There was once a time I thought that achieving productivity at work was no big deal – this was before I entered the corporate world myself and realized just how hard it is to manage multiple tasks while staying focused and alert throughout the day.
You might be surprised to discover that, according to GoRemotely, an average employee is productive only 2 hours and 53 minutes a day. That’s saying something, considering the official work hours are usually 8 hours!
And this lack of productivity doesn’t come without a heavy cast. In fact, a report by Gallup highlighted that 85% of employees are not actively engaged in their work, resulting in a loss of over $7 trillion!
Yet, not everyone does so purposely. Instead, it all comes down to the fact that today’s hectic life demands too much from us while makes burnout easy. However, if you are equipped with the right tools, and you manage your tasks wisely, you can make the most of your time.
Ultimate assets for improving productivity at work
As the old adage goes, work smarter, not harder. To help you embrace this motto, here are thirteen productivity tools you should introduce in your life.
For all-in-one organizations, nothing will help boost productivity like team productivity tools. This is because such organizations, which usually include startups, have overlapping job roles and a jumble of tasks. This can make keeping up with deadlines and identifying the key person involved to be a tad difficult.
Asana is one tool that helps in organizing the team so that everyone is clear on the tasks they are supposed to deliver. You can add people to different to-do cards, set deadlines for achievement of goals, and organize it all, project or department-wise. The platform then provides a clear picture of your progress.
However, note that the tool is most beneficial while working within a team. There isn’t much use of it if you are the sole user of Asana.
Another productivity management tool that is ideal for startups and teams is Trello. Trello allows people to be creative with their work and helps them streamline projects all the way from visualization to completion.
Note that Trello is designed to be used as a visualization tool rather than a workflow tool and therefore is ideal for visual organizers.
It’s like a virtual board that comes equipped with various colors, card stickers, and several other interesting features that allow several people and teams to ideate, pin cards, come up with imaginative details and track the progress of each project with remarkable efficiency and ease.
There is nothing more frustrating than having multiple important tabs open in your browser and constantly clicking on the wrong one when trying to work! It surely is the worst enemy of productivity at work. After all, you spend so much time trying to find the right tab!
The day I discovered Open Tab was my last day of being annoyed at work (for this reason, at least). And for all the chrome users, the day you read this will be the last day of your tab-related misery too!
One tab is a Google Chrome extension that works by collapsing all open tabs and converting them into a list to be accessed via a single tab.
Hence, you can stay focused on the task at hand without accidentally clicking on the wrong tab. The tool can also be used for locking links you open daily and restoring multiple chosen links at the same time.
Yet another chrome extension that can help in keeping distractions to a minimum is the free extension called StayFocused.
The tool allows you to restrict the time you spend on “time-wasting websites” by blocking them on your work computer. The fact that you can choose both sites and specific pages keep this tool highly customizable to the needs of individual employees.
Do you consider yourself to be among the mobile mavericks?
Evernote is probably the most loved and recommended app. It provides a simple way to keep track of your notes, creates to-do lists, set reminders as well as upload attachments to be synced across multiple platforms, including tablets, mobile phones, and personal computers.
From finding, collecting, writing, researching to sharing, Evernote allows you to keep track of everything you do, connecting you with colleagues and friends from all over the world to share your work.
The Basic version is free, and if you want premium features, its starts at $14.99/month.
According to Smart Insights, at least half of the world’s population uses social media! Therefore, it comes as no surprise that companies have dedicated social media management teams. This is quite tricky, considering how distracting social media itself can be for workers.
Social media masterminds are usually immune to this distraction, and tools like HootSuite surely help in achieving this restraint. It allows you to monitor social activity without actually using the various platforms.
Its easy-to-use dashboard helps in scheduling posts, delegating assignments to team members, and measuring performance, etc.
According to 99firms, Google accounts for a whopping 76% and 86% of desktop traffic and mobile search traffic, respectively, around the world! Just imagine the type of data Google has. It surely is enough to turn us all into google worshipers.
Google Analytics doesn’t just provide you access to this data, but it does so in an easy-to-understand manner.
Which blogs are hooking the most eyes? Which of your services is getting the highest number of clicks? Which topics get the most hits? These are questions that start-ups need to know the answers to.
Google Analytics provides dependable insights into your website performance, thus enabling you to plan the future accordingly. It also ensures you don’t waste your time trying to make sense of the data. Why? Because it does that for you, thereby ensuring high productivity at work.
Time tracking might seem like a chore in itself. But, it can help you in identifying where and when you are spending more time than required– a necessity for being more productive.
A simple productivity tool, Rescue Time, helps you to allocate time to important and beneficial activities by providing you with a report about where and how you are spending your time, what hours are your most and least productive, and what months were you best and worst in this regards.
Also, if you are willing to spend a few bucks and switch to its premium version, you can even block out distracting sites to better manage and allocate your time.
Another famous adage you might have heard of is “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
If you are running a startup, while you might know the basics of all the tasks your company requires to thrive, it is still best to leave things to those who are experts at it. For some of these tasks, you don’t need in-house resources.
Sometimes the best man for the job is someone who is not you. Heck, probably pretty often the best man for the job, isn’t you. Maybe because you aren’t even a man; maybe you’re a carrot. Who knows?
If your business is trying to appease the news & blog junkies via a dedicated blog, it is best that you assign the work to freelancers on platforms like Elance and ODesk. In fact, even LinkedIn isn’t bad for searching up freelancers!
Use these platforms until you are financially ready for an in-house resource. It will also help you maintain a high standard of copywriting.
Do you ever have an account overload? Between social media, emails, and editing tools, there are quite a lot of accounts for which you might have to remember your passwords. LastPass allows you to avoid this struggle by storing your passwords securely as well as helping you create stronger passwords.
The tool has been recommended by CNET, Lifehacker as well as PC Magazine. The fact that it uses multifactor authentication for every password used through this tool ensures the safety of your data.
While the free version surely gets the job done, the premium version offers to add employees to password folders as well as syncing the tool across mobile devices as well. Another alternative that you can use (minus the additional features) is Google passwords. But, it isn’t wise to put too much trust in a single platform. But, then again, this is just my personal preference!
It needs no introduction, so I will keep it short.
Dropbox provides a cost-effective and efficient way to share files, collaborate, edit and write documents when several individuals are involved in a project. Considered to be the leading cloud file hosting service, it has over 700 million active users!
Just as the name suggests, the app allows you to literally pocket everything away for later ‘when you have time. It could be a blog, a voice memo, a note, an article, or even a song.
Even when you are surfing the web, you can ‘pocket’ anything that you feel will help you with your content marketing strategy later on.
Do you despise the email apps just as much as I do? They usually tend to take too much space and lag a lot!
I found a great alternate for it that helped in boosting productivity by improving communication and availability. Fleep can be viewed as a flexible messenger that integrates your email and keeps all your messages and files stored. This feature allows you to keep track of documents as well as share them easily with peers when the need arises.
It is important to understand that growing a business or working more efficiently requires some amount of smart work. At least one or more of the tools provided above will help you increase efficiency and productivity at work, save you time and let you be more creative with the time that you have.
Whether you are a trainee, senior manager, or CEO, you will find the use of at least a handful of the thirteen tools.