Get clarity on what you actually want to accomplish and why. The what is going to give you the path and the why is going to give you the inspiration.
Adrian Simmons lives in Washington D.C. in the U.S. and is an owner of an accounting firm that he recently took over from his father. He has worked there for more than 12 years and manages a team of four. We had a chance to talk to Adrian and learn more about his workflow, how he sets up his day and organizing his assignments.
Over the years, I have been trying to come up with good ways to keep my focus and help me avoid distraction from what needs to be done. This has been essential in my efforts to accomplish all the different goals and projects that I am trying to get done.”
Start off by looking at the BIG picture
Throughout the years, I’ve learnt that it’s really important to get clarity on what you actually want to accomplish and why. The what is going to give you the path and the why is going to give you the inspiration.
Afterwards, its all about having a system to help you accomplish it and stick with it. Be forgiving to yourself when you miss it, but then get right back on track.
To be able to follow through with your goals, you should really have the big picture in your mind. Think about your long-term vision, the mid-term goals and the things you just have to do now. Finding a way to incorporate those three allows you to make personal progress.
But remember, being organized and productive is an evolving process.
Why you need a time management tool
As I had more responsibility and the desire to accomplish more, I found it essential to set up my own ways of doing that. Some call them the structure of freedom.
That structure helps me spend less time on planning what I am supposed to do.
I discovered Evernote about four years ago, and it’s been a great help to me as a place to store inspirational thoughts, brainstorming and ideas. I have been using it to plan out my week ever since.
My process has consisted of:
1. Checking my personal calendar
2. Checking the business calendar
3. Catching up on other tasks
4. Collecting all tasks in an Evernote note and ordering them by priority and day of the week
5. Checking off tasks during the day
Introducing Swipes in the workflow
Having a list of my tasks has been truly helpful, but the one thing it didn’t do so well was adapting to the fluid demands and priorities of the day. I searched for a good task manager and found out about Swipes.
It’s a great tool to stay organized, as I import my daily tasks from Evernote in Swipes in the beginning of the day. Then I prioritize them, assign a schedule and focus on one or two main tasks.
The experience has been so refreshing and helpful that it almost feels as if I have a personal assistant in some ways, helping me get things done for the day.
Tools like Swipes and Evernote have really helped me use the concepts of productivity and time management. By creating a structure, I could start making progress on my goals.
Walking on a path alone is definitely character-building, but it’s always nice to get the example of people who’ve walked it and reached their goals. One of those people for me has been Michael Hyatt, author of The New York Times bestseller Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
After reading his great tips on how Evernote can be used as a tool to achieve my goals, I sat down and planned out the most important big things that I want to accomplish in 2015. Then I set up in detail the steps that will lead to that result. I made three different lists of those! And now whenever I decide I want to work on one of those tasks long-term goals, I simply add them to Swipes for the day.
Another source of inspiration for me has been Dan Sullivan who runs Strategic Coach. It provides training for entrepreneurs done by entrepreneurs. I’ve been using some of Dan’s concepts about setting goals and making progress. Especially when I combined them with awesome tools like Evernote and Swipes, I’ve been able to create a structure for my work and really make big steps in the right direction.
Helping Others Become More Productive
When you become good at something, the best next step is to share your knowledge. It makes your personal achievement so much more meaningful – and multiplies its effect.
That’s why I’ve started doing some business coaching for my customers, using Evernote as a checklist to help them to identify action items. I have also promoted Swipes as a follow up tool to take action on those items. Even my girlfriend who is a teacher has started using it to go through her tasks successfully.
Found this inspiring? Try it out yourself today.
Download Swipes and start your productivity journey!