There never seems to be an end to emails, calls, and tasks that need to be accomplished in a day. It’s practically impossible to stay on top of your work without a little help. We came up with a list of 8 essential workplace hacks focused around technology to help increase productivity while maintaining your sanity.
1. Set Your Phone To ‘Do Not Disturb’
Almost everyone has the instinct to check their phone immediately when they feel the vibration in their pocket or hear the soft ping of their phone. By simply setting your phone to Do Not Disturb during key parts of your day can help to eliminate unnecessary distractions.
Chances are whatever it was can wait.
2. Use ‘Voice to Text’ To Dictate
Few people can type as fast as they are able to speak. By utilizing software such as Dragon or IBM’s Watson, you’ll be able to accomplish tasks much more efficiently.
Currently, there are several versions available. So even if you are in an industry that has a lot of specific vernacular or jargon, like the medical field, you can still get one that will recognize every word you say.
3. Use Blue Light Filters or Glasses
This hack can be a lifesaver. An increasing number of studies are showing that the amount of time humans are spending in front of blue light-emitting sources can have negative effects. These can range from headaches and eye strain to sleep issues.
Blue light glasses or monitor filters can help to alleviate these issues with minimal cost.
4. Use Online Conference Call Programs
Programs like Slack and Whatsapp can be a huge benefit to the productivity of a team. They offer the ability to always be connected. Now, there is no waiting for a response email. You can set up individual groups to include only the necessary team members. Since there are desktop and mobile applications, you can set up meetings regardless of where your team currently is.
If a video call is needed, then there is an abundance of options including, MS Team, Zooom or Skype for business. All of which offer easy to use formats so your team can work together.
5. Share Outlook Calendars
This hack is probably one of the easiest to overlook. Anytime that there is a meeting, trying to find the most opportune time can be a hassle. By simply sharing an outlook calendar, every member of the team will be able to see what other members are up to. This will decrease the amount of communication needed to schedule meetings, and as an added bonus, it’s an easy way to remember everyone’s birthday.
6. Using Macros to Streamline Workflow
Using macro’s can really help to streamline repetitive tasks that are part of your day. Microsoft Suite and Google Docs are both capable of running custom macros. Spend a few minutes learning what they can do for you can watch your productivity increase quickly.
7. Create Priority To-Do Lists Daily
By creating a prioritized To-Do list for yourself and your team can ensure that everyone is on task.
There are many apps that will help you do this. Simply search your preferred app store. Then start by creating a list of everything that needs to get done with the deadline for each line item. Next, divide the items into for categories; urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important and neither important or urgent.
Once you have done this, it will be effortless to decide what needs to be done and what can wait. Let’s admit it: a lot of what we can do is the stuff that can wait.
8. Take Tech Breaks
While this is not technically a technology hack, it is a great mental hack. Once an hour, take a short break. Get up from your desk and stretch or walk to the water cooler. By simply getting away from technology for a few minutes, you can reset and jump on task much more effectively.
There is a key to this hack, though. Do not take a break from technology by going on your phone or checking email.
That is a break from the task not a break from technology. Give it a try, and if you don’t feel like you can get up once an hour, try the 20-20-20 rule. This is taking a break every 20 minutes to focus on something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Simply focusing on something further away for a few seconds can help keep you focused.
In today’s world we are all trying to be as effective as we can. Give these hacks a try. You will absolutely see an increase in your productivity.