inner-banner-bg

5 scenarios to sort and streamline your to-do list

Prioritizing your to-do list is on your to-do list – but how do you prioritize, anyway?

 

Prioritization is generally defined as: putting things in order of importance – but importance itself is a subjective term. Things can be characterized as “important” for different reasons, and we often need to consider both the reason why something is important as well as who it is important to in order to ensure we’re prioritizing effectively.

 

When we get ahead of our priorities, we can create greater peace of mind. That is why the following 5 scenarios can help you sort and streamline your priority list:

 

There’s a deadline. When there is a hard date by which something needs to be completed, it’s imperative to address those items in a timely fashion. Start by working backwards from that date, identifying and breaking down a larger task into sub-tasks, and securing any supplies you might need to ensure it can be completed in time. Put items with deadlines at the top of your priority list, calendar reminders – and avoid waiting until the last minute to get started.

It’s for yourself. While we all want to keep our spouses, bosses, and pets happy, prioritizing items that are important to our individual success and/or well-being should get bumped up on the list, and completed as quickly as possible. Self care is an act of love, in that when our needs are met, we have more to give to our family/job/hobby. 

It’s for someone else. Once we’re up to speed on important things we need to do for ourselves, it’s appropriate to consider the needs of others. This can be something that we complete on behalf of a boss, colleague, or a family member – whether it’s required or in the spirit of generosity.

It’s being procrastinated. Some things sit on our list so long, we started ignoring it. Things we procrastinate are typically things we don’t want to approach either because they’re unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or don’t seem fun. However, these are the exact things that are eligible for an upgrade on the to-do list. Pair these items with a treat or go to your happy place to get started This will help trick your mind into thinking it’s something you like – and you’ll feel relieved when it’s finally checked off the list.

It’s easy. When we prioritize things that are easy and effortless, they get done quickly. And one less thing is one less thing!

4 Key Strategies to Digital Minimalism

In an increasingly electronically-saturated world, it can be freeing to practice digital minimalism. A phrase coined by Cal Newport, an author and Georgetown computer science professor, digital minimalism refers to:

A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.

The opposite of FOMO, digital – or any form of – minimalism is about letting go of superfluous habits and activities as a means to live in greater harmony with our values. However, getting to that point is a process in itself.

To get started, here are 4 key strategies to embody digital minimalism:

  • Know (and live) your values. Identify your values – or that which is most important to you – and live in alignment with those values. For example, if you value family, you might prioritize eating meals together. From a digital minimalist perspective, this might mean turning off phone notifications after business hours.

 

  • Create digital efficiency. A digitally efficient life is one in which we minimize the number of digital artifacts we deal with on a daily basis, which could include but is not limited to: devices, applications, and correspondence. For example, sending fewer emails means you’ll get fewer in return. You can also spend an hour or two unsubscribing marketing emails that are cluttering your inbox.

 

The Nynja platform was specifically designed to streamline your app life by integrating 4 mission-critical functions of messaging, calls, video conferencing and file sharing.

 

  • Do a digital declutter. Whether it’s filing away everything on your computer desktop, organizing your Nynja drive, or deleting unneeded smartphone apps, discarding digital artifacts you no longer need can help create both digital and mental clarity. When you are no longer holding on to what you don’t want, it is easier to locate and utilize what you do want.

 

  • Go analog. When your fingers tire of typing, there are other ways to be productive sans electronics. Handwriting notes in a composition book, on index cards, or on post-its are fun ways to be constructive without a machine. Put down the Pinterest! Flipping through a magazine or coffee table book can also help fill your visual cache with new ideas.

From strategy to action: a 4-phased production plan

Becoming the architect of your own success requires a well thought-out approach in addition to strategically-timed actions.

Once you are clear about what you want to accomplish, when, and how you think it can happen, you’ll want to start plotting out specific actions over time. This action calendar can apply to any project, such as a marketing plan, physical construction project, or digital development for a website.

Building out a simple production plan using the following 4 phases – and leveraging Nynja as a centralized communication and documentation repository – helps you anticipate what you will need at each stage of the project – and keep your progress on track.

Phase 1: Kickoff. Within the first month or so of your project, it’s important to make sure you have all the equipment and materials for the job. In the case of creating a website, during the kickoff phase, you will need to research what platform you want to use, secure your hosting and domain, develop your information architecture, and identify key words and phrases for search optimization.

Phase 2: Production/Development. Once you’ve identified and acquired the foundational elements of the project, work can begin. During this phase, it’s helpful to identify key project milestones. Continuing with the website example, these milestones could include: completion of a first draft of copy; taking or finding relevant images; and a round or two of colleague and supervisor feedback.

Use your Nynja drive to share documents and use track changes to avoid version control chaos.

Phase 3: Quality Assurance and Launch. Now that your work has begun, and your content has been reviewed and implemented, you’ll want to give your site a proofread and make sure to test out all the links and forms. This is the phase when you’re making sure the quality of your product is excellent and refining the details before making it live.

Share links with eagle-eyed colleagues on Nynja messenger to catch any final flaws and schedule reminders to others and yourself in advance for tasks or items due.

Phase 4: Post-production. When planning a project, it’s important to think about what will need to happen after completion. In the case of a website, there may need to be continued content maintenance, comment moderation, and the addition of pages and posts to keep things current.

More team-building tactics from Nynja

So, you’ve got your team vibes humming with 1:1 check-ins, working groups, and happy hours if and when possible. Even still, with remote teams in different time zones, speaking different languages, and using different equipment and applications, it takes a consistent effort to get – and keep – everyone on the same page!

Using Nynja as a touchstone, team leaders can implement a few more tactics to further gel their crews:

Weekly or bi-weekly team check-ins. In addition to cultivating individual relationships, you can use the Nynja meetings function to create a once weekly or every two weeks check-in at a time that works for everyone on the team – making sure no one has to get up too early or stay up too late. Give everyone an opportunity to share their project status and resolve any outstanding questions between team members.

In the case of teams in different countries, Nynja’s in line translation and transcription function makes language barriers no problem.

Implement a file sharing system. When files are shared in a single location, it can reduce upload and download times, allowing work to be completed more efficiently. It’s easy to create a Nynja Library with appropriate sub-folders for your team and give everyone access – facilitating unimpeded transfers of files and information. You can even password protect individual files to ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Share helpful, funny, or meaningful content. When you come across an article, short video, or meme that’s relevant to your team’s mission, you can use the Nynja Concierge function to share it across the board. In particular, introducing humor to the work day adds levity to what might otherwise be mundane.

Develop a routine – Like Anna (Wintour)

You’ve done your Monday smart preparation habits and you’re set for the work week to begin. Now what?

 

Mondays – or any day for that matter – can run even more smoothly when you have a solid routine in place. In fact, Forbes cites ‘developing a routine’ as the #3 work habit of successful people, referencing legendary Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

 

Using Anna’s routine as a template, we can extract the following strategies:

  • Set a consistent start time. Whether you prefer to run with the sun and peruse the headlines, like Anna – whose day starts between 4 and 5:30 am – or are more of a late riser, setting a consistent start time to your daily routine ensures you allocate enough time to get through whatever you need to accomplish.

 

  • Incorporate exercise. While Anna plays tennis in the morning, you can reserve time for some your activity of choice, e.g. light cardio, swimming, stretching, or whatever you enjoy to get your blood pumping and keep your body healthy.


  • Eat and drink. Unless you’re a breatharian, you’ll need to reserve a slot or two to eat and drink at the appropriate times in your daily routine. Prepping fruits and veggies ahead of time, and carrying a reusable water bottle can help to ensure healthy meals and hydration are on hand – or if you’re like Anna, you can run out for a Starbucks.

 

  • Meetings and interactions. While Nynja’s messaging function can greatly reduce the need for meetings and conference calls, you’ll still want to reserve part of your day to make connections with colleagues. As for Anna, her ​​afternoons are typically reserved for off-site meetings, lunches with designers, planning events, or external appearances.

 

Solo work and wrap-up. Whether it’s reviewing documents, writing content, or corresponding via email, it’s good to reserve an hour or two at the end of the day for closeout. You can also check your Nynja dashboard to see where ongoing conversations left off, and where you may need to pick them up again tomorrow. Anna makes sure to close the loop when she heads home in the evening to ensure nobody is waiting for her feedback.

Who do you want to be?

We all aspire to become the best version of ourselves, both personally and professionally. Yet, for each of us that person is slightly different.

For some, our ideal might be the person who delivers an amazing presentation, makes the sale, and gets the promotion – and the raise that goes with it. While, for others, that person could be one who has learned to have healthy boundaries and smart work habits that result in a happier quality of life.

Whoever we strive to become, we can use the following series of prompts as a character study to generate momentum in that direction. Thinking about our future persona as a character helps to free up our imagination in ways we might feel limited when thinking about who we are today.

For each prompt, type the first few words or phrases that pop into your mind when describing the ideal version of yourself:

Aspires to…

Can be described as…

Is scared of…

Is curious about…

Ideal life looks like…

Once captured, our words can catalyze change and shake us out of habitual patterns that may be holding us back. You might even learn something surprising about yourself you weren’t aware of!

After it is complete, you can save this character study to your Nynja Library and star it as a favorite. You’ll want to review what you wrote regularly to add more and see how much progress you’ve made. Feel free to create your own prompts – and watch yourself change.

Working backwards and forwards to accomplish our goals

We are all prone to some procrastination, especially around doing things that are new or unfamiliar. However, procrastination can also indicate that the task we are aiming to accomplish needs to be further broken down into sub-tasks.

For example, we may aspire to publish a video on a subject of our expertise, only to find that it never comes to fruition. Breaking down the goal into small, achievable sub-tasks may help generate the momentum we need to reach completion.

  • Work forwards. Working forwards from the beginning point of a project is about preparing to do the primary action required for completion. In the example of publishing a video presentation, working forwards tasks for the actual video capture itself include:
  • Staging a production area with good lighting
  • Selecting an uncluttered – or virtual – background
  • Writing an outline and/or creating a slide deck for the presentation
  • Selecting a platform for presentation delivery and recording. Nynja’s Cloud Recording allows you to record and download video files that can then be uploaded to your channel.
  • Doing a dress rehearsal and watching it back for lighting, sound, or visual adjustments

 

  • Work backwards. Working backwards from the endpoint of a project requires that you know what completion looks like. Continuing with the video example, completion could mean that your video is live on YouTube and other video platforms. To that end, working backwards tasks include:
  • Selecting and logging into/signing up for relevant platform accounts
  • Learning how to use the creator studio and upload functionality
  • Documenting potential titling, tags, and description content for the video

 

By working forwards and backwards a seemingly singular task became as many as 8 individual sub-tasks that could all be addressed in parallel to help move the project closer to completion.

It’s Monday again, and it’s time to get serious…right? Not so fast!

Data from more than ten years of research by the Great Place to Work Institute’s 1 million-person database reveals that “Great” companies consistently earn higher marks for “fun.” In fact, a growing body of research suggests that a fun workplace generates greater trust, creativity and communication. And these good feelings can result in less turnover, better morale, and a stronger bottom line to boot!

That is why – in addition to promoting serious productivity – companies and working groups should introduce the idea of fun to their to-do list.

The good news is it’s easy and often free to introduce fun into the work week, and Nynja can support your efforts whether teams are working remotely or in the office. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Movement. Everyone benefits from moving, especially after sitting for long periods of time. Blocking out 20 minutes on your calendar to get up and move – whether for a short dance party, walk outside, or 20 minute yoga sesh – can give you the energy boost you need to get through the afternoon. Use the Nynja meeting function to invite a fun accountability buddy.

 

  • Competition. Healthy competition can provide positive motivation, especially during the middle-of-the-week doldrums. Team leaders can create a contest, like a sales target or a timeframe for completion of a task, and incentivize with a reward. The reward can be as simple as taking the afternoon off or busting out of the office for a fro-yo with all the toppings.

 

  • Field Trip. Remember field trips? Those special days where if you got your permission slip signed on time and dressed appropriately you got to escape school for greener pastures…

 

Well, adults need field trips too! Give yourself or your team something to look forward to by planning an afternoon at the local zoo, aquarium, or a historical site using the Nynja event function. You can be sure that the sights, sounds, and camaraderie of being in an unfamiliar place will translate directly into new ideas and innovation when you’re back in the saddle.

Things are going to get noisy OR Art of the Nynja: Flowing with distractions

Whether working from home, in the office, or at a neighborhood coffee shop, the art of the Nynja requires flowing with distractions to stave off a potential drop in productivity. These disruptions can include but are not limited to dogs barking, kids running amuck, cubicle chatter, and cappuccino frothing. The bottom line is: things are going to get noisy.

That said, we can keep our energy focused and our mind at ease – even in the midst of chaos – with a few simple strategies:

1. Align environment to tasks. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of the work day evaluating what kind of work you need to accomplish – and which environment would best support that.

Choose a dynamic environment like a coffee shop or coworking space when you want to network, collaborate, and bounce ideas off other people; on the other hand, if you have multiple video or conference calls, you may need to shut yourself away in a home office or other quiet spot.

2. Generate white noise. Sometimes unexpected distractions can arise, even in your dedicated workspace. Playing ambient music or sounds provide white noise to maintain your zen, even through the construction project next door.

When said noise occurs during your team meeting, remember to activate Nynja’s patented Background Noise Cancellation so nobody has to know.

3. Go with the flow. When distracting noises or interactions with colleagues (or family members/pets) can’t be ignored, it might be the universe telling you it’s time for a break. Put the mouse down and take a walk outside, do a chore, or take a snack break until things settle down.

Tailored for use on both desktop and mobile, Nynja helps to make sure your work is accessible – or in the flow.

Becoming the architect of our own success

It often takes multiple tries to figure out a winning approach to a goal. And, since every situation is a little bit different, our natural tendency is to play out all the scenarios we can think of before we decide what to do. Sometimes we even delay our progress waiting for the perfect plan to materialize, when “good enough” would have been good enough to get started.

To ensure that perfection doesn’t become the enemy of good, we can develop a practical plan using a simple and repeatable formula. Through this formula, we break down what we want to accomplish into 4 digestible components, and create a logic model that bridges us from where we are to where we want to be.

 

Current Situation. Describes the conditions of the here and now, and why we want to change them.
Example: Unclear boundaries between work and life due to work from home, technology, etc.

Strategies. General ideas of how we think we can transform the conditions described in Current Situation.
Example: Create – and adhere to – a schedule with set office hours.

Actions. Specific to-do’s relative to what we want to change and how we think we can change it.
Example: Calendar short breaks for exercise or other healthy habits during the day.

Outcomes. What we want to happen, our ultimate vision or goal. The net results of Strategies and Actions.
Example: A healthy work/life balance.

 

When we implement a plan of our own creation, we empower ourselves to become the architect of our own successes. This entails taking responsibility for our actions, making appropriate adjustments, and monitoring our progress along the way. If we don’t give up, we are sure to achieve even our biggest dreams.

Speaking of adjustments, NYNJA understands that your typing hands can get ahead of your brain. No need to panic – with real time editing, you can course correct in a flash. Now, if only it were that simple in life.