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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 October 17, 2018

          7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

          7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

          How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

          If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

          Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

          So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

          1. Meditate

          We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

          Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

          Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

          Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

          Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

          If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

          And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

          2. Get plenty of sleep

          If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

          If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

          How much sleep should you be getting?

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          Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

          Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

          Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

          Yes, there are.

          Try these three things:

          • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
          • Don’t eat too late
          • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

          Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

          However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

          3. Challenge your brain

          When was the last time you challenged your brain?

          I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

          To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

          Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

          There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

          • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
          • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
          • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

          If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

          Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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          4. Take more breaks

          When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

          At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

          However, I was wrong.

          Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

          Let me explain.

          Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

          Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

          It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

          It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

          What’s the answer?

          Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

          If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

          5. Learn a new skill

          I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

          “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

          From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

          Let me give you an example of this:

          Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

          Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

          The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

          Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

          Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

          6. Start working out

          If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

          Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

          Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

          “But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

          Not a problem.

          A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

          Interested in getting started?

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          Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

          • Join a gym
          • Join a sports team
          • Buy a bike
          • Take up hiking
          • Dance to your favorite music

          7. Eat healthier foods

          I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

          This applies to your brain too.

          The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

          Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

          Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

          Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

          • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
          • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
          • Nuts – improves memory
          • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
          • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

          Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

          Final thoughts

          I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

          You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

          But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

          Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

          Reference

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