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Productivity

You mean … productivity?

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. – Paul J Meyer

As an email marketer, there are times where I struggle to prioritise the things that I need to finish. That’s a big problem for me, especially when I have to create content or formulate strategies for my clients. Two months ago, that was my problem.

Do you want to know why?

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Because of Facebook and (lately) Instagram.

Here’s how it started. I’ve read a lot of posts stating that it is possible to find clients without going to any known job platform. They said you can now have clients using Social Media. I tried it. And it works.

Since then, I’ve been on Social Media almost every hour. Engaging and interacting with my target clients.

Yes, I have to admit I check my social media accounts before getting out of bed. Before, during and after a meal. Whenever I am holding my phone, I am on Social Media. And even when I’m working, one tab is open so that I can check and respond to the comments.

I invested time and attention in interacting on the platform, which keeps me coming back for more.

Without clearly planning my day, this activity affected my productivity. Because even while I’m writing content or creating an email draft, I have this tendency to check every notification.

One day because of disappointment, I uninstalled Facebook and Messenger on my mobile phone.

But as a freelancer who wants to have a steady flow of leads, everything that I am doing leads me back to Social Media.

Luckily, I was able to learn strategies that other freelancers are using. I usually have to push myself to produce contents for myself and my clients.

Now, I can easily follow my schedule without pushing myself. At the same time, I’ve become diligent in submitting my deliverables, answering emails, and I can spend time engaging with my community.

But what changed? Nothing magical. I learned to be productive by applying the things that were taught to me by fellow freelancers.

First, is to have a To-do list. Having a To-do list is not new to me. But I never really applied it.

Last December, a friend patiently taught me about the benefits of having a to-do list. Since then, even if I’m inconsistent, I can keep up with it and find it very useful.

I also have a big calendar in front of my workstation. That way, I am always reminded of events, meetings, seminar/workshops and the deadline that I have to accomplish.

Second, is with the help of productivity tools. I have several apps. But I’m going to share with you the tools that I regularly use. I learned about these apps from friends and seminars that I attended.

🚩Speed Dial. A Chrome Extension both available on free and premium membership. This app allows you to add the links of the websites of your choice or your most visited sites, so you always have direct access to them. You won’t have to type anymore because the sites are just one click away.

🚩Bookmarks bar. You can find it in the upper-right section of your browser, yes, the three dots. Once you bookmarked a site, you can create a folder and then name it according to your preferred category. So you won’t miss a site and you can easily go back and visit again.

🚩The Great Suspender: This is a Chrome extension too. This app will automatically suspend tabs that are open but are on standby for a while. Yes, it suspends Facebook, also. This app is for those who love to open multiple tabs at the same time.

🚩RescueTime: Is another Chrome extension that has a personal analytics service that will show you how you spend your time online. This tool keeps a record of what I accomplished throughout the day.

🚩MindHero: If you want to make changes to how you spend your time online. This is the app for you. Another Chrome extension that allows you to focus and do some deep work. Its smart and distraction-free application responds based on your online usage and preferences to help you perform at your best.

🚩 STAND UP! TIMER: The most useful app for me. This app will remind you to take a break from work. Sitting for long hours will harm your body. At times, we tend to sit for hours because we want to accomplish a lot of things all at once. But it is recommended to stand up every hour. So this app will let you set up an interval timer to remind you to stand up.

Without a doubt, there are other apps and digital tools out there. I just shared to you some of the apps that work best for me and made me become a more productive digital professional.

Using these digital tools can be a great way to increase your overall efficiency at work and in your life.

If you have other tools that you’re using, please, share them in the comments below. So others can try it and we all have more time for coffee.

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About the Author Fred Mosquida

Fred is a passionate virtual professional who wants to teach his countrymen about the opportunity of working online. He advocates that the Internet is not just for Facebook, YouTube, and online game usage. On this site, he gathers established professionals, CEO's, freelancers, business owners and influencers and asked for their insights that will provide an overview of how you can start as a virtual professional. He aims to support and help those who want to become an effective virtual professional.

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