Productivity Hacks from the Woven Team

January 25, 2022

January comes with a renewed sense for ‘getting things done’. At its heart and soul, Woven is about providing a platform to improve how and what you keep track of in order to increase productivity, and give you back time. In short, we resolve the ‘administrivia’ so you can put your heart into your business and your people.

The Woven team share some of their other productivity tips…. aside from using Woven!

Matt Goebel, CEO and Founder

“Identify what is a rubber ball versus a glass ball.”

The analogy of juggling is common—both professionally and personally. The fallacy of this analogy is that if you drop a ball, you fail. I learned to become good at identifying what is a rubber ball versus a glass ball. Rubber balls can easily be dropped, to lighten the load. They bounce back into the rotation with little to no disruption. Glass balls, if dropped, shatter and require additional work to clean up the pieces – they do not bounce back into rotation easily.

When the juggle becomes too much, drop the rubber balls. The key is knowing if it’s a rubber ball or a glass ball.

This got me out of the negative cycle of compounding work. I gave myself permission to drop the rubber balls knowing that they would ‘bounce’ back soon enough with little to no new effort.

Chandler Zwolle, Consulting Software Engineer

“Put your emails into folders as soon as they’ve been addressed.” 

Matt Goebel, Woven CEO and Founder shared this hack with me, and it stuck, allowing me to own my inbox.

A full inbox makes it difficult to determine which emails you’ve already read and handled. Filing handled emails gives me a clear view of items to act on. I almost *never* let an email go unanswered.

You can be as specific as you want (I have 70 folders). If someone communicates with me a different way, and I have an action item, I email myself a reminder, because I know I’ll leave that email in my inbox until it’s addressed.

Kirsten Skillrud, Head of Customer Success

“Two recent changes have made a big impact on my work and personal life.”

Check out The Unf*ck Your Brain Podcast’s sixth episode, “How to Get Sh*t Done.” The host, Karen Loewentheil, gives you a process for organizing your work to clear the way for productivity – all while dodging anxiety.

Lacking a sense of priority and the details and resources to complete an assignment kills productivity. That’s why I cannot recommend Trello, an online project-management tool, enough!

It’s essentially a digital Kanban Board that helps you visualize your priorities and organize your projects. It’s made up of columns with customizable headers and cards that fall under these columns. For each card, you can include notes, a checklist of tasks, a deadline, attachments, and more.

Tim Schoenfeld, Head of Software Engineering

“Leveling up my skillset saves me time in the long run.”

I’ve used YouTube videos to fix a water heater and replace a septic tank riser—one of those jobs was much less fun than the other. I rely on my LinkedIn Learning subscription for professional improvement. It offers an array of video training (instructor lead courses) for leveling up your skillset in technology related fields, business, finance etc.

I try to embrace the mentality of “work smarter, not harder”. If I can level up my own skillset and stay on top of topics in my related field, I can be more productive. Learning ways to write less code to get the same job done. Learning how to automate things frees up time. Mentoring to improve peer skillset so I can delegate is another strategy for gaining time.

Zac Cino, Software Engineer

“I thought I could juggle everything in my brain…. sometimes the simplest things make a huge difference.” 

Growing up, teachers always pushed us to use a planner to keep track of due dates and assignments. We would even have planner checks to see if we were keeping up-the younger me would have a blank planner. I thought I could juggle my homework and activities in my brain, but when I started college things changed.

I implemented Google Calendar—my teachers were onto something! I put all my weekly and recurring activities into the calendar and placing commitments into the calendar helped me visualize my week in a more organized way than ‘in my head’.

Sometimes the simplest things can make a huge difference.

Andrea Mundie, Head of Marketing

“Understanding that perfection is the enemy of productivity.” 

Early in my career, I didn’t have the confidence to share what was not done perfectly nor completely. The result was projects stuck at 95%. Great brands and great people are a little vulnerable, and a lot of ‘real human’. They get the most important stuff right and prioritize progress over perfection. Releasing a project can free it to outside feedback and net a better result. Most times, 95% is done, the last 5% being four fear of putting ourselves or our work out there.

One of my favorite quotes is ‘it’s better to be interesting than perfect’. High quality work is important, but analysis paralysis and perfectionist mindset are the same as no progress. Accepting this changed the cadence and volume of tasks I managed both professionally and personally.