It can be really hard to work efficiently with all the distractions in the workplace, but there are lots of helpful tools around that can boost productivity without too much expense or time spent learning to how to use them.
Plans, lists and goals for a day don’t always work if a todo list just keeps getting longer and it can be hard to know where to start.
If you need a bit of help to achieve more each day without working longer, read on.
Turn off social media
We’ve all done it, you’re happily working on a task when a social media notification pops up. You stop to check, end up scrolling down Facebook or instagram and 20 minutes later you’ve forgotten what you were meant to be doing. Turning off social media, and your phone is a simple way to immediately reduce distractions in the workplace.
Use Mail Merge with Google docs
If you send out lots of the same e-mails or letters to groups of people take a look at Mail Merge.
Mail Merge allows you to create personalised documents for different recipients. For example you can send personalised e-mails using placeholders called merge fields in the general e-mail which add data relevant to the person receiving the e-mail. Mail merge usually uses a database or google doc to pull the data from.
What can you use mail merge for?
Mail merge with google docs is great for letters or postcards you need to post out, e-mails and envelopes and labels. It’s a fantastic time saving program that’s perfect for improving efficiency without losing a personal touch.
Use an online spellchecker
Google docs does have an inbuilt spell and grammar checker, but for important documents, especially if they are to be sent out to lots of people, it’s good to get an extra check. Grammarly has a chrome extension and can be used with Google Docs so is a good one to try first.
Give yourself calendar breaks
Blocking out space in your calendar wither daily or weekly allows you to create dedicated blocks of time for admin tasks and anything else you need focus on without the distraction of back to back calls and meetings.
Plan, plan, plan
Plan a list of tasks you can reasonably complete each day instead of a long, endless todo list. Long lists can be daunting and actually make you less productive.
If you have lots of meetings, plan these too. Send out an agenda and stick to it without too much movement off the topic.
Work in small blocks
Sometimes working in 1 hour or 90 minute blocks can massively boost productively, allowing you to complete a task fully in the allocated time. If you’ve got a very important task try turning off your phone and closing non essential tabs to help you focus.
Make use of productivity tools
Mail Merge is one great way to save time when creating e-mails and labels but there are also lots of great productivity tools around that can also help save time, make for a more efficient working pattern and help you keep track of tasks.
Slack is great as it allows you to create groups ( called channels ) for chats, as well as instant messaging it also allows voice calls and video calls. Slack is a great tool for promoting and encouraging teamwork.
Evernote is for taking notes online and managing tasks as well as allowing teams to share information.
Trello is another great tool for organising tasks. It’s a bit like an online notice board, users can also assign tasks, set timelines and track progress.
Remember, evidence shows that multitasking doesn’t usually work, you’re more likely to make mistakes or just not finish any of the tasks.