Running a small business can be a difficult job. The responsibilities can be daunting, and the tasks can quickly pile up. Running a micro-business can be even tougher. Similar tasks are placed on fewer people, and your to-do list can get crowded in a hurry. Compounding the challenge is the fact that many people simply procrastinate their duties. After all, why do something now when there will be time for it later? There’s no clear reason why some people tend to procrastinate. Research suggests that procrastination might actually be a factor of genetics, something that’s been passed down through the generations. Maybe you even fall into that category. But just because you might be a natural procrastinator doesn’t mean you have to give in to your instinctual behaviors. A variety of productivity tools are out there, ready to help you overcome the urge to delay what should be done right away.
Procrastination sometimes stems from a lack of organization. The MakeMe app can help you overcome this tendency, giving you a platform to input the goals you want to reach. MakeMe also tracks your progress in achieving your stated goals while also providing plans that will help you every day you’re working on them. MakeMe also helps your small team collaborate and give support to each other, giving you extra motivation to work now.
Perhaps one of the main reasons you procrastinate is the number of distractions easily accessible on the web. That’s where RescueTime comes in. Once installed, RescueTime monitors how you spend your time while at your computer. At the same time, it tracks your productivity, giving you updates and graphs about how well you’re utilizing your time. RescueTime can even block websites, getting rid of those extra temptations.
On the surface, the Carrot app looks like a normal to-do list program. But this one, as the creators put it, has “personality.” One of Carrot’s distinguishing features is how it uses gamification to encourage you to get stuff on your to-do list done. Once completed, you get one of hundreds of awards. Fail to tackle your to-do list, however, and Carrot doesn’t take kindly to your procrastination.
The Producteev program is all about project and task management. This may be especially helpful for you and your small team. Producteev essentially works by collecting all the information in your various Outlook programs, like your email and calendar, and places them in an easy-to-use format. That makes it easier to delegate tasks and keep everyone updated on what you and they should be doing.
Similar to Producteev, Wrike is all about communication and keeping everyone, including yourself, on task. Wrike is another management program that makes sure everyone is accountable for their actions. By integrating with other programs like Outlook and cloud computing tools like Google Drive, you can set priorities so you know exactly what you should be doing and when you should do it.
6. Cold Turkey
If you still have trouble concentrating and keeping away from distracting websites, you may have to use Cold Turkey. This app is all about blocking websites, apps, and programs that serve to keep you from doing what you need to do. You can also set specific periods of time during the day when sites are blocked, which comes in handy if you know certain times are when it’s easiest to get distracted.
Imagine taking the idea of the bulletin board and turning it high-tech. That’s Trello in a nutshell. Trello lets you fill up your board with virtual notes telling you things like what you need to do, what you’re currently doing, and what you’ve recently done. Trello also gives you notifications to keep you on task and can be used with your small team so you can collaborate together.
This is only a small sampling of the many productivity tools that are out there ready for you to use. Since many of them are available on mobile devices, they make a perfect fit in the age of BYOD. If procrastination is a problem, these tools can be the right prescription to ensure you are organized and always doing something that is benefiting your micro-business. Working in a distraction-free environment can be just the thing to increase productivity and achieve new levels of success.