The number of hours spent in the office is not an indicator of the work efficiency. It’s about how well you utilize the work hours to improve the productivity. In a majority of the cases, lower productivity is mainly due to distractions and lack of proper planning. This leads to accumulation of work. No matter how much you work, it looks like there is always so much work pending. There are several ways to be more productive at work.

No matter what job you do, no matter how small or big an office you work in, it is always important to learn to segment the work, prioritize and craft a schedule. Multi-tasking is good but not always. Take up one task at a time and give it your undivided attention. A little stress is good. It can keep you running all the time. Incorporating ways to tackle daily office stress and maintaining a perfect work-life balance can also enhance your productivity a great deal.

Though offices and work streams vary widely in terms of the kind of tools you would be working with, there are some that have managed to establish themselves as multipurpose tools valid across different kinds of work. These are the ones that you should start mastering to improve your productivity at work. Let’s look at the usual suspects: –

Microsoft Word

Irrespective of what field of work you’re in, you are quite likely to encounter the blue color of Microsoft’s universally accepted word processing software that’s the gold standard for document creation and management. Word has several productivity features built in, such as the clipboard, which allows for easy copying of rich text and media between documents, and in-built formatting templates to quick-format entire documents in one go. Another highlight feature of Word is its collaboration abilities, where it can allow multiple users to work on one document through SharePoint, as well as review in track-changes modes. Mastering Microsoft Word can allow you to quickly churn out well-formatted documents that will make you a star in your office!

Slack for better communication

A lot of official communication happen through emails. This is the case especially when you are talking with your team which is located in some other office or even with a client. To reduce the large volume of email transactions, instant messaging platforms are what you need. Slack has been gaining popularity recently. Several companies that use Slack have seen a marked decrease in the number of emails. You get your question across instantly and get an answer at once. The convenience of instant messaging needs no introduction. With the options of private messaging, channels for team discussions and updates, calling and file sharing options, Slack has everything that you might need at your workplace.

Tapping the potential of Microsoft Excel

This good old Microsoft tool has been a versatile office companion for years. How do you use Excel to improve your productivity? A majority of the data logs are in Excel files. So an average office worker uses Excel for several hours a day. Taking up Excel training and learning some Excel hacks and tricks can help improve the efficiency. Use calculations functions in Excel. This is one of the most evident yet most ignored option. Repeating values, Autofill, filtering and sorting your entries, utilize everything that Excel has to offer. Pivot tables can also help a great deal. When you master the Excel shortcuts, data logging becomes easy and quick. Start your journey towards becoming an Excel master with specialized Excel courses at betterU.

Evernote for quick notes

Right from creating a daily schedule, to noting down any updates, reminders to reply to emails and for anything that you would be taking quick notes, there is Evernote. With the options to save text and audio notes, images, screenshots, and more, you can do a lot with Evernote. You can save bookmarks for articles you wish to read later or jot down any quick ideas that come up. The best part is that with the Cloud storage feature, all your data is available to be accessed at anytime from anywhere, be it from a different laptop, desktop PC or a mobile. Though not a software that will come installed by default on your office PC, it is a great way of simplifying and structuring your process of thinking.

IFTTT

Not just for your office – Most part of your day, you spend on tasks that are mundane and require little or no effort or attention. Automating your tasks can help you streamline your energy towards the tasks that actually count. Right from simple tasks like automatically saving your email attachments to Google Drive or Dropbox, to allowing you to post content simultaneously in all your social media profiles, to setting auto reply for messages from a particular sender, there is a long list of the activities you can automate with IFTTT. Linking all the devices and apps you commonly use, you can choose from a variety of Applets that smartly reduce your efforts and time.

To learn more about ways to improve your productivity and to start focusing on smart work instead of hard work, take a look at some of the online courses that BetterU offers to help boost productivity.