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8 Incredible Productivity Tools to Help Make Better Use of Your Time

8 Incredible Productivity Tools to Help Make Better Use of Your Time

It has been said again and again that time is money. To this same sentiment, if time is wasted, then that is money wasted as well. Use any combination of these tools to stop wasting time and get back on track with your productivity. These tools will cut down on time spent doing things other than work while simultaneously streamlining your process for being more productive. Use them on your mobile and desktop device; you’ll have access whenever you need it so that you spend less time on the masses of small tasks that accumulate throughout the day.

1. Toggl

This simple tool is used for tracking time. All that you need to do is click the button for Toggl, and the timer will begin. It is a very simple yet effective way to track the time that it takes you to complete any number of tasks. The program will also allow you to view reports regarding the time and see how much time you are investing on different projects throughout the week or whatever specified amount of time.

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2. Evernote

This app is capable of saving audio and text notes, setting reminders, uploading attachments, and organizing photos and all of these things can become synced across all mobile and desktop devices. There is a feature within the app that allows the user to clip items from the web and store them for later use. This app is perfect if you are regularly using multiple devices.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite has been around for a while and is the go-to program for those who manage multiple social media accounts. This program allows users to manage and monitor all of their activity on social media sites on one simple dashboard. Users can schedule posts, assign tasks to team members, measure performance, organize Twitter followers and lists, and so much more.

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4. Google Drive

Along with Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google drive assists in sharing and editing many types of files. Those who are members of a team can chat about projects and share notes within a specific document. It is free to use, so this revolutionary program should not be overlooked or missed out on.

5. IFTTT

This stands for “If This, Then That”. Essentially, this program allows you to create (or use existing) “recipes” that will connect apps and services to work together to complete a specified task. As an example, you can create an IFTTT recipe that will automatically upload your photos to Instagram to your Google Drive account. You will have the ability to create intricate integration without the need for programming experience. The use goes way beyond just social media. You can set up automatic emails to be sent if the weather forecasts suddenly indicate rain, or anything else.

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6. Google Alerts

If you have ever wondered where your company or brand is being mentioned on the internet, Google Alerts has your back. You can receive an instant notification whenever your specified term is mentioned anywhere on the internet. This helps to keep marketing efforts in line as well as making sure that you are grabbing the links from anyone that is mentioning your business.

7. Unroll.Me

This program helps to organize your inbox by gathering all of your selected newsletters into a single email bundle that can be opened and read at a later date. It helps to hide annoying email clutter and can list all of your email subscriptions. The program comes with an unsubscribe button so that you can easily remove yourself from any list.

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8. StayFocused

Perhaps this is the productivity tool to end all productivity tools. StayFocused is an unpaid extension for Chrome that will limit the amount of time that you can spend on websites that are deemed as time wasters, like Facebook. This tool can be totally customized; choose which websites to block, pick specific pages to be blocked, and how long to block them for.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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