For some, fall is a time of excitement . . . of back-to-school and back-to-business clarity, high energy and a zippy demeanor in celebration of everything accomplished this year.
For some, it’s a haggard reckoning that leaves us wondering where the heck the year went, tripping an urgent desire to grasp and scramble to find the best way to make the most of the last quarter.
If you’re like the latter, pull up a chair. We’ve assembled 8 great productivity tools, techniques and time hacks to help us all play a little catch up and come out ahead by Q1.
Hack #1: Freedom
Ever find yourself drowning in kitten videos and online quizzes? This focus-restoring app helps you keep your attention where it belongs – on the task at hand. It works by blocking distracting websites and apps that rob you of precious work time. Catch ya later, Huff Post!
This app is perfect for anyone who forgets to log their mileage prior to business meetings and travel. Install MileIQ on your phone and it automatically records your mileage, classifies frequent trips and creates easy-to-read statements that make tax time a breeze.
Send and receive money using your email address without paying a fee – which makes this handy app a great alternative to PayPal. And don’t stop at client transfers! Think about splitting the lunch check with coworkers or repaying your friend for a coffee run. Venmo makes it easy to level up so you’ll never have to dig for dollars again.
Working in timed, mono-focused, 25-minute segments with timed 5-minute breaks in between boosts your ability to do more with less distraction. Ready to tackle that website redesign? Have to build a presentation for new clients? Grab a timer and give Pomodoro a try!
Hack #5: Tide
If you do your best work without audio interference, this app is your new best friend. This soothing white noise generator supports The Pomodoro Technique mentioned above. Set your Tide to stop when it’s time to take a break for a less jarring reminder than a traditional timer.
Hack #6: Amber Engine
Automate product data downloads and updates to return hours of time to yourself and your staff. There’s no reason to do something manually when a smarter, easier, faster solution exists. Not to mention that high-quality product data boosts sales and customer satisfaction for a stellar Q4 finish. Win, win, win.
Hack #7: HootSuite
In addition to automating product data, you’ll save yourself and your team hours by automating your social media presence. HootSuite schedules posts in advance to help maintain your brand awareness campaign without going down the SoMe rabbit hole every day!
Hack #8: Zoho
This family of time-saving business tools helps you present your business professionally – wherever you happen to be. Forget to send an invoice and remember when you’re browsing Market? Not a problem. Zoho has you covered. And the best part? You can use only the parts and pieces you need to create business efficiencies.
With a little time for time, we can work smarter and more efficiently to move our respective home furnishings companies forward. And, as a result, improve the home furnishings industry for everyone involved – manufacturers, retailers, designers and, most importantly, consumers.