Five Ways to be More Productive This Year

Five Ways to be More Productive This Year

January is one of my favorite months. It is my birthday month so I tend to stretch the celebration beyond the customary single day. It is also a great month to reset and reflect. The holidays seem to put us in a time management tail spin. Our time is consumed with parties, family visits, travel, end of the year business activities, and of course, the countless hours our kids were out of school. There were a number of holiday networking events, which resulted in the typical pile of business cards. Is your business card approach similar to mine? I place all of the business cards in a pile, and then they sit there. After a bit, I’ll wrap them with a rubber band, and then they sit there.
Evernote Hello is a creative way to scan the cards. Take a photo of the card with your smartphone, and it will search social media sites for the contact. Once the contact is found, you can link to them with a single click. The app performs an accurate capture of the contact information. This was always one of my pet peeves with other apps. Maybe the cards can become useful this year rather than take up valuable desk space. In my previous life, I was an Excel guru. Well, I thought I was a guru until I worked for a large company that hired Excel gurus. Regardless, I have always been able to build workbooks with formulas, such as “If this happens, then enter this cell.” For some reason, my brain works that way. Now I am using IFTTT, which is an app called, If This Than That. It turns your smartphone into an auto messenger. The app uses my GPS location to recognize I am entering or exiting the address of Toddler App’s school. At each instance, it will send Mrs. App a text so she knows Toddler App is being picked up or dropped off. The tool is versatile and alows you to customize your own alerts. It can send an email every time a photo is taken; post a Tweet based upon a setting; and, generate LinkedIn invites for each new contact as they are created. Did you create a cool IFTTT? If so, share it with me!
I would love to know how many readers have converted to reading the news via their Twitter feed? I am on Twitter all day. I may not Tweet, but I am watching my feed for news. It is also becoming a marketing tool. There are marketing studies that state which days and times are best for delivering tweets and emails. So why are we sending information when someone may not be looking at their social media streams? If you would like to maximize the number of eyes on your posts, then use Buffer. It creates a schedule for your updates. This can help maximize your update effectiveness.
The number of productivity tools is mind boggling. I always believe, keep it simple. I try to reduce the amount of items on my office white board. Instead of listing the items on the board, I’ll list them on Any.do. It is a task list for your smartphone. There is always a sense of accomplishment when the items are crossed off. Some people dance around. Others use different color markers to check off an item. I
say, dance around and check off the items from your app. It’ll probably make your co-workers worry about you, but it’ll be fun! I also like iDoneThis. It’s obvious the app’s creator was not very good at English, but who cares. He is a millionaire.

Our business has a daily huddle via Microsoft Lync video conference. We share our daily action items and success stories. Each night, iDoneThis reminds you to complete the action items for tomorrow and wins for today. Once the action is complete, it sends the update to our CEO. The morning huddles are more efficient and quicker than in the past.

Do you have a favorite productivity tool? Contact Brian at brian.zabroski@vxsuite.com, on Twitter @BrianZab or LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/brianzab.
Brian has focused on helping technology companies grow their businesses for over fifteen years. He currently serves as the Director of Channel Management for LVM, Inc. a cloud-based software business, which specializes in network monitoring, phone system usage analytics and mobile device analytics through a product suite called VXSuite. Simply put, if your business’ network, phone system and corporate cell phones are slow, have issues and are expensive, then his software reduces and eliminates these challenges. The software is resold through an international channel of technology partners. He travels across North America educating technology companies how they can increase their business value nearly five-fold through his hybrid managed service selling technique.
Brian Zabroski (4 Blog Posts)