Technology is both a blessing and a curse these days. We’re literally swamped with tools, platforms and the devices on which they can all be used.
So, what do you do if you want to use technology to become more productive?
The answer isn’t simple, because it asks for you to focus on finding just one or two tools that do the job for you. And sticking with them.
That’s tough when new shiny things are put in front of us; we want to explore them and see how they can benefit our lives. The only problem? We spend more time doing that than being productive.
Here are our ten favourite tech improvements that will make you more productive.
1. Work on Employee Engagement
A sure-fire way to run a successful business in the digital age is to bolster employee engagement at every possible opportunity. And you can use technology brilliantly to do just that.
Most employees will become more productive (and so too will you) if the company is apathetic to their requirements and place within the business.
Have a search for employee engagement tools and find those that offer anonymous feedback channels, surveys and intranet-like features.
2. Implement Remote Working – Everywhere
We won’t drag out yet another stat about the rise of remote working, because you undoubtedly already know how massive it is.
If you want a dynamic, enthusiastic and productive workforce, you need to offer remote working opportunities. And the same goes for yourself – you just need the right tech to do so.
When looking for new business applications and platforms, always make sure they’re just as happy running on a mobile connection (and device) as they are in the office. Thankfully, the dominance of cloud computing means this is becoming less of a barrier.
3. Get Your Self-Service Game On
No, we’re not talking about self-service options for customers (although that too is vitally important these days) – we’re talking about self-service for you.
Why should you have to navigate through old procedures just to get something HR-related done? Why should certain day-to-day tasks halt you in your tracks due to the way you have to undertake them?
Technology that enables you to be self-serving in the office completely eradicates these issues and instead gives everyone a platform on which to undertake the mundane stuff quickly, so the important stuff can be focused on.
4. Invest in Simple, Streamlined Payroll
Payroll isn’t easy, whether you’re running a big business or you’re a freelancer. If you’re in the latter camp, it will probably be significantly damaging your ability to be productive, too.
There’s an answer, thankfully, and it lies in the modern cloud accounting software that is now readily available to all.
Such software will streamline your payroll process (even if it’s just you on the payroll) and make all accounting functions super-fast. In return, you’ll get shed loads of time back to work on cooler stuff.
5. Get Time Tracking
If you rely on time tracking for billing, investing in a time tracker (plenty of apps in this realm are actually free) is a great option.
By tracking your time automatically, you’ll have one last menial task to do, but it will also give you a unique insight into how you spend your time each day.
When you get time (it does exist – we promise), take a look back at your time track report to see where you invest most of your day. You’ll quickly spot areas where you could instead be far more productive if you unloaded some of the tasks to colleagues or software automation.
6. Get Rid of Manual File Sharing
It might not feel like much, but every time you have to manually share a Word document, you’re eating away at valuable time that could be put into something far more productive.
There are now lots of cloud services available that enable you to get rid of any need to manually share files and instead provide people with direct access to the stuff that matters, regardless of where they – or you – are.
7. Make Project Management Fun
No, really – this is absolutely possible!
If you can find the right project management tool for your business and team (there’s loads to choose from, we quite like Kanban), you’ll end up with something that you’ll relish using.
Project management with the right tech is fun. It becomes more visual, more collaborative and much more engaging. And, because these tools automate a lot of the mundane tasks, you’ll gain back lots of invaluable time, too.
8. Make Those Daily Tasks Super-Simple
Every one of us has daily tasks that are repetitive but vital. The key to ensuring they don’t get in the way of productivity is to ensure they’re as simple to undertake as they should be.
Look for tech that helps you undertake those tasks quickly. It might be a social media scheduling tool or the aforementioned accounting software, but whatever it is, you’ll find that those daily tasks become far less onerous once you let the technology take over.
9. Get Collaborative
Think about how often you have to engage with other people during your working day.
It might be colleagues, partners or customers, but there’s a good chance you use several different channels to do so.
There’s a possibility that the channels you’re using aren’t wholly effective. A single, cloud-based communication platform or collaboration tool might be the answer and could rid you of that busy inbox or needless phone calls.
10. Use group chats
Fancy getting in touch with your team or a customer on WhatsApp? Do it!
Even better – if you want to create a group on a platform like that to make communication easier, just do it!
Group chats and online communication platforms are vital components in the productive workplace – don’t be afraid to use them.
Remember the golden rule: you almost definitely won’t need all of the above, but you’ll benefit from those that will impact your working day most positively.
Therefore, choose wisely. Pick the tech that makes you productive and stick with it for as long as it continues to do so.