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7 simple ways to immediately boost your productivity

Posting in Technology

At this site, we talk a lot about the productivity technology enables. However, technology also can be the ultimate productivity killer as well. The key is to use technology judiciously as a productivity tool.

Pulling all the pieces together, 50 minutes at a time. Photo: Joe McKendrick

Erin Schulte recently gathered suggestions from some of the most productive Fast Company subscribers on what single acts help them best boost productivity, and several are listed below. As as you'll see in some of the points in the list, technology is both a hindrance and an enabler:

  1. Only read each email once: Employ the OHIO principal -- "only handle it once."
  2. Cut down to social media: It probably goes without saying, but social media can be addictive, and keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social networks can really eat up a lot of your day. Try to stick with the network that delivers the most value.
  3. "Never enter the kitchen empty-handed": This lesson from the restaurant business makes the point that as you move back and forth throughout the day, save some trips by bringing along used dishes and new orders as you go. "Kill two (or better yet a flock) birds with one stone."
  4. Follow the "50/10" rule: Work for 50 minutes, rest for 10.
  5. Set a 'cut-off' time, for each task, and stick to it: This is especially relevant for settling emails and moving onto more important things.
  6. Make sharing easier: "One word for a more productive year: Dropbox" -- the cloud-based file-sharing service. Google Apps is another example of a ubiquitous service that's accessible to all.
  7. Focus on the big picture: Take on a big, incredible challenge -- it will focus you like nothing else can. And focus is the greatest productivity force on earth.

— By on January 5, 2013, 8:10 AM PST

Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure