Do you ever wonder where the day has gone? You stared at your to-do list while you don’t yourself to buckle down and eliminate distractions. Here are some tools and tips you can leverage to increase your productivity at work.
Measure Your Productivity and Efficiency with a Time Tracker
There are tools that can assist you with tracking your time so you can more effectively budget your time. This can assist you about being more realistic about time, and point out the little time killers like checking email, making phone calls, or conducting research.
Toggl – This time tracker features weekly snapshot reports of how much time you spent on each task.
Rescue Time – This tool is unique in that it works on your computer to show you how much time you spend on seemingly innocuous activities such as checking the scores on ESPN.com.
These tools offer much more insight than just using the timer on your phone or placing activities on your calendar.
Embrace a White Noise Generator
Many people have difficulty concentrating on meaningful work when other people are having conversations nearby. Some find that music helps while others do not. Rihanna’s Rude Boy can lead to day dreaming for some. I am just saying.
SimplyNoise – Just $0.99 in your App Store or Google Play. Offers a lot of different types of noises beyond just plain white noise.
Noisli – This browser-based app lets you mix different sound to create your own distraction-free soundtrack.
A Google search will reveal plenty of more options if these don’t work for you.
Schedule Time for Yourself Before Others Steal It
To prevent people from booking too many meetings with them block off time on your calendar to show busy. This is useful in two ways:
- You give yourself the amount of time you need to complete for work for the day.
- You give yourself the right allocation of that time.
When people book meetings they often overlook how valuable your time is. This prevents others from packing your day. It also gives you uninterrupted time that is critical for some activities such as writing. Be sure to also block off some time to knock off those small tasks that don’t require a committed half-hour. You won’t have time if you don’t make it.
Try a Task Management Tool for Increased Team Productivity
While we have been focusing on your producitity you should do the same with staff. A task management tool will help your team stay focused on the what’s next in a group project.
These are less full-blown project management applications such as Microsoft Project that have a steep learning curve. These simple tools allow you to organize to-do lists and assign tasks. It eliminates the confusing cc: emails. These tools also allow the leader to track time – allowing you to more accurately plan workloads in the future.
DeClutter Your Inbox
Many people laugh at the concept of inbox zero, but once you arrive it is hard to go back to clutter.
We know many cannot delete work emails because they need them for reference. A great tip is to have a folder where you can archive these emails for future reference. Once you read an email and decide whether or not you need to take an action just move it to your archive folder. You will be able to reference the folder later and search for what you need.
Email Management App
These apps will bundle and highlight important emails.
Inbox by Gmail – Gmail users just need to visit this page to use the web version or download Android or iOS apps. Inbox automatically categorizes and bundles emails.
Outlook – Timed Email Organizer is not free but it is still affordable. It can sort emails based on attachments, subjects, or certain words in the body. You can also get the same affect with Outlook rules, but it is a lot more work.