Does anyone else see the irony that reading sites that are supposed to make you productive can have the opposite effect? For fans of GTD (Getting Things Done) and sites like LifeHacker.com, productivity can be a wonderful pursuit but are usually a phenomenal waste of time. Ironically LifeHacker.com, which is supposed to help me “hack” my life to be more productive, used to distract me endlessely. Instead of just spending time on web sites and telling you to follow a Franklin Covey planner (I don’t own one) I’m sharing on how I get things done in my business. Here’s why I’m sharing my work tips;
Reason #1 – Systems are critical to productivity. Even if you write poetry or paint canvases for a living you still need systems. If artists needs sytems, habits and structure to be productive then the rest of us do too. What’s your system for checking email, corresponding on Twitter, processing new customers or forecasting your cash flow? Yeah, we need systems.
Reason #2 – The more I share about how I work the more accountability I have to keep those systems going. I like to practice what I preach because I like to preach/teach a lot.
How I read articles when I don’t have time to read articles.
– Go to Instapaper.com
– Click on the “Register” button on the top right and get an account
– On the right side of the page under the “Folders” section click on “Add Folder”
– Name your folders by topics that you have interest in. Keep the names short.
Here are my folders;
BetterBiz – Tips on improving productivity, marketing
BlogThisAT.com – Articles that are great sources of blog posts
For client – Articles my consulting clients would benefit from hearing about
Personal – uh, personal stuff
Post it – Articles that I want my Virtual Assistant to Tweet about. I also add comments to these articles once they’re in my Instapaper list. He uses that text and then creates a link to the article using Hootsuite and schedules the tweets to go out throughout the day. More on Hootsuite in future posts.
SMStrategy – More specific articles about my social media strategy
BTWshow – Articles for my Business Tech Weekly podcast
– Click one of your folders
– On the right side of your page you’ll see “Folder tools”. Drag the folder name in that section to your bookmarks toolbar and put it in a folder. Repeat this with all of your folder bookmarklets. When you click on the bookmarklet the page/article will be automatically added to that folder.
– To read your articles:
Four ways to visit your Instapaper.com account.
Email them to your Kindle (see “Extras” button on Instapaper.com for instructions).
Read them on your iPad with the Instapaper App
Download them to your Kindle automatically with Ephemera (mac only)
Download them to your Kindle automatically with Calibre (mac or pc) using this process
Happy reading. Let me know if this helps.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to take action on what you learn. The world needs you to ship.