Some people are born with a natural ability to stay on task and avoid common distractions. The rest of us, on the other hand, have to be tactful in order to optimize our working hours and get the most out of each day. With the birth of incredible timesaving technology, constant philosophical advice from top CEOs and handy new apps, it’s easier than ever to power through to-do lists and become a bona fide productive professional.
1. Start with the Hard Stuff
Many productivity experts have suggested doing the least desirable task first. This may sound counterintuitive but tackling the most dreaded project when you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed may help you start the day with a win.
2. Put Distractions Away for Later
Whether it’s a coworker sending you a funny YouTube video or a news story you want to read, don’t let outside influences veer you off course. Pocket, the leading save-for-later service, is genius for collecting interesting articles, videos and more. You can access all the saved content on your phone, tablet or computer so you won’t experience the pangs of workplace FOMO for long.
3. Track Your Hours like a Lawyer
Even if you don’t get paid hourly or keep a timesheet, tracking your hours can be an incredible productivity tool. First, look at the tasks you need to accomplish. Then allot a specific amount of time to each task. Finally, time yourself with Toggl for each individual task. Not only will this make you acutely aware of the time spent but it also makes your day a little more interesting. Many people thrive on a pressing deadline so don’t be scared to get a little competitive (even if it’s a race against yourself).
4. Stop Doing “Paperwork”
With incredible technology at our fingertips, we now have the luxury to spend less time on “paper work” and more time on work. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, inevitably, you will need to work with documents. Whether it’s signing a waiver, collaborating on a PDF or preparing a sales deal, documents are everywhere. With Nitro, you can create, prepare and sign documents without the use of a printer, scanner or pen. Instead of emailing a document and patiently waiting to hear back, use Nitro Cloud and see when the recipient opens, views and changes the document in real-time.
5. Be Your Own Project Manager
For those that don’t have a personal assistant to handle all the minute details of projects, we must rely on our own organization skills (yikes!). This can be a problem. Enter Trello, a free and visual way to organize projects and key players. So forget scrap paper to-do lists and start seeing the big picture with easy to use workflows where you can upload files, pictures, comments and more.