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5 Lesser Known But Powerful Tools to Increase your Productivity

5 Lesser Known But Powerful Tools to Increase your Productivity
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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.

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Mukesh Agarwal

Professional Blogger

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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