Streamlining Your Workflow to Move from Do to Done Today!

Posted on January 21, 2014, under Time Boundaries.

StreamliningStreamlining any process, task, or series of tasks is generally a great way to find time.

And if you’re a busy blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner, you probably have a to-do list that far outstrips your available time – so streamlining is a must!

But knowing that streamlining is important and actually doing it are two different things – perhaps most especially if you spend time working on-line.  There, the sheer volume of input can make streamlining seem an impossibility.

But it isn’t!  There are many ways that you can set and maintain time boundaries, like using a timer, creating templates for your tasks, sticking to a to-do list, making the Pomodoro Technique a part of your work process, etc.  These are all excellent tools to use to get more done in the time you have available.

I was recently intrigued by another idea that I came across on the site Medium.com.  Before I get to the idea, here’s a little bit about Medium (itself quite interesting!):

Medium is a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends. It’s designed for little stories that make your day better and manifestos that change the world. It’s used by everyone from professional journalists to amateur cooks. It’s simple, beautiful, collaborative, and it helps you find the right audience for whatever you have to say.

So, Medium looks like an interesting venue to explore!  But, to get back on track, the idea I liked was in a post on Medium titled “Be More Productive with the ‘Do’ Folder.”  The author, Sean Oliver, suggests that creating a folder for applications and tools that you need to use (or check) regularly and frequently is a good way to streamline those tasks.  He calls it the “Do Folder”:

What is the Do folder?

On a given day I get inbound tasks from email, meetings, phone calls, texts, and so on. Keeping track of everything that has to be done takes time, and that’s where most productivity workflows tend to fall down. Over time I’ve started to do a good job at keeping track of things in apps. I use a lot of apps to get things done, and each one has its own purpose. The Do folder is where I keep all those apps, all the apps I need to take action on.

I can see the benefit of this streamlining step, as you needn’t go to various places on your computer, tablet, or phone to find the key information you need to access.  For each of us, what goes into that folder will vary, but the fundamental idea seems a sound one – organizing material so that you have what you need at your fingertips – whatever that material may be.

And creating a “Do Folder” may have the added benefit of de-cluttering your desktop.  I think it’s a great idea for streamlining and reducing stress – and it’s one that I plan to explore!

To your time success …

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There are 4 Responses to “Streamlining Your Workflow to Move from Do to Done Today!”

#1 Leslie Hamp - 21 January, 8:38 AM

Just yesterday I created a To Do folder as a bookmark so I can refer back to excellent articles or action steps like this one. Thanks for the insights. Excellent!

#2 Alexandria Ingham - 21 January, 9:11 AM

I’ve recently invested in an Android phone and tablet and now everything connects to my Google Calendar (I already had Gmail). I’ve also set to forward all emails that I receive to my Gmail address to keep everything in one place, since I can’t get rid of some of my really old email addresses for various reasons. It’s helped to streamline my processes and cut out so much time.

I love the idea of the Do folder and will have to look over that this weekend.

#3 Paula Eder - 21 January, 8:03 PM

Hi Leslie –

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this. It’s a very interesting idea – a little like your own Evernote … ;-) Hope you find that it works well for you!

#4 Paula Eder - 21 January, 8:05 PM

Wow, Alexandria – It really sounds like you are well-synchronized and well-streamlined. I can imagine that between the connected accounts and the connected devices, you have things at your fingertips all the time. (Maybe your challenge will be to periodically unplug and find time to take care of YOU!) Here’s to your time success!

I'd love to hear what you think!

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