2020/21 has been a time that has seriously tested the limits of our productivity levels, both personally and professionally.
COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work in the longterm. For some, the long periods of time spent stuck in doors zapped their productivity levels and mental health, leaving them with no energy to work or create. For those with jobs that could work from home, they were left with a host of new challenges to overcome while also trying to do an honest, productive day’s work.
Time is perhaps the most valuable commodity in business, and, as a society, we’re obsessed with doing the most in as little time as possible. We equate being productive at work with being successful.
The impact of COVID-19 on productivity at work
During the pandemic, workplace productivity ceased to exist as much of the office workforce rushed to create home offices, and Google searches for productivity tips skyrocketed.
Long periods of time spent indoors with limited social interaction and what’s now been dubbed as “Zoom fatigue” could’ve potentially caused productivity at work to waver as mental health was negatively impacted. Whilst work could provide a welcome distraction from the pandemic, it also became just another daily task to some.
However, research has shown that the levels of productivity at work have remained fairly consistent, even as working from home became the norm.
Work productivity from home
Many flourish in a work environment, their productivity spiking when in a space that requires a professional mindset and has fewer personal distractions. They find it easier to get things done from the office rather than their spare room.
However, for some, working from home has worked wonders on increasing their productivity. The familiar, comfortable environment has had a stress-reducing effect, with employees finding it easier to be productive and focus on the task at hand in a customized workspace. Working from home has led to some working longer hours as the lines between work and home blur, taking advantage of the many wasted hours that used to be spent commuting for a more productive purpose.
AI and productivity
Previously on our blog, we did a piece about how AI technology impacts the creative marketing process, making the comparison between System 1 and System 2 thinking and the symbiotic relationship between AI tech and creative thinking. The same application works here too.
AI tools can increase your productivity at work by taking care of the mundane, time-consuming tasks like organizing meetings, competitor research, and trawling through your emails, which leaves you with more time and energy to focus on the important tasks and get things done.
6 AI tools to increase productivity
We’ve gathered a few AI-powered tools that you and your business can use to help make you increase productivity at work:
A productivity tool for the content marketers, MarketMuse helps teams save time when it comes to content research, SEO, content creation, and competitive analysis.
MarketMuse uses AI technology to gather insights around your primary content keywords, and then offers you recommendations on how to optimize your content. This includes how you can improve your content for search rankings and drive more organic traffic.
If you provide MarketMuse with a topic, it can also provide you with a full outline for an article, including headers and relevant sections, in minutes or less.
Writing copy can be a time consuming, arduous process, especially if the employee in question isn’t sure of themselves or the topic.
Instatext is an AI powered writing and editing tool that can help teams save time by rewriting their copy to improve readability and their professional tone. It can help improve a piece’s styling and word choices and fix grammatical errors, taking rough drafts to final drafts in hours. This means less time spent passing the copy around a team for edits and proofing, and more time spent brainstorming eye-catching, engaging content.
A productivity tool that anyone could benefit from, Freedom is all about keeping you on task and focused by minimizing distractions.
Freedom is a chrome extension that lets you choose which devices you use, what websites you want to block on which device, and how long you want to block them for in order to better manage your time. A tool like this means you won’t waste time spending collective hours aimlessly scrolling through social media at your desk or accidentally start binging that new Netflix show.
One of the key ways to increase productivity is to keep track of where you’re spending your time and how you can better allocate it to achieve the optimum results
Time Doctor is a time tracking tool that can help your team manage their time more efficiently. You receive daily time reports on your metrics for the day, can create pop-up notifications if you begin to stray towards time-wasting websites like social media platforms, and create dashboards so you can track your time at a glance.
This is also a great tool to use if your company employs freelancers on an hourly rate.
An AI marketing tool specifically for digital ads, Pattern89 helps creative teams optimize their ads on everything from color, to emojis, to layout in order to increase their ROI. For brands heavily invested in Instagram or Facebook ads, this tool could be a game changer.
Rather than leaving creative teams to brainstorm multiple designs and spend many hours testing them out, Pattern89 increases their productivity by telling them exactly where in their task they need to direct their focus through actionable feedback, increasing efficiency in their creative process.
We’re not biased, but we thought we deserved a spot on this list.
One thing that can negatively affect the productivity of a team is when a project or ideas takes too long to get off the ground. Because of our access to 110m+ experts, the market research that used to take weeks or months can be completed in as little as two days with Loops. We use natural language understanding technology to swiftly analyse the qualitative data we collect from our experts on your designs and translate it into easy-to-digest quantitative data that can validate and support your design choices.
Tips for increasing your work productivity
At the end of the day, our productivity at work is our own responsibility for a majority of the time. It’s up to us to figure out how we work best, and find effective ways to complete our tasks and get the job done.
Besides using AI tools to increase your work productivity, try implementing some of these productivity tips too:
- Take breaks. The human brain can only focus for so long before it needs to rest and recharge. Include a 10–15 minute break in your mornings and afternoons to increase your productivity — maybe make a healthy brainfood snack, go take in some fresh air, or search for a quick stretching routine on YouTube to relieve your muscles.
- Create a to do list. A simple and obvious way to increase your productivity, but an extremely effective one. Split your list up into morning tasks and afternoon tasks to effectively manage your day’s workload. Once you see all your tasks laid out in front of you, you can then figure out where to direct your focus and energy.
- Remove distractions from your work space to ward off procrastination.
- Complete small, easy tasks first. When you see how many tasks you’ve ticked off your list, your mind is tricked into believing you’re being more productive and efficient, and works to keep this momentum going.
- Put your phone away. We’re all guilty of reaching for our phones for a quick fix of social media or to talk to friends in between tasks, but this can make us less productive at work and waste time. Try hiding your phone from sight, and only take it out when you’re on a break or if you really need it. If you can’t see it, you won’t be tempted.
Register at Loops for free here, and start your demo today.