Published on November 23, 2015
Ever felt like you spend so much time working that you forgot what a full day’s rest feels like?
Well, that’s probably because you are not making use of the many technological advances that can help you save time. Trust me when I say that work-life balance is much more achievable now, than it was ever before.
It is time you seriously consider updating yourself, both in personal and professional life, given that there are a gazillion apps and softwares to help you use time judiciously, and have it all.
Plus, just imagine how happy your boss is gonna be if you finish a task in half it’s allotted time.
Here’s a few great ways in which you can use technology to save time.
1. Use automation
Automation is not only time-saving, it is cost-cutting as well. You can pay bills, schedule meetings, market online and more, with just a few clicks.
Concepts like social media automation and networking automation are being applied in businesses, now more than ever. Infact, for marketers there are a number of convenient options like scheduled social media posts and automated messages every time a customer drops their cart.
But there are other few simple ways to use automation to save time and improve your efficiency.
Saved templates and messages – The idea of using pre-written and saved email and text messages, like congratulatory emails or welcome emails, which you can send without thinking twice.
Reminders – Not only are there timely reminders, but there are also location-based reminders, meaning you can ask your phone to remind you to pick up something once you are at the location.
Scheduled emails – You can draft an email, save it and schedule it to be sent later so that the mail is fresh in your onshore clients’ inbox.
2. Use webinars to train employees
As businesses grow, so does the work force; but every time there is a new employee or a team member, you have to go through the knowledge transfer/training sessions. This can be very time consuming. A smart way to handle these tasks is by using webinars.
Instead you can, organise a one time webinar; you will not only reach out to multiple employees at once, but you can record it and re use it the next time you need to conduct a training session.
Besides saving time and money, webinars come with features like call to action, polls, chat box etc which can make the presentation very interactive.
Plus, webinars still have a human touch to them. WebEx is one great way to organise such events.
3. Use collaboration and data organization tools
Be it a startup or a huge MNC, all the work is done in teams, and when working in teams – effective collaboration is essential. To accomplish just that there are a number of tools out there.
Did you ever have to rework on document because you didn’t get the updates on time or your colleague forgot to notify you?
Well that’s why collaboration using technology is important. Realising the need for such tools, I designed a tool called Hiver, enables collaboration on Gmail through shared labels.
Keeping data organized is equally important. For example, you can label every email you get from customer support as ‘Customer Support’ and all the relevant emails will be stored in one folder. See how much time this can save?
Keep in mind these symptoms for lack of collaboration and organization:
4. Organize meetings online
It’s all well and good to have face-to-face meetings, but with today’s traffic and time constraints, everyone understands that flying or driving all the way to their office just to meet them is an impractical option.
There are many already famous tools to organise these meetings just as effectively, like Skype and Google Hangouts. How awesome is it that all you need is just a good internet connection and smartphone/laptop.
Infact, why not take this online meeting a step further and use it for in-office meetings with co-workers as well – saves you and your fellow attendees the trouble to book a meeting room in advance and walk all the way across the campus to have a small chat.
Surely, Every minute counts!
5. Use productivity apps to improve your efficiency
Life hacking to improve productivity, fight against procrastination, and self-organization is all the rage now. Some amazing apps like Rescuetime can actually track your online activity and give you a report on which websites you spend most time. I am sure this will be a good way to keep a tab on all the time that we spend on memes eh!
Also using apps like Chase to pay bills, lend money to friends can cut a lot tediousness out of the day.
6. Outsource work when needed
Companies are still reluctant to outsource work even though there are a number of outsource solutions.
Instead of self-learning your way into data mining, which is time-consuming and probably not mistakes-free, why not outsource the work to a data mining company; that way you get more time to focus on your core activities where you actually specialize.
Here are some advantages of outsourcing work:
Finally, Don’t go all humans vs machines! The technology out there, if utilized well can help you lead a productive personal and professional life. You must push yourself to integrate technology into your everyday routine. Next time you wanna call home, why don’t you ask Siri to dial for you?
Author – Niraj Ranjan Rout
Niraj is the founder of Hiver (formerly GrexIt), an app the lets you share Gmail labels with other Gmail users. Niraj works on programming, customer support and sales, and also contributes to design and UI. He’s a fusion music aficionado, loves to play the guitar when he can.