Off late I’ve been thinking and reading(a bit) on how to be more productive and efficient while working. Information/Web Workers that we are, run a great risk of diverging from the tasks in hand to doing something completely random(and useless mostly).
It often happens with me that I start working on something(say a presentation) and get a notification on my Tweetdeck or BlackBerry and before I realize I am going through somebody’s twitter profile or reading a blog post somebody shared.
Here are some of the things that I’ve tried and have managed to save some time/productivity loss. To ensure that the post doesn’t stretch long enough I’ve divided into two parts and this is the first part.
1) Not Logging on IM’s: It’s been a few months since I logged into any of the Instant Messengers while working and it’s definitely a time saver. Though I have accounts on almost all the popular IMs I use them sparingly that too only when I need to have a predecided conversation with someone. If you find it tough being offline on IM’s, being invisible is the next best thing
2) Not Checking Emails Every 2/5 Minutes: Certain professions, job roles and situations expect that you read and reply all incoming mail as soon as possible but for most of us that’s not the case. Therefore clicking refresh button or clicking on that open gmail tab is neither needed nor useful. I am also practicing this habit of not checking mails every 5 minutes and trying to do it at least after an hour.
3) Disabling Notifications: Whether you realize it or not, if you are active on Facebook and use a desktop too for Twitter among other things, your chances of getting a comment/invite/tagging/update notification are really high and you’ll end up loosing focus and time quite often. Therefore it’s a good idea to disable email notifications for your Facebook and other tools/services.
Got a productivity tip to share? Post it as a comment and I’ll try to include it in the next post on this topic.