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Published on September 28, 2018

Why Use Productivity Tracker Apps? 11 Ways They Can Change Your Life

Why Use Productivity Tracker Apps? 11 Ways They Can Change Your Life

The life of a modern man is very busy; it is subject to the tough schedule with many things to do, meetings and events to attend.

At one time, about 50 years ago, a simple paper diary became literally a revolution in the work organization and affairs planning. Nowadays, in the modern world of information and gadgets, the paper diary became an anachronism – digital solutions have come into play. It is much more convenient to use programs for planning and productivity tracking.

These are usually different digital calendars, programs task scheduling analysis, to-do lists, etc. All these digital tools assist a lot in organizing business routine and reach a high-level productivity. So what is the practical benefit of productivity tracker apps and how can they change your life? Let us get all this straightened out.

1. Track Where You Spend Time Mostly

Whatever program you decide to use, it allows you to set/ track tasks for yourself and your colleagues, assign responsible ones, co-executors, or simply specify observers.

Performance tracking applications can provide a report on where you or your team are spending time. Despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with viewing such reports, for someone it seems very difficult and will take a few hours to dive into the thematic sections analysis.

If you are working with any tracking activity, then using any application, you, at least, realize how much time you spend on it.

2. Plan Your Work

Using performance tracking software raises an understanding of how much time is spent in general for performing various tasks. Thus, you can manage your workload easily.

Knowing how much time is needed for completing a particular type of tasks, you can optimize the work to be done during the day and make sure your “to-do” list is well managed. Therefore, it easies your work planning and task management. As a result, you feel less tired at the end of the day and do your work more effectively.

3. Boost Your Productivity

Think about how you use your time, time tracking applications can boost your productivity.

When using the application, you derive a regularity of being more efficient than a day before. There is no necessity of you always succeeding in everything, but knowing that there is some application that monitors what you do makes you optimize your work.

So every time, you go to Facebook, you log out and think how it would affect your productivity.

4. Calculate Your Wage

If you have an hourly rate, time tracking software makes billing much easier. Instead of approximately estimating how long it will take to complete a task, using the application you will know exactly how many hours it will take to complete each part of the project.

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This means that you can quickly bill customers for the tasks they you to work on, which is why many time tracking applications include a way to create accounts.

5. Reduce the Risk of Invoice Dispute

The time tracking software also provides you with a measure of protection against anyone who disputes the invoice that you have issued. If the client disputes what you have done, you have a way to show the exact time spent on their project.

Although this is not a magic shield, but in case of a dispute, it will cover your sit-upon.

6. Manage to Achieve More Goals

With the proper understanding of you performance rates and time frames necessary for managing particular tasks, it is easier to set goals and reach them.

What is more, performance tracking software will help you find out the peak time of your performance rate; thus, you can schedule the most important meetings and work on the most complex tasks during that time. Plan your day effectively!

7. Become Successful in All Spheres of Activity

Proper planning of your day and workload will free some time for both your personal and professional development. Thus, time that you have previously spent on working on regular tasks can be now used with the great benefit to you.

Performance tracking software will help you become successful in all the spheres of your activity. You may have been formerly busy and have no time for development and learning new things.

Performance tracking software will help you find a balance and achieve goals that were impossible to reach before.

8. Have More Time for Yourself

It is impossible to be efficient without a proper rest and switching your mind from the work to relax mode. Each person should have some time for self-improvement, recreation, hobbies, and staying with his beloved ones.

Unfortunately, for a modern man, it is today difficult to free up his tough schedule and find a window of time to dedicate it to recreation, hobbies, or staying for his close people.

This is where performance tracking software can help a lot. This digital instrument will assist you in elaborating the most effective and easy-to-manage schedule.

Perform tasks faster than those who do not know what time management is and do not use it. After a short period of using performance tracking software, you will be able to cope with many different things without feeling stressed and tired.

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9. Forget about Constant Fatigue

You’ll become less prone to stress and will not experience emotional fatigue when you’ve planned for a working day.

Even if you had less tasks in your to-do list but spent half of the day on Facebook, you will feel tired in the evening.

It is way more efficient to plan your day based on results of your performance rates being tracked. Therefore, you will never overload yourself with tasks and will not spend hours in social networks.

Instead, you will know when it is necessary to take a break and how much time to dedicate to it so that you are not in delay.

10. Have a Clear Plan of Action

When using performance tracking software, you always know how to act when working on complex and challenging tasks. The idea is that you divide a big task into smaller sub-tasks and handle a complex assignment step-by-step. Thus, you always have a clear plan of action and follow it closely.

You know when to take a coffee break and when it is better to work efficiently without being disturbed and abstracting from the task. Performance tracking software will help you elaborate the most effective plan of action when dealing the most complicated tasks.

11. Control Your Life

Everyone of us would like to control our life and take the maximum out of it. Unfortunately, it is not always possible. We are all busy, and if not busy, we feel tired after a hard working day.

To avoid the feeling of being а fagged-out person and to free up your calendar, using a performance tracking and task planning software will be of great service to you.

Once you start tracking your time and paying close attention to your daily activities, you can control your life as you wish.

Forget about staying at work till late hours. Spend this time with your family or friends instead. It is not about doing your work worse or taking less tasks; it is more about increasing your performance and spending no time on useless and “for-fun” stuff.

Productivity Apps to Strat Tracking Your Performance

Do you have a plan for the day? And how many points from it do you usually perform? Do you manage to cope with all the tasks you set, eat, and rest normally? Do you have time for your family and friends?

For proper self-organization and high performance, it is not necessary to keep all thoughts and plans in your head or notebook. Instead, you can rely on applications aimed at tracking your performance and boosting it.

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Finding a good task planner and performance tracker is perhaps the first thing a modern man needs to do when he buys a smartphone, pc, or tablet. And this is one of the most useful features of mobile devices, especially for those who are not used to planning their tasks and projects in a paper diary.

There are a lot of different task managers in the AppStore. Some of them are good, while others have poor functionality and cost a lot. That’s why we have decided to help you with the search and have picked five convenient planners that will help you set global goals, plan your life, and compile wish lists.

Toggl: Work Hours Time Tracker

    Time management is the global problem of the 21st century: everyone talks about it, everyone wants to get it. However, very few people understand and effectively organize their working day.

    Time tracker Toggl makes registration in client projects easier, so you can keep track of how much time was spent on client projects, and how many hours have been dedicated to coping with company projects.

    And knowing the costs of your time, you can plan further work and your workload.

    Download Toggl

    Remember The Milk

      Now you will never forget to buy milk. Remember The Milk is a handy to-do list for busy people; the application will send a reminder to you even on Twitter. You can plan everything from shopping lists to important meetings.

      A user-friendly interface, not obtrusive, but insistent, notifications help you plan your time effectively.

      Download Remember the Milk

      Evernote

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        A modern workspace that can sync with all your gadgets and work in an offline mode. You can write notes, compile lists, organize materials, add articles to the reading from the Internet, collect data for work, and discuss tasks with other users.

        Download Evernote

        Basecamp 3

          The application will allow you to simultaneously manage several projects, current tasks and elaborate business plans. By the way, the utility can be used by the whole team thus increasing its performance exponentially.

          What is more, in this application, you can work with documents and give access to them to other employees.

          Download Basecamp

          The bottom line

          Time is a limited resource that is constantly consumed. Unfortunately, you cannot stop using it, and you are not able to restore its reserves. Nevertheless, you need to do your best to ensure all the planned tasks are done qualitatively and in time. From planning meetings to fulfilling assignments – time is behind every aspect of doing business, and you can not afford to dispose of it badly.

          Ineffective time management can manifest itself in different ways. Procrastination, distraction due to personal affairs or complicated projects, there are many things that take a lot of our time every day. This is because the wasted time that you break your life-work balance, feel more stress, and are faced with tough deadlines.

          Fortunately, today’s modern technologies can offer us a lot of opportunities for more productive time management. Free up your schedule, find time for your personal life, and focus on doing important work. Start using performance tracking applications today already!

          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

          More by this author

          John Obstander

          John is a productivity geek and a writing enthusiast who has no limits and got wings to take over the world.

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          Last Updated on February 18, 2019

          How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

          How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

          These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

          58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

          Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

          “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

          So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

          Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

          1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

          The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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          Encourage Your Employees

          When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

          Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

          Offer Rewards

          Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

          The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

          Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

          Give Autonomy

          Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

          Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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          Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

          2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

          I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

          Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

          For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

          We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

          Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

          A To Do Scheduling System

          Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

          The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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          I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

          With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

          Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

          3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

          The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

          “The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

          An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

          What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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          Ask If They like What They’re Doing

          If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

          There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

          “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

          The Bottom Line

          Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

          Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

          For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

          Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

          More Resources About Team Management

          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

          Reference

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