Are You Wasting Time at Work? Increase Your Productivity With Tech

With businesses in the digital age moving at a blistering pace, it's not uncommon for the workplace to be obsessed with "productivity" - with time being a precious commodity. Given that a maximum of just 40% of work time is spent productively with an average of 56 interruptions per day, it's clear to see why.

Make better use of your time.

We've put together 7 ways everyday tech can help you improve your productivity in the workplace.

But before we begin... do you have any tech-savvy techniques that save you time in your working day? We'd love you to let us know πŸ’¬

1) Use technology to automate your work

No matter how quick and easy small tasks may feel, they can eat away at your productivity if they're carried out manually on a daily basis, resulting in a wasted working day - which is why we should automate them.

Here's how you can resolve the issue:

Are you always logging in to various websites, platforms or online services? Save time from having to fill your details in with a password manager like LastPass.

Often find yourself looking for important documents despite your unorganised folders? Arrange your team's shared documents with a file storage service like Google Drive.

Are you struggling to manage all of the tasks you've got on the go? Take a look at Slack Bots. They're like virtual team members, but their sole purpose is to help you work a more productive day.

Finding ways to put simple daily tasks on autopilot is a smart way to work and increase productivity, as opposed to letting minor tasks consume your time.

2) Go mobile to get things done

Our smartphones work around-the-clock as our pocket assistants and time-saving companions. Whilst the majority of us rely heavily on them, there are many ways we could all be using them to better manage our time.

Here are some of our favourite apps on the App Store and Play Store for productivity:

Astro - Astro brings email, calendar, and an AI-powered assistant together to help you focus on what’s most important.

Pocket - Often find yourself wasting time reading interesting articles when you should be doing something else (get back to work πŸ˜‰)? Pocket is a great offline reading tool that allows you to select and save articles for later reading.

Tide - A time-management app that mimics the "Pomodoro Technique" (25 minutes of intensely focused work with 5 minute breaks in-between). Tide combines this with ambient noise generators that help you focus or relax your mind. Put the rhythm back into your working day.

3) Take your to-do list digital

There's only one thing that an unorganised work schedule will lead to - an unproductive day. Setting up to-do lists - a schedule for appointments and tasks - structures your work-load so you'll know exactly what you need to do to accomplish your daily goals.

Even better; set this up digitally. Google Calendar is a great tool to manage a team's working day, and Google Keep is a great tool for individuals. Google Keep makes to-do list making and note-taking enjoyable, rather than a chore; not only is it a slick, functional to-do list, but you can capture whatever's on your mind, whether that be in notes, lists, audio or video format.

4) Get used to getting help from your virtual assistants

We must always keep in mind the mass of information that Artificial Intelligence and Google have to offer - on almost anything.

During a tough task trying to figure out a solution, we're often just a Google Search or a talk into Siri away from completing it quickly and efficiently, potentially saving bundles of time in our working day.

But what if you often find yourself skimming various websites struggling to find the answer? Try getting to grips with Google's search engine tricks - you'll be surprised how efficient your web-browsing can be, which in the long term, can save you heaps of time when finding solutions.

5) Always look to find shortcuts on the tools you use daily

Do you highlight the text, right click, select copy, right click again then select paste - because that's the easiest way for you? You've more than likely racked up a huge amount of wasted time, which could have been avoided.

This may be the format you're most comfortable with for these simple computing tools - but it's not the most efficient. Learning and gradually adapting to keyboard shortcuts can save a lot of time throughout the day.

Non-shortcut users are likely to waste 2 seconds per minute with their mouse control. Spending an average of 480 minutes per day on the computer, this equates to 64 hours of wasted time per year.

Ready to start learning? Check out "cheat sheet" apps like Media Atelier's CheatSheet for Mac - where all you need to do is hold the ⌘-Key (command) to bring up a list of shortcuts for whatever application you're currently using.

6) Organise your emails

Emails becoming a cluttered mess is a nuisance we've all been guilty of having to persevere with at some point. Scrolling through each one trying to spot one which holds some level of importance is not only time consuming, but also annoying.

Having a neatly organised inbox can definitely be a breath of fresh air - whilst it's also easily achievable.

Whilst you can limit the unimportant mail you receive by unsubscribing to certain services or newsletters that are no longer of interest to you, you can also organise and structure the meaningful ones.

Create mailing lists - This enables you to broadcast emails to multiple recipients at once, without the unnecessary hassle of messaging one-by-one.

Assign your mail to categories - Whilst most people use the colours to visually identify items by people, topic, priority etc., you can also use categories to perform quick sorts, populate search folders, and even narrow a mail merge to a specific category.

Set auto-filter parameters - Email filtering is the best and most simple tool to keep your inbox neat and tidy. Whether you want to separate messages from your family members, automatically filter out the spam or keep all your Facebook notifications in one place, you can customise your auto-filter parameters to suit your needs.

And, of course, if you're feeling really savvy, you can integrate email-management tools and apps, such as Astro that we mentioned earlier.

Let your inbox do the work for you. πŸ“©

7) Take your meetings online

When arranging a meeting with a client or employee outside of the office, deciding on a time, location and actually conducting the meeting itself can take up a huge chunk of time - especially if you would have had to travel miles for it. The salary cost of unnecessary meetings for U.S. businesses is believed to be at $37 billion, which speaks volumes.

It's now easier than ever to save the hassle that such meetings cause by simply having the meeting online - through video or even over the phone.

In the digital age, there are many apps you can use for digital meetings: Calendly, Google Meets and Slack to name a few.

Not only does it save heaps of time, but it also carries many other benefits: it reduces costs (particularly favourable for small business), it can include an entire team with everyone able to hop in and listen, and it offers more flexibility of when the meeting can be held (as there's no need to find more time to account for travel).

Our question for you...

What tech-savvy methods do you use to save you time and increase your productivity in your working day? Let us know! πŸ‘‡

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Charlie Paris-McKenzie

Digital Marketing Apprentice at Curve

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