Power.ME Blog

Productivity News and Advice

Increase your workload? This is a strange claim to make, but I believe that if you do this correctly, you will actually experience increased productivity. There is an innate sense of urgency that comes when you know you have a certain amount to get done in a day. By tapping into this motivation, you can remain focused and active throughout the day.

When you only have one or two tasks in a day, it’s easy to think, “I’ve got all day to do that.” On the other hand, when you know you only have one hour in your day set aside to complete a task that takes one hour, you know that you only have one opportunity to complete the task. That’s why on less busy days, tasks that usually take you an hour can wind up costing you three or four. Therefore, on less busy days, it can pay off to add a few tasks to your day to help you get the more urgent tasks completed on time.

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It is interesting how you can actually feel clutter building up around you. You can feel it there even when you are trying to ignore it, just like trying to ignore a pet waiting to be taken on a walk. No matter what you do, you won’t be able to devote your full attention to a task or project until you deal with the problem: clear out the clutter.

Clutter can be in your home, office, and even your mind. Ciara Conlon at lifehack.org reminds us that “Clutter is stagnant energy and by removing it from your life you will free up time and space for the more important things in life.” The idea of wasting your time thinking about the stuff piling up around you is discouraging. When you are striving for increased productivity, you don’t want to be wasting energy on things that don’t matter.

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You know that satisfying feeling when you complete a task? Your success gives you the chance to take a deep breath, bask in your achievement . . . and then what? Get back to work. I have a tough time transitioning between projects or tasks, and I bet you’ve struggled before, too. Once I have something to show for myself, it’s tough to find the motivation and energy to start fresh on something different. But, if I want to increase my productivity this year, I’ll have to confront this issue.

So, how do you transition smoothly to a new project? There are many strategies—you may have to try a few to find a system that works for you. Here are a few suggestions you can try implementing to help you increase your productivity this year.

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We talk about productivity all the time—at home, in the office, here on this blog—but we may not all be talking about the same thing. Productivity has a different definition for everyone. It’s important to find your definition of productivity, otherwise you’ll never be able to evaluate your progress and judge if you’ve reached the level of productivity you would like to. Read through these possible definitions and decide what kind of productive you want to be this year.

Quantitative Productivity

For some, a productive day means doing everything you can possibly get done in the shortest amount of time. This type of productivity is all about completion. If you like to look back on your day and list all of the tasks you accomplished, you may be this kind of productive.

Be wary of two things: one, losing control as you try to finish an endless list of tasks, and two, sloppy work. Make sure that while you are doing the most you can, you are also doing the best you can.

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Sometimes it’s not enough to simply do more to be more productive. Sometimes you need to change things up. Developing a new skill is a great way to add excitement to your day, and it will improve your productivity as well. A new skill can provide the variety you need to change up a monotonous streak in your life. Breaking up your routine can actually increase your productivity. When we are going through the motions, we miss opportunities to improve ourselves. Maybe the way you’ve always done something is not the most efficient or effective. While routines can bring you stability and calm, they shouldn’t make your life stagnant. Build on your routine—your foundation—by developing a new skill in your down time.

Your new skill can be work related—learning how to use a new program or app, advancing a skill you already have to the next level, or branching out from your current skill set with a skill your company can benefit from. Work-related skills can be beneficial, as long as you choose something that will excite you and give you the energy you need to be productive throughout your day.

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You can download your Google Docs and use them in Power.ME.

  • To download files from Google Docs, tap Add from the home page, or navigate to the folder where you want to add a Google Doc file and tap Add.
  • Tap Google Docs.
  • You will be asked to authenticate, meaning link your device with your Google account. Tap Yes.
  • Sign in using your Google account information.
  • Tap Grant Access to give Power.ME access to your Google Docs.
  • A list of all of your available Google Doc files will open in Power.ME.
  • Select the files you would like to download. You can select as many files as you would like. A check mark will appear next to a selected file.
  • You can tap the action button in the top left hand corner to sort your files by date, alphabetical order, or to see just the files you’ve selected. You can also search for a specific file by typing into the search bar at the top of the box.
  • When you’re ready, tap Done in the upper right corner of the screen. Tap Yes to download the selected files.

To update a Google Doc file, simply open the file and it will update automatically.

You can remain signed in to your Google account in Power.ME, however, Google may sometimes need you to reauthorize your account. If you would like to manually sign out of your account, go to Settings. The Google Docs option allows you to unlink your account. Tap Linked and the button will change to red and read Unlinked.

Benefits

So why would you want to download your Google Docs to your Power.ME account? There are so many reasons. The ability to organize your Google Docs with your other files allows you to have complete control over your files—you know exactly where they are and you can access them together anywhere. For example, if you are working on a project with your team, you might create a Google Doc file to share with your teammates. The planning, executing, and presenting phases of your project can be edited by everyone on your team. You can access these changes from anywhere at any time with Power.ME. You can also organize the Google Doc file along with other pertinent project documents so everything is consolidated. The convenience of accessing all of this information from your tablet or smartphone will change your life. Whether you are working with a team on an important project, party planning with a committee, or using Google Docs for personal purposes, you will find this feature irresistible. Be sure to test it out using the above instructions, or head to our User Guide.

We are pleased to announce an update for Power.ME Pro available for iOS and Android devices. This update includes new features that we know will enhance your experience with Power.ME. The update includes the following added features:
  • Tablet version for Android devices
  • Ability to record and play movies
  • Ability to download and integrate files from Google Docs and Dropbox
  • Better voice Recognition for Task, Project, and Note creation
  • Ability to create a task from selected text in a Note
  • In-app purchase for monthly synchronization service (automatic payments are set up and can be cancelled at any time)
  • Ability to view documents (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf) within Power.ME
  • Home view customization (you can now hide the views that you don’t use)
  • Refined user interface, streamlining the Power.ME look
  • Improvements to the Draw pad
  • Minor bug fixes
  Download the update from the Apple Store or the Android Market today, and try out these new features.

We’re now four days into the New Year. If you’re like me, you have finished your neat little list of resolutions, and now you are waiting for your new life to begin.

It doesn’t work like that, actually. Perhaps that is why most people’s resolutions last three months, tops. You can’t simply wish changes in your behavior into existence. You have to plan, and you also have to pace yourself. If you have made six New Year’s resolutions, you have to find the time and energy to work on developing those six resolutions. You may not have time to work on all six at once, and it’s ok to stagger your resolutions to help you develop long-lasting habits.

Plan

I finished my list of resolutions just in time to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. However, I still haven’t defined specific next actions for each resolution. And that means I still haven’t made progress on any of the resolutions I set. How many years have I been setting resolutions? Plenty. So why haven’t I planned better?

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Everyone has this idea that the New Year provides you with a blank slate. A chance to start over. This is true, as long as you realize that you have to put in some effort to clear off the slate and make it blank. Before you dive in to 2012, eliminate the clutter and paperwork that is bogging you down. The New Year will look brighter if you take the time to let yourself start over.

Reference Material

Start your clutter purge by going through your reference material. If you find something that could be reviewed once, review it and toss it. Clear out anything that is obsolete—an instruction manual for your old phone, spring catalogs, material for projects that you’ve completed. Give yourself the room you need to collect more reference material this year. If you come across an item you haven’t used in 12 months, you don’t need it. Look through it one more time if you need to, and then clear up space for new material.

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New Year’s is a great time to thin out . . . no, this is NOT another weight loss resolution. It’s a resolution to thin out your projects and commitments for the year. Before you make plans for improvement this year, evaluate the past twelve months and note the projects that were overwhelming, unnecessary, or not worth your while. Make this year one where you accomplish great things, but only those things that keep your life balanced and joyful.

Twelve Month Evaluation

Go through the year chronologically, thinking through each of the projects you completed. Figure out when you were the most overwhelmed during the year. Was it during the summer? Maybe this year you need fewer summertime commitments. Were you busiest during a huge project with a tough deadline? This year you may need to allow more time or allot more resources to projects of that size. Make note of each project that overwhelmed you so you can make improvements on projects of that nature in 2012. Ask yourself: Read the rest of this entry »

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