Tuesday, December 6

How to Increase Productivity at Work with Top Tools and Tips

How to increase productivity at work with top tools and tips

“It’ s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

-Steve Jobs

How to increase productivity? What is productivity, and why is it so actual? What is smart time management? All these are trending topics today. 

We think about productivity when we need to do a lot of work at a certain period, but it is a wrong approach. Productivity means that we stay concentrated during the entire working day and fulfill all important things. When we are productive, we don’t require to work more than our working hours, miss our lunchtime or take our work home. Productivity is not a state of mind, but it is about the smart implementation of working principles and the usage of helpful tools. 

We prepared useful listings with productivity apps and tips that can make your working process more convenient and effective.

So, if you are ready to change your life and do more in less time, check our post below!

Top 10 productivity tools

1.Task management software

You can use task management software to create your to-do list or to-do lists for your employees as well as a roadmap, a kanban board, or a timesheet. Hygger is helpful for smart planning and tracking the team activity, and suits different types of departments. You can prioritize jobs and focus on the most important ones. Colleagues can leave comments to tasks and attach files to make communication more clear. 

2.Apps for booking meetings

If your work implies a lot of meetings and events, you shouldn’t keep all this data in your pocketbook. Use a Google Calendar to make this process more convenient. You can be sure that you won’t forget about the meeting or double-book the same time slot: the Calendar will send you a reminder notification and won’t allow you to plan two events for the same time.

3. Communication tools

Phone calls and emails make your communication with colleagues slower and cumbersome. So, for productive and fast collaboration, you can use special helpful software, for example, Slack. When you set up this tool, you can make channels with different departments, all employees, or separate people, communicate with them, and share documents.

For email management, you can use an app like Edison Mail. With an app like this not only can you access all your emails in one place, but they will be categorized automatically.

4. Supplementary tools for communication

If you spend a lot of time explaining what exactly you mean to other employees, you can use CloudApp and just show them. This is a visual communication tool with a clear interface that allows you to make screenshots and webcam recordings, as well as create Gifs and image annotations. 

5. Time trackers

If you need to know how much time you spend on task implementation and this information is crucial for you, you can use Toggl or Clockify, applications that run on PCs, tablets, or phones. They will remind you if you forget to launch them and show the report when you will finish the task.

6. Social media management tools

If you should post the content for various Social Networks, you can simplify this process with the Hootsuite app. This tool is helpful for the marketing department because it allows you to manage all your social media content from one page. You shouldn’t open your business Facebook account, Instagram, or Twitter anymore. Also, with this application, you can respond to comments and schedule hundreds of posts and see the full picture of your content strategy.

7. Password management tools

To keep in mind a lot of accurate information like passwords of your various business accounts in Social Media can be difficult, and it can turn into a disaster when you forget it. So, you can use a special application for generating, keeping, and sharing passwords like LastPass. Stop worrying about your passwords and concentrate on the important things!

8. Electronic signature software

The process of signing documents can take a lot of time: you should print the document, sign it, scan, and send it to the recipient. If you should do it frequently, it will be more productive to use special software, for example, HelloSign or DocuSign. Such a way of signing is legal and time-saving.   

9. Integration software

When you use several solutions for different goals, for example, communicate in Slack and store files with the Dropbox folder, you can integrate them with the help of Zapier to increase productivity. This application can work with more than 1,500 tools, and it doesn’t require coding.

10. Noise generator

If you work in a large office and can’t concentrate on your task because of the third-party noise or colleagues’ conversations, you should use a special application like A Soft Murmur. Your favorite songs don’t suit: songs with lyrics also can be distracting. The best solution will be ambient or instrumental sounds or just white noise.

Top 15 productivity hacks

1. Time tracking

You should monitor the time that you spend on tasks, emails, social networks, and applications. When you know how much time you waste checking your emails or messages during the working day, you can reduce it and take yourself under control.

2. Regular breaks

Studies of Illinois University shows that breaks can increase the concentration. According to these studies, when employees perform a certain task for a long time, their productivity decreases. So, regular short breaks help improve brain function and, as a result, productivity. The break doesn’t mean that you should replace one task with another or hang out in social media. This way your brain doesn’t rest. You can go for a walk, meditate, or doodle. These simple actions help you “reload” your brain and minimize your stress level.  

3. Self-regulation deadlines

Stay in focus and set yourself timings for open-ended tasks. This way, the abstract process transforms into a concrete task with beginning and end. When you see the deadline, you become more concentrated and productive. You can reward yourself for meeting the timelines with something pleasant, or motivate other suitable ways.

4. Two-minute rule

Use the well-known “two-minute rule” as  Steve Olenski advises, the Forbes contributor, CMO Network and a great influencer. It means that if you have small tasks that you can do for about two minutes, you should do it immediately without postponing. There is no better or more convenient time to do it. After a while, you will spend more time doing this small task, so you should use small parts of working time with the greatest benefit. 

5. Avoiding meetings

Meetings are one of the great thieves of time. As Atlassian survey showed, office workers can spend about 31 hours per month on useless meetings. So, if you can avoid a meeting with the help of email, call, or video chat and still achieve goals, you should do this.  

6. Standing meetings

If you can’t avoid the meetings, you can spend them more creatively. Take brainstorming or “standing” meetings as examples. Participants of such meetings should stand up during the whole meeting. Employees stay active and chipper, which leads to increased team productivity. Such meetings require less space and time, anв make the team more mobile.

7. No multitasking

Psychologists proved that multitasking could either lead to the loss of productivity or to an increase in efficiency. If your projects require a lot of time to get down to work, don’t jump around between different tasks, you should finish one and then take another. 

8. Useful commute

Miranda Marquit, a blogger and financial expert, reminds readers that commute is also the time that can be spent productively. You can write some emails, create your to-do list, brainstorm or read a useful book instead of checking your social media or playing in mobile games.

9. No perfectionism

You should face the fact that perfectionism is the illusion, and there is no sense to chase it. There is nothing perfect in our world, so try to do your best at work and move to the next task. If it is required, you can fix or update your finished project after some time.

10. Some physical activity

Sweden scientists published the article with arguments that physical activity increases brain function and concentration in the Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.

The British Medical Journal also published an article about the usefulness of 10-40 minutes of training for productivity at work. So, schedule visits to the gym and do short breaks with warming up during your workflow. Doctor David Angus says that sitting at table 5 and more hours is equal to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.  In the famous book “First 20 minutes”, Gretchen Reynolds suggests that office workers stand up every 20 minutes to feel better.

11. Proactivity, not reactivity

If you are no firefighter, your working process shouldn’t depend on incoming calls and emails. You can schedule a time to check emails and try to answer emails in a certain period. Don’t allow emails to distract you from your tasks and decrease your productivity.   

12. Turning off notifications

You should also schedule the time to check your private messages and turn off the notifications on your smartphone when you are at work. The sound of notifications is so attractive, the news in your social media can capture you for a long time.

13. Intervals of work

Working in intervals becomes trending and demonstrates good results, so split your workflow into periods. You can use the Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of rest, and four iterations. After the fourth repetition, you can rest 15-30 minutes. Researchers of the University of Florida purpose another way: 90-minutes interval. They find out that people who work with intervals no more than 90 minutes are more productive than those who work longer periods without a break.

14.  Pleasant surrounding

Make your workspace more comfortable. Sweden scientists proved that plants on the working table increase productivity by more than 15%. Plants improve air quality, facilitate the mood and concentration. Natural light and ergonomic furniturу also have a positive effect on productivity.  

15. No interruptions

You should differentiate a scheduled useful break when you can rest and reload your brain from interruptions when your colleagues call you for small talk. It seems that’s OK, but a lot of interruptions reduce your productivity. You should avoid distractions, especially when you have a time-sensitive project that requires your constant concentration. In this case, keep your office door closed, work from home, or ask your colleagues not to disturb you.  

We hope this post was useful to you. Feel free to share your productivity tips below!

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