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Published on October 27, 2017

Dump Your Calculator and Make The “Currency” App Your Ultimate Travel Buddy

Dump Your Calculator and Make The “Currency” App Your Ultimate Travel Buddy

Travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures can be wondrous and exciting. But when it comes to shopping or buying those souvenirs, currency can become confusing. Not just in terms of fumbling for the correct coins and notes but also the exchange rates. How often do you try and figure out an estimate of how much you’re really paying for that T-shirt or meal at the local restaurant?

It becomes even more confusing when shops allow you to pay in different currencies. Which is best? If you don’t know the current exchange rate or you’re using a ballpark guesstimate it can be hard to work out if you’re losing money or getting a good deal.

The Best App To Take Travelling and Find Out Exactly What You’re Paying

There is an easy solution to this problem that doesn’t involve having a rough or out of date exchange rate in your mind and a calculator to hand.

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Currency is an instant exchange app that will easily convert foreign currency to your home currency quickly and easily allowing you to make a more informed decision on your overseas purchases. And with over 160 different currencies to choose from, you’re guaranteed to know exactly how much you’re paying wherever you are in the world.

Using the Currency App is Super Easy

Once you’ve downloaded the app from your app store, it should automatically set your home currency at the top of your screen. You can then use the search bar to add the currency you need to use to your favourites. On the free version you can add up to five different currencies but if you find you travel a lot then the paid version lets you add as many as you like.

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    If you want to change your home currency, simply tap on the country you want and it will easily take it to the top of the screen. Tap on the second currency you want to convert from and it will appear below the home currency.

      Once you’ve set up your currencies, swipe the screen up to reveal the app’s calculator. Here you can add or subtract several purchases or calculations in keeping with the exchange rate which makes it much easier than using a standard calculator.

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      To clear your calculations, simply swipe the currency to the right and it’ll reset it to zero. Alternatively, drag it back to restore your previous calculations.

        Another feature is a handy historical chart to show the rise and fall of the exchange rates over a 6 month period of time. This is helpful if you regularly visit the same countries and purchase large amounts in certain foreign currencies.

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          So next time you travel abroad, don’t look at the exchange rate before you go and use your phone’s calculator to try and work out exactly what you’re paying. This kind of calculation will usually end up being wildly out and could end up losing you money over time. Let Currency do the hard work for you and feel safe in the knowledge that you’re getting the best deals around the world.

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          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Published on July 17, 2018

          How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

          How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

          I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

          You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

          But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

          What is compartmentalization

          To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

          In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

          However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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          Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

          Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

          The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

          Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

          Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

          How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

          The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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          Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

          My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

          Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

          Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

          One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

          If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

          The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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          Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

          This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

          If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

          Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

          Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

          Reframe the problem as a question

          Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

          One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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          For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

          Choose one thing to focus on

          To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

          Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

          Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

          Comparmentalization saves you stress

          Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

          This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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