Staying focused on the job can be a challenge no matter where you work. For those in a more traditional office environment, the typical workday routines are often easier to stay on top of. Freelancers on the other hand must rely entirely on self-discipline and dedication to stay productive.
“According to a study conducted by a Boston marketing firm, the average American burns 55 minutes a day—roughly 12 weeks a year—looking for things they know they own but can't find.” -Newsweek
That is a staggering number to me. 55 minutes per day?! That’s seems like an awful lot of time to spend on looking for things. And this report seems to be based around physical objects we own. I can only imagine what that number would increase to if the report included things we look for in our inboxes, shared drives at work, folders on our computers, etc.
Email is stressful. I have to maintain one of those inboxes where there are no unread emails or I go into a panic. I archive, delete, or file everything. When I see my colleagues’ inboxes with 6,093 unread emails, I just. can’t. deal.
So I got to wondering, how does one even tackle such a monstrosity? I went back to the basics and came up with a few steps to clear out and maintain a well-organized inbox.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you read blogs. At the least consume content on the internet. Perhaps, like me, you use said internet for various reasons—information to add to a lesson for the class you’re teaching, concepts to bring up and explore in a product design meeting, reference material for creative projects, hot men and kittens. (Yes, it’s a thing.)
Going from a large consulting firm to a small startup company can be a drastic change, and it tests the way you get productive. Karen Doster, DC city manager for cove, says that she is most productive in ‘environments with deadlines,’ which there is no shortage of in her position. After working at Penn Schoen Berland as a project manager for 2 years, Karen made the switch to cove, a DC-based startup that was just hitting its first year of existence when she joined the team. As a company all about productivity, Karen has some light to shed on how she gets things done.
When working at a place defined as a ‘productive space,’ you're always on the lookout for the best productivity tools. For cove’s team, we’re very mobile and always have a lot to do (Can I get an amen for that #startuplife?!). Managing our to-do lists can be cumbersome, and my teammates go about it in different ways. So I sat down with a few of them to learn more about a few of the best apps for to-do lists: Trello vs. Asana.