Leveling up your productivity game is one of the most profound things you can do for your career, and productivity systems like Fellow make it possible. If you haven’t already powered up with a productivity system, this is your sign to do so. These systems will provide you with the structure, strategies, and tools you need to better manage your time and focus on what matters most. Interested in learning more? Keep reading to unlock the 10 most effective productivity systems that will change the way you operate and manage your time.
What are productivity systems?
Productivity systems are frameworks, methodologies, or approaches that are designed to improve productivity by optimizing workflows, eliminating distractions, prioritizing tasks, and improving overall efficiency. Typically consisting of a combination of principles, strategies, and tools, productivity systems are often used to improve time, task, and resource management.
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Benefits of productivity systems
1Limit decision fatigue
Decision fatigue can be debilitating, which is why it’s important to put systems in place that limit the need to make unnecessary decisions. Productivity systems can help lessen the impacts of decision fatigue so you can recharge and maintain sound decision-making capabilities.
Productivity systems can significantly boost efficiency by providing effective strategies and systems for managing tasks and workflows. These systems provide individuals with the tools, techniques, and structure necessary to better allocate their time and resources, making it possible to focus on pressing tasks that deliver immediate value.
Productivity systems allow team members to collaborate on shared documents, track progress, and provide real-time updates. Take Fellow, for example. Not only does Fellow enhance collaboration by streamlining communication and creating a hub where action items can be managed, tracked, and reported on, but this system also enables clear assignment of responsibilities, deadlines, and deliverables, ensuring everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
When there aren’t systems and dedicated channels in place, communication may suffer. Productivity systems that allow for streamlined communication help reduce reliance on lengthy email chains and unnecessary real-time meetings, making it easier for employees and teammates to get the information they need without wasting time.
10 effective productivity systems
- Pomodoro Technique
- Time-blocking method
- SMART goal-setting framework
- Most Important Tasks (MITs)
- Eat the Frog
- Eisenhower Matrix
- Ivy Lee method
- Bullet journaling
- To-do list
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work within the time they have—rather than against it. This productivity system works by breaking your workday into manageable 25-minute focus periods followed by 5-minute breaks, making it possible for you to focus on pressing tasks without getting bogged down by distractions.
The Pomodoro Technique works as an effective productivity system by providing you with the structure you need to manage your time and maintain focus. Not only will this technique help you boost productivity, but it will also help you manage tasks more effectively while striking the perfect balance between your personal and professional life.
Time blocking is a technique that involves allocating specific blocks of time to different activities or tasks. Leveraging this productivity system will make it possible for you to prioritize and focus on specific tasks without worrying about multitasking or getting distracted. To stick to the time-blocking productivity system, you must plan your day by assigning time blocks and sticking to your schedule. In addition, you need to protect your time blocks; this means protecting your defined time blocks from interruptions by setting clear boundaries and communicating your availability accordingly.
3SMART goal-setting framework
The SMART goal-setting framework may be the most used productivity system on this list. This framework is commonly used to set effective, actionable goals by helping ensure every goal is well-defined, attainable, and trackable. In addition to helping you create specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals, the SMART framework also ensures that your goals are aligned with your long-term vision. By leveraging the SMART goal-setting framework as a productivity system, you will be able to double down on your goals and enhance your productivity by fostering clarity and remaining accountable.
4Most Important Tasks (MITs)
The Most Important Tasks (MITs) technique is a productivity system that involves identifying and prioritizing your most pressing tasks. This system is ideal if you’re someone who has difficulty juggling conflicting priorities. Leveraging this system will help you narrow down your focus and zero in on what matters most, ensuring you’re making progress and moving the needle, regardless of how full your plate may be.
The Kanban productivity system is a visual project management method that has become wildly popular in sectors such as software development, project management, and personal productivity. Unlike other productivity systems on this list, Kanban works by providing a visual representation of work, allowing those leveraging the system to manage tasks, track progress, and optimize workflows with ease. The visual representation that can be found when leveraging the Kanban system helps provide a clear and concise representation of all pressing tasks, making it easier to understand what must be completed while identifying any hurdles or bottlenecks.
6Eat the Frog
Popularized by Brian Tracy, the Eat The Frog technique involves tackling your most difficult or undesired tasks first thing in the morning. By conquering your most important or unpleasant task first thing in the morning, you free up the rest of your day to work on tasks that energize you while gaining a sense of accomplishment and momentum. When used correctly, the Eat the Frog strategy will help you combat procrastination and increase focus while promoting effective task management.
The Eisenhower Matrix is an excellent framework that will help you prioritize your tasks by categorizing them according to their urgency and importance. This productivity system will help you identify which tasks are important and which ones aren’t so you can determine where to direct your energy and delegate whichever tasks aren’t important or urgent. To leverage the Eisenhower Matrix correctly, you’ll need to categorize your tasks into four quadrants: important and urgent, not important and urgent, important and not urgent, and not important and not urgent. After you’ve taken the time to assign each item on your list to one of the four quadrants, you can effectively determine how to move forward.
8Ivy Lee method
Developed by Ivy Lee, a productivity consultant, The Ivy Lee method is a productivity system that aims to improve focus, prioritize pressing tasks, and increase productivity. This productivity system works by carving out time at the end of each day to list the six most important tasks that you must complete the following day. When you begin to work on your tasks the following day, you will complete them in order of importance and only move on to the next task when you’ve completed the prior one. This simple, straightforward system will help you double down on productivity by focusing on prioritization and daily reflection.
Bullet journaling is a fun and creative way to journal that combines journaling, planning, and note-taking into a single system. While the core practice of bullet journaling often involves using different symbols, colors, and bullet types to represent tasks, events, and notes, there are no real, concrete rules. The beauty of bullet journaling is that it’s highly customizable and can be shaped to suit your unique preferences and needs. Not only will bullet journaling help improve your productivity, but it will also help you improve your organizational skills and focus.
Creating a comprehensive to-do list will do wonders for your productivity. Not only will it help you stay organized and on track, but it will also make sure you never forget an important detail or deadline. When creating a to-do list, consider the benefits of leveraging Fellow, an all-encompassing tool that empowers you to do everything in one space. With Fellow, you can create tasks and assign them to specific team members, set due dates, add comments and notes, and track progress on tasks.
Jotting down action items in your meetings means very little if you don’t do anything to follow up—this is where Fellow comes in. Fellow makes it possible to track action items post-meeting by organizing them by project and/or priority. You can then leverage the action items feature as a to-do list and sort your action items how you’d like to make searching for them easier. For example, you can sort action items by due dates and streams. In addition, you can use Fellow’s templates to create pre-defined to-do lists for specific projects or workflows, which can help you save time and create consistency across tasks.
Which productivity system will you leverage first?
The productivity system you choose will largely depend on your personal preferences, work requirements, and desired outcomes. Reviewing the productivity systems outlined in this article in tandem with your desired outcomes will ensure you choose the systems that work best for you and your teammates.