SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
Some of you must remember those times when you worked without the help of today's technology and how difficult it was to do everything analog. Most of the work was done by hand or on some unimaginable slow computer and if you weren't in your office or at home, basically no one could reach you. Logically, those times are long gone and now people are embracing new technologies to their full potentials.
When words "productivity" and “technology" are mentioned in the same sentence, people usually think about something negative. In most cases when people hear the word technology, they think of a distracted teenager going through his social media feed, playing a video game or watching TV. Others may think of an outdated computer that never works properly and the frustration they had with it.
The truth is, when technology is not used properly it can cause distractions, create confusion or lower someone's productivity. On the other hand, it is also a very valuable and incredibly beneficial part of every modern business. It can do so much for one's productivity and that's why in the following text we will focus on how you could use technology to be more productive.
Not all technology is equal and not every person or business has the same technology needs, therefore, in the following text you will find most common ideas for increasing productivity with the help of technology.
Long gone are the times where we could be reached only in our offices or at our homes. For the same reason, long gone are the times where we could work only in well-equipped offices and nowhere else. In the last decade, we experienced a massive evolution of our technology. This is especially true with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. With their help, we can now work from anywhere and can be reached wherever we are.
This means that we can be productive on our commute to work, at the bus stop, in a coffee shop etc. Basically, the whole office can be put in the device that fits perfectly in our pocket. All of this wouldn't be possible without some advanced mobile apps. We will mention only the few most important ones.
PDF Converter Ultimate - Effortlessly edit PDF documents by converting them to more than 20 popular file formats and vice versa.
Google Drive - Securely store your documents in the cloud and access them on any device wherever you are.
Google Calendar - Easily get organized, save time and get the most out of your every day.
Documents - Manage your files with ease and view, read, and listen to almost anything you wish.
Workflow - Easily automate your day and create powerful workflows by dragging and dropping any combination of actions.
Evernote - Take notes, write memos, create to-do lists and organize everything efficiently.
CamScanner - Quickly scan and digitize all sort of documents: invoices, whiteboard, notes and more.
You can also check out an interesting interactive infographic created by the people from Cometdocs that illustrates what mobile apps can completely replace traditional office equipment.
Whether you run a business, work in the financial sector of some company or simply want to keep track of your expenses, number crunching is nothing new to you. Even today, managers are tempted to deal with numbers the old fashioned way. Keeping a hard copy of financial recordings make sense and sometimes it is even required by law. However, it is also recommended to embrace new technologies and let it help with financial management.
Keeping track of invoices, handling various budgets and dealing with price lists can be challenging, especially if you use multiple platforms to do so. It can only add confusion to the whole equation and increase the likelihood of making mistakes. Consolidating these tasks into one place can save time and help with making fewer mistakes. That can be achieved by implementing a financial management software like FreshBooks into daily business operations of your company.
Collaboration suit or software can drastically boost employees productivity. Suites like G-Suite, Microsoft Teams, Slack or ProSky, are developed to provide one centralized environment where team members can plan, discuss and execute ideas, projects and workflows. These programs consist of all the necessary tools that are needed for accomplishing such tasks and all relevant parties have full access to them. Advantages of using such tools are endless.
For instance, there are people who are not comfortable with speaking in person thus these tools allow them to speak freely in a chat-like environment without being anxious about it. The other advantage is the ability to minimize the number of meetings you have in your company. Recent studies show that meetings are one of the biggest time-wasters. It is believed that 15% of organizations total time is spent on preparing for meetings or attending them.
The idea is to find and use as many tools as you can that automates everything. And we mean everything, from scheduling and bill payments to contact update lists and email responses. You should also find as many tools and apps that can digitize and replace any manual process you may be doing. A great example of this is customer service chatbots.
Simply said, they are making customer service fly. Long gone are the times of long and frustrating phone menus which can barely be defined as a customer service. Nowadays, chatbots can answer FAQs, order products, give tech support, and more. Besides saving your time, automating your work will eventually save you money as well.
Make your every second count by using the right time tracking tools. As they say, "if you can't measure it, you can't improve it". If you would like to improve your productivity and performance you should primarily start by understanding how your work clock works. How much time are you wasting during your working day and what are your biggest distractors. Then you should think about your most productive hours and how much you contribute to the company progress.
Time tracking tools like Toggle can provide precise answers to the mentioned question. By using them you will squeeze the most out of your time and ultimately become more efficient. You would be able to track your tasks, manage team workflows, get an overview and reports of the team performance, learn how work hours are spent and more.
Business technology is constantly innovating and changing, so it is crucially important to determine the right fit for you and your organization. But most certainly there is at least one piece of technology out there that will help you improve your productivity.
My name is Sandra Rodgers. I run the Cometdocs blog and post on it regularly. I love yoga, travel, photography, cooking foreign cuisine, traditional meals, and I’m a major tech enthusiast. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.