Thursday, June 25, 2015

Prioritization: Less IS more

Prioritization: Less IS more

Prioritization: Less IS more
We all have a tendency to keep adding to our to-do lists; we often hear a voice that says, “Do more,” as if doing more equates to the value of work we’re producing. But this is a flawed strategy: taking on more has diminishing returns. You may get overworked, burn out, or feel chronically stressed by the scope of projects you’re taking on.
No person or team can do everything. Instead of doing more, you can learn when to stop: when adding work no longer adds significant value (just before the curve above turns downward). You and your team will gain insight into what work is most impactful and, ultimately, you’ll be more focused and productive.
Science says, “do less”

Leaving the office no longer means leaving work

There used to be an easy check against constantly doing more: going home. But now that many of us can work from anywhere, leaving the office no longer means “leaving work.” While working all the time has become the new normal, both science and common sense say this is completely unsustainable.
The negative effects of constantly working are clear: More than 80 percent of Americans are stressed at work. Adults aged 18-33 experience more stress than any other age group, with work being the top reported source of stress according to a 2013 survey.

Prioritization shouldn’t be this complicated

There is no shortage of advice about how to prioritize. But typically, advice and frameworks (like the diagrams below) don’t help you make decisions during crunch time, when deciding what your team needs to get done today, this week, or this month is crucial.
Coaches and productivity experts have developed charts, graphs, and matrices to help you prioritize (images from,, and Prioritization really shouldn’t be this complicated!
Coaches and productivity experts have developed charts, graphs, and matrices to help you prioritize, but prioritization shouldn’t be this complicated!

3 Ways to prioritize your day

1. Start by setting goals

Start by thinking about what you’re doing and why. Set and record goals with your team for a specific time period. Make these goals accessible, so everyone can refer back to them frequently.
Get into a habit of evaluating your work and tasks in the context of your team’s goals. Your top priorities should align with these goals and help you get one step closer to achieving them. Once goals become the common decision-making framework for your team, it will be completely reasonable to say, “This is a great idea, but isn’t a priority for this time period. Let’s save this for later when we are focused on that goal.”
Asana Tip: Track high-level goals, and every step between now and the successful completion of the goal, in Asana.

2. Keep your daily task list clutter free

Once your team is clear about the high-level goals, start prioritizing your tasks. Narrow down your daily task list to just 3 to 5 items (unless your tasks are very small).
Consider these questions as you prioritize your tasks:
  • Does this task directly support the goals we set for this time period?
  • What do I absolutely have to accomplish today?
  • When does this need to get done by?
  • Am I excited about this?
  • Is my team excited about this?
  • Do I have the energy and brainpower required to do this effectively today/right now?
Once you have your task list set for the day, you will find that you are more productive, effective, and at ease when you start working.

3. Get more done

Once you have an uncluttered plan for the day, get started on your work. Getting going might be the most challenging “task” of all, since your highest-priority task may be what you are resisting the most. To move from procrastination to action, try breaking the task into smaller parts or reflecting on why you are avoiding the work.
“I’ve found an indispensable three-step process for reliably moving from procrastination to action: (1) face whatever I’m putting off, (2) be honest with myself or a friend about why it’s uncomfortable, and (3) identify one easeful next step.” Justin Rosenstein, Asana co-founder, How to Overcome Procrastination by Facing Discomfort on Linkedin

Leave room in your planning for unexpected tasks

Throughout the day, you’ll encounter distractions and hurdles that will lure you from your task list. Leave room in your planning for unexpected tasks, but feel empowered to respond to requests for your time by citing your priorities and team goals. Instead of saying, “I’m too busy,” say, “I would love to work on this, but I’m focused on goal X this week.”
Mastering the art of prioritization is one of the best ways to achieve more. By dedicating yourself to what’s most important to your team and eliminating the other options, you’ll be more productive, more valuable to your team, and have more time to relax.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

60 Empowering Quotes to Help You Get Things Done

Here are 60 quotes gathered from our sister site, Everyday Life Lessons, to empower you to take action, navigate through life’s challenges, and get things done.

  1. Just because you are struggling does NOT mean you are failing.  Every great success requires some kind of struggle to get there.
  2. It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed or if you’ve been beaten.  All that matters is that you learn something, get back up, and try again.  Because winning is a good feeling, but winning when nobody else thought you could is an awesome feeling.
  3. Stop beating yourself up.  You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  4. ‘Finished last’ will always be better than ‘Did not finish’, which always trumps ‘Did not start.’
  5. Don’t think too much, or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.
  6. Thinking too long about doing something is often the reason it never gets done.
  7. If you truly want to change your life, you must first change your mind.
  8. Most great things in your life won’t happen by chance, they will happen by choice.
  9. Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin.  Beginning makes theconditions perfect.
  10. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
  11. There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them.
  12. You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.
  13. Sitting on the right track is equivalent to racing down the wrong track.
  14. Procrastinators who say, “There’s always tomorrow!” deny the reality that one day, they will be wrong.
  15. Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
  16. It’s easier to take a small action now instead of a big action ’some day.’
  17. What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.
  18. The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists.  It rewards people who get things done.
  19. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
  20. The best way to prepare for the future is to take care of the present.
  21. Don’t forget what happened, but understand that you cannot move forward while looking backwards.
  22. Don’t carry your mistakes around with you.  Instead, place them under your feet and use them as stepping stones.
  23. Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  24. Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
  25. No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  26. Your mistakes should be your motivation, not your excuses.
  27. Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderful future; not cause you to be afraid of it.
  28. Don’t get caught up in wasted potential from years past.  Potential is all we ever have.  Read The Power of Now.
  29. No matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, you always have the choice to turn around.
  30. You don’t drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.
  31. Stop looking back at the door shutting behind you before you walk past the door opening in front of you.
  32. Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.
  33. Being uncomfortable and uncertain is part of learning and growing.  Get used to it.  It’s worth it.
  34. In order to be creative, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
  35. Take a chance on the opportunities your gut says are good, because some things only happen once.
  36. Don’t let your fear of what could happen make nothing happen.
  37. If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.
  38. When you stop worrying about what you can’t control, you have time to change the things you can control.
  39. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  40. You might think you’re not good enough, but you’ll surprise yourself when you try.
  41. People seldom do things to the best of their ability.  They do things to the best of their willingness.
  42. Don’t worry about others doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  43. You’ll never reach your destination if you keep stopping to tell everyone where you’ve been and what you’ve accomplished.
  44. If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.
  45. “Time changes everything.”  That’s what people say, but it’s not really true.  Doing things changes things.  Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were.
  46. Every day we are faced with great opportunities disguised as difficult circumstances.
  47. There is a hidden treasure inside every problem.  It’s your job to find it.
  48. Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m Possible.”
  49. If you want to get over a problem, stop mulling it over and talking about it.  Your mind affects your mouth, and your mouth affects your mind.  It’s nearly impossible to move beyond something when you’re obsessing over it.
  50. Worrying is like a rocking in a chair: it keeps you busy, but doesn’t get you anywhere.
  51. Being defeated is often a temporary condition.  Giving up is what makes it permanent.
  52. The one who wins the race in the long run is usually not the strongest or the fastest, but the one who has tried the hardest.
  53. Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.
  54. The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell.
  55. The only difference between an obstacle and an opportunity is your attitude.  Read How Full Is Your Bucket?
  56. When something bad happens, you can either let it define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you.  The choice is yours.
  57. You have three choices in life: Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got.
  58. Don’t look back and ask, “Why?” Look ahead and ask, “Why not?”  When it comes to your dreams and goals, be too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.
  59. No matter how many times you break down, there should always be a little voice inside you that says, “NO, you’re not done yet!  Get back up!”  That’s the voice of passion and courage.
  60. Approach the start of each day with one goal and end the day with one word: DONE!

What I like to read every morning...

We all start our days differently: some lazily rolling out of bed after several 5-minute snoozes, others energizing with a quick jog around the block. One thing is unanimous, though. We all browse. To find the hottest news, to explore our interests, to boost creativity... This time I decided to share my morning browsing / reading rituals. 


A List Apart positions itself as meant for people who build websites. That's exactly who I am. Moreover, that's exactly what ImpressPages is about. So there couldn't be a better source for news than this. It was once published as a mailing list for web designers, later on it transformed into a web magazine about development, design, web content, web standards and best practices.

Like the bigger part of the world, I consider Mashable to be a great source for all kinds of news. As a designer, I always check the Dev&Design column but often my attention drifts to other stories as well. I like the variety, I like the quality and I like the relevance of each story. I believe that looking at beautiful and innovative things boosts your own passion to build something alike.

Ok, it’s more insights than news. Still, I find Paul Graham a very useful source for information on programming and startups. He is a known writer, investor and programmer himself who co-founded Viaweb (the first software as a service company) and as of 2005 runs a startup incubator called Y Combinator. His articles are thoughtfully and thoroughly written with strong arguments and examples, thus when I read them I get that feeling of reliability.

The goal of The Latest is hot, "freshly baked" news. And the source for it – Twitter. This app automatically collects links posted by a bunch of the most interesting and influential people on Twitter. They compile the links into a real-time updated list with the 10 top stories at the time. News range from buzzing articles on Medium and interesting blog posts to new Apps and compelling websites. The content is very selective and it feels super good to be among the first ones going “hey, have you heard about this awesome new tool…” 


Good CSS tips and tricks with a pinch of witty humor (the footer alone says “may or may not include any actual CSS or tricks”). The website is run by Chris Coyier, web designer and developer who’s unselfish enough to share all of his knowledge with the less enlightened. Not a day without a CSS trick!

I believe for most members of the design world Smashing Magazine is like the Bible. It’s the ultimate source to look for answers! I discovered it when looking for some information on web typography and stayed over since. Not only do they offer good tips on how to do things, they also include useful links and freebies. 

And again, it’s tips and insights. I guess I like insights :) Coding Horror is a spring of articles about coding, Internet, work and human error related issues. The blog is easily read as all of the information is presented through a quirky writing style. I strongly agree with Jeff’s take on the human side of web software: studying code isn’t enough; you have to study the people behind the software, too. 

As the title gently puts it, User Onboarding is related to successfully getting new users on board with your product. The website is run by Samuel Hulick, an insightful UX designer who takes popular web apps like Pinterest, Gmail or Evernote and explores their cases of user onboarding. He tears down the whole new user experience to minuscule details and adds comments to every single one of it. Though concentrated on UX, reading these walkthroughs help me to build logical story structures. 


All work and no play...yeah, you know the ending to that. So apart from checking work related stuff on the web, I sometimes drift to the world of Dilbert, a stereotypical tech minded single male working as an engineer in one of those cubicle offices. His sarcastic take on life is so accurate I cannot help but love this fictional little guy!

So everybody loves a good gif these days. I’m no exception and working in the web development field I especially love the collection of DevOps Reactions. As developers are not the famous types of feeling expression, this Tumblr board is the perfect way to show our everyday emotions about sysadmin interactions. All of that in one tiny sharp moving image. Gets me laughing to tears sometimes!  

Yup, I don’t start without my daily dose of inspiration from these two websites. I love Yatzer because of its wide spectrum – you can get stories on interior design, book graphics, travel, music, gastronomy, whatever. And Design Collector is a very selective showcase of the most interesting design ideas and projects. I always browse through their daily feed to feast my eyes.  

Boredpanda is my go-to resource when in need of a good mood lifter. It’s a web magazine sharing news on a myriad of themes – from photography, art and design projects to Tumblr memes, new technology and DIY ideas. You will laugh, marvel, sometimes even cry. It’s extremely visual with good quality photos and videos.   

9 Tools I use Everyday

There are several tools we can't live without. But I decided to make a list of the most common web tools we use daily @ work. Take a look, give it a try and maybe you'll find something useful. :-)

To keep it tidy

We believe order boosts productivity. And even though our desks never look tidy enough, our task management is done neatly with Trello. Visual workflow makes it really easy to follow up every task and know the stage it's in. Plus, you can assign team members to tasks.
While Trello is for tasks, most of us use Evernote to document personal thoughts and ideas. Which then turn to tasks, of course. It's nice that you can have this digital notebook on any device and it's easily synchronized so no bits of thought get lost.
Writing down tasks on Evernote is easy, clipping pics is not. That's when Dragdis comes in handy. Basically, anything from the web (images, videos, texts, urls...) can be saved with one drag&drop. Really goes above and beyond all that bookmarking and "save as" nonsense.   

To keep it smart

Travis is a continuous integration service used to build and test projects hosted at GitHub. Our tech minds Audrius, Mangirdas and Algimantas use it to test ImpressPages system online.
This tool came especially in handy when developing ImpressPages 4.0. We ran several A/B testings of the new design and rewritten copy on Visual Website Optimizer. The heatmap and clickmap features are also very useful when deciding on implementing new CTO buttons and such.
With all that buzz on the web it's easy to get lost. To avoid that, Justina uses Colibri IO. It's a neat growth hacking tool to keep an eye on the specific topics you're interested in. Sort of like Mention (which we tried before) or Google Alerts but more user-friendly, fetches information from very different sources. Plus, you can sync it with Google Analytics and add other team members.

To keep it going

Best music streaming so far. We just love how Spotify is full of music that we like and how easy it is to create personal playlists. Thus, when in need of inspiration or just wanting to hide from babbling colleagues we dive into this world of sounds.
We find beautiful things on the web everyday so why not share them? And why not on Pinterest. Mindaugas has created some really nice boards expressing his view on style, graphic and web design, start ups and even CMSs!


Oh the drink of Gods...Really, if coffee was digital, it would be the first one in the list of web tools we use. Still, we drink so much of it we couldn't leave it behind. The office has a nice Espresso machine but whenever we're in town it's flat whites all the way! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Best Wordpress Hosting Company

I manage a lot of Wordpress websites. I have used GoDaddy, Bluehost, 1and1, A2 Hosting, and recently SiteGround. I am really impressed by the features and speed of SiteGround.

The Pros and Cons of SiteGround

Founded in 2003, SiteGround is a reputable web host in Sofia Bulgaria. Its data centers spread across the globe, in U.S. Europe, and Singapore. With robust services and 10+ years of reputation, it has earned over 300,000 domains and 400,000+ customers worldwide.

The Pros of SiteGround
  • SiteGround offers 3 upgradeable plans named as Startup, GrowBig, and GoGeek. Customers can choose a proper one based on the current requirements and upgrade easily when the site grown.
  • The basic Startup plan is affordable, starting at $3.95/mo presently, 70% off the regular price for $9.9/mo and along with free domain & free CloudFlare CDN.
  • The company offers 30 days money back guarantee to enable customers ask refund if they are unsatisfied with the service within 30 days.
  • It utilizes cPanel control panel, which offers easy-to-understand interface and allows users to manage their websites, domains, databases, email accounts with great ease.
  • The company provides 24×7 technical support via phone, live chat and email.
The Cons of SiteGround
  • The basic Startup plan is seriously limited, with only one website and 10 GB disk space allowed, which make it only a toy for beginners. For customers need powerful features, they need to go GrowBig that is high to $6.95/mo.
  • The company attracts customers with low initial price and large discount, but comes with high renewal prices.
  • The money back guarantee only allows customers to request pro-rated refund, but not full refund. All the free services are charged when refunded.