Do you wish you could unclutter your busy and be more productive?

Start today by making small changes and you will see improvements and clarity almost instantly. Just learn these three easy steps spelled out by the acronym CPR.

As a facilitator, project manager and self-confessed process improvement nerd, Bernie Winter from Mobi Limited looks for techniques that will declutter her own busy life, while helping clients enable their teams to focus, increase engagement and improve productivity. Behind all of this is the goal of keeping the process simple!

Start using Bernie’s CPR Technique today to see what a difference it can make in your own stress levels and productivity output.

Step 1: [C]apture

Why you need one place to store all your information

However you do it, capture all your tasks in one place. This can be done in both your business or personal lives. Make sure this information is quickly accessible and meaningful to you at first glance. Whether you list your tasks manually or digitally, I challenge you for the next month to train yourself to use a single method of capture. This will instantly create space in your mind, and set you up for success in the next two steps.

Step 2: [P]rioritize

If you don’t prioritize, you don’t succeed

Work out from your list which tasks are urgent–which ones must be done. This will ensure your urgent tasks get dealt with first. To define the priorities you can use a simple system of 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C.

That said, there are a few Cardsmith board configurations in particular that are useful in this step, especially if you have a lot ot tasks across a lot of different projects. Here’s how to create one of the most effective, the Eisenhower Box. It’s named after the former U.S. president who used this method to stay productive. It still works great today, more than half a century later!

eisenhower box in cardsmith

Figure 1. Sample Eisenhower Box in Cardsmith

If you have a lot of projects, each with a long list of tasks, you might try using a Visual Processing Board to visualize everything and then sort the task cards according to a sequential priority. We’ve created a simple guide to help you get started.

And here is another easy option, a Kanban Cardsmith Board Template that you can use to achieve the same goal. You might find it useful to set up yours with different rows for each project, like this:

Simple Kanban board in Cardsmith

Figure 2. Sample Kanban Board

Step 3: [R]eview

Take your project’s pulse, again and again

Each week, review your list and reevaluate it based on changes that have occurred. Then capture your revised list and prioritize again with the new information. This will keep your workflow fresh, accurate and up to date.

graphic of heartbeat

Now check your own pulse and see how CPR has helped!

Your workflow should feel easier and more efficient. Here’s why.

Using this CPR Technique incorporates visual thinking into your process, which helps free up your mind so you can get more done. Visual boards are a key technique to help you focus and work on one thing at a time. This streamlined thinking allows you to get your tasks done more efficiently. You’ll get more accomplished with less stress, in less time.

And when that happens, your actual heart rate is likely to go down! So give yourself some CPR and start feeling better about all those tasks you need to accomplish.

Check out Cardsmith as a great tool to get started on a healthier workflow.