How Grouping Windows By Task Maximizes Your Productivity
The time has come. What time you ask? The time for us to regain control of our workday and stop putting up with everyday frustrations we have learned to cope with that diminish our productivity. Specifically what I’m talking about is having 10, 15, maybe even 30 windows, applications and browser tabs open on your computer, minimized and creating chaos.
For most professionals who live and breathe through their devices, our computers become a “dump” of sorts. Not only do we have documents and windows running for our professional tasks like prepping for client meetings, pulling weekly reports or taking notes, a lot of us also use our computer for personal things as well. So on top of all of our work applications, browser tabs, windows, and so on, we also have more browser tabs open for personal “stuff” like planning a vacation, personal finances, articles we want to read… the list goes on. Over the years, we learned to cope with having a LOT of “stuff” running on our computers all hours of the day. Well I’m here to tell you there is another way to help you stay organized and in control.
What is a Session?
A Session in Wolf Flow is a group of your applications, windows and browser tabs that you need for any client, project or task. Some examples of Sessions you could create are:
- “Monthly Reporting”: Every month you may need to pull the same report for your manager. Why not put your Excel sheets, chrome tabs, and whatever you need into one place to return to each month?
- Client or Project Sessions: Manage multiple clients or projects? Save each client’s notes and project documents to their own Session to switch between seamlessly.
- “Internal Meetings”: Have one place to store everything that is discussed in your company meetings including your notes and any materials that were shared.
- “Vacation Plans”: Create Sessions for your personal life too! Don’t let those browser tabs with your vacation plans get lost in your work.
- “Personal Finances”: Have multiple bank accounts? Keep tabs for each of them stored in a Session to get a quick view on your finances.
Why do we need Sessions?
How many times do you think you switch between tasks during the day? A task could be checking emails, writing blog content, leading a client call, attending an internal meeting, pulling a report, etc.
On average, researchers have found that “workers who use computers during the day change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour (Keller 51).”
That is a crazy amount! Even crazier is that professionals are interrupted every 11 minutes! (Keller 46). A distraction could be anything from hearing an email come in, a co-worker coming to chat, or when you are trying to find what you need and another window draws your attention away. A lot of times when we are interrupted, it can take us awhile to recover after losing our place and maybe even lose what we were working on. This is where Sessions comes in handy.
How will a Session increase my productivity?
When you are interrupted or distracted, you can use Wolf Flow to jump between Sessions seamlessly. (Reminder: a Session is a group of windows and applications for any given task). Let’s say you are in the middle of putting together a presentation for your client. You are using PowerPoint, 3 Chrome tabs, and an Excel doc. When you’re mid-project, your boss calls you into his office to discuss another project coming down the pipeline. You go back to your desk, take down notes from your impromptu meeting and begin brainstorming for this new project. Thirty-minutes later you realize you need to get the presentation finalized by 5pm so you try to switch gears.
With Wolf Flow, you could create a Session for the presentation and also one for the new project, giving you two separate workspaces to store the relevant resources for each. This way when you realize you need to switch back to working on the presentation, you can easily jump back into it.
So not only will grouping your resources into Sessions help you bounce-back and recover from interruptions and distractions easily, you will be able to multitask efficiently and also minimize the time and frustration you experience sorting through your cluttered desktop.
Still suspicious of Sessions? There’s more!
Maybe you are thinking, “Well sure, I’ve got some windows open, but do I really need a tool to organize them?” My question back to you would be, when was the last time you shut down your computer? Or have you felt your computer slowly inching along and can’t keep up with your work (and maybe even crashing)? Saving our work into Sessions allows us to save and store our work giving us the freedom to fully shut down our computers at night as we know everything will be restored to where we left it. This not only lets our computer “rest”, but helps to keep our computer running smoothly.
For many, shutting down our computer is a last resort when we don’t have a charger nearby. But because of this, our computer is getting bogged down by all of the apps we run throughout the day making it feel like it doesn’t have enough bandwidth for our work (which is most likely not the case).
There are multiple ways how creating Sessions and using Wolf Flow helps your battery life (and speeds up your computer):
- You can close Sessions you aren’t using. Only running the resources you need for a few tasks lets your computer focus on your task at hand. (Your closed Sessions can easily be accessed and opened in Wolf Flow.)
- Turn it off. Let your computer reset itself in the evening and save some energy! Who doesn’t want some extra “green” points.
- Work. Rest. Repeat. Gain the psychological benefits of shutting down your computer at night. Don’t let your computer chimes during dinner distract you from family time. And sleep a bit lighter knowing your work is right where you left it!
Try it out!
I’ve been in your shoes (or similar ones). Working as an Account Manager and managing 12 clients made for a very messy (and slow) computer. We created Wolf Flow to make our lives a bit easier and hopefully save others time. Creating and using Sessions will not only help us to quickly recover from interruptions and be more productive with our work days, but will alleviate some of the pressure you feel with your shifting priorities.
Discover how you can boost your productivity with Wolf Flow, try it out for free today!
Keller, Gary, and Jay Papasan. The One Thing: the Surprisingly Simple Truth behind Extraordinary Results. John Murray, 2014.