Elevate Your Game: Harnessing Technology for Personal Efficiency

personal efficiency
Photo: Fermate, Getty Images

Do you ever feel there aren’t enough hours in the day? Is your to-do list endless and sometimes scattered? With all of the talk about how we can best use technology in our practices to become more efficient and effective, I wanted to take a deep dive into ways we can use technology to streamline our days in our personal lives.  

As someone who tends to prefer old fashioned pencil and paper (anyone else?), I am trying to “do as I say” and embrace the use of technology in my life. As I sit here typing this, I will admit I have a steno notebook next to me with a “to-do list.” There is something about manually crossing off items on a list that makes me feel productive! However, I have been thinking about ways I can make my life (and my family’s lives!) more organized and productive.

With two active boys, a busy consulting and work schedule, and the feeling we are often going in multiple directions, my husband took the reins and decided to color code our calendars. Now, opening my calendar on my phone has transformed from a chaotic schedule to an organized masterpiece. I can quickly see where everyone needs to be and what is on tap for the day without having to click on each specific event.

How did we live without email? If you’re like me, you may have multiple email addresses that help you connect and keep your personal and professional lives separate. However, this can lead to overflowing inboxes and emails that go unread and unanswered. Fear not: technology can help here! Unsubscribe from newsletters and senders you never read. This is such a freeing feeling! Use filters to direct incoming mail to specific folders, and use email management apps to sift through the clutter, sorting important messages for you. You may not achieve inbox zero, but you can have some newfound clarity and organization.

Task management apps have been life changing for me. I have multiple Notion boards for consulting projects, to-do lists, home projects, and to keep track of invoices and payments. Using these boards helps me tackle projects and break them into bite-sized steps. While not as satisfying as crossing an item off a list with a pen, checking something off my digital list is still a great feeling!

Notetaking has certainly changed as well. Go to any continuing education meeting and you’ll see a range of ways people are jotting down what they want to remember. In addition to traditional notetaking with a pen and paper, or even on a computer, you will now see tech savvy colleagues using digital notetaking apps. These apps are great ways to jot down ideas and lists on the go and can sync across devices, ensuring you can always access them as needed.

As I come to the end of this month’s thoughts, I have my pen ready to cross this editorial off my to-do list — both in my steno notebook and on my Notion board. I’ve started jotting my ideas for October in my notetaking app, and have it already scheduled on my color-coded calendar. Cheers to technology and efficiency!

What ways have you found to organize schedules, streamline workloads, and use gadgets and apps to conquer your daily tasks with finesse? I’d love to hear your tips!

Yours in success, 

Jennifer L. Stewart, OD

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