One of the key things we have been learning is that in order to make effective progress we need to make a plan, keep focused and take action.
Here are some free tools that will help you to keep organised and on top of your plan!
Asana – Ideal if you have a team that you need to keep on track. You can see real time activity and so know what is happening within your team. It is free to use provided your team is less than 30 people!
Trello – This is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, Trello tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. It can be used for a team or individual.
Producteev – This is one of the most simple task managers out there. You can manage all your tasks easily and set reminders. It will work on PC, MAC and mobile devices. I started using this but then came across Freedcamp and I prefer that one.
Todoly -Very easy and simple to use online software to manage task. If you want to try something without a lot of learning then this will be the one to choose.
Freedcamp – This is deffinitely the easiest for me anyway. It is very similar to basecampHQ but free! Really easy to get started and to move your tasks up or down the list of to dos!
10 Step Action Plan
Here are some steps that you can implement straight away to help you stay focused. These are the tings that I have noticed distract me when I am working or things that increase my productivity!
1. Turn off your alerts!
Email, twitter, facebook, skype etc. You get distracted when you hear the “ping” sound and you JUST HAVE TO CHECK IT OUT! Before you know it you have been drawn into conversation and an hour has gone by! Turn them all off NOW!
2. Turn off your mobile/phone
When you are working on your business at home other people might not think you are working. They phone you up for a chat. This happens to me and it drives me mad! I now turn the phone onto answer machine mode. If its important they can leave a message ro send a text.
In addition I don’t answer the door! Seriously 🙂 If I was working away from home in an office then I wouldn’t be in so when I’m focused on a task and have given myself a time limit then I don’t answer the door!
3. Setting time limits
This is really important because if you have less time to do a task you will be more focused to get it done! Also it means that you will be more productive and won’t be working such long hours to get your tasks completed.
4. Break up your tasks
If you know the end goal then work backwards and ask yourself – what would I need to do just before achieving this step? If you do this for each step then you will create a step by step simple blueprint for achieving your end goal. You won’t get so overwhelmed if you can see each simple task that need to be done.
5. Take Regular Breaks
It has been proved that taking regular breaks away from your work will improve your concentration. Take a stretching break every 15 minutes – you can stand up, stretch, do a knee squat and sit back down again.
Have a proper break every hour. So get up and goo for a walk, walk up and down the stairs a few times, go out into the garden and breathe in the fresh air. Anything that will get your body m0ving and your lungs breathing deeply.
6. Set deadlines
I little bit of stress is good for you so give yourself deadlines to get things done. You will then be more focused to complete the task. Reminder to set realistic deadlines.
Let others know what you are planning on doing so that you have to keep to your word! Posting it one your blog is a great way to make sure you produce what you have declared! Make your deadline known as well!
8. Take a tea break!
Make sure that you drink plenty while working. If you get dehydrated you won’t work as effectively. Water is actually better than tea or coffee – keep a bottle nearby so that you can take a sip regularly.
9. Exercise regularly
If you have daily exercise you will help to keep your body running smoothly and your mind motivated. Exercise clears your head and keeps your muscles healthy. Sitting at a computer is bad for your back (especially when you have disc problems!) so make sure you exercise to give your muscles a chance to workout and then relax.
Relaxation is important because it gives your mind a chance to relax. Set aside 10-20 minutes each day to go somewhere quiet and relax your body and mind.