You’ll never really amount to much if you can’t get things done. It doesn’t matter what reasons you offer or excuses you make, executing is all about deliberately doing the right things until they start working.
Success really comes down to one word. Discipline.
You have to be disciplined — focused on doing the small, gritty tasks that are easy to overlook and ignore even when you don’t get a thank you for doing them. The good news is that smart technology makes it easier than ever to schedule, manage, and measure getting things done. Here are a few smart technologies to help you be more effective.
- Boomerang — It’s an add-in for Gmail and Outlook that reminds me of what emails I have sent that have not been replied to yet. I use it to make sure I get an answer to any message that is important.
- Streak — It’s a Chrome plugin that turns Gmail into a lite CRM for tackling community engagement. It’s a quick and free way to manage projects, close deals, and track email communication.
- Google Voice — My anywhere access to sending text messages, tracking phone calls, and keeping tracking of the most important people in my life. It’s all through my browser too.
- Buffer — My only social media tool. I use it to share good things I find on the web. It’s a fast, effective way to push relevant content everywhere you have an audience.
- Spotflux — It’s a browser app that makes you a little more bullet-proof. It scrambles your IP address and protects you computer when using public WiFi. If you travel, you need this plugin.
- Mention — A billion apps to keep track of all the different social ways people are talking about “me”. It allows me to be polite and say “Thank You” to people who are “mentioning” me.
- Uberconference and Speek and Hangouts — Speek is my new favorite tools for conference calls. But all of these are great for meetings and calls and business conversations. And they’re free to use — to get started.
- Check — It’s a super-slick mobile app that allows me to manage all my bills and accounts and travel plans. There is nothing more distracting in business than to have a dysfunctional personal life. This buttons me up.
- Xero — This is the best accounting platform in the world. It’s way better than Quickbooks and a heck of a lot easier to use. It’s not free like Wave Accounting, but it’s just a few bucks each month — and worth it.
- StatusCake — It’s a cool mobile app and web platform that tells me if any of our websites is down or running slow. Helps us all sleep a lot better at night. And runs on auto-pilot.
- Todoist or Any.do or Wunderlist or Asana or Producteev or Remember the Milk — All my favorite “to do” applications. Right now Todoist is my hands-down favorite. But I use all of these tools for different business purposes. They all have mobile and web apps.
These tools will change your life. You’ll be better and faster and more prepared than ever. And all while charging full speed ahead into battle. But don’t get me wrong.
Technology can’t fix all the other problems in your life.
You can’t automate empathy. But you can remind yourself to be a better version of you. You can schedule time to learn and grow. In fact, when we looked at a thousand high-performing people in business, math, sports, science, politics — and then wrote Edgy Conversations about what we learned — we found out that discipline was an enormous part of their daily routine. It makes up the “D” in EDGY. You don’t have to use all the tools that we talked about, or any of them for that matter. But you do need to be disciplined. You do need alarms and reminders and scheduling tools that help you prioritize the way you’re living your life. Otherwise, you’ll look back at your years and come to the conclusion the there was so much more that you could have done. Get in the habit of developing good habits. You might find yourself being one of those ordinary people that end up achieving outrageous success.