Tech

What if your productivity tools make you less productive?


The earliest known form of things to do to be recorded in 1791 by Benjamin Franklin. Lists are still popular, but digital productivity tools are becoming increasingly important. In addition to Google Calendar, you can use Slack, LaunchTrello, Asana or Jira as part of your task management system.

Furthermore, many productivity tools provide features for behavioral monitoring and data collection to improve performance, including:

  • Time tracking
  • Project management
  • Delegation
  • Automation
  • User behavior analysis
  • Logging keystrokes

Additionally, AI and machine learning are being used to help improve productivity. Take as an example Calendar. It uses machine learning to analyze past data to make smart recommendations about when to schedule your next meeting. The calendar even suggests who and where to invite.

In short, these tools certainly serve a purpose.

And, better yet, they have a lot of advantages. The main fact is that these tools can aid in time and project management. For example, time tracking tools or employee monitoring software can know when and where you or your team are wasting valuable time. Knowing this can help prevent distraction and create a more realistic schedule.

As a result, there is less stress. Let’s take a look at that 70% of employees worry about stress at work. So we have stressors in our work life that can reduce our productivity. Furthermore, this can help achieve work-life balance. And while it’s not always the case, it can boost productivity, morale, and engagement.

But that’s not all. These tools can also help with everything from employee collaboration to creating estimates for customers. It is therefore not surprising that the global productivity management systems market has worth $47.33 billion by 2021. And it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8% from 2022 to 2030.

But, as with everything in life, too much can be harmful. And that’s certainly true of productivity tools. These tools can actually make you less productive.

Tools for productivity are not meant to do your work for you.

Most productivity tools do what they promise. Take Todoist as an example. In Todoist, you can organize your tasks by project and record them. Think of this as an upgraded to-do list. Besides recording and organizing your own tasks, the app allows you to share and assign tasks with others.

Here’s the thing, though. The app will not create to-do lists for you. It’s up to you. It’s like you want to up your cooking game by buying a shiny, new set of cookware. Even though you have all the right equipment, meals won’t cook on their own.

Productivity tools are like having a kitchen full of appliances but don’t know how to use them. In other words, if you don’t have motivation and determined to be productive, no tool (or app) can help you.

Search tool is not effective.

Looking for an app or tool to help you stay productive? There is an app for that. While having a variety of options isn’t intimidating, finding and dealing with the right one can be a challenge.

Also, tools with premium features make things more difficult. Why? Can’t decide whether to use an app based on the free features it offers.

Furthermore, the pursuit of better productivity tools leaves you with many options to choose from, which can be overwhelming. And you may not be satisfied with any of them.

Research have found that when people have too many choices, they tend to be more dissatisfied and regret their decisions. Therefore, spending too much time looking for productivity products will be harmful to your productivity and happiness.

There may be a learning curve for some tools.

Have you ever bought a new board game? Unfortunately, some of these games can be so detailed that there’s a complicated set of rules to go with them. As a result, you can spend most of the night learning the rules instead of actually playing the game.

It could be the same with the new productivity tools. They can take a long time to get used to – especially for more complex applications with different user interfaces. Therefore, it is possible that learning how to use a new software will take more time and energy than actually using it.

Loss of concentration related to work.

In a study done by GoTo’s, 54% of respondents reported regularly using five different computer programs at the same time. For example, during a video conference call with customers across the country, an employee can write an email, shop for clothes, text their significant other, and schedule a meeting.

More, Udemy reported in 2018 that 36% of Millennials/Gen Z spend more than two hours a day on their phones for personal purposes. Furthermore, US employees switch between 13 apps an average of 30 times per day, according to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021.

While this may seem innocent, switching back and forth between productivity tools isn’t just distracting. It also drains your energy. This is called a “context switch”. And, it is responsible for the loss of five hours per week.

In other words, many tools take up a lot of time. But, let’s be more specific.

Companies want their teams to have the best collaboration tools, apps, and devices to get work done efficiently. For this reason, most workplaces provide employees with specialized tools to meet different needs, such as messaging, conference calls, project collaboration, etc.

Each tool actually has a role. However, employees can waste Precious time. Again, this is because they are switching between too many programs, forgetting to record billable hours, or missing messages from customers if they have to sign in to too many programs.

A lot of mistakes are being made.

Continuing the previous point, employees are making mistakes that damage relationships. The reason is because of obstacles and multi-modality multitasking mentioned above. According to research by GoTo, being distracted caused 57% of respondents to email the wrong person. Additionally, 33% sent an email or conversation before they were ready, and 23% bad-mouthed someone in the conversation.

Information overload.

“Our lives and work are increasingly digital,” says Almuth McDowall, professor of organizational psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. BBC. “But it is a complicated world, and there is a information overload. Good, well-used apps can help us negotiate this. But it remains a question of whether we are really interested in becoming more productive or simply ‘doing more to appear productive.’

According to the data, employees are definitely experiencing software overload. According to a 2018 study, operations support staff switch between 35 different apps more than 1,100 times over the course of a day. In most highly industrialized countries, productivity is declining despite the wide range of applications and tools, while burnout is on the rise.

“Evidence shows that working hours and the time we spend in online meetings are increasing, so it could be that we are working harder, not smarter,” suggests McDowall. “Why don’t we manage the quality of our output better?”

There are many locations where work is being done.

Another app or tool overload problem? There is a lot of information scattered around, making it difficult to find.

Based on Research by Qatalog and Cornell University, 54% of people find it more difficult to find information using apps. Another 43% get tired of constantly changing channels and communication tools.

In other words, you may lose productivity due to add new tools into your workspace.

Skills are more important than anything else.

Aytekin Tank, Founder and CEO of Jotform. “Implement it with top technical training. And yes, its employees go crazy… When using the software. “However, it does not always increase productivity.

Personal productivity makes no difference. “The smartest application in the world won’t make a blinding difference if you don’t have an existing framework to support it,” he added.

“You need to know where to mine.”

First, consider the methodology. Then, says Tank, you can decide what tools you need — if any.

You can find where your workflow has holes by eliminating it down to the essentials. For example, the following strategies can be helpful instead of wondering which apps or productivity tools to download:

  • Reduce. Humans are not good at estimating time. As such, don’t give yourself more time but less. In this way, you can distinguish between urgent and filling tasks.
  • Evaluate. YYou will be most alert and productive if you work with your body clock. Once you’re up to speed, work on a well-timed, focused sprint. Tracking your progress and setting boundaries will also be easier with this approach.
  • Eliminate. Instead of Have a never-ending to-do list, focusing only on the tasks that will have the most impact.

When it comes to productivity, there are no magic bullets,” added Tank. “The latest tool or application will only enhance what is already there, which is why you need to create a well-lubricated system.”

Originally published on Calendar. Read here.

Featured image credit: Photo by Canva Studio; Bark; Thank you!

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