In our fast-paced work environments, we all tend to look for quicker shortcuts to get our work done while still producing results. Whether it’s using software, online tools or tech gadgets to help maintain your sanity and keep you productive, we all want to get better at our work.
When it comes down to it, a lot of people think multi-tasking is a great ability to have and get more work done. But the truth is multitasking is actually making you far less productive, and can even damage your brain and lower your IQ. So always try to focus on one task at a time until you finish it if you can.
As technology evolves there are more distractions than ever. But technology doesn’t have to hinder us by being too overwhelming. It should be able to help automate tasks to be more productive as we move towards the office of the future and how we will work.
So what’s out there that can help to keep us on track and streamlined with our work?
Software and Online Tools
- IFTTT – If This Then That, and their app is now simply called Do. Currently has almost 200 channels and is always adding more that can help to automate your life by creating recipes. Simply create a recipe by setting up if “this” happens on a certain channel, “then” send me an e-mail, text message or whatever you prefer. Create a new blog post and have it automatically be shared out across your connected social platforms.
- StayFocusd – Browser add-on where you can block or set a daily limit time on sites that you determine (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.).
- timeStats – Another browser add-on that runs in the background keeping track of the time you spend on websites. After a few months, you get a good idea of where you spend most of your time online.
- Wunderlist – There are plenty of GTD apps out there, but this now syncs with Google Now so that you are automatically reminded of your tasks for the day. Tasks with deadlines can sync with your calendar so you can have reminders, and it also streamlines with your smartphone apps.
- Cloud – Whether it be Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or whatever you prefer, you should use the cloud to sync your documents so you can access them anywhere.
- Evernote – Keep notes organized in Evernote’s notebooks so you can access them later. Use IFTTT to automatically save receipts, attachments, or any other triggers that you get in your e-mails.
- Momentum – Browser add-on for whenever you open a new tab it shows your main to-do to focus on that day to constantly remind you.
- RescueTime – Similar to timeStats and StayFocusd, this allows you to block websites and see how much time you spent on websites. But it also lets you see how much time you spent on tasks, e-mails, meetings, and so much more to give you a good overview of where your time is spent.
- Grammarly – Another plugin that helps to identify your grammar mistakes by underlining mistakes as you type anywhere online. Hovering over the underlined words to select their suggested fix, or add it to the dictionary if it’s a brand or unrecognized word or name.
Tech Gadgets for Productivity
- Luxafor – Small light that connects to your USB that shows your availability to your co-workers around you. You can connect it with your productivity app to automatically change lights depending on the settings you have setup. It flashes whenever you have a notification, e-mail, or other reminders. Turn it to red so that others around you know that you are busy and shouldn’t be disturbed.
- Smartpens – You can use smartpens to record audio, sync with an app, use as a laser pointer, capture your handwriting, or even convert your handwriting to text documents, which is great for owners trying to publish a book. Some pens can even record video, but smartphones would be a better option here.
- Amazon Echo – Your personal assistant that you can tell to add something to your calendar, shopping or to-do list, play music, record your voice, order Amazon Prime products, and do so much more. It will continue to evolve as their software is in the cloud so more features will be added along with better voice recognition over time.
- Portable projectors – A few smartphones have this capability, but having a projector on the go helps to be able to give presentations anywhere and anytime.
- Portable scanners – Makes it easy to scan documents, contracts or business cards on the go. Get one that has the capability to save your scans to the cloud.
So keep in mind that these tools should help to keep you focused on one task at a time. Technology that can help automate or streamline any process is always helpful, so try not to get overwhelmed or overloaded with all the new technology to help you be more productive.