In recent years, reliance on technology has increased and while for many it is a good thing, we sometimes forget how to do things offline. Productivity tech is important but if you are relying on apps, computers and software you could be missing out on these simple but effective offline productivity tools which can boost productivity the old fashion way and keep us in line.
1. Accountability Partner
Whether it is someone at work or a colleague in the office, join forces and create a team that can not only help get things done but also hold you accountable. If they see you procrastinating on social media or wasting time in the break room they can give you a little nudge in the right direction to get you back on track. The best way to utilize this is to mention your plans and upcoming tasks to them in the morning and they can hold you accountable and ask you if you have done them throughout the day; never underestimate the power of feeling like a failure to someone else.
Simple and effective, a timer is useful for gauging not only how long things are taking but you can plot your progress so you can find ways to streamline your processes and free up more time for yourself. Timers can also be used in association with the Flowtime Process method that involves you recording your start time and then noting the time whenever you need a break or are interrupted, then recording the time once you are back to being productive. The differences between these two numbers is the amount of time you are wasting and can give you a better picture to be productive in the future.
3. Bullet Journals
A bullet journal is essentially a well-organized notebook that is completely offline and a growing productivity trend. With pages for daily, weekly, or monthly tasks as well as goals and note pages, you can keep everything together. Also, your state-of-mind can play an important role in your productivity and it is a good idea to keep a journal which can not only inspire you and work through any difficult problems but also act as its own sounding board. You can get a better idea of how things are working in your life as a whole to see if you need to change or adapt your routine, making you more productive.
A pack of Post-It notes can be the only tool you need, particularly if you work in a creative industry where you may have ideas buzzing around all the time and need to jot down quick ideas. They can also be an effective form of communication in an office which is quicker than an email or memo to take an action on immediately.
5. Wall Calendar
While pocket calendars are helpful for travelling or out of the office, having a main calendar on the wall can spur you on when you see deadlines or end-dates in sight. They make scheduling easier, particularly for team productivity to avoid clashes and they are usually larger for those who have more projects on the go at once or are trying to juggle a lot.
6. Regular Breaks
It might seem counterintuitive but having regular breaks can refresh your mind and help you avoid burnout which will halt your productivity. Whether these breaks are your lunch or coffee break or even a two minute walk to get up from your desk and restore blood flow, you’ll find that taking a minute out from your work can boost overall productivity and avoid you from making more mistakes due to tired eyes which take more time to correct.
7. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a simple, offline technique deployed in offices around the world to boost overall productivity and it doesn’t need anything more than a timer. The concept involves working in block times and incorporating breaks (that we have already discussed are helpful) so you can make full use of your time and cut out procrastination. For example, set your timer for 30 minutes and focus on your work or getting things done for the whole 30 minutes, don’t let anything distract you. When the timer goes off, get up from your work and stop what you are doing, even if you are feeling good and want to keep going so that you take a 5-minute short break. Then repeat this until the 4th Pomodoro (or round) and take a longer 20-30 minute break to give yourself a real rest. It helps to retain your focus and even with the breaks makes you productive throughout the day.
Hopefully you can avoid relying on technology and see that your offline tools can be just as effective as your online ones.