Workplace Productivity

The best tools and tips – Productivity Article

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You sit down ready to power through a task, study for an exam, or do important research. But before you can even start… you suddenly find yourself scrolling through Facebook or an hour deep into a YouTube rabbit hole. It’s disheartening to feel like you’re not in control of your own actions.Yet it’s impossible to avoid the websites, apps, and online products that feed on our focus. This is why you need a website blocker.In…

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What happened when I turned on every site & app notification for a month – Productivity Article

In my defense, it seemed like a good idea at the time. For almost a month, I decided to ignore my carefully curated and productive settings and turn on all the notifications—every single one—to see what happens.It would be like the movie Yes Man where Jim Carrey agrees to everything that comes his way. Except instead of exciting opportunities, I’d only be receiving notifications. All the notifications. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re reasonably concerned with your productivity. As such, you…

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What it is and who it is (and isn’t) for – Productivity Article

If there’s one issue that’s managed to pull the entire tech community together it’s screen time.With report after report (after report) connecting screen time to everything from poor sleep, to depression and lower cognitive abilities, every major company has rushed to implement their own solution.  Apple’s Screen Time is the latest addition to this foray into digital wellness. First launched on iOS, Screen Time for MacOS displays your app usage and lets you set time limits and controls. It’s an exciting move…

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How to get more done in 2 hours than most people do in a day – Productivity Article

“It doesn’t matter how long I work for, I never feel like I do enough.”If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone. Despite our workdays getting longer, we seem to be doing less. But why is that?To understand what’s getting in the way of getting things done, all you have to do is think through a typical workday. If you’re anything like me, your days look something like this:You start full of energy, go through your to-do list and…

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The simplest 4-step program for more productive days – Productivity Article

We’ve all done some crazy things in the name of productivity. Get up at 5 am? Check. Cold showers? Check. Meticulously schedule every moment of the day? Check. (Someone even once hired another person to slap them whenever they got distracted!) We can’t help but want to get more done. Our days are a hectic mess of meetings, calls, tasks, and deadlines. Yet it’s not like our workloads have changed to accommodate this increased pace.It’s no wonder that when we interviewed…

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How to increase the value of your time 5–10X – Productivity Article

How much is my time worth? It’s a seemingly simple question with a complex answer.Is the value of your time your hourly wage? A percentage of your annual salary? Or something completely different?While you might be able to peg a dollar amount to each hour of your workday, that isn’t the only way to value your time. In fact, we’d argue that what’s more important is the opportunity cost of that time.  Every use of your time is a trade-off. What…

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New to remote work? Here are the 5 things you need to stay productive – Productivity Article

Read the headlines about the rise of remote work and you’d think it’s all rainbows and sunshine. Remote workers have full control of their schedules and can sleep in until noon (if they want to). Remote workers save money and are more productive by working from home. They’re even apparently healthier than their office-bound brethren.But these preconceptions about remote work (many written by those who don’t work remotely) are often only one side of the story. The truth is that working…

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The RescueTime Guide to Productivity in the Workplace [2020 Update] – Productivity Article

There are countless articles out there claiming to know the secrets of how to become more productive. But what they don’t tell you is that productivity at work really comes down to just one simple rule: “Spend more time on the right work.” Yet while this sounds easy, nearly 75% of people still say they get to the end of the workday and wonder “did I accomplish anything today?”So what goes wrong? The problem isn’t that they’re untalented, lazy, or lack willpower. It’s…

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What to do when you’re feeling unmotivated and uninspired at work – Productivity Article

“I have no motivation today.” Hands up if you’ve ever texted that to a friend or partner during the workweek. (*Gazes out into a sea of raised hands*) It’s completely normal to feel unmotivated at times, especially about work.Maybe there’s a task you’ve been ducking for weeks or a new project that’s taken the wind out of your sails. Whatever the cause, it can be downright impossible to get things done when those feelings hit.And that’s OK. Almost everyone struggles with feeling…

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Master these 5 productivity fundamentals before you try another “hack” – Productivity Article

If you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet that you want to be more productive. After all, using apps like RescueTime has a clear benefit on your productivity. However, productivity tools, tricks, and hacks are only a small part of a much bigger story. Productivity fundamentals like your health, lifestyle, and work environment contribute more to your focus, energy levels, and overall productivity than any tool or hack. Yet most of us don’t examine these factors with the same detail. That’s because…

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How to set boundaries around work email with your out of office & more – Productivity Article

I don’t care what anyone says, email isn’t dead. Despite chat and video conferencing apps like Slack, Teams, and Zoom promising to rid us of the tyranny of the inbox, email use hasn’t declined. In fact, when we conducted research for a recent Vox article, we found that people are spending almost the same amount of time on messaging as they did 6 years ago!Keeping up with communication has become a full-time job, leaving us with little time to do the…

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Why you never feel like you’ve done “enough” – Productivity Article

You sit down at your desk in the morning, crack your knuckles, and prepare yourself to be seriously productive. You crank up your favorite Spotify playlist, fire up your laptop, and grab a cup of coffee, ready to kick some serious butt and take everyone’s name. But then… things don’t go as planned.You get interrupted by coworkers. Your inbox explodes. Slack notifications, text messages, and voicemails pour in throughout the day. You hit collaboration overload and by 5:30, you’ve made a…

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How the 2-minute rule can help you save hours a week – RescueTime Blog – Productivity Article

If you’re interested in personal productivity, you have more than likely at least heard of Getting Things Done (GTD)—the productivity system designed to move every task, idea, and project that’s currently in your head (where they’re prone to stressing you out and bubbling up when you’re trying to focus) into an organized outside system.While the entire GTD system is worth diving into, it contains one often overlooked strategy that can massively improve your productivity, focus, and time management: The 2-minute…

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Here’s how to optimize your email time every day – Productivity Article

How much time do you spend a day on email? 30 minutes? An hour? Two? Take a second and write down a number that feels right to you. Ready? Ok. Here’s the bad news. If you wrote less than 2 hours, you’re most likely kidding yourself.According to a recent study by Adobe, workers spend on average 2.5 hours a day dealing with their inbox. In our own study of 225 million hours of work time, we found that 76% of…

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How to be Productive All Day, Every Day – Productivity Article

Most of us have really productive days once in a while. We might even string a few together or even get an entire week of productivity. But when it comes to how to be productive on a consistent basis? That’s a whole other question.We’ve all faced moments where our productivity slips. Something happens or our routine changes and all of a sudden we feel defeated, frustrated, and angry that what was working so well suddenly stopped.So what do we do?…

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How “Productivity Cycles” automate your effort for weeks, months & years – Productivity Article

While many jobs follow some sort of seasonality, knowledge work doesn’t.There’s no slow season when you’re building a company, designing apps, or developing software. But placing that same expectation for nonstop growth and output on yourself is a recipe for burnout. There’s no slow season when you’re building a company, designing apps, or developing software. But placing the same expectation for nonstop growth and output on yourself is a recipe for burnout. Click To TweetAs we’ve written in the past,…

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How to deal with an indecisive teammate or boss – Productivity Article

“I don’t know… let’s think about it and circle back next week…” If you haven’t been in a meeting that ended like this then count yourself lucky. For the other 99.9% of people working in collaborative environments, indecision is a regular (and annoying) part of the workday. For more reasons than we can get into, committing to a choice is often harder than it needs to be.Unfortunately, being indecisive isn’t just some minor annoyance. Indecision slows down projects, kills contracts,…

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5 Science-Backed Ways to Get Over the Dreaded Afternoon Slump – Productivity Article

There’s no denying the reality of the afternoon slump. Even the most motivated people can find themselves extremely tired by midday. And whether it’s due to a lack of sleep or a heavy lunch doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that it’s impacting your ability to get things done.As we’ve written in the past, there are all sorts of factors that contribute to our energy, motivation, and focus throughout the day. And knowing what to do when you feel…

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Feeling unproductive? Try this 2-step plan to get back on track – Productivity Article

It seems like there’s no greater shame in the modern workplace than being unproductive. With more expectations, more emails, and more meetings, it’s more important than ever to protect your focus and be able to spend time on meaningful work.But, as we’ve written before, being consistently productive is no easy task. We all slip from time to time. And rather than try and buckle down and work more, breaking out of an unproductive funk means taking some specific actions.If you’re feeling…

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The downsides of downtime during the workday – Productivity Article

With the popularity of entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk and the rise of hustle culture, it feels like everyone is working more hours than ever—and struggling as a result. As we’ve written in the past, overwork leads to all sorts of problems including impaired sleep, heavy drinking, and depression.But too much work isn’t the only issue. There’s another (very different) challenge that’s increasingly affecting today’s workforce: downtime.No, we’re not talking about taking time off (which is one of the best things…

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Is offloading memory worth the interruptions? – Productivity Article

Ever since we’ve had things to remember, we’ve set reminders. Whether it’s the ding of an app or a string tied around your finger, memory devices help offload our need to remember everything all the time.But there’s a downside to all those reminders. When you outsource your memory to other devices, you’re not only helping relieve the stress of remembering. But also adding to it.Let’s say you’re settling into the flow of a project when Ding! A calendar notification pops up…

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24 Google Calendar Settings to Turn it from Chaotic to Calming – Productivity Article

There are few workday tools people use more than their calendars. Tools like Google Calendar act as a gatekeeper for your attention—broadcasting when you’re available or when you’re busy.In fact, one of the most common pieces of advice we hear from time management experts is to schedule every aspect of your day. As ‘America’s organizing queen’ Julie Morgenstern, told us:“A to-do that isn’t connected to a ‘when’ rarely gets done. So don’t have a separate to-do list from your calendar.…

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Expert Advice For When You’re Overwhelmed – Productivity Article

We all go through periods of feeling lost, confused, and overwhelmed at work. And who wouldn’t want an expert or trusted friend to pop in at that very moment and right the course?Unfortunately, few of us get that kind of personalized attention. Instead, we continue to make many of the same mistakes over and over. But what if it didn’t have to be this way?This got us thinking about a specific question: What would the experts tell you if they…

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Context switching is killing your productivity (here’s what to do about it) – Productivity Article

Most people wear a lot of hats every day. Your title might be “senior developer” but you’re also “pseudo-project manager,” “part-time designer” and “chief of inbox relations.” In our own research, we found that software developers spend just 41% of their time each day doing… well, software development.Yet, the problem isn’t just that we wear many hats, but that we try to wear them all at once.Most of us spend our days jumping between tasks and tools. In fact, one study found most…

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Distracted? Overwhelmed? Use this method to fight workplace distractions – Productivity Article

If you feel like your attention is being pulled in a million directions each day, you’re not alone. In fact, our research found that only 10% of people say they feel in control of how they spend their days. From emails to chat, notifications and all the other workplace distractions, it’s surprising we have any time for focused work.Yet, while it’s easy to place the blame on the pings and dings of apps and tool, they’re only part of the…

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How to manage your emails and master your inbox – Productivity Article

Does the mere sight of your inbox cause you to sweat? You’re not alone. In 2017, technology research firm The Radicati Group estimated 132 billion business emails are being sent per day!Most people deal with some form of email overload. In fact, when we looked at the communication patterns of 50,000+ RescueTime users, we found that most people check their inbox or chat app every 6 minutes.Yet despite being one of the most commonly used workplace tools, few people think…

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How employee monitoring software backfires – Productivity Article

It’s increasingly common for companies to use employee monitoring software to track their team when they’re on the clock. And on some level, it makes sense. When your employees know you’re watching them, it could mean they waste less time and are more productive. But is that actually the case?Unfortunately, not. Numerous studies indicate that trust is a substantial factor in employee productivity. But how can your team feel trusted when you’ve got eyes on them 24/7?There’s a delicate balance between…

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We asked 700+ workers how to write a professional email – Productivity Article

Despite being one of the main things we spend our time on, few people are ever taught how to email. And you can probably tell.While some people shoot from the hip with reckless ‘reply all’s’ and a lack of formal language, other emails sound like letters from the frontline of WWI. (Dearest X, I hope my email finds you well. It has been a fortnight and I still have not received your latest status report…)Language aside, what’s often worse than…

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5 team communication strategies for better collaboration – Productivity Article

Like every healthy relationship, your team lives and dies by its ability to communicate. Open and effective team communication keeps projects moving, co-workers happy, and ideas flowing. But there’s a dark side to team communication not too many people talk about. Over the past decade, time spent on communication tools like Slack, Zoom, and Teams has skyrocketed by 50% or more. And while more communication sounds like a good idea, it quickly eats into what little time we have to focus…

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The worst workplace distractions aren’t your phone, email, or social media – Productivity Article

“Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook,” wrote psychologist William James. Unfortunately, if this is the case then few of us can honestly say we’re wise. Knowing where to allocate our attention has become the great challenge of our lives. And we’re not making it any easier by exposing ourselves to so many distractions. Many of us fight distraction every day without really examining what’s distracting us and why. But if we want to focus on meaningful, productive…

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