This week I’d like to talk to you about timeboxing, specifically as a technique for keeping on top of lots of Trello boards. Timeboxing is a proven productivity technique that is often overlooked in favour of to-do lists and goal planners. Trello itself gives you excellent to-do list and project management tools but without an additional timeboxing layer, you can easily get lost in an ever growing mountain of Trello cards. Read on to regain control of your life!
Stop right now! What are you working on? Is that actually important? Is it helping you progress your goals? Or are you just making busy time? Answering emails, shifting bundles of paper around?
We are all living in an increasingly busy world. Unfortunately, time is a finite resource. There are only 24 hours in each day and there are only so many things that you can get done in those 24 hours.
Stop wasting your time and pick something important to YOU to work on instead!
It requires a small change to your approach: Your job is NOT to get everything done. Getting everything done is impossible and you will waste your life trying. Instead, at every point in your life, aim to do the one MOST IMPORTANT THING right now.
Imagine leaving at the end of the day feeling that you’ve accomplished something. And looking back over your week with a sense of achievement. And as you continue working in this way, you will notice that your life takes on new meaning as you start to accomplish the goals that really matter to you.
Sounds good, right? We’ve put together a quick guide to making this happen, together with an actionable 12-page workbook (free no-signup download at the end of this post). Read on and start putting your life back on track!
The whole thing breaks down like this:
- Get organised – use a single to-do list to capture all your tasks.
- Use a review session at the end of each day to celebrate your successes and pick the most important things to work on the next day.
- Deal with interruptions as quickly as possible.
- Rinse and repeat for a happier, more fulfilled life!
Are you ready to get started?
(no, we don’t need your email address, there is no signup!)
Let us know how you get on, we’re always interested in productivity questions and success (or failure!) stories.
Have you heard of the term ‘visual learner’? It describes someone who prefers visual cues to process new ideas and keep their motivation high. I believe that we are all visual learners to some extent. And yet many software tools, including Trello, present us with bland, text-heavy interfaces. We’re going to change that! Read on for our tips on how to make your Trello boards more visually appealing. Add that spark to keep your motivation levels high while working towards your goals!
Motivation Tip 1: Background Colours
Motivation needs engagement – and the overall look and feel of your Trello board plays an important role. Trello comes in blue from the outset. You can easily change the background colour to suit your needs:
Show Menu > Change Background > Pick your background colour
Just a few clicks can turn your Trello board from this:
Perfect for that gardening project, don’t you think?
And when you’re staring at blue Trello boards all day, that special background colour is a great switch to get focused and keep your motivation high.
Colours have super-powers anyway, as explained in great detail in this lovely article about the meaning of colours.
Motivation Tip 2: Images
A picture says 1000 words (I bet you’ve never heard that before!). What’s more, a picture really grabs your attention and focuses the mind. What a great way to stay motivated!
Attach an image to a Trello card and it becomes what Trello calls a ‘cover image’.
Easier to see than write about – which one of these boards do you find more inspirational?
Or this one:
Here are our top tips for attaching images to Trello cards:
- Use pictures sparingly – otherwise, they lose their power. A single motivational image at the start of the board works wonders!
- Matching the board’s background colour to the image creates a strong overall feel to the Trello board. The visual tie-in keeps your motivation high and keeps you focused on the task at hand.
- You can’t control the size of the cover images. Trello resizes them automatically.
Motivation Tip 3: Use labels to stick to your goals
When you still feel that your motivation is flagging, even with custom background colours and image attachments, then it might help to add labels to the mix.
When you get that feeling that you’re overwhelmed by tasks and don’t feel motivated to keep working on your goals, a simple coloured label can really make the difference.
The following board combines all three techniques (and finally moves away from gardening!):
Motivational Trello labels in detail
- The key cover image reminds you of your overall goal (who wouldn’t want to own such a lovely yacht!).
- The purple tint on the image ties in with the overall background colour for that constant reminder of your goals.
- The board’s background is set to purple – apparently the colour of luxury and ambition.
- Trello cards directly related to achieving your goal were given a purple label. This trick is a super-easy visual reminder of how much you are doing each day to move towards your goal.
And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to keep motivation high on your Trello boards and can put them to good use.
Some final thoughts before I go:
- You can add custom background images to your Trello boards by upgrading to Trello Gold (free if you invite others to Trello, otherwise you will need to pay – but may still be worth it!).
- There are a few Chrome browser extensions that allow you to create coloured cards or change the Trello board background. We thought these would feature heavily in the post. In practice, they seemed clunky and unreliable when we put them through their paces, so we decided not to include them here.
A special shout out goes to Clean Language practitioner Judy Rees, who asked us about maintaining motivation with more visually appealing Trello boards in a recent Skype call.
When you work on productivity and growing your business you will eventually come across something called BPM. BPM stands for Business Process Modelling. It’s essentially the act of writing down the processes that keep your business running. You can use complex and expensive software for BPM – we wanted to show you an alternative using free (and easy!) tools like Trello and Google Drive. BPM without the investment and without the learning curve, if you like.