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Last Updated on October 12, 2017

Use “Forrest” To Plant Some Trees With Your Focusing Time and Power

Use “Forrest” To Plant Some Trees With Your Focusing Time and Power

Motivation is difficult to maintain with the enormous amount of distractions that we encounter every day. We want to stay productive, but that can be impossible to do if we can’t maintain our focus.

Luckily, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to organizational apps. Applications such as the Hourstracker can help us to determine how much time we spend on each task we perform throughout the day. This knowledge can help us to make better use of our time, and complete those tasks more efficiently.

Efficiency does not always lead to productivity

As helpful as these tools may be in theory, we are not so inclined to use them because they are so professional. We spend so much of our lives staying on track and being professional that sometimes it’s nice to partake in something a bit more light and fun. On a real note, professional style apps can be boring.

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In order to stay motivated and feel motivated to use the apps, we need a little push from a more whimsical direction.

Cue, the Forest App.

    The answer to your motivational issues lies within this one app. Forest makes staying motivated fun, which is not an easy feat to achieve.

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    The point of the application is to train you to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand. But the playful nature of the app will make your achievements that much more satisfying, because it’s fun!

    Forest also keeps track of how many times you broke your focus to check on your phone, to give you an idea of how long you can stay focused for as well as the progress you are making.

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      So here’s how it works

      So you’re probably dying to know at this point how to app actually works. What groundbreaking and fun technique could it possibly have? The answer: planting trees.

      You got that right. Planting trees. Every time you want to stay focused, you plant a tree on the app and allow it to grow while you work. If you manage not to check your phone for 30 minutes, you will end up with a fully grown tree. The size of your forest depends on the length of your motivation.

      If you lose motivation and habitually reach for your phone which is bound to happen (at first) your tree will die. Forest plays on your emotions by giving you a sense of responsibility to the tree. You will feel inclined to stay away from your phone and stay focused on your agenda. The balance of the trees life is in your hands!

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        Although the application does provide their stats in the form of graph and charts, it is much more fulfilling to see it in the form of your own personally grown forest, nurtured by your motivation and achievements. You will be surprised to see how quickly you become invested and care for your little forest.

        If you want to take it a step farther, you can plant real trees through the app as well. For a small fee you can grow an actual forest of your own. You can feel good about knowing that you are giving back to the earth while giving to yourself as well.

        And don’t worry. This isn’t a forever kind of thing. When you’re done with your tasks and want to reconnect, you can close the app just like any other. But when it’s time to lock it down and get things done, open up the Forest App. Plant some trees and allow your forest to flourish as well as your achievements.

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        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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        Last Updated on June 22, 2018

        How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

        How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

        Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

        By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

        This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

        Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

        1. Consider consolidating multiple credit cards if possible

        This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

        It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

        Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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        Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

        My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

        Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

        2. Try to pay the full balance you spent each month at the very least

        You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

        Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

        If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

        3. Pay extra when you can – every small amount counts

        This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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        It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

        4. Create a plan on how to pay extra

        Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

        This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

        For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

        Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

        5. Cut out costs for services you do not use

        If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

        In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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        6. Get aggressive about it

        Consider these points:

        Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

        Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

        Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

        Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

        7. Reevaluate your progress at set intervals

        Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

        By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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        Finally (and most importantly)…

        8. Keep trying

        Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

        Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

        Start knocking out your debt today

        The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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