5 Productivity Tools for Owning and Maximizing Your Workday

Jun 03, 2015 - Joe Matar
You have about 540 minutes in a typical workday. But how much of that is wasted on time-consuming administrative tasks? About half of the workday is spent on tasks unrelated to your primary job duties, according to a study by Workfront. So what exactly is taking up so much of your time? How can you take control of your day to be more productive? As the adage goes – work smarter, not harder. Here are a few common scenarios you may run into during a typical workday, and how to best approach the situation to maximize your hours in the office. (Click here to tweet these scenarios.)

Scenario 1: Where’s your team?

You need your colleague to send you a presentation ASAP, but you notice he isn’t at his desk. You’re forced to sit around and wait until he gets back.

Solution

An internal messaging program with file exchange capabilities allows colleagues to get in touch with each other on the device they’re with the most – their cell phones. NetSfere is one secure enterprise messaging app that makes it easy to safely communicate sensitive business information via mobile devices. Through this app, co-workers can quickly communicate and send images and files within chat groups whether they are at their desk or on the go with complete confidentiality.

Scenario 2: Email in limbo

You send an intro email to a prospective client, but all you get are crickets. You spend the next week or two following up, but still no response. At this point, you’re not even sure if the prospect has opened your email and you want to wait to have a first point of interaction before you pick up the phone.

Solution

Email takes up a huge amount of time throughout the workday, and it’s often a mystery whether or not your message was read. Luckily, there are tools available that give you insight into what happens after you click “send.” For example, Intelliverse’s email tracker allows senders to see the status of sent emails, including when they’re opened, how many times they’re opened and on what type of device. This gives you the information you need to know how to most effectively follow up with a contact.

Scenario 3: Password peril

You try logging into your Dropbox account, but you can’t remember your password. You try a variety of different combinations, numbers, figures – but you get locked out. You then have to wait to reset your password.

Solution

You have a ton of passwords to keep track of for both personal and professional uses. Tracking down password information, then sometimes having to reset your password, can be a huge headache. A password manager like LastPass stores login credentials and automatically fills in login information for password-protected sites. LastPass can also help protect your accounts since it is a much more secure way to manage passwords as opposed to traditional methods like jotting down your passwords on a sticky note.

Scenario 4: Who’s doing what?

In anticipation of a big client meeting, you delegate tasks to various team members in order to prepare the various collateral needed. But one week before the meeting, you aren’t sure which tasks have been accomplished or even started. Cue panic.

Solution

Collaboration is one of the biggest benefits of working within a team, but as a leader, it can be difficult to keep track of who is doing what and the status of current projects. Fortunately, project management tools like Taskworld help you stay organized by letting you view project metrics in real time. Taskworld also lets you store and view all documents and assignments and provide instant feedback.

Scenario 5: File transfer traffic jams

You need to send some large files to a coworker. You attach them to an email, press send, and wander off to grab another cup of coffee. Thirty minutes later, your coworker says she still hasn’t received the files. They’re still in your outbox, struggling to send.

Solution

Sharing files with co-workers can take a while, depending on the size of the data you’re transferring. SuperBeam is a file sharing app that doesn’t can quickly send, receive and upload files of any size — even entire folders. There’s is no limit to the size, type, or number of files you can send, even with the free version. It’s a big relief to see your files moving quickly, especially when you’re dealing with heavy audio or video files. Whether you regularly find yourself in any of the above scenarios or just sometimes get trapped in a time-consuming administrative task, these solutions can help you make the most of your 540 minutes every day. Sean Gordon is the CEO of Intelliverse, a global leader in sales accelerated enterprise software and managed services.