Posts tagged with "Internet"

5 Tech Trends For Businesses

5 Tech Trends That Businesses Can’t Afford To Ignore

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, some business owners are left digitally disoriented as they try to figure out which of the latest innovations they need to invest in and what they can ignore.

It can make for confusing times.

All that bewilderment aside, though, these fast-developing advances also create opportunities that can help small and medium-sized businesses become more competitive – if they understand how to seize them.

“Technology exists today that at one time was available only to large corporations with huge technology budgets,” says Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com), an IT consultant who works with small businesses.

“Every year, technology becomes even more accessible to companies of all sizes.”

Hoose says businesses that want to stay on top of their games should make sure they invest in these technological trends, if they haven’t already:

The Internet of Things. Many Internet of Things-connected devices, such as smart refrigerators and thermostats, are designed for home use, but there are also applications for small businesses, Hoose says. Some examples: smart locks use digital keys that can’t be lost or stolen, and log a record of who uses a door and when; RFID tags on merchandise can prevent theft and automatically update inventory; and mobile-card readers can replace cash registers.

Artificial intelligence. Don’t be fooled into thinking that AI is something only the big organizations can afford to use, Hoose says. “It’s making inroads into technologies accessible for businesses of all sizes,” he says. “AI can help you offer increasingly personalized experiences to customers by maximizing your time and automating manual tasks, like data entry.” AI also can be used to improve decision making, Hoose says. Essentially, AI will help you take that jumble of data most businesses have and analyze it in a way that allows you to make better-informed judgments on the actions you need to take.

Telecommuting. The office world is changing and more workers spend at least a portion of their work week telecommuting. “In many cases remote employees use their own equipment, which can eliminate some of the company’s costs with purchasing and maintaining computers, printers and mobile phones,” Hoose says. Video conferencing, instant messaging and other advances are helping to make telecommuting a viable option, he says.

Customer-relationship-management (CRM) software. Any application that a business uses to interact with customers, analyze data, or recommend products and services to customers is “part of the CRM family,” Hoose says. “This type of software helps your team manage, control and build customer relationships,” he says. “It can log your team’s touchpoints with prospects, including emails, phone calls, voicemails and in-person meetings. You can have a complete record of your team’s interaction with a prospect that’s easy for anyone to access.”

Voice search. Consumers increasingly are making use of such AI assistants as Siri or Alexa to help them do internet searches using their voices. “Voice search is changing the way people find information because these queries are structured differently than when we type terms into a search engine,” Hoose says.

“Organizations of all types can benefit from optimizing their content to improve where they fall in a voice search.”

“To help propel your business going forward, it’s important to stay abreast of technology innovation,” Hoose says. “These technologies will help you expand your customer base, create more efficient in-house processes, and increase engagement from both customers and staff.”

About Chris Hoose

Chris Hoose (www.choosenetworks.com) is the president of Choose Networks, an IT consulting firm for small businesses. Hoose started the company in 2001 to give large-scale solutions and support to businesses that can’t afford their own in-house IT department. He earned a Master of Information Systems Management from Friends University.

How to Design Your Own Interactive Magic Mirror

Interactive magic mirrors are an interesting piece of tech. In an instant, they are able to provide those that look into them with all sorts of information, from personal skincare tips to what the weather outside is like on that day. They are also transforming the way people are now shopping for clothes and makeup, as they are able to show customers what they look like in certain styles.

If interactive magic mirror tech has taken your fancy, why stop at being a consumer of it? Why not go the whole hog and design your very own? To see what you need to do in order to set about this somewhat difficult yet highly rewarding task, make sure to read on.

Source the right tools and equipment

When it comes to designing an interactive magic mirror, you need an abundance of tools and pieces of equipment by your side:

• Computer screen, mouse, and keyboard

• Basic mirror

• Raspberry PI (extremely important)

• USB power cord

• 8GB SD-card

• Adapter

HDMI-to-VGA adapter

As this is fundamentally a piece of IoT technology, you’re also going to need tools that help you to build a circuit board. The first thing that you need to source in this regard is a PCB design tool. By installing and implementing such a tool into your working process, you will be able to design PCBs from idea to manufacture with ease, especially when you allow the CircuitStudio how-to video to assist you along the way. Other tools needed in this instance include a breadboard, a soldering iron, and etching equipment.

Get your sizes spot on

It is incredibly important that you take the literal size of your task into consideration — if something is even just an inch out of place, the whole project could be ruined. This sentiment rings especially true when it comes to matching your mirror with your computer screen. By choosing a screen that doesn’t fit your mirror, the render that the screens gives will be out of place and, subsequently, made to be all but redundant.

Install your Raspberry PI

The previously mentioned piece of equipment known as the Raspberry PI plays a pivotal role in proceedings, so make sure that you don’t forget to source one. When it comes to installing this equipment, just make sure that only one cord is pulled through the bottom of the mirror’s case — this will stop the tech from becoming overloaded with data and, ultimately, it will stop it from overheating.

Don’t forget to install the Raspbian operating system, as doing so will give you free rein to tap into the PI boot sequence as and when you see fit going forward.

Connect your mirror to the Internet

After all the hard work that you put in, it would be a shame to ruin it all by forgetting to connect your magic mirror to the Internet. Once this connection is forged, your mirror will be able to display real-time information, such as weather reports and news bulletins.

When you decide to design a magic mirror, you will be sure to be occupied for months on end. It will all be worth it in the end, though.

The Lucky Onez

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Photographer: @rossthephotoboss
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The Lucky Onez will always strive to make sure you live well, look well, and feel well.

How to Get the Most Out of YouTube

YouTube is one of the largest platforms for video-streaming on the internet, enabling every internet user to find their favorite videos online whenever they would like to. It is an incredibly useful tool to use for everything for education to music sampling to just plain old entertainment, which makes it a site that many people cannot be withoutAlthough YouTube’s interface is clean and relatively easy to use, whether you make videos or just like watching them, here are some handy apps and programs that could greatly improve your overall YouTube experience. 

 

Additional Services

At $11.99 per month, YouTube Premium is an ideal subscription service when it comes to renovating your experience while giving you the YouTube you know and love. One of the greatest advantages of YouTube Premium is its ad-free nature. Say goodbye to the blaring advertisements that precede cookery guides to choral music and skip straight to the heart of your favorite video. You can also save videos to watch offline, another great benefit for those who travel or live in remote areas. Doing this will ensure that your video will never stop halfway through again. Other benefits include being able to play videos in the background while you browse and YouTube are even starting to develop shows under the banner YouTube Originals. 

 

Converter Tools

One great way to make the most of YouTube is the ability to take YouTube videos with you wherever you go. ConvertVideo is a YouTube to Mp3 converter that allows you to convert any video into an easily transportable format that you can that download to any device and watch away from the YouTube app. This service is absolutely free, meaning that you can convert unlimited videos to Mp3 that can be downloaded straight from their website, making taking your favorite videos with you an uncomplicated process. This can also help you to watch videos on browsers that struggle to support YouTube videos directly. 

 

Video Quality Report

If you have trouble with your video quality or resolution when using YouTube, Google’s Video Quality Report may be the answer. This extension shows you data on the quality of video that your internet provider supplies, enabling you to understand and fix what is potentially damaging your YouTube experience. This report also shows you what factors are affecting your YouTube and splits these into different definitions which you can then use to understand your video quality. 

 

Useful Extensions

Magic Actions is a Chrome extension that can enhance your watching experience with a variety of different functions. These options range from cinema mode, which includes a wider screen to the usual video size, and AutoHD, so you can watch all your video at the highest quality automatically. These allow you to have control over your own experience, choosing the options to suit you and your video usage. This aims to make your viewing experience more comfortable and suited to your needs.

 

Using YouTube for social media influencing

One of the staples of social media that can be found on just about every platform there is gifs. If YouTube is one of the sources you use for producing content for your blog posts, then turning sections of your own videos or of related content that your followers will enjoy into gifs is a great way to help promote engagement with your own online presence. The easiest way to do this is by using the Gif Maker tool on Giphy. This is an easy tool to use to produce quality gifs in a short amount of time that can be added to your videos, in your blog posts, or in messages on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Easter Eggs

It is not a well-known fact, but YouTube actually has a whole host of Easter Eggs that you can find to make the site look and behave differently in amusing ways. For example, if you type the word ‘awesome’ while a video is playing (not into the search bar, just on your keyboard) then the progress bar will start flashing in different bold colors. Another Easter Egg is to search for the ‘do the Harlem Shake’ into the search bar, and an icon will appear which says ‘pause’ in the upper left corner. When you click on this icon, the website will start to do the dance for you.

 

Perfect for a party

Karaoke is a great addition to any house party you want to hold, and YouTube actually has a function where you can turn music videos into Karaoke tunes for everyone to start singing along toAll you need to do is get Musixmatch lyrics for YouTube which will go through its extensive catalog of song lyrics and apply them in real time to the songs you want to sing along to. This tool is also great for finding out what the lyrics to songs are when the singer is hard to understand or is rapping particularly fast.

 

Make sharing the specifics easier

This might be one of the most simple YouTube hacks you will come across but will also prove to be one of the most useful. When you have a very long video and you want to share a specific part of it with a friend or, if you are working in a teaching capacity, to show your students a specific section, you can share the video with them starting at the precise time the extract startsSimply play the video up until the starting point and then hit pause. Then, do a right click on the video and select ‘copy video URL at current time’ to share the exact extract you want them to see without having to download and edit the video for ages. There are many different options to help you get the most out of YouTube, whatever your budget is. Whether you would like a more comfortable viewing experience, or the ability to watch videos anywhere and at any time, there is a set of applications to suit you and your needs.

Getting Rid Of That Online Spam: Best Anti-Spam Services

Every business which goes digital today knows the dangers of spam and its possible impact on the website’s operations. While fake bots write bad reviews or give one’s site bad scorings, there are some heroes ready to save your online presence from being a nightmare. These heroes are nothing else but the anti-spam services which are easy to install and maintain and the results of which usually outstand the client’s expectations.

If you are one of the businesses struggling with the spammers’ attacks and would like to protect yourself against such activities, there is a possible solution. And this is cleantalk.org which is considered to be one of the best anti spam service on the swathes of the Internet. In this article we will talk what makes anti-spam service so important for proper business’s operations in the digital world, so stay tuned!

How To Protect Oneself Against Spam Online

Spam may take a number of forms and manifestations. To begin with, there is an old junk mail which comes into being after spammers hack someone’s list of emails and use this for personal lucrative benefits. There is also a web spam known as a manipulation on the website ranking in the search engine. In this case, no SEO optimization is concerned but rather sneaky and unfair tricks.

Here is how anti-spam service may help to protect your company’s website from unwanted spamming:

•automatic screening of user’s behaviour: by tracing one’s users behaviour, the system concludes whether this behaviour reminds this of the bot or a real person. In the former case, the system will then prevent its activity and thus exempt the website from the potential spammer;

•junk-email filters: in many situations, though, service allows you to access logs of all the processed requests in order to check results of the filters and ensure that not a single of the e-mails was mistakenly considered as a junk one. Such a combination of efficient automatic checks as well as personal scamming through gives almost 100% accuracy;

•statistics analysis: in order to be able to make proper managerial decisions, one should always have figures to rely on. Therefore, for any service it is necessary to give managers the ability to see the data on spam activity for Countries, IPs, IP networks and emails.

To wrap things up, digital world is full of dangers when it comes to spammers and improper website behaviour. However, there are always possible solutions in the forms of specially designed services ensuring spam checks and analysis. These services help businesses which went online to make sure that their online activities are not subject to the interference of the fake bots and foes.

Boost Your Education With These Hacks

There are so many things you can do in this day and age to make the most of your education experience. College and university is such an important part in the development of your life, and is certainly something you need to keep in mind moving forward. There are a lot of things that play a role in the process of enhancing your education, and you need to look at how best to achieve this.

When you are at college and talking higher education, it is so important that you do as much as you can to improve your experience. This means looking at the best ways of boosting your studies and trying to get the best possible outcome you can. These are some of the best techniques and ideas to use that can help you achieve this moving forward right now.

Use the Internet to Help You

There are so many things these days that can affect and impact on modern education, and one of the biggest is the internet. The fact that the internet is so cheap and accessible these days makes a big difference to the way the world works, and how education has progressed. You can find out pretty much any information you need or want to through the use of the internet; it is an essential tool for learning and education in the modern world.

Class Notes

You also need to make sure you are making use of the programs and resources that are out there to help you. One of the best ways of achieving this is to check out the different Class Notes formats you can use. This is a site where people can share their notes and assignments for other students to use in exchange for cash. This is an invaluable resource for those looking to learn more and boost their education prospects for the future.

Attend all Your Classes

Of course, the most important part of the process is to make sure you attend all your classes. This is something that has to happen in order for you to learn and understand as much as you can. There are so many things that have to happen in order for this to be the case, but full attendance is key to ensuring you are focused on improving the way you learn.

Speak to Your Tutors

You might also decide that you would like to improve your future moving forward, and there are so many different ideas to keep in mind when it comes to improving this in the future. Speaking direct with your tutors and finding out how you can gain extra credit or improve your learning is so important. This is something you need to make sure you think about moving forward, so it’s essential to make sure you get this right.

It is essential to make sure you speak to the relevant people and do as much as you possibly can to improve your situation. There are a lot of hacks you can use that are going to help you improve your education experience and your capacity for learning. And the more you sort these out, the better they will be for the future – this is something you need to think about moving forward.

How cheap Internet prices has helped online education in evolving?

Imagine this is 2004, and you’re an engineering student aspiring to clear the GATE exam. What would your first instinct be? It would undoubtedly involve looking for a nearby institute or consulting your college seniors about how hefty a fee you should be expected to pay for the course.

The year 2017 alone projected the growth of EduTech market at about $255 billion. This number is likely to grow at an exponential rate because more and more students are deciding to enrol for online courses. But what are the circumstances that contributed to this enormous growth? What are the factors that dominate this market niche?

Online Education:

An underlying sense of how online education works is dependent on the goal of the learner. The primary category of learners come to earn certifications which when added to their resumes, boost their career portfolios. The second category of learners come with a sole goal to improve their professional skill set and thus to establish expertise in that area.

Gaining an online degree was earlier not respected or considered credible. But all that is rapidly changing with the drastic increase in the number of students opting to study online and also the number of quality education providers online. While the availability of high-speed internet is one major factor, ease in accessing this technology, economical pricing, superior quality of education and the flexibility it provides form the other significant factors which contribute to the growth of students opting to learn online.

How does affordable internet contribute to this growth?

India and Internet:

The origin of the seed for digital education in India is a bit hazy, but the presence of E-Learning has been prevalent thanks to the educational programmes done by Doordarshan and Aakashwani in the previous decades. Though the internet was a common phenomenon in the early 2000’s, learning wasn’t the main takeaway from any of it. It was primarily used to communicate and not an everyday household luxury because of its expensive setup costs.

With the advent of affordable and high-speed bandwidths, the penetration of internet increased, and with it, the user base surged. The highest surge in the number of users in India was probably towards the end of 2016 when Reliance Jio made affordable and cheap 4G internet a reality while the Indian Currency Demonetisation forced digital literacy in the country.

Rural Penetration and Indic Languages:

The internet has opened up a wide range of possibilities in rural India. Students who previously travelled hundreds of kilometres and paid thousands of rupees at coaching institutes for GATE, UPSC, CAT etc. examination preparation, can now prepare from the comfort of their homes. All they need is a laptop or a smartphone with a small internet pack or access to a community WiFi network.

Sreenath K, a railway coolie from Kerala has cleared the UPSC examination by using the free WiFi available at the railway station. Every day, while he moved the luggage around the station, he used to listen to classes via his earphones on his smartphone. While this is an epitome of ‘how affordable internet has empowered the common man and thus helped in evolving the education in India’, the question of content and trust issues still exist.

A Yourstory article indicates that a majority of the Indian population prefer and trust content in their native languages. This opens up an excellent opportunity for regional content creators.

Thus teachers from anywhere in the country can upload their content in their native languages, and peer-reviewed content ratings help students choose the best of the lot and learn from them.

Accessing Content and types of Content:

While there is an abundance of text-based content available for students to consume, the most preferred content type is video. Video-based content has made it easy for students to understand complex topics from a primary school level to even GATE, CAT or UPSC.
While this stands, audio and image-based content rank next to video content. This is so because before the advent of 4G, accessing a video file was a difficult task but affordable 4G and free WiFi has made video streaming easier and faster.

While there are numerable video tutorials and audio tutorials available for free on youtube and other podcasting mediums, there are many other paid course portals available which provide various certification courses. The increase in the demand for skilled certification has increased the number of contenders in this category. This healthy competition, in turn, has contributed to improving the quality of the course content available.

Educational content is not just confined to the limits of the formats mentioned above. There has been a significant surge in content being generated for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality too. Gamifying the material has helped it, but at the same time, the pricing and the costs involved in including these technologies in a daily learner’s life are huge as of now.

It is not just this new technology, India is ranked 67th by Ookla’s internet speed test, the average internet speed in India is 18Mbps. Though this is an acceptable speed, it is not enough to cater to the ever-growing digital population.

With an estimated growth in the edtech industry to about $1.6 Billion by 2021, the best way to achieve this is by complete rural penetration of the internet, promotion of Indic and regional languages based content, affordable higher bandwidth and integration of new technologies into e-learning modules.

Panasonic Introduces Shoe Deodorizer

Panasonic Corporation will begin selling a shoe deodorizer, the MS-DS100, equipped with “nanoe X” that generates 10 times(*2) more hydroxyl (OH) radicals than “nanoe” to remove unpleasant shoe odors in a simple way, on September 20, 2018 (in Japan only).

One of the common causes of unpleasant shoe odors is isovaleric acid, an odorous substance produced by foot sweat and bacteria. According to a survey(*3) Panasonic conducted with sneaker wearers, about 62% of those surveyed take some measures to remove shoe odors, but about half of them are not satisfied with the deodorizing methods they use.

The MS-DS100 utilizes Panasonic’s original ion particles, “nanoe X,” to dissolve and eliminate unpleasant shoe odors(*1). When the product is set in shoes and the switch turned on, “nanoe X” is generated and spreads from six outlets to every corner of the shoes to remove odors(*1) in the entire interior of the shoes from the heel to the toe.

There are two operation modes to choose from. The normal mode provides approximately five hours of operation, while the long mode runs for about seven hours to remove stubborn odors. Both modes cost less than 1 yen(*4) per use, so it is very economical. The MS-DS100 also operates on a mobile battery(*5) so it can be used at a place where there is no AC power outlet. The product comes with a stylish storage case. The case accommodates the cap sections that are inserted into shoes for use, so the product can be stored neatly in the entrance area or shoe cupboard.

With the MS-DS100 shoe deodorizer, Panasonic proposes an easy way to remove shoe odors and expects to create new market demand.

Product features

Uses “nanoe X” to dissolve and eliminate shoe odors(*1)

The MS-DS100 utilizes Panasonic’s original nano-sized ions, “nanoe X.” Measuring about 5 to 20 nm each, the “nanoe X” particles penetrate the textile and dissolve and eliminate unpleasant shoe odors(*1).The six outlets discharge and spread “nanoe X” to every corner of the shoes to provide a thorough deodorizing effect.

Economical operation with electricity cost of less than 1 yen(*4) per use. Also operates on a mobile battery(*5).

There are two operation modes to choose from. The normal mode provides approximately five hours of operation, while the long mode runs for about seven hours to remove stubborn odors. Both modes cost less than 1 yen(*4) per use, so it is very economical. The MS-DS100 also operates on a mobile battery(*5) so it can be used at a place where there is no AC power outlet, such as in the entrance area or shoe cupboard.

Storage case provided with the product features a stylish design to look attractive when placed in an entrance area.

The storage case provided with the product accommodates the cap sections that are inserted into shoes for use, so the product can be stored neatly. The caps with antibacterial treatment(*6) can be removed and washed with water, so they can be used hygienically.

About product

Product name: Shoe Deodorizer

Product No.: MS-DS100

Suggested retail price: Open price

Launch date: September 20, 2018

Monthly production volume: 1,000 units

Specifications

Approximate power consumption: 2.9W

Approximate product dimensions: 170 (W) x 92 (D) x 246 (H) mm

Approximate weight: 480 g (main unit only)

Cable length: 2.5m

Color: -H (light gray)

Accessories: AC adapter, cable, storage case

*1: Effect of deodorizing foot odors (isovaleric acid) adhered to shoes. Testing laboratory: Panasonic Corporation, Product Analysis Center. Testing method: 6-stage odor intensity measurement method in an about 10-m2 test room. Deodorizing method: Generation of “nanoe.” Test result: Odor intensity decreased by 1.5 in 5 hours. Test result certificate issuing date: June 4, 2018. Test result certificate number: 1V332-180604-K01.

– Test results were not obtained under actual use conditions.

– Deodorizing effect varies depending on the ambient conditions (temperature, humidity), operating time, type of odor, and type of textile.

– Sensitivity to the deodorizing effect may vary from individual to individual.

*2: According to the results of Panasonic’s measurement conducted based on the ESR method. Comparison between 480 billion “nanoe” particles/second and 4,800 billion “nanoe X” particles/second.

*3: According to the results of Panasonic’s Internet survey conducted in June 2018 with males and females (N = 2,000) in their 10s to 60s

*4: Calculated based on the new electricity rate of 1 kWh = 27 yen (including tax)

*5: For normal mode, use a mobile battery with a capacity of 3,760 mAh or more (rated output: 5.0 VDC, 1.8 A). For long mode, use a mobile battery with a capacity of 5,000 mAh or more (rated output: 5.0 VDC, 1.8 A). Operation on a mobile battery cannot be guaranteed since the operating time may differ depending on the usage conditions, environment and other factors.

– Mobile battery is not supplied with the product.

*6: Antibacterial effect. Part name: Cap. Antibacterial effect verifying laboratory: Japan Food Research Laboratories. Testing method: In accordance with JIS Z 2801. Test result: Antibacterial activity value of 2.0 or higher. Antibacterial method: Antibacterial agent contained in the resin. Name of the part with antibacterial treatment: Antibacterial treated resin. Test result certificate issuing date: August 25, 2015. Test result certificate number: No. 15083195001-0101.

TRANSATEL × JAGUAR LAND ROVER

Transatel to Offer Infotainment Services and On-Board Wi-Fi for Jaguar Land Rover

The first vehicles equipped with Transatel’s technology, new and older models of the Jaguar and Land Rover ranges [1], will be available to the market end of June. The two companies recently signed a Master Services Agreement for a global cellular connectivity solution aiming to cover Jaguar Land Rovers’ connected car passenger applications: internet browsing and navigation services from the vehicle console, as well as on-board Wi-Fi.

Connectivity provider and technical enabler Transatel will be providing a data plan starting in 2018 for Jaguar and Land Rover models in the UK, Italy, and Germany. Data plan extensions with a selection of local and European plans will be available for selected lines.  Transatel will be providing the service, managing customer and retailer relations, providing customer and retailer support, and ensuring the payment process for the purchase of data bundles by end users.

Transatel’s design of the customer journey for this connected car service is the result of over 18 years’ experience in marketing telecom offers to end users in European territories. Clients seamlessly manage their accounts via the selfcare application, accessible with any device using the car’s Wi-Fi. The multi-lingual selfcare application enables account management, user registration and payment method registration, among other features.

Philippe VIGNEAU, VP Business development at Transatel:

“We’re excited to be launching our second European connected car project with such a prestigious and renowned company as Jaguar Land Rover; this time not for telematics, but for passenger applications. We’ve been evangelizing the market for more than a year now, explaining to car OEMs worldwide how to avoid major lock-in risks and answering their concerns about security, among others. It seems the superiority of our platform and business model has now become apparent to some major players of the automotive industry.”

About Transatel

As the leading European MVNE/A (Mobile Virtual Network Enabler/Aggregator), Transatel has, since its inception in 2000, launched over 150 MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) and built a strong expertise in Machine-to-Machine connectivity, before entering the Internet of Things arena in 2014. Today, the company offers an unparalleled cellular solution for global, multi-local data connectivity with eSIM capabilities for the IoT, addressing the connected car, connected objects, and embedded connectivity markets.

Work Productivity

How to Be More Productive at Work in 2018

If you’re surfing the internet looking for ways to be more productive (which led you to this article), chances are you did not finish all the tasks you were planning on yesterday. Or the day before. Or the day before. In some cases, there is just too much work to finish it all. But if you’re spending time on the internet right now, chances are time is not the issue, but productivity.

True, productivity is not something you can pull out of a hat and everyone is prone to productivity slumps once every so often. But there are ways you can get back in the game and make sure you stay as productive as possible.

We’ve compiled a list of the best productivity hacks to help you get excited about work again.

Create a To-Do List Ahead of Every Day

The productivity to time ratio is what often gets us in trouble in the first place. But even if you’re as productive as can be, if you don’t plan your tasks and create a schedule to follow you’ll likely get too swarmed with duties to actually do any of them right.

Just going through all your tasks can take hours, which is why productive people know planning ahead is key. Analyze all the tasks you have and estimate how long finishing them is going to take, then create a to-do list with all the tasks, deadlines and agenda.

Apps like Blink the Bee can even show you reminders every morning before getting down to business.

Split Your Time into Blocks

If you split your workday into blocks and assign them to particular tasks you will be much more effective. Your blocks should range from 15 minutes to an hour. You can take several blocks for one task if needed. For example, start your day with a half-an-hour-long block reserved for checking emails and communicating with clients.

Try to Avoid Distractions

Distractions come in many shapes and levels of annoyance: from coworker chats to ringing cellphones to outdoor noises and that Facebook account you keep open in the next tab. To make sure you eliminate these productivity killers, make sure you close all social media accounts in your browser, switch your phone to silent and disable any notifications that might be distracting you. Of course, no one is immune to checking their Facebook once in a while, which is why you should add a couple of those time blocks dedicated to checking your social media, making phone calls and answering messages.

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking is so 2016! What once was believed to be the trait of champions is now considered a major distraction. Multitasking can help you tackle many duties at once, but with so many things on your hands at the same time, your productivity can only be spread so thin.

Instead, focus on doing one task at a time and give every task the attention it deserves. You’ll be more productive and finish your work faster.

Make Sure You Have the Necessary Tools

Your employer should supply you with everything you need to do your job unhindered: a proper desk, an ergonomic chair as well as any office supplies you may need. Make sure you also have the software you need installed so you won’t have to deal with that in the middle of work. A professional and well-equipped workplace can make all the difference when it comes to productivity.