Productivity and Efficiency in Digital Environments

Brief Summary: Staying productive and efficient with technology is a skill required for academics and career. A highly skilled individual in this competency effectively organizes files, emails and important documents, takes advantage of cloud services to back up files, uses templates to streamline tasks and implements time management strategies to stay on task. 

Learners with proficient skills in productivity and efficiency in digital environments should be able to: 

  • Self-regulate and sustain self-motivation and focus in digital environments to accomplish goals 
  • Integrate cloud services into personal file management systems 
  • Maximize features in software to save time, like creating filters or equations in Excel Spreadsheets 
  • Understand basics of file and email management 
  • Use device settings to support distraction management, like Do Not Disturb, setting app limits or adjusting notification settings 

Market/Employer Trends: Employers indicate a gap in new employee familiarity with operating in cloud platforms to save, store, and even collaborate. They note this is a critical skill area in productivity and efficiency. 



Key questions for reflection: 

  • Are your files easy to locate?  
  • Can you access them from anywhere?  
  • How do you manage competing priorities? 

Strong digital skills in this area could appear as: 

  • Using an auto-backup feature so that your files automatically sync to a cloud storage service 
  • Creating templates to quickly complete routine tasks like emails, Word documents or Excel spreadsheets 
  • Familiarity with time management techniques that can help you stay focused, like the Pomodoro technique 
  • Ability to use Do Not Disturb, Screen Time (Apple/iOS) or Digital well-being (Android) features on your personal device to block distractions to successfully stay focused 
  • Quickly navigating personal files and emails  


Ways to Upskill: 

Ready to grow your strength in this competency? Try: 


Educator Tips to Support Digital Skills:

  • Include links to productivity and efficiency resources on a resources page or integrated into relevant assignments (links can be found above under “Ways to Upskill”) 
  • Provide guidance for how long assignments will take to aid in student’s planning and time management