Much like creativity, productivity is not something that we can always guarantee. Our performance depends on the alignment of a host of different psychological, physiological and environmental factors which are constantly in flux. But it is within our power to create the right conditions for it. Here are just six productivity hacks that use the power of automation to remove low-value shallow work – freeing up more time and energy for deep thinking and problem solving.
1. Scheduling meetings
Aside from sinking around 15.5 hours of your working week, meetings introduce a whole load of scheduling admin into your day. But a poorly chosen meeting time can also completely carve up your day, limiting the space you have available for undisturbed deep concentration. Thankfully smart tech can now outsource the whole slog – intelligently finding the optimum time for meetings based on participant calendars, and handling all scheduling back-and-forth.
2. Managing “Do Not Disturb”
Our digital workspaces are saturated with distractions, from chat app pings to email and document notifications. “Do Not Disturb” mode is a great feature for blocking all that out when you want to concentrate, but enabling it and updating your status across apps introduces an additional step on the way to deep work. Rather brilliantly, AI can now do this for you by learning your productive patterns and automatically blocking distractions across your devices whenever you enter a flow state. Once it sees you’re ending your deep work session, it can also restore your open status and update you on anything you missed.
3. Tracking time
Accurate time data is essential for analyzing your productive performance, as well as being a basic requirement for most modern businesses. But using manual methods can cost you two hours of each week and introduce expensive inaccuracies into your time records. Automating your time trackingensures you get a complete record of your work day without compromising your productivity. Free of manual timers, note taking and constant interruption, you can focus fully on your important work and know that everything will be captured.
4. Taking notes
Note taking makes a huge amount of sense when you’re attending a conference, lecture or meeting, but as a process it’s pretty unproductive. Focusing on writing things down can inhibit your ability to actually listen, reflect and be fully present on what’s being said. With natural language processing, AI can now handle this information capture for you – listening to calls and conversations andtranslating audio into text notes for you.
5. Managing email
The average worker spends about 23% of each day checking, reading and replying to emails – time which could instead be spent working on something that actually impacts your long-term goals. Until email can be wound down completely, streamlining it makes a tremendous deal of sense. AI can help to this end by ranking your messages by importance, effectivelyfiltering your inbox so you only focus on what’s actually important. It ensures you don’t get bogged down or side-tracked by new low-value requests.