All over the world, people want to know how they can be more productive. If they can cram their work into fewer hours, then they free up more time for all the other things that they want to enjoy in life. They’re not forever chained to the desk, firing off emails or writing project reports.
Being more productive, however, is a challenge. If you feel like you have already optimized your day, you can find it a struggle to uncover additional efficiencies. They are not always obvious.
Fortunately, technology is here to help. Ultimately, it is the ONLY driver of higher productivity and the only thing that will allow you to get more done, earn more, and have more free time.
Just as a small aside, people in the Victorian era would routinely work twelve hours a day, six days a week to make ends meet. They knew that unless they worked those long hours, they wouldn’t be able to have a reasonable standard of living. With advances in technology, the average person now works just seven hours a day, five days a week. It’s remarkable how much difference progress has made over the last two centuries.
Furthermore, if you’re willing to put up with the same standard of living that the average person had in 1900, then you need only work eight hours a day. That’s productivity for you!
So what can you do to improve your productivity at work and grab more time? Let’s take a look.
Stop Sending Emails And Start Relying On Group Chats
Email is one of the worst forms of communication for people who want to have real-time conversations with each other. Sure, it’s okay for when the boss wants to send out a random edict, but it isn’t great when you’re trying to hold a conversation with a group of people working at remote locations.
What’s more, some companies have what they call “email culture.” This phenomenon emerges when people in the organization believe that sending emails is the ONLY way that they should communicate with others, even if it is the wrong tool to use.
Fortunately, with the rise of text chat apps, we see a change in the zeitgeist. Companies are moving their people away from email platforms and onto workplace chat apps. These software packages facilitate fast-paced exchanges between the various people in the organization, cutting down on waiting times, errors and delays in the system.
Use Schedule Planners
Most workers will flick from one task to another without much conscious thought about what they should do and when. This behaviour has the effect of lowering their overall productivity, tearing them away from high-value tasks.
For this reason, a lot of people who want to get ahead in their professional careers use a schedule maker. The idea of this software is to help you and your team manage your time more effectively and get through sticking points. You hook yourself (and anyone else you want) up to the software and then use it to track tasks, delivery status and whether somebody is stuck. It’s then just a matter of addressing the issue and moving forward.
Automate Time Tracking
A similar principle should apply when it comes to time tracking. There’s no need to get a pen and paper out and create a timesheet for employees, showing when they’re due to show up for work or go on holiday. Instead, all you need is software that tells you how much you’ve been working.
Automate As Many Small Daily Tasks As Possible
Whenever you enter a password, you’re losing productivity. The password gives you access to the tools you need to produce your work, but it doesn’t do anything to add to your products directly.
The same goes for things like granting security access, filing away your work, and even going to grab a drink. You engage in a lot of activities throughout the day that gets in the way of dedicating all the time you have available to your work.
The good news, though, is that you can now automate a lot of this stuff – or think of a practical solution like having a water bottle next to your desk at all times.
Take the example of passwords, for instance. You (and other people in your team), no longer need to keep separate passwords that you enter every time you want to log into a browser-based app. Instead, you just save all the passwords in a software vault. It will then serve them up, ready to enter automatically at the right time, reducing the need for you to go to the effort of repeatedly typing it in.
End Manual File Sharing
Ten years ago, practically nobody had heard of the cloud. It was – if you’ll excuse the pun – a pie in the sky idea. Nobody sincerely believed that within ten years, you’d have a global cloud infrastructure where anyone could grab documents from anywhere. Incredibly, though, this brave new world emerged, and now people can work from home as efficiently as in the office.
These trends have had important knock-on effects on personal productivity. With file sharing, you no longer have to wait for somebody to email you an attachment. You just log in from your internet-connected device and start accessing information. It’s straightforward.
The tools available are also vastly improved. In word processing, for instance, you can see edits that people make and can track changes. You can also select who you want to share documents with, just in case they contain sensitive information.
Eliminate Payroll Admin
Fiddling about with payroll is a massive hassle for companies. It often takes days to calculate how much time each person in the organization has spent working.
Eliminating payroll admin, therefore, should be a top priority, primarily if you work from home and manage a remote team.
Fortunately, today, we have the technology to deal with this problem.
New software, for instance, lets you calculate the pay for a particular employee, based on the number of hours that they worked in a month. Payroll technology also streamlines payroll disputes if, for example, a worker feels that they have been underpaid. All you do is log onto the software, collect the evidence that you need, and address the issue.
Responding to queries from customers and clients is a time-consuming process. What’s more, they often ask the same set of questions over and over again, which can get annoying.
Chatbots are, therefore, an ideal solution. You pay a third-party company to set up a solution for you on your website or social media accounts, and then customers can fire off their questions there and then. It means less work for you and allows you to focus your efforts only on the most pressing customer service issues.
Tools That Help You Focus
A lot of people say that the internet hasn’t helped overall productivity because of the sheer number of distractions it brings to our working lives. But technology may have a solution there too.
Increasingly, individuals and companies are experimenting with website blockers, Pomodoro timers and extensions that block specific types of distracting content. For the most part, people impose it on themselves as a means to help them maintain their focus, but companies are now also getting in on the act.
Technology, therefore, is a double-edged sword. Sometimes it can help you become more productive at work, but it can also fight against you. Hopefully, you can use it in a way that allows you to win the battle.