Three Tips to Improve Your Productivity on Productivity Day 2021

Maribel Muñoz
December 28, 2022

What makes you productive?

Did you know June 20th is Productivity Day? Yes, a day for us to think about how productive we are and how we might accomplish more. You’re someone who has a lot of important things to get done, so why not spend a few minutes thinking about your own productivity:

  1. List 3 things you would like to get done today. Star the one you feel is most important.
  2. Identify 3 things that often cause you to become distracted.
  3. Consider when you most prefer to use each of the following means of communication: email, video call, phone call, chat, text, and collaborative document.

One key aspect of being productive is doing quality work in a relatively short amount of time. But, is it always about time? There are, in fact, multiple factors that influence productivity at work - and in life.

It’s about more than just doing things fast

Productivity often depends on managing your time as best as possible to reach your goal sooner (like staying disciplined with ignoring unwanted emails until you want to read them). However, that doesn’t mean just working faster. Here are three other skills to master, if you want to make the most of your working hours:

Skill #1 – Prioritization: Knowing what order to do things in is the key to working smarter.

Productive people can immediately discern which tasks are most critical and which can wait until later. You already tried it at the start of this article! If you need some practice in this area, here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep a journal or a to-do list. At the beginning of the day, jot down everything you need to do. Then identify the top three most important things to get done, leaving the least important tasks for later, if you have time.
  • Eat that frog. Originated by Mark Twain, this phrase urges us to get complex, or unsavory, tasks done first.  Don’t procrastinate on a difficult job just because it’s a bigger challenge.  Get it over with. You can leave the easier action items for later and you’ll feel proud of getting something big out of the way.
  • The 80-20 rule: In 1985, Italian economist Vincent Pareto illustrated that 20% of people in Italy were controlling 80% of the country’s wealth. In daily tasks, we similarly spend 80% of our time performing tasks that are not essential to accomplish the most important goals. The result is that we often end up procrastinating when it comes to the remaining 20% of work, which is the most important and relevant. Be aware of this when you start your working day and try to set time aside to focus on the 20%.

Skill #2 – Focus:
Multitasking, or getting many things done at the same time, may often feel productive.

The reality is that we have too many distractions in our daily jobs and lives, which keep us from doing focused, effective work. We live immersed in a sea of stimuli: messages on the phone, app notifications, deliveries, etc. 

Newsflash: Apps don’t usually help us focus on tasks.

A 2019 study found that enterprise employees used an average of 60 apps meant for productivity. When we have too many apps to use, things get complicated. We reproduce the same tasks across multiple platforms. And learning the tools can take ages.

So If you have a moment, this Productivity Day, do a quick audit of the tools and apps you are using to see where they are overlapping; strive for simplicity

Skill #3 – Communication:
Communicating with others is an important, but time-consuming, part of our day. Simplifying what you say and how you say it can be a great way to save time.

To do this, be aware of the right communication format for each message. When providing in-depth information and details to a group of people, email might work best. When you need to share your work with others and get feedback asynchronously, it’s probably best to work in collaborative formats like Google Docs. 

And of course, when communicating with people, don’t forget to be respectful of their time, too. Help everyone be productive by providing clear deadlines, involving the right stakeholders, and providing timely updates as needed.

Make your inbox more productive

How much time do you spend screening email messages on a daily basis?

Unfortunately, most of us dedicate way too much time to sorting through the mess of incoming email. A method for filtering irrelevant messages and focusing on the important ones can supercharge your productivity.

At Gated, we believe you shouldn’t spend your valuable time sorting through and triaging messages. On average, our users free up 3 hours per week by simply turning on Gated and letting it reduce the noise of unwanted email.

Gated takes care of your inbox, so you can focus on the messages that matter most and maximize productivity

This Productivity Day, dedicate a bit of time to improving your organization and focus that will help you every day.Remember, there's more to productivity than just time management. Prioritization, staying focused on one task at a time, and communicating well all contribute to your overall productivity.

Now, go enjoy your day and put your new productivity skills to work (and Gated for your inbox at work and in your personal life)!

Originally published: June 20, 2021