Digital devices usually fall hand-in-hand with distractions in the workplace, or so you would think. Many don’t realize they can help you be more productive in numerous ways. Digital devices come with tempting distractions, like surfing the web, scrolling through social media, online shopping, etc. but with a little self-control, they can add value. They increase employee availability, enhance portability, and improve productivity. Here are some ways you can use your digital devices to boost your workplace productivity:
When you consider your smartphone, what are some things you use it for in the workplace? Many people use their smartphone as a form of communication with friends, posting and scrolling through social media, watching videos, etc. When you use it for those things, then yes, it can be a distraction when trying to get work done. But, it’s not always a distraction if you use it correctly. Some productive ways you can use your phone at work are:
- Monitor your email
- Apps like myMail allow you to monitor all of your email inboxes in one place. You can observe your yahoo, google, outlook, and more accounts in one space. Accessing email from one account makes it more convenient than having multiple tabs open and possibly missing an important email. If you have multiple accounts on Gmail, there is an option to view all inboxes at once so that you never have to switch accounts again to view specific emails. Doing this keeps you productive on the go so you can view everything that is coming to you, so you don’t miss a thing. If it’s getting distracting, you can turn your phone on do not disturb, or switch your email to offline mode. This way, you can see and read your messages without new ones pouring in.
- Plan your day out
- With your phone, you can make to-do lists or even use apps that allow you to fill specific time-blocks, so you get reminders to stay on task. Reminders can keep you motivated to stay productive, so you don’t fall behind on your to-do list.
- Listen to Music or Background Noise
- Some people need no distractions, and some people work better with music or background noise. There are apps like Spotify or SoundCloud, where you can download music to listen to or even background noises. There are plenty of pre-set playlists and options to customize your playlists to your needs. Put your headphones in and get to work!
- Taking Notes
- Taking notes on your phone can make things a lot more productive and efficient. You more than likely always have your phone on you, so it’s convenient to pull it out and type up a couple of notes. Doing so can be more time-friendly than pulling your computer or tablet out of your bag to take quick notes. If the task is fast, you don’t want to have to pause to pull something out. You have your device right there, so you might as well use it. An app for phones AND computers that allows more advanced notes is called OneNote. Whether you use this app on your phone or computer, you always have them with you. You never lose them, and you can move them around from place to place. With OneNote, you can use your finger, mouse, or stylus to draw and take your notes, making it a more productive method of notetaking.
- Block Certain Apps
- It can get distracting when you see notifications pop up left and right on your phone. Your favorite episode of something just came out, a video uploaded that you want to watch, your friends are talking about something in the group chat, etc. Apps like Freedom can block distracting apps and websites for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome, making it easier to focus. Using these apps can keep you productive in the workplace, and make getting on your phone more rewarding at the end of the day.
- Productivity Apps
- Many apps promote productivity. There are apps to promote staying focused at work, school, with friends, and while driving. These apps make it possible to get incentives for staying off your phone and staying focused on the things happening in your life. Apps like Forest offer incentives like planting real trees on earth. The longer you stay off your phone, the more trees you help plant. Apps like PocketPoints allow you to earn points for staying off your phone while in school. These points then transfer over to real-life discounts and free items from select stores. Staying productive has never been so rewarding.
Computer & Tablet
Your computer or tablet is where you do most of your work, usually. It’s essential to make sure you eliminate all of the distractions from these devices so you can be your most productive self. Follow these tips to use your computer, tablet, or both as tools for productivity:
- Clean up your Desktop
- Having a bunch of information saved to your desktop can make it almost impossible to navigate. It typically ends up turning into the junk drawer of your computer. Make it a habit not to save everything to your desktop. Create folders for projects and subjects, and use those folders to store things. It can seem time-consuming to do this, but once you make the folders, it takes the click of a button. Delete files and documents you don’t need on your desktop and organize the ones you do need. Organization can achieve increased productivity because you are spending less time searching for things.
- Save Content for Later
- With apps like Pocket, you can save articles that you run into throughout the day to create a space dedicated to your interests. This app lets you put anything you come across into Pocket, saving directly from your browser, twitter, and more. It’s available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and your browser. You can use this app to save articles or publications that you want to view for blogs you are writing or things you are researching, so you can view them all at once later. Pocket allows you to read without distracting ads or links that draw your focus away from what you are doing.
- Efficient Internet Browsing
- Make your web time more effective and productive with extensions. One extension you can download is the Limitless Chrome extension. It will help you focus on your main goal with quick access to the sites you use and need the most. It also has a notepad where you can store all of the mental distractions that come to you while working so you can revisit them. This extension has the power to show you an in-depth breakdown of where you are spending your internet time. This breakdown allows you to rethink your use of the internet and keeps you mindful of how you are browsing.
- Create Shortcuts
- Creating shortcuts and bookmarks can allow you to get what you want faster. You can delete bookmarks when you finish using them, but they make searching faster. Increasing the speed of little tasks like this gives you more time to be productive on other things.
- Use both devices at the Same Time
- Using your computer or tablet is great, but using the two together can create even more productivity. You can use one for researching things and one for writing, so you don’t have to constantly switch tabs. You could even use one for inspiration, and one for design. Many times, people will use tablets as a way to take control of their designs. There are many ways you can use these two digital devices for increased productivity in the workplace.
As great of tools as your phone and computer can be, they aren’t always the easiest to reach. If you’re away from either, a wearable tech device can help keep you up to speed. These digital devices are great for staying productive and focused. They require little to no effort to look at, making it an efficient way to get updates. Wearable tech devices have many features that can increase your productivity in the workplace. Here are some productive ways you can use your wearable tech:
- Get Real-time Updates
- When you’re driving to a client, another office building, away from your phone or computer, your wearable tech device can give you real-time updates. These wearable gadgets are synchronized with your smartphone so that you never miss a thing. You don’t have the inconvenience of fishing out your phone from your bag every time you hear a notification ding.
- Send Text Messages
- Receiving a message and pulling out your phone can seem like a task. Smartwatches allow you to stay caught up and send messages back and forth with a quick flick of the wrist. You can easily communicate with a client or coworker with voice-to-text or writing with your finger. Wearable tech also allows you to decide what notifications are important enough to break your focus. When you take the time to pull out your phone, you are more than likely going to reply or act on that distraction. When you glance down to your watch, you can quickly decide to ignore it or not.
- Make Calls On-The-Go
- Depending on the wearable tech, you can make calls from your watch. With an Apple Watch, all it takes is you saying, “Hey Siri,” and she will follow your command from there.
Digital devices can be distracting when you are incorrectly using them. If you are using them for the right reasons, they can help you conquer those productivity hurdles that you experience every day. Follow the tips in this blog to get the most out of your digital devices.