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How to Use Technology to Maximise Productivity

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Did you know? Due to technological advances, we're now 84% more productive in the workplace every hour than workers were in the 1970s. In fact, our technological productivity is actually up 480% each hour compared to fourty years ago, and this is predicted to increase by a further 22% by the year 2020 as internet speeds and tablet usage increases. 

To ensure you're not left behind in the workplace race, follow the tips below: 

Hardware

Be sure to use two monitors at your desk, as this will boost productivity by 20-30% on average. This means that you could get up to 11 weeks work more completed each year!

A webcam and a microphone (built-in to the majority of modern laptops) will allow for video links and higher quality conference calls, meaning meetings can take place from around the globe; there's no need to waste time or money on travelling. 

Purchasing an SSD (a Solid State Drive) can massively boost speed on your laptop, whilst also reducing noise, heat and battery loss too. They don't cost a fortune, making them an extremely efficient investment for productivity. 

Ensure you have a portable power pack for your smart phone or tablet, giving you the ability to charge your device when it's on its last legs and you aren't near to a power supply (or don't have your charger). 

Software

Using to-do lists gives you immediately clarity on the tasks you have to complete. Keeping organised will allow you to be much more productive on a day-to-day basis. For to-do lists, along with project management, team co-ordination and more, try using Liquid Planner, Basecamp, Trello or Wunderlist. 

For building, sharing and discovering knowledge, try using Evernote. This will allow you to store knowledge and files all in one place - making them easily accessible at any time. 

For the ability to share files with anyone in super fast time, try using Dropbox. 

Make communication simple and seamless by using programs such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Yammer or Jive. The ability to call or message someone at any time - without them having to be there to respond immediately - has had a huge effect on productivity. 

Use employee recognition software such as Recognize, Kudos, YouEarnedIt, WorkStride or Workstars to keep staff morale high. 

Finally, if you have a lot of writing to do and simply can't get yourself in the mood to do it, try using Writer's Block - previously ForceDraft - which will take over your computer and not allow you to do anything but write for a set amount of time or words. Firm, but fair. 

Apps

Whilst many of the above pieces of software also have phone and tablet apps for them, we're going to be focusing on the phone and tablet-specific apps for mobile productivity in this section. 

The best examples we could recommend are:

Mailbox - allowing you to blitz through an overcrowded email inbox. 

Pocket - allowing you to save an article and read it when you're less busy. 

IFTTT - automate your life. Seriously. 

SwiftKey - saving you thousands of keystrokes every month with the smartest predictive text out there. 

OmniFocus - splitting your device up between work and play, meaning your uncle's hilarious jokes won't come through until your least busy hours of the day. 

Social Media

Social media can be great for aiding communication between individuals, teams or even a whole company. However, having access to personal social media accounts is actually proven to boost efficiency by up to 9%, compared to those that aren't allowed access. This is because you're giving yourself what is known as a 'brain breather', which allows you to be more productive in the following period of time than you would have been without one. 


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