For the entrepreneur and the traditional businessman alike, being able to optimize workplace productivity is arguably more important now than ever before. In the modern workplace, customers, clients, and team members are never more than a Skype call or email away, and demands can be piled on you day and night. Professional obligations can range from model based systems engineering to filing reports that will be immediately forgotten about.
In order to weather the storm, harness its energies productively, and emerge victorious, it’s essential you take advantage of the tools available.
Here are three productivity tools which each have the power to change the way you work forever.
One of the fundamentals of optimizing productivity, is having a handle on your time. Specifically, where each precious minute during the working day is spent. If asked at the end of the day how much of your time had been spent getting your head down and earnestly working, flat out, and how much had been wasted, you’d probably make a passionate argument that you’d been working hard the whole time.
But if some clerk had been standing over your shoulder the whole time and recording what you were doing throughout the day, what would that report look like?
RescueTime is the digital equivalent of that nosey clerk. The RescueTime service combines a web-based dashboard with a desktop application. It runs quietly in the background, while tracking the amount of time you spent on different programs and websites throughout the day.
At the end of each day, the RescueTime dashboard will display a pie chart, showing how much of your time had been spent “productively” and how much hadn’t.
An indispensable part of optimizing your productivity is simply having a good system for tracking all of the different tasks you need to attend to, and organizing them in a coherent and easily manageable format.
Nozbe excels at this like few other programs, and it does so completely for free.
The Nozbe layout is based on the award winning “GTD”, or “Getting Things Done” method, pioneered by David Allen. Each time a new task arises, you simply type it into a text bar and press enter. The task will then be featured in your “inbox”.
You want to empty your inbox as soon as possible, not by completing every task in it, but by assigning each one to a “project”. The tasks will them be sorted into separate project areas, which will keep them grouped by type.
Date deadlines can also be set for time sensitive tasks, and urgent, or “next” tasks can be “starred” which makes them show up in a priority folder.
Anyone who works in a conventional office environment and has to answer to a boss, likely feels they have enough accountability already. For those who enjoy more autonomous or flexible working conditions, however, being able to hold yourself to account is one of the most essential things imaginable.
StickK is a service designed specifically for this purpose, and the way it accomplishes it is by getting you to create “commitment contracts”, assign a referee from among your friends or family, and then pledge your own money to completing the task.
If you fail, it doesn’t just hurt your pride. You feel it in your wallet too. How’s that for incentive to stay on course?