3 Productivity Tips that Actually Kill Productivity

We hear productivity tips all of the time, but which ones are useful and which ones simply need to be thrown out?

Zero Messages in Your Inbox

There are oodles of tips on how to stay on top of your inbox. Merlin Mann introduced a popular one: Inbox Zero, the practice of emptying your inbox every day. But, does this really save you time?

Let’s paint a different picture. An employee receives hundreds of messages everyday and doesn’t delete any of them. She remembers the important ones, and if she needs to find one later, she simply searches for it. There’s no wasting time deleting and sorting messages. All messages are archived and searchable.

This is essentially how it works on an enterprise social network. You don’t have to delete any messages, and again, all messages are saved and searchable.

Now here’s the real benefit to doing it this way. A McKinsey report estimates that moving 30 percent of time spent on email to a social collaboration platform would free up 8 percent of the workweek for more productive activities. Take for example a project manager who’s receiving hundreds of questions via email. Instead of responding to each email, the employee posts the answers on an internal social network so everyone knows what’s going on. The collaboration platform reduces time spent on follow-up emails, deleting emails, and overall email traffic.

Restricting the Use of Social Media Sites

The top two reasons companies monitor or restrict the use of external social media in the workplace are security and productivity concerns. But, more companies are allowing their employees to use social media. (Only 10 percent of companies monitor their employees use of sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites.)

What may come as a surprise is that workplace productivity has increased as a result of employees using social media. 46% of employees say their productivity increases, 47% use social media for communicating with customers and clients and 36% percent use it for growing their professional network.

“Banning access to social media from the corporate network is futile,” said Gartner’s Vice President Carol Rozwell. “The world we live in is digitally enabled and socially connected.”

Eliminating Meetings

It’s all too common: employees complain that they can’t get enough done because they’re stuck in too many meetings. But, eliminating meetings is not the solution. Rather, the goal should be to increase the value of those meetings. President of Heinz Marketing Matt Heinz provides some good tips on how to make meetings more productive.

But, what about ad hoc meetings? Should those be eliminated as well? Ad hoc meetings are for a specific purpose, to address an immediate need. The focus should be on the word immediate, or instant. Let’s say you need to have a webinar with a colleague to look at a few urgent issues with your website. Just setting up the meeting could involve multiple steps: creating an email or calendar invite, copying and pasting some webinar information, logging in, adding all the codes and so forth.

With tibbr, an enterprise social network, you can one-click start a meeting with your platform of choice (WebEx, Skype or Google Hangouts), add the right people and you’re set to go. Because tibbr integrates these platforms into one intuitive interface, you don’t have to toggle back and forth between applications (WebEx, email, calendar and so forth) to start your meeting.

As much as we try to master our to-do lists and prioritize our time, sometimes it’s just the technology that speeds up the ways we work. Try tibbr, the social network for work that connects all of the people, resources and apps you need to get work done faster.