Ultimate Challenge: Minimize Time, Maximize Work and Productivity

Yes, it is challenge time.

(It has been some time since I took a challenge – I am so excited for this one!).

For the past couple of months, I have been experimenting with a whole lot of tools (you would have guessed that by now if you had read my recent post or have been following me on my social media sites).

And most of the tools were related to increasing online productivity (I didn’t plan to do any challenges back then, I just wanted to experiment and see what works).

Before I begin, let me give you the list of tools I have used so far:

Editorial Calendar – Well, a productivity tool just for my blog posts.

Astrid Tasks – A to do list kind of app. You create tasks to do and check them as you do it.

Google Reader – A related tool, for blog commenting (I can definitely say that my commenting productivity increased ever since I started using G reader).

Work Flowy – This is not directly related to productivity and time management, but it can help a lot – a free flow mind mapping tool.

Rescue Time – A tool that lets you to supervise everything you do on your computer (From browsing internet to browsing folders – you can categorize each activity as productive or not). And the tool, based on all this, lets you know how productive you were for the time of the day.

Focus Booster – A tool that works on the principle of Pomodoro technique (25 minute work blocks along with 5 minute breaks). This tool is available in two version: A desktop version and an online version.

So, you see, I have tried tools all across the “hemisphere” of tools.

So which ones are the best tools?

Well, all of them are the best, in their own ways.

As of now, I only use G reader, Rescue Time and Focus Booster (I didn’t abandon others – they are there, but I find that these three tools are the most helping!).

So, here is the challenge:

My college is starting soon (Well, next month). Summer has been great, I have spending a whole lot of time on blogging.

And now, I need to reduce my time (so that I can focus on my studies!).

Here is what I have planned to do: Reduce my blogging days to just 1.5 hours per day.

This way I have more than enough time to study and some time for blogging related activities.

I have allotted each day (from Monday to Friday) a specific activity like commenting and blog posting.

So, here is what I am going to do:

I am going to experiment with Rescue Time, Focus Booster and G reader to increase my productivity and minimize the time I spend on blogging (While increasing or keeping the same results with comments etc).

These tools are very powerful on their own, now what if we combine those powers?

So, are you with me? The challenge starts tomorrow 🙂

This is the ultimate productivity challenge 😉

And I am going for maximum productivity!

Do You Need Tools in Business Blogging?

Yes and no.

I have a big “Yes” to tools like social media, inbound marketing and others in general.

I have a big “No” to specific tools such as twitter clients, to do lists etc.

I personally like and use many tools, but over the years of blogging, I have reduced the tools I depend on drastically.

On a side note: I just noticed that Comment Luv was inactive for the past couple of weeks – All thanks to “crappy” updater – not sure, if it is just an issue with my site. Anyways, I am grateful to all of you: Thank you for being a valuable commentator who care – more about relationships and content than about links.

As of now, the only tools I depend upon are Workflowy, Rescue Time, WP, Google related products (Gmail, Google drive, Google Chrome), Bufferapp and occasionally Crowd booster.

Workflowy is like a awesome mind map tool, much easier to use and is like a free flow chart (Actually like our brain). Thanks to Ryan Hanley for introducing me to the tool.

Rescue Time is a tool that tracks the amount of time we spent on each activity/program/site. A very handy tool to realize where our time goes. Thanks to Lisa for the introduction.

Do I use other tools? Certainly in the form of WordPress plugins (or general tools such as Social media – twitter).

Anyways, here is why I am working on reducing the number of tools that I depend upon:

Tools are like medicinal drugs – they can help us, but they don’t necessarily solve any problems. I know a lot of bloggers who spend their time finding more tools to improve their productivity and achieve their goals. Yes, tools can improve our productivity – but it depends. If we aren’t willing to work, tools aren’t going to make a big difference.

Like I mentioned earlier, tools are like medicinal drugs. You know what happens when we use a drug for a long time, our body begins to heavily rely on it (starts to become an addiction). Take for instance: Coffee. The caffeine in the coffee binds to our neuro-synaptic receptors and increases our attention span (it actually replaces a body chemical that performs the specific task, over time, the body gets addicted to it).

I believe that’s the science behind it (it’s almost close, sorry I learned it 3 years ago, forgot a lot of stuff).

Relying heavily upon tools isn’t a great option (What if the company decides to take out the tool? Sure there might be other competitors, but just think about it).

Moreover, we need to learn to control ourselves and make decision regarding productivity and where our time in spent without the help of any tools (Using them in the short term is the viable option, which is what I do. I have tried many productivity apps, I switch between them every month or so – this not only decreases my reliance upon the tool, but also keeps the effectiveness of the tool at the same level. Note: Remember, tools are like medicinal drugs, over time the effectiveness of the “same dose” decreases.

Anyways, those are just my thoughts regarding tools.

Yes, you need certain tools for business.

But, try to keep it low – rely on tools that you really need (And experiment with others). Learn to control your body and mind. Teach your body to spend time where you actually need to spend it – not where you want to.