How to be more productive at work

Do you wake up in the morning, get to work and find your inbox full of emails and tasks?

Find out how to be more productive at work. Don't miss these tricks that will make your life easier.
Ana Isabel Dorado

Ana Isabel Dorado Follow

Reading time: 6 min

You don’t know where to start and just thinking about everything you have to do is blocking your mind? Take a deep breath, absolute peace of mind, everything has a solution.

You don’t have to get up very early in the morning to organise your day to day, we don’t have to be perfect, just make our lives easier, work with quality, in a healthy way, with comfort, be flexible and open our minds. 

We would all like to be more productive in our daily lives, but sometimes, the rush, the accumulation of tasks and the time we waste on other issues, make us feel as if we were in slow motion. Order will be the key to your productivity.

Order and time are the secret of doing everything and doing it well.

My recommendations

My main recommendation is that you put on the “controller” suit, that you don’t let others manage your time and how to do that. It is very important that the fewer time thieves you have, the better. And by time thieves I mean social networks, notifications, mobile phones in general, people who in the end give you their tasks so that you can do them for them.

It is good to establish routines, for example, always dedicate the same times of the day to planning. For example, first thing in the morning and last thing at the end of the day to take a quick look at what you have to do for the following days.

Something that also works very well is that those tasks that you least like to do, you do them first. Don’t procrastinate: because if you don’t, it will be a burden that you will always carry hanging over you and it will take away your energy to do other tasks.

It also works very well to remove almost all notifications from your mobile, just leave the basic ones, mute WhatsApp groups, etc. We can’t help but look every time we get a sound.

Adjust the time you spend on each social network so that when it’s done, you can’t log on until the next day. You’d be surprised how much time we spend on social networks that we could be spending reading a good book, chatting with someone or doing all those things we love that don’t depend on a smartphone.

Great resources to help us

Make friends with digital tools, they will help you save time on many tasks that we usually do manually.

Office 365 is full of corporate applications that if you learn how to manage it at a basic-intermediate level can make your life much easier.

SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Lists, Forms, Loop, Planner, etc., are very useful collaborative tools that can help you to have all your documentation sorted and ready to use whenever you need it. Have a librarian’s mind when you use them. They are your day-to-day navigation log.

OneDrive, To Do and the Power Apps can make it easy to plan and automate repetitive tasks and you don’t have to be a programmer to do this, anyone can use these tools at an advanced level that will help you a lot.

And finally, another tool that the vast majority of us use and with which we manage all the information, both internally and externally, is Outlook. It is therefore very important that you have this application as if you were a Master chef with your kitchen, everything very tidy.

Tips to keep your mail in order

Organise your inbox into folders and subfolders. You can use the system you feel most comfortable with, by projects, by topics, by teams, etc. I always leave some folders for personal issues, because we are human and we all manage our own issues (medical, travel, tickets, etc.) (Folder menu).

Sort the folders you have created above alphabetically, you will better find what you are looking for (Folder menu).

Use CREATE RULES for everything you can think of. If you usually create a lot of meetings, have the acceptances go to a special folder for them. Send emails from certain senders to folders for a specific project or team, send an alert to your mobile phone when you receive messages from someone, etc.

An example of a very useful rule is “defer sending messages for one or more minutes”. Sometimes we go crazy and send our mails and we forget to attach a file we are referring to, or to copy a person, or we make a mistake in a piece of information. This will give us the manoeuvre to recover our message, which remains in the outbox for the stipulated time, ready to be modified if necessary or to be sent out. This will prevent you from sending a second message apologising and modifying the initial message and your recipient will not notice. In addition, you can create exceptions to this rule, for when your mail needs to go out fast as a bullet without waiting that long.

It is also a good idea to learn how to retrieve, modify or delete messages that have not yet been read by the recipient.

Add sounds or colours to messages coming from that special person or mailbox to get your attention.

Learn how to use QUICK STEPS (these are several rules or actions that you create in one click, such as: leaving a message marked as read, task done and sent to a folder for storage).

Learn how to use templates in your messages, it will save you a lot of time (New message/ Insert/ View templates). This way, all those repetitive emails you usually send will be done in a moment.

You have to organise a meeting with many people, learn how to use the Outlook web calendar (office 365) that will show you the best alternatives so that as many people as possible can attend and it will cost you less to organise it.did you know that there is an add-in that can be installed in Outlook called Find Time? With Find time you can create an email, add recipients and you will see the availability of each one to create a meeting, call, etc.

If you work on several projects, create several signatures. Communicate with your signature: it is your personal brand. Insert images, links, etc. It gives a good image and you will be more accessible.

Go on holiday in peace and quiet. Activate automatic replies from Outlook web and the invitations you receive will be responded to as declined; and if you had invitations from you in that time period, they will be cancelled.

Delete unnecessary emails. Delete subscriptions you don’t see in the end.

As you can see, there are many resources available to us, you just need to spend a little time getting to know them. Did you know that with Power Automate you can create automatisms between Outlook and Teams to, for example, receive notifications when certain people write to you so that you don’t have to be constantly logging into your email?

There is also another functionality so that when you receive repeated emails with attachments that you have to share with your colleagues, the system alerts you with a message in a shared channel and allows you to download the information already sorted by date.

Remember: “you are not an organised person because you have time, you have time because you are an organised person”.


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