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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 April 19, 2021

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

        The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

        Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

        In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

        When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

        Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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        1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

        When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

        As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

        That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

        The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

        What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

        Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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        There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

        So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

        2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

        When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

        No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

        3. Move Your Body

        A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

        It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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        So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

        4. Connect With Another Person

        Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

        One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

        Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

        5. Use Your Imagination

        When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

        That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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        And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

        Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

        Final Thoughts

        Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

        Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

        More on the Importance of Taking a Break

        Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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