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Published on October 12, 2017

Make Good Habits Stick Easily With Productive—the Habit Tracker

Make Good Habits Stick Easily With Productive—the Habit Tracker

Building good habits like establishing an exercise routine, reading every day, or drinking enough water take a lot of focus and motivation. At times, it can be easy to forget to continue your good habit once you started. Some days you might lack the motivation to even try. You might have found that once you’ve gone a few days without your good habit, you lose enthusiasm to continue. 80% of New Years resolutions fail but the second week of February.[1] It is a wide spread, and common problem.

What we need, then, is a way to easily keep track of our good habits. For example, if someone wanted to run for twenty minutes a day, it could be useful to have something to help them plan their day around it, or keep track of the days they have succeeded in running for twenty minutes.

The app Productive has been designed with this is in mind. Effective use of the app could make maintaining good habits easier, and fun, thanks to the numerous ways the app helps you. Let’s take a look at how Productive helps you build the habit you’ve always wanted.

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1. Plan your day

What makes the app so useful is that it encourages you to break down when exactly you want to engage in your good habit. It gives you the chance to decide and separate your positive habits into morning and afternoon habits, which gives you the needed push to ensure you do them.

When I started meditation I noticed that when I chose a specific time in advance to meditate, I was far more likely to follow through with my plans and actually meditate when compared to times I didn’t have a particular time in mind. This app ensures you won’t make the same mistake I did.

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    2. Focus on your habits

    The app is very clearly organised by habit, unlike other ways of scheduling, where your habit might be easily lost or drowned out by other options. Displaying things in a simple, and clear manner makes your habit a clear goal to be achieved.

    3. Establish a routine

    In many ways, we all live by routine. The things you do every day are done almost without thought. Everything from brushing your teeth, to the drive to work are done the same way because it is routine to you. Once something has been established as part of your routine, you don’t need to worry about remembering to do something, or finding the enthusiasm to do something, in the end you just do it. If you want to set up a good habit, making it part of your daily routine can be hugely important.

    Productive helps you do that by helping you keep track of the days you have performed your positive habit, and the days you have not.

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      4. Sustain motivation.

      Productive keeps a record of all of your statistics and successes, available for you to check on at any time. This means that progress will feel all the more real and concrete. It is easy to not do something if you don’t think you are making any improvements in it. As you are able to see for yourself how well you are doing in maintaining your good habit, you will naturally feel more motivated to continue.

      The app can log your progress over weeks. After a month or two, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come since you’ve started. This might even give you the extra enthusiasm to start establishing many other great habits.

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        Currently Productivity is only available on iOS devices. You can install it for free and start to build habits with its basic functions. Install Productivity here.

        Or you can consider the premium version which is reasonably priced and you can subscribe to it from anything from one month, to one year or more. With the premium version comes with all features and is fully customizable and so can you can tailor it to suit your preferences exactly.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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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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