Get Results By Defining Your Task, Process and Tools
Today’s world is full of technological devices and digital applications, designed to enhance our business and personal lives. People depend upon, count on, and often over-rely on some of the digital tools that are deemed “necessary” to accomplish our goals.
Tools do serve a purpose. They can be used to keep track of priorities, manage appointments, and organize information. Having the right tool is important. If your task is to drive a nail, you don’t need a sledgehammer to do so?
Success does not begin and end by simply having the right tools at our disposal. We also need to have the right processes in place to get the tools working for us. Here is a simple equation to help contextualize the value of tools where leadership is concerned:
Task + Process + Tools = Results.
Achieving results begins with the identification of the right task to focus on. When this is accomplished, it is the process, particularly prioritization, plus the use of the right tools that combine to deliver results.
A leader needs to get a handle on much more than tools. To be truly effective, a leader needs to control four processes:
1. Where you spend your time
2. What things you are going to do
3. The information flow that comes to you
4. Your workspace
Once your tasks and processes are in place, here are some tools that might prove helpful in the management of appointments, projects, information, and so on.
Traditional paper tools and binders. Having a hard copy of important information in a single and readily accessible place is a long-standing practice that endures in an increasingly digital world. If paper note taking works, stick with it.
Evernote. This desktop and mobile application stores and sorts notes, and integrates them with images, maps and web links. They can range from traditional handwritten notes using a stylus to recording entire web pages. They can be sent, shared and synced between devices.
Trello. This web-based project management tool is free for users. Users can break projects up into lists, and items can be easily shifted from one list to another. Assign due dates, attach files or make notes for each item on the list. Share the list with colleagues or keep it private. This is also a program with desktop and mobile-access.
Google Calendar / Google Tasks One of Google’s many service offerings, Google Calendar allows users to organize their schedule online and receive SMS and email reminders. Calendars can be synced with mobile phones and shared with colleagues. Those who use Gmail have access to Google Tasks, a task management tool that converts emails into tasks and integrates them into Google Calendar.
Choose which tools work best for you. And remember, it is not the specific tools you use that will determine your success, but the processes you diligently put into place.