10 Tips to Increase Productivity with Zapier Workflows

— Juliet Edjere

This article guides you through automating your most pressing tasks to achieve maximum productivity. When every task seems like top priority, how do we break them down while ensuring we stay productive through the working day?

With many of us still working from home, it can sometimes get tedious to keep on top of tasks. Looking back at your past week, what level would you put your productivity at? Research suggests that in an eight-hour day, the average worker is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes. This means that you are probably not in your most productive state right now and it gets worse with juggling repetitive tasks.

For many of us, it's easy to get these done when we have a to-do list that we check off at the end of the day. However with influx of messages, calls, emails, notes, it's not that easy to stay on top of these task and stay focused on increased productivity.

We've put together 10 ways you can organize your activities automatically to achieve maximum productivity.

To get started we included pre-made workflows, called Zaps, to help you easily automate these activities. Click on Use this Zap to be guided through customization process.

Make an ordered list

How often do you forget to do what you initially planned because you don't have them written down? Coupled with the lack of satisfaction you feel on a Friday knowing you haven't scratched the surface with this large project.

Your most important work should take the form of a prioritized list, from most important to least important. It's easier to keep track of your day and your productive levels when you're able to remember the details. Documenting not only helps break down tasks into smaller deliverables but helps in setting realistic targets and splitting your workload up.

Keeping your to-do list up-to-date is a task in itself. You can use a Zap to add emails to your task management app automatically based on specific criteria.

At the end of the day or week, you can look back on your completed lists with satisfaction.

Schedule recurring events

Highly productive people don't get more done in less time, instead they prioritize things that contribute high value and result in the highest impact.

Most of the tasks that we get done often fall within a repetitive cycle. Achieving maximum productive means blocking time off your calendar to work on high-priority items.

Setting repetition for any dates and frequency clears your schedule to fit in some downtime or refresher.

Spend your time wisely

Managing time is a key factor to high productivity. Productive workers have a balanced work/rest ratio. This means knowling when to truly relax, leave your work and embrace your downtime.

We can admit that we all have those moments where it's hard to stay focused on work.  There are techniques that help push through this hurdle. A popular one is the Pomodoro Technique, a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it. With this technique, you're assured to take the right number of breaks to complete a task.

The Pomodoro Technique

  • Decide on the task to be done.
  • Set the Pomodoro timer to 25 minutes.
  • Work on the task.
  • Stop work when the timer rings and put a tick on a piece of paper.
  • If you have fewer than four ticks, take a short break of 3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
  • When you have four ticks, take a longer break of 15–30 minutes), reset your tick count to zero, then go to step 1.

You can use a Zap to connect a Pomodoro timer with your favorite time-tracking app while staying focused as you get the job done.

The Pomodoro technique is not for everyone. However these zaps make it easy to practice on full Pomodoro cycle to evaluate how it fits into your schedule. Set a timer for 25 minutes, work until it runs out, then take a 5-minute break—and repeat the process three more times.

Collaborate with others

Working independently is good, working together is great. Balancing both improves the way your team works together and problem solves. It's easy to fall through the cracks of focusing entirely on one project without checking with others.

Ideas from others are important to keep us on track. Who knows, the new intern's input might just be what you're looking for.

Zaps can save time and help us divide up a heavy workload with collaboration workflows.

Plan your day

While we set out to put every item in our to-do list, sometimes one meeting slips through the cracks. It's important to find a balance between blocking your calendar and keeping track of your to-do list.

You can use a workflow to automatically create a Google calendar event. This blocks time the event takes up on the calendar.

Get active with regular exercise

No doubt that physical exercise and productivity are connected. Exercise is good for your body and mind so it’s no surprise that if you’re looking to improve your productivity, take a walk in the park, go to a gym class, or go for a swim. Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain, sharpens your awareness and gives you more energy.

Connect Zapier with Mapmyfitness, an open platform that seamlessly integrates with more than 400 fitness tracking devices, sensors and wearables.

Taking on a physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily improves productivity levels, alertness, energy levels, and overall health. The goal is to tackle the next big task with a clear head.

Prioritize asynchronous work

Do you jump from one project or tasks to another, without actually completing one within time? Especially when working in a team with high demand for accountability. The easy way to get through this is to set sprints.

A sprint is a short, time-boxed period when a team works to complete a set amount of work. Sprint planning defines what can be delivered in the sprint and how that work will be achieved. Managers can plan and prioritize asynchronous work with sprints, with everyone working within the same time period and the same completion dates.

Zoho Sprints is a project management tool that helps agile teams plan and track their work with scrum, agile reports, and collaboration capabilites for software development teams.

The team can manage and track agile projects in-sync across timezones by connecting Zoho Sprints on Zapier. At the start of each sprint, it's easier to define and commit to deliverables.

Use swimlanes to increase focus

Who does what in a process?

Using swimlanes can absolutely refine your process. Any variation of project visuals that divides the workflow into logical containers can be a swimlane diagram. Typically, swimlanes visually distinguishes job sharing and responsibilities with timelines, gantt chart, roadmaps, flowcharts or even Kanban boards.

Use KanbanFlow to lay out what needs done, get work done and keep things organized.

The intention is to achieve productivity by time-boxing tasks, breaks, meetings, interviews across different individuals while staying in control of your own routine.

Stay focused on one task

Narrowing your focus gives you the opportunity to do your best work. It's not easy being the best at everything. The less you do at a time, the better. This helps you focus on what matters and stay on top of what actually matters.

Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. According to a Forbes article, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ.

Start by using the zaps to manage your focus on one thing at a time.

The brain works better when energy is placed in carrying out one task effectively before starting another. If you're uncertain about how much impact a task will have, it might be best to review it instead of switching from one task to another.

Read a book

Reading, fiction or non-fiction, is generally said to boost productivity, due to its provision of knowledge. Active reading can also help refresh the mind. It's beyond just skimming through content, it's absorbing information and evaluating it.

Studies have found that reading for leisure or entertainment for 30 minutes a day can have some pretty remarkable effects on your brain. It helps with gaining perspective and knowledge.

Start your day by saving articles, videos and stories from any publication, page or app on the Pocket app.

Doing most of these tasks manually would be onerous. Zapier allows you to increase your productivity levels by incorporating these workflows into your activities.

Zapier helps you stay focused on your work by splitting your activities into daily action lists and weekly lists with these zaps. These help a lot if you do these things regularly. Spending less time on mundane tasks, like monitoring social and syncing accounts, and copying and pasting, allows you to shift your concentration.

This article was originally published on Bannerbear.com on December 06, 2021. Written by: Juliet Edjere


I'm Juliet Edjere, a no-code expert focused on design, product development, and building scalable solutions with no coding knowledge.

I document all things product stories, MVP validation, and how designs, data, and market trends connect.

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