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Two Highly Rated Apps That Help You Work 10 Times Faster

Two Highly Rated Apps That Help You Work 10 Times Faster

Did you know that the average worker is only productive for about 3 out of 8 hours?[1] You’re probably no different, and neither am I. That’s why we need to make the most use out of our productive hours.The problem is, too many of those hours are spent doing ‘busy work’ such as searching for files, executing system commands, or opening and closing files to see if you got the right one (the absolute worst!).Here are two Mac OS X apps that you can use to cut down on that busy work, and the best part— they’re free!

The first app is called the Alfred App. This app will basically save you the hassle of constantly typing the same phrases over and over again and opening and closing files until you find the right one, and you won’t even have to lift your fingers off the keyboard!That’s right, the Alfred App allows you to launch applications and find files on your Mac using customized keyboard hotkeys and you can even use the same feature to browse the web as well.Looking for a specific piece of information within a file but not sure which file it is? The Alfred App allows you to preview the contents of a file by merely tapping the ‘Shift’ key. No more waiting for each individual file to open and close!

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Tired of typing the same phrases over and over again in your work? Alfred App allows you to create your own snippets with their own associated abbreviations. Now you’ll be able to reply to all those boring office emails in no time at all.

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And if you want even more features, you can get their premium version for £19 (~$24).

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The second app is called ClipMenu. It’s a very simple app that allows you to easily access all previous items on your clipboard. So, if you find yourself constantly pasting the same few things over and over again, give this app a shot. You can store as many items on your clipboard as you like, with memory space being the only limitation.

So the next time your coworker wonders how you can work for hours without taking your hands off your keyboard like a hacker on TV, tell them about these apps!

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Ian Lee

Freelance Writer for Hire

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Last Updated on June 2, 2020

Easy Tasks or Difficult Tasks First? Which One is More Productive?

Easy Tasks or Difficult Tasks First? Which One is More Productive?

Procrastination is probably the biggest detriment to our productivity. Conventional wisdom dictates that the best thing you can do is make that procrastination constructive. When you don’t feel like doing one task, usually one that requires a lot of will- or brainpower, you do another, usually less labor-intensive task.

Recently, though, conventional wisdom has been challenged with something Penn State refers to as “pre-crastination.”[1] After doing a series of studies in which students pick up and carry one of two buckets, researchers theorized that many people prefer to take care of difficult tasks sooner rather than later. That theory poses the question of whether this pre-crastination or the more widely acknowledged constructive procrastination is more effective.

Here is a look at whether people should do difficult tasks early or later on to achieve maximum productivity.

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Doing Easy Tasks First

The Pros

One of the hardest parts of working is just getting started. Constructive procrastination eases this hardship, because working on easy tasks requires a smaller mental or physical commitment than if you tackled difficult tasks firsts.

If one of the foremost deterrents to your productivity is simply getting going, it makes a lot of sense to save the difficult tasks for when you’re in more of a groove.

The Cons

If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, that will probably be the worst thing you do all day. — Mark Twain

On the surface, there don’t seem to necessarily be any disadvantages to doing easy tasks first. However, in Eat That Frog, the book writeen by Brian Tracy challenges that.

Based on the above quote from Mark Twain, Eat That Frog encourages avoiding procrastination, even if that procrastination is constructive. Tracy wants you to “eat that frog,” i.e. do your difficult tasks quickly because the longer it’s on your plate, the harder it will become to do the thing you’re dreading. If you have a habit of dreading things, Eat That Frog makes a solid argument to hold off on your easy tasks until later in the day.

Doing Difficult Tasks First

The Pros

Brian Tracy postulates in Eat That Frog that if you do your difficult tasks first, your other tasks won’t seem so bad. After all, after you eat a frog, even something unappetizing will seem downright delectable.

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Tracy also recommends that, if you have to eat two frogs, you should eat the uglier one first. The metaphor is a very easy way to get your head around the new concept of pre-crastination.

If all of your tasks seem somewhat torturous to you, you might be able to ease the pain by getting rid of the ugliest “toads” as quickly as you can.

The Cons

The primary disadvantage of doing your difficult tasks first is probably that it will make it especially hard to get started on your workday.

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A lot of people aren’t exactly at their peak performance mode when they enter the office. They need to ease into the workday, maybe have a cup or two of coffee to stimulate them.

If that’s you, doing your most difficult tasks first would probably be a costly mistake. Hold off on “eating those frogs” until you have the willpower and fortitude to choke them down.

Conclusion

Should you do easy or difficult tasks first? It seems like a cop-out to say that it depends on the person, but sometimes that’s the honest answer, and that is definitely the case here.

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Hopefully this article helps inform you of what type of worker you are, offering clues to whether you fall into the constructive procrastination or pre-crastination camps. Good luck on your pursuit of maximum productivity!

More Tips for Beating Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Courtney Dirks via flickr.com

Reference

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