5 Productivity Tools to Help Make the Most of Your Day
Now that Labor Day has come and gone, it is time to think about mapping out a plan for success for the rest of the year. Want to smash your sales target? Crush that stack of reports that have been waiting around? Give valuable feedback to employees to help them do the same? Imagine being able to do all of that in less time. Productivity tools can help you use your time more effectively and accomplish those lofty goals you have set for yourself. Here are five of our favorites.
1. A 5″ x 8″ Notepad
Some of the best productivity tools are very low-tech. A simple 5″ x 8″ notepad can actually help minimize distractions while you work. Jot down distracting thoughts or things that pop into your head. That way, you can immediately forget about them and come back to your list later. This is especially helpful for the hundreds of little things we think about during the day. Grocery list? Jot it down. Teacher you need to call? Make a note. Just remember to set aside time to come back to your list later and take stock of the things that are distracting you throughout the course of the day. You may find that you need to devote a block of time to something that keeps popping up.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s researchers unintentionally discovered that employees are more productive when they believe they are being watched. This phenomenon, known as the Hawthorne Effect, became the foundation for the modern open-concept workplace. If you feel like you are being watched by other employees and supervisors, you will be more productive. RescueTime is a little piece of the Hawthorne Effect in an easy-to-use Chrome extension. Running securely in the background of your computer or phone, it monitors how you spend your time on apps and sites. You can then see where your time is spent over the course of the day and make adjustments to be more productive. You can even block distracting websites or set time limits spent on sites that may take you away from your to-do list.
If you find yourself inundated with subscription emails, Unroll.Me can help you keep your inbox as close to clean as possible. Once installed, you simply mark the emails you would like to roll up into a daily digest and those that need to stay in your inbox. These emails then go to a special Unroll.Me folder where you can search for the latest promotion or subscription information when you need it.
This app helps break down large projects into manageable tasks using the Pomodoro technique. This technique uses the clock to your advantage rather than your hindrance. The idea behind the Proud app is to race against a timer to finish assignments and meet deadlines. Rather than being anxious about the passage of time, Proud helps you build breaks into your day that improve productivity and allow you to refocus your energy.
This project management tool is one of the easiest ways to keep track of the workflow of multiple team members. Users can create and assign tasks and subtasks, add comments, and give feedback. Rather than having to hunt through an email chain for information, task-specific conversations are placed under one heading. Imagine the time you’ll get back being able to forgo update meetings in favor of a quick look at Asana.
With a thousand productivity tools on the market, wading through them to find the tools that are right for you can be overwhelming. We know that what works for one highly productive person may not work for another. Still, adopting one new tool can make the difference in having the best fourth quarter yet.