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Productivity HacksWorking in an office environment means more than just having good time management or online document repositories. One fundamental skill in a good employee involves a very serious ability to prioritize.

 

Seeing through the time constraints and time-wasters is almost more essential than a good enterprise content management system, so we’ve simplified your time-wasters into time-savers with these top-ranked hacks.

 

1. Forget the Daily Grind… Now Introducing the Daily Plan!

 

There will undoubtedly be workplace drama, snafus, and unpredictable crises. Forget them. Do not waste your time or become distracted – your productivity depends on it!

 

What’s the hack?

 

Set aside a specific amount of time for each task. This will keep you focused and charged to get your work done by the personal deadline you’ve set. Not sure how?

 

Recommended tools:

 

This simple excel sheet will allow you to block out your hours. Set it up every afternoon before leaving work, or early in the morning when starting to make sure that you prioritize in a productive manner.

 

Don’t like excel? Try a schedule planning app like this one.

 

2. Email Time is NOT All the Time.

 

Email is a time-suck! Check, respond, check, respond, copy, paste, respond… It’s a never-ending cycle that could eat up all 40 precious hours of standard business time. According to McKinsey.com, it even takes up approximately 30% of every workers day. Multiply that by your work week and if there were no email at all, and that’s an entire 12 hours you’re wasting, JUST on email.

 

What’s the hack? 

 

Aside from losing your mobile, or conveniently forgetting your password, a way to gain back a few of those hours is to only check your email at specific times of day, or even limiting your email checking to twice a day.

 

Recommended tools: 

 

Try Pause for Gmail to limit your email usage and easily set up auto-responders throughout the work day.

 

3. Talk: Definitely Not Cheap

 

One of the top workplace problem areas is the beloved meeting. Quicksand for many of your employees or coworkers, the unplanned meeting can suck up 45+ minutes from your workday.

 

What’s the hack?

 

Avoid the meeting at all cost. Never fear a smart suggestion like a group chat, email or a quick phone call. Conferences, technology, and even Skype were all invented for the sake of making work LESS time consuming, not more. Take advantage of technology and limit this top time waster.

 

Recommended tools: 

 

Skype is a great free chat tool that you probably already have. Set everyone up for a quick online meeting to get everything done. As an added bonus, no one has to keep meeting minutes.

 

4. Travel for Work? Stop the Price Hunt.

 

Searching for a good ticket is one of the bigger time-sucks for those who travel to conferences, book events, manage multiple offices, or have national/international clientele to appeal to. Eliminate the time-waster by literally not hunting anymore!

 

What’s the hack?

 

According to Isabelle Roughol’s blog, the cheapest airfare is available for purchase on Wednesday at 1 am. Demand is low, supply is higher, and it’s simply not a peak time. So buy then, and keep the peace of mind that goes with “time is money,” and you stopped wasting both.

 

Recommended tools:

 

Lately, Skyscanner has gotten some great press for site comparing and airline shopping. Bing Travel also allows you to view flights on a map and calculate best prices.

 

5. Silence: No Longer Golden

 

Forget the myth that silence is required for focus. The brain is proven to get a jolt in activity from ambient noise. According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, up to 70 decibels of ambient noise increases productivity.

 

What’s the hack?

 

Don’t be afraid to take a break at the coffee shop, or even bring your work along with you! Outdoor venues, or even adding a little noise to your routine can boost your brain into production mode.

 

Recommended tools:

 

Don’t have a free office environment? Waiting on a meeting? This ambient noise generator has a wide range of modes designed to calm, focus, and improve your brain function.

 

6. Take Your Temperature!

 

Your office temperature can seriously affect your productivity. In a study by Cornell, offices set to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower showed an increase in errors – by 44%. Those working in offices set at optimal room temperature made fewer mistakes.

 

What’s the hack? 

 

Too hot or too cold? Change the thermostat! Optimal room temperature is approximately 77 degrees – do it for the company.

 

Recommended tools:

 

Maybe your boss is too stubborn to change the temperature… In that case, bring cooling fans or space heaters. Winter clothing optional.

 

7. Naptime: Good for Kindergartners AND Corporations!

 

Can’t focus? You probably need sleep. If you’re seeing productivity fall in the early afternoon, it’s all natural: circadian rhythms dictate that sleepiness hits hardest after lunch around 2 pm. Just a quick 30 minute boost can jump-start your system!

 

What’s the hack?

 

Take some time to rest. If that’s not a possibility, offer them flex time or flexible lunches. The more rested your employees, the better they perform!

 

Recommended tools: 

 

A progressive boss will invest in some nap pods as a benefit to his employees.

 

8. No Time for a Nap? Here’s Another Kind of Mental Re-boot.

 

Your downtime should not be spent on Facebook, but OUTSIDE.

 

What’s the hack? 

 

Take your rest time outside for an instant mood boost. A little sunlight can really help lift your spirits for getting through your next product, meeting, sale, patient, or project.

 

Recommended tools:

 

Can’t take a break? Invest in a plant for your desk. No, it’s not the same, but the benefits of improving your surroundings are undeniable on overall psyche.

 

9. Late for Work? Do Everyone a Favor…

 

We all screw up. Getting to the office bright and early every day can be a stressful and hard-to-achieve routine for some. How you handle challenges like that is the what defines your relationship with the office and your coworkers, employees and subs.

 

What’s the hack?

 

So if you know you’re going to be late, bite the bullet and go ahead and grab that coffee – for EVERYONE. You make everyone happy, and they’ll be looking forward to the next time you’re late. Just kidding! You (hopefully) won’t be late again for a while. 

 

Recommended tools: 

 

A fully-loaded Starbucks gift card. Ask for one next Christmas if you don’t already have one so that you’re double-y prepared.

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