How hard it is to stay focused and improve your productivity? In the era of communication clutter, staying concentrated on your tasks and overcoming challenges is harder than ever before. We may be inclined to look for quick productivity hacks but productivity is a skill that is continuously improved.
And it’s also important to remember that we humans cannot be a hundred percent productive all the time, sometimes we need to waste time, rest our brains, and scroll mindlessly through Instagram.
That said, there are ways you can improve your productivity and in this post, we will take a closer look at them.
In fact, we created Shared Contacts for Gmail to help you and your team stay productive by automating the tedious tasks of sharing contacts. Today, we decided to ask other business and marketing experts about their tools and tricks for skyrocketing productivity. Curious as to what they told us? Take a look at their comments below.
Take Advantage of Automation
In the digital transformation era, new technologies changed the way we work. While improving productivity in your team, you should automate repetitive tasks.
There are two main reasons why it is so crucial. First of all, it is incredibly time-saving. Not only that the job is done without human effort, but also it takes no time.
The immediate answer plays an essential role when it comes to customer service. For example, chatbots can handle basic questions from your customers, but once a complex inquiry appears, a system can hand it over to a human agent.
Therefore, you do not need to worry about the quality of customer support, but at the same time, you provide instant and relevant answers. The second reason why it can be beneficial to use automation is that your team can focus on the bigger picture and more meaningful responsibilities.
Once you automate boring and repetitive tasks with tools, your coworkers can more effectively manage them. Let’s face it – your teammates will be much more motivated to solve challenging issues while they are not overwhelmed with dozens of monotonous duties.
Maja Schaefer, CEO at Chatbotize
Right Tool for the Job
Choosing the right collaboration tool is crucial for boosting productivity in a team. Having all the discussion, comments, and files within one app is a huge time-saver, as no one gets distracted by looking for something in many different places. If you manage to get collaboration and project management right, productivity will follow.
There is no one-size-fits-all – I highly recommend trying out different collaboration tools to see which one is the perfect option for your company.
Cristian Mudure, CEO at Stackfield
Rule of Three
My productivity is a mix made of my creativity, my self-discipline, and my toolbox. I use a lot of tools for making my work a breeze, but there is one that impacted the productivity of my social media team.
This tool is called Kontentino and can be used for social media management, for it is also a great collaboration tool in terms of social media content. Our clients can approve content in a heartbeat, which helped us increase our productivity and save a lot of time on operational tasks. Kinga
Odziemek, Creative Owner at Brainy Bees
First Things First
When thinking about productivity, think about your strategy first. Start from the bigger picture and have a closer look at the data, both quantitative and qualitative. What are the most urgent problems your customers are facing?
Make these burning issues a priority – this approach will help you use your resources in a more effective way. The point here is that many people try to guess what are the most promising fields for improvement – and this makes their efforts hugely unproductive. Instead of taking a shot in the dark, you should turn to data first – the answers are already there.
Kamil Drążkiewicz, CEO at LiveSession
Time is of the Essence
Much has been said about productivity and how to keep it on a high level. In my opinion, the most important aspect that affects productivity is: time, or quoting the famous song “So little time (so much to do)”.
The number of tasks to complete is increasing, while the time needed to do them is decreasing. It is therefore extremely important to master the art of time management.
However, some tools can be of use. To put it more simply, they help save a lot of time (and nerves!), which in turn can be spent on finishing other tasks or resting and relaxing because regeneration is also a key element. Being tired and stressed means being unproductive.
Aga Cejrowska, Descra
Motivation to Set You in Motion
Tools are all well and good, and we have tons of apps and other instruments to control our productivity level. Most of them allow us to plan time better and get rid of distractions.
But none of them will make you more productive if you have no motivation to work or do something. That’s why my tactic would be to focus on your productive triggers — habits, and activities that bring you closer to your goals, motivating you to act. For example, I become more productive when a deadline snaps at my heels. I hate being late, so deadlines become my trigger to work and therefore become more productive.
One person may be more productive when working under pressure, and another may feel inspired when they are in a fun and laid-back environment. The trick is to find those triggers influencing your productivity and motivating you to work. It will help to organize time accordingly.
Lesley Vos, Content Strategist at Bid4Papers
To increase my productivity, I measure my time for most of my tasks at work, using a time tracking tool like Toggl. I’ve found out that some tasks drain a lot of my time (such as handling emails) while bringing very little in return.
I also found out that I spend about 80% of my time as a writer researching and only 20% or so actually writing. That way, I learned that I need to get more efficient at research and stop looking at my Instagram feed as much as possible during working hours.
Mile Zivkovic, Copywriter at Chanty
Start Your Day Early
Always try to wake up early as possible. “Clean” the most important things in the early start, look at the schedule for this day and the prime to-do list. Turn off distractions. Avoid frequent usage and chat on Viber, WhatsApp, and Telegram desktop apps, as much as they make life easier they can make huge distractions in your daily work habits.
Also juggling between tabs in your browser will put you out of focus. Visualize before you act. If you have some specific workflow that you cannot insert into immediate action, try to visualize, draw or write it down on paper, create a flowchart, diagram and make the complete process visual.
Make your task list shine. Always track your task deadline, mark finished tasks as done, and reschedule overdue tasks if necessary. Don’t create just a bunch of tasks, connect your tasks with a key objective and use milestones. Milestones serve as your visual project guide.
The tools that I’ve been using:
– Notion – for wiki’s and personal to-do’s
– Loom – for quick video clarifications (to reduce time spent on unnecessary meetings)
– Calendly – for scheduling appointments
– Milanote – workflow sketching, diagrams, content collaboration
Jovan Miljevic, Head of Marketing at Nifty
Three Bags Full
I have 3 tips for being productive:
– Do your most important task first thing in the morning,
– Have only 2-3 important & urgent tasks on your to-do list every day (these are tasks you need to get done not tasks someone else wants you to do)
– And work less.
The last tip is super important because busyness doesn’t equal productivity. Focus on output over input and do whatever it takes to get the output. My boss says it doesn’t matter if you work from 9 to 5 or 9 to 12 as long as the work is done. Also, for me, tools matter a lot.
Those who perform at the highest level often have the best tools that fit their workflows. Apps and tools can give you an advantage over someone who is just as hardworking but doesn’t make the most use of smart tools that are available.
We at Venngage use Trello for every project/department weekly sprints, Zapier for automating manual tasks and I personally use Superhuman for email. These 3 tools alone when used to their fullest extent can help you keep you in your work rather than outside it.
Aditya Sheth, Content Marketer at Venngage
Communication is the Key
Given that productivity is a function of how much a person or team can produce in a given amount of time, saving time through efficient communication is key to boosting productivity.
That’s why I’ve found that the best way to boost productivity is to streamline communication and collaboration in an all-in-one communication tool. This allows teams to find all of the features they need to efficiently collaborate in one place and is particularly useful for teams working with remote employees.
For example, the creative process can begin with a brainstorming session on a virtual whiteboard and continue in a dedicated chat room. In this chat room, colleagues can easily keep track of projects, and relevant new members are automatically added or removed.
Features such as sending instant screenshots to many people, screen sharing with remote desktop control, and sending broadcast messages to a group or entire teams can also make communication more efficient and streamlined. On top of that, they can also save you valuable time. Nikola Baldikov, Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix.
There are two productivity tactics that have been key for me. Number one is Notion and the processes outlined there.
First of all, before Friday ends, I always have my to-do list for next week ready. This keeps me sharp and allows me to execute with tenacity and without time waste. All those to-dos are connected with macro goals and important files I need.
I think that friction is our enemy on many fronts, including the way we operate internally. You want to eliminate unnecessary steps and keep flows simple. It’s precisely why we have all our processes as checklists in Notion, from creating or distributing content to Facebook Retargeting.
Another productivity boost that’s proven to be super important is when you make your tool stack work together. How? With native integrations, Zapier, and custom APIs. Even Michael Jordan figured out he can’t win rings working alone.
Our tools are the same. It’s much easier for me to do email outreach if I can automatically import leads into ongoing campaigns or get the notifications I need on Slack. But there are a lot of things you can do here.
Vukasin Vukosavljevic, Head of Growth at Lemlist.
I’m able to do the most work if I prepare in advance on what I’m going to be working on and what am I trying to achieve. Just like you prepare your gym clothes a day before I make sure I have my desk ready to start. As for tools, I use extensions such as:
– GoFuckingWork – to block off sites
– Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator — which prevents me to go to Facebook
And of course, I use every software that speeds up repeatable actions. For example, aText which expands text, flycut which allows me to save multiple highlighted texts into clipboard, or Alfred where I assign workflows for basic tasks.
Dejan Gajsek, CEO at Grow + Scale
Another Tool for One’s Toolbox
One of my favorite productivity tools is called IDoneThis. It’s like a project management app that is much simpler in nature. In essence, it’s a short list of tasks you or your team need to do.
Every time I go to Trello or Asana, I jump to this app instead, because it’s quicker, easier to use, and frankly, it makes me feel better. You can add small, daily tasks and tick them off as soon as your done for that sense of accomplishment. It also makes it super easy to track what your employees have done for the day.
Carsten Schaefer, founder and CEO at crowdy.ai
Quite a Combo
My two cents: Pomodoro technique and the Productivity Challenge Timer app.
Great combo, especially for students. I used to learn like this and it helped me learn a lot faster. You just download the app, put your project and click “begin work session”.
You have 25 min to read and learn and then you rest for 5 min. Four times like that and you take a longer break. It really boosts our productivity but also it fights procrastination. We use this app.
Nikola Komazec, digital marketer at Balkaneum
Automate Your Sales
Lots of people in business lose quite a lot of time on business proposals and documents, especially sales reps. This can be automated with high-quality proposal software, which should enable you to create modern proposals in just minutes.
My productivity tip is to keep your sales process no more complicated than 3 steps:
- Start with the client meeting to build a relationship with the prospect and get the necessary information to get the project done.
- Afterwards, send a proposal with your product/service specifications and T&Cs, which can be signed online. Once you set up your winning proposal template in proposal software such as Better Proposals, this step will take you just a few minutes as you’ll only need to edit a few client-related bits.
- The last step is the famous follow-up. Good proposal software tools give you the opportunity to receive a notification when your proposal gets opened, downloaded, or signed, so you’ll know exactly when to follow up.
Also, they should give you the information about which page the client has viewed the most. This will allow you to create a tailored email that points out their biggest interest and will get you their feedback faster.
Petra Odak, Marketing Executive at Better Proposals
Would you add anything to this impressive list? Let us know!