really long link to share it will shorten it down into a smaller link so you can fit it on twitter or facebook without it taking up half the page.
This last website I only discovered at the weekend. It spoke to me on so many levels. I love reading, I love absorbing new information. I love finding the keypoints in any self help, business book or educational book. This allows you to look up books that you want to read but dont have the time and it gives you a summary of the key points. I’m sure the authors of these books will not be thrilled with this but I was just a little bit when I discovered it. Especially because it had so many books I had been meaning to read.
Now to the seven people who took the time to follow me last week. I have noted it and you are on my nice list at Christmas time. I appreciate it. Now go be productive and get off the internet.

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