Low-tech productivity solutions
Did you know small businesses are any business with less than $25 million in annual revenue? There's a lot of small businesses out there. And they're all trying to navigate this crazy world that we're in right now. A lot of moms are out there trying to run businesses and balance the kids and balance all the things. So today I want to talk to you about some of my favorite low-tech solutions to help you with your productivity.
Very often we're looking for the next piece of tech that is going to get us going. Or make a difference in our productivity. I'm going to share three low-tech solutions that are very helpful.
Low-tech productivity solutions - #1
The first thing I want to talk to you about is my paper planner. For those of you who know me, I'm a tech junky. However, I use technology typically to capture things over the long term. And then I use low-tech or paper to capture things for the day.
Because my goal when I'm working is to try and minimize distractions. And the more tabs and apps I have open, I usually end up doing something else. I'm more likely to end up on Facebook, listening to a podcast, or reading news. I'm going to end up where I'm not supposed to be. What I've found that works for me is if I can keep track of my day on paper, my day is more productive.
Long-term appointments are in my Google calendar. Complex tasks or tasks that I don't get finished at the end of the day, go into Click Up. You can use Asana or Trello. But the important thing is to have some type of container to house these tasks so you don't lose them.
Work on paper throughout the day
When I'm working for the day, I'm working on paper. So the first thing I use is my Full Focus Planner.
The Full Focus Planner has a planner for each quarter. So it's not a big planner. It's beautiful, durable, and has a nice feel to it. The planner also makes you put your goals in every quarter. So you need to keep going back to your goals. It has room for your important tasks every day. You can write things in your schedule to help with your time blocking.
How I use my Full Focus Planner
Every day, I open up my Google calendar. That's where I capture all my appointments. I'll fill in all my appointments for the day. And then I will close Google calendar for the day.
Then, I will look at all the empty spaces I have on my schedule and see what I can do during that time. I will look at those open blocks and figure out what I can get done today. That is when I will open up Click Up. Which is where we house all of our tasks. All the things that the team needs to get done.
You can use something like Asana or Trello. Asana is great for individual work. So I check what is on my to-do list, and see what is coming down the pipe, and then I put it down on paper. This way I can close Click Up and work from my planner throughout the day.
What else does the Full Focus Planner have?
I can take notes during the day. If new tasks come up, I don't need to open the task manager on my computer. I just write it down in the notes section. I also have my meal plan written down. My whole day is being managed through this.
This helps me stay off of tech. And it makes my life so much easier.
Low-tech productivity solutions - #2
The second thing is like a paper whiteboard. Now, this is not my idea. This is Julie Stoian's idea. What I use as my paper whiteboard is a mixed media notebook. You can get these at Michael's. Or Walmart has them in the art section.
Essentially this mixed media notebook is an art book. It's spiral bound and it has no lines, just blank pages. This helps when I'm trying to figure out a process. Or if I'm trying to get some thoughts down on paper and it's more than what I can fit in my planner. I use it from brainstorming and for taking notes when I'm on calls with clients, on Q&A calls, or coaching calls.
This notebook comes in different sizes. And they a pretty inexpensive. The paper is thick. So if you want to use markers, highlighters, or felt tip pens, you can. If you're creative and like to map things out and do visual notes, this is great for that.
Using paper helps you be more productive
Doing so much on paper when I'm working, helps me stay as productive as possible. And I can stay on task. Because every time I open a tab, my brain goes, "We can use. Or we can go to Pinterest. Do we need a dinner recipe tonight? Why don't we go to Pinterest? Let's go to Food Network." My brain just doesn't want to do the work.
The fewer tabs I have open during the day, the more productive I am.
Low-tech productivity solutions - #3
The third low-tech productivity solution is a timer cube. You can find these in Staples or on Amazon. On this timer cube, there are four different timers. One on each side. The timers can be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes. Or some come with 60 minutes and 15 minutes. They all have different configurations.
Using the Pomodoro Technique
If I need to focus on something for a short amount of time, I like to use the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro technique is somewhere between 25 minutes and 60 minutes of working, and then you take a break. So you turn on the timer and when it goes off, you're done! For example, if I'm going to spend 20 minutes brainstorming a module for the course, or what I will cover on a call or a podcast. I will set the timer.
Using a physical timer, rather than your phone, will help with productivity. Do you ever go into your phone to turn on the timer? And 20 minutes later you realize that you've got everything on your phone except the timer. Or if you use a timer on your computer, you are on other stuff and never make it to the timer.
Three low-tech productivity solutions to help you get more things done
So my three low tech productivity solutions to help me get so much done during the day are:
- Full Focus Planner
- Mixed Media Notebook
- Timer cube
These three things work very well for me. They might not work for you, but if you struggle with technology and constantly getting distracted on your phone, or your computer, try it out. Try some low-tech solutions.
I'd love to know what your favorites low-tech solutions are. So leave a comment below or go to the Small Biz Mama community on Facebook. This community is our Facebook group where we're hanging out, talking about business. It's where I go live every single week. And I typically go live twice a week. So it's a great place to get more information, community, and some cool business tips.