Tool #1: Momentum (Chrome extension)
A year ago, I got this life-changer advice to avoid procrastination: write your main goal for the day on a sticky note, paste it on your laptop and just do it!
Seriously? Is that what are you suggesting?
Well, it might be not that obvious. Tim Ferris, the author of the 4-Hour-Week, states that, sometimes, we fill our day with unnecessary tasks to feel that we are pretty busy. As a result, you think you are doing something when you are actually not doing anything… and in the long-run, this illusion could cost you more dollars than you think, not to mention time.
Wouldn't it be nice to do what you are supposed to do?
Definitely. As a translator, it is very difficult to stay focused. Social networks are time-consuming and I usually find myself having some conversations like this one:
So this is what worked for me:
Step 1. Install the Momentum extension.
Step 2. Write you main goal for the day and press Enter.
Step 3. Be happy. Your computer will remind you your main goal every time you are about to make a bad decision… well, almost.
Besides, you can see the hour, the weather, a motivational quote, a nice background that changes daily, and your to-do list.
What else can you ask for?
Mmm… nope. The computer is not going to do your job. Sorry 😉
One more thing: you can also include challenges to yourself to promote healthy behaviors, such as “Drink water every time you see this” in order to keep yourself hydrated; or reminders such as “call your mother, she loves you”.
Tool #2: Sortd (Skin for Gmail)
I found this last night and I really wish I had known about it years ago. In other words, this is one of the things that you really need to share with others to feel satisfied.
When it comes to productivity, there are thousands of ways of organizing tasks. I love this one because I can drag and drop each e-mail to different columns so I prioritize them.
Also, I can add notes to my e-mails and reminders (on the right). In this case, I wrote a side note to myself so I don’t forget to pay this bill by the next month.
In summary, my life is divided into two parts: after and before these tools. After all, what are talent and perseverance without organization?
Clara Valderrama is a translator. She studied Philology and Languages at the National University of Colombia, where she currently works as an English teacher. She is also a journalist from Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá. She is the author of The Checklist (La lista), a book in which she provides advice on interpersonal relationships, productivity, and wellness in times of technology. You can get her book here.
Image credit:stockasso / 123RF