7 Tips for Professionals to Stay Productive On-The-Go
October 4, 2012
This is a guest blog post by Innovatively Organized.
It can be hectic working on-the-go! According to Gist, the mobile workforce is growing. In fact, “32% of employees globally now rely on more than one mobile device during the typical workday.”
From processing emails on your mobile device to working out of your car to attending countless meetings, sometimes it can feel like you are wasting time instead of working efficiently. The good news? There are solutions out there to help you feel productive and not just busy.
Here are seven tips to help you save time while working on-the-go:
1. Create an “End of Day” folder in your email. When you are running between meetings throughout the day, important tasks can get buried in your email inbox. To help you prioritize what tasks must get completed by the end of the day, create an “End of Day” folder. Then make it a habit to move emails into this folder from your mobile device during the day. Before you sign off for the day, empty that folder to ensure nothing gets pushed off too far. The same principle can be applied to an “End of Week” folder.
2. Add locations to your task list. It may sound like an unnecessary extra step, but when you’re moving from place to place it can be extremely helpful to sort your task list by where you plan on completing the task. Then, you can batch tasks together accordingly and tackle them at each location such as: home office, work office, during flight, etc. Some online to-do apps such as Toodledo and TeuxDeux even already have the location functionality built into them.
3. Ensure your mobile devices are syncing properly. The key here is to test, test and test again. It may seem like a hassle to set up when you first purchase your mobile device, but it will save you time in the long run. Make sure your calendar, email, task list, contacts and documents are all syncing correctly.
4. Include buffer time in your schedule. The next time you schedule your day, try adding an extra 15-20 minutes between appointments to account for travel delays or longer than anticipated meetings. Apply the same concept to completing tasks. Leave buffer time for tasks so that when things do not go according to plan or you get interrupted you won’t be annoyed or scrambling to meet a deadline.
5. Store documents in the cloud for easy access. Long gone are the days of emailing attached documents to yourself or saving files on a USB drive to transport. Now, storing documents in the cloud allows busy professionals to access files from a variety of devices. Some of our favorite cloud services for document storage are Dropbox and Microsoft SkyDrive.
6. Go paperless. When you are constantly on-the-go, space is limited and piles of paper usually don’t make the cut. Invest in a portable scanner such as the ScanSnap S1300 or TurboScan for your iPhone to quickly upload notes, meeting agendas and business cards to your desktop or virtual notebook.
7. Maintain a “while you’re waiting” task list. Inevitably, you will experience awkward amounts of time when you’re waiting for your next appointment or sitting in your car. Keep an ongoing list of small tasks you can complete while you’re waiting (e.g. writing thank you notes, making phone calls, or reading an industry newsletter). Depending how much time you spend in the car, a mobile desk might be a good option for you too.
How do you stay productive when you’re on the go? What other tips do you have for busy professionals?
Innovatively Organized is a productivity consulting firm that helps over-extended executives and teams of small and medium sized businesses become more effective.