We all want to be more productive, but there’s only so much time in the day.
While you might not be able to give up more of your time to get more done at work, there are dozens of productivity hacks you can use to improve your overall efficiency.
These hacks will help you achieve more in less time - when you use a tracking system for employees like Insightful.
As an app for tracking hours worked, Insightful is full of workplace productivity-enhancing features, and we’ll show you how to get the most out of it with each of these seven hacks.
1. Prioritize One Task
Developing laser-sharp focus and prioritizing a single task at a time is one of the best ways to eke more individual productivity out of your days.
The Eat The Frog productivity system has become synonymous with this approach, and it looks something like this:
- Find the frog in your day (the most important action item on your to-do list)
- Eat the frog - harness the time of day you have the most energy to complete this high-priority task
It sounds straightforward, but the challenge is in the consistency. Tackling one important task isn’t likely to move the needle drastically, but if you can cultivate this mindset and take down the biggest tasks every morning - you’ll make huge leaps forward without committing much more energy.
When this becomes a system for your work week, the energy it takes to complete these high-priority tasks becomes less and less, so the energy ROI improves over time.
So how can staff productivity software Insightful help you and your team implement this productivity hack to revolutionize your work week?
By tracking internet activity, you can hold yourself and your team members accountable. Start the work week with the intention of tackling high-priority tasks in the morning, and use Insightful’s app usage data to see whether everyone is focussing their time and energy in the right places.
If the goal of the Eat the Frog hack is to foster more deep work, then analyze the apps your team members use in the morning and you’ll know if they’re guilty of task switching or whether they stay on task for 30 minutes - the next hack should help with that!
2. Use the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro Method is a well-known time management technique that has you work in intervals to chip away at tasks and projects. Given that the human attention span can be short, it seldom makes sense to spend a lengthy period of time on a task without at least a break or two.
With the Pomodoro method, you set up custom intervals that work for you. For example, you might work for 30 minutes, and then take a five-minute break. Alternatively, you could work for 50, and take a ten-minute break.
The idea is that you always approach a task with a high level of focus so you can give it your all, rather than letting your concentration lapse over a long period of time.
To start using the Pomodoro technique, first discuss within your team the length of interval you’d like to implement. Once you agree upon a number, you can use Insightful to hold each team member to it. For instance, if you agree on 30-minute work intervals, you can check whether the time data backs this up at the end of the day.
3. Cut Down on Multitasking
If the Eat the Frog hack is a step too far, it’s still worth considering the impact that multitasking can have on your team’s ability to be productive.
There’s a strong probability that those team members who are guilty of simultaneously engaging in several tasks at once aren’t getting as much done as they could.
Because multitasking and context shifting not only bring on decision fatigue, but they drain willpower and disperse your focus in many directions. It’s very difficult to focus on deep work when you’ve got more than one task on your mind at any one time.
Using desktop monitoring software Insightful’s real-time dashboard and workforce analytics data, you can track how team members are distributing their time. If you notice that an individual is hopping from one task to another as a pattern, you can see how it impacts their overall productivity and encourage them to focus on one task at a time.
4. Use a Project Management Tool
Even if you’re not a project manager, there’s a good chance you could benefit from using a project management solution if you work in a team.
Full of useful features, your average project management tool can help you streamline workflows with Kanban boards, automate actions with task dependencies, and enable asynchronous communication specific to individual tasks.
Worried that it won’t be worth the investment?
Sign up for a free trial of a popular project management tool and use Insightful to track its usage over the course of the trial. If team members use it a lot, and report greater levels of productivity, then it might just be worth your while.
5. Have Fewer Meetings
Not to say that meetings aren’t useful, but the fact that there’s a psychological phenomena where team members tend to forget what they’ve just heard in meetings suggests that maybe less is more.
The fewer meetings you have, the more time your team will have to engage in deep work and work through their tasks uninterrupted.
Again, if you have doubts about making a big work schedule change like this, you can use Insightful to measure the before and after to see whether fewer meetings translates to higher productivity levels.
6. Encourage a Flexible Work Schedule
It’s no secret that remote and hybrid work models are ascending right now, so accommodating flexible work schedules could be a great productivity hack and morale-booster for your team.
When each team member can work on their own schedule, they can set their day up to capitalize on the most productive times of day to get more work done.
Not a morning person? Push the work day back an hour to start at 10 am.
Prefer shorter breaks throughout the day? Condense the one-hour lunch break into three twenty-minute breaks.
Work odd hours? See if switching to a ROWE (results-oriented work environment) will supercharge productivity.
Of course, not every company has the leeway to accommodate flexibility, but if the end goal is productivity, then surely it’s worth experimenting.
Use web monitoring solution Insightful as an attendance tracker to ensure that team members show up when they say they will. An employee tracker helps support various ways of working without being taken advantage of.
7. Establish Boundaries
Though flexible ways of working can bring the best out of team members, they can also lead to overworking if left unchecked.
Sometimes, to get the best out of employees, you need to encourage them to work less. Counterintuitive though it might seem, the law of diminishing returns dictates that the longer one works after work hours, the less likely it is that the work they produce will be of a high standard.
Establish clear boundaries for your team so they know you respect their wellbeing, and you might just see productivity levels increase at the same time.
With user activity monitoring software Insightful, you can see when your team members are clocking in and clocking out for the day, so you can make sure nobody is putting in more than they need to.