Are there times when you’re perfectly sure what you wanted, you’ve figured everything to a T, then all of a sudden things go pfff FFT? Just like that.

Sounds familiar?

Before I launched Coloring Book Worm, my brain was hacked by a million and one things to do. They all were yummy-licious ideas, and I wanted to do them all. I was a butterfly or, more aptly, a flutterby, hopping from one enticing thing to another. When I felt like getting nowhere while finding something “more doable,” I moved on to another.

It happened many times in the past.

In short, I failed to achieve my goal.

This bad habit is a treacherous black hole. More so, my lack of focus has made the situation more complicated. I may have had a roller coaster joyride but it didn’t get me anywhere. And honestly, I don’t enjoy roller coaster rides!

It was a struggle. Many times, I looked for solutions and tools to deal with this. My best cure so far is this six-letter word spelled p-a-s-s-i-o-n.

I have found my passion in adult coloring books. But then, perhaps, it’s too early to tell, and that’s why I am relying on workable tools and habits to keep me focused and on track.

6 Handy Tools to Increase Your Productivity

They are nothing fancy, and I’m sure, you’re familiar with them. Nevertheless, let me lay them down:

Google calendar

It’s like any other calendar. What makes this handy is its location - on your computer screen. Just one click and you see it. You can add your list of activities or events on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

Editorial calendar

This tool keeps you super-focused. You know what you must write today, tomorrow and the days ahead. Your Google calendar could be dedicated for this or double up as an editorial calendar. The downside to doing a mixed one is that it could get crowded. Clutter can add to the confusion and lead to overwhelm and inaction.

Journal

You may use the fancy journal you find at bookshops. Mine is a simple 360-page Hilroy notebook. Cheap. Thick. Handy. I had this type for years and now have a boxful. I write anything on them - mostly, my daily to-do activities, outlines, and content. I could get them dirtied, and I won’t care a thing. Whatever works for you is best.

Index cards

I’m the traditional type and index cards work for me. I write so much in my journals, but I noticed that I tend to forget the important stuff. I had to dig through, and I write the same things over and over. What a waste of time. My index cards do the trick. I have cards listing:

  • goals and objectives with their timeframe
  • traffic sources to tap for my blog
  • go-to websites
  • activities by project
  • target places to sell
  • books to write
  • and more.

Pomodoro Timer

A certain Francesco Cirillo developed this time management technique in the late 1980s. His method uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. As the PomodoroTechnique site says, it helps you to

  • work with time and not against it
  • eliminate burnout
  • manage distractions
  • create a balanced life.

Productivity ToolsFree apps using this technique are:

I use the paid desktop version of Action Enforcer that you may read about here.

Writing and editing apps

I have a handful of writing and editing apps like Scrivener, Grammarly, Hemingway, The Journal and more. For a short time, I was with 750words. What I regularly use though is Grammarly. I write and edit at the same time. Then, I’m done.

4 Simple Habits to Channel Energy on Your Target

Avoid distractions

When I’m busy, I manage to stay away from distractions such as Facebook, emails, YouTube and news and entertainment. I get distracted from all the distractions! But not always. When I get tired from continuous work, I still turn to them. The tragic thing is that I get sucked in unwittingly that I lose valuable time. I must guard myself intently against these time thieves!

Keep everything handy

I used to waste my time looking for things that I needed. When I managed to find them. I felt annoyed, frustrated and exhausted. Simple solution? I put everything in one place. I keep them handy at all times. Now, I’m better off.

Label digital files and folders

I do this to save myself from a plethora of negative emotions that result to drained energy.

Show up

Nothing is as powerful as showing up for work; even if work is a few walks away from your bed. Each time. Every time. Even when you’re dead tired and could think up of all excuse possible, go through the motions. That’s how the engine starts. You’ll be amazed where your actions take you.

What do you think of these tools and habits?

Please share your personal list and the stories behind them below. Sharing this post to your family and friends would also be awesome!