Is mobile computing good for productivity? Writing for Technology Review, Jessica Leber posed this question to underscore the disruption that mobile computing can bring in the guise of increasing productivity. To illustrate how things can get out of hand, Leber wrote of how a quarter of executives admit to having slept with a smartphone, and how programs designed to reduce the hours with email access resulted in a measurable increase in productivity.
As a long-time smartphone and tablet user, I will be first to agree that mobile computing does not automatically result in greater productivity. Certainly, there will be times when a timely response can move a deal or discussion forward that much faster. Unfortunately, this is just as often overshadowed by the numerous times when unimportant messages slip through to distract you from the task at hand.
With this in mind, I outlined three simple methods that you can use to increase your productivity at work.
When working at the computer, you may want to consider setting up blocks of time where you simply close your email client. I've found this to be the best way to reduce interruptions caused by the endless stream of email messages on certain days. Another related method may be to arrive at the office earlier than your colleagues, and take advantage of the solitude to get a good head start on your day.
Finally, workers who spend the majority of their time at their workstation may want to consider installing time-tracking software such as RescueTime, which is available in free and paid flavors. In general, time trackers allows you to figure out if you've been spending too much time using a particular app that isn't work-related, or surfing far too much on social networking sites for the day. You can read more on the use of RescueTime in my earlier post on <strong>using time tracking to</strong> <strong>increase employee efficiency</strong>.
Do you have any tips to help increase productivity at work? Feel free to contribute what works for you in the comments section below.