What started as a catchy Apple slogan has become an unquestionable way of life.
Apps have injected themselves into our social relationships, daily habits, and – above all else – our workplace. Productivity has become synonymous with app use, as handfuls of try-these-tools articles will tell you.
Lists suggesting top productivity hacks are all over the web – we’ve even written one ourselves. They’re emblematic of a wealth of options at our digital fingertips: no matter what you may need, several apps exist to do the dirty work, save you time, and let you focus on what matters most.
But, of course, having nearly unlimited possibilities at our disposal is a double-edged sword.
App overload = crazy amounts of time wasted
For as much as an app can simplify our work, the often-overwhelming mass of apps we end up using does quite the opposite.
In fact, a recent study by RingCentral estimates that the total time lost on switching between various apps can waste a whopping 32 days of an average worker’s year. 68% of surveyed workers report to toggling various apps up to ten times an hour, leading to likely unhealthy levels of multitasking.
And while there is strong desire for a perfect, centralized platform to encompass all our communications and workflow, such a system is currently beyond our grasp.
Instead, the reality more closely resembles a jumbled scatterplot. Different people prefer different communication channels, meaning the more apps you subscribe to, the wider your circle becomes.
Limiting the distractions
There is no obvious cure for app overload. Various outlets offer their own, differing strategies for overcoming the abundance of apps.
Ironically, one rising solution lies in the development of overarching apps built to encompass the functionalities of multiple apps. These rely on AI-powered bots acting as digital assistants that quickly sift through the sea of apps to select the info you need.
Inc. even published their own set of tips you can implement across your workplace.
- Ease of learning: Simply adopt the programs that feel most familiar and are easiest to master.
- Follow the trends: Identify the outspoken “influencers” in your company and have them set the tone for multilateral platform use.
- Positive Reinforcement: Set incentives for colleagues who implement your chosen apps prolifically and creatively.
At the end of the day, the core answer lies in prioritization; figuring out where your team’s values lie and which tools provide the most worth.
While any app can help you, every app will not.
What we value
Above all else? Streamlined communication and time-saving workflow. If you relate to those values as well, consider checking out the following resources:
- Zoom: Our bread and butter for video meetings, particularly useful for international companies like us.
- Evercontact: Of course! But with so many apps that necessitate your attention, having a behind-the-scenes automatic contact updating app running 24/7 without you doing a thing is invaluable. Set it and forget it.
- Slack: No doubt you’ve heard of the “shared workplace,” but even it comes with a baggage of distractions. To get the most out of Slack, take a look at RescueTime’s extensive blog for pointers on optimizing layout, managing notifications, and other best practices!
- Trello: A digital bulletin board that simplifies our categorization of projects and removes the post-it notes from our product management processes.
- P.s. We recommend perusing Stacklist to peek at what other companies in your industry swear by!
In an ever-changing workplace with an endless stream of productivity apps, the key lies in striking a balance: using the apps that will save your valuable time while setting boundaries to avoid the dreaded “app overload.”
Also published on Medium.