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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 July 8, 2020

                How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

                How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

                What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

                When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

                In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

                While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

                As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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                  Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

                  Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

                  The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

                  But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

                  However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

                  This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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                  Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

                  We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

                  Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

                  Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

                  The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

                  When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

                  When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

                  How to Make Decision Effectively

                  Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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                  1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

                  You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

                  Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

                  Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

                  2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

                  You don’t have to choose all the time.

                  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

                  Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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                  3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

                  You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

                  The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

                  Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

                  Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

                  So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

                  More Tips About Decision Making

                  Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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