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3 Apps and Starbucks Coffee Shop Help Me Manage the Workload of My Job and Business

3 Apps and Starbucks Coffee Shop Help Me Manage the Workload of My Job and Business

In the 21st Century, the human race has travelled far from an ape to a primitive man to a well-civilized human being. The journey wasn’t easy but we, as humans, have achieved things which are simply majestic.

Today, with access to the latest technology and tools, our lifestyle is in the most comfortable zone it can be in but at the same time today, one of the biggest challenges our generation is facing is low productivity and managing the workload. Also many of us have multiple interests and to fulfill those interests there are multiple options and tools and it’s all just too overwhelming.

If you have multiple interests, businesses or if you are managing a job and a business at the same time and you are finding it difficult to manage your workload and schedules, then you are not alone. I too was sitting on the fence until I figured out the right technique.

In this post I’ll tell you exactly which three apps I use and how to manage the workload. I’ll also show you the exact technique I use to decide which tasks to put in the calendar and which ones to discard for now in order to get the most out of my available time and to increase productivity.

Three Apps and Starbucks Coffee Shop

The apps I use and hware required (you can use any app that does similar functions) in this technique are:

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  1. DO
  2. Calendars by Readdle
  3. Dropbox Technology

Sometimes I work from home but most of the time I work from Starbucks and there are a few reasons for using Starbucks but I’ll share two of the most important ones. Firstly, it is a great place for having a coffee and networking because there are many other fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers or like-minded people who come and work there. And the second – you can get free WiFi!

Let’s dive in to see why I only leverage these three apps and the detailed workings of this technique.

Growth Three Times Technique

Using this technique, I managed the workload of my business – GrowthRabbit – which helps entrepreneurs and bloggers grow their audiences, businesses and blogs and my involvement in a London based start-up, build a holiday where I oversee their business growth and user experience which helps them achieve their viral growth.

So, we have three apps, let’s start with the first one called Any.DO as well as step one of this technique. I call this technique “Growth Three Times” simply because I use three apps which help me increase my productivity and help me grow.

Step: 1

Any.DO is a to-do list app. This is a great app within this category and it has both free and paid versions but the free version is enough to get you started. I use this app because of its simplicity and easily creatable categories, plus it’s free.

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We are going to use this app as a task planner. We need to create four categories within the app. The names of the categories could be anything as far it is accomplishing our goal. Our goal at this stage is to write down all of the tasks we need to do and then segment them into three different categories.

anydo-task-planner
    1. Big Pot – Generic task pot. Dump all the tasks or work you have to do in here.
    2. Smooth Tasks – Pick and place the tasks from the ‘Big Pot list’ to ‘Smooth Tasks’ list that are urgent and mandatory to do.
    3. May Be Later – Pick and place the tasks from the ‘Big Pot’ list to ‘May Be Later’ list that are not urgent or mandatory. In short, tasks which don’t require your attention right now.
    4. Discard For Now – Pick and place the tasks from the ‘Big Pot list’ to ‘Discard list’ that are not important at all and can be done at any time or at your own leisure.

    Step: 2

    In step 2 we are going to use another app called Calendars by Readdle. This app is basically a calendar/scheduler and it can be easily integrated with other calendars if you wish to do so. There are both free and paid versions but the free version is enough. I use this app because it’s simple, user-friendly and it’s free.

    The first thing to do in this step is to schedule all of our tasks listed under the “Smooth Tasks” category on our app Any.DO into the Calendars by Readdle app based on the task deadlines, urgency and their importance.

    Next, pick tasks from the “May Be Later” category from Any.DO app and schedule all of these tasks into Calendars by Readdle based on their urgency and task deadlines.

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    calendar-schedular

      You see, using this technique of organizing and managing tasks is super easy without being overwhelmed and workload management becomes simple. This is why it’s very important to segment your tasks first and then schedule them into the calendar rather than scheduling the tasks directly.

      An important point to pay attention to: Organize your calendar on a monthly basis and optimize on a weekly basis. I organize my calendar on 29th of each month and then optimize every Thursday using the exact same technique. Thus, any new task that comes up first goes into the ‘Big Pot’ category and after the segmentation process, it goes onto my calendar.

      Step 3: Give A Boost To Your Productivity

      Lastly, I keep all of my files and folders in the cloud – Dropbox technology. I do this because not only it enables me to work remotely but allows me to access and share all of my files and folders from the Dropbox mobile app.

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      dropbox-mobile-app

        So, if anything urgent comes up that requires sharing files, I don’t have to remember to do that when I reach my PC or laptop, I can do that straight away. In fact, using the technology you can cut roots and complete the small tasks here and this can relieve you from stress and ultimately boost your productivity.

        Conclusion

        Productivity is all about your input to output. So whatever you are doing always make sure that you put less effort, which is possible using your creativity, techniques and tools, and get at least 3X the output. One thing is clear, with today’s access to technology we are able to leverage this technology smartly and creatively to manage workloads, schedules, multiple businesses and jobs altogether.

        Which other techniques have you used to manage your workload and schedules? Please let us know in the comments below:

        Featured photo credit: Tortoon Thodsapol via Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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        Chintan Maisuria

        Growth Marketing

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        Last Updated on April 19, 2021

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

        The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

        Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

        In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

        When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

        Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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        1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

        When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

        As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

        That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

        The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

        What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

        Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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        There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

        So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

        2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

        When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

        No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

        3. Move Your Body

        A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

        It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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        So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

        4. Connect With Another Person

        Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

        One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

        Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

        5. Use Your Imagination

        When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

        That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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        And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

        Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

        Final Thoughts

        Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

        Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

        More on the Importance of Taking a Break

        Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

        Reference

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