Five Ways to Improve Your Work Productivity in 2014
Christmas and holiday season is a great time to relax and recharge to start the year. People often start the New Year with goals like exercise more, lose weight and eating healthier. I personally prefer to set goals to improve my productivity since who has time to waste? There are many productivity tools out there, but it helps to take a few minutes and get organized with the right tools.
1. Organize your mobile apps
Over the course of the year, we all install apps and don’t organize them. We end up scrolling through pages on the phone looking for one particular icon. Spend a few minutes and organize your frequently-used apps like social media or collaboration apps and put them on one page of the phone.
2. Keep your batteries charged
I am a heavy app user on my iPhone. My Wi-Fi is always on auto-connect mode to home and work networks, plus public access hotspot services like AT&T and Xfinity Internet for the best online speeds. All this requires very good battery management and charging discipline. I have chargers installed in my car and various points at my home and office so I can charge anywhere. Portable batteries like my Mophie pack have kept me going when I need to do conference calls standing in a lobby somewhere or do social media postings at a trade show.
3. Pack a headset
When I see someone talking on their mobile phone in speaker mode in public, I cringe thinking about the amount of noise leaking into their call. Pack and use a headset for extended calls whether it is mobile or desktop, save yourself and the people with whom you are talking from background noise.
4. Get a webcam separate from your laptop
Most laptops today have built-in webcams, but they are usually difficult to position and tend to shows you in an awkward angle. I always use a separate webcam for several reasons:
– You can position the webcam level to your head. That way, you can sit in a natural position.
– A good webcam, especially one with a glass lens, has much better optics and viewing angle than the laptop camera.
– If you have a physical object you want to share with the audience, you can maneuver the camera without moving the computer.
– Better webcams have built-in directional microphones, which if you forget item #3 above, work better than built-in computer microphones.
5. Don’t do audio-only conference calls
Conference calls are a necessity for team meetings, but doing a web-based meeting rather than distributing bridge numbers is much more productive.
- The host can eliminate the “let’s do a roll call” by looking at the attendee list. Even if someone is dialed in by bridge number only, they are more easily identified.
- Reduces the interruption of “who just joined?” or “Is XXX here?” questions.
- The host can easily identify and mute any offending attendees who forget to mute their microphone during side conversations, or put the call on hold.
- If the host or others need to share a document or a URL, or ask a question, then screen sharing and chat are instantly available rather than waiting for Email or trying to interrupt each other.
Hope you all find this useful. Any 2014 productivity tools and advice you would like to share?