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Some days, you’re just not in a mood to work at the office. You may feel like looking at cute puppy and cat pictures on Instagram or spying to see where your friends are vacating while you’re stuck at work. Or even better, shopping online for cute clothes to work or out with friends. You look up at the clock and it’s already lunchtime. Now you catch yourself in a prolonged discussion about the latest Game of Thrones episode with your colleagues. Sound familiar?
Most of us have often equated productivity with being busy. You could be doing a lot of things at the same time but not accomplishing anything at all. So, typing away on your keyboard might give an impression of you being busy, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are being productive. Although, I must say … it is convincing! But the type of productivity that I am referring to is focusing on priorities and ignoring distractions.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, American employees on an average spend 50 minutes of their time in non-work related activities, i.e. slacking. So how do you avoid slacking and getting stuff done? As important as relationship building is with your colleagues, reserve that time for after work over a drink (or coffee).
To smoothen the pathway towards your goals, here is a list of tools that can help you to boost your productivity.
Recently, Slack has gained huge popularity. Even if you and your teammates can’t be at the same place at the same time, you can stay connected via Slack. You can use it to connect with colleagues, friends and even help manage communication within you business (or blog). In my MBA program, our class created a Slack account for students to connect and network outside of classes.
You can organize your email and instant messages for your team in one place. You get to share documents from Google docs and other important messages (text or image). Want to catch up with your team? Slack has got that covered too. You can easily start a video conference call on-the-go. As you can tell by the enthusiasm, I am a big fan of Slack.
It’s also effective to collaborate quickly with your team, keep everyone in sync, and have one stop for all your communication styles.
Coordinating all your work at one place is a huge win for productivity. With both the desktop and mobile versions, Slack can help you connect with your team no matter where they are- at home, at a different branch or at the office. And last, but not least – it’s really easy to use!
2. Google Keep
Most of us make a to-do list for the work to help plan your day. But you can do the same on Google Keep and prioritize your daily tasks.
Google keep is a savior for those who need simple, fast note-taking tools or to-do apps. It lets you take notes, photos, voice memos and checklists to Google drive, which can be accessed from any other web device you use.
Remember those times when someone’s giving you a phone number or an address and you wished you had a pen and paper? Well, Google Keep saves a lot of time and effort by providing those tools when you need them. Adding quick-notes is as simple as tapping the text box at the top of the “Keep” window. You can also add images, text notes and voice notes just below the quick note field. If you’re looking for simplicity and have a central location to keep your notes, Google Keep a try.
What if you could keep track of the time you spend on a certain task? Well, you are in for a treat as you can do that with Toggl.
Toggl is a simple time tracker that allows you to track your daily activities across different platforms. It gives you detailed insights which can help you to improve your work efficiency.
Any idea how much time you spent on your last project? Toggl not only tells you the amount of time spent but also where it was spent. Are you putting in more hours to check emails when you should be concentrating more on other tasks? You may not realize it, but with Toggl, you get an accurate estimate of how you spend your work hours.
This is a great way to know about your productivity and time management. Since Toggl records the time spent on a specific task and you are aware that the clock is ticking, you feel more accountable to finish that task. If you are distracted, that will show and it will be helpful for you to know where your productivity is slipping.
Once in a while, we all have been guilty of spending too much time on social media at work. Checking out a “like” notification from Instagram turns into a 30-minute stare fest through your friends’ Stories updates, home infinite scroll [literally], and then you get bored and switch over to Pinterest, chat with friends on WhatsApp (or whatever have you). There is a solution for getting rid of those distractions.
Freedom App is an antidote for your distractions. This app removes your access from websites that you find personally distracting. Simply put, if you are lured by YouTube, you can put a lock on it via Freedom. It is a productivity savior!
How does this work? Quite simple. Suppose you don’t want to spend your time on Facebook and finish your work instead. Set up the app by putting Facebook on the list of apps and you can block it for any amount of time you desire. Moreover, you can also set a schedule where certain websites are blocked on a daily basis on Freedom.
At first, it may be difficult for you to be off the grid and you may be eager to turn Freedom off. But, you would be able to focus more on your priorities and hence improve your efficiency. And you’ll be relieved (and proud) to know that you were able to resist the social media temptation. If you want to improve your focus, Freedom is a great way to start.
5. My Fitness Pal
As the old saying goes, ‘health is wealth’. You can achieve more, and increase your productivity if you are fit. Exercising and staying fit gives you more energy, increases your alertness and improves your mental health overall, that’s pretty well known. So why not build some exercise in your daily routine?
MyFitnessPal is another helpful tool that helps you keep track of your exercise as well as your calorie count. Since most of us live hectic lives, it’s important to maintain our health. With MyFitnessPal, you can connect with fellow users for tips, learn Yoga and other workouts from the videos and enter your daily meals for calorie count.
Increase Your Productivity With These Tools
Improving focus, optimizing workflow and increasing productivity isn’t difficult. Take the first step towards a better workstyle by using these tools in your daily life. Who knows, these tools may help you defeat the monster of procrastination!
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