In the summertime, productivity can be a challenge. PTO requests pile up and staff look longingly out the window dreaming of splashing in crystal blue waters. Here are some easy tips to stay on top of tasks--even when you're taking vacation.
While summer can be ideal to schedule much needed downtime, it is important to take some measures to make sure overall productivity doesn't slide.
Here are PTG's top recommendations for avoiding that cruel summer slowdown.
Use Your Phone to Schedule Focus Time During the Day
Many productivity issues stem from a lack of focus. Fortunately, we all carry devices in our pockets that can be our greatest asset or our biggest distraction. Try setting your phone to DND at predetermined times to be present in the moment.
On an Android, Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Do not disturb and tap Priority only allows...then choose what interruptions you'd like to still receive.
On iOS, Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. You turn it on or off manually, or select a schedule. Not Disturb manually or set a schedule. Open Control Center, deeply press the crescent moon icon to adjust Do Not Disturb settings.
You may want to use these settings in conjunction with a technique like Pomodoro to make sure you schedule time to accomplish what needs to get done.
Commit to Moving Those Work Files to the Cloud
If you're like most people, you probably have work-related docs on your desktop that should be moved to a more accessible location. The beauty of cloud storage is that it frees your files from the prison of being on only one device.
Migrating those spreadsheets and presentations to OneDrive, for example, will allow you to open and work on them anywhere -- even that hammock by the beach.
Use Teams or GoToMeeting to Hold Remote Meetings
We love Teams because when we have "all hands" meetings -- we don't have to be in the same room, or even the same state. According to statistics gathered by wainhouse research, 94% of businesses that utilize video conferencing say it increases productivity.
Anyone who's ever lost an afternoon in a seemingly endless email back and forth, should consider backing off the inbox and sending out a Teams meeting invite instead. It works great on mobile too!
Use Microsoft To-Do to Manage Flagged Emails
You can open and deal with flagged emails directly in Microsoft To-Do if you're using an email account hosted by Microsoft.
When enabled, Microsoft To-Do will automatically convert up to ten flagged emails from the last two weeks into tasks. Future flagged mail will be converted to tasks as well.
This will make sure important action items don't slip through the cracks when you're traveling and not checking email as frequently.
Use Data from My Analytics to Set Smart Boundaries
My Analytics tracks your usage in Office 365 to give you insights into how your day is spent and what times are most productive.
The My Analytics Focus page will show how much time you typically spend on focused tasks vs. collaboration. Use this data to advise against unnecessary meetings, or to let people know the best times to reach you.
Start to schedule focus or rest time on your calendar, in addition to meetings and calls.
If you're going to be OOO for a few days, let your clients and coworkers know, so that pressing business can be scheduled before you leave.
Bonus Tip! Set "Do Not Disturb" in the Teams App
If you're going to be remote for the day, in the air or on the road, set your "Do Not Disturb" in Teams on your mobile device.
This should keep people from sending you important messages during periods you aren't online and checking the app.
Good productivity requires forward-thinking and smart scheduling. Leverage the power of the technology already available to you in order to stay on top of things during summer vacation season.
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