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5 Lesser Known But Powerful Tools to Increase your Productivity

5 Lesser Known But Powerful Tools to Increase your Productivity

In this day and age, we all need some help with our productivity – be it for business or for personal use. This is why we see a new tool coming up to increase your productivity every other day.

I have been working with such tools and having used a large number of productivity enhancing tools, I have decided to go with these 5 tools. The first 3 tools will help you increase productivity with your business’ social media management and the last two are for your personal use.

1. Recur Post

The first tool, and my personal favorite of all 5 ,in the list, is Recur Post. It allows you to create libraries of your evergreen content and then schedule it to post on your social networks in a recurring manner. For instance, you can add 30 of your best blog posts into a library and then ask it to post one update daily on your Twitter account. This takes care of keeping your Twitter account updated forever and posts only get repeated after 30 days.

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You can create multiple libraries such as “My Blogs”, “Other People’s Content”, “Witty Quotes” etc. Each library can have your evergreen social updates and you can then schedule when and where should an update be posted.

Once an update has been posted on a social platform, it will sit at the end of the queue to be posted again once everything else has been posted.

2. Text Free App

The second tool is actually a suite of tools. The best tool in this suite, in my opinion, is TweeLinks. It allows you to enter a few screen names (Twitter usernames) and it will tell you which links are shared by those people.

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This is good for outreach with influencers. If you see someone sharing a lot of links from one or two websites then you can use that information to connect with them. It gives you an ice breaker to start the conversation.

They also have a tool that can tell you the most popular Tweets around a topic. You could use those Tweets to schedule your next Tweets.

3. Promise or Pay

Promise or Pay is a great idea to get you motivated. Are you slacking on your promises to go to the gym, or to take your wife out on a dinner date? Then you can use a little bit of social pressure on yourself with Promise or Pay.

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You commit to pay a certain amount to charity if you do not perform a task. You then invite your social contacts to commit some money towards your success. They will stay updated with your progress and you will now know that they are all watching you, so the pressure makes you move.

In the end, you pay money to a charity of your choice so it is a noble cause as well.

4. Eyecare 20 20 20

If you are in front of a bright screen for long hours then your eyes could use some help. Doctors recommend that you should be taking regular breaks at 20 minutes each.

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There is a 20-20-20 rule that says you should look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. However, it is not easy to keep track of time so this app helps you a lot. You can download it on your Android as well as iPhone, iPad etc.

5. f.lux

If you are a Mac user, you probably already know how Macs adjust the brightness based on the amount of light around them. This helps your eyes a lot with reducing strain.

If you are not a Mac user you can download f.lux app to get the same advantage. F.lux app makes your computer screen adapt to the surrounding light. When you are in a room with low light, it will make your computer screen look warm and during the day it makes it look like sunlight. It’s a free app and is available for all platforms, including Mac, Windows and Linux.

More by this author

Mukesh Agarwal

Professional Blogger

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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