Having too many tools can easily become yet another thing you’ve got to manage and wind up “eating up” your time instead of giving you more of it.
Select PRODUCTIVITY tools that help you accomplish several THINGS at once.
Take Asana, for example.
It’s a free online project management tool that can help you run practically your entire business and boost your productivity.
You’ll be amazed at the ways you can use Asana to take your productivity to the next level.
5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY WITH ASANA
1. CREATE TEMPLATES
One of the major productivity improvement steps you can take is to create Asana templates
By creating templates you eliminate the need to have to think about the steps required when performing routine activities.
Templates also begin to pave the way to effective delegating if and when you decide to grow your team.
To create your process template, all you need to do is to outline the steps once. You (or your team) can then reuse them over and over again.
When should you use Asana templates to streamline your workflow?
Templates can be used to improve your efficiency across the full spectrum of day-to-day business processes. The examples below can all easily be turned into templates:
- Writing blog posts
- Uploading and formatting posts
- Guest posting (or being featured in any media for that matter)
- Collecting testimonials/case studies
- Having guest contributors on your website
- Launching an offering
- Handling client intake
- Managing clients
- Managing the participants of a group program
To create an Asana project template:
- Duplicate the project by selecting Copy Project... from the drop-down menu (accessed via the arrow at the top right of the middle pane when you’re viewing the project you want to use as a template).
- In the pop-up window that appears, add the word TEMPLATE to the name of the project (or you can add the tag “template”).
- Remove old data that doesn’t apply (like due dates or assignees).
A word of caution...
Once you start creating templates in Asana, you're going to be addicted!
More specifically, you’ll love being able to easily make changes to the templates and feel great about optimizing your business processes.
2. SCHEDULE RECURRING TASKS
Do you ever sit at your desk feeling totally overwhelmed by everything you have to do and not even knowing where to start?
Days that start with this awful feeling tend to be your least productive days because you end up:
- checking your emails for new messages to “find” something to do
- going on Facebook “for just a second,” only to get sucked into the black hole of cat videos and fake news
Let’s put an end to the madness.
One of the simplest ways to increase productivity and avoid that feeling of overwhelm is to set up recurring tasks in Asana. Once you put these in place, you'll know exactly what you need to do and when to do it.
Here are some common tasks you probably do every week or month:
- Creating and scheduling social media posts
- Brainstorming article ideas and writing blog posts
- Doing outreach or follow up
- Reading articles from other blogs for research
- Pitching guest posts
- Analyzing your metrics
- Conducting business reviews
- Meeting with your team member(s)
Each and every one of these can be set up as a recurring task in Asana - in a matter of a few clicks:
- Create a task.
- Select “Set to Repeat”.
- Choose your preferred frequency
Organizing and managing your time - rather than wasting it - is going to be so much easier once you take advantage of this amazing strategy.
You’ll also feel so much more grounded. Kiss that overwhelm goodbye!
3. FIND INFORMATION FAST
You are not alone.
The problem is that when you have to find information, you often spend more time looking for it than you do actually using it.
The easiest way around this is to take advantage of a few 'hidden' Asana features.
In Asana you're able to both attach documents from a variety of sources and add live links - meaning that you can even turn Evernote notes into Asana tasks!
Using these features, Asana can easily become your information hub - and a searchable information hub at that!
Asana’s search function is an extremely powerful ally in helping you get more of the important stuff done.
You can search for anything from tasks that contain specific words to incomplete tasks due within the next # of days or incomplete tasks within a specific project.
What’s even better is that in Asana you can save and add to your “favorites” searches that you use on a regular basis (e.g., your pending tasks, tasks your team member(s) are working on, task lists for specific projects, etc.).
To save a search on your sidebar:
- Click on the arrow in the search box
- Type in information based on what you want to search
- Run the search
- Find it in “Recents” and favorite the search by clicking the star
Once you have this set up, it will be easier to make sure important tasks don’t fall through the cracks and that everyone has what they need to keep pushing the project forward.
4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LINKING
One of our favorite productivity hacks is using Asana's ability to link internally to other team members, projects, and tasks.
Let's say, for example, that you're writing and publishing a new blog post.
You could use Asana's linking feature as follows:
- Create a task e.g. “Write an amazing blog post on XYZ.”
- Write a description such as “Take a few points from @[task for a past blog post].
- Leave a comment e.g. @[team member name], are you interested in doing some research on these four points?
When you recognize the power of linking in Asana, you realize you have access to a whole database of information built from everything you’ve done in the past.
5. PACE YOURSELF
When you have online project management software like Asana, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and go overboard assigning tasks to yourself or others.
The beauty of Asana is that you can see, at a glance, if the workload is too heavy.
Change the view on your Asana dashboard to “Due Date” or “Assignee” to get a clear overview of what’s on track, what needs to be moved around and who in your team needs support/more realistic deadlines.
If you’ve created those recurring tasks and notice that some of them get regularly pushed aside by other projects, you’ll have to put your CEO hat on and take a closer look at your business.
With that higher-level perspective, decide what you need to do with the tasks you don’t have time for.
You might need to:
- Take them off your list altogether
- Delegate them to an assistant or team member
- Shift them to a 'Someday/Maybe' or incubation list
No matter what route you choose, you have to make a conscious choice of what’s best for your business. Asana will help you do exactly that.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE 5-STEP GUIDE TO BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY WITH ASANA
Go from Asana rookie to power user in 5 simple steps. Get your copy of 5 Steps To Boost Your Productivity With Asana below.
BACK TO YOU
How are you using Asana to boost your productivity? Which of the five tips are you most excited about trying out?