Advertising
Advertising

10 Must-Know Gmail Hacks To Supercharge Your Productivity

10 Must-Know Gmail Hacks To Supercharge Your Productivity

Gmail is a great option for individuals needing a powerful personal email. However, with the ability to attach Gmail to your domain, it has become a powerful email option for businesses as well. While Gmail alone may be great, there are a couple of ways you can supercharge your usage to make sure that you are getting the most out of your account. Today, we will take a look at 10 must-know Gmail hacks that will surely supercharge your productivity, either at home or in the office.

1. Undo a Past Email

gmailhack_01

    Ever find that you typed up an email in a hurry, and sent it off only to notice right when you hit the send button that there were a couple of mistakes? Maybe you sent it to the wrong recipient. This is a common problem, and Gmail has a small settings hack that can prevent these mishaps from being permanent. Settings > Labs > Undo Button > Enable will allow you to click the “Undo” button once Gmail says “Your message has been sent” at the very top of the screen. Just hope that they don’t read it before you click undo! Another common tip I learned is to write out your full email, subject, add attachments and all, before adding in the recipient. Do that last and this will lessen the chance of sending to the wrong person.

    2. Make Use of Boomerang

    gmailhack_02

      Boomerang makes it easy to have emails sent back to you as well as to schedule to send emails of your account. This is a great way to prepare and send off a mass of emails in a snap. The latter can be useful, for instance, when you see an email that is important in your inbox but may not be something that you need to attend to until later in the day or week. This moves the conversation out of your way and allows you to focus on other things. Yesware and Streak and two other common email scheduling apps you can check out.

      Advertising

      3. Clear out Your Inbox

      gmailhack_03

        Extending on the subject of email clutter, a great hack that can allow you to increase the productivity of your Gmail inbox is to clear out unnecessary emails. This is done by deleting those that you’ll never make use of again and archiving those that you may find that you will need to refer to at another date. If you have ongoing conversations currently in your email, keep those in the inbox. Otherwise, have them archived. From there, you can tag your archived messages to have them easily retrievable. Having tagged archives, in the end, is more productive than having a swamp of useless emails.

        4. Can Your Responses

        gmailhack_04

          This is a productive hack because it allows you to send off responses in just a snap by adding in common phrases, sentences, or even email bodies that you regularly find yourself using. Simply add Canned Responses from Gmail Labs and when you want to send off a canned response, go to the bottom, select canned responses and choose the appropriate phrase.

          5. Customize Your Address

          Advertising

          gmailhack_05

            One lesser-known fact about Gmail is that when someone sends an email to you, it doesn’t matter what periods or plus symbols are added to your name, they are sent to the same original email address. This is best illustrated in the photo above. You may feel that this doesn’t matter, the chances are low that someone will accidentally add a period or plus sign to my name when emailing me.

            However, that’s not the point. This hack is useful in allowing you to curtail emails you receive based on the address you give out. Going to a website where sign-up requiring your email, but you could care less about what they have to send you, you can use “[email protected]”. Going to a corporate meet-and-greet and want an easy place to access emails from individuals you meet? Give everyone you meet the email “[email protected]”. However, this alone isn’t what is productive. What is productive is creating a filter for each email address you give out, allowing messages to be sent to the folders for easier retrieval and organization.

            6. Schedule Your Email Checks

            gmailhack_06

              It can seem productive to always be on top of your email, checking it various times a day. However, the truth is, you are wasting more time than ever. Instead, schedule to check your email two -three times a day, during low activity times. Getting your head out of your inbox allows you to get more things done rather than balancing and tending to conversations that could be endless. This allows your emails you send to be more productive, to the point, and informative.

              7. Manage an Unsubscribe List

              Advertising

              gmailhack_07

                Through the program called Unroll.me, you are able to keep track of the email newsletters and subscriptions that are filling up your inbox. Through this program, you receive a “Rollup” that acts as a newsletter in and of itself, showing in one email all of the subscription emails you receive. Along with being able to view what needs to be viewed and get it out of the way, Unroll.me is also a great program to easily get rid of the junk subscriptions you may have but found too difficult to get rid of.

                8. Look into KeyRocket

                gmailhack_08

                  Keyboard shortcuts are a great way for you to access a specific feature or perform a specific task in only a couple of key strokes. KeyRocket for Gmail allows you to do the keyboard shortcuts available through Gmail by presenting how they are activated whenever you do a certain act. For example, if you are about to go view a previous folder, KeyRocket pops-up a reminder showing you how that task is possible through Alt+Left Arrow. Overtime, KeyRocket teaches you how to use Gmail productively.

                  9. Become Selective and Exclusive

                  gmailhack_09

                    You may feel that you should respond to every email that you receive personally from an individual, either asking you to contribute to a project you weren’t previously involved in or to receive something else in return. However, in keeping with productivity, choose wisely who you respond to. For example, a blogger should look at the reputation and notoriety of a specific website before entertaining the thought of contributing. This, in the end, reduces the number of conversations you find yourself flooded in. This is a hack that many individuals find themselves constantly using.

                    Advertising

                    10. Create Some Recipes

                    gmailhack_10

                      IFTTT stands for If this then that. It is an user-friendly algorithm website that allows individuals to connect two different services to create an automated task. Using a trigger, most likely in your case Gmail, you can cause an action to occur if you trigger does something. For example, if your trigger is when Gmail receives a photo in an email, you can have that photo automatically saved in Dropbox. The opportunities are endless, and you have free reign to make recipes yourself or enjoy some of the pre-made ones.

                      With these tips, you will be able to use your time wisely, get things done and become more productive in the process. Let us know in the comments below if you use any of these tips or services in your own Gmail.

                      Featured photo credit: Mashable via i1.ytimg.com

                      More by this author

                      10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily The 50 Best Desktop Wallpapers for 2013 23 Awesome Travel Hacks That Add Fun To Your Trip How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday 9 Apps Unrelated to Black Friday That Are Helpful

                      Trending in Productivity

                      1 How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work 2 Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 5 How to Concentrate and Train Your Brain to Focus Better

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Published on January 16, 2019

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                      We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                      You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                      You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                      That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                      Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                      1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                      Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                      We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                      To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                      At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                      The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                      2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                      Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                      The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                      In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                      It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                      It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

                      Advertising

                      So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                      • Are you a great strategist?
                      • Are you an effective planner?
                      • Is Project Management your strength?
                      • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                      • Are you the ideas person?
                      • Is Implementation your strength?

                      Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                      3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                      One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                      Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                      Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                      Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                      4. Take Time for Planning

                      “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                      One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                      You can take the time to think about:

                      • What’s the purpose of the project?
                      • How Important is it?
                      • When does it need to be delivered by?
                      • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                      • What are the KPIs?
                      • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                      • Who is working on this project?
                      • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                      • What tolerances can I add in?
                      • What are the review stages?
                      • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                      Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                      5. Focus on Priorities

                      Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                      Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                      One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                      1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                      2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                      3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                      4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                      James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

                      Advertising

                        The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                        If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                        If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                        6. Take Time Out

                        To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                        If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                        Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                        In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                        Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                        7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                        Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                        I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                        Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                        If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                        8. Stop Multitasking

                        Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                        So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                        When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

                        Advertising

                        If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                        9. Work in Blocks of Time

                        To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                        I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                        Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                        Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                        Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                        Then take another 10-minute break.

                        Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                        By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                        10. Get Rid of Distractions

                        Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                        “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                        Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                        If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                        11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                        You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                        Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

                        Advertising

                        Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                        12. Take a Time Audit

                        Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                        Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                        You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                        Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                        Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                        At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                        If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                        13. Protect Your Confidence

                        It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                        When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                        Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                        When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                        Final Words

                        A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                        The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                        If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                        Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next