Skip to main content

Do you know these 8 productivity hacks?

Better results for less effort with more productivity



by
Business development, social media & strategy
 

If you’ve ever come to the end of a day and wondered why you didn’t achieve more, it could well be down to poor prioritising and focus.

Productivity is the effectiveness of effort – so, how much result you get for the work put in. By improving productivity you can do less work and produce better results. At Eonic’s office in Kent the web developers work hard, but they also work smart. We asked them to share some of their favourite hacks for improving productivity.

1.       Use a timer

A timer is useful for so many reasons. Some people swear by the Pomodoro method. Others use a timer like Toggl to record how much time they are spending on each type of task. The process of timing a task encourages focus. You might also be inspired to work more efficiently to see if you can perform a routine task faster.

2.       Use a to-do list – and prioritise it

A to-do list helps you to keep your urgent and important tasks at the top of your mind. It also means you know exactly what you have to do next, so you are more likely to move smoothly to another task. Highlighting and scheduling the day’s three most important tasks will help you to focus too. A great tool for managing your tasks is Microsoft To-Do which fully integrates with Office365

3.       Batch similar tasks

It’s more efficient to do similar tasks in one go. We get better at a task we repeat; and doing a lot of similar tasks together allows you to get into a groove so you work faster and get better results.

4.       Swat distractions

Distraction is the enemy of productivity. The modern work setting is, unfortunately, full of distractions. So when you need to focus, switch off all notifications. Aeroplane mode is great for this – but set an alarm so you remember to re-enter the real world when you’ve finished. A website blocker can be useful too, for example the Chrome extension StayFocusd. Some organisations have a sign that people can put on their desks to show they don’t want to be disturbed.

5.       Schedule regular tasks

Any tasks that are important and recurring are worth scheduling. This allows you to control when you do them. You might also be able to maximise efficiency by bundling them with similar tasks. You should also schedule tasks you really don’t like. This makes it easier to begin and will prevent you from putting it off. We strongly recommend using Outlook and the Calendar feature in Office365 which has a handy scheduling tool for events. 

6.       Automate tasks

If a task is simple, boring and repetitive, can your computer do it better than you can? One way of automating tasks is to use a macro in Word or Excel. A macro is essentially a way of telling your machine to follow a list of commands. Everyone has that one colleague who loves macros, and they are often thrilled to be asked about them. Or check to see if your professional organisation offers a suite of macros as a membership benefit. Microsoft Flow is another tool linked to Office365 and many other 3rd party apps that allow you to automate and schedule regular tasks.

7.       Learn shortcuts

Whether you work on a PC or a Mac, there will be keyboard shortcuts that will allow you to speed up your performance. The main software packages all have their own shortcuts, and some will let you assign your own keystrokes to commands – including macros. A good way of improving your use of shortcuts is to test them out for a couple a months to see if they help you: we’ve noticed that the good ones do stick if you do it this way. To help you get started, we recently shared our top twenty Windows keyboard shortcuts.

8.       Outsource tasks you don’t enjoy or do slowly

If there’s a task lurking on the bottom of your to-do list that you can’t seem to get to, or a large project that keeps you awake at night, consider outsourcing it. You didn’t go into business to spend your days doing invoices or inputting product descriptions. A specialist will do the task faster and better than you can. So you save your time and energy for the work you love.

We hope these tips will help you supercharge your working day. We’d love to hear your thoughts on productivity, so drop us an email to [email protected]