The word ‘productivity’ is thrown around a lot in the business world, but how can we define it? The Cambridge Dictionary defines productivity as, ‘the rate at which a country, company, etc. produces goods or services, usually judged in relation to the number of people and the time necessary to produce them.’ It’s often about completing a large number of projects, to a high-quality, within a short time frame.
As Paul J.Meyer says,‘ Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.’ Businesses should seek to arm themselves with all the tools and knowledge they can, to create a workable productivity plan. To supercharge your productivity, these applications and tips are an excellent starting point.
Applications For Productivity
1 . Podio
Podio is a collaboration tool that can help your teams get organized, communicate, and streamline project completion. Podio achieves this by using a system that combines communications and content on one platform. The application has tools for automated workflows, meeting scheduling, sharing files, and task management. Podio also features CRM, personal dashboards, and data visualization. Using the software, you’ll achieve a cohesive and time-saving project management solution, helping your teams work together more efficiently. One of the great things about Podio is that it’s fully customizable. Using the Open API, those teams using Podio have been able to create millions of apps. With customizable software, there are no limits to the productivity you can achieve. You can match apps to reflect the way that you work.
Zapier provides users with the ability to automate workflows by linking various applications together. The platform uses task blueprints, which are referred to as ‘zaps.’ These zaps allow your applications to work together and provide their functions automatically. With Zapier, you can use whichever apps you please in collaboration, with no need to rely on third-party integrations.
- Call Cowboy Auto Dialer
With the Call Cowboy Auto Dialer, you can use one single telephone number, yet keep your personal and business life separate. Using this application, you can enhance caller productivity by automating cold calls. The app can deal with your outbound calls; receive inbound calls; send SMS; create notes on leads; and analyze performance. Using the Call Cowboy Auto Dialer, you can use these features no matter where you are. The application uses both a power dialer and a predictive dialer. You can also access local vanity numbers and create an auto-text reply.
- Rescue Time
RescueTime is an application for time management that monitors computer usage and measures productivity. RescueTime tracks sites visited, active windows and computer activities. Using data like this, users can gauge a clear picture of their time spent on various tasks. This way users can seek to improve their productivity levels. If you choose a premium plan you can access features such as measuring meetings, calls, and breaks. RescueTime allows users to view this data in graphs, or by a summarized overview.
- IBM Business Analytics
IBM Business Analytics enables companies to increase proficiency across business operations and data handling. Using this software businesses can achieve better insights, helping them to make confident decisions to boost productivity. When you can make the most productive use of your data, you’ll improve the performance of your projects in the long-run. IBM Business Analytics also includes financial management features to help you mitigate risks and improve your results.
Sendible is an application for social media management. You can use it to track audience engagement and analytics, using these insights to drive success within your company. One of the great things about Sendible is that it can measure ROI using the main dashboard. The Sendible system is integrated with all popular social networking sites. You can also use open APIs to connect to any other services you need. Other features of Sendible include customer engagement, lead generation, scheduling posts, analytics, and brand monitoring. Social media is an essential aspect of marketing, yet it can be time-consuming. Using Sendible, you can streamline your social media management, save time, and boost productivity.
Pipedrive is a top piece of CRM software; it won the Expert’s Choice Award last year. With Pipedrive, you’ll get to organize your business leads, for the best overview of your sales. To improve your sales pipeline management, Pipedrive is undoubtedly the way to go. Using the app, you can close deals faster. There’s a quick ‘add deal’ button and an activity scheduler, which makes it simple to schedule events. Another great thing about Pipedrive is that you can customize virtually every feature. This means that the software can be used to meet your business needs and there’s no need to adapt to software that doesn’t suit you.
Tips For Productivity
- Lean Principles
The idea of ‘lean processes’ was originally born in response to manufacturing; however, lean principles are relevant beyond manufacturing processes alone. There are five lean principles that are used to improve workplace productivity. The first is ‘defining value,’ meaning determining what is most important to the consumer. The second is ‘mapping the value stream,’ meaning that you should identify all the different activities that will contribute to these values. Any activity which fails to contribute value to the customer is considered wasteful (and should be removed). The third principle is ‘create flow,’ ensuring that each step runs without delays. Next, we have the ‘pull system,’ which prioritizes ‘just in time’ delivery. Lastly, ‘pursuing perfection’ by looking to improve processes ongoing. Overall, prioritizing lean principles can help companies waste less time and resources, and therefore, boost productivity.
- Working environment
The environments where we work contribute to how productive we are, both individually and as a team. Considering this, it’s essential to create a workspace that allows all staff members to thrive and reach their true potential. An attractive workspace helps to boost morale and creativity, while alternative workspaces help cater to various working styles. Whether it’s standing desks, collaborative workspaces, or quiet zones, create a variety of different areas. Designing the perfect work environment doesn’t have to cost the earth; many studies have shown that the use of plants and natural light alone are enough to boost staff productivity.
- Company Culture
Those businesses with a strong and positive company culture are far more likely to have a productive workforce. Your company culture is so much more than the basic ins and outs of your business. Company culture encompasses your beliefs, brand story, environment, staff perks, and how you are perceived. In the modern world of business, most brands want to create a company culture that has a community aspect. Great company culture is often about removing hierarchies and prioritizing job satisfaction. According to Culture QI, ‘ 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.’
- Prioritize Feedback
Your staff are at the heart of your company; their feedback can improve your operations across your entire business. Take regular opportunities to ask your staff for feedback on their roles. Ask them what they think would help to develop their own productivity. Ask what they believe works and what doesn’t, about their everyday processes. Without the input of your staff, it may be difficult to see precisely where the problem areas are. If time management is an issue, try using StayFocused. The app lets staff members block those sites that they waste time on, and monitor their time spent on various tasks.
- Useful Breaks
To boost productivity, you and your team should seek to make the most of your breaks throughout the day. There are plenty of activities you can do, which will help you return to work feeling revitalized, creative and raring to go. Exercise, for instance, is an excellent idea. Once you’ve got some endorphins pumping, you’ll boost your energy for the rest of the day. Whether it’s a quick meditation session, reading an inspirational book, or taking a walk in the park, use your breaks to relax as much as possible. Failing to take enough breaks during the day means running out of steam and lagging behind on projects.
- Keep Learning
At times, we lack productivity because we’ve become bored with our role. When you’re feeling bored in your job, challenge yourself to keep on learning. New knowledge can help us to breathe a zest of life into our daily roles. Try a training course or read books by thought leaders in your industry. If you keep on learning, it’s less likely that you will feel stagnant within your role.
Productivity lulls are common, and all it takes is a little inspiration and hard work to get back on track. Luckily, as we’ve seen, there are plenty of tech tools available which can help you to supercharge your productivity. Getting organised is a huge part of becoming a more efficient company, and you should seek to evaluate your performance consistently.