Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let Technology Be Your Time Management Coach

Curator comments: Even though this piece talks about tracking productivity, it's really about tracking time usage. Time usage, productivity, and getting needed results are not all equal.  But I wanted to bring attention to the tools of tracking time usage either via a software as suggested or a browser add-on or extension. There are many offerings - check them out on the one you prefer.  

These tools are important because building time awareness is critical to effective time management. Remember, you cannot change what you do not see!

When It Comes To Productivity, Technology Can Hurt And Help
    by Yuki Noguchi

Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. (What do you think about this statement?) There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?

Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.

But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.

Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.
"You're not getting 8 hours of productivity out of an employee, even though you may have blinders on and that's what you expect," he says. (Curator's comment: Is that humanly possible?)

Hruska is founder and CEO of RescueTime, a software firm that allows users to sign up to see where they're spending their computer time. The data he collects shows — at best — a worker is productive about five of those hours. (Productive meaning active=not the same.)

Productivity In A Shifting Workforce

I installed RescueTime on my own computer, and then awaited the results with trepidation.
I confessed to Hruska that I'm scared what I'm going to find, and wonder if it's an uncommon feeling. He says, "That is, in fact, the most common reaction that people have."
 
NPR's Yuki Noguchi tried RescueTime to measure her productivity. Here are the results.
Courtesy of Yuki Noguchi
NPR's Yuki Noguchi tried RescueTime to measure her productivity. Here are the results.With good reason, it turns out. My report said on my bestday, I was only 68 percent productive. Hruska says mere awareness of where time is spent and wasted improves typical users' productivity by 10 percent.

But productivity isn't just about saving wasted time or eliminating distraction. Increasingly, it means adapting to a workforce that's changing demographically.

The advance of tablets and Web-based computing makes it possible for more people to work remotely, but that also makes interoffice coordination a greater challenge.

Tim Bajarin is a technology analyst who says companies — from IBM and HP to smaller startups — are grappling with how to make the workplace more effective.

"The tools to make them successful in their productivity is the No. 1 IT project in any company," Bajarin says.

Read the remainder of the article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/04/30/179072692/when-it-comes-to-productivity-technology-can-hurt-and-help

Here's another tool to check out: Yast


The bigger picture: If you want to be more productive, get better results and make the most of your time, you'll want to get Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy -  Kindle - The Book - Nook Audio Book | You can bring The Seminar.  to your organization as well.