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My Top 4 Productivity Tools for DFY Agency Owners.

1. Tide Timer App

If you are like one of the many Agency owners I have talked to over the years, getting even one task complete is a huge challenge. We are constantly surrounded by distractions; our phones buzzing, people popping in our Slack for “a quick question”, constant email notifications, the list goes on. In order to cope, we lean on multitasking to get all the things done in a day.

But what happens when we continuously try to do too many things at once can be summed up by the word “switch cost”. A switch cost is a reduction in productivity and accuracy that occurs when switching between the two “executive control” centers of the brain. In fact, “even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time”.

One of my all-time favorite tools and techniques that has helped me get more done with less distractions is the Tide timer app. It uses the Pomodoro technique of setting a timer for a certain period of time to work on a task, then having small breaks in between larger time blocks. For example, you may set your timer to be 30 minutes of on work for two hours. The app will then structure this as a 30-minute work block, 5-minute break, 30-minute work block, then a 10-minute break.

You can use pretty much any Pomodoro timer app for this technique, but I prefer the Tide because it comes with Focus, Sleep, Nap, and Breathe features as well a relaxing sounds. It also has a handy Chrome Extension that allows you to set it on your computer!

I’ve used this app for years now and give it a 10/10.

2. Zapier

Oh, Zapier…. how can I even begin to explain how much I love them. If you aren’t familiar, Zapier is a tool that helps you automate your workflows with a click of a button. It integrates with over 3,000 apps and can help you connect things that may not integrate organically.

I use Zapier with every single one of my clients and it helps tremendously with automating everyday tasks that my business owners do not have time to worry about. They have a free-for-life membership that lets you set up 5 Zaps which is perfect if you want to try it out before committing to a full membership.

3. ClickUp

There are so many project management tools out there and I have used a large chunk of them. But ClickUp is an amazing system for business owners who need something easy-to-learn, robust, and with a starting free account! Here are some of my favorite features:

ClickUp has the most automation of any other project management tool, especially for the price. It has automation for setting up Sprints, dependencies, time tracking, Zoom, team management, and even screen recording!

It also integrates with some great technologies including Zapier and Slack, and the company is rolling out features like crazy.

I use ClickUp in my own business and would recommend it to any business owners who are looking for a quick-setup, easy-to-learn system that can help them level up their project management.

4. Fantastical

I absolutely love Fantastical. I’ve used it since it came out years ago, and it helps me so much with keeping me organized in my business. At one time, I have anywhere from 4-6 different calendars for my business. Fantastical allows me to bring all of those calendars into one place and manage all of them at once so there is no hopping back and forth between calendars or confusion of when I am available.

It also has an amazing timezone feature that allows me to simply check a box and I can see my calendar in different time zones! Seeing as I have clients all over the country, I love being able to keep all of their time zones straight when setting meetings! I highly suggest checking out their 14-day free trial to see if you like it.