Work smarter, not harder – leverage technology to meet more deadlines in less time.
Being more productive in a highly competitive environment is no easy feat – unless you take full advantage of the technology available and think differently about the day-to-day tasks that take up your valuable time.
Yes, the technology that is blamed for distracting us can be used to do the opposite. “Technology isn’t the only culprit here. When we’re unproductive in our day-to-day lives, there’s often another source to the issue,” says software engineer and serial entrepreneur RL Adams. “Our habits comprise 45% of our daily behaviour, so it’s easy to allow unproductive actions to become habitual over time.”
How can you turn your office foe into a friend? With these productivity hacks driven by the technology that you already own or is freely available.
1. Achieve clarity and purpose with daily goals
Launch your notepad on your smartphone or any other device. You can even do this on Google Docs or create a text document and save it to Dropbox so you can access it from your phone. Every single morning, before you do anything else, set your daily goals. This provides clarity and instils a sense of purpose while also helping you to limit your distractions.
If you forget to set daily goals, create another alarm on your smartphone. Alarms are a great way to remind yourself of things until the behaviour becomes habitual.
2. Destroy your distractions
The average employee spends a significant amount of time on social media. A study found that, 18% of people can’t go more than a few hours without checking social media, while 61% feel the need to check it daily. For some it can even be considered an addiction, and if you feel you’re heading that way, start using site blockers.
Find a great browser-specific one to use on Google. This will help you work without the constant temptation of distracting websites, gradually increasing your productivity. Go the extra mile and sign out of your phone apps to avoid distracting notifications during your work day.
3. Track your time
“Use a time tracker to find your time-wasters,” suggests Parker Davis, CEO of Answer 1. A time tracking program like Toggl, will help you identify time-wasting tasks, eliminate deconstructive habits and get a clear picture of how you are using your time. If you use technology well, you can easily maximise your productivity and get more done in less time.
“People who are serious about increasing productivity aren’t afraid to face the truth about their time-use habits,” says Davis.
4. Why so serious?
How do you feel after watching inspirational videos on YouTube, watching an insightful TED Talk, or even listening to a stimulating audiobook? How about a Jimmy Fallon interview? Probably better than after taking a coffee or smoke break.
Taking a break is a necessary part of productivity, but it’s what you do during that time that makes a difference. Maybe sharing a joke? A Robert Half International survey, reports that 91% of executives believe a sense of humour is important for career advancement. The study also found that 84% feel that people with a good sense of humour do a better job.
Of course, taking a short walk also works – but isn’t as fun.
Poor tech habits and distractions can be overcome using technological tools. Office-friendly apps and software can help you and your employees remain at your peak during and outside of office hours.