12 Underrated Office Productivity Skills You Must Learn

I’m writing this post because, while working as a content writer as well as on my startup, I felt the need of these skills to increase my productivity. Just because I’m writing this post doesn’t mean that I’m an expert in all of these skills. But, one thing is true; that I’ve started learning these things.

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, these skills will definitely help you.

The things I’ve listed below are either free or at negligible costs. Moreover, you can do them online, without stirring from your home.

1. Time Management

Everyone has only twenty four hours per day. No one has more and also, no one has less. 

Utilize your time as an asset. Time management is basic yet the most important productivity skill out of all those I’ve listed in this post. With time management as a skill, you’ll succeed at your work way earlier than others and will get good promotions.

Here are a few basic things you can try.

Fix your oversleeping.

Indulge in some exercises and workouts to beat away the laziness.

Eat right at the right time. This would also help you deal with oversleeping. The sleep you get would be quality.

Fix your sleeping schedule.

The person you’re chatting to till late night is not your benefactor if he’s making you do so.

Chat with them in the morning or whenever you’re free. Sleep by 10 pm with your lights off.

Use Eisenhower matrix or any other model to fix your priorities.

An important model about categorizing tasks based on your priorities. Read more about it online and bring it to practice.

Maintain a journal to make note of things.

I do it most of the time to plan my to dos.

I’m not good at scheduling but am good at completing the tasks. Hence, it goes well with me.

2. Shorthand (Stenography)

Have you ever wondered why is your handwriting not beautiful?

What do you do when you find your handwriting sloppy?

Until a few years back, I used to practice to keep my handwriting in order.

But, here’s the fact. Sloppy handwriting because of speedy writing shows how fast your brain processes.

It simply means that your hand is not able to cope up with your brain’s speed while writing. The problem is in your handwriting, not you.

Start learning Shorthand. In English, Teeline, Pitman and Gregg are the most famous methods. In Hindi, Sanket Lipi is preferred.

Shorthand makes use of easy to write symbols which represent different alphabets and sounds. With this technique, you’ll be able to write as fast as you hear and speak.

This skill is mainly taught to people indulged in journalism, courts and government jobs. But, if you learn, you’ll personally find it useful. Your regular alphabet writing speed would eventually improve.

Maharani Gayatri Devi incident

I recently got to read A Princess Remembers‘ by Maharani Gayatri Devi. There, Her Late Highness wrote that she pursued secretary (which included radio, typing and stenography) and domestic sciences courses from Europe before her marriage. Such skills helped her manage her family and royal affairs during the WWII.

Nutan incident

Nutan was one of the most flourishing actresses of her time. Even she was sent to a school in Switzerland by her mother, Shobhna Samarth, to learnt about typing, finance and shorthand. She also was supposed to put on some weight and get fit. 

All these skills helped her manage her career better.

3. Ambidexterity

Ambidexterity means the ability to use both of your hands equally effectively.

Your left hand is controlled by the right hemisphere of your brain that represents creativity; while the right hand is dominated by the left hemisphere of your brain that represents logic.

If you learn to use both of your hands equally, you’re unlocking both your creative and logic skills.

You can start by practicing to write from both the hands or just start by doing some work from your left hand as well.

4. Touch Typing

Do you feel like seeing which key you’re pressing on the keyboard? Change this habit.

Touch typing can increase your speed of typing through which you can complete the tasks in less time.

5. Computer Languages

Some basic skills of computer would minimize your needs of hiring a developer. Even if you’re not a full fledged developer, you can fix petty errors and maintain the flow at least.

I learnt HTML, MySQL, PHP, CSS in 2015 and Javascript in 2019. They’ve helped me in a great deal actually.

6. Finance

I feel I needn’t tell this, almost everyone has read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, these days.

If you can read financial statements, you can take a hold of your finances and plan accordingly. What more am I supposed to say?

Start learning basic accounts.

7. New Languages

The more languages you know, the more words you know. The more words you know, the more ideas your mind creates.

I already know Hindi and English. I’ve been learning Sanskrit since 2019 and that language is a bit different because no matter how much you learn of it, there seems to be no end of it and you feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface.

Started learning Nepali in 2020.

To get started, learn 10 nouns, 10 verbs, 10 adjectives, 10 pronouns, 10 adverbs and you can create hundreds of sentences from this. This practice is sufficient to get your interested and started.

Learning more languages makes you vibrant by exposing you to new cultures.

8. Speed Reading

Speed reading means that you can read the same text in less time at greater speed. This also means that if you and your competitor were given one hour with some text to be read, you’ll be able to read more in that given time.

This is also a great skill that will outshine you at work.

9. Communication

Communication is important, be it oral or written. Good communication makes you eloquent.

I’ve seen some people blaming Indian Education System for their poor English and Hindi.

I must say that even most of the English medium schools have Hindi up to 10th standard at least which is enough to make you proficient in the language. 

If you find that insufficient, you can opt for Hindi in your intermediate as well.

Even if you don’t, as a teenager, you’re sensible enough to practice by buying books and reading them on your own.

Similarly, you can practice English. It’s not your institution’s responsibility to spoon feed you.

Good communication is important for every job. If you ask for yourself to be considered when you don’t know English, while the job requires it; then it’s your ignorance.

10. Reasoning

Solve puzzles and riddles. They’ll develop your mind’s creative approaches to solve problems.

11. Event Management

Event management is not everyone’s cup of tea. You’ve to communicate with all the stakeholders and bring a coordination in their efforts for the event to be successful. 

If you enhance yourself for this skill, you’ll be a go to person for everyone at work.

13. Sales and Marketing

In essence, it deals about persuasive abilities. It’s not about degrees, it’s about an understanding of human nature and acting accordingly.

Most of the pyramid scheme and MLM folks do this. I don’t appreciate these schemes, but we can at least learn this from them.

Start with this skill to be successful.

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