The digital revolution can be a blessing or a curse for productivity.
On the one hand it’s great to have all the convenience of digital apps and products. However, if set up haphazardly they can be a continuous and never ending interruption to your day.
Think about it, how many three-minute Facebook checks do you have in your week? What about rolling through your inbox or twitter feed?
Yes digital tools are a revolution, but they can also be an utter nuisance that hijacks your time, drains your motivation and stops you getting anything really started.
Here are three simple digital hacks to help you get more stuff done in your working life.
1. Automate As Much As Possible
Every decent tool that you can find on your phone or computer now can be automated – this means you can set it to do stuff on its own without having to sort it out yourself.
Did you know for instance, that you can get Google calendar to email you every morning with your entire list of what needs doing that day and what appointments you have? You don’t have to log on to check it. You can also set up reminders that let you know 30 minutes or so in advance of an appointment or deadline.
Another huge timesaver is mail-out software packages like MailChimp. Once you’ve done your setup it will take the content needed from an RSS feed, blog, note software or email, and automatically send it out to your mailing list on prearranged dates. It can also manage your email database without having to constantly input changes manually.
If you can automate something you should automate it! Even simple tasks like setting up an email signature will save you genuine time in your week.
2. Unplug From Updates
The old lie that we tell ourselves hundreds of times every day is “I’ll just take three seconds to check that.” When a notification beeps on your phone or laptop or buzzes on your phone, it can gnaw at you until you actually open it and find out what it was.
More often than not, checking these will lead to scrolling down the Facebook feed, looking up your followed hashtags or going through the rest of your inbox.
Constantly checking the little beeps and buzzes when you’re trying to work is like attempting open-heart surgery with flies buzzing around your face. Don’t let it happen!
You need to decide when are you going to check for updates. Don’t allow push notifications, disable your social media alerts and take back control of your day.
3. Time Your Inbox With A Daily Auto-Responder
We work best when uninterrupted. You wouldn’t want people to interrupt you while you work every few minutes by walking in and out of your office. So why would you allow people to do that to you through email?
A simple fix is to set up an email auto-responder that says something like:
“Because of the many emails that I receive each day, I have decided to only check my inbox at 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM. Be assured that this makes me better at my job and allows me to take the time required to respond to you. Thank you.”
You can be more productive by replying to emails in bulk, twice per day, rather than once every few minutes throughout the day.
Do you unplug during work hours and if so, have you seen your productivity increase as a result?