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7 Apps To Help You Gain Extra Hours Every Day

7 Apps To Help You Gain Extra Hours Every Day

Are you running out of hours? Fighting endless fires at the office and at home? Fear of sleeping because you will wake up to another battlefield? In our highly push notification, multi-tasking world, none of us ever will have enough time.

Work is brought home and very soon the signs of burnt-out are everywhere. Paradoxically, the more technologically advanced we are, the more we are obliged to do. Look at what Blackberry did to a generation of users.

But it doesn’t have to be way. There are apps that actually help you to manage your time better and, collectively, shaving hours off your work weeks and providing you the margins you need in life.

Here are seven such apps:

1. Outlook Mobile

Acquired by Microsoft, Outlook Mobile (formerly known as Accompli) helps you save time by dividing your inbox into two groups – Focused and Others. Based on their proprietary algorithm, your emails are automatically sorted when they arrived. The ones that are responding to your emails or from someone in your contact list would appear under Focused.

Your newsletter, advertisements emails would be stored under Others. This way you won’t be wasting unnecessary time going through a dozen newsletter just to reach that email from your boss.

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Outlook Mobile

    2. Headspace

    How do you usually start your day? Catching up on your emails? Running through the timeline feeds you missed because you were sleeping? Your beginning will often dictate your end. Start in rush mode and you will end more or less there as well.

    Instead, give your mind a “warm-up’ by going through a relaxing meditation exercise. This is made easy with Headspace. They call themselves the gym membership for the mind. It carry courses on guided meditation, delivered via an app or online.

    Their starter sessions only take 10 minutes.

    Headspce

      3. Wunderlist

      With so many things to do, remembering all of them is itself a feat. And if you missed any out, the repercussion could be painful.

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      Wunderlist helps you to track all your different tasks into your customized to-do list. You could have multiple lists and even share them with others. Recurring reminders could also be set up.

      Having an effective to-do lists would help you plan your day better and ensure your day is productive and not simply busy.

      Wunderlist

        4. SunRise

        Want to go beyond to-do lists? Calendar down every single thing you are supposed to do. This include breaks, time to think and reflect, exercise, and, of course, work.

        Jeff Weiner (the CEO of LinkedIN) is famous for scheduling nothing into his calendar. During those periods, he would just think deep and big about the long term strategy of the business.

        Sunrise helps you to manage multiple calendar within a single screen. It integrates well with EventBrite, Facebook and many other websites to pull those events into your centralized calendar.

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        Sunrise

          5. OverDrive

          Many of the productivity hacks I learned are through books, but I seldom buy them any more as they are a huge space sucker. Still, books are the best way for us to upgrade our own operating system – our brain.

          OverDrive connects with your local library and allows you to borrow eBooks or AudioBooks. It comes with a bookmark function so you could pause anytime you want and continue whenever you feel like it.

          With your library in your pocket, there is no excuse not to gain more wisdom one commute at a time.

          Overdrive

            6. SanSan

            It’s 2016 but name cards aren’t going away anytime soon, but managing them is a pain and so time-consuming. You need to sort them out in alphabetical order, it might fade and crumble and you could never finish entering all of them into your CRM.

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            SanSan takes that pain away and using almost perfect OCR technology to automatically digitize your business cards.

            You could even share those data with your colleagues, saving everyone precious time in managing conflicting data and data entry efforts.

            SanSan

              7. Voicebase

              I once knew someone who could type 90wpm. She is so fast that it became her only job at the office despite her more well-rounded job title. Not all of us can or want to become an expert typist. But every report and email still requires input. It doesn’t have to be via the keyboard though.

              Voicebase is an expert in speech recognition and speech analytics. Their phone app allows you to record and upload your speech to their server, to be transcribed automatically into text. It could even pick out keywords to make your search so much more intuitive.

              Voicebase

                Featured photo credit: Sozialhelden e.V. via flickr.com

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                Adrian Tan

                Ops Director at Ingeus Singapore

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                Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

                The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

                How about a unique spin on things?

                These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

                1. Empty your mind.

                It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

                Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

                Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

                Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

                How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

                2. Keep certain days clear.

                Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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                This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

                3. Prioritize your work.

                Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

                Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

                Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

                How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                4. Chop up your time.

                Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

                5. Have a thinking position.

                Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

                What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

                6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

                To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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                Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

                7. Don’t try to do too much.

                OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

                8. Have a daily action plan.

                Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

                Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

                9. Do your most dreaded project first.

                Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

                10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

                The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

                11. Have a place devoted to work.

                If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

                But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

                Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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                Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

                12. Find your golden hour.

                You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

                Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

                Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

                Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

                13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

                It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

                By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

                Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

                14. Never stop.

                Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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                Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

                There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

                15. Be in tune with your body.

                Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

                16. Try different methods.

                Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

                It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

                Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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