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The best productivity tip I know has nothing to do with todo lists or calendars

I’m writing this because multiple people have told me they’ve loved this tip after I told them about it. It’s the best kept secret to productivity for the productive-impaired. This can help you even if you don’t use a todo list well (which, let’s be honest, most of us don’t).

The best todo lists are in calendars. Why? Because you already carve space for them.

But many ‘todos’ are more nebulous and are tasks only the super productivity geeks would really write down and follow through. Generic research, for instance. “Look into this thing” type stuff. You could write down “research task x for 25 minutes”, but reality is most people aren’t that organized. So instead of organizing your life like David Allen, here’s an extension that makes for a cleaner daily workspace and timely reminders.

Tab Snooze is my most actively used extension (which is saying a lot, since I have 78 extension I currently use in Chrome).

Tab Snooze lets you snooze any tab so that it comes back at a later date.

And you can see what tabs you have snoozed for when.

Here’s what I use Tab Snooze for:

Reminders

  • Bring my yearly goals up each day. Every morning I have a tab that lists my goals. Some days I close it. More often than not, I read through them. That type of reminder is powerful.
  • Monthly expenses that I cannot automate or want to check on each month
  • Articles or sites I want to talk to about with a specific person next time I see them. (Snooze until I’m in the office, snooze until right before my 1:1)
  • Reminder to check on social media at a certain time (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook)

Learning

  • Sites I want to use every so often (learning, book review, lynda.com, the Seth Godin course on value that I bought from Udemy)
  • Articles I can’t read right now but want to read shortly
  • For learning follow up. When I finish a book, I write down key takeaways in a doc, then snooze it for a month. A month later, I have a 1 minute read through to remember what I learned.

Todos

  • Todos on the web I want to deal with tomorrow. I don’t want to write down what it is. That takes a number of steps.
  • Ideas/articles/todos for my weekend. I don’t need a Saturday todo list. I just need to snooze a tab until Saturday. It comes up and I deal with it when I open my computer on Saturday.

This works well if you’re someone who, like me, opens your computer often. I have a home office and do my work and hobbies on a computer, so I’m on it multiple hours a day. Having those tabs come up when needed is great.

Between Tab Snooze and Pocket, I can keep my tabs semi-clean and my time focused.

  • This is not some sort of paid plug. I just really like TabSnooze.

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