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5 Productivity Tips That Work – Every Time

by SUMMIT on October 15th, 2014

Distractions abound in today’s workplace – and that’s true whether you work in an office filled with people or if you work virtually. Having the Internet at our fingertips, mobile devices at our fingertips, and never being disconnected all exact a price on us – and that’s especially true as it relates to productivity.  Want to master how to get a handle on productivity? These 5 tips for productivity that work are a great way to start.

Commit: It may seem like an unnecessary step, but the reality is that if you don’t commit to being productive, and genuinely want a system in place to make that happen, you’re going to fail. We don’t want that. So, as you get started on being more productive, resolve to commit firmly to making that happen.

Just Say NO to Email: This is really important. Get out of your email program – don’t trust yourself not to check it, log out to force that disconnect. If that makes you nervous, put an autoresponder on your email that lets people know that you are checking out for a certain time period and that you’ll be back online and reading email at a certain time. If you must, provide an emergency number where they can reach you. Email is a major distraction and disabling it while you’re working in a smart way helps not only manage your own time, but also helps you manage the expectations of others. 

Track Your Time: You don’t know what you’re spending your time on if you don’t track it. We like cloud-based time tracking apps like Freshbooks, ATracker or Toggl a cloud-based apps which allows us to measure the time spent on tasks throughout the day. Not only does this help from an accountability standpoint, it allows you to see what is taking the bulk of your time. By actually knowing the amount of time you spend on things throughout the day, you can better assess how effectively you’re using your time and know what you might need to modify as a result. If you don’t track your time and are just relying on your memory, well, that’s probably not the best measure of effectiveness.

To give you an idea of how easy it is to use time tracking applications like this, here’s a quick video on how Freshbooks works. The others mentioned are equally as simple to get started with:

Manage Meetings Ruthlessly: As we all know, meetings can be a huge time suck. Resolve to do a better job of evaluating whether you need an in person meeting or whether a video conference option might actually be more effective. Technology can add huge value when it comes to meetings and make them easier to manage. You can use video conferencing options, which allow online collaboration, screen sharing and recording to help make your meetings more effective and, unlike an in person meeting, videoconference meetings can be recorded and archived for later reference. Be sure you set time limits on your meetings and work hard to force participants to be succinct and to the point. Also, don’t be shy about being a taskmaster when it comes to meetings and keeping people from veering off on tangents.

Be Anti-Social. If you’re a social media user, sometimes popping over to check Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn can be your worst enemy when it comes to staying on task and on track.  So when you really need to be productive, resolve to be anti-social – anti-social media, that is. If you need help weaning yourself away from social media sites, you can use apps like Freedom, Anti-Social, or RescueTime, all of which are designed to help you find work-life balance – and get you off of social media for awhile so that you can get things done!

There you have it. Five tips that are easy to implement, easy to use, and a sure fire way to boost your productivity. There are a ton of other productivity hacks out there – what do you use and what do you find works best? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Summit Integrated System serves the audiovisual and video communication needs of corporate, education, government and a wide variety of other organizations throughout Texas as well as the United States. 

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