In Part 1 of this series, we talked about four “productivity hacks” related to working smarter and approaching work in a more organized way—as well as embracing the strengths of technologies you use on the job. Here are four more pillars to productivity success.
Do the Difficult Tasks First
Along with the tips above, you’ll probably be more productive if you tackle certain kinds of tasks first thing in the day. A lot of us have been able to identify problems with procrastination and putting off certain things that are hardest for us. When you want to renovate your work process and boost productivity, you may be able to do it by tackling those hard-to-do tasks first thing.
There is perhaps no better example of this than the email inbox. An infographic on the Big Ideas Blog shows that email is the 2nd most time consuming task for many workers—and definitely one that a lot of us stress about, and feel overwhelmed by. The same study contends that email takes up 28% of the average work day, or 2.5 hours per day.
That’s a good argument for keeping on top of email, or in the context of the above tip, meeting the challenge head-on every day. You also have options like outsourcing some email sorting to filters or algorithms, or using a virtual assistant to filter out some of the junk.
Along with all of these valuable tips for streamlining your own work processes, don’t lose sight of the fact that others can also help you be more productive. Remember that “no one is an island,” and you can never get everything done all by yourself.
This infographic from Our Social Times shows how social collaboration raises efficiency by 20%. This and other studies point to the idea that you can get more done by adopting a collaborative approach, to actively get feedback before you start doing your own part of a team project, and by constantly getting the kind of input that helps you to create exactly what’s needed.
When you want to increase productivity, you’ll also need an effective way to tune out the distractions around you. If that’s noise in the bullpen, get a pair of earphones. If it’s incoming personal calls or other incoming calls, let them go to voicemail, or find another way to integrate them smoothly into your day. And if it’s your own internal clock, you may be able to stay more engaged and more active by structuring your day in the ways mentioned above.
Streamline Your Customer Relations
Another big opportunity to improve productivity comes in the form of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) technology.
What is CRM? The idea is that whenever you have to communicate with customers, clients, or really anyone else, you can do it much better and more efficiently through a custom interface that will hand you contact information and more in real time.
This is an issue we all experience, and we work on helping solve this problem at StrideApp, a comprehensive, easy to use CRM. You’ll see why salespeople and others use this kind of “digital rolodex” system to keep in touch with customers. The idea is that by using the built-in data, you’ll spend less time hunting for documents, and more time face to face.
For many of us, this is one of the biggest and best ideas for improving work processes. CRM creates solutions that help get all of your data in the right places, and truly support a range of professional goals.
Our particular application works with your Gmail, Outlook, or Dropbox account. Using this kind of state-of-the-art digital ordering system, you can create an interface that drives productivity by bringing you what you need in an instant.
Take a look and see how you can become more productive, and more successful, by taking advantage of some of the best new tools for managing your heavy workloads and enhancing your career.
Author: Mike Kamo is the VP of marketing for Strideapp. Stride is a Cloud-based CRM and mobile app that helps small to medium sized agencies manage and track leads, as well as close more deals. They can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Published: April 14, 2014