5 Tech Hacks to Improve Productivity at Work
We all strive to cut through the clutter, streamline our focus, and increase our productivity throughout the workday. With heavy workloads and tight bandwidths, maintaining an elevated level of productivity can be the key to surviving the rigors of the workplace. We’ve previously explored the best gadgets to increase productivity, but let’s revisit how technology can boost your efficiencies and keep you focused.
Single-Tasking vs. Multi-Tasking: We’ve all fallen victim to the idea that the more tasks you can combine, the more efficient you will be. But at some point, there will be a diminishing return on your productivity. Instead of navigating through tens of web browsers at the same time, checking emails the minute they come through your inbox, and wading through a sea of spreadsheets, focus your attention on one task at a time by single-tasking. Not only will you able to complete each task faster, but you’re likely to have a much higher quality of work and accuracy than if you were dividing your time between eight other online tasks.
Check Emails in Bulk: This goes along with the idea of single-tasking. We are all inundated with emails morning, noon, and night. While there’s no way to slow that machine, you can temper it by reading and responding to emails in batches. Schedule 15 minutes every few hours to check and respond to emails. This will ensure you are still responding to emails in a timely manner, but that you aren’t distracting yourself from your other tasks.
When In Doubt, Automate: We all have monotonous tasks that take up too much of our time that could be better spent in other areas. If you feel like there must be a better way to complete a repetitive task, chances are there is! If Excel is eating up hours in your day, explore whether a well-crafted macro could automate the process and cut down on your time spent. If you’re spending all of your time pulling data from a proprietary program, set-up a custom dashboard that organizes and tracks your high-priority data for easy viewing. While automation isn’t always possible, incorporating it more heavily into your routine will free up valuable hours in your day.
Use Consolidation Apps: Apps like Evernote and Slack can organize and centralize your notes, conversations, and internal communications all into one hub. Rather than wasting time searching for notes in your notebook to transcribe into an email for your team, streamline all of those tasks into one single app. Also, since these apps work cross-device, you gain the flexibility of having always-on productivity wherever you are.
Schedule Your To-Do List: If you’re still keeping your to-do list on paper or in a non-descript word doc, it may be time to upgrade. For many, scheduling high-priority or time-sensitive to-dos as Outlook calendar invites will ensure that you don’t miss a deadline. You can even create a separate shared calendar to manage team deadlines, set multiple reminders, and easily adjust deadlines as they shift. Apps like Evernote also have scheduling options for your checklists and will send a reminder straight to your phone. While your organizational process must work for you, consider whether scheduling can help relieve some of the time spent manually managing and checking that to-do list.
These are just a few tech hacks that have helped us streamline daily tasks in the workplace. Tell us which tech hacks work best for you!
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