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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 March 23, 2021

                Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

                Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

                One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

                The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

                You need more than time management. You need energy management

                1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

                How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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                I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

                I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

                2. Determine your “peak hours”

                Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

                Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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                My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

                In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

                Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

                3. Block those high-energy hours

                Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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                Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

                If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

                That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

                There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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                Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

                Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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