How Productive Are You?
Are there times you wish you were more productive? In the movie Office Space, Peter Gibbons tells the HR consultants “I’d say in a given week, I do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.”1
Now, that’s extreme. But there are probably times you wish you could have done more. And you’re not alone. One study found that the average employee really works 3 hours in a 8 hour day. He or she spends the rest of the time socializing, eating food and checking social media.2
This article shows you how to use technology to get the most out of your day, while keeping in mind some major trends. One trend is that people are using mobile devices more to do just about everything. In 2017, Americans spent over four hours a day on their mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets. 3 85% of American adults use a mobile device to access news.4
Another major trend is more people are working remotely, including their home. One study by Zug, Switzerland-based serviced office provider IWG, found that 70% of global professionals work remotely at least one day a week.5
5 Ways Technology Can Make You More Productive
Remote Access and Cloud File Sharing Services
Through VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), you can connect securely to your work computers and networks. This technology enables you to get work done from anywhere at any time. While not typically as secure as VPNs, remote access software like Teamviewer or LogMeIn serve the same purpose.
Cloud file sharing services, like OneDrive, Google Drive and DropBox, let users share and edit docs across devices and locations. Once a user edits a document, others in his or her group see the changes. A work crew takes pics of their onsite progress and these become immediately accessible to an offsite builder.
Note Taking Applications
By using note taking apps, like Evernote, MS OneNote, Google Keep, Headspace and Zoho Notebook, you don’t have to constantly lug a notebook around. Usually, these apps let you use text, drawings, voice recordings, pics and other media to record a meeting. Imagine going to a consult at a prospect’s office and taking digital notes. Because these are cloud-based apps, your co-workers and others see your work in real-time. And you won’t have to waste time typing out written notes and emailing them to others.
By using communication software, like Facetime, Skype, Zoom, Slack and Google Hangouts, people avoid the travel time and expenses of an onsite visit. Technological improvements in communication software make it easy to work in teams. For instance, with Zoom and Skype people can share computer screens and look at documents together.
Slack lets team members organize communications in many flexible ways. Groups work in channels, which can be based on teams, projects, clients or other categories. For instance, one channel could include the sales team, while another channel could made of all employees from different departments working on a project. Also, Slack allows channel members to do voice or video calls and share files. Finally, they can get team members’ feedback and search conversation history.
Task and Project Applications
By using task applications, like Wunderlist, Microsoft To-Do, Google Tasks and Omnifocus, you can be more productive. The Wunderlist app lets you create something as simple as a grocery list or as complex as a project plan. Also, it helps team members work collaboratively on projects. Because it is cloud based, users can share lists, make edits and provide feedback. Finally, you can set notifications to remind the team about important deadlines.
Many businesses and individuals are stuck in the past in this area. If you still collect client payments by depositing checks at the bank or taking credit card info over the phone, there are quicker ways to do this. For instance, field staff can use card scanners or mobile apps to collect credit card payments and client signatures. Also, you could deposit checks remotely using mobile scanning apps. Finally, many companies collect payments through a merchant account like PayPal. For bookkeeping purposes, you could sync PayPal with Quickbooks.
Additional Suggestions to Be More Productive
There are several other applications you may want to look into to increase your productivity. Below, please find a brief summary of each.
ClickTime is an application which employees, managers and executives use to manage employees’ time, team projects and company budgets. Traveling employees can use the mobile app or go online to report expenses to the central office. They can enter each expense and take a picture of the receipt for quick reimbursement. Also, ClickTime offers many reports which enable managers and businesses to see in real-time projects’ profitability. Finally, this app integrates with CRM and financial products, like Salesforce and Quickbooks.
For more info on this app, check here: ClickTime
RescueTime is a software application, which tracks your web browsing and offline habits. It provides detailed reports about your activity. This way, you see how you are spending your day and how you can be more productive. In addition, you can set goals for the day or week and track your progress towards them. Also, you can set up notifications for certain activity. For instance, you can create an alarm which will notify you when you have spent one hour on Facebook in a day.
For more info on this app, check here: RescueTime
Boomerang (for Gmail)
Have you ever wanted to schedule when email(s) are sent? Boomerang is an add-on to your browser, which will allow you to do this and use Gmail more productively. With this add-on, you can also schedule reminders. If someone has not responded to your initial email, you can schedule a notification to follow up at a certain date. Boomerang Respondable analyzes your email drafts and provides feedback on how to improve the content.
For more info on this app, check here: Boomerang
1 Methodshop.com “Top 27 Quotes From Office Space.” Link to Site
2 Businessinsider.com “8-hour Workday May be 5 Hours too Long Research suggests.” Link to Site
3 Hackernoon.com “How Much Time do People Spend on Their Mobile Phones in 2017.” Link to Site
4 Niemanlab.org “Percent of Americans use Mobile Devices to Access News and Seniors are Driving That Number up.” Link to Site
5 Cnbc.com. “Percent of People Globally Work Remotely at Least Once a Week, Study Says.” Link to Site