I have always said that there is a clear difference between being busy and acting busy. You see the thing is, if you are just busy without actually being productive, that is not of much help. To battle this, there are many productive tools you can use to increase your output. The problem however is they cost money. Let’s check out some that don’t. So, what are some free productive tools for business improvement? As it turns out there are quite a few.
You can use Clockify for time management. Good organization will help in staying ahead of tasks thanks to services like Google Drive and LastPass. Some music also helps.
But these are just tools. What it comes down to most is how you use them. If you are not making proper use of these tools, then it is the same as not using them at all. I will go in-depth in how you can use these to increase your productivity and get business success. There are some other specific things you can do as well. Let’s get started then.
It is common sense that the more productive you are the more you will get done. That too in a shorter period of time. What might take others a couple of hours, you can do it in just one or maybe two hours.
For that, you will need to set your priorities straight and be disciplined. That is one of the major things you need to fix. And let's be honest here, no tool will help you do this. Yes, some tools can help you aid in it but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you.
Having said that, here are some things you can do (and some tools you can use) to increase your productivity for business improvement and personal development.
Better Time Management
I do not recall where I heard it, but another one of my favorite sayings is "no amount of money ever bought a single second of time”. If you think about it, those are some heavy words. Time is one of the most valuable assets you have at your disposal.
The better you use it the more success and improvement you will see. It is as simple as that. Time management is easier said than done though. It takes a lot of personal discipline and some helpful tools to truly master it.
Luckily, there is a very helpful program you can use. Meet Clockify. It is a very intuitive, yet effectively powerful timesheet and time tracking app that lets you take control of your time.
The best part about it is you can use it to manage a whole team and projects as well. It isn’t just another generic personal time management app.
There is a cool feature like billable time tracking, detailed reporting, time tracker via timers and project-specific time tracking tools. Pretty nifty if you ask me. Click here to check it out.
Organizing your work and personal life is one of the secret sauces to higher productivity. If you are a naturally organized person, you will save way more time by reducing unnecessary time searching for stuff. You will know exactly where things are and be more productive as a result. There are two types of must-use free organization tools you need to be using.
It is safe to say when running a business you will need to be working with a lot of different files. That is where organizing is key. Imagine if you needed to find each file by checking each folder on your computer? How much time would that waste? The answer is, a lot.
What you can do instead is use cloud storage to store all important files in neat folders. You can label them according to what they are.
Now you would ask yourself why to store them on the cloud when you can just organize them in your computer. Well, you can do that but the problem is you will not be able to share it easily.
If you have all the files you and others need in a single place that everyone can access through their devices, it not only makes things much easier for everyone in your team but also helps reduce downtime.
You do not need to waste time sending them via email anymore. Whatever anyone would need, they can just get it from the cloud storage platform. One such fantastic cloud storage is Google Drive – you may have heard about it.
Yes, that was sarcasm. Everyone has heard about Google Drive. It is one of the best tools you can use for organizing your files and the best part is it is also free. You get limited storage for the free version.
At start, you will have 15GB of space available to you, which if you think about it is not too bad for work documents. Check out Google Drive here
Businesses have to deal with a lot of confidential data. It may include company financial reports, future projects, competitor analysis and more. There can be private information on company growth strategy and whatnot. My point being, a business has a lot of classified data that they want to protect.
Responsible entrepreneurs will always keep these documents and whatever confidential things about their business, projects, teams and employees under password protection. But best password practice tells you not to use the same password for everything – and that is true.
Given how many accounts a company might have, not to mention your personal accounts, remembering all the passwords can be a hassle. Plus, it also wastes a lot of time entering each password when you want to log in.
You can use password managers like LastPass to deal with the hassle of passwords easily. It is the world’s number one password manager with the features and security. You can choose from different plans according to your needs.
LastPass works cross-platform as well. That adds to its convenience. Check them out here.
Here is an interesting one. There have been numerous studies done on listening to music during work. The findings? One study found that the quality of work increased and the workers were also happier.
So, if you have already been listening to tunes while you work, you are on the right track. The point to note here is what kind of music you listen to. The best is to listen to instrumentals. Music with vocals can be distracting (when you are working that is).
For free work music, why not visit a site you probably spend a lot of time on anyway – YouTube. Yep, YouTube is free and is full of quality music you can listen to while working.
Jellyficient is one of the better channels on the site for quality work music. Click here to visit the channel.
Lastly, I would like to include some small tips you can use to help you be more productive. Apart from the tools I mentioned, these tips will improve your workday quite a lot.
Taking breaks will help you refresh your mind. You can follow the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer for 25 mins and work with complete focus. Then take a 5-minute break. Repeat this process.
After 3 or 4 sessions you can take a long break of 15 minutes.
When you are working minimize all distractions. This includes checking social media, chatting with friends and colleagues (except when needed, of course). You will be more focused on the task at hand.
Tackle the Hardest Task First
Doing your most difficult task first and early in the morning will free you up for the smaller ones later in the day. It builds momentum. Often you will find that starting is the hardest part. When you start with the hardest things first, you are setting yourself up for success.
There you have it. These free productivity tools for business improvement and tips will help you get more done in the same amount of time. Be self-disciplined and find the motivation. Think about why it is that you are doing whatever it is you are doing.
That is one of the best ways to keep on moving forward and improving yourself and growing your business.