We all love our tools.
Google Apps, Evernote, Sprint.ly, Intercom, Mixpanel, Base, Glider.
I'm not sure what I'd do without any one of them. They help me keep all of my data contained, searchable, and relevant – but around 3p every day, none of them can help me.
We all know the 3pm slump. Your previously consumed lunch is now suggesting you take a nap, your inbox continues to distract, and you're now torn between any number of pseudo-meaningful, but-not-necessarily-priority tasks. Drat.
None of your compu-tools can help you, and switching between them to find the right thing to work on becomes a distraction in and of itself.
Enter the Whiteboard.
There's something beautiful in the simplicity and power a whiteboard with a few self assigned tasks can hold.
You don't want to let the whiteboard down, because in effect, you're letting yourself down. With a few tasks on a whiteboard, you now have the opportunity to have several daily wins, even if they are all smaller pieces of a bigger goal. With a whiteboard, you're a closer.
At Glider, the whiteboard is just as much a daily tool as any one of the aforementioned web apps. Every morning at 9:15 we host a get-to-the-point standup where each team member writes out their top priorities for the day– the things that in their own mind must be completed or seriously underway by beer-thirty. Ten minutes later, everyone has a list for which they can hold themselves accountable– a list that provides that simple reminder when the 3pm slump rolls around and you forget what really matters. Ever since rolling out these whiteboard stand ups, the number of "what are you working on today" office conversations have dwindled.
So give it a shot– starting next Monday, write out all of your daily goals on the nearest whiteboard (make sure they are all actionable, non-menial tasks), and keep it in your line of sight throughout the day. Each day, put checks next to the tasks you've completed the day before, and add new tasks for each new day. At the end of the week your whiteboard will look more like a trophy than that once ignored blank canvas.
I'd love to know how it works for you.