productivity killers

Work Culture

How to tackle productivity killers with Dropbox for Business


Published on March 12, 2015

Do you ever leave the office feeling like you got nothing done all day? Chances are, you spent a good chunk of the day wading through endless emails, sitting in back-to-back meetings, or simply tracking down information. “Time sucks” like these interrupt your normal workflow, take your attention away from high-priority projects and tasks, and drain your productivity. Luckily, Dropbox for Business can help you get back some of your time — and get back to more meaningful work. Cut back on email time We all know that email eats up a lot of our time and is a big productivity killer. In fact, the average office employee spends 28% of the work week reading and answering email messages. So, why do people spend so much time in email? If they’re not waiting for large files to upload or download, they’re likely digging through their inboxes to look for file attachments. And once they do find the files they need, it can be hard to remember if they’re the latest versions without sending yet another email to team members to find out for sure. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Managing email attachments can be a huge drain on productivity. But with Dropbox, you can avoid all that frustration. Just use a shared folder to create one central location for all your departmental or project files. This way, you’ll save everyone the trouble (and time) of attaching files or searching through email to find the files they need. And now you can preview any file that already lives on your computer via the web, and make edits to it using its native application — without re-downloading it to your desktop. Skip the meetings It’s no secret that meetings can suck up huge amounts of time. Just how much? For one company, it takes up to 300,000 hours — including prep time and related sub-team meetings — to support a single weekly meeting for its executive committee. Meetings can also break up the day, making it hard for people to steadily chip away at bigger projects. Ask anyone in a creative role — like writers, designers, or programmers — and they’ll tell you how challenging it is to be productive without long blocks of uninterrupted time. So what’s the best way to bust this productivity killer? Try replacing weekly status meetings with weekly written updates; they’re sometimes more effective at getting everyone on the same page. Keep things short and sweet by following a “3x3” format: Everyone writes three things they’re working on for the week and three wins from the previous week. And to make the process painless for your whole team, use a doc that’s saved to a shared folder so everyone automatically gets the latest updates. Make paperwork paperless  Paperwork — whether it’s expense reports, invoices, or timesheets — can be dreadfully time-consuming, but it’s something we all have to do. Then again, just because paperwork is a fact of (office) life doesn’t mean the process can’t be more streamlined. Instead of having everyone turn in hard copies or emailing attachments, why not use Dropbox as a central hub for submitting, storing, and sharing paperwork? And with Dropbox-connected apps like Xpenditure, Scanner Pro, and DocuSign, it’s easier than ever to go paperless. So say goodbye to sorting through piles of receipts and printouts, and say hello to your reclaimed time. Ready to put these productivity tips to use? Try Dropbox for Business for free.