Productivity

The productivity stack to work on the right thing

Vincent Haywood
The productivity stack to work on the right thing

How many task lists do you have? On paper? In an app? Through shared dashboards. Each one is designed to make sense of what you need to get done - and in some cases, they do help bring some sort of structure, but can easily get out of hand.

What about which ones to do first, what should you concentrate on.

These are issues I've been facing whilst running my consultancy and building my side projects. I found things were slipping off the radar.

I noticed that your mood is so much better when you are able to quantify what you got done, able to see that you put in the time to get things done

I'd have days where I was floating between tasks and it was just demotivating, plus had a domino effect in not sticking to my goals.

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.” - David Allen, Getting Things Done

You end up doing things rushed and not delivering on what you want to get out there. So with that in mind, I had to organise this and balance client work with side project work. Here's how I did that :

Introducing the productivity Stack

Install or sign up for these tools, use them religiously. They really do help, you'll be able to plan your day, see what takes up your time and adjust accordingly

Rize - Rize is an intelligent time tracker that improves your focus and helps you build better work habits. I installed this and over time tagged what each thing was and can now see where most of my time is spent, this helps me balance client work and side gigs. I have a rule that I need to spend at least an hour on the side gigs, this helps me keep track.

Clickup - this is optional, I use it to break down my bigger projects into the smallest tasks possible. Then add them to a board (like Trello), I then go into a Gantt view and set realistic deadlines. Using the minimum 1 hour a day approach I can quickly estimate how long something will take.

Sunsama - this is the most important tool for me. It's a piece of software that allows you to plan your day by dragging your tasks into your calendar. You get to set rules for how many hours you want to work and when your cut off time is. It will tell you if you have too much on. I use this in my morning routine to plan out the day. The cool thing is that it integrates with Click up - so based on my Gantt chart I can see what's due today and drag it into my calendar. (Plus you can integrate even more like Trello, Todoist, even your emails) - sync this to your calendar and your phone or app will prompt you what you have to work on next. Keeps you on track.

With these three tools, my day is fully planned and I can see what I have achieved.

A lot of the things we work on only have long-term results, so to be able to see that you are on track and moving in the right direction is a great inspiration to keep going.

Now I can go and tick this post off on my Sunsama list. 😆