A. YOU can start by making a list.
I started one in my weekly newsletter for my girls’ groups in 2010, and started it again for Quartz employees in 2014. It isn’t a legal obligation, but a conversation that we have at the beginning of every year is to create a new, weekly to-do list. Recently, we encouraged people to add each item to their to-do list, and jotted it down to be seen every morning.
I encourage people to invest in a personal productivity tool of their choice.
It has to be something they can use long-term, something they feel good using, something they can control and update frequently. For me, it’s a program called Tripli. I use it on most of my devices: Gmail, an iPad, and my iPhone. I can set reminders, check the progress of my lists, make a delete or add a new item, and can filter items by category. Tripli costs around $12 a month.
When it’s really busy, I like to run a stack of several e-mails on my computer screen to get my head back into flow. When I’m writing a piece, I can juggle a ton of e-mails and check them in different time zones to make sure I don’t miss anything.
I can also build an offline plan. When I have writer’s block, I will put some ideas in a 30-day working plan on the weekends, even without Internet, and try to stick to it.
People ask me all the time what I do that I think is the most productive thing I’ve ever done. One of my most productive things is to say no. I’m tired. I’m stressed. I can’t stop everything. If I take the time to close that window of opportunity that’s available to me, I have an hour to get started on something else.
I hope this helps you.