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Why Streamlining Your Life Is So Essential

Why Streamlining Your Life Is So Essential

When we have clutter in our lives, productivity goes downhill, we become flustered and it’s often difficult to focus. Streamlining your life can affect you in more positive ways than you realize. As you reduce clutter from your space, you begin to think more clearly. Clearer thinking is going to bring productivity into your life. It takes some determination but the benefits are worth it. Experts say the hardest part is the first step but once you begin, you’ll feel lighter immediately.

Streamlining Your Life via Minimalism

The opposite of clutter is minimalism and to achieve this, the rule of thumb is to have no more than 100 items to your name.This might feel a little scary but it’s time to do some inventory of what you have in your space. Remember not to beat yourself up for all of the things you’ve accumulated. You’re probably going to be surprised how much “stuff” you have. Make a plan to tackle one room at a time and give yourself a deadline.

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It’s possible you may become overwhelmed when you begin the process of streamlining your life. There is often a psychological reason you have difficulty letting go of material items. You may find it hard to let go because of the sentimental value or perhaps you spent a lot of money on something. Even if you haven’t used the object in a long time, you have an emotional reason to hold onto it. Researchers of Yale have recently discovered that areas of your brain that associate with pain give the same response to giving up an object as real pain. You connect to these material items and letting them go can feel like losing a part of yourself.

Note that everyone has a different tolerance for the clutter around them. Researchers have discovered that some people even thrive well in a work environment that has a little bit of clutter. This can be attested by a picture of Steve Jobs work space. Yes, clutter has been proven to show a negative effective on job performance but it’s how you look at your clutter that matters more. Say you have photos of loved ones on your desk because it makes you happy, that’s not clutter. Your space, above all, should make you feel calm and happy.

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Why Streamlining Your Life is so Important

When you have “stuff” everywhere, it’s difficult to process information properly. Neuroscientists at Princeton University have compared an organized and unorganized person’s task performance. What they found was that clutter is distracting and takes attention away from performing well and it can cause stress. UCLA researchers found that a mother’s stress hormones will increase greatly when they have to deal with their things. It’s the same effect on the brain as multitasking is as the clutter stresses one out with an overload of sensory data.

Beware of the Digital Clutter

Most of you don’t even realize how many messages are being thrown at you from your digital devices. Notifications noises and visuals from social networking are distracting you from sticking to one task. The digital clutter deteriorates your ability to perform any one task to the best of your abilities. Mark Hurst, a New York Times best seller author spoke of the problem we face dealing with the incredible amount of information thrown at us constantly. The amount of to-do items are overwhelming so you have no way of investing your energy into any one thing. This causes a problem with your ability to filter information, bounce between tasks efficiently and keep a strong memory. It’s called physical clutter which is varied between people

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Turn off your devices when you have a task to do and also when you go to bed. Give yourself a specific amount of time to complete tasks and don’t deviate from the task. Don’t check your email, don’t answer the phone, shut your door and focus on one thing at a time. Of course, this isn’t always realistic but one of the things you should always do is turn off notifications on your mobile device.

Meditation for Streamlining Your Life

Meditation can allow you to slow the mind down, center your body and go deep within. As you feel the deepest emotions of yourself, it prevents you from spending money on things. Finding the inner peace and fulfillment really has an impact on how you feel about yourself. There are certain meditation methods that can greatly help you find simplicity within. A time where you’re not connected to the digital world or dealing with anything else but being present in the moment.

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

1. ToDoist

    ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

    For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

    However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

    The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

    Available on iOS and Android

    2. monday.com

      This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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      The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

      The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

      If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

      Available on iOS and Android

      3. CloudApp

        CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

        Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

        The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

        Available on iOS

        4. Quip

          If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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          Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

          There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

          Available on iOS and Android

          5. Trello

            Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

            Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

            The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

            Available on iOS and Android

            6. Focus Keeper

              This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

              This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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              The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

              Available on iOS and Android

              7. Quire

                This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                Available on iOS and Android

                8. Asana

                  This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                  The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  9. Toggl

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                    You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                    The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    10. Omni Focus

                      This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                      It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                      Available on iOS

                      Summary

                      All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

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                      Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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