Productivity Hacks For the Seriously Distracted


Have you ever struggled to be productive? We certainly have. With so many distractions and so many demands on our time, it can be difficult to be as productive as your job or business requires. Getting things done, crossing items off your to-do list and making real progress can be a real struggle. However, there are ways that you can cut the dead weight from your day and make the most of your time.

Here are 8 productivity hacks to help with your problem areas.

1. Find a way to effectively manage your e-mail. Most people waste at least 30 minutes each day reading, reviewing, deleting, or writing e-mails. Investing in e-mail management in terms of blocked time for sending and receiving e-mails, setting up rules and grouping in categories, and moving items to meeting reminders can save you a lot of valuable work time.

2. Create effective time allocation in meetings. Wasted time in meetings can drag down the productivity of your fellow workers. Agree to attend only meetings with agendas and stick to the agenda, ask for an objective of the meeting before it begins. If you so dare, when you have the opportunity, ask for all participants to stand up so they aren’t so comfortable that they let the meeting drag on for too long.

3. Right-sizing technology for effective use by your team. Having access to the technology you need to do your job including effectively collaborating with colleagues across the enterprise is key to productivity. Learn the features of Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Zoom and use those features. Implement tools such as Trello to manage projects for little to no investment.

4. Automate as many tasks as possible. Remove manual tasks whenever possible. Take the time to figure out all tasks that take up valuable time on a daily and weekly basis and figure out how to automate as many of those tasks as possible. This doesn't mean you should stop paying attention to those reports. Instead, find ways to build automatic dashboards and other systems that lead to more time spent on data interpretation and less time spent on data inputs.

5. If you use [insert software tool here], embrace it. The example of accounting/finance professionals…we use Excel every day. Take courses to become a guru in your use of Excel for something. It will save time and money.

6. Only produce internal reports that are still needed. Each week/month/quarter you produce some standard reports. Collaborate with others producing reports and with the readers of those reports to make sure your reports are still valuable and reporting the right information - who uses it and why? Train others to create reports that you create in order to help them grow professional and reduce your To Do list.

7. Workflow, workflow, workflow. Lack of workflow breeds inefficiency and inhibits business agility. Workflow is the foundation for: repeatability, consistency, quality, scalability, and flexibility. We love for Accounts Payable workflow – they’ve nailed it!

8. Develop consistent processes and procedures. Inconsistency in process and procedures leads to inefficiency. Most of the time spent on rework can be traced to ineffective processes and procedures. Whether you are taking over a new project or merging various reports into a single data set, I highly recommend sitting down and figuring out the entire set of processes and procedures, create a checklist and mark things off as you go along so you do not have to remember exactly which tasks is next.

Streamlining your day is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. The less time you spend on things that don’t matter, the more you can focus your time and energy on getting the right things done. We’d love to talk to you about what we do in each of the examples above, we’re always free for a chat at



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