Through the core of every procrastinator runs the vein of childish rebellion. You’d rather do anything besides what you’re supposed to be doing. And you’d much rather be doing the shiny, fun thing. This happens despite your best intentions and your mostly adult brain knowing that the shiny, fun thing isn’t the smartest way to spend your time.
We all succumb to present bias, which skews our priorities so that the value of the short-term irrationally outweighs the long-term. The very origin of the word “procrastination”, from the Latin pro-, for “forward”, and crastinus, “of tomorrow”, captures that outlook. Just one more hamburger today, I’ll start my diet tomorrow!
Most suggested solutions fail to deal with the modus operandi of procrastinators, and attempt to change their ways more quickly than their deep-rooted character traits allow.
Structured procrastination, however, works with the procrastinator. It’s a paradoxical term, meaning the kind of procrastination that makes you more productive by turning your weakness into a strength and can be a “nuclear option” of sorts when all other productivity advice fails.
Brainstorming is a process that can help develop strategies in a wide area of tasks. Nearly any circumstance could benefit from brainstorming and apps such as Mindomo can bring these mind mapping tools to your Android device. Mind mapping practices have been around since before the 1300s and have helped millions of people discover ideas they may have skipped over if not for the visualization of the train of thought.
1. Easy to Use - Mindomo is a free app available on Google Play and has a good amount of support for devices. Once you start the application, you are able to begin mapping your thoughts by entering the primary subject. Each branch can be easily constructed and used by selecting the available tools on the top of your android screen. You can also do this by double clicking your screen. All of the commands within Mindomo are self-explanatory and very easy to understand for all levels of skill.
2. Feature Rich - Mindomo provides a great deal of usable features that many may find very useful. As you create subtopics of each branch, you have the ability to undo and redo changes, add notes to each, include links to websites, images, icons, and add a priority for each task needed in order to accomplish the main objective. Holding your finger down on a topic or subtopic opens a panel for directed editing such as cut, copy and paste of that particular idea. Mapped ideas are automatically stored and can be recalled at any time using the “Home” icon on the top left.
3. Customization - A great deal of customization is available for Mindomo. You are able to adjust the shape of each topic and subtopic from sharp square shapes to more oblong traditional bubbles. Line width, type, and color can be altered in order to provide the best look possible for your personal tastes. Colored themes and layouts give that extra personal touch that is best suited to provide the impact you’d like to see on your device. Some of these layouts could help you envision your ideas as each one has a specific feel to it that can focus your attention. It’s all about comfort when it’s time to start brainstorming. All of these customizations impact your exports when it comes time for you to share your brainstorming ideas.
4. Networking - One of Mindomo’s better additions is the ability to share the mind map with others within your organization. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. For the free version, you are able to export the map as a .pdf or a .jpg and send them via email to yourself or team members. The subscription based accounts for Mindomo allows for greater interactivity between your team members with tools such as iPad and Android Synch and up to eight exportable formats. Premium members are also able to send the actual mind map to their computer systems to be opened with either the web-based app or the installable computer-based app for offline content.
Mind mapping is the process of taking a single thought and providing additional thoughts that relate to it. From each thought, another set of topics pertaining to them begins to create a web of interlinking ideas that can be used to develop strategies for a number of tasks. This has helped developers in graphic design, web design, business planning, marketing, and even keyword development. Mindomo is simply a user friendly tool that can help you plan your next task by putting these ideas in a graphical representation that will ultimately play a role in developing your strategy.
Nancy provides feedback on all elements of the site “www.enannysource.com” helping us to really make sure that we are making it as easy as possible for caregivers to sign up and find work. In addition, she spends quite a bit of her time on freelance writing tasks.
How to you decide what’s junk mail and what mail to open? What makes you keep a note or card rather than reading and discarding it?
Next time you set out to create marketing or networking materials for your small business, ask yourself these questions among many others. Then, make sure you’re making something memorable. We could talk all about the merits of networking for a small business, but that’s another topic entirely. When you get to a mixer, do you have business cards ready to hand out? What do they say about your company and you, in particular? When a customer asks about a service or product can you give them a brochure? Is it informative, current and appealing?
Marketing materials can get very expensive, very quickly. The last thing you need is to disrupt your small business cash flow with a pricey visit to the printers. Imagine you can have your materials fast, cheap and good. That’s ideal right? In the real world, you can usually only pick two of those parameters at once. For most small businesses, “good” and “inexpensive” are the most achievable. With a little planning, elbow grease and creativity you can create memorable pieces for your small business.
Die cuts are a great way to add pizzazz to any paper project. Unfortunately they are often expensive, especially when they are custom for your project. What you can add, however, if you’re willing to do a little work on your own time is the same effect with a paper punch. Most paper punches limit you to the edges of the paper. Some, like the one in the video, below, let you punch anywhere on paper of any size. If you’re only working on business cards, you should be able to utilize any style of punch, but if you want to carry this feature over to other items like note cards or brochures, you might want to look into a more versatile tool.
Unconventional Sized Media
Remember when square greeting cards debuted? They were a hot commodity for awhile, despite the additional postage needed to ship in a square envelope. Why? Because consumers liked the variety after decades of the same boring rectangle cards. If you’re printing materials in-house, you’re probably limited to outputting content onto letter or legal sized paper. If, however, you’re willing to cut the finished product down, you can add designer flair to a budget project. You will need a cutting mat, supply of sharp x-acto blades, metal ruler or straight edge and an abundance of patience. When you design or set up printing, try to keep the final number of cuts to a minimum. You’ll be glad you did.
A handwritten message carries more weight than the printed or electronic note. It says that you care enough to take the time to do something special. Adding a note into a mailing or just sending one to say thank you won’t cost you much but it could reap massive rewards in the long run.
Guest post by Evelyn Garcia
Evelyn is a printmaker and graphic design artist who enjoys sharing what’s new and innovative in street and fine art.
I recently had a chance to speak to Tim Anthony of Productive Morning about Productivity practices and principles. He is putting together a new site and program, and was looking for some best practices to share.
“Productive Morning is the total morning success system that transforms lives by helping people just like you achieve their goals at a rate unmatched by anyone else.
Our belief is that the Morning is the Foundation for the entire day and that by following a systematic approach to the way that you go about your morning is the key to a successful, productive and goal achieving day.”
Get more information about the Work.Smarter! Series here.
Via my LinkedIn homepage:
No author has influenced me more as a marketer, business person and writer than Seth Godin. I could have easily included 9 books just by Godin – Purple Cow, Tribes, Linchpin, Poke the Box & his latest, Icarus Deception are all amongst my favorites. But Permission Marketing described social media marketing before it existed. Seth understood push-vs-pull marketing long before others, and this book, published in 1999, is still a must read for anyone in marketing today.
I have not read all of the books listed in this post, but I have read this one and it is remarkable.
Changing the structure of the corporation – employee relationship:
How big can a company get with just 50 employees? We’re about to find out.
Thousands of small businesses across the U.S. are desperately looking for a way to escape their own fiscal cliff. That’s because ObamaCare is forcing them to cover their employees’ health care or pay a fine—either of which will cut into profits and stymie future investment and growth.
We’ve already seen many of America’s biggest companies respond to the new law by laying off employees, putting them on part-time, or raising prices. But those are short-term solutions. Ultimately, these corporations will have to innovate and restructure to thrive in the era of ObamaCare. If small businesses follow their lead, they may even gain an advantage over their big competitors.