How do you stay productive [Results of Questionnaire]

Hello Internet Neighbors!

A while ago, I've posted links on Facebook, Reddit, and my family on Whatsapp asking how people keep themselves organized.  This was done so that I could get a better understanding of where people were coming from while I was writing my guide.  If you would still like to take the questionnaire, please see the link Facebook post below - you'll be able to get the guide at

This post is just to share the results that people gave.  If you've participated in this survey, thank you so much!

(I've received 45 responses total, which is actually more than I thought!)

And here are the results!

When you need to do a lot of things, how do you keep track of the tasks?  (check as many as you want)
Desktop app (Evernote/OneNote/Google Keep) 14   31%
Mobile app 19 42%
Sticky Notes/Writing on paper 25 56%
Email myself 10 22%
A spreadsheet 8 18%

Other responses (18 of 45 people responded)

  • Calendars
    • Calendar notes in cell phone
    • Calendar reminder in outlook
    • Microsoft Outlook Task & Follow up Tab
    • Google Calendar
    • Google Calendar
    • if only a simple task, i'll key into my calendar, make sure myself to finish it on time, no extend
  • I also use Google Inbox, which seems to have Google Keep tasks + email
  • Evernote
  • S Note (a mobile app)
  • I want a desktop app that easily syncs/pushes to a mobile app with reminders easily set for specific dates and times with the option to set an alarm half/hour/preset before the actual task is due, along with a reminder.
  • List on a whiteboard I look at everyday
  • White board and bullet listing
  • mark on diary.
  • notepad
  • Slightly biased, Things for Mac/iOS. I've been with it since closed alpha testing and stuck with it, because it's the only one that really works for me.
  • TeamGantt
  • Train your brains 🙂
  • Use my kids to remind me
All great tools, thanks for sharing!
In a typical weekday, how many hours do you have for leisure?
4+ 12 27%
3-4 12 27%
2-3 11 24%
1-2 8 18%
< 1 3 7%
When trying to get work done, a lot of time is spent: (check as many as you want)
Fighting with Photo/Video Editing Software 2 4%
Battling a word editor 9 20%
Cursing at your spreadsheet 5 11%
Responding to Email/Texting/Instant Messaging 30 67%
Facebooking 15 33%
Redditing 12 27%
Tweeting 2 4%
Some other form of news/social media 17 38%

I’m glad that you’ve identified your distractions, the first step to combatting procrastination is to acknowledge it.

The second step is to focus on your task, after that, feel free to go back to responding to people.

How do you stay focused while doing the task? (check as many as you want)
Headphones/Music 23 51%
Turn off phone/email 14 31%
Close browser 10 22%
Disconnect from Internet 12 27%
Reward myself afterwards 16 36%
Set a timer for X min 8 18%

Do you have any other techniques to help you stay focused?

  • Break down the task (usually a university essay or something similar) into smaller tasks and tick them off as I go.
  • Broken down lists
  • Change of scenery (ie library)
  • Coffee
  • do it after coffee break.
  • Create a space where nobody can bother me in anyway.
  • I keep my outlook email notifications off rather than completely cut off from emails. For me that’s the biggest distraction.
  • Keep quiet
  • Keep the end goal in mind
  • Listen to podcast
  • meditation
  • No distractions (turn off music, social media, etc)
  • Use the pomodoro technique ("tomato" in Italian, named after tomato-shaped kitchen timers).
  • Try and work in a public place, so I feel guilty if I'm off-task because of the other people around me.

Thanks for sharing! The Pomodoro technique is a good one. Try sleeping more too (so that you can rely less on coffee).

Just note that there is no one technique that works for everyone, only you know what works for you.


Head over to for productivity tips implemented using Google Keep, a free app that stores your notes and reminders

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