I’ve found that I function best when there’s a lot on my plate. I’m one of those “work-well-under-pressure” type of entrepreneurs. Maybe you can relate.
But there’s one thing I can’t stand: repetitive tasks. These are things that should be automated. I’m always on the hunt for tips, tricks, and tools to improve my productivity. If I can save five minutes on a daily task, it’s likely to add up to a huge ROI.
Are you looking to add an extra hour to your day? Here are 10 repetitive tasks you can make more efficient:
1. Organizing your inbox
If you’re one of the many people who use Gmail or Google Apps as their email interface, then it may be time to consider a plugin to increase your inbox efficiency.
I try to live by the general principles of Getting Things Done (GTD). I’ve read every variation in both articles and books. In a nutshell, your goal is to organize your to-do list. For me, the majority of my to-dos exist within my email — so why not boost efficiency and turn your email inbox into a GTD system?
With ActiveInbox, you can do just that by organizing tasks in the following categories: Action Items, Waiting On, Someday Tasks. ActiveInbox is my only to-do system. And the best part of this tool is that adding a personal to-do to your list is done by simply sending an email to yourself.
2. Keeping connections updated on your location
Being busy often means you’re constantly on the go. This makes informing different people of your location (or when you’ll arrive) a hectic process. But with Glympse, a person-to-person location sharing app, you can quickly share where you are, with whomever you like. This doesn’t require others to sign up or sign in — other users don’t even need to download an app.
Unlike other location sharing apps, Glympse only shares your location around a specific time interval. In fact, you can set it up to stop sharing automatically when you get to your location. If you’re attending a scheduled meeting, clicking on button will send an email or text to the attendees with a link to a Google Map showing your location.
3. Quickly texting information
Let’s face it: Texts can be time-consuming. This is why I use SwiftKey.
This input method for Android devices let’s you type in an easier, faster, and less frustrating way. Instead of touching each letter to type, you just drag your finger from letter to letter. It uses artificial intelligence technologies that enable it to predict the next work you’re going to type.
4. Settling on a time to meet
Sometimes finding a meeting time that works for a group of people can take longer than the actual meeting. But with ScheduleOnce, everyone can easily see your availability and select options for the time and duration of each meeting. Now you can avoid those productivity-killing back-and-forth emails.
5. Updating your social accounts
When it comes to managing my personal brand on social media, it’s important that I have a consistent flow of content. I’m usually strapped for time when it comes to posting to my social media accounts, so I use Buffer to help me. Buffer automatically queues content that I select and posts it at the time I choose. It’s pretty handy for when I find something interesting through aimless browsing.
6. Staying in touch with those who matter most
Skype is by far the best free video-chat software available, and almost everyone in a business setting is already using it. With Skype, I don’t have to wait to know when a coworker or colleague is available. I can get a message through quickly and know it’s been received.
7. Collecting and storing contacts
Since I don’t use business cards, I have a handy way of collecting names and information when I’m networking. I just tell people to email me, because WriteThat.Name will help me to get their information organized and saved.
This tool gathers information from the signatures of emails to sort and archive contacts automatically. Operating on cloud architecture, it only requires your email to use the service. I’ve saved hours of tedious updating through this tool.
8. Unsubscribing from emails
To me, a cluttered inbox is similar to a cluttered mind. One of my biggest distractions comes from sorting my inbox, but with Unroll.me, I can cut time spent in my inbox in half. It allows me to mass unsubscribe from lists, and organize the emails I want to receive into a single email.
9. Uploading and dispersing images
Whenever I want to quickly share an image I use Imgur. It’s a free image hosting site that requires no sign in. The link provided to you can be used in emails, IMs, and through social media.
10. Sharing other files
When you need to quickly upload and share files, Wikisend does the trick. With no login required, you can upload and share files up to 100MB.
When it comes to maximizing your time, it’s better to examine the details rather than the big processes. These are the areas where you have the greatest opportunity for becoming efficient. Use these tools to save a few minutes here and there — they add up!
What are some time-saving tools you’re currently using?
Image Credit: Thinkstock
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