Remember when technology was supposed to help get things done? It still can – we just have to work a little smarter. Put technology to work for you with the following tips to stay productive:
Screen anxiety got the better of you? Use all the time-saving tools the technology has to offer. Any repetitious task should have a system, such as finding a simpler way to look up files. If technology’s tricks still seem elusive, take a class to be better in tune to how to make technology go to work for you.
De-Clutter that E-Clutter
Like a teenager’s bedroom, so messy it’s hard to see the floor on most days, our digital landscapes could use some cleaning up. Don’t be a digital hoarder. It’s time to delete unnecessary emails and files, uninstall unused programs, and even unfriend and unfollow unproductive people on social media. With less clutter to worry about, it’s easier to focus on what’s important and get more done.
Re-Program to Set Goals
Stay focused with some great smartphone and desktop apps that act as powered-up to-do lists:
- Wunderlist, Any.DO and Toodledo. Simply list tasks and check them off as they’re completed.
- 43Things. Join others who list goals, share progress, and cheer each other on.
- Chains. Don’t break the chain of good habits.
- Lifetick and GoalsOnTrack. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals and list each task necessary to reach them.
The digital revolution encourages being plugged in to everything at once, from checking tweets on a date to the advent of social TV in 2013. But recent evidence suggests that multitasking can actually interfere with mental processing. Stick to one thing at a time, whether it is writing up an email, catching up with a co-worker, or getting work done.
The constant “push” of information – emails, social feeds, text messages, and more – provides continual alerts whenever a new update is made. But it may be causing more harm than good when it “pushes” us to distraction. Instead, actively download (“pull”) messages only when needed.
Like a well-worn laptop, humans also need time to recharge their batteries. Unplug once in a while, and set certain hours when you will remain offline, away from the computer, smartphone, or television. For boosted productivity and creativity, take time to ruminate without constant distraction. Applications like Leechblock can help to banish tech temptation during certain times of the day.
Technology isn’t inherently bad for you, but the rules of digital communication were never clearly defined. Set your own rules for where and when you will use technology. Don’t answer emails while out for dinner. Shut down at least an hour before going to bed (and get better sleep!). Tech stress doesn’t have to get overwhelming, so don’t let it.
Got some great tips for balancing productivity and technology? Share your favorite focus apps or tricks @ACISpecBenefits.